Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Tis' The Season to be Jolly!

Toyconstruct would like to wish you an awesome festive and joyous Christmas!

It seems that we have made it thru the 'supposed' Doomsday. Thus, it should be an even more happy occasion to celebrate right? :p

In any case, it has been quite a journey for Toyconstruct and we will be reaching the third years by year end in which this geeky blog has been our platform to showcase our photoes, collectibles and discuss various topics ranging from Model kits, Miniatures, Collectibles and other geeky events. Since then, we have reached 90,000 pageviews and it is good to know that people see and appreciate our stuff.

Christmas ain't Christmas without a Chritmas Tree. (A Model Christmas Tree in this instance)

 For starters, we really like to thank the people who read our blog and put in their inputs on what we do. The many compliments and the small community that talk about our works give us motivation to go on and showcase our stuff. Josh and I are always trying to think of ways to improve the blog and make it even more awesome.

Awesome Architecture Paper Models

On a self reflective note, it has been a good year for me in terms of painting and making models. I must say that I have been very productive in the hobby area of my life. This is partly due to the fact that I have had much more time on hand this year compared to last year. Recapping the works I have done for this year, I would say it was mostly Warhammer stuff compared to Modern Military. As featured, I have painted and assembled 2 Regiments of 40 Dwarf Warriors, A Bretonnian Trebuchet, A Dwarf Thane, 10 Pink Horrors, 6 Screamers and another regiment that I have yet to reveal but will feature it next year. This would be the most I have accomplished in a long long time. Admittedly, I doubt I would be able to build up my two new Armies (Daemon of Chaos and Dwarves) on my own, given how work life will be for me soon. And as such, I would have to use Painting Services for many other figures. Nevertheless, I will still feature them.

 Lots of Dwarves Assembled in 2012.

On the Modern Military front, I was able to use the airbrush for the first time and construct the T-80B Tank and F-22 Raptor. Furthermore, I was able to construct an easy fix model kit that is the JMSDF SH-60 Seahawk. Lastly, I did some paint job and assembly on GHQ Armour which will be shown on the blog next year. (I ain't telling what it is. It's a surprise :p) The rest of the GHQ Naval Miniatures you see were all works done in 201. Hence, not much on Modern Military completions. Other than that, all other modern military stuff were from painted services or collectibles. And I can assure you that there will be more of these stuff featured next year.

Blackhawks and Special Forces.. Always Looking Cool

Dust Tactics Artwork (It's all about the babes)

Aside from the main stuff we featured, we took much joy to see interest from readers in our other collectibles like the Transformers, Marvel and DC Heroes, Sci-Fi stuff like Dust Tactics, Killzone, Gundam and an adequate share of Anime Figures too.

Looking at all of it, Josh and I have truly had a fun-filled experience to share our photography and hobbies with you all. And we shall continue to do so!

On a more personal note, it has been 2 years since we have taken pictures together in the same location. Josh has been in the US for 2 years and I kind of missed those collaborations we had when he was back in SG. It was nostalgic to reminisce with him on the awesome times we got to help each other on various photo shots of our collectibles. However, in spite of the distance, the adventures I have had with him online makes us connected in a vital way.

Aside from our blog posts on Toyconstruct, Gaming has played a crucial role in our great friendship. To be Specific, 260 Hours of Shogun Total War 2, 5 Campaigns over 3 levels of Difficulty resulting in 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 still pending. I need not emphasize the intrigue, politics and conquest that goes with playing this game with Josh.

Currently, I am the head of the Takeda clan and Josh is the head of Hojo. Having converted to Christianity has made things a little more tricky for us in this game. However, it has made the game much more interesting with the new arsenal that is given to us.

 Nanban Trade Ships. Deadly and Overpowering.

There have been so many awesome memories made in this game. From crazy epic last stand battles to discovering something new, this game has provided much pleasure and pain. (The Pain coming from the very buggy campaign we had when I was playing Chosokabe and Joshua was heading the Shimazu clan)

Epic End Battle between the Shogunate and Our clans.

An Encounter with the Black Ship that ended very badly for me

Aside from the adventure that Josh and I have been experiencing in feudal Japan, we have also been on the planet of Pandora as Vault Hunters, kicking up a storm and enjoying the plot line of this game for its witty humor and awesome FPS gameplay.

And after playing for quite awhile, I am beginning to have an attachment to the characters in the game. Weirdly enough, I did not play Borderlands 1 at all. With so many Sci-fi shooters around, it is hard to even get started. Furthermore, I ain't significantly interested in such genres and Borderlands 1 didn't really capture my eyes. It was not until our mutual friend, Wei Ting, gave us Borderland 2 to play that I have had a change of heart on the game.

My Level 12 Assassin, Zero

My Level 30 Siren, Padame and fellow adventurer to Josh's own level 30 Siren.

And boy, what a turn around it has been. I have grown to like the characters in the game and the storyline is refreshingly great. Speaking of turn arounds this year, I have also finalyl become a vivid gamer in Dota 2. It is really ironic that I would be such a person when just 6 years ago, I really hated the game to the core.

The Geek part of me is as big a part as the Hobbyist side of my heart. And as such, with the good recommendation from my friends to experience great stories, I will also be embarking on a space adventure to complete and live the story of Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3.

As for now, I will like to thank you all again for being a part of Toyconstruct and they will be many more awesome posts in 2013 with extra stuff in store for you all.

On behalf of Joshua, We both wish you all, Happy Holidays! To end off, Here is a Nice Pudgy Dwarf Santa Claus by Vertigo Miniatures for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kirov Battlecruiser from GHQ

Good Day to all!

Today, I shall be featuring the Kirov class battlecruiser from my GHQ Naval Collection. For all those modern military naval enthusiast, this ship is famous for being the largest and heaviest surface combatant warship currently in active operation in the world.

The Pyotr Veliky and her fellow Russian warships

Currently, there is only one active Kirov class Battlecruiser. She is called the Pyotr Veliky. Operating in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, the Battlecruiser is a behemoth with a huge payload of weaponry.

Close up of the Kirov Cruiser

The nuclear powered battlecruiser can travel at 30 knots with combined propulsion and 20 knots on nuclear power. Its range is unlimited on nuclear and has a complement of 710 sailors. It holds 20 SS-N-19 Shipwrect Anti-ship missiles, 14 SS-N-14 Silex ASW cruise missiles, 96 SA-N-6 Grumble SAM missiles, 48 SA-N-20 Gargoyle long range SAM, 128 SA-N-9 Gauntlet SAM and 44 SA-N-4 Gecko SAM. And I haven't even start on its payload of Guns, rocket launchers and torpedoes.

Sideview of the Russian Kirov Battlecruiser

To add weight to its massive size, the Kirov Battlecruiser can carry 3 helicopters with a below deck hangar and aviation facilities. It is slated that Pyotr Veliky's sister ship the Admiral Nakhimov shall be ready to return to service after 2012.

While many might not see the massiveness of this ship from the pictures you see here, it canb e attirubted to the GHQ scale of 1/2400 for its modern warship range. However, let me assure you that this ship is really something. Come to think of it, Russia is famous for building huge surface and submarine vessels. (Do not take into account Aircraft Carriers)

One day, I shall feature the 1/700 version of this ship and you can truly see how this huge this monster of a ship is. Till then, the Season for Christmas greetings shall be upon us very soon so get your presents and bask in the festivities.

That is assuming DOOMSDAY isn't upon us tomorrow. 

I wager it won't be. However, if it does happen, I guess it is quite apt to have the Kirov Battlecruiser as Toyconstruct's last post. :3 (Don't let the Doomsday Preppers programme get to you!)

Take care everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pink Horrors of Tzeentch

Good Dawn to all Fellow Warriors of Fantasy!

It is time to feature another Warhammer Post! For the past few posts on Warhammer Fantasy, you would have noticed that I have been expanding my Dwarven army. Next in line to that would be my daemon army and it has been the army I have been working to expand and paint this past few months.

 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch, aka Magicmen marching in the Realm of Chaos

For starters, I shall feature my Pink Horrors of Tzeentch which I like to call them the Magic Men. These creatures of chaos are made out of pure chaotic energy and are form by the will of Tzeentch. They do not have a static material form. As such, they take a discernable body type or would blur into a frantic mass of colours as they move across the battlefield.

Iridescent Horror and the Standard Bearer

While Pink Horrors have very basic stats which include Strength and Toughness 3 with 1 Wound and Attack, it is their collective ability that fascinates me. As a unit, the Pink Horrors become a spellcaster with a certain number of spells and level. As the unit grows larger, the level will increase and the amount of spells it can cast as a collective increases too. Essentially, foe every unit of Pink Horror I have on the table, it gives me an additional wizard which could prove devastating to the opponent.

Pink Horrors on the Move

Painting these guys was not a difficult task. It is all in the layering. Starting out with a 1:1.5 Ratio of Red Gore and Dwarf Flesh and then scaling it to a lighter shade of 0.5:1 Red Gore and Dwarf Flesh and High lighting the areas of skin to 2-2.5 parts of Skull White to 1 part Red Gore to give the pinkish skin effect on the Pink Horrors. While this is a technical guide to what colour are use for the main body, I do not really always mix uniformly to that exact proportion. Nevertheless, I am always learning and trying my best to improve my layering, highlighting and blending skills in painting my miniatures.

Pink Horrors raising their hands in the air!
There have been speculation and rumors that Games Workshop is preparing to release heap loads of army books for Chaos. There have been talks in Warseer Forum on what is being scheduled till February of 2013. Apparently by that month, the new Daemon of Chaos Army book will be out and there will be a few new units to go along with it.

Pink Horror Musician

As for now, the numbers to my Daemon Warband is not enough for any battles.With just 10 of these guys in starting my DoC army, I have a long way to go in boosting their numbers and getting more types of Daemons but in time, I am confident that I can field a decent DoC army and try it out in the Warhammer community.

Bannerman for My Pink Horrors

For those who have their Daemons all ready for war and need to know of any revision that are made, there is an official updated version v1.4 that you can use to aid you in the modifications made to the current DoC list.

Like My Background?

With regards to photoes taken of these Pink Horrors, I decided that I didn't want to use the background consisting of the same usual Clouds or Sunset Sky. Since they are beings from the Realm of Chaos, it would only be appropriate to have some warped sky with weird colours. As such, I decided to use Adobe Photoshop to make my own type of background as it was almost impossible to type "Magical Warp Sky" on Google and get an image I was looking for.

Using Difference Clouds, Lens flare and a few other effects, I finally got the background that I wanted and thus, what you see is what I have made. Let me know your thoughts on it!

Now it is back to more painting and planning for the year end (if there would be one :p) and more geeky and nerdy posts to come! So stay tune!

Calling All Star Wars Fans!

Hail fellow geeks!

Christmas is coming up around the corner as we're approaching 2013, given if the Mayans were just playing a prank on us :P

2012 has been quite a year for Star Wars fans, whether it's mostly up or downs...that's up for debate. It has seen major developments, such as The Phantom Menace being re-released in 3-D, George Lucas pissing fans off with the recent DVD/Blu-Ray collections, and recently, Lucasfilm being bought over by Disney, with the added promise of Ep VII, VIII, and IX coming up.

This is how I feel about Star Wars for the longest time (credit to 'ukitakumuki on deviantART, he does art really really well):

Does the future look bright for the Star Wars franchise? This really depends on what kind of fan we would be asking.

If you're an old-school fan (like me) who grew up with Darth Vader being a total bad-ass and longing for the non-existence of Jar Jar Binks, read on! There are a couple of things coming up that would further add to the grittier/darker Star Wars that has been missing for so long.

Star Wars #1 (Brian Wood)

If you'd like to "pretend like it's 1977 and no other films were ever made or books ever written," this comic series is for you.

Written by Brian Wood, Star Wars #1 is set to be released on January 9th 2013, and it explores the time-frame between Episodes IV and V. Ever wondered what Vader would have faced for his failure at Yavin IV? What would Luke, Han, and Leia be up to in that interim period? Or maybe...why the hell Hoth??? has released a preview of Star Wars #1, and I have to say it looks really promising. Admittedly, it's a really tough job to please Star Wars fans, who each would have a different idea what Star Wars should be like. Judging from the preview, this comic series feels like it closely replicates the Star Wars of 1977, and provides a rather intriguing prospect: what ever happened to Vader?

Star Wars 1313

LucasArts has quite a good history when it comes to Star Wars video games. TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Dark Forces, Jedi Academy, Shadows of the Empire, Republic Commando being the few games that have enjoyed positive critical reception and garnered loyal fans. But there are also total misses such as the Kinect Star Wars that come to mind.

But one thing that has been missing for awhile has been an adult-themed/gritty Star Wars video game.

Revealed in E2 2012, Star Wars 1313 lets you play as a bounty hunter in 1313, the criminal underworld of Coruscant, far removed from the glittery heights of the Imperial City. Not much material has been released at the moment, but the concept itself sounds really cool...and Disney has even specified that they will not interfere with the game's development.

Share Star Wars this Holiday!

Last and not least, isn't it awesome when geeks all around the world come together for a good cause? On Dec 14, Star Wars fans are invited to donate a Star Wars or Science-Fiction toy to a child in need, such as through hospitals, or charitable organizations. Here's the Facebook page for the event!

Share Star Wars started when Katie Goldman (a 1st grader) was bullied in school for her love of Star Wars. The news spread across the internet and soon 501st members around the world made a custom Stormtrooper costume for Katie!

Isn't that AWESOME??? Dec 14 may have already gone when you've read this post, but I implore you to consider donating a toy for a Christmas drive near you! Also, I think I'll make annual posts/reminders about Share Star Wars.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thor (Marvel)

Hi Fellow Readers, It is time for another kickass entry in Toyconstruct.

Today, I shall be featuring Thor from the Marvel Universe. Coincidentally, it is Thursday which got its name from Thor. Thor based on Old Norse is a hammer-wielding god that is associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength and the protection of mankind. I would presume that it is because of the last quality of Thor that inspired him to be a Hero archetype for the Marvel Comics.

Norse Mythology Thor was already a badass.

Like Thor in Marvel, the original Thor was already a badass. His exploits include relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the monstrous serpent Jormmungandr which will result in their foretold mutual deaths during the events of Ragnarok.

Thor looks into the Beyond.

Like the Dwarves from the Fantasy World, Thor was also recorded in the Poetic Edda. On top of that, he was the Son of Odin and Husband to Sif. In the Marvel Universe, Thor debut in the comic "Journey into Mystery #83". In this issue, Odin decided that his son needed to be taught humility and thus, placed him into the body of a partially disabled human medical student called Donald Blake. (Consequently in the Thor Movie, he was named that by Dr. Eric Selvig when Thor was apprehended by Shield.) After he becomes a doctor, Blake aka Thor witness the arrival of Hostile Aliens. Blake fled into a cave after the aliens realized his presence and began to pursue him. Upon discovering the disguised hammer, Mjolnir, he transforms into Thor.


It's HAMMER TIMEEEEE!! (I just love saying this phrase)

In typical hero fashion, Thor defeats the aliens and leads a double life with his alter ego, Donald Blake, treating patients in a private practice with a Nurse, Jane Foster who eventually becomes his love interest.

Oh, Did I mention Thor can fly? However, He has to swing his hammer to fly.

Thor like many of the more famous heroes of Marvel has numerous story arcs. And like Joshua's Psylocke, the entire compendium is chronically sorted in Comic Vine. Aside from going to Earth, Thor battled Surtur the fire demon, The Celestials and had many exploits with the Avengers after that.

Thor seems to have a big serious face on all the time.

The Thunder God Ponders

While Thor has been famous due to his association with the Avengers, I got to discover him from Comic Books and only got more familiar with him during my childhood days when I watched Fantastic Four in which he made a cameo appearance.

Marvel never really had a Superman compare. (We could say Sentry is one) However, I have always long associated Thor as the Superman of Marvel. Largely due to the fact that the dude is strong, can fly and do some lightning ass powers. Back in the days when I knew only a handful of Marvel Superheroes, Thor was considered to be one of those really badass powerful ones. Up there with Silver Surfer, Apocalypse and the Hulk.

Focusing on the Action figure itself, this Thor comes from the Hasbro's Marvel Universe Series. At 3 and 3/4 inches, these action figures follow Hasbro's classic small compact figure size. However, I noticed that the quality for each figure is not really standardized and it took me a long while before I was able to get a good quality Wave 7 Series 2 Thor in his Modern Costume. Many times, the Eyes were painted weirdly and the quality of the painting varies quite a lot. I had to go through various shops to finally find this particular one that looked amazing. I noticed that when it comes to human skin colour and painting of normal human eyes, Hasbro does not really do a great job in this particular line. However if they are using non-flesh colours  (eg. Spiderman, Colossus and Silver Surfer), they look terrific and have great definition.

Aside from that, I have mentioned how they have the Hasbro' Galactus that looks real big and badass in accordance to all these action figures.

On another extra side note, I can't help but realize that when I look at the picture above and do a  close up on Thor's face; He reminds me of the Success Kid Meme.

Yes or No?

Fellow Geeks and Nerds, Have your say. And anyone collects any of these figures? Pray tell.

I shall take my leave now. As usual, there will be more epic blogposts on toys, model kits, miniatures and collectibles soon. So let all your fellow geek and nerd friends know about Toyconstruct!


Friday, November 30, 2012

The T-72M1 (GHQ)

Good day to you all! We have finally come around to GHQ Armour! And for my first presentation, I shall be showing you the T-72M1. These minis are painted by Paintedfigs and the quality isn't as detailed as future GHQ armour that I will feature. However, the standard is still wargaming quality.

To give a brief info of the T-72, it is a Soviet-designed Tank that went into production in the 1970. Developed directly under Obyekt-172, the T-72 has a 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun. It has an operational range of 460km without fuel drums and travels at a speed of 60km/h. Synonymous to typical Soviet Tanks, the T-72 can fire anti-tank guided missiles as well as the usual HEAT and APFSDS rounds.

T-72M1s in the Desert.

As stated by GHQ, the version you see in these pictures are the T-72M1. The T-72M1 is the modernised export version. It has a different armour protection compared to its T-72A brother. With an additional 16mm of armour on the glacis plate, it has an increase of 32mm horizontally against HEAT and AP rounds.

T-72M1 Tank Platoon on the Move

With a crew of 3 and fitted with an autoloader, this bad boy has been around longer than I have been on Earth. From the earliest 1980 Iran-Iraq war to the 2012 Syrian Civil War, the T-72 has always been a main player in armoured warfare involving Third World Countries and Former Warsaw Pact Nations.

The Desert Sand seems rather huge don't it?

At 41 tonnes, the T-72 is very small and light compared to its Western Counterparts. So much so that it could have beeh driven in formation on some roads and bridges in former Warsaw Pact countries. As such, it had more mobility and maneuverability than its Western counterparts MBTs.

T-72M1s in formation as the Sun begin to set.

I must point out that I made a rather foolish mistake in using normal sand as part of my desert landscape diorama. I guess I should have gotten more powdered sand. As you can see, based on the scale of the GHQ Tanks, the sand grain looks like huge boulders.

In any case, I shall be using this sand for another GHQ post before I find a finer version. It has been hard finding new ideas for diorama. I really wish I could make a town or city for my GHQ wargaming stuff but I already have my hands full in just painting this miniatures.

If you have any recommendation on model sand for me, do let me know about it. In any case, I hope you like this post of GHQ Armour. There will be more coming soon. Especially next year! Josh and I would like to thank you all for your continued support in our humble blog.

I do apologize for my lack of activity for quite a while but the posts will be coming in again! As for now, enjoy this pictures and its album on our Facebook page!

Till next time! Cheerios!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kotobukiya Danger Room Sessions: Psylocke

Hail Fellow Geeks!

My apologies on being away from toyconstruct for a longer than expected period of time...I grossly underestimated the stresses of medical school and just got over another hurdle of exams. JQ and I are really thankful for your readership and support, and truly love to be part of this growing community.

As a little "forward" on this post, I can say that I am still in the process of learning how to take photographs. This time, I am trying a new technique with lighting, by reflecting light off white surfaces (like a wall or a piece of white card stock), instead of shining light on the miniature itself. It's a "poor man's studio lights", and I've found it to be a really useful to get more detail that would be obscured by shadows, albeit with some uncertainty due to its crudeness.

Without further ado, let's get down to business!

This time, I will be featuring one of my favorite collectibles of all time: Kotobukiya's sculpt of Psylocke, which is a statue a that is part of their wider X-Men Danger Room Sessions Series. I think they're a few out there now, which includes Rogue, Gambit, Colossus, Wolverine, Sabertooth, and Cyclops (I'm not sure if I have listed all).

A cartoon schematic of The Danger Room.
The Danger Room is the X-Men's main training simulator, designed to provide training for the X-Men to improve on their individual ability and teamwork. Do not let the "training" label fool you. The Danger Room lives up to its name and people have died using it, albeit outside safety parameters, such as intentional tampering and use without supervision. The Beast (aka Dr Hank McCoy) maintains the Danger Room, which happens to be built on alien holographic technology (Shi'ar to be exact), and is subject to frequent updates for the X-Men to be familiarized with their foes.

A really hefty box for a rather large statue.
The entire statue in its LED-lighted glory.
Psylocke is probably one of the sexiest mutants alive. Period. I got this piece off a good price (due to a distressed box) and Psylocke came in a really hefty box. Out of the box, one can quickly see the effort and imagination put into this beauty. The sculpt features Psylocke gracefully on top of a de-digitizing hand of a hapless Sentinel, with a katana and psychic knife at the ready, and a ice-cool expression to boot. Plus, the base includes a couple of LED lights that give the sculpt additional coolness (AAA batteries were included too). Massive kudos go off to Erick Sosa for Psylocke's sculpt, and Avinash Hedge for 3-D design of the mechanical base.

A close-up on the mysterious and beautiful Psylocke.
Originally born as Elizebeth Braddock, Psylocke has quite a complicated history as a mutant. Psylocke is the twin sister of Captain Britain and started out as a member of S.T.R.I.K.E (aka Britain's SHIELD), and has been occasionally involved with the X-Men too. Psylocke is known to have experienced inter-dimensional travel throughout her career (way too much to list in this post), which has been a huge impact on her life.

Psylocke is famous for her telekinetic abilities, particularly for her psychic knife, which is seen here on this statue. Her psychic knife does not give physical damage, but overloads pain receptors and results in the incapacitation of her enemies. Also, Psylocke's psychic knife can pierce another's mind, which allows her to read the other's thoughts and even become connected with them.
Waves = additional coolness!
Against the backdrop of the severed Sentinel hand.
Psylocke also possesses impressive martial arts skills, which was the result of transferring her mind into the body of a ninja (Revanche). One really cool touch of this statue is the detail of the blade, it's not just some cheap plastic accessory, but has "waves" cut into them to simulate an actual katana. Psylocke is also known to be able to summon a psychic katana, which is a more powerful version of her psychic knife.

The base itself is a work of art. It's a Sentinel's hand that is in the middle of de-digitizing (or to borrow from Borderlands, de-digistructing). I think it's quite amazing that Kotobukiya could pull off a half-digital hand that also has scratches and battle damage at the same time. The LED lights at the bottom of the base are a nice touch, but are not enough to illuminate the entire statue.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the photos of this beautiful sculpt (at least in my own eyes), and I thank you once again for coming down to this humble blog. If you're interested, you could read Comicvine's really extensive overview about Psylocke, which kind of shows her widespread involvement in a great number of story arcs. As always, I am still in the process of learning and who said learning could never be fun? :)