Monday, November 29, 2010

Cybernet is Coming...

Hey Everyone!

As JQ is off for his really awesome Japanese adventure, I'll be continuing to post on this humble blog of nerdom...and we all wish for JQ to have a great time over there, and hope he'll bring back juicy tales about his geeky encounters in the Land of the Rising Sun! (plus, he's meeting his girlfriend there too)

Well, I recently re-watched the Matrix (the first movie) and man, it still captures my imagination and I am really surprised at how much information there was in that movie. I kinda forgot that the Oracle told Neo that he was not the One...not sure if you all knew that by heart, I am sure I didn't.

Speaking of the Matrix, aren't we seeing more and more robots in everyday life? Since the iconic Asimo, the Japanese have been developing a lot of robots that walk and even help care for the much so that there's the running joke that they'll invent the Gundam first and rule the world.

The world-famous Asimo robot, capable of smooth walking and even playing soccer (

Recently, I bumped into this really interesting article on the New York Times about the US Army's effort in roboti-zing its units.

In the real world, robots are actually coming into the forefront of warfare, as we hear of Predators flying the skies in Iraq and Afghanistan, or robots disarming IEDs and saving soldiers from such devices. I guess this proliferation of robotic technology is fueled by drastic decreases in the cost of chip technology + rare earth magnets (it's just my gut feeling).

US Army's Big Dog, a weight bearing quadruped robot that will be tested soon in Afghanistan. (Scientific American)

USMC's Gladiator, armed with a SAW and grenade launchers, developed by Carnegie Mellon and it's controlled by a suit that is worn by a soldier. (

Not surprisingly, these robots do not have humanoid forms...and do many things a human soldier can't: guard compounds without losing focus or going hungry/tired, do things without complaining/discipline issues, accurately aim weaponry without shaking from hands, carry loads tirelessly, follow rules of engagement to the letter etc. There is a lot of potential for military robots and they are a very promising and yet cost-effective advancement of military technology.

But for some, it does feel kinda creepy to have robots serving at the front...afterall I have been exposed to movies/shows like the Terminator, Matrix series, Battlestar Galactica etc. which predict that our over-dependence on machines can lead to our own destruction. Real-world A.I can still go awry and make mistakes (such as aim the gun at friendlies by mistake), they still make mistakes in killing innocent civilians (which is perhaps impossible to avoid)...and interestingly some foresee robots to be the next arms race as countries can mass produce robots and perhaps be more eager to engage in military conflicts.

What do you all think about the development of military robots? One thing for sure, it seems to me that it's pretty much inevitable that we'll see the on-going advancement of robot technology and I won't be surprised if the world 40 years from now will resemble what we have in Science-Fiction today (which also explains why I love sci-fi a lot).

Just a geeky sidenote: If you did watch the Animatrix, my favorite part was the Second Renaissance series, which provided a very believable timeline detailing humankind's use of robots in the future. It explained the tragic backstory behind the Matrix, where humans created robots, mistreated them and eventually went to war that effectively wiped out the humans and brought them gruesome slavery under the machines. Man, it makes pretty scary watching and what if it became true?

The devastating Machine War depicted in the Animatrix, image's kinda blurry but it shows gigantic robots (predecessors of the Sentinels) that are invulnerable to enemy fire and move to massacre human forces...(

A short video clip from Animatrix showing the disastrous Machine War (Operation Dark Storm).

Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Week Hiatus and Ongoing Events

Greetings All and I am back again,

But this time, my entry is more about what to expect from the blog and upcoming stuff.

First and Foremost though, I would like to thank all the readers and people who come up here to casually relieve their time or take interest and get involved in discussions on our blog. Josh and I fully appreciate it and it is one of the motivations for us to keep doing what we are doing. SO A BIG THANK U!

Next, I will tell you that in the lead up of things to come on the blog, I will be taking a 2 week hiatus for personal reasons. In truth, I'm going to JAPAN for 2 weeks for a holiday.

And since I will be in Japan, I will be going for the Shizuoka Hobby Fair 2010! As such, I will be featuring some stuff for all you model kit enthusiast! Be it Ships, Tanks, Planes or even Gundam.

For those who do not know about what the Shizuoka Hobby Fair is about, every year in Japan, they hold a hobby fair where the biggest guys from the Japanese Model Kit Industry come to showcase their stuff. From Tamiya and Hasegawa to Aoshima, Pit-Road and even Dragon from Hong Kong and your Gundam brands like Bandai will be there to show what are the latest release for their model kit ranges.

Furthermore, there are shops there for me to buy my new kits that I am planning to get and also a museum that will showcase some great works. Last but not least, the Scale 1/1 RX-78-2 Iconic Gundam that was featured in Tokyo a year before, is appearing as it got reassemble this year again for the Shizuoka Hobby Fair!

Here is the Gundam that is shown in the Hobby Fair! Pretty Amazing Stuff especially the effects from the Model and the Head moving mechanics!

This fair is Being held from 24/7/2010 - 27/3/2011, it is quite a long period. So for those interested, you still have ample time to go. I will give the review in December and for those who have time to visit Japan and are keen modellers, that would be a great place to visit!

Here is a preview of some features in the Hobby Fair.

After the 2 weeks hiatus though, I will be featuring lots of miniatures, a couple more models and reviewing several community websites and model stuff that would definitely perk you up. There has been in-depth discussion between Josh and me about coming up with videos to do some painting stuff but at this moment, I am still pretty unsure with the time constraint that is at hand. Videos of our Wargaming Exploits could be a potential, especially when we are embarking on GHQ war-gaming system and also the New Warhammer Rules. One thing is for sure with Toyconstruct: Busy Busy Busy! All I hope is we can be on par and satisfy our readers

In addition, There will be entries on Anime and Mecha stuff too so stay tune for that.

And as for Warhammer fans, We got lots more to give and feature, so you be ready for that too. In fact, even Joshua and Wei Ting doesn't know what I have been up to in terms of painting stuff so stay tune. ;)

Lots in store and Now that I am back in my homeland, I promise you a lot more things I can put into the hobby of Toyconstruct.

Till then, thanks for the support and see you soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bretonnian Mage

Welcome back Warhammer fans!

Today's pic is my earlier made Sorceress/Bretonnian Mage/Damsel

While she is definitely not as good as my current works, the significance of this miniature would be that she is my first and so far, only female character miniature that I have painted.

Somehow or another, I seem to have a problem painting female miniatures. I would always fret about wanting it to look damn good and quite honestly, even professional or high standard quality paintings at times don't really get it right in my opinion. But okae, Who am I to criticize when I wouldn't be able to paint them well myself. :S

My next female miniature that is in line for painting is my Fay Enchantress. But with so many miniatures waiting to have its turn to be painted. It will be quite a while before I get to her. BUT when I do, I am going to use all of my ability to make her master class quality or at least my top-class painting standard of all that I have painted so far.

On a wargaming note, I must say. the damsel/Sorceress has played her part well. But more often than not, it is to fend off magic attacks from the High Elves. Because I have had plenty of battles with High Elves, most of my magic elements are rendered handicap or left to contend with dispelling duties. Nonetheless, I cannot forsake these damsels or Sorceresses as without them, the repercussion of Magic damage to my army would be great.

On another note, I have been reading the new edition Warhammer rules and lots of things have change. If u wanna know more u can go to the Warhammer Battle Reporter under this link: They feature many battle reports that will give u a gauge of how the new flow of the game is like. This is especially helpful for new Warhammer gamers and work as a good refresher for old Warhammer gamers.

According to a survey done by Warhammer Battle Reporters, Bretonnian is said to be one of the worst armies of the 8th edition rules and I guess that is pretty much a downer for my mainstay Warhammer army :S.

Well in a months time or so, the battles will begin again, as me, Josh and Wei Ting come together to pit each of our armies against each other and then I will see how my army really fairs in 8th ed.

So do check it out as we feature the battles soon :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unofficial WFB Armies

Hey Everyone

Hope you all are doing well and welcome once again to this bastion of nerdiness...where we converge with our passions for all things collectable/geeky.

Well, fantasy to me always made me think of knights, castles, elves and orcs. Stereotypical settings of medieval Europe come to mind as great works such as LoTR and WFB have been prevalent in my fantasy geekdom. Perhaps I failed to ask myself this: why is the fantasy genre dominated by western imagery? How was the rest of the world like during the same time? They must have their share of warring warlords and armies of renown...

The college course I am taking now is exploring eastern themes in fantasy (albeit still written by American authors), and it is indeed very interesting to learn about eastern themes that deeply move us inside - such as the need for balance of power, acceptance of both good and bad parts of oneself, and the inter-relatedness of all nature (mankind included). It's my observation that fantasy is a literary form shared across all cultures, as each has its own unique stories that have their own heroes and villains...and perhaps non-Western themes mainstream fantasy have much to offer beyond the staple of Western fantasies (part of the reason why I shunned the Fable series).

While going through a list of WFB-themed blogs (courtesy of "Sigmar"), I came across a forum that posted unofficial WFB army lists that include armies such as Cathay, Nippon and Araby, armies that I only read in the background but never see on the tabletop, with the exception of JQ's warhammer campaigns. Go ahead and check them out...and they somehow added an "Amazonian" army list, perhaps after the upcoming Blood Bowl video game announced the inclusion of Amazons as a playable faction. Read: nubile scantily-clad women = fanning the fires in potential male consumers.

The army lists look kinda cool, and I am not sure if we could try a playtest of the lists and see how the armies work. Some of the cover-art look really well-done too, apparently it's mostly the work of a guy called Mathias, who works to put together an army list replete with histories and illustrations.

When it comes to fan-related stuff, they have my utmost respect...spending the time to create their own original additions out there for others to see. Somehow filling the gaps left behind by the official-creators - who are also pissing me off with increasing prices and changing rules. Man, their creativity is really something and I guess playing out their army lists could be a way of recognizing their dedication!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Land Air and Sea. Navy Seals

So today, its back to Military stuff again. And now, it is featuring the Navy Seal Boarding Soldier from the Todd McFarlane Military Series.

However, I must point out that the gear that he is wearing is not always ubiquitous to the Navy Seals

What is ubiquitous about him is that he suits up like many Special forces units.

Through Rain

Or Shine.. The Navy Seals will operate and get the job done.

AND like most special forces units, the weapons they use or have are customized to their own preference. Their M4 Carbines and MP5 would have their own personal zeroing. Furthermore, Combat fatigues are usually pretty less regulatory compared to their standard infantrymen counterparts.

However, if you think that their training is any easier, you would be dead wrong. The Navy Seals go through many layers of physical, intellectual and mental training programs before they can become actual Navy Seal Personnels. Furthermore, they are picked from the best.

With the requirement to be highly flexible and adaptive, the Navy Seals need to have uncanny situational awareness and operational precision that are above par. As such, it is highly essential that their discipline and combat abilities be more exceptional than your normal infantry. With regards to their battle experience, the Navy Seals have been in every conflict since their establishment, so I guess we can't really put any doubt of their operational record

Furthermore, Seal Team Six is under the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group which oversees Covert Operations and have frequent collaborations with the CIA.
Displaying their diverse abilities in the theater of conflicts and war.

For more on Navy Seals:

In relations to Special forces like the Navy Seals, it is only 2 days left to the release of Modern Warfare: Black Ops.

But don't go crazy and buy it before knowing this.
It is TREYARCH who is doing this game. Meaning, it could SUCK.. as there have been pretty much no Call of Duty (CoD) that were really great under the Treyarch development team.

However, Trailer looks pretty damn fancy and nice, but we have yet to find out the reception from the gamers themselves.

Nonetheless, It does make me disgruntled as i have yet to get a new laptop to play Modern Warfare 2. DAMNIT. :S Sometimes, it just suck to be way behind the trends and games that people play.

And I am feeling the full effect of it, especially when it comes to games related to my hobby and interest. FRACK.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bleach: Shuhei Hisagi

Today, yet another anime figure from the Bleach anime as I have mentioned before

This suave cool guy samurai is called Shuhei Hisagi of the 9th Division. he is a Vice-captain/Lieutenant of the Squad and is a Soul Reaper/Shinigami.

What appeals to me about him is that throughout the anime, we never really see him use his ultimate power of his sword.

Which means, he pretty much takes down the bad guys with his sword skills or the basic "Magic" spells of a Soul Reaper

There's a sense of "bad-ass"ness in him. However, sadly enough, he doesn't get too much air time as he isn't really that popular with the mainstream fans of the Anime series.

All in all though, when he was finally the central role in the show, I must admit, his fight scene was pretty epic. And this would be the first time he releases his sword's ultimate power as shown below.

Of the almost 300 over episodes, there are a few dozen in which the animation of the fight scenes are really detailed or dynamic and I gotta say, this is one of them. In this scene, Shuhei takes on the Arrancar (A Baddie) called Findor and tells him the whole concept of his sword before finishing him off.

I must admit though, in a critical standpoint of view, Bleach anime is getting real draggy and the fillers are boring the shit out of me. Furthermore, the whole concept and mentality of the main character, Ichigo (which i will feature way later) is not that profound. It has come to the point where I am only hoping that the main story arc would provide more intrigue and that they would just stop putting damn lame ass pointless fillers.

While a couple of my friends got interested in the anime, I am pretty doubtful any of them have follow up since. And I can largely account that to really retarded fillers that include stupid forgettable characters. Pardon my frustration but its almost like reading a real boring 3 chapters of an exciting book and the reason why they put the chapters there is to elongate the anime series and give time for their manga line to catch up.

All in All. Good points: Fight scenes and Some Cool Characters, Bad points: Main character and Fillers