Sunday, May 22, 2016

"The Jump!"

This might not be how it happened, but this is how I remember it.  I believe it was the summer of 1982, when we all decided to head to the nearby park to take on “the Jump.”  I was twelve at the time.  When I say “we” I refer to the group of friends that I use to hang out with in the old neighborhood I grew up in: Mike the tallest, the strongest and silent leader of the group; his friend Steve, the typical nerd with glasses, skinny and annoyingly smart; my best buddy, Steve (Mike’s younger brother) and the taller and more athletic of the two of us; and Bobby, frequently with us, somehow awkwardly filling in the gaps; and me, average height, average build, average intelligence, and average looks, just plain average.

The summer in question would be memorable for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was that this summer, my best buddy Steve, would tame “the jump.”  The "Jump" was a hardened pile of dirt that came up to about waist height on an average adult.  But, to us kids… it was huge!  Every now, and again, when we would muster enough courage (or needed to settle a bragging score) we would head to the jump.  On this particular day, we headed down to see if someone could beat the current distance record.  We kept it marked in the dirt, until the winter snow would melt and erase the previous summer’s record.

We took turns backing up in the park in order to get a good run.  We would peddle as fast as we could to get some decent air, and land our efforts with smug smiles and taunts for the next candidate to have a go at it.  To this day, I don’t know what possessed him, but my best friend Steve backed up farther than anyone ever had.  In fact, he backed all the way up to the backstop on the baseball diamond! He backed up so far, there was no more space to back up to!  We all stared at him in disbelief.  What was he doing?  Was he crazy?  He got a determined look in his eye, and started to peddle.  He peddled, faster and faster.  He peddled so fast, his feet were a blur!  By the time he hit the jump, he had so much velocity and momentum, that time slowed down.  It was as if everything slipped into slow motion!

Steve rode a bright yellow-orange bike, with a dark orange seat and hand grips.  Tassels danced in the wind when he rode it, and there was a glorious phoenix emblazoned on the banana seat.  That day we watched, as everything seemingly stood still, Steve's bike had so much moment that it left him!  It actually left him in the air!  The bike took on a life of it’s own, climbing higher and higher in the sky.  Steve reached out in desperation, and at the last moment, he grabbed onto the rail behind the seat.  We watched the whole seen; Steve's bike, wheels and pedals spinning, orange phoenix seat ablaze in the sun, with Steve flying behind his bike like Superman.  He flew, and flew and flew.  We all watched mystified, knowing that we were about to witness a new, all-time-and-forever, best jump record!

When Steve’s bike finally landed (with Steve in tow), it crashed erupting into a pile of dust; bicycle tires, handlebars, tassels, orange, sneakers, arms and legs all jumbled together.  We watched in stunned silence.  When the dust finally settled, we felt like we had just witnessed Neil Armstrong landing on the moon!  It was magnificent!  Steve, had not only beaten the record… he had shattered it!  We all ran over, to congratulate him.  When we got to him (inspecting him to make sure he hadn’t broken anything) we noticed a few minor scrapes and a trickle of blood coming down his nose, but he was intact.  A sheepish grin creased his face as we all slapped him on the back with cheers of, “Man, that was awesome!” and “That was incredible!” and “Way to go, Steve!” and I blurted out “Holy smokes, wait ‘til everyone hears about this!”

Steve, walked a little taller that day.  His funky, orange, phoenix bicycle seemed to be more mystical now than it had previously been.  That was the day that I learned from my friend Steve, not to be so afraid to take on challenges that seemed bigger than I could handle.  That was the day that I learned how important it is to face our fears head-on.  That was the day that Steve, and the rest of us (though it was vicariously), conquered "the Jump!"

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Deathwatch Terminator Captain of the Watch!

I still remember walking into the local game store Christmas of 1993, and seeing that Second Edition box of 40K sitting on the shelf.  I think since then I have bought, modeled, painted, and then sold at least five space marine armies: Ultramarines, Imperial Fists, Space Wolves, Grey Knights, and then another Fists army... could never settle.  Then I had the brilliant idea to play all of them!  The Deathwatch is comprised of Marines from all the different chapters seconded to serve for a period of time in the watch under the leadership of the Inquisition.  It is setup much like a space marine chapter.  Although there is really not a first company, Adeptus Astartes still wear terminator armor.

This post is in regard to a Deathwatch Captain that I scratch built about seven months ago (further below), taken from the newer Blood Angel Terminator Captain pictured here:
I made several changes, on the Deathwatch Captain (below) in an effort to make him more 'neutral' from the one pictured here above: I swapped out the head, axe, and storm bolter, replacing them with a relic bade and/or the burning blade and a storm shield. Notice, that I even removed the Blood Angel jewels, replacing them with Terminator Honors.  The Iron Halo and back banner were also adds:
 Here are some frontal views (see the combi-plas mag locked on his leg?): well as the back:

I fully intended on taking him as a chapter master to tank some Terminators.  I modeled him with a fancy storm shield to use it as the Shield Eternal giving him that 3+ invulnerable save, and bestowing him with the "Eternal Warrior" characteristic.  Selecting him as a Chapter Master would also allow him to fire his Orbital Bombardment while in terminator armor, having the "Relentless" ability.

Playing Inquisition gives me access to other neat tricks, like bringing in a contingency of Grey Knights, and taking Brother Captain Stern with the "Sanctuary" power, buffing the Captain to a 2+ invulnerable save.  Finally, attaching him to a Deathwing Terminator Command Squad, with an Apothecary attached, gave him the "Feel No Pain" ability, rolling off wounds on a 5+!!! 

I played him like this one time; he was expensive point wise, but it was sooooo nasty! I didn't have the heart after that, to bring him out in a friendly game again because I realized that in playing him as such, I might have become that "one guy" that nobody wants to play.

I try really hard to play my Deathwatch with the lore, and fluffy background, so he hasn't seen any combat since that game because he doesn't really fit my style of play...

  But he may fit yours! He is a fantastic model, and hope that he will find a good home! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Inquisitor Lord Galandor Krom Reassigned!

Well, sadly with the parting of ways with my Grey Knight Army for 40k, I have not really been able to field this brilliantly painted and modeled Inquisitor Lord.  This is a second edition GW Rogue trader model that I have used for several years.  I just don't field him anymore now that I run a strictly Deathwatch Space Marine Army!  So he is going up for auction on Ebay:

He is incredibly customized with over eight different bits, pinned and master-painted with appropriate blends and highlights for a character model.  Armed with terminator armor, digital weapons, daemon hammer/halberd and psycannon (not shown), he has been the nemesis of many a fowl denizen from the warp!  Would love to find him a good home!

Friday, August 7, 2015

American Team Championship: Grey Knights Glory!

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the ATC or American Team Championship!  It is essentially the "power gamers" tournament for Warhammer 40,000 (40K), Warhammer Fantasy (which is now Age of Sigmar), as well as Hordes and Warmachine.  I have been a die-hard 40k fan since second edition.  I have always wanted to attend a major event like this, and decided to take a team of five to attend.

The tournament format with a team of five, is you draw a team and then the team captains roll-off for pairings between the different team-members.  My team had no delusions of glory, and since we are not power gamers (but more fluff players) we knew that we would have to "take it on the chin" in order to get bracketed lower tier in order to get more games of our liking.

While at the event, I had the opportunity to have a professional photographer take some pics of my army, so I thought I would take the time to post them up... so here are my Grey Knights!

Grand Master Kaldor Draigo, High Grand Master of the Grey Knight Space Marine Chapter.
Here he is modeled with a blood-letter of Khorne's head impaled on the mighty Sword of Titan!

My Warlord, Grey Knight Librarian Galandor Kree; he performed in a most amazing way for me during the tournament! Very pleased with his performance!

Inquisitor Lord Torquemeda Coteaz with his two-headed psyber eagle... many a daemonic foe has fallen to this hero of the imperium!

A Grey Knight Librarian, armed with a force staff and a combi-stormbolter.

The Nemesis Dreadknight: armed with a psychically charged psilencer and a psyflamer... it is an anathema to every foe the Grey Knights face!
Grey Knight Terminators taking orders from their Justicar...
Justicar Thaine barking orders at his holy Grey Knights to take down the Emperor's enemies!

The entire 1,850 points of my Grey Knight Nemesis Strike Force!
Had a great time at the ATC and really enjoyed the experience!
Thanks for taking a moment to look at my army!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Atlantic Coast Charity Cup: Capturing the Spirit!

Well, just got back from the ACCC hosted by Nate Beam, and the Knights of Columbus in Norfolk, VA.  Many of the participants in attendance have become friends over the last few years while rolling the dice on the Blood Bowl Pitch.  This year the even raised $2,500 dollars with the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project!  Very worthwhile venue!

I attended with young-blood Ryan, and former Marine Paul, as well as former soldier Jacob.  We got up at 0'Dark-thirty on Saturday morning to drive up, and play three games.  I finished 2-1-0 and had a great time! Everyone that I spoke with was in high spirits (yes, pun intended!) and having a good time!  I don't know why Blood Bowl attracts such awesome peeps... but if you don't play, you really should start!

Here are a few pics from the Mayhem had at the event:

My Orc team, the Bittersand Swamp Gators lining up to face off against Bob's Norse! (Yes, I drew two Norse players this tournament!)

Mike's Snow troll and Ulfwerner laying out two of my Orc Blitzers! Unfortunately for me... this was too frequent of a scene for my poor Orcs!

Mike's Snow troll ended up red-boxing eight of my players in my first match-up! He went on to take the "Most Violent" trophy for his ol'pal Dave "Doombeard" Dwarf-master... and somehow I managed a tie this game! ::Sheesh!::

Roy sharing war stories while several coaches finish up round two of their matches!

Jacob, Paul, and Ryan look on while Bob "The Barbarian" of Norsca strolls by while the lead tables wrap-up their matches!

Roy Miller's fantastic looking goblin team with the gobbos sculpted as Jawas from the epic film Star Wars, and the Trolls are sculpted as some kinda funky droid these little nippers probably sold on their goofy looking merchant barges!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Deep-striking Drop Pod... Damaging!

No question that the "fluff" behind Space Marines can make them especially devastating when it comes to the drop pod action!  With virtually every walking thing (including dreadnaughts) having access to drop pods, it is almost too hard to resist at times, putting one's whole army in drop pods, and raining down on an unmitigating foe!

With an opportunity to complete a drop pod for the Inquisition's Deathwatch, I jumped at the chance!  However, I was sorely tempted to just dry-brush the inside and forgoe doing any detail in there; happy to say I resisted the temptation... you'll have to let me know whatchya think!
(click on any pic to enlarge)
Landing on the field of battle! *Kathwamp!*

Unsuspecting Xenos, upon closer inspection might ask, "I wonder what is inside?"

"Ooh! Look at that golden eagle with the pretty book and sword!"
(proffered I their own language of course!)

Details of the inside: yes, I went ahead and painted all the tubes, and the screens, and all the little buttons, etc... so glad I did!

"In the name of the Emporer... you shall be vanquished foul denizon!"
Screams Sergeant Jagatun of the White Scars, as he disembarks.

Panning away to see some of the Deathwatch Marines disembarking...

...a full cadre of Deathwatch coming out with their nasty bolters equipped with M-40 targeters and special ammo!  Battle-brother Maxximion Voss of the Ultramarines steps out with his Heavy Bolter, while Alvarax of the Howling Griffons sports his plasma gun!  Now you know... xenos filth, what this pod contains!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Torias Telion: Sniper Extraoridinaire!

After posting the scout snipers recently completed, it is most noteworthy to mention their fearless leader: Sergeant Torias Telion!  He is the epitome of what every warrior should strive to be, both in hand-to-hand combat, as well as being a ranged threat!  With over three decades of service under his belt, in addition to his numerous accolades while in service, he has continued to refuse repeated attempts at pulling him into the elite first company.  Instead, he continues to remain in the scout companies encouraging his neophytes to exceptional service.  On one occasion, while addressing his charges assigned him in the tenth company, he reportedly uttered the following:

"Forget all your preconceptions of war, of battle-lines clashing in the churned ground. Your mission is to attack before the foe even realises that the war has begun, to strike hard at those vital weaknesses that all armies possess, but that no commander will admit to. Under my tutelage you will learn how to seek out such fragilities and smite them with every weapon at your disposal. Master these duties and I will have nothing more to teach, and you will truly be a Space Marine."

Sergeant Torias Telion, with his special customized Stalker Pattern Bolter with digital eye-scope, and custom fit silencer.

I really wanted this unique character to stand out, while fitting in with his sniper team; the simple white trim on his cloak, and red bolter seemed to tease out these elements without over-doing it.

The cammo cloak was especially fun to do, kudos to the sculptor for "tossing" his cloak over his shoulder to display his Ultramarine pride!

Sergeant Telion with his scout sniper squad.
Found this acrylic of Telion using his "voice of experience" from tutzdes.
To get the full background behind Sergeant Torias Telion of the Ultramarins,
jump to this link: Torias Telion
Thanks for stopping in!