06/18/2012 - Today, the kids and I started renovating Our Basement Workshop. The room does double-duty as a display area for our collection, so we like it to look nice. The thing is, it rarely does. So we're putting some serious effort into spiffing things up.
A lot of the clutter in the room is stuff that is designated for one of two really large dioramas we've been planning for well over a year. Diorama building might seem like an odd way to clean up a room, but I think that once we have them well underway, there will be less lying around to pick up.
We started by installing some 'under-the-shelf' lighting in the two designated diorama areas. I've been hoarding the lights for a while, but hadn't yet found the drive to rip things apart for the installation. Once the lights were installed, Adam and I set about giving the shelves a good base coat of white paint. Most of the shelf area will be covered by the diorama display, but there will be some parts that aren't and we don't want those to be too much of an eyesore!
In between coats, we started working on sorting through the clutter stacked and stuffed everywhere in the room. We also took a few minutes to patch the tiny little crack in the wall behind the workbench. Since moving into the house, this is the third time we've patched in this area of the basement wall and each time we've improved the condition. Since our last attempt (two years ago), we've had some really significant rainfalls, but only a small trickle of water leaked in. I'm hoping that this last patch does the trick!
06/19/2012 - The top shelf is too close to the ceiling to be of much use, so we normally use it for storage. There is a Millennium Falcon and some other Star Wars ships collecting dust there for the moment. The next shelf down is the Rogue Squadron diorama I finished a few years ago. We spent some time today removing everything from that shelf, dusting and replacing them.
We paused work for a little while because Adam wanted to take some photos of his Star Speeder 1000 in the hangar bay. Once we finished with that, we replaced the rest of the diorama and moved on to the third and fourth shelves from the top. The third shelf will house my 1983 G.I. Joe Headquarters, while the fourth will feature my 1985 G.I. Joe Transportable Tactical Battle Platform. The third shelf was given a 'floor' of back construction paper. The third was textured using joint compound. Once it was dry, we painted the whole thing a nice deep sea blue. Finally, we dry-brushed the blue with white so that the ridges in the texture would catch the white and look like waves. The background for the third and fourth shelves was created using a roll of printed cloud paper from Michaels. For the third shelf, we painted some random landscape at the bottom. For the fourth shelf, we added some water.
11/05/2012 - Today, we began the serious work. The shelves we showed off back in June are going to be closed off with an old sheet and the rest of the stuff in the room is being packed up and moved out! That's right - a SERIOUS renovation.
Roughly half of our basement is 'finished'. However, Our Basement Workshop is located in the unfinished portion. During our renovation, we intend to build a wall to close it off from the rest of the basement and hang a drop-ceiling. Once that is done, we'll re-paint the entire room and find a nice carpet remnant. Only then, will we put all of the toys back in place. Adam and I worked for a few hours today and managed to pack up all of the Star Wars toys, with the exception of the ships hanging from the ceiling. This will likely go back up after the renovation is done, so I will just pound in a couple of temporary nails for them to hang from near the laundry area.
11/06/2012 - More packing. Unfortunately, packing isn't very much fun and I keep getting distracted by the toys in the room, new project ideas and the Interwebz. <Sigh> This is going to take a while.
11/20/2012 - Still more packing. I finally got all of the loose figures removed from the shelves and bagged (individually) with their accessories. The shelves they were displayed on have all been taken down and set aside. They'll go back up once the room is finished. The loose figures that are displayed in large dioramas will likely stay where they are. The Pit can be rolled out of the room and covered with a sheet to keep the dust out. Putting wheels on the bottom of that thing really seems like a great idea now. The recessed wooden shelves will also be covered with old sheets. I'm not sure yet whether I'll remove all the stuff currently on those shelves (I should, but my laziness may win in the end).
Sadly, I have decided that much of the Castle Destro display will not return to the Workshop after the renovation is finished. I love the display, but it takes up far too much room for too little display space. I will be coming up with something different for my Iron Grenadiers.
11/21/2012 - More packing...
11/24/2012 - More packing. Why is this taking so long? Because it's not very much fun. And we keep getting distracted with things...
11/29/2012 - Almost everything has been packed now. The workbench is covered with tools, but that won't change during the renovation (it's likely to get worse). The displays on the recessed shelves are going to stay put for now for a couple of reasons. First, I'm running out of places to store things while we work on the renovation. Second, I'm planning to make some serious upgrades to all three of them after the rest of the room is done, so they'll be pulled out eventually anyway. The plan is to simply hang an old bed sheet over the front of the shelves to minimize the dust while we're working.
12/01/2012 - I bought all of the building supplies for the wall today. I can't pick up the building permit until Monday morning (12/03/2012), but we'll be ready to go as soon as we have it!
12/03/2012 - I acquired the building permit today and got started with the framing. I almost managed to get it all finished, but ran short of time. Tomorrow, I'll have to secure the last two studs and mount the light switch to its new location.
12/04/2012 - I finished off the framing and got the door hung. This is as far as I can go until the building inspector approves my work. Once he does so, I'll be able to start hanging drywall.
12/05/2012 - The building inspector approved everything, so now we're on to the drywall. Progress was limited today, as my daughter was home sick from school. Still, my son and I managed to hang all of the drywall inside the room. Adam was proud of his contribution and wanted to get in the progress photo!
12/06/2012 - Today, we hung the last two pieces on the outside of the wall. Tomorrow, we hope to begin applying the joint compound. Adam likes the fact that applying joint compound is referred to as 'mudding'. :)
12/07/2012 - As planned, we got both sides of the wall taped and mudded today. There was also a small crack in one of the basement walls that we applied elastomeric patch seal to. It's been several years since we had a substantial leak in the basement, but the crack behind my workbench is usually good for a small puddle once or twice a year. I'd like to put a nice carpet remnant in the room when we're finished, so I want to get the leak shored up for good. Once the patch seal is dry, I plan to reapply.
12/08/2012 - Today we applied more of the patch sealant to the wall. We also sanded the drywall and found two areas that needed more joint compound. After applying it, we left it to dry.
12/09/2012 - We sanded the two areas we touched up yesterday. The walls look pretty good! We also took the door off the hinges to get it ready for painting. The door had to be trimmed to fit the space, so we needed to use a piece of wood to fill the hollow space left at the bottom. It worked out well and we left it to dry.
12/10/2012 - Today, we painted the inside and outside of the new wall. While we had the paint out, we also painted over the areas where we applied patches to the cracks in the concrete walls and touched up any other paint flaws we found around the room.
12/12/2012 - I managed to find time to cut the trim to be placed around the door frame. The trim is pre-primed, but the door and the door frame aren't. So the plan for tomorrow is to prime the door and frame when I get up. If they dry quickly enough, I'll let Kate help me paint them when she gets home from school. We have two cans of 'mossy green' paint that were purchased a few years ago for another project, but somehow never got used. So we plan to use that on the door and the trim.
12/13/2012 - First coat of paint on the trim. Kate has decided that painting with a roller is far more fun than using a brush. Sadly, a brush is far more appropriate for these pieces...
12/14/2012 - Second coat of paint on the trim. I think we should be able to wrap up the wall/door portion of our renovation tomorrow!
12/15/2012 - We got all of the trim up and it looks pretty good (if I do say so myself). I also installed the doorknob, so the wall and door are now complete. I'm planning to use Christmas funds to pay for the ceiling, so it will be a couple of weeks before we make any more progress...
12/27/2012 - Today we visited Home Depot again and bought all of the materials to install the framework for our suspended ceiling. The first step was mounting the wall angles all the way around the perimeter of the room to help support the frame. We ran into a couple of snags due to it being the first time we'd done anything like this. We also had to make an extra trip to Home Depot after breaking the masonry bit we needed to drill into the concrete walls to attach the wall angles.
12/28/2012 - Here, Adam is reviewing the 'ceiling plan' we had devised prior to beginning
the installation. Adam has gotten pretty good at supervising and pointing out
my errors. ;)
Today, we finished installing the perimeter and got started on the framework. Lag screws were drilled into the overhead beams and the wire was attached to them. The main T's were then suspended from the wires. After the main T's were up, it was a simple matter of installing the cross T's that connect one main T to the next. Prior to starting this, I had expected all sorts of problems getting the ceiling level, but to my surprise, it just seemed to take care of itself. Installing the grid was not particularly difficult, but once again we ran into some 'first-timer' problems - nothing terrible, but the kind of thing that made you shake your head and cost you time while you went back and corrected your error...
Once the framework was finished, I moved the lighting so that it would line up properly with the openings where I wanted it. The lighting had all been installed and hung by the original homeowner. When he put them in, he drilled holes through the overhead beams and ran the wiring through the beams. This was pretty efficient for his needs, but it didn't allow the lights to be moved more than a few inches. So, in order to position them properly, I needed to disconnect two of the three lighting units from the junction boxes, move them and then re-connect the wiring. Adam proved to be instrumental in holding the spotlamp while I did the wiring tasks.
12/30/2012 - With the framework finished, the only thing remaining was to buy the ceiling tiles and drop them into the grid. The whole family ran out to Home Depot and picked up the tiles. The tiles toward the center of the room were installed, as is. But all of the tiles around the perimeter of the room had to be trimmed to size. Happily, they were easy to trim and the whole process took maybe 90 minutes.
12/31/2012 - The entire room got a new coat of paint today. It's amazing how bright it is in there!
01/01/2013 - This evening, I repainted the floor in the room using an epoxy paint designed for garage and basement flooring. The directions indicate that I need to wait 24 hours before walking on it and at least 48 hours before moving any furniture around. So, I closed and locked the door with the intention of waiting a full two days before venturing back into the room. Better safe than sorry. The last step will be to lay down the carpet before moving the shelves and dioramas back into the room.
It should be noted that while many of these characters are named for
friends and members of the online G.I. Joe collector community, the characters
themselves are entirely fictional.
Sergeant Sean Flaherty
Flaherty is a U.S. Army veteran discharged after being wounded
during combat operations in Iraq. He returns home to New York, but has
difficulty readjusting to civilian life. He later joins the Iron
is serving as a Sergeant in Captain McLeod's DEMON platoon at the
Volume I. When McLeod's unit is later expanded to company size, Flaherty
is selected to take over McLeod's original platoon. This character
was originally created as the protagonist for a single short story that
eventually grew into Tales from
Castle Destro. Although many characters are featured throughout, Tales
is essentially Flaherty's story.
Introduced in Volume I as the commander of an elite DEMON platoon,
McLeod is a good leader who understands and accepts that there are losses in
combat, but also cares about his men and doesn’t want to squander their lives
needlessly. He has been with the Iron Grenadiers for many years and has
declined more than one promotion in order to remain with his beloved DEMONs. He
sees something special in Flaherty and serves as a mentor to the younger man,
grooming him for command.
Lieutenant 'Goggles' Head
Introduced in Volume II, Goggles is the commander of 2nd Platoon in
Captain McLeod's 1st DEMON Company. 2nd Platoon was instrumental in the testing
of the prototypes for the DEMON II. His platoon is equipped with these lighter,
faster tanks to provide a different capability within the standard DEMON
Introduced in Volume II as the commander of 3rd Platoon in Captain McLeod's 1st DEMON Company. 3rd
Platoon specializes in cold weather operations and uses the Yeti variant of the
DEMON. The platoon is often attached to the Iron Wolf Brigade.
Lieutenant 'Lethal' Fleming
Introduced in Volume III as the new Executive Officer (XO) of the
1st DEMON Company, this Aussie is an experienced Ferret Officer who
quickly establishes himself as one of Flaherty's most trusted friends.
Level-headed and decisive, he easily assumes the XO's role, bringing
much needed stability to the 1st DEMON Company.
Lieutenant 'Ruckus' Bright
Born of an American mother and an English father, Ruckus enjoys dual citizenship. His formal
military training was as an infantryman with the British Army. After initial training, he was assigned to The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) at Fort George, near Inverness. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and Ruckus was wounded during Operation Panchai Palang
(Panther's Claw). He returned home ahead of the unit to recover and
was approached by a MARS recruiter shortly before he was slated to
reenlist. The reenlistment never happened and Ruckus disappeared into
the MARS organization. He served as an Infantry Officer for a few years
before being reassigned as the new commander of the 1st DEMON Company's 1st Platoon during Volume III.
Lieutenant 'Crosshair' Schueller
was born and raised in Milwaukee. He was an avid outdoorsman and has a
thin, semi-circular scar around his right eye; the result of placing
his eye too close to his rifle's scope on his first hunting trip as a
boy. He served with various U.S. Army armored units before landing with
HHC, 1st Armored Division Support Command in Germany. When that unit
was inactivated in August of 2008, Crosshair
took a discharge and promptly joined the Iron Grenadiers. He was introduced in Volume III as the new commander of the 1st DEMON Company's 2nd Platoon.
Lieutenant 'Pike' Greenoe
Introduced in Volume III as the new commander of the 1st DEMON Company's 3rd Platoon.
in Volume I as a DEMON Vehicle Commander in Captain McLeod's platoon.
Born in Chicago, King served four years as an infantryman in the U.S.
Army and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He found that he
enjoyed the lifestyle, but felt that he was vastly underpaid for what he
did. He declined re-enlistment and soon joined the Iron Grenadiers.
His competitive nature allowed him to rise quickly through the ranks and
he was sooner selected for training as a Ferret. Hot-tempered, but
exceedingly loyal, King carries a
pair of tomahawks used for close combat.
he'd been with the platoon for some time, Sergeant Cremeans was first
mentioned in Chapter 75 when he was named as the new Platoon Sergeant
for the 1st DEMON Company's 1st Platoon, replacing Sergeant Headman..
Sergeant ‘Izzy’ Irizarry (Ferret)
Sergeant Irizarry has moved around quite a bit
within the Iron Grenadiers.He was originally
recruited for his demolitions experience and served as a Detonator.He later moved into heavy weapons and was
instrumental in the creation of the ‘Gravedigger’ anti-armor specialty within
the Grenadiers.He was first mentioned
in Chapter 52 when he was a Sergeant assigned to Captain Llama’s ‘Death
Dealers’.He was wounded during combat
operations in Kalistan and later reassigned to the 1st DEMON Company.
No one is quite sure where Swami
originally got his nickname, aside from the fact that he had it long before joining the Iron Grenadiers. It is rumored that he
had once planned a teaching career - until he punched his professor in
her wrinkled old face. The Swami eventually found a home with the Iron
Grenadiers, where Laird Destro paid him to "combat test" experimental
vehicles. Usually, this meant driving as fast as
possible, over unforgiving terrain... while shooting at people. He was introduced in Volume I when he was assigned to Captain McLeod's platoon as a replacement for personnel lost in combat.
Introduced in Volume I as a DEMON Vehicle Commander in Captain McLeod's platoon. He is the unit's practical joker, though his gags often leave the whole group shaking their heads in wonder.
Corporal Scroll (Ferret)
to Captain McLeod's platoon during Volume I, Corporal Scroll is a
native of South Carolina and previously served as a tank crewman in the
U.S. Marines. He is an insomniac and, as a result, is known to have a somewhat quick temper.
Corporal Hunger (Ferret)
Introduced in Volume III, as a replacement for personnel lost in combat. He is assigned as the driver for Flaherty's DEMON.
Introduced in Volume IV, Badger is assigned as the crewman for Flaherty's DEMON.
James McCullen Destro XXIV is the head of MARS (Military Armament Research System), a state-of-the-art
weapons manufacturer. As a businessman, Destro is cutthroat and unyielding. He
hires mercenaries to stir up conflict in dangerous regions, then provides
high-tech arms to any side able to meet his price. Destro’s key characteristics
are his sense of honor, a calm demeanor, and love for Cobra's
second-in-command, the Baroness. He wears a beryllium steel mask, a tradition
dating back to the English Civil War, when an ancestor of his was caught
selling weapons to both sides. Forced to wear a steel mask for his crimes
(neither side wanted to execute the ancestor because they still wanted the
weapons he sold), the Destro clan has since turned it into a symbol of pride,
passing it down from father to son for over 20 generations. Destro will
sometimes enter battle himself, either as a member of Cobra Command, or against
them if it's better for business. He respects the G.I. Joe Team for their
combat skills, but detests them for wasting their skills to maintain peace.
Former head of Cobra's Intelligence Division, she now puts her
considerable skills to work for Destro.
originally joined the Iron Grenadiers as an anti-tank specialist. He
also spent time working for Cobra, where he acted as a double-agent,
spying on Cobra Commander for Destro. During the Battle of Benzheen
he went up against a group of G.I. Joe armored vehicles
alone and on foot, armed with his advanced missile system. Metal-Head
gained the upper hand, but before the battle
could be won, it was announced that Benzheen's Emir made a deal with
Cobra, putting an end to hostilities. Metal-Head then reported back to
Castle Destro. He remained in Destro's service, and rose to become one
of the Iron Grenadiers most competent field commanders.
was originally a product designer for MARS, carrying out initial field
testing on all new
armor-piercing munitions and sub-munitions. His area of specialization
is remote-launched, laser-guided, rocket-propelled piezo-electric fused
anti-tank weapons. He spent considerable time working as a freelance
contractor for Cobra before returning to MARS. Scrap-Iron is methodical
and precise. Imperfection in any form repels
A distant cousin of the Destro clan and ruler of Darklonia. He briefly led
the Iron Grenadiers, when Destro retired from frontline conflict for a time.
(Commander of Special Operation Forces)
A former Spetsnaz commander for the
Soviet military, Mayhem now leads all Iron Grenadier special operations forces.
His plans may seem chaotic and unorganized, but they usually come together to
Colonel Masque (Director of Intelligence & Covert Operations)
Introduced in Volume I as one of
Destro's most trusted Officers, Masque oversees all intelligence gathering and
analysis, as well as all Iron Grenadier covert operations. He is a master
magician, illusionist, hypnotist and alchemist. His brilliant use of real world
chemistry and deadly weapons, combined with hypnotics and illusions, often has
his enemies often wondering if he truly does supernatural powers. Even members
if his own family are not completely convinced that he doesn't. Masque
has an odd love of puns and other wordplay, as is evidenced by his referring to
his personal guard as "The Red Death".
Sergeant Major Alastair T. Duncan (Senior Non-Commissioned Officer)
a title of respect than military rank, Sergeant Major Duncan is
Destro's right-hand man and the Command Sergeant Major of Castle
Destro. Part Warrant Officer, part aide-de-camp, he isdirectly
responsible to his commanding officer for all matters pertaining to the
deployment, discipline and morale of the unit. He enforces Destro's
orders fairly, but firmly, and tolerates no dissent. Originally
Destro's trusted assistant, driver and bodyguard, he was selected to be
the first of the Iron Grenadiers, accompanying Destro on the Grenadiers'
Lieutenant Ylvisaker (Infantry Officer)
Ylvisaker was born in Minneapolis and later moved to Wisconsin with his
family. He was a champion fencer while majoring in cartography at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, he entered the Marine
Corps and served as an Infantry Officer. His background as a
cartographer made him a valuable asset to mission planners at the
battalion level. Though he enjoyed his time as a Marine, he ultimately
departed the service during one of the Pentagon's various 'force
reduction' periods. He checked out several private military
corporations before deciding that MARS offered the best pay, benefits
and retirement package. He was introduced in Volume IV as the commander
of 3rd Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Sergeant Jennings (Infantryman)
from Joliet, Illinois, Sergeant Jennings was a computer science student
who went looking for adventure in his country's Armed Forces. He got
more than he bargained for, seeing significant action in both Iraq and
Afghanistan. After his discharge, he returned to school, finished his
degree and began settling in to civilian life. It wasn't long before
the inactivity got to him and he went looking for something more
exciting. He found a home with the Iron Grenadiers. He was introduced in Volume IV as the 3rd Platoon
Sergeant, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Corporal Gundam (Combat Medic)
Introduced in Volume I, Corporal Gundam has been a grunt
for all of his adult life, a servant to whomever he was employed by. He
possesses a strong team mentality and can be counted upon to get the job done,
regardless of the situation. These traits were identified early in his career
with the Iron Grenadiers and resulted in his being trained as a battlefield medic. Gundam is often assigned to deployed
units, but is equally at home working in the Castle infirmary, aiding in the
recovery of wounded comrades. In Volume IV, Gundam is reassigned as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Corporal Oreo (Infantryman)
Corporal Oreo was introduced in Volume IV as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Corporal Tenime (Infantryman)
Corporal Tenime was introduced in Volume IV as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Corporal Vance (Infantryman)
Corporal Vance was introduced in Volume IV as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
was born in Columbus, Georgia and served as an infantryman in the U.S.
Army, spending a significant amount of time at Fort Benning. He's a
skilled mechanic and is known to amuse his squadmates by telling the
same stories over and
over, thinking he's never told them before. He was introduced in Volume
IV as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
was born in San Jose and moved around the United States quite a bit
before finally joining the Navy at twenty-three. He served as a SeaBee
(Steelworker First Class). He was SeaBee Combat Warfare qualified and
an outstanding marksman; his nickname is in reference to the fact that
he never misses. He had planned on a career in the Navy until he was discharged for misconduct near the end of his second enlistment. Not
one to be discouraged, Money looked for an opportunity to parlay his
skills into a better paycheck than Uncle Sam was offering. He found it
with the Iron Grenadiers. Introduced in Volume IV as a member of 3rd
Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112 Brigade.
Sergeant Wingnut (Detonator)
Introduced in Volume I as a demolitions team leader.
Introduced in Volume I as a member of Sergeant Wingnut's demolitions team.
Introduced in Volume I as a member of Sergeant Wingnut's demolitions team. He was killed in action during operations in Sierra Muerte.
was born in New England and received no formal military
training prior to joining the Iron Grenadiers. In fact, his recruitment
is somewhat of a mystery to most. He has a short temper, is a heavy
smoker, and a really good
cook. He is currently assigned as the third member of Sergeant
Wingnut's Detonator and is hopeful that his luck lasts longer than the
last two men who held the position.
Reticle (Sniper / Spotter) (Photo Pending)
A sniper of extraordinary skill, Reticle’s only
significant shortcoming is his quick temper. It was this that caused his
untimely departure from the Australian Army’s Special Air Service Regiment
(SASR). Fortunately, his longtime Spotter, Windage, was able to parlay their
abilities into lucrative careers with the Iron Grenadiers.
Windage (Sniper / Spotter) (Photo Pending)
In terms of personality, he is the polar opposite
of his sniper team partner, Reticle. The two have been together since Recruit
Training at Blamey Barracks. He is the calming influence that helps to keep
Reticle in line. Unfortunately for Windage, it doesn’t always work, and after
one particular incident, he found himself unemployed alongside his longtime
teammate. Since signing on with the Iron Grenadiers, Windage has worked
tirelessly to keep his rambunctious friend in line.
There are many accomplished marksmen within the ranks
of the Iron Grenadiers, but none compare to the pure killing machine that is
Osok. He tends to be quiet and reserved, rarely speaking aside from the
occasional unintelligible mumble. His quarters are located deep within the
lowest levels of the Castle, where few others tread voluntarily. He receives
his orders and goes forth, usually alone, to wreck absolute havoc on the
enemies of Laird Destro. The first time General Voltar saw the custom painted
reaper's grin on Osok's Grenadier mask, he told one of his subordinate Officers
to have the man remove it. The Officer balked at the order and it was then that
Voltar realized that even many of the Iron Grenadiers fear Osok. Not another
word has ever been said about removing the paint from Osok's mask. He was introduced in Volume I.
Introduced in Volume I as the commander of the Highlander Brigade, Aries is from
somewhere in the Balkans, southeastern Europe. He comes from many generations
of mountain warfare specialists. He was recruited by the Iron Grenadiers after
he took out an entire squad of Iron Grenadiers during a raid on his town. His
men say he is a hard man born for warfare.
Captain 'Ghost' Bowlby (Highlander)
native of Winnipeg, Ghost served with distinction in the Canadian
Forces until he was 'honorably released' on medical grounds, having been
deemed unfit to
perform his duties due to an undisclosed condition. Despite this, he
went on to find success as a mercenary, even clashing with
the Iron Grenadiers on a few occasions. His reputation, along with his
English/Scottish ancestry, brought him to the attention of Laird Destro
himself, who subsequently offered Ghost an opportunity to join the Iron
Grenadiers. With the promise that
resources would be devoted to curing his condition, Ghost
accepted, and has been fiercely loyal to Destro and the Iron Grenadiers
ever since, despite no cure having yet been provided to him. Ghost was introduced in Volume I as the Commander of the Highlander Brigade's Company A.
Sergeant Humpty (Highlander)
This U.S. Marine veteran is responsible for the training and deployment of
the 60mm mortar crews assigned to Company A of the Highlander Brigade. An
experienced forward observer, he sees to the pre-plotting of all defensive
targets around the company's defensive perimeter. In combat, Sergeant Humpty
normally accompanies the company commander into the fight to coordinate
on-the-spot fire support, while leaving the actual supervision of the mortar
crews Corporal Hobbit. Introduced in Volume I.
Corporal 'Hobbit' O'Mahoney (Highlander)
Prior to joining the Iron Grenadiers, Corporal O'Mahoney served in the U.S.
Army, where he was deployed to Iraq. Later, his heavy weapons skills earned him
a place amongst Destro's elite. Formerly a Sergeant, Hobbit was reduced in rank
following an unfortunate and embarrassing incident in which he 'photo-bombed'
the Baroness while assigned to her security detail during a public appearance. Introduced in Volume I.
Corporal Darkseid (Highlander)
Introduced in Volume I as a heavy weapons specialist assigned to Captain Bowlby's Company A.
Born and raised in the Southwest United States,
WarDog joined the Army to get away from the desert environment. The Army
subsequently rewarded him with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He successfully
completed Ranger School and returned to his unit in time for another deployment
to Iraq. After serving eight years, he decided it was time for a change, but
couldn't stand the idea of a 'normal' life at home in the desert. He joined the
Iron Grenadiers and volunteered for the Highlander Brigade after hearing
stories about the Brigade's infamous commander, Ares. He was assigned as a
Shock Trooper in Captain Bowlby's Company A. He received a special commendation
from Colonel Masque and Laird Destro, after successfully completing an undercover
assignment to expose an infiltrator within a new recruit class of Iron
Grenadiers. He was introduced in Volume II.
Originally nicknamed 'Angry', he was introduced in Volume II, replacing Teabag as
the third member of Sergeant Wingnut's Detonator team. He was wounded in Sierra
Muerte, resulting in the loss of both arms. MARS surgeons were able to replace
both arms with cybernetic limbs, earning him the new nickname, 'Android'. He
quickly found that his new hands lacked the dexterity for explosives work and
was reassigned as a heavy weapons specialist with Company A of the elite
Introduced in Volume III as a Sniper assigned to Captain Bowlby's Company A.
Introduced in Volume III as a Shock Trooper assigned to Captain Bowlby's Company A.
Captain 'Colors' DelRio (Iron Wolf)
up, Colors was an avid huntsman and an exceptional mechanic. He joined
the Army looking to do something new and somehow found himself
stationed at the Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC) in Black
Rapids, Alaska. This was quite a change of climate for the Lubbock, Texas native, but he quickly grew to love the environment. Introduced in Volume I as the commander of Company D, Iron Wolf Brigade, Colors is far from the typical clean-cut look favored by most infantry Officers sporting a shaved head, goatee and numerous tattoos. However, his effectiveness in the field has quickly made him one of Destro's most reliable combat leaders.
Corporal Ozma (Iron Wolf)
Introduced in Volume I as a member of Company D, Iron Wolf Brigade. Highly
skilled in both climbing and demolitions.
Corporal Beutel (Iron Wolf)
Beutel was born in Freehold, New Jersey and joined the U.S. Army
shortly after completing High School. He was Ranger-qualified combat
medic assigned to the 10th Mountain Division before being medically
retired for combat-related injuries. It was his belief that the Army
could have allowed him to remain on active duty, but didn't want to deal
with the cost of the surgeries and rehabilitation that would have
required. Bitter over this turn of events, he took up drinking after
his discharge. When a MARS recruiter offered him medical care for his
injuries in exchange
for service with the Iron Grenadiers, he didn't hesitate. Corporal
Beutel was introduced in Volume III as a combat medic assigned to Company D, Iron Wolf Brigade.
Glumby (Iron Wolf)
Glumby was born in Frederick, Maryland and joined the Army at a young age. He
rarely talks about his life prior to joining the Iron Grenadiers and
his prior service records are sealed, so even his squadmates are unsure
of his actual resume. He is known to have been based at Fort
Bragg, the home of various Special Operations units, so it is generally
believed that he was assigned to one of those secretive units. The fact
that he is cool and reliable under fire is enough to satisfy the
curiosity of his fellow Grenadiers. He was introduced in Volume III as a
member of Company D, Iron Wolf Brigade.
Corporal Crimson (Dog Handler)
Introduced in Volume I as a K-9 specialist with extensive combat experience.
When he is not deployed, he is also responsible for training new K-9 units for
Corporal Bing (Wild Boar)
Introduced in Volume I, Bing was the highest ranking survivor
among Wild Boars during the siege of Castle Destro. He rallied and led all Razorback units
during the battle and was promoted to Sergeant following the cessation of
Sergeant Creeper (Jungle Operations)
While he is fully capable in any environment,
Sergeant Creeper is a ghost in the jungle. He is considered by most to be the Iron
Grenadiers' foremost authority on jungle combat.He was introduced in Volume I.
Sergeant Beckley (Troll)
Each Ogre APC is operated and maintained by a highly trained driver
known as a Troll. These men are hard even by the Iron Grenadiers' standards.
Each one is an experienced mechanic, capable of repairing just about anything
found on the Ogre. They're also legendary amongst the IG for their
stubbornness, ferocity and overwhelming will to succeed, so it's no surprise
that a great many Trolls eventually move on to the IG command ranks. Sergeant
Beckley was among the first Iron Grenadiers selected for the Ogre / Troll
program. Little is known of his origins, but the commonly held story is that he
was born in Glasgow and enlisted in the military at the youngest possible age
to escape home. While serving, he developed a methamphetamine addiction and was
subsequently dishonorably discharged. He was working as a taxi driver there to
support his habit when General Mayhem accidentally discovered him. Introduced in Volume I.
Corporal Mattox (Castle Guard)
Introduced in Volume I as a member of Castle Destro's ceremonial guard,
Corporal Mattox is the leader of His Laird's Cavalry.
Lieutenant Blaze (Combat Surgeon)
Introduced in Volume I,
Lieutenant Blaze and his surgical team work hard to save the lives of
wounded Grenadiers after they've been evacuated from the battlefield.
Colonel Nero (Annihilator)
Introduced in Volume I, Colonel Nero is the commander of an elite unit of Annihilator
Officers who are tasked with Laird Destro’s more sensitive assignments.
Captain Starbuck (Annihilator)
Starbuck was introduced in Volume I as the second-in-command
of Colonel Nero’s elite Annihilator unit. He was born in Dallas, Texas
and served in the United States Naval Special Warfare Command,
specializing in Electronic Warfare and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
After retiring, he found that he missed the lifestyle and jumped at the
opportunity when the MARS recruiters found him.
Lieutenant Wert (Annihilator)
Served as a U.S. Marine attack helicopter pilot until he was court-martialed
for disobeying direct orders to fire on an enemy supply depot. Wert was cleared
of any wrongdoing when the investigation proved that the ‘depot’ was actually a
village occupied by civilians. Disenchanted with his treatment in the affair,
Wert resigned his commission and left the service. Disgruntled and looking for
work, Wert was soon contacted by a MARS Industries recruiter and joined the
Iron Grenadiers. He quickly earned a spot in the Annihilator program and is
currently assigned as a member of Colonel Nero’s elite unit. He was introduced in Volume I.
Introduced in Volume I as a member of
Colonel Nero’s elite unit. The loss of his right arm on a mission in Sierra
Muerte resulted in a cybernetic replacement - and the nickname
Major Jett (Nullifier)
Introduced in Volume I as the commander of an Anti-Gravity Pod (AGP) Assault
Squadron. Formerly the head of Laird Destro's Elite Guard.
Lieutenant Nirvana (Nullifier)
Introduced in Volume I as a member of an Anti-Gravity Pod
(AGP) Assault Squadron, under Major Jett. Injuries sustained in combat
resulted in the loss of his flight status. Currently serves as the head of
Laird Destro's Elite Guard.
Captain 'Black Llama'
Miller (Shock Trooper)
Introduced in Volume I as the commander of Shock Trooper Special Detachment B - also known as the 'Death
Dealers'. Known for his unique approach to problem solving and ability to
operate outside normal parameters.
Sergeant Shock (Shock Trooper)
Introduced in Volume I as the second-in-command of the 'Death
Dealers' and one of the oldest Iron Grenadiers in active service.
Hung (Shock Trooper)
Introduced in Volume I as the 'Death Dealers' heavy weapons specialist.
Reaper (Shock Trooper)
Introduced in Volume I as a member of the ‘Death Dealers’, Reaper is somewhat clumsy. He’s and expert marksman and is absolutely ferocious
when fighting close-in, especially hand-to-hand. But he can barely manage to
climb a flight of stairs without tripping and falling. He tends to be a joker
and often has the rest of his squad cracking-up.
Corporal ‘Vader’ Isenhour (Shock Trooper)
is rumored to have been born in a Russian prison, where both of his
parents were incarcerated. Following his parents' executions, he was
raised by various family members, all of whom were associated with
organized crime. Upon joining the Iron Grenadiers, his psychological
evaluation indicated that he was a prime candidate to be trained as a
Cremator; an Iron Grenadier flame weapons specialist. He enjoyed his job so much that he
sometimes tended to overexert himself. The resulting raspy-sounding breathing
from his facemask is what earned him his nickname. Vader was introduced in Volume III, as
the ‘Death Dealers’ flame weapons specialist.
in Volume III,
Osgood is the ‘Death Dealers’ designated marksman. He was born in
Concord, New Hampshire and served as a scout/sniper in the U.S. Marine
Corps. He is often described as one of
those people that just naturally blend in and are overlooked.
Introduced in Volume III, Wry is the
‘Death Dealers’ breaching specialist.
Major 'Stone' Bunnell (TARGAT)
Introduced in Chapter 12 as the commander of the 19th
TARGAT Combat Team, commonly known as the 'Helljumpers'.He is later wounded in action, causing his
removal from active ‘drop status’.
Captain Loc (TARGAT)
Introduced in Chapter 17, Loc serves as Executive
Officer to Major Stone.A native of Los
Angeles, he attended the Air Force Academy and was later posted to Air Combat
Command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.After several unsuccessful bids to gain entry into NASA's astronaut
program, he left the Air Force and joined the Iron Grenadiers, where he was
immediately accepted into the TARGAT program.Having participated in over two dozen combat drops, he is one of the most
senior TARGAT Officers still alive; a particularly impressive feat given the
short life expectancy of TARGATs.When
Stone is later wounded and forced to leave the active TARGAT ranks, Loc assumes
command of the Helljumpers.. When he's off duty, Loc enjoys cooking for his comrades and is reportedly quite a good chef.
Lieutenant Zex (TARGAT)
Introduced in Chapter 17, he served as an Annihilator before being selected for the
Sergeant Vapor (TARGAT)
Introduced in Chapter 17 as a TARGAT Training Sergeant. Oversees the initial training
of all TARGAT selectees and is frequently assigned as a small unit leader for
Sergeant ShowTime (Undertow)
Introduced in Volume I as an Undertow fire team leader.
Prior to joining the Iron Grenadiers, Vulcan was a Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmer) in the German Navy's Verwendungsgruppe 3402
(Usage Group 3402). Stealth comes naturally to him and he is often
tasked with providing sniper overwatch for the rest of his team. He
tends to prefer colder temperatures, a fact that the rest of his team
sometimes finds odd. He also has a penchant for Russian women. Vulcan
was introduced in Volume I as a the second-in-command of Sergeant
ShowTime's Undertow fire team.
Introduced in Volume I as a member
of Sergeant ShowTime's Undertow fire team, Uman has a special knack for
sensing an ambush. As such, he is often designated as the team's
scout. He doesn't discuss his past and tends to keep to himself when
he's not in the field.
comes from a military family, his father having been a Corporal in the
Australian Army. He grew up outside Gallipoli Barracks, raised on a
healthy diet of army and football. Always looking for a laugh, he is
well known for his pranks and other mischief. In fact, once he starts
laughing he finds it very difficult to stop. Werecat was introduced
in Volume I as a member of the 'Death Dealers'. Early in Volume II, he transfers into
the Undertow program and earns a place on Sergeant ShowTime's fire team.
grew up in Chicago and joined the U.S. Navy after high school.
Stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station, he excelled at his rate but
found it to be less than challenging. He opted for BUD/S and found his
challenge in the SEALs. He possesses a nearly
encyclopedic knowledge of Medieval weaponry and has occasionally been known to augment his combat load with some 'unusual' items. Cake was introduced
in Volume III as a member of Sergeant Blister's Undertow fire team and was later reassigned to Sergeant ShowTime's team.
Captain Thor (Iron Anvil)
Introduced in Volume I as the Commanding
Officer of Iron Anvil Company C, Thor was born in Valdosta, Georgia and
went to Auburn University. Upon joining the Army, he completed
Airborne School at Fort Benning and spent time in several different
airborne units. He joined the Iron Grenadiers after learning of the
Iron Anvil program. Apparently, the concept of paratroops that don't
use parachutes appealed to the risk-taker in him. His nickname is
attributed both to his Norse ancestry and to the fearsome warhammer he wields on the battlefield.
Corporal Som (Iron Anvil)
Introduced in Volume I as a member of Captain Thor's Iron Anvil Company C.
Killer (Iron Anvil)
Born in Bonfield, Illinois, Killer was introduced in Volume I as a member
of Captain Thor's Iron Anvil Company C. He is a veteran Anvil
specializing in anti-armor operations. His stubbornness is almost
legendary within his unit, as is is rather inappropriate humor.
He will do almost anything for a
laugh. His history of poorly-chosen jokes might not have prevented his
further promotion thus far, but it certainly hasn't helped it along.
Weasel (Razor Pilot)
in Volume III as a Razor Gunship pilot, Weasel is one of the best
pilots in the Iron Grenadier flight corps. He is often selected to fly
missions involving covert insertion or extraction. When ever Laird Destro takes to the field, Weasel serves as his personal pilot.
Foolproof (Covert Operative)
Introduced in Volume I as the unofficial 'right hand' to Colonel
Masque. Frequently handles the Colonel's more sensitive or difficult
Misfit (Covert Operative)
Introduced in Volume I. Reports directly to Colonel Masque.
Frequently handles undercover assignments requiring infiltration or disguise.
Introduced in Volume I, Leored’s
family has been associated with Clan Destro for generations. A veteran commando,
he is especially gifted in the art of covert infiltration - no target is too
hard or too well-defended. He is often partnered with Huerta and the two are
known to be among Colonel Masque's most trusted operatives. But whereas Huerta
likes to blow things up, Leored is more meticulous; a scavenger of the scene,
allowing Huerta to do his thing only after anything of potential value has been
retrieved. Huerta and Leored are flip sides of the coin and Masque believes
that to have chaos, you must also have order, fire must have water and success
means the failure of the opponent.
Where Leored is known for his infiltration skills, Huerta is known for
his destructive capabilities. Sometimes referred to as "The
Barbarian" for his savage, no-holds-barred style of combat. He is
frequently partnered with Leored and the two are a highly effective team. You
can bet that when they’re around, trouble will follow. He was introduced in Volume I.
Scythe (Iron Maiden)
Scythe was the first woman to be accepted within the ranks of
the Iron Grenadiers. As such, she was once referred to as The Iron Maiden, but
later changed her call sign to Scythe. It is generally believed that the
Baroness adopted the name Iron Maidens for her personal cadre of operatives as
a nod to Scythe's unofficial status as the senior female Grenadier.
Cutlass (Iron Maiden)
Cutlass and her brother Ghost are among Destro's most deadly
operatives. She is one of the best sword fighters on the planet, a living
phenomenon. Though she is a Champion fencer, she never particularly cared for
trophies. Instead, her recognition comes when her opponent is lying in a pool
of blood and she is still standing.
Banshee (Iron Maiden)
Introduced in Volume II, little is known about Banshee prior to her involvement with the
Iron Grenadiers. It is believed that she was born in Paris and worked as a
freelance assassin-for-hire, amassing a nearly perfect record over a ten year
period. At some point, she was recruited by the Baroness to be one of the first
in her “Iron Maiden” program. In Irish mythology, a banshee is a feminine
spirit, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.
Banshee’s many targets could attest to the appropriateness of her code name –
if any of them were still around to do so.
Natasha (Iron Maiden)
Introduced in Volume III, Natasha's natural talent with a
rifle was discovered early on by military recruiters, who worked with the press
to make her name and prowess become the talk of the Motherland - until she met
Lace (Iron Maiden)
Very little is known about Lace. She is believed to be highly
skilled in disguise and is rumored to often serve as a body double for the
Baroness. Her mere presence within this group indicates that she is not to be
taken lightly.She was introduced in Volume II.
Moira (Iron Maiden)
present, little is known about Moira's background or specialties. As
with Lace, her inclusion in this group indicates an impressive skill
set. She was introduced in Volume III.
Firestar (Iron Maiden)
is an oddity amongst the Iron Maidens, in that she's friendly and
approachable. Introduced in Chapter 66, she rescues, and then
befriends, Captain Flaherty's girlfriend Penny.
AGP (Anti-Gravity Pod)
- This is the Iron Grenadiers' main attack aircraft. It is operated
by a single pilot, known as a Nullifier, and carries the following
armament: (2) 'Big Hit' 106mm Recoilless Cannons and (4) STUNG (Silent-running Titanium Under-rader Negative Gravity)
Missiles. The AGP is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
It doesn't absorb fire very well and has a generally poor energy
consumption to performance ratio, but is remarkably fast, able to turn
sharply and can stop almost immediately. The AGP is able to hover in
place for short periods of time to unload ordnance or wait in ambush for
less maneuverable aircraft.
DEMON (Dual Elevating Multi-Ordnance Neutralizer)
- This is the Iron Grenadiers' main battle tank. It is operated by a
three crew members, called Ferrets, and carries the following armament:
(1) Roof-mounted Magnetic Array Triple-Lens Laser, (1) Infinity III
Variable Energy Pivoting Triple Barrel Laser, (6) TRI-CAP (Triple Computer Assisted Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Personnel)
Missiles and (1) Rear-facing defensive cannon. Side-mounted elevation
arms combine with a sub frame chassis lift servomotor to raise or lower
the vehicle depending upon a greater need for speed or stability at a
- This is intended to be the Iron Grenadiers' next generation of main
battle tank. Externally, the vehicle appears to be almost identical to
the HISS V. This is because Destro used the Cobra-funded HISS V program
to secretly develop the DEMON II. It is operated by a reduced crew of
two Ferrets, and carries (1) 20mm cannon and (3) anti-armor missiles.
Like its predecessor, the DEMON II is able to elevate the crew cab, but
in this case it is done to achieve fire superiority. Though it carries
less firepower and has lighter armor, the DEMON II is significantly
faster and more maneuverable than the DEMON.
Despoiler - Originally
designed as Destro's personal command aircraft, the Despoiler has seen
wider use in recent years by Iron Grenadier commanders for aerial
command and control functions. It is a small single person aircraft
armed with (2) 'Deluge-I' mini missiles and a pair of 'Rabid' Rapid Burst 20mm
Dominator - The
Dominator was as much an engineering marvel as it was a failure. During the late 1980's,
MARS Research and Development had managed to produce a working tank /
helicopter hybrid. The very idea that a lumbering armored vehicle could unfold
a main rotor and become an attack helicopter was so novel that MARS had sold
thousands of them worldwide. It is operated by a crew of two and is armed with (1)
Multi-shot Rapid-fire 3.5mm Missile Pod, (2) 20mm side-mounted miniguns, (2) dual track mounted repeating cannons
and a chin-mounted Missile Launcher. The problem with the Dominator was that in order
to make it light enough to fly, its designers had sacrificed much in the way of armor.
And while the vehicle did fly, it didn’t do so very quickly. The result was
that in one mode, you had a lightly armored tank that was easier to kill than
it should have been; while in the other mode you had an attack helicopter that
was too slow-moving to evade anti-aircraft fire. Once its weaknesses had become
painfully obvious, Destro mothballed the Iron Grenadiers’ entire fleet of Dominators.
- This is Darklon's personal two-wheeled assault vehicle. It is armed
with (2) 'Pursuer' Roof-mounted Terminal-homing Stinger-type
Missiles and (2) 'Eliminator' Canopy-mounted 9mm Machine Guns.
- This is an armored personnel carrier used to transport Iron
Grenadiers into combat. It's remarkably tough armor allows it to absorb
a ridiculous amount of fire, while delivering combat loaded Grenadiers
to the enemy's doorstep. It is armed with
(2) side-mounted .50 caliber machine guns, (6) anti-personnel/material
missiles fired from (2) independently-targeted launcher housings, and
(2) multi-purpose, turret mounted 40mm
Repeating Cannons. It's troop bay can hold in excess of twelve fully
loaded Grenadiers, plus a wide array of additional equipment.
- This is a multi-purpose VTOL assault aircraft capable of delivering
up to twelve combat-loaded Grenadiers to the battlefield. The Razor can
also be used to deploy Iron Anvils from altitude or to insert TARGATs
into low earth orbit. It is highly maneuverable, capable of super-sonic
flight and is armed with a chin-mounted 20mm chain gun and (2)
air-to-ground missile launchers.
- This is a high-speed wheeled attack vehicle operated by a three-man
crew. The driver, known as a Wild Boar, is also the vehicle commander.
The remaining two crew members fulfill gunnery functions. It is armed
with (8) QVX-902 'Short Blast' Surface-to-surface Strike Missiles and a
bubble turret equipped with a dual Anti-Armor/Personnel Cannon. The
vehicle gains its name from it's ability to elevate the back portion
of the vehicle, allowing the weapons to fire down at a foe.
- This is a defensive vehicle that combined speed, maneuverability,
massive firepower. It relies upon state-of-the-art concealment
technology to remain hidden while utilizing an impressive array of
detection and tracking equipment to find and fix its prey. Castle
Destro and other key MARS installations are protected by a hidden ring
of Red Caps.
SKAR (Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy & Ruin)
(Photo Pending) The
leader of SKAR (Soldiers
of Khaos, Anarchy, and Ruin). He has a fascination and deep respect
for Genghis Khan. Iron Klaw operates under the alias of Count von Rani, the
ruler of a small Eastern European nation called Kalistan. Iron Klaw
assassinated the real Count von Rani and took his place as Defense Minister of
Volume III as Raven, a member of the Baroness’ Iron Maidens.In a stunning betrayal, she later reveals
herself to be Iron Klaw’s associate.
Inferno, whose real name
is Kidwell Pyre, grew up as the son of a poor single mother who worked as a
maid. He refers to weaponry as his "toys", and speaks in a hissing
A soldier who served in
the American military, Wreckage was captured during a major military conflict
and then experimented upon in an early attempt by Iron Klaw to create a super
soldier. The experiments made Wreckage extremely strong and resilient, but
prone to fits of rage.
(Photo Pending) Rampage is an arms manufacturer
who operates legitimate business fronts and black market deals. Rampage is
SKAR's primary weapon supplier. However, he seeks to eliminate Iron Klaw and
seize control of the organization. SKAR Troopers
These elite troops form the backbone of Iron Klaw's organization, Soldier's
of Khaos, Anarchy and Ruin. They are fiercely loyal to their leader.
- SKAR's primary ground assault vehicle, the Bone Splitter is a 4x4
vehicle equipped with a pintle-mounted machinegun and a long-range