Tuesday, June 29, 2010

David Levinthal

Hey Guys

Sometimes when JQ and I do the miniature photoshoots...I wonder if there are professional photographers who have explored such subjects, and ho and behold, I found out about one!

His name is David Levinthal, a photographer renowned for his work with polaroid cameras, and for using toy figurines to make realistic photos...which makes the viewer realize the grey line between fantasy and reality (or something to that effect). I checked out his stuff, and I have to stay it's amazing. Makes me want to get out there to shoot more photos!!!

If you have time, check out his WWII and Iraq War photos, they look great...and his famous works are the "The Wild West" and "American Beauties". In addition, his ice-hockey shots look really awesome too, great composition and sense of urgency/action in his pictures.

His website is found here, and here are some samples of his work, all copyright of David Levinthal.

Enjoy (and happy modelling)!

One shot of his "Hitler Moves East" collection.

Ominous Nazi banners fly high in "Mein Kampf"

U.S. soldiers operating under constant threat in "I.E.D"

A Blackhawk-Down-esque shot, also from "I.E.D".

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Russian Airborne Pop Song.

Stumble upon this while browsing Youtube. Its invigorating and really catchy. Yet there's a very awkward and humorous feel to this video.

From the Russian Spetnaz to its Airborne Paratroopers, they are renowned for their prowess in combat and their toughness. At the same, time they give an aura of intensity and seriousness.

But this video shows a singing drill sergeant of the VDV paratroopers. While the tune of the paratrooper song is catchy, it doesn't give the same sort of "power" that a regimental Russian song would give. Let alone the "Hell March" theme song in Red Alert.

Have your say on it.

P.S: I find it quite funny how they all can somersault in one shot of the video and that their obstacle course has Hollywood type explosions and fire. I don't even get that during my army days

Monday, June 21, 2010

War is Coming.

Posted this on our Facebook. But for those who are active here but do not used facebook, I just gotta get you guys in on the hype.

After 10 years, War has come back to us in Starcraft! Tell me you not excited.. I dare you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Empire "Gangbang"

Continuing with WT's portfolio of warhammer pictures, we have his take on how the Empire can beat Chaos: go 3-on-1, with his self-titled "Empire Gangbang".

Again, both sides are painted by paintedfigs.com, and the company's strength and weaknesses are revealed. The chaos warriors look good to look at, but the Imperial spearmen are wargaming quality (ie. good for games, but not masterpieces). Also, JQ's got a shipment of Chaos knights from them at exhibition/showcase quality, and judging from review images, they look really good. We will be taking pictures of them sometime in the future.

It's safe to say that JQ and I have found paintedfigs.com to be a reliable painting service, and it pays to really know what you want while making the order (ie. color schemes, assembly instructions). Specifying details will help them in painting as close as possible to your wishes, which will be critical in your satisfaction...it really sucks if you get your minis painted and end up very dissatisfied with the finished product (after waiting a few weeks). Ultimately, fielding a painted army (or even a partially painted one) feels a lot better/immersive than using tissue boxes and other proxies, and painting companies provide that convenience with the investment of time and money.

But this brings up a separate debate: the difficulty in painting human faces/bodies well. Skin does not come in just a single tone, and it takes a lot of time to undercoat/dry brush/highlight human faces + detail their eyes well. I can't do it well now (and sometimes wonder if I have the time to do it), and I have a lot of respect for painters who do them really well.

Price Hikes Yikes

Well, anyone a fan of price-hikes? GW (always a corporate pain-in-the-butt) has raised prices again...and the bigger pain is this: they specified that companies can no longer offer the 20% wholesaler discount. So this means minis will rise in cost, and how prepared are we to continue an increasingly expensive hobby? JQ even mentioned that GHQ bucks that trend, and actually proves to be more customer-orientated with their reasonable pricing (that hasn't been raised) and listening to input of customers for minis to be released.

Personally, a way around this is to buy minis 2nd hand on ebay...and even then the prices can be indirectly affected by the price hike. You maybe lucky enough to get someone who just wants to sell his/her minis at a reduced price...perhaps due to the economic climate and simply clearing their homes. Then and again, thanks GW for the price hike.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crazy German Uber Tank.

So the other day, I was browsing the GHQ forums and i stumbled upon this picture that looked similar to a motivational poster. It showed this crazy looking tank from the German WW2 Army. The P1000 Landkreuzer Ratte. For a second, i was thinking to myself, thats ridiculous.

What type of behemoth tank such as that would be even feasible. But the Germans thought it would. back then, Adolf Hitler approved Krupp's design for such a heavy tank.

And the size is just sick. Boosting over 1000 metric tons and being 5 times bigger than the Tiger Tank. It looks crazy. Unfortunately for us spectators, we won't get to see the life size tank as the project was scrapped.

The actual scale of the P1000 Landkruezer Ratte with a Sherman Tank.

This concept design makes the Mammoth Tank in Command and Conquer pale in Comparison

Soldiers in the same scale as the tank. It really put things into perspective in terms of its gargantun size. The Ratte's primary weapons would have been two 280 mm SK C/34 naval guns mounted in a modified naval heavy cruiser turret as used in the Gneisenau-class warships, fitting two guns. It was to be added with 128 mm anti-tank gun of the type used in the Jagdtiger or Maus, two 15 mm Mauser MG 151/15 autocannons, and eight 20 mm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns, probably with at least four of them as a quad mount .

The massive firepwoer would have been its major advantage. However, it sheer size would make it a sitting duck and a clear target for allies to have attack it.

But for those who love big things. This is one for the books.

I won't be surprise it that project was a success. U would have seen this in the Third Reich for future used


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Imperial Bastion

Hey there

Our esteemed friend, Weiting, may outwardly laugh at our (me and JQ) nerdy affixation on taking pictures of toys, he himself has proved to be a nerd like all of us, and has helped us take pictures for us too...and some of them are a sight to look at.

In the WFB world, it is probably kicking a dead horse to repeat that the Empire is fraught by bloody invasions by the Warriors of Chaos, and how mere Strength 3 men face up to Strength 4 brutes of the wastes. But times of darkness call upon the rise of stoic heroism, as men of valor have boldly opposed the might of Chaos and have had their exploits written into the history books (or warhammer army supplements, the massive rulebook, spin-off novels, and fan-made material for us).

It is with this theme that I present Weiting's shot of an Imperial regiment of spearmen standing up to a horde of Chaos Warriors...all painted by paintedfigs.com

Speaking of miniatures painted by companies, I happened to bump into Demonic Workshop, an Arizona-based studio that does figures pretty-well...prices are reasonable and expectedly steep if you want great detail. You can take a look at their work here, which looks really good.

Chaos dragon painted by Demonic Workshop (c).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oscar Oscar.

Kilo on the Horizon
Oscar Cruise Missile Submarine in the Horizon
Joshua and I took forever to try and use the DSLR to get this shot. Eventually, the Normal "Happy Snapper" Sony Digital Camera was a more suitable use to get this shot.

Bird Eye view of the Kilo on the surface water
A very nice shot. But I kinda forgot how we got the reflection. Was that really the sun? or a Flash from the DSLR.. not too sure. But I must say that the whole reflection of the water surface made the water look real and enhance the submarine's look.

Zoom up view of the Kilo on the water
Closeup on the Oscar Submarine

DIving Kilo Submarine
Preparing to dive.. (Shot looks arther unrealistic though.. You will never see a submarine dive like how this shot was taken. It look as though the submarine just fell from the sky.)

The diving of submarines is pretty much a "sinking ship" action and experience then how a human or dolphin would do.

Kilo Submarine to the Right

Like many of Russians Naval Units, the Oscar Guided Cruise/Ballistic Missile Submarine are aging and displaying the condition of its economy for the past 2 decades. Due to poor economic conditions and lack of money for defense, these age old submarines are functioning on low maintenance and are a glimmer of their former glory.

For those who aren't Modern Military enthusiast, This Submarine got famous on the news when the Kursk, an Oscar II class submarine had an incident during some exercise and there were explosion from the incident that lead to the sinknig of the submarine. It was a controversial political issue as British and Norwegian seaman offered to help in rescuing the sailors from the submarine but were refuted by the Russians.

Ultimately, it was a tragedy that resulted in no survivors from the Kursk. This displayed the much needed attention on maintenance and the upkeep needed for Russia's naval force. On top of the fact that this was a sensitive submarine carrying a Nuclear reactor in it.

However, it does not remove the greatness of Russia's naval power. The pride and glory are not as great as they were before, but they still resemble a semblance of power that is still a dominant force in the world today.

The Oscar II Submarine is a huge submarine. It is the third biggest submersible followed by the Ohio class SSBN and the biggest being the Typhoon.

At a whooping length of 155m and a complement of 94-107 men. This behemoth of a submarine carries SS-N-15 Starfish anti-submarine missiles with 15-kT nuclear warheads, SS-N-16 Stallion anti-submarine missiles with 200-kT nuclear warhead and Type 40 anti-submarine torpedo. It is also capable of arming itself with 24 of the SS-N-19 Shipwreck cruise missiles. However, for its size, it can travel at a surprisingly fast speed of 32 knots submerged. Being a Nuclear Submarine, it also has a long endurance of staying submerge for about 120 days which is a pretty mean feat that no diesel submarine can hope to achieve.

All in all, it does boast an adequate power for the "Bear" that is Russia. I'm sure when people see this submarine, it reminds them of the nostalgic memory of the Cold War. And it is a great sight when you see one steaming across the sea.

5 of these remain active in the Russian Navy. As the Bear's economy improves, this guys may soon be retired for a new breed of modern successors.

WOW.. wordy.. okae.. will cut the crap down next time round

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Spotted a trailer for the upcoming Deus Ex game, and it's probably one of the best trailers I have seen! Of course it's Square Enix, who's pretty skilled in computer animation...the trailer simply blew me away. Makes me think about possible Bladerunner influences on the trailer.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Reptilean Silouette March.

Lizard Marsh Walk

Lizardmen marching across the Marshes

The Banner of the Lizardman

The Shadow of the Reptile

So yeah, here are an assortment of the Lizardmen figures from Wei Ting, marching away. But honestly speaking, based on what I know of the Lizardmen culture in Warhammer which is largely based on Aztec and Mayan culture, I wonder do they actually have Army Regimental routines that involve them marching around :/

Not too much of an extraordinaire on South American Ancient culture nor am I knowledgeable about their ancient military tactics and regime, but it does get me wondering, how was it like to be a Saurus Warrior or an Ancient Aztec Warrior?

What type of military tactics were they taught? Honestly, I mean, did they really form up ranks and fought in battle in an orderly manner, or was warfare messy and guerilla-like for them? Did they fight using the environment and in squad number organisation or was it epic scale regiments like how you see in large-scale battles from Roman times to the Medieval Ages?

Let me know if u any of u readers got any idea. :)