"Over ten million men are in the armed forces. Bringing them back into civilian life would present a difficult problem, even if they had only been away over night. It would be an even greater problem if all those more than ten million had been away for three years on a holiday. What then are the dimensions of the problem when over ten million have been in war? This is real. And after months and years of war, battle or drudgery, no matter where, there is always that bewildering let-down. The big thing has been done. Whether squeezing a trigger, or guarding an island, or carrying a stretcher. And suddenly, there is no more war. Here is your man. Remember, he isn't naïve anymore. He's been places, he's seen things. He has seen and experienced things which should not happen under guard. Which should not happen under the sun. Which should not happen again. Not to his children, not to his friends, not to anyone. He is toughened to withstand these things. He is no longer illusioned. He is no longer a boy. He has seen war."
March, 1945, Germany. After 3 years of grueling fighting across the Mediterranean and Western Europe, the Allies have finally penetrated the Fatherland, and the enemy is finally collapsing. Only a couple months remain until the German population will fall into the hands of their hands. Many will be returning to their American homes with stories, souvenirs, and special treatment from civilians. Many more would never return.
Corporal Edward R. "Cubby" Dodson has managed to live through 3 years of service. In Tunisia, he saw action in Tebourba, and experienced defeat in the big retreat from Kasserine Pass. But, he saw victory again at El Guettar. After brief R&R on the Tunisian sands, his division took part in 'Operation Husky', the invasion of Sicily. The night was black, dimly illuminated by flames. 1st Infantry hit the sands; Cubby charged with his comrades. An ill trained Italian sniper aimed low and shot Cubby through the left thigh. Thankfully, the bullet missed the bone and exited. He crawled to a cliff face and hid for the remainder of the invasion. The next morning, he was treated at a make-shift field hospital on the beach. After two weeks of recovering, he bribed his way out of the hospital with a box of cigars he received in Tunisia. Cubby quickly hobbled away and rejoined his unit. His buddies helped him maneuver through the jagged mountain terrain as they pushed inland. With a knack for marksmanship, he was notorious for laying prone on a hilltop and popping off "the Huns and Guineas" with his M1 while his comrades led the flank. After the campaign in late 1943, he was awarded the Purple Heart and promoted to Corporal. The 1st Division was then sent to England in preparation for the European Invasion. On leave, Cubby met an English girl named Mae, who he lost his virginity to. Her family approved of him and he would spend weekends at their home; secretly sneaking to Mae's room at night. Back at Walditch Camp, the training intensified. It was finally decided that 1st Infantry would be attached to the 16th RCT, and would be assaulting a German defended Normandy beach codenamed "Omaha." On the dark, cold morning of June 6th, Cubby and his unit were sailing towards the beach in their LC. It was rough and jarring. When the boat hit the sands on 'Easy Red' sector, all the Lieutenants and half the men were cut down by German MG's, which Cubby and his friends called "Buzzsaws." The survivors crawled out of the blood-soaked surf and took little cover behind a few steel obstacles. It was evident the defenses had not been bombed and remained entirely intact. After 3 hours of cowering, Cubby made a run for the seawall. A mortar hit nearby, lodging a piece of shrapnel into his left calf. A medic aided him to the shingle. The piece was too deep, so he temporarily bandaged it and left him there on the shingle the rest of the day. Cubby was quickly evacuated and returned to England for treatment. He received his second Purple Heart. He began having nightmares in the hospital. One of his fellow wounded comrades gave him a new nickname, "Unlucky Lefty" due to being hit twice in the left leg. He hated this name. After 4 months, he was sent back to his unit, holding off a German offensive in the ice cold Hurtgen Forest on the German/Belgian border. This did not help his fighting morale. It was so cold that some of the men froze to death. Soldiers had to wrap blankets around their feet, and ammunition was scarce. However, the 1st Division was able to break the Siegfried Line and pour into the German Ruhr Valley. Cubby had at last made it to Germany. Many of the German civilians threw up their arms in sight of the Americans. At one point, Cubby witnessed a Lieutenant beat a woman to the ground with his carbine for no apparent reason. On March 15, 1945, as a part of 'Operation Lumberjack', Cubby's unit assisted the 9th Armored Division in seizing the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen. It was one of the last few bridges crossing the Rhine River that the Germans had not destroyed. This was a great victory for the Americans. Hoards of Germans came across the bridge with their hands raised. The Ludendorff Bridge was extremely frail due to constant bombing and shelling. On March 17, Cubby was among the convoy of troops and vehicles crossing the bridge. Suddenly, there were loud cracking sounds. The soldiers thought at first it was gunfire so they took cover. But, they soon saw what was happening. The gangplanks were giving out. The bridge split in the center and fell into the Rhine. Around 200 troops went down with it, including Cubby. When he hit the water, his left (unlucky) leg smashed into a steel beam and snapped his ankle. He floated downstream and was picked up at Pontoon Bridge. Due to the fractured ankle, his left foot had to be amputated. In July, 1945, Edward R. "Cubby" Dodson finally returned home to Arlington, Texas. He arrived on crutches, with 3 Purple Hearts pinned to his uniform, and was greeted by his overwhelmingly proud parents. In his bag: A swastika banner, a Mauser bayonet, a German wrist watch, and a few spent "Buzzsaw" cartridges. He never returned to England to reunite with Mae.
Initially I had plans to simply make these Plague Terminators appear big, fat and bulky - I Converted the Lord first (the one with the Corpse-Banner) and Seeing how pleasing he ended up, I went and made the rest of the squad! Modeling and painting these guys took me about two weeks, on and off.
The paintjob was tricky seeing as I had modeled them to appear truly filthy, I knew I'd end up with a simple naturalistic scheme in the end - The dark metal/rust complemented to dull, decayed nd bloated armour well, but there was something missing - That's when I added the static grass from the hero basing kits I had. I think that the static grass is the one thing that they needed to truly have that ''swamp'' feel to them, and though it contrasts the armour it doesn't some out as too much of a dominant theme.
I've got plans to make a couple of Plaguemarine squads in this new ''swamp'' scheme, so with any luck you'll be seeing them soon, too.