Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Moments in Ninja (Pop) History

Here... at 5:08.

I know, it really doesn't seem like much now, but this was the early 80's. And it was one of the first mainstream appearances of a ninja in American pop culture.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Sons of Dorn: The Fifth Company of the Imperial Fists Space Marines

A few months back, I posted pictures of my White Scars Space Marines. They seemed to be a hit. If you google image "White Scars Space Marines," pictures of my models show up near the top! I like to think of my blog as being more about martial arts, but it's great to be known for something! At the time, I mentioned that my next project would be the entire Fifth Company of the Imperial Fists. This project has progressed to the point where sharing some photos might be worthwhile. So here they are...
So far I have the following units finished: the 1st and 2d Tactical Squads, the 9th Devastator Squad with attached Razorback, and the Company Chaplain. I also have elements attached from the 1st Company: Captain Lysander, a Librarian in Terminator armor, a Terminator Squad, and a 1st Company Dreadnought.

A shot of Lysander, surrounded by his bodyguard of 1st Company Terminators. Eventually, these guys will have a Land Raider to transport them.

A group shot showing the Forge World Dreadnought.

Another group shot.

The Terminator squad, with Forge World Imperial Fist shoulder pads and other conversions.

This is a Forge World Mark IV Dreadnought. I used the siege drill left arm and assault cannon arms. If this model ever sees a game, I will probably count the siege drill as a normal Dreadnought CCW and heavy flamer. The back banner is brass rod and thin sheet plastic. The rod is capped with fists cut from space marine arms in my bit box.

In a Battle Company, the 9th and 10th Squads are Devastator squads carrying heavy weapons. This is the 9th Squad, lead by an archive Vet Sergeant model. I plan for both Devastator squads to have Razorback transports for added punch. The army is themed for a siege, and I figure in that instance, the company would deploy as much punch as possible.

Here's the Terminator Librarian.

The 1st Tactical Squad, lead by another archive Vet Sergeant, armed with bolter and power axe. The squad gets a little extra punch from a plasma gun. It does not have a heavy weapon. I envision the first and second squads as manuever squads that will be supported from the vehicles and Devastator squads. Eventually, all the Tac squads will have their own Rhino transport.

This is the 2d Tactical Squad. The Vet Sergeant is armed with a power sword and bolt pistol, and the squad also has a plasma gun. I've tried a couple of subtle things to emphasize my theme of a Siege-based Imperial Fists force. The Fists are a first Founding Chapter, one of the oldest in the Imperium, so I've used archive metal models to show older marks of armor. The Fists are the parent chapter for the Black Templars, so I've mixed in a few Black Templar parts. There's some disagreement about what quirks and traits characterize the Imperial Fists. Some players believe the Fists have a mild tendency towards knightly imagery. I fall into this camp, especially since they are the parent chapter for the Black Templars. They also seem to like swords, so I've used power swords where I could. I used the small shields from the Bretonnian knights box on the arms, playing up the knightly imagery, and adding some extra armor that would be useful for a siege force.

This is the 5th Company Chaplain. I'm not 100% convinced that a power weapon and power fist combo is useful, but I really think this model screams out to be included in an Imperial Fists force.

These are the Vet Sergeants for the 3rd and 4th Tactical Squads. I have another box of Tactical marines ready to go, but I was ready for a break after painting all this yellow. I still have plenty of Imperial Fists and vehicles to paint before the whole company is finished. I'm going slow, because I'm still deciding how to paint-up the two squads of Assault Marines... But they should look good.
In the meantime, I've backtracked to add to my White Scars army. I'm midway through painting a command bike squad. I'll post pictures of those when I'm finished. I'm ripping through these projects while I'm on the injured list for this ACL problem.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why vote for the lesser evil?

I wait no longer...

Vote Cthulhu.
He believes in an Army of One...
He has the ultimate heath care plan...
And he has plans to solve poverty and world hunger in one fell swoop.

Why not? After all most of America will be voting for Nyrlathotep...

News Update

I want to post this once so I don't have to recount the story in untold numbers of emails.

In late August I was attending a Monday night class at the dojo. We were warming up and doing wind sprints across the mats. On the last length of the mat, I turned on my right leg and my knee gave out. I dropped like a sack of wet gi. It took all my determination to get up and hobble off the mat to get out of the way.

This was not the first time I'd hurt this knee. My first injury was nearly two years ago. I was working a throwing drill. Most throwing drills -- for better or worse -- involve a cooperative partner. This is done for safety's sake. Judo and MMA sometimes use antagonistic throwing drills -- and the injuries do mount up. This is the main reason why BJJ sparring usually starts on the ground -- hence the term: "rolling."

During this drill I went to throw my partner with Osoto Gake, a rear sweep. I made the cardinal mistake of not taking his balance at the head first; and instead he shifted and threw me. Most of my body went one way, but my right leg was stopped in place for the throw. I felt a pop in my knee. It hurt for a couple of days, but went away. I decided to be a tough guy and didn't go to a doctor.

Between these two events, I could feel shifting in my knee. Some of these shifts were minor, and some were more... impressive.

After my last injury, I had an MRI done. It should a torn Anterior Cruciate ligament, or ACL, and a couple of tears in the meniscus. I went to an orthopedist two weeks ago, but I wasn't pleased with the visit. I won't give too much detail, but I didn't like that the doctor kept hinting I should find a different hobby. Maybe something safe, like golf.

So I got a second opinion this week. I went to see a doctor a little further away, but he was in my high school graduating class, and I hoped he'd be more sympathetic. He was.

He believes my ACL probably tore during the first injury. The things I felt were pivotal shifts in the joint the ACL is suppossed to prevent. The twist during the last wind sprint was a time bomb waiting to happen. Fortunately, he can reconstruct the ACL very easily, and its a surgery he performs all the time. He recommended the surgery if I intend to keep the same level of activity up and said it is what he'd do if it was his knee.

So I'll be getting the surgery done in November. We haven't set the date just yet. The recovery is fairly long, but he was optimistic about the progress. I'd be down initially about two weeks. Then I'd go for physical therapy. The doc said I could be reintroduced gradually into martial arts as part of my PT. I'll probably be running again, short distances, in about three months, and possibly back to nearly normal class participation at 7 to 9 months. I'd be fully cleared in a year. The first doctor had said I'd be off the mat completely for a year.

So is this what's kept me from blogging all this time? No, not really. But my mind has been on many other things lately. Not to mention that I've been executing my master plan for world domination by destabilizing the US economy.