Saturday, August 22, 2015

SAGA Vikings - Hirdmen group 3 WIP

Hirdmen group 3 front

Just sharing another batch of Hirdmen for my Viking Saga warband.  Again, these guys were done a while ago, but just getting the finishing touches now.  Shields and bases are all that are left to do.  I'm keeping this one short and sweet, so if you want to know more about this project check out my previous related posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.  Berserkers are up next.

Hirdmen group 3 back

OK, one more thing I guess.  Recently picked up a "little" piece of 1960's viking decor.  Haven't quite decided where it's going to go yet though.  :-)


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Immer Vorwärts! Gets a Reboot!!

The title says it all.  The Immer Vorwärts! blog is alive again and has been given a reboot.  Head on over and check things out.  I've got some stuff to finish up with my Mordian Imperial Guard, Viking warband for Saga, and various ongoing terrain projects.  Expect this fall to get hot and heavy with Napoleonics with a bit of Bolt Action sprinkled in.  ;-)


Sunday, August 16, 2015

National Airborne Day & 75th Anniversary!

Been a "Five Jump Chump" since August 1991!

National Airborne Day was created back in 2001 by President George W. Bush to honor the nation's airborne forces of the Armed Forces.  August 16, 1940 marked the first official Army parachute jump, validating the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line by parachute.  (From Wikipedia)  Today is also the 75th anniversary of that event.

Well, I guess I've never been a "paratrooper," but I did go to Airborne School back in 1991 as a cadet between  my freshman and sophomore years in college.  The experience remains to this day as some of my most vivid memories from being in the Army.  A huge learning and growing experience for a 19 year old.

Other than getting used to the heat and humidity of the late August summer down in Fort Benning, Georgia and that whole jumping out of perfectly good airplanes despite not being a huge fan of heights, Airborne School wasn't incredibly tough.  Yeah, we had to run everywhere and I learned to eat REALLY fast, but it was also the first time I was really away from home and on my own.  Of course throw into that the whole jumping out of airplanes "danger" part.

I was in Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry.  I still have the t-shirt :-)  I had C373 taped to the front of my helmet and my name was "Charlie 373" for three weeks to every Sergeant Airborne.  My particular class was full of vets returning from the Gulf War that got to attend Airborne School as a reward.  Probably learned the most from them, being able to talk to "real" soldiers and seeing their scrapbooks and photo albums.

The experience was over before I knew it, but I can still remember it like yesterday while other times during my years of service have become fuzzy.  Probably more interesting to me personally, here's a few random stories/memories from back then:

It was the Army's policy to send you on official travel using the nearest possible airport.  So between me and my classmate Nate, the closest place was up in the north woods of Minnesota instead of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  We got to ride down in some beat up prop plane that I swore was going to crash.  This was hands down the scariest part of my whole Airborne School experience.

I was put on Staff Duty the very first Friday night.  Across the hall were all the pictures of the cadre and Sergeant Airbornes.  One was pictured with a patch over one eye.  Thinking it was a fake to make him look "tough," we all thought it was a big joke until we realized he was standing right behind us.  NCOs have an incredible sense of timing sometimes.  :-)

My Sergeant Airborne was gospel singer, which made running and marching a real pleasure.  Greatly influenced the way I sang cadence from then on.  The next chalk's Sergeant Airborne tried his best to make Beastie Boys songs into cadences.  That didn't really work as well...

Nearing the end of his patience during training one day, my Sergeant Airborne rhetorically asked, "You know who you don't want to get angry, do you?"  Being a young nerdy wise-ass I replied, "Bruce Banner?"  Pro: everyone got the joke. Con: we did LOTS of push ups. :-)

I was on barracks Fire Guard one night, when around 2:30 in the morning a Sergeant Airborne came waltzing in toting a Tommy submachine gun complete with drum mag.  He looked at me and with a finger to his lips said, "Shhhhhhh!"  Then went upstairs to his quarters and went to bed.

My very first jump was made even more unique by having a Chaplin jump with us as well as a group of British special forces types who yelled and jumped out the door together in one big clump.

Our forth and fifth jumps were delayed greatly by the weather and low cloud ceilings.  At one time we spent 8-10 hours sitting in our gear waiting in the equipment shed.  Pressed for time, our last couple of jumps were done double barrel shotgun style, with the whole plane unloading in one pass alternating out of both doors.

There's ton's of stuff that I'll never forget, but again, probably only interesting to me.  The First Sergeant's Safety Brief before that very first weekend, the boot shining guys, the US Infantry Museum complete with Rommel's Field Marshal baton, playing pool with some crazy Marine, getting "Blood Wings,"  running into a general on the dropzone, and sharing the best pizza we ever tasted on a cool Saturday night with my new buddy Bob from Texas.

Last but not least, Tom Petty's song "Learning to Fly" had been released earlier in the year (April) and was still very popular on the radio.  It very appropriately became my personal theme song.

"I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.  Coming down is the hardest thing."

Tom Petty - Learning to Fly


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Vive l'Empereur!

Napoleon getting his just deserts.

It's Boney's B Day!!  The little big man is 246, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a quick post and video.  Love him or hate him, Napoleon continues to rock the wargaming world (amongst other things).  Although my love for toy soldiers started at an earlier age, my later introduction to Napoleon and his era has always been a huge driving force and inspiration behind my wargaming hobby.

Enjoy the video, enjoy the day, but don't expect to enjoy any cake 'cause the Emperor doesn't like to share!

Napoleon Bonaparte - Titan (Vangelis)


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Armored Sentinels

 Next up for my Mordian Imperial Guard is a pair of Armored Sentinels.  I've always wondered at the name "sentinel" because these guys don't stand around guarding shit.  They recon and patrol and generally walk around shooting things.  Anyway...  these are the first two of three auto cannon armed sentinels.

They're made from the old part metal Steel Legion kit.  I've got a forth kit laying around which might turn into another unit of three or just go off to eBay land.  I've got another idea planned if I ever do "Scout" Sentinels (think jeeps), but I just had to add these models to my army.  I've always loved their look even if it's ripped off from Star Wars.

As I mentioned in the previous Leman Russ Battle Tank post, these vehicles have way more weathering.  I actually redid the first one I painted because I did too much, but I figure the sentinels are constantly being used to patrol and recon even when the other vehicles are waiting for the next mission.

You can't tell from the pics, but these are also a bit darker than the other vehicles.  I wanted them a bit greasier and grimier, but again as mentioned in the last post, there's a lot I can still learn about rust effects, oils, and streaking, etc.  It's a process, and happy how these turned out regardless.

The bases gave me a unique opportunity to expand on the desert battlefield theme that only gets limited exposure on the individual figure bases.  Here's where I definitely went a bit farther with the rust effects on the wire and debris.

More to come.  I hope you like what you've seen so far.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gettin' the blog rollin' again

Springing back into action!!

Missed me?  I've missed you, but sometimes summer and computers don't go together.  Unfortunately they don't make the best fishing buddies, they're not good teammates, and they definitely don't like the sun or the rain.  Other than everyday life stuff that everyone has to put up with, time spent away from the computer this summer has also meant more time at the hobby desk.  So it's time to get my butt back to blogging, sharing hobby and gaming stuff, as well as checking out what everyone else is up to.  :-)

I still have more Saga Vikings to share, but I've also been hard at work on my Mordain Imperial Guard for Warhammer 40k.  I've had some vision problems that have impaired the progress on my infantry models, but that hasn't prevented me from knocking out the vehicles.

The first of these I'd like to share is my first of eventually three Leman Russ Battle Tanks.  This guy is a little more roughed up than the initial Chimera I did, and rightly so.  It's a tank!  Not just some troop transport. :-)  I'm getting a little more comfortable with some of the weathering, but there's so much left to try. 

The paint chipping is solid, but I'd like to try using Chipping Fluid in the future.  Right now I'm sponging on Charadon Granite paint, then following up with some Boltgun Metal here and there.  The rust around the rivets and streaking is ok I guess, but I'm still looking for something that works better than the various washes I've tried.

Again, there's ton of weathering stuff like pigments, filters, oils, etc., etc. that I've yet to explore.  I'm satisfied with the way my IG vehicles are turning out, but I really want to perfect the process and techniques before I dive into my World War II North Africa Bolt Action project down the road.

This tank is technically still a work in progress.  Eventually there maybe more stowage added, some fuel cans in the compartment at the back, and the antennas will all have pennants with the proper platoon markings.  Also, there's a huge space purposely left on the right side of the turret for whenever I figure out what "names" to give to each of these buggers.

My LRBTs are all made from the original "Mark I" kit.  This gives them a slightly different look than the newer kit that I'm using for my LR Demolisher for example.  I've left off the side sponsons and added a bit of decorative armor plating.  I've always liked the look of the LR model except for the turret.  The newer kits are definitely an improvement, but I've replaced mine with Ryza pattern ones from Forge World.  I think they really look ace!

WIP: Army Painter Desert Yellow base coat with Minwax "wash" applied.

WIP: Drybrushing, detail work, and decals done.

Finally, just sharing a couple of WIP pics to show a bit of the process I use.  I detailed the steps way back in 2011 if you want to check out that post HERE.  Things may have evolved a bit, and I'd certainly like to try using an airbrush in the future.

Like building terrain, painting vehicles are on the more enjoyable end of the hobby.  I'm sure there's a lot more time and effort that could be poured into them, but for me vehicles are fun and quick to paint up.  They certainly add momentum to an army project as well as something closer to "instant gratification" for painting results.

"Tanks" for stopping by.  I'll be sharing more of my IG vehicles later in the week.