I started Santa Cruz Warhammer in 2007. After 6 years of blogging about Warhammer Fantasy and 40K with my comrade SC John and having attracted over 1000 followers I was in need of something extra. I love Warhammer and 40K and am in the middle of building a Night Goblin Army. But....my inspiration is taking me on different roads...
I have always had a love for history and I have looked at historical miniatures for years with great interest. The Perry Twins' Miniatures, Dave Taylor's 19th century armies and many, many more talented modelers, they all inspired me for a long time. Whilst pondering all these things, I happen to run across an old picture of my wife's grandpa, who I never knew (he died 20 years ago). He served as a ski trooper in the 10th Mountain division in Northern Italy during WW2. Here's the shot:
You can see he was a staff sergeant and while I was exploring the image in Photoshop I noticed his chest pin, which is the Combat Infantry Badge.. Here's a better shot of what that looked like.
It has been said that the CIB is considered the highest honor for infantry, besides the Medal of Honor. For more info on this award, check out the link above. Very interesting stuff. One of my wife's uncles has Grandpa's WW2 belongings, including the awards, and hopefully I will be able to take a photo of it.
Anyway, I have always known from family lore that he was in combat and survived but never thought much more of it. His sons, one of them my father in law, certainly never talked about it. But after doing some research at the Online Denver Library (which is where the Tenth Mountain Archive is) I found out the unit that he served with: 86th regiment, company G, and then I got excited. I ordered books from the library about the Italian campaign, have read two books about the start of the 10th and THEN started having fantasies about combining all this information with my favorite hobby: modeling. Naturally I ended up with Bolt Action. I bought a box and started painting. Here are some guys I did, as you can tell, they are the African American troops from the 92nd, who also fought in the same Italian theatre as the 10th.
After finishing up some models, I made a plan: creating a new blog, an of-shoot from Santa Cruz Warhammer, working on WW2 models and finding out more about my wife's grandfather. Along the way there are plenty of great opportunities for stories, modeling, learning about history and the odd guest post. I certainly don't want to restrict the blog to just WW2 and will create a comprehensive blogroll with all the sites I find interesting. Hopefully you all will be along for the ride!