I've been a Greyjoy fan from the start, and while I like the role the Boltons have played, I couldn't envisage painting dozens of freehand flayed men on shield and banners. Of course, painting freehand kraken isn't that much easier, but I figured it was a lot more open to interpretation! My freehand has never been great, to say the least, and I very nearly gave up on this project in the early stages, but I'm glad I stayed the course.
What I don't like about the Greyjoys is the frequent interpretation of them as Westeros' Vikings. They're a great house, albeit one with a powerful navy and a history of raiding. While the parallels with the Vikings are there, I wanted to make them a bit more modern, and so nabbed Perry Agincourt plastics as the basis for most of the kitbashes. I figured that if most armies (Tyrells, Lannisters etc.) were at the Wars of the Roses level in terms of armour and tactics, rolling back a few years for the Greyjoys would be in keeping. They're a little isolated, and perhaps generally a bit off-the-pace in terms of modern arms and armour, but they're warriors, and will have paid the iron price for kit from other houses, so I've thrown in some elements from the Perry WOTR sets as well. I did briefly consider using Frostgrave Soldiers for the bodies, to give a wrapped-up look more in keeping with the TV show, but in the end I wanted armour - these Ironborn aren't scared of drowning!
While I knew most of my force would be Raiders (Offensive Light Foot), I did want a core of solid, dependable infantry, so mustered the Pyke Guard (Heavy Foot) to fill that role. They're the aforementioned mix of Perry plastics, with wire spears and Fireforge shields (which also helps give them a slightly less fantastical look). These are the first six of the eventual twelve-man unit.
All told, I got the whole demi-unit done in little over a week, from basecoat to varnish. Next up, the remaining six Pyke Guard, a unit of six Drowned Men, and the first of my big units of Raiders.
As it stands, I'm looking to build the following, to give me some options for the force:
- 1x unit of 12 Pyke Guard (Heavy Foot)
- 2x units of 12 Greyjoy Raiders (Offensive Light Foot)
- 1x unit of 12 Archers (Light Missiles OR 2x units of 6 Scouts (Scouts)
- 1x unit of 6 Drowned Men (Bellicose Foot)
- 1x unit of 6 Outriders (Light Riders)
- 1x unit of 3 Greyjoy Commanders (Elite Foot)
The Scouts are more thematic than the Archers, but the figure content is identical, so I'll pick and choose as I like there. The Outriders are an inclusion by which I'm not fully convinced, but I do like the idea of a couple of horses being brought on a raid to allow for rapid scouting... and a couple of very light mounted raiders will just look good!
The Greyjoy Commanders will, when I'm not using them as a single command element, represent the three leaders of my force: Balon to oversee the Pyke Guard and command the whole force, Victarion to head up the Raiders and lead from the front, and Asha/Yara to command the scouting force. Of these, Victarion is done and awaiting paint, and I've got a definite plan in mind for Balon. Not sure what to do for Asha/Yara just yet...
|The Pyke Six|