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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Favorite Figures I Painted in 2022, Part 1

Officer, Queen’s Own Guides, Infantry, Punjab Frontier Force.

Over the next several months I will be moving to a new location so the posts for the near future will be far and few between! Here are my favorite figures I painted this year in chronological order. Details on the figures are in the links below the image:

Imperial Russian mechanized Steam Walker.

Figure conversion to make Mahbub Ali the "Red Beard".

Another conversion of a British Political Officer on the Northwest Frontier.

Naik, Queen's Own Guides, Infantry PFF.

Another conversion, The Mad Mullah!

One of the possible combinations from the Perry Afghan set. This guy just looks cool.

Officer, Queen’s Own Guides, Infantry, Punjab Frontier Force.

Next: More Favorite figures from 2022.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Veteran's Day 2022: My Family


 November 11th is Veteran's Day in the USA and Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries.  

My combat positionsPlatoon leader 81mm mortars; Rifle Platoon leader; Platoon leader 107mm mortars; XO Combat Support Company, Brigade S3 Air; Battalion S-1; Rifle Company Commander; Headquarters Company Commander; Assistant Battalion S3; Battalion S3; Battalion XO; Interim (6 months) Battalion Commander; Task Force Commander (unit classified) in Northern Iraq providing military assistance to the Kurds.

My Battalions:

2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry (Raiders)

1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry (Ready Rifles)

 7th Battalion, 6th Infantry (Regulars by God!)

 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry (Warriors)

2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry (Regulars by God!)

Me and Honorable Son #2 (who is now a Captain). 
Son #2's In-Laws.

I proudly wear the patch of the First Armored Division on my right sleeve.

Younger me  (in need of a shave) on my Bradley "Audacity" with the 1st Armored Division when I was doing the heavy infantry thing. Always hot coffee with heavy infantry.


My Brother #1 and his lovely bride. 

My Brother #1's son-in-law with Daughter #2.

My lovely bride and sister-in-law #2 (a retired Colonel who is still my favorite Blackhawk pilot!).

Sister-in-law #2's brother.

Sister-in-law #2's brother and his son. 

My Brother #2 

 Brother #2's son and his lovely bride.

My cousin Sarah's husband Edgar. To her everlasting regret, I introduced him to miniature wargaming!

My Dad.  He was "Doc" to the Marines during 2 tours in Vietnam. I owe a lot to this man.

My Dad's brother Gus. My Uncle Gus served in the Army during The Vietnam War as a Military Intelligence Vietnamese Language Specialist.

Vietnamese language intelligence specialist
  He w

My amazing father-in-law Jim was a 19 year old 1st Lieutenant flying B-17 bombers with the 8th Air Force in 1944 and ended the war as a captain. Had a great phone call with him the other day. A product of the depression (when he was a very young cowboy), he volunteered to be a pilot because it paid more!

My grandfather Sylvester was a Seaman 1st Class Gunner's Mate on the destroyer escort USS O'Neill (DE-188) during World War II.

On 31 October 1944, the USS O'Neill transited the Panama Canal and reported to the Pacific Fleet. Arriving in the forward area in December, she joined the 3rd Fleet under Admiral Halsey, and took part in the operations which culminated in the recapture of Luzon in the Philippines.

"Pap Pap"

In February 1945, the O'Neill became a unit of the 5th Fleet under Admiral Spruance, and served as an escort for the transports which landed the 3rd Marine Division at Iwo Jima. This landing took place on 24 February, and thereafter O'Neill served in the anti-submarine screen around the island.


After a passage to Milne Bay, New Guinea, the O'Neill joined the force assigned for the invasion of Okinawa. The initial landings were made on 1 April 1945. In the prolonged fight for the island, she served almost continuously for 60 days on ASW picket duty — shooting down a Japanese twin-engine bomber on 25 May, and being hit by a kamikaze suicide plane on the 26th. On the latter occasion two men were killed and 17 were wounded aboard the ship.
Shortly after a change of command on 16 June 1945, the O'Neill returned to San Pedro, California. for repairs of battle damage and major overhaul. While in San Pedro the war in the Pacific came to an end.
The ration booklet that belonged to my mother as a young child during WW II.
My grandfather Mike served as a civilian civil engineer during World War II building railroads in Persia to help supply the Soviets. He was told he was "too old" when Pearl Harbor happened; plus he had a child (my father) and wife. Later the Department of War would not be so picky. His brother Royce was a Captain in the US Army Field Artillery and he died of pneumonia in 1942. His sister "Skeet", one of my all time great people was married to the famous "Uncle Jack."
Aunt Skeet, Mike, and my Uncle Royce who I never met.
My Great Uncle Jack (Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University) served with the OSS doing sneaky stuff in World War II in various theaters and Honorable Son #1 still have his Sykes Fairbairn knife. You know how sneaking those English majors are - Right Honorable Son #1? In photo below left to right: Aunt Skeet (Jack's wife), Jack in stripped uniform (OSS guys are sneaky), Elizabeth, my grandmother and Mike's wife and cousin Clio.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Starship Troopers: The Annual Read

 Starship Troopers (novel).jpg

"I always get the shakes before a jump . . ." thus starts one of the greatest military science fiction novels of all time, Starship Troopersby Robert Heinlein. Even today, the book has stood the test of time, and was a big influence on my decision to be an Infantry officer.

When I attended the Command and General Staff College, I was pleasantly surprised to see the novel on the required reading list. Today, the novel is still on the reading list for the US Army, Navy and United States Marine Corps.

The overall theme of the book is that social responsibility requires individual ownership. Social responsibility is an act of self acceptance of that responsibility along with the concomitant commitment to the debts that are incurred. 

Juan Rico begins the novel with no thought of his personal responsibility or of any particular group's responsibility to self or others. This theme is obliquely addressed in the novel's opening: "We had all inspected our combat equipment (look, it's your own neck -- see?), the acting platoon sergeant had gone over us carefully after he mustered us, and now Jelly went over us again, his eyes missing nothing." "Now I was going to have a hole in my section and no way to fill it. That's not good; it means a man can run into something sticky, call for help and have nobody to help him." "I've heard tell that there used to be military outfits whose chaplains did not fight alongside the others, but I've never been able to see how that could work. I mean, how can a chaplain bless anything he's not willing to do himself? In any case, in the Mobile Infantry, everybody drops and everybody fights -- chaplain and cook and the Old Man's writer."

 The theme is repeated through flashbacks to High School and Officer Candidate School in a required class called History and Moral Philosophy. In this view, everything from the right to vote to the punishments for various crimes are depicted as part of a larger effort to recognize society's needs and improve society, as distinct from self-interest. The service Heinlein envisioned was an all-volunteer service, long before the US military had changed to an all-volunteer model. Other than the rights to vote and hold public office, there is no other restriction between service veterans and civilians.


In the course of both the "current" plot and flashbacks Rico learns to take responsibility for ever increasing groups: himself, his comrades, and eventually all of mankind (a shared responsibility), and accept that as the reason for remaining in the service. Further, Rico is seen to develop from a relatively powerless citizen, to a very dangerous fighter: "There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. We're trying to teach you to be dangerous -- to the enemy. Dangerous even without a knife. Deadly as long as you still have one hand or one foot and are still alive."

I just finished my annual reading of the book . . . something I do annually!

Now for the Warning!!!
This is a poster for the movie directed by Paul Verhoeven who admitted he never finished reading the book.  Please don't watch it . . . you'll thank me later.  Not only does the movie miss most of the points of the book and, as a retired infantry officer (Regulars By God!), it's embarrassing to watch. 
Please don't get me started on how they portray Lieutenant Rasczak, the epitome of the servant leader in the novel that leads the Roughnecks.

One of the worst scenes in the book is when the platoon is defending an outpost and the bugs are coming. I can see the nuclear rockets strapped to the backs of the (so called) Mobile Infantry! So what do they do? Break out the SMALL ARMS (sigh). How about the scene when the platoon surround a bug in a circle, and then they all fire at the bug! In a circle? They would have hit each other. (Note: That's a safety violation) And please

Do not watch the movie!

The book sums it up nicely: "For the everlasting glory of the Infantry . . ."

Friday, November 4, 2022

Star Wars: Legion Rebel Pathfinders and Temporary Break

In Episode One (hee, hee) I covered 3 of the Pathfinder figures. I was pleased to find out that the figures were based on the characters from Rogue One; though I could not find the left handed figure which I probably missed.

Here are the rest of the figures. I have several big, personal projects to complete so I’m going to take a temporary break from the blog. Don’t worry - I’ll be back!