Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Dares Win?

Greetings to all Readers,

And so I shall start the ball rolling and get onto our first post.

SAS Soldiers getting ready for combat
SAS Men on the ground... establishing a perimeter.

The Special Air Service, the British Special Op Force that became famous due to their handling of the Iranian Embassy Storming (or Operation Nimrod) in 1980 which was one of the first of its kind, This was broadcast live all over the globe.

With a complement of 1000 personnel over 3 regiment, The SAS are trained under many scenarios and climates that are often deemed harsh and difficult for the average man.

Let's just put it this way, their above the rest on many levels of combat and military warfare.

Not sure how many of you know this, but while the British Commandos wear their iconic Red Beret, the SAS donned the sand-covered beret as their identity.

The SAS was formed in 1941 by Colonel David Stirling, in which they operated behind enemy lines around Europe and North Africa during WW2.

They disbanded on 30th November 1946, but was reestablished in 1947, remodeled from the Artists Rifles Regiment.

Their infamous SAS cap badge was also created after Operation Crusader in WW2.

In the picture below, We see a Blackhawk Helo deploying a squad of SAS men on the ground.
Using micromachines and forces of valour figures, we aimed to give an image of the special op force in its game, ready to engage in its mission.

SAS Special Ops with Blackhawk behind

Speaking of the SAS, the most prominent First person shooter has add extra prominence to the special force group with their adaptation of two amazing characters in the game.

I'm sure u guys guessed it by now. It is none other than Modern Warfare 1 and 2 with their iconic Captain Price and "Soap" MacTavish.

Played as Him in Modern Warfare 1, and Your Head Honcho in Modern Warfare 2

Captain Price, Manliest UK Roughneck SAS that i have ever seen.

Last but not least though, back to the real world, there is a former SAS guy that really makes me go "WTF" at what he does.

A celebrity in Discovery Channel, he is none other than Bear Grylls from the show, "Man vs Wild" Mr. Grylls puts himself into crazy situations in all sorts of natural climates and gives tips and tricks on surviving through the harsh terrain of these climates and getting out alive.

Usually, this involves some seriously dangerous trekking and climbing followed by eating and drinking the most detestable things you would never even dream of considering in your mundane and comfortable life at home.

I'm not sure about you guys, But SAS emits a certain sort of prestige that I find it hard to compare with any other special forces in the world. (Including the Navy Seals). While we are not able to highlight many of their track records due to the secrecy in which they operate.

There is a certain sense of fear, dread but more prominently, exceptional skill and class that is the SAS.

The question you must ask is are you able to put yourself into the mindset of an SAS man and challenge the world with the most famous words, "Who DARES Win?"

I find that a tough call to match.

On a sidenote, I am trying to go on a intense painting spree soon. In which I put myself into a non-stop 10 hour per day painting run for two to three days and see how far can i accomplish that I have set out for this year.

I am not sure of the outcome, But i figured, if i just do that for only 3 days, I might be able to accomplish more than i normally can for half to a year of painting bit by bit.

Lets be pretty honest, but, its not like everyone of us love painting so much that we do it everyday for hours on ends. I must say I am considered pretty intense compared to my fellow mates like Weiting and Josh.

Then again, they are extremely slack and can don't paint for close to a year or so. :p But i will give you guys my progress and tell you how far can an average joe go with ten hours of painting per day for 2-3 days.

Till then. CHEERS

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nerdy Beginnings

Hey Everyone

Hope you all like the new layout, and JQ and I would be doing our best to keep this blog running with a variety of posts in the future. In short, we have expanded the varieties of posts to share much more about our model and toy collecting hobbies, from the old blogs that touched upon warharmmer fantasy and modern military.

Kind of similar to JQ, my hobby started out with my dad introducing my older brother and I to modeling, by simply putting together Tamiya 1/35 model kits together. The thing is, the Tamiya kits came in a color that matched the general color scheme of the vehicles, and we were just content on putting decals on, and of course: playing with it pretty roughly (my dad said it took a heck a lot of time). My first few kits I remember were the Centurion tank, Schrimmwagen amphibious jeep, Sdkfz 251 Grief (with Rommel), the Merkava II tank, and the Stuka Zu Fuss half-track rocket launcher.

Also, my dad ran a color separation company (which makes sure colors of magazines, books etc. will turn out realistic when they are printed) and had the slicer to cut film/prints in straight lines...and we actually used that to cut the box covers of the models we had made.

The 1/35 Schrimmwagen, which looked like a frog to me when I was a kid. (

The 1/35 Stuka Zu Fuss, a very unconventional looking vehicle. (

Fortunately enough, my dad did bring out his old paints and let my brother and I paint some models. I remember the 2 models we did paint were Dragon's 1/35 BRDM 3 (in mock urban scheme) and Tamiya's 1/48 Brewster Buffalo (done in a garish paint scheme that was called 'Sunkist'). However, those models got thrown away as we moved from house to house, and I didn't keep them around to be able to take pictures of them to show you guys :(

As my dad worked in his company, he was able to get free samples of the American modeling magazine: Fine-Scale Modeler (FSM), which had articles on just modeling, such as airbrushing, mail-in order forms, guides on making special effects (like zimmerit and battle damage). It really made me dream of doing the same thing as the guys were doing, and always thought of getting an airbrush and paints together to make a really good kit (I haven't found the time yet...).

Fine scale modeler magazine logo, from

Also, I grew up on reading Tamiya's (1995) and Hasegawa's high quality model catalogues, and constantly kept re-reading them and pour my interest into various tanks and planes I thought would be ideal to me (mostly Soviet and German vehicles), and dreamt of making them one day. I prefered German and Soviet vehicles as I found it too easy to like the "good guys" of the world, where you can find multiple publications that have all the details about them...but for the "bad guys" of the world, one has to spend more effort in finding out more about these more 'exotic' vehicles, which naturally seemed more interesting to me.

In addition, the dioramas of the 1/35 WWII vehicles inside the Tamiya catalogue was one of my favorite pages, as they really looked great, and added on to my dream of seriously making a diorama one day...

I must have read this a lot of times as a kid, I remember the cover falling off from wear) (

Then came the year 2000, and Bioware and Black Isle made computer games of Forgotten Realms AD&D games (Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate), which piqued my interest in fantasy, and it was in Secondary School when I first met JQ (1999) and we actually played a game of Icewind Dale over dial-up once) I still remember that game session.

The Icewind Dale game, I must have played this quite a lot...and got pretty familiar with the AD&D 3rd Edition rules.

Well, JQ eventually approached me and asked if I would like to join with him to play warhammer, and gave me a brief description of the races at the gate of his house, ranging from High Elves to Chaos, and asked me which side I would pick. I picked the Empire because I liked humans for some reason, and also for what they stood for: human struggle against foes of supernatural strength...and because JQ already picked Bretonnians :P

So I started out with painting my Empire knights, with a color scheme that had some input from JQ himself, and I guess they turned out pretty all right for a beginner:

My Imperial Knight regiment, dark armor contrast against light barding.

And I guess from there I started out with warhammer the game itself, playing multiple campaigns with friends, painting a few more figures (painting didn't come naturally to me, JQ would always complain haha)...and also branching out into collecting other figures too (McFarlanes, Star Wars action figures, gundam) as I was able to earn more pocket money and spend on toys that I liked (like the old micromachines too).

That pretty much sums up how my interest in modeling started...and I guess the next few posts will really show the stuff we have collected so far. For the photos we have taken so kind of started with JQ doing the blogs and the pictures himself, and then he asked me to come down to help out, with me holding up the sky backgrounds for him. Slowly we improved on or techniques as we took pictures of warhammer and modern military models, and for some time, figured out that it'll be great if we could eventually branch out of the old mold and share about our interests in other areas such as Japan-fan and Sci-Fi.

Once again, thanks for coming down to our blog and for your warm support for all this time. It is our sincere wish that this integration will serve you well, and produce a larger variety of posts as we share our common love for hobbying.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A JQ Introduction

Greetings One and all! Welcome to Toyconstruct.
It is a new blog that I have setup with my fren, Josh, that combines many of the various hobbies that we do.

Topics on it will range from Making Model Kits to Tabletop gaming. Of which it will be categorized into Modern Military, Other Military, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Games, Japan-Fan, Reviews, Painting Tips and Superheros.

As you may have notice by now, this is a hobby blog that doesn't really focus on just one but many aspects of what I would term Geeky Collectibles.

But hey, I Love what I do, and those who have frequent to the blog must have share the same interest as me.

Here's a bit about me before we get down to the FUN STUFF.
Since i was a little kid, I had my fair share of toys and collectibles. Being born in the time before consoles and PC was a predominant force in the youth generation, I was influenced by toys and collectibles that filled my childhood life wif many memories.

It first started with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, followed by Transformers and Gundam.
Of course, due to my destructive nature of clashing these action figures and models, they seem to disintegrate over time.

It was until I was 11 years old that my Dad showed me his hobby in which he took up when he was around the same age as me then. It was collecting military model kits. From World War 2 kits to Vietnam War, he had a huge collection. Although i have never seen any of his models (I do recall seeing a Aircraft Carrier Model, Not sure if i destroyed it or it just got chucked away), he always pasted the picture provided from each model kit on an exercise book.

Furthermore, he had newspaper cuttings of various military equipment that were featured on the papers during his time which dated back to the Vietnam War era.

My Dad's books, almost 40 years old or more.

Newspaper cuttings that he collected during the 1960s

He made a book of the models he made and detailing their characteristics on his exercise book.

His hobby inspired me. On top of that, I'd always had a thing for Military stuff. From the little green men every little boy had, I was interested in it. Eventually, I started my own collection of military stuff. As I got more familiar with Warfare and the art of it and the various equipment used, I finally grew closer to the modern era of warfare and its accessories as it was more of my in-sync to my generation than my dad's yester-years or WW2.

I had a keen affiliation with modern warfare and have continued since then till now. Its been close to 13 years and I'm still in it. It was no easy task though. Looking at model kits from the outside, you only get to see its ready made form which looks so real and enticing. Even as a child, i was so amazed at how well it looked and the attention to detail each ready-made model kit had.

Little did i know i had to "DO IT MYSELF" But i was determine to make something and call it my own. Eventually i did, But at first, things did get spurned out looking like crap and far from the assembled look that the box shows, but I sure did try my best. And as the saying goes, "Practice makes perfect."

One of the first few tanks i made. It was suppose to be motorized but i destroyed the motor and
as u can see, it is barely even painted and had red patches all over cos i tot it would look colourful. My T-90 Tank

Back then as an 11 - 12 year old kid, I didn't really have a good sense of painting.

Among the various services in modern military, I had an increasing fascination for the navy and their modern warships. In my honest opinion, they require the most skill to paint and assemble and are not really durable. They also do not make good PLAYTHINGS. Nonetheless, Fascinated with the navy and all tht it is.

But when i first started, it didn't look really that nice... as you can see from below. I had a particular liking to make things colorful, even when i was 13- 14 years old.

Over the years, i started learning, and it was not until i got to know about Warhammer did i realize about acrylic pain and the wonders of it. Through warhammer, did my painting started to begin to look better.

Initially, it was rather plain...
like this one

Eventually lighting and shading and inking came into play, followed by layering in warhammer figures. These improvements also influenced my military stuff and that's how i have progress today.

Been in it for over a decade, and although i wouldn't say I'm an intense fella with a exponential improvement curve, i take my time and live a balance life.

And when time gets limited, i try my best to make use of what i have to enjoy the painting while doing the painting. Aside from that, i enjoy making conversions or repainting painted stuff to look better. And when i get really sick of it (which at some point u do get that type of feeling), I search for awesome collectibles from modern military to collect.

On top of that, i do collect various Japan-fan stuff and Action Figures that appeal to me. But thats pretty random to me as a whole compared to my long standing warhammer and modern military collection.

Of course, other than all these geeky hobbies, i do have my fair share of other stuff i do. From playing the guitar to gaming, to having a social life. And as such, for those who are interested in the scope of geeky hobbies like tabletop gaming to painting, i thought i could share wif u how u can balance both lives and yet enjoy the experience of what all these hobbies can offer u.

For newcomers to such hobbies, it will be a way to know how to get started, and for master class veterans of the hobbies or standard level hobbyist, it will be a good place to share and build a commity of Cool head geeks.

That's all i gotta say. Next would be my dear fren, Josh, intro. And after that, We shall get the ball rolling on Geek Life!


Till then Cheerios!