Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blaming Video Games...yet again

Hey Everyone

Thanks go out to JQ for updating us with his warhammer exploits, and I have to say that his men-at-arms indeed look great. JQ's having a really "educational" time in the league at the moment, as he regaled to me tales of brave charges and stoic foes. As always, I do not want to be a spoiler and I can at least assure all of you that his reports will be a good read.

Recently, you all must have heard about the terrorist bombing in Moscow. We at toyconstruct express condolences to the tragic loss of innocent lives, and we are indeed living under the spectre of terrorism. When I first read about it, it immediately reminded me of Modern Warfare 2, which has a stage that sees you killing innocent civilians in a fictional Russian airport.

A bloody scene from the Domodedovo airport.

Unfortunately, the state media (admittedly quite distressed and distraught) cited the game as the "inspiration" for the terrorist act. I've played through that stage, and it is unfortunate that the actual event has a casual relation to that "No Russian" stage. And more commentators have added that video gaming is a "training device" for terrorists. To me, that sounds more like a reaction out of fear than being constructive. Plus, anything can be used to train terrorists....even recruitment in the army/police.

"No Russian" Stage in Modern Warfare 2.

MW2's stage is a totally different style of attack (more akin to Calcutta) where they fired upon crowds of innocent civilians. Moreover, the terrorists were Russian ultra-nationalists who masqueraded as Americans...the only thing MW2 shares with the actual terrorist event is the location in Russia.

From what I know, perhaps the source of dissent would be a more appropriate area to look in to. For one, Chechnya has been a longtime thorn in Russia's side, and their fight for independence has been a protracted and bloody battle against government control. It is more helpful to look into that than blaming video games...

I do apologize if this post is a "soapbox", as I am convinced that video games make easy scapegoats for tragedies and blaming them deflects energy and focus away from the important issues at hand. I am not an expert on the situation in the North Caucasus, and I am very doubtful that the Federal government is handling it well at all. Most importantly, this could be Russia's 9/11 event and will indeed have a massive impact on their national consciousness, where the Chechen conflict and dissent is brought right out in front for all to see.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Men-at-arms and lowly Peasants!

Good Day to all!

I am back with more Warhammer! And it will be pretty much be a few long days of Warhammer in Toyconstruct.

As of now, I am in a Warhammer League in which I am pitting my army against ppl of the Singaporean Warhammer Community. This would be my first time not battling against my usual friends and at the same time practicing my skills and knowledge in the art of war using the new Warhammer 8th edition rules.

I will give you updates and pictures of the competition and more. Other than that, WISH ME LUCK!

Onto the pictures for this entry!
I believe that for those who have followed my Warhammer blog ( before Toyconstruct would know that I have a few really old edition Men-at-arms from Bretonnia. Back then, they came in blister pack and cost a fortune to buy a sizeable amount of Men and field them. Yet they have crap stats and the recent army book has only made things worse by giving my Men-at-arm a measly Weapon skill 2.

Well, I haven't really got around to paiting and basing it totally but at the start of last year or earlier, i decided to finish it up and touch it up with washes and make it look better than their plan colours.

While I must say I didn't really do intensive re-painting, I made improvements and did the essential basing needed. So here they are, back again in their most refined pictures so far. You might take notice of the leader Men-at-arm that I have used in other pictures long ago.

It is also interesting to note that many of these Men-at-arms have clean slate faces and look less grittier than the current ones I have made. (I think I have mentioned this before.)

But after half a year or so since I had last feature them in progress, I present to you my completed new edition Men-at-arms of Bretonnia, complete with extra trinkets.

I pretty damn happy with the painting that I had done with this guys. While they still have areas that are clean slate, I have applied more drybrushing and more fine detailing compared to the previous Men-at-arms. But perhaps, you guys can make a more diversified comparison of the two. However, this guys were done before I did my Ironbreakers. Therefore, you can see it isn't as gritty or layered as much compared to my recent works.

However, I must also point out that because the new Men-at-arms are sculpted in more details which has also enabled me to make use of the extra details to paint better and make it look better than the old models.

Stay tune for more pics of my Men-at-arms in the next entry.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fantasy Tabletop Wargaming Update

Greetings to all yet again!

Bet you guys weren't expecting such a huge load of entries per week now yeah?

In any case, I shall give you the updates on our tryout of the Warhammer 8th Edition.

In the first game, It was a battle between brethren. High Elves (Wei Ting) against Dark Elves (Joshua) and it was a match-up I have been looking forward to for a year since knowing that Joshua was starting up Dark Elves.

After facing Wei Ting's new edition High Elves with my Bretonnians, I knew that Wei Ting would be a tough customer to the first time Dark Elf General Joshua. Furthermore, with many buff ups for the High Elf army, all Wei Ting needed were consistent rolls. Of which, he was able to deal a swift death blow to my Bretonnian army.

I was anticipating Wei Ting to be doing the same to Joshua.

However, Joshua had the element of surprise as we were both unfamiliar with Dark Elf tactics and the general abilities that the Dark Elf army could inflict on the High Elves.

So the first few turns started out slow, Wei Ting was buffing up his units and edging slowly to meet Joshua's Dark Elves. Within those turns, Joshua had the unfortunate circumstance of casting a miscast which rendered his Mage useless as it got reduce to a level 0 Mage.

Things got a little trickier halfway into the game as Joshua continued firing volleys upon volleys of Bolts against Wei Ting army. The firepower of the Dark Elves were superior to that of the High Elf but it wasn't long before swords clashed. However, during the process where charges were made and close combat ensuing, Joshua made a mistake of opting his fast Calvary to flee through his own units to lure Wei Ting's Spearmen into his bigger unit of Dark Elf Spearmen. The plan sorta failed as he failed his leadership test for panic and caused both units to almost flee off the table. However, he manage to recompose himself and rally his fleeing units before Wei Ting could overrun them.

Eventually, Joshua set loose his War Hydra which pretty much ravage much of Wei Ting's core units to call it a victory. However in the midst of this entire game, we forgot a few rules that were vital to Joshua winning. The rule where single models do not have 360 degree view and have a specific charging arc meant that the War Hydra could not have rear Wei Ting's unit of Elven Spearmen after overrunning another unit and having its back faced the Wei Ting's Unit of Spearmen. We also carelessly forgot that in terms of shooting, only head torso and arms are counted as being visible in terms of line of sight and that ornaments and weapons doesn't count as being part of the line of sight too. Therefore, Joshua's shooting wouldn't have been as deadly as it was. Especially firing through the hill. While vital, it was widely agreed that Joshua seized the day of Battle with a huge effort giving to the RBTs and the War Hydras.

The next game pitted my Chaos Army against Joshua's Dark Elves. Having a history of doing quite crappily with my Chaos army especially against Joshua's Empire, I was pretty wary and scared facing off with his Dark Elves. This was especially so since i witness the decimation of Wei Ting's High Elf Army.

I chose to field Khorne and while it is pretty much the worst army to face a Dark elf, I was banking on Combat and also hoping my Magic resistance would prove a hindrance to Joshua.

The beginning of the game, Joshua's shooting was picking off my Chaos Warriors and Knights quite easily. Much to my dismay, My Chaos Knights whom were really expensive, were felled easily by Dark Elf firepower and magic.

I Trudge on.. preparing my Horde of Warrior to face Elven steal and bask in the bloody mess that would ensue in Close combat.

Eventually, Steel tips and Great Axes fell upon each other and because my Chaos Warriors were equipped to have as many chances of attacks. It took a huge toll of casualties on Joshua's Dark Elf army. All this while, I have been losing my numbers to shooting and evil magic eating away through the armor of my warriors (Plague of Rust). But once I lay my sword on his army's flesh, I even the total casualties inflicted on both sides.

While the situation got into a real tie breaker in which Joshua could continue to chop me down with his range units and use his close combat units to wear me down. I stood a chance of removing his Repeater Bolt Throwers (RBTs) and finishing up the battlegrounds with the brunt of my vanguard.

However, we had to call the game forfeit as we realized that i had fouled up the rule on supporting rank attack (Supporting rank only attack once regardless of how many attack you have), I was using the actual attack stat of my supporting rank rather than just one sole attack which pretty much skewed my number of hits and wounds. Fearing that we had not much time left in the day, we concluded the battle as forfeited. However, admittedly I must say, I would have been in the losing plight of things at tht point of time as it would have meant I would have inflicted less casualties and Joshua could have lured my massive horde of Chaos Warriors around while he shoots me to death. He still had plenty of units to charge and flank me.

And while my two large units of Chaos Warriors were still in healthy condition, I had fail to break his hold of shooting on me.

Clearly though, Time was not on our side as Joshua had a busy schedule in Singapore before he returns back to the US.

But in conclusion, The Dark Elf army was a refreshing new opponent and Joshua really showed martial prowess in tackling both High Elf and Chaos Army.

As for now, I have to do a fast track learning session on the new rules and get ready for the Warhammer League. My Bretonnian Army will be facing High Elves and Lizardmen in the next few days. Hopefully, My knights won't disappoint me.

Till then. Keep on gaming :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kuchiki Byakuya

Kuchiki Byakuya. The no. 6 Captain of the Shinigami or Death Gods.

I must say, He is by far, one of my most favourite characters in Bleach. And While the series tends to stretch on in a very dreary-like manner, I still can reminisce on the old days when he whoop the crap out of the main character, Ichigo.

Known for his exceptional mastery in his swordmanship and his flawless knowledge of the mystique arts of Kidou. Byakuya would be pretty much the A star kid in the school that excels in every goddamn subject.

On top of that, he is known to be one of the few exceptionally fast Shinigamis in terms of Flash Step (Shunpo).

He is also very in tuned with his sword that he has so many levels of swordpower that would put other Captains to shame.

(An example would be, most Captain's on average will have a primary level of Sword power called "Shikai" and One form of Secondary Power which is their most powerful form a.k.a "Bankai". Byakuya has one shikai and so far according to my count, 3 levels of Bankai)

With such vast knowledge, skill, prowess and power, it is dissapointing to see that young upstart of a character called Ichigo, beat Byakuya...

Then again, that was how the story had to play out anyway and how Ichigo's characteristic is base on.

I will start to catch up with what I have missed out from Bleach and give my review of the show soon.

Till then, Enjoy more of our posts coming soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BF2 Take Two

Hey Everyone

Any fans of the Battlefield series out there? Recently, EA announced a rather interesting offering in the crowded realm of online gaming: Battlefield Play4Free. A trailer was released recently (or last year to be more precise), and if you've played BF 2 - you'll immediately see that it's almost similar to BF 2, but now it features Americans vs. Russians. It differs from Battlefield Heroes, EA's earlier free-2-play multiplayer entry, with the use of more realistic (yet basic) graphics and modern military setting.

The closed beta is going on now and you can sign up at It seems to be easy to get a beta key as I just got one by submitting my email address. So if you're into some free modern military multiplayer, report quickly for duty soldier!

IGN did a preview of the game earlier and it seems that there is one good incentive for players to pick up Battlefieldplay4free: unlock content in BF 3. It features a tweaked engine from BF2 and classes/upgrade structure from BF:BC2, so it could represent an early taste of BF 3. Plus, beta keys for BF 3 are being released along with copies of MoH, which seems to be a really neat perk.

Just a minor military geek note, the trailer contained the Mil-28 helicopter towards the end and it is a helicopter with a mixed military history...

The Mil-28 Havoc helicopter seen in the trailer.

It is interesting to find out that Russia is deploying the Mil-28 "Havoc" helicopter in the end, as the Russian Army originally picked the Ka-50 "Hokum" as its new helicopter...only to change their minds in 2003 and select the Mil-28N version (after continued Mil development) that was cheaper and more versatile, which was better suited Russia's post-Cold War military situation that did not call for the need of a dedicated tank hunter (the Ka-50). This was probably due to experiences in Chechnya and other foreign wars (US Apaches in Iraq, Afghanistan?), where helicopters faced a wider variety of foes such as SAMs and infantry. Meanwhile, the Ka-50 remains the special forces's choice of helicopter and is also currently in service. Interestingly, the Mil-28 actually has a small 3-person compartment to rescue downed pilots and I am not sure it that's implemented in the game...

2011: Golden Year of Gaming

Seeing the maturity of the gaming industry of today, it makes me feel kinda old - having played games that were the spiritual successors of today's hits. Counterstrike, Icewind Dale/Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1&2, Battlefield 1942...and there are games even older than that, such as Super Nintendo/Sega Saturn classics and even the really ancient games such as Pong, Tron and Pac-Man.

Gaming has indeed come a long way and I am convinced that 2011 will be a "golden year" for gaming. It looks to be really really crowded with a lot of potential hits such as Little Big Planet 2 (already released to acclaim), Killzone 3, Dead Space 2, Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Armageddon, Rage, Arkham City, Diablo III, Mass Effect 3 etc....and the list goes on as I might even have missed out some games you guys were looking forward to! Man, same as JQ, I am not endowed with masses of money and I am already having a backlog of games that I would like to play...and this year looks to build on that backlog of games I already have.

Sometimes I wonder if 2012 will be derelict of great gaming titles after the industry has poured out so much in 2011. I hope that won't be the case and it's great to see games and gaming technology mature over the years. At least for me, gaming is innately attractive to me as it is an industry run by creativity and innovation, where programmers and artists combine together to produce games that continue to not only amaze and entertain us...but also reach deeper into us, especially for games with ethical dilemmas and moral stories.

Well, to all the gamers among us, may you have a memorable 2011 and continue to game on!

PS: We have already played WFB with my Dark Elves against WT's High Elves using 8th Ed rules, and I will not be a spoiler and spill out the results. JQ will be doing up a battle report and I have to say it does take sometime to get used to the new rules of WFB.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ironbreakers don't break my heart

Not all things that come from the underground are bad..
Dwarves are such a race that pride themselves in building and engineering their great forts and mines under the earth.

Among the great dwarves, Ironbreakers are one of the most highly regarded warriors of the dwarven world.

In following up from my previous post, I present to you my completed Dwarven Ironbreaker regiment.

This time around, I decided to adopt a different way in painting these figures. Instead of the usual clean slate style that involves primary coat followed by layering and washing, I decided to do more drybrushing and make the dwarves look more grittier than my other paintjobs. Furthermore, while I did not forsake in details, I did more layering and less tidy type of paint style to give more depth to the dwarves.

Decided to use some small stone slab that i got from some quarry area in my days overseas in Sunway, Malaysia to serve as my base. Did a rough paintjob of painting green on the top of the slab of stone and a mixed of snake leather, scorch brown and grey to make the base part look like earth and stone.

While Ironbreaker doesn't have the vibrant range of colours like the Bretonnians, it was important that I use various shades of metal and grey paint to ensure a more distinct look on the armor itself. With my black primer as base, I work in progress from dark shade to lighter. Started with chainmail mix with 1/4 chaos black.. work my way up another layer and ended with highlights of boltgun metal followed by Fortress grey and white.

The Brownish gold areas were a combination of scorched brown mixed with snakebite leather and then I highlighted it with a culmination of snakebite leather mix with a tinge of white and the final lighted highlight was a bit of bleach bone.

I ended off with putting weights on the base and doing various touch-ups. It is my first time changing my painting style and I must say I am pretty proud with the total look of it. I will continue to further improve on it but I am glad that at least along the years of painting and assembling stuff, I have improved bit by bit.

Anyway, that's it for me today. In about 3 days, the Warhammer League will start, and I will probably have to get on registering for it. Other than that, I will give a rundown of the faceoff battles between Wei Ting and Joshua and many other Warhammer Battles soon. So stay Tune!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Warhammer is back!

Hope you guys enjoyed the weeks of events and other hobby stuff, but it is time for me to get back to the biggest damn tabletop wargaming experience called WARHAMMER.

Not too long ago, I was reviewing some of my wonderful grail knights that I have took much pain to paint and build up for the obvious reason that the grail knights are one of the most awesome deadly units in Bretonnia and that I really like them a lot.

However, I discovered to my horror that one of the knights was missing a shield. It was quite infuriating. (Don't you just hate it when you discover something or some piece from a miniature or model kit that goes missing because that piece drops without your knowledge due to the adhesive wearing out or when it MAGICALLY disappears or when you accidentally break it.)

In this case, it was the former, in which I couldn't locate the lost piece. So in order to rectify the situation, I went to ebay to find for Grail Knight Shield bits. Unfortunately, they don't have any and the best I could find are the normal Knight of the Realms shield bits. While they are the same in size, they lack the engraving that juts out of the Grail Knight Shield.

Therefore, I had to do a bit of conversion or add-on of the engravings to the shield.
With some green putty and a lil bit of mediocre workmanship, I was able to come up with a new shield for my Grail Knight.

TADDDAAA and enjoy!

I decided to choose the simple design of the Chalice as I am not a great sculptor of Green Putty. Did take me quite a while but I was able to finish it up and paint it in nice simple colours as shown here. Furthermore, I did add a simple fleur de lys design on the top right hand corner to add a little more dynamics into the shield.

Voila! My Grail Knight is back in order and will be ready for battle again as I prepare to get myself orientated with the new rules of Warhammer 8th ed. Of which, I shall be pitting myself against Wei Ting and Joshua and also join a Warhammer League in Paradigm Infinitum, a local tabletop gaming centre.

On top of that, here is a sneak peek of another miniature I have completed along the many months.

After playing a short stint of Warhammer online with my buddies, I was inspired to get miniatures that were representatives of the character I played in the Online game. My character as many have known from my previous post a while back was the Ironbreaker called "Handsomekia".

So as such, I wanted to get them out as fast as possible and paint them in their max level full glory and armor. While I was inspired to get these Ironbreakers due to Warhammer Online, I already had a particular liking of these guys at one point of time when I had a taste for Dwarven might.

Ironbreakers are pretty much the quintessential representation of the characteristic of a dwarf. Their stubborn, stoics and unbreakable against any tide or wave of attack.

Like Boulders of stones, they are immovable. And like in the game, they are tanks, able to take huge damage and wear down the attackers so that the hammer of the army can disintegrate the enemy attackers.

Haven't personally faced Dwarves before, but I do know for sure that I ain't going to let my knights charged this guys first.

Stay tune for more entries... CHEERIOS!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention

It would be pretty dreary to tell you that things have been pretty crazy for the peeps working on this blog but life has been pretty hectic for me and Josh in such a way that I can barely even breathe a sec.

Regardless of that fact, I would like to apologize for not giving more posts per week than I would like to.

Today I shall be reviewing the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) 2010.

After going through quite a nerdy extravaganza overseas, I decided to continue on another aspect of something that Toyconstruct should also get involved. And that would be this Convention.

The SGTCC is basically a convention in which the world of comics, games and collectibles band together into one place to showcase stuff for the fans. While the major players such as Marvel, Lucasfilms and Lucasart were there. There were a fair share of Asian influence in the convention such as Anime and Cosplay activities followed by an appearance from the AKB48 girls (wasn't able to go for that one as It was on the second day of SGTCC and I was unable to attend that day.)

A Gundam Outfit prepared by a few guys for the Cosplay competition in STGCC. Evidently, Anime and Cosplay has become a significant part of Comic Conventions such as the one in STGCC and even in Comiccon itself.

Ironman and Predator Dress up

Apart from the big names of these conventions, people in their costumes were also an attraction that added more sparkle to the already awesome local event. On a personal note, the most greatest part of the convention that I really enjoyed would have to be the smaller companies and artists that showcase their talents and presented some awesome artworks, illustrations and even sculptures.

I am happy to see a sizeable amount of local talent drawing really awesome character artwork for DC and other major companies. One such group of artists are from this company called Imaginary friends which had a few local talents that produce really awesome portrait and cover art pictures of DC and Star War heroes. So wicked were the artworks that I had to get my hands on a few even though I am not one of those hardcore comic fans.

One of the artists from Imaginary friends doing an awesome digital art piece of the Spacemarines in Warhammer 40k

Here we have some sculptors doing some great "action pose" sculpts of our favorite heroes from Marvel and others. (Really does put me to shame, or at the very least show how much talent these guys have.. compared to my miserable model kit assembling and painting of miniatures). It isn't even about conversion of miniatures or military models anymore, these guys take it to another whole level of visualizing and sculpting something from their head and make it look so awesome.

There were a few awesome Star Wars displays and Outfit Shops that sell pre-fabricated costumes for die-hard enthusiast to don their favourite action hero outfit and be the envy of every other fan out there.

Last but not least, the action figures, collector toys and items were displayed all over the convention. From cutesy cartoonish toys to anime figures to Action figures of all forms and sizes, the major action figure retailers were in full force to display many of their products.

I for one like the real life action figures like the military solider in the picture above and the Bruce Lee one below.

While this convention wasn't as big or as great in grandeur as Comiccon in the US, it held is own.. and STGCC had many panels from various renowned Comic Book artist and other peeps associated to animation.

It was a great outing even though I kinda flew solo on this convention. However, it did open me to a world of comic like I have never known myself. I thought I was an avid Marvel fan when I was just a Primary School kid (collecting Comics, action figures and everything in between), but I guess I have much to learn or realize that hardcore is knowing who drew the art-piece or comic book issue and what version of Iron Man or Spider-man did you particularly enjoy in terms of the illustration and story.

I have been pretty out of touch in terms of the Marvel Universe right after the Civil War issue. And even before that, I hardly kept up with things. But I guess Marvel has still been able to "MARVEL" me with their movies and bring back old "nostalgia" in my heart.

But don't feel at lost DC Comics, I have many particularly great attachment to many of the heroes in DC Universe too.

Other than that, I think i should stop blabbering to myself and let you enjoy the pictures of the Convention on Our Facebook page.

Under the link:

Will be posting more real soon! Cheers

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Targa Japan's 1/48 Maniac Collection Sdkfz 181 Tiger I (2006)

Hey Everybody!

Here's wishing all of you a Happy 2011 and may the new year bring many good tidings to you all. JQ and I are back in Singapore and we plan to get some WFB gaming + maybe get some photoshooting underway...but it will need to wait about a week as I will be away in HK :( Man, 2010 has just flown by and we're crossing into a new decade...the year 2000 does seem to be quite a long time ago. Looking back, this blog has come together quite well, and JQ and I are really happy to dwell in this community we share on the internet! It will be interesting (as always) to find out what this year has installed for all of us...

As I've shared before, I have a soft spot for German WWII tanks and this is about a pretty awesome Japanese model I picked up last year.

Willkomen zu die Welt von Panzer!!!
(Welcome to the World of Armor!!!) - it's on the box that came with the model

Like Apple, the Germans have a penchant for labeling their famous creations (specifically tanks) after big cats eg. Panther, Leopard, King Tiger...and the Tiger I tank stands as a fearsome icon of the Second World War. Armed with a deadly Kwk 43 L/71 88mm cannon, the Tiger I outranged most of its opponents and reportedly struck fear in Allied tank crews.

The fearsome and iconic Tiger I tank (Achtung Panzer).

The Tiger I tank reported an overall kill ratio of roughly 5.74:1, with some elite units even having ratios like 16:1 and 13:1! Some Tiger Is had undergone heavy repair to return to the front, contributing somewhat to the positive kill ratio. Unfortunately, Tiger Is were notoriously expensive to produce and here's an estimation to illustrate it: 1 Tiger I tank was equivalent to 4 StuG III AFVs (tank destroyers w/o turrets, which proved to be better adapted for the Wehrmacht's defensive strategy)

The StuG III AFV, dedicated fixed turret tank destroyer, also claimed the largest amount of kills for German armor throughout WWII. (Achtung Panzer)

The Tiger Is operated in independent tank battalions, and were intended to be used as breakthrough tanks that drove into enemy lines...except that the tactical situation changed at the time of their introduction. The Wehrmacht was on the defensive, and Tigers were instead deployed in defensive positions...which didn't suit them well as the multiple movements incurred significant mechanical strain upon their engines and suspension systems. Nonetheless, the combination of heavy (near impenetrable) armor and a powerful cannon made it a very deadly tank in WWII.

Allow me to introduce to you Targa Japan's Maniac Collection 1/48 Tiger I tank, comes fully painted and has multiple cross sections that allow you to look into the interior and crew of the tank! The model comes in 7 boxes, which combine together to give the complete model. Construction quality seems to be pretty good as it holds together quite well without the need for cement.

Cross-sections galore, you can actually choose which sections you'd want to show or even close the whole tank up.

Picked this guy up from a local retailer (Hobby Focus at Far East Plaza, Singapore) and it was selling for about 70SGD = 54 USD...slightly higher than prices reported elsewhere, but it's expected since it was imported and a pretty hard model to come by too.

"Maniac Collection" seems to be a fitting label, as the model has great attention to detail, and came with copious amounts of information of the Tiger I tank, unfortunately in Japanese. The Japanese seem to have a large interest in making historical kits that are probably aimed at children, judging from the easy construction and the cartoons in the info sheets.

Top-down view of the tank, I noticed the radio operator (top, left) is out of position after I had uploaded the pic...

Evidence of the attention of detail Targa applied onto the tank...the cannon rounds you see were accurately color coded according to German ammo doctrine, with the yellow rounds = Sprenggranaten (High Explosive) and black rounds = Panzergranate 39 (Armor Piercing). Just a minor sidenote, the Tiger I's gun was so powerful that the rounds flew almost straight, giving gunners a wider range of error when hitting enemy tanks. Another a minor point: knowing how hot tank interiors can be (especially under the African Sun) the crew probably worked half-naked...

The tank driver...vrooom!
The radio operator, who also manned the hull's machine gun.

Not sure if it's just me, but I sense that Japanese model kit makers (or maybe most model kit makers) have a pretty healthy focus on German WWII tanks, as I have seen much more German models than their Allied counterparts. This may also be a result of the Germans's unhealthy inclination for over-engineering, as they produced a large variety of tanks that severely limited tank production and maintenance.

If you're interested, you can find a really detailed history of the Tiger I tank The Armor Site.

In all, I am really happy to have purchased this guy off the shelf and again amazes me how much effort the Japanese put into the models they produce (or almost for anything they do in life, such as cleaning/tidying, studying, working, anime).

Once again, here's wishing all of you a very Happy New Year and thanks for coming down to be a part of this community! May this year bring us much joy and modeling/collecting happiness.