Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Ill-fated Bretonnian Trebuchet.

Good day to all, it is Warhammer Time!

Today, I am featuring my Bretonnian Trebuchet. The Trebuchet is the one and only War Machine in the Bretonnian Arsenal. Reacquired in the 6th edition of Warhammer, the Trebuchet is a stationary stone thrower that hurls boulders and various forms of weights at its enemies.

The Masonry Craftsman commandeering his Trebuchet crew

One of the Trebuchet crewman and a kid

With this War Machine, the Bretonnians have more option to deal with their enemies. The Stone thrower damage is a strength 5(10) hit and deals D6 wounds per model. While Knights do view War Machines with great disdain, they admit to its ability to cause destruction from a great distance away. Hence, they get siege engineers and peasants to man these behemoths of stone throwing.

A Knight totem inside the Trebuchet

The Commander and his Shaggydog.

When I found out that Bretonnians were getting a new unit that is the Trebuchet, I was really ecstatic. Now at the very least, I get to shoot from afar and deal great damage instead of having to be forced to charged head on against an enemy's war machine that would mow my poor knights down before I could get a chance to engage it. Furthermore, The Trebuchet provided more options for the already limited dynamics of the Bretonnian Army.

The Kid, A mascot to the Trebuchet crew, sitting on a wheelbarrow.

A Crew working on breaking down a Pillar to act as a projectile for the Trebuchet.

I do love dry brushing shades of grey to make this pillar. (No pun intended to the recent horrid novel)

Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck with my Trebuchet. After taking much time and sweat to paint and build it up (It is also my first War Machine that I have painted and constructed), I decided to field it in my army and let it prove its worth on the battlefield. However, my Trebuchet's bark is louder than its bite. Somehow, it never ever survives beyond the Second turn of battle and this isn't because it was taken out by the enemy but mainly because it misfires and self-destructs.

My Trebuchet looks great but fires like a bumbling idiot

Behold, a Sight to see

It has been a real dreadful time to see my Trebuchet disassemble from a misfire. So frequent are the misfires that my friends that battle with me do not even bother taking out the war machine as they know somehow or another, it would malfunction and be totally irrelevant by turn 2.

Well my Bretonnian Army has been on a long hiatus (as with all my other warhammer armies). Therefore, I do hope that the curse of misfiring would have lifted when I do field them again. *Fingers Crossed*

In any case, you can view more pics of my Trebuchet in The Trebuchet Album on our Toyconstruct Facebook Page.

Newsflash! I have a functioning Dwarf Army that is ready to rock and roll. Been busy painting up both Warhammer and Modern Military stuff, but it won't be long before I take up my sword and do some Warhammer battles with my various armies soon.

Let me know on your opinions of the Bretonnian Trebuchet and have anyone had any experience with it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Killzone Sniper Cloaking Figure

Hey Everyone

Today I will be featuring my last and final Killzone action figure: the Helghast Cloaking Sniper by DC Unlimited. If you have the time, please visit our facebook page to view complete photo albums of the stuff we feature here.

The cloaking sniper figures are only available by buying the collector's edition of Killzone 3, but I got mine on eBay from someone who bought a collector's edition of the game. If you haven't played Killzone 3 and have a PS3, now's a great time to get the collector's edition as they are selling for about $50 on Amazon, and there's a ton of extras you'll get.

Whole body view from the front, showing the sniper in the midst of cloaking.
The rear sniper cloak itself is almost fully cloaked (grey speckles on the left).
The Helghast snipers have the ability to cloak, which makes them quite formidable enemies to encounter. However, game mechanics dictate that their laser sights can be seen and reveal where the snipers are...but you've got to run to cover and get them in your sights fast. That's one thing I love about playing Killzone, the enemies are highly varied and you'll need to use different tactics to survive the single-player campaign.

His entire face isn't cloaked though.
 To simulate a cloaking effect, DC Unlimited has partially painted the figure, and used clear plastic for the "cloaked" parts of the figure. Also, the sniper rifle itself is totally clear plastic and it makes me wonder how you can get a rifle to cloak itself. The cloaking effect is pulled off quite well, and it makes the figure really special...since it's something you don't see in action figures everyday.

Aiming down the sight with his trusty VC32 bolt action sniper rifle
Fully cloaked and ready to kill.
As usual, DC Unlimited's figures can only have limited poses, and the mould for this figure is the same as the normal sniper action figure. Sculpting-wise, it's pretty solid for a $15-20 figure and I am interested in how designers can use a 3-D model to produce a mould for an action figure. Also, it would be nice to have another pose for this sniper, but they probably used the same mould to reduce the production costs (cheapskates!).

As much as I try, you can't get the figure to look directly through the scope due to limited posing.
Cloak and dagger.
 The cloaking sniper is my favorite figure of the 3 Killzone action figures available now. It doesn't suffer from a poor paint job (like the grenadier version), and it has a more unique appearance than its sniper counterpart.  Having all 3 of the Helghast figures, I was kinda inspired to do a "Charlie Angels" pose for the 3 figures, which turned out all right...I'm still in the learning process of taking photos of action figures.

"Visari's Angels"
 Also, Killzone has inspired a rather well-produced short film titled "Killzone Extraction". Directed by Clinton Jones, it's about a team of the ISA (aka good guys) trying to get out of enemy territory. Produced on a budget of $2500, the film is well-paced and smartly uses music/SFX from the game itself. Sometimes seeing fan art makes me want to quit regular life and jump into creating art of all forms (videos, paintings, cosplay etc.). It's a wonder at how much artistic talent is out there in the world, and common passions are shared across the world.

Man I love being a geek.

PS: Clinton Cooper also has short films on other video games, and his Sleeping Dogs video is worth watching too. It features slick camera work around admirable kung-fu stunt work, and pays homage to Square Enix's hit.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sovremenny class Destroyer

And finally it is back to featuring Modern Military Collectibles!

This week I shall be featuring yet another completed GHQ naval miniature, The Russian Destroyer, Sovremmeny.

The Sovremenny, The Russian Mainstay Naval Vessel

Sovremenny Class Destroyer sailing alongside the Russian Kirov Class Battle Cruiser

The Sovremenny Class Destroyer or Project 956 was commissioned in 1980. It is the principal anti-ship naval vessel of the Russian Navy. Along with the Udaloy class Destroyer, the Sovremenny class is capable of also performing anti-submarine and anti-air roles.

Armed with 2 Quad launchers containing Moskit SSM 3M80E anti-ship missiles and having the ability to travel 32.7knots, the Sovremenny serves its purpose with deadly effect even till today. While it is quite an old vessel with 12 of its kind being retired, the Russian still maintains 5 of these vessels. (The Chinese have 4.)

While the Russians are proposing Project 21956 which is aimed at replacing the Udaloy and Sovremenny class Destroyers, there are speculations that the project will only be initiated earliest 2012 or latest 2016. This implies that the Sovremmeny will still be a relevant and much needed principal destroyer of the Russian Navy and rightfully so.

Speaking of which, I have been playing MW3 recently and I have passed the Submarine mission as shown below.

FOR AMERICA!!!! YEAHHHHH! HI 5s everyone!

And I find it totally ludicrous that 1 Delta force team can fuck up the entire Russian Navy assaulting New York. (No discredit to the elite special forces) Pardon my extreme Modern Military Warfare Nerdiness, but let us just take into account that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare got its popularity for its "Movie" like direction of Modern Combat and also giving players a sense of realism on the harshness and true grit of Modern-era Warfare.

Now I did mention my slight disappointment in my 2012 STGCC post about how MW2 was kind of way over the top. I can't help but laugh when I saw General Shepard, a 3 Star General, fighting in the front lines on various missions as that would be total bullshit even in World War 2 context (aside from General Patton). But let us close one eye on that issue and assume it could be real and that General Shepard is like our Modern Day General Patton. It seems almost crazily impossible that Force 141's remaining personals, Captain Price and MacTavish, could take General Shepard down despite the fact that General Shepard had an ARMY to support him.

Pretty "Ramboish" to me. And don't get me started on the finale where Captain Price fought with General Shepard in hand to hand combat. (SUPER CHEESEEE).

Well back onto topic of the Delta Forces' Submarine Mission in MW3. Taking into consideration that MW3 was released less than a year ago, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that Naval warfare tactics would be taken into consideration in that mission. Especially with the new concept of littoral combat ships handling shallow waters while Blue water Naval Vessels would stay further away and be less exposed to tight spaces where their weakness in maneuverability would be insulated.

So it really does puzzle me that during the Submarine mission, I see the entire Russian Naval fleet banked up in the shallow waters of Lower Manhatten's East River. No Admiral in his right mind would want to place his huge ass Battlecruisers, Destroyers and his Carrier near there when they haven't even had full control over New York's Airspace and Land. I shall not delve further into how they were able to make the Russian ships fire on each other. *Facepalm*

Captain Price: Your Modern Day Sean Connery with more Grit.

As cheesy as it is, I will continue to play MW3 till I finish the game mainly because I love Captain Price's badassery and the fact that there are still some missions that provide realistic Modern firefights.

Aside from that, More badasss Modern Military Models coming soon. So stay tune!

Monday, September 17, 2012


I do trust you are liking the frequency of our posts now.

Josh started off with a few awesome Transformers' posts earlier this year and I will continue on giving a brief intro on my interest in the Robots of Disguise.

I was born in the era when the Transformers G1 first came about and it was an iconic toy-line and cartoon for the better part of my childhood. From the iconic "transforming" sound of these Transformers, to the phrase "Autobots, Transform and Roll out", I really was into the Hasbro entertainment franchise.


Even the theme song for Transformers was just totally awesome cool. (Then again, many 80's cartoon theme song were really awesome) During that time, I did take an interest in another branch of Transformers known as the Transformer Victory Japanese series in which their leader or "Optimus Prime" compare was this cool bot known as Star Saber. it is worth mentioning that the Star Saber Toy was epic!!

Transformers Victory was a Transformers series that involved more combination and several robots combining to make bigger Transformers. The combination methods were total ownage.

Maybe it is just me but I cannot recall anything from an earlier era that made robots and automatons look this cool. As mentioned before, I was totally into Transformers right up till G1 ended and in the mids of Generation  but I gained more interest in Gundam. Admittedly, I am a very visual person when it comes to my collectibles. While I had none of the Old Transformers that I collected, after G1, I found that the design of the Transformers weren't as appealing as before.

I only took interest in Transformers again when the Transformers Animated Series came out. During this period, Michael Bay's Crazy explosion real live action Transformers also played a part in reviving my interest and appeal to the "More than Meets the Eye"bRobots. (Ironically, while my interest got revived, I didn't really like the Michal Bay's movies.)

Cybertronian Soundwave

With the era of gaming at hand now, I happen to stumble upon the "War of Cybertron" Transformer game trailer. Mixing a futuristic sleek design with the old G1 theme, these Transformers from the game really captivated me to collect their Action figures.

EPIC Re-imagine Transformers from the "War of Cybertron" Trailer

Soundwave's Side Stare.

Thankfully, Hasbro did release the Cybertronian version of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Soundwave and Megatron. For me, it was so cool to actually see how Transformers had developed so far. And so, I decided to get me a few of the Cybertronian figures. And my first Cybertronian Transformer was Soundwave.

Soundwave full body profile

In G1, Soundwave was one of the most recognizable Decepticons with his monotone computerized voice. He was able to transform into a Radio cassette player and able to store various cassettes that were Transformers themselves. These Transformer characters include Ravage, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ratbat, Rumble, Frenzy, Slugfest, and Overkill.

Soundwave had the ability to detect and block communication and transmissions from the entire energy spectrum which places him as the Communication Officer of the Decepticons. His Autobot counterpart of lesser popularity was Blaster. In G1, they had a strong rivalry between each other. (I for one, particularly enjoyed battles between these two, especially when they pit each others cassette tape Transformers against each other.)

The Cybertronian Soundwave looks very similar to G1 version. In the game, Soundwave acts as Megatron's second in command and transform into this Cybertronian vehicle as shown below.

Firing Pose!
I for one do like how they have made Soundwave look sleeker yet not remove any of the characteristics and major design that represents this awesome Decepticon.

Soundwave on a kneel pose.

Truth be told, Soundwave was one of the few villains that I had an appeal for. Back in my childhood days, I was a "Good Guy" kid. Like most kids, I would be rooting for the good guy and buying all the good guys before I took any interest in any of the villains (aside ffromt he leader). And while that still remains evident in many of my collections today, Soundwave like Darth Vader, are one of the few villains I wouldn't mind collecting apart from the Head Honcho of the Villain group of any cartoon, story or game series. (This does not include My Modern Military Collection)

Soundwave in vehicle mode

Sideviewof Soundwave in Vehicle Mode

The War of Cybertron game was released 2 years ago in 2010. As you may know by now, I have a backlog of games to play but I did hear that the game received numerous positive reviews with minor criticism on the lack of ammo and periodic grinding sequences. However, the gameplay, storyline and overall outlook of the environment and robots were a great hit to gamers.

The Iconic Decepticon Logo

 A month ago, High Moon Studios' Fall of Cybertron, the sequel to War of Cybertron has been released and the reviews have been very positive. This would also mean a whole new line of Cybertronian Figures that Hasbro can show.

But before I even get into that, You have to take a look at the two trailers they have for the new Transformer game if you have not seen it already.

Fall of Cybertron Trailer 1

Tell me you did not like Grimlock transforming into his Dino-mode? Really a great trailer. I know it would be expecting too much but if Hasbro can come up with super High Quality Transformers that look exactly like in the game with the same colour and shading, that would be totally wicked.

While, I do feel the War of Cybertron Optimus looks better, this new Optimus design does hold its own.

Fall of Cybertron Trailer 2
The Second Trailer just takes the cake with the epic battle that is going on. We see Bruticus taking on the three famous Dinobots and Jazz. We see a faceoff between Optimus and Megatron only to reveal something more awesome...Metroplex!!!

I can't wait to finish War of Cybertron and get on with this game, I am also anticipating the release of Hasbro's Cybertronian Grimlock and see if it is cool enough for me to procure. If you haven't already know, during the San Diego Comic-con, Hasbro had released a limited edition in-game colour Bruticus. Following that, Hasbro will release a range of Cybertronian Figures from Fall of Cybertron that includes Optimus Prime, Jazz, Sideswipe, Shockwave, Starscream, Soundwave, Grimlock and Kickback, an Insecticon.

I won't be getting all of them, but you bet your socks I would be featuring a few of the Transformers in Toyconstruct, so stay tune!

Aside from that, any Transformer fans out there? How do you find the new re-imagined Transformers in these games. Give us your opinion!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

STGCC 2012

Good day to all of our fellow readers,

I do very much apologize for our absence away from the blog. It has been hectic but I guess you probably know that from Joshua. For me, its has been a busy intense period which involved me geeking off on computer games and doing various other mundane activities that do not require mentioning.

However, I am back with much to share. For starters, on 1-2 September, Singapore held its annual Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) at Marina Bay Sands. This is the first time it is held there and it has been the third year for this particular convention.

I must say that this year was a blast and it was a huge hit in the new location. I felt that this year's convention had a more better turnout compared to last year. Unfortunately, I was only able to go for one day and I could not stay for too long on the particular day I went,. Nevertheless, I was really impressed. The turnout was great and the crowd was huge. You had the artists alley filled with many awesome illustrations and artworks which were a joy to take a stroll and appreciate their works. (Imaginary friends being my favourite) And the TOYS, What more can I say? I am a sucker for Toys and the range featured in the convention were just as good as the first time STGCC started.

Hot Toy's Black Widow.... SO HOT!

Hot Toy's Thor

As always, the biggest and most coolest booth for STGCC would have to be the Hot Toys' Displays. In my opinion, the figures they had shown this year were so awesome. Partly due to my captivation of the Marvel Avengers movie, I was fascinated by the great sculpt work and aesthetics put into these 1/6 action figures. It is also because of my plans to acquire these Avengers figures that have made me have high praise and admiration for the people who did this. Hot Toys have been in the business for quite awhile (since 2000). Initially, they did 1/6 Military Figures to compete with Dragon, DiD (Dragons in Dreams), BBI (Blue Box Toys) and other 1:6 scale companies that specialized in Action Figures from various War eras.

However, they transition to making high-end figures based on media properties. (Mainly Movies) And it was indeed a great move for Hot Toys as they are the number one guys for 1:6 scale Movie merchandise. I would even dare say that Marvel and DC have provided Hot toys with much to make and sell.

Hot Toys Sculptor Panel and Autograph Session

It is because of my interest in Hot Toys that also compelled me to go to this year's STGCC. This was due to the fact that this year's convention was featuring the Hot Toys' sculptors from Korea. It would have been a splendid idea to meet and greet them personally and express my admiration for their works. And of course, get their autographs. Unfortunately, there was some sort of disorganization in the Hot Toys' panel. Apparently, not much details were disseminated to the public on what "sort" of panel/autograph session it would be. It turns out that in order to meet and greet the sculptors, one had to buy the exclusives in the convention to see them. That means that even if you had your own Hot Toys collectibles you wanted them to sign, you were not allowed unless you got the exclusives. Furthermore, it turned out to be more of an autograph session than a panel where they would tell fans on how they do their work and their thoughts on their action figures.

So, to my disappointment, I couldn't see them up close and get any autographs. And since most of the stuff I wanted from Hot Toys are still on pre-order, there was nothing I could get signed. It was a real major bummer but anywhosss.... There were still many interesting stuff to see there.

Black Ranger playing an Online game.

Illustrations from Tristan Eaton

The STGCC Hall

Another Work from Graffiti Artist Tristan Eaton

1:6 Modern Military Soldier (My Favorite Action Figures)

It is a local version of Force 141 from Modern Warfare 2 and... a special guest.

 Well there are more photoes on our facebook page which you can find under the STGCC 2012 album. Aside from that, you will get to see a lot more posts and stuff Josh and I have prepared for you guys.

Aside from this, I have FINALLY completed MW2 which I found a lil over the top. And since the craze of Modern Warfare is pretty much over, I don't really see a point in doing a game review on it as I am sure many have already played it. As of now, I am onward to MW3 and for me, I am really just going to see how the story pans out. I am pretty sure it is going to be over the top ridonkulous too.

Please do feel free to give me your thoughts on the game. Other than that, I have been delving into Dota II and conquering my way through Japan with Joshua.

Till next post, take care!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cowboys of the Empire

Hey Everyone

Thank you for your patience and I have settled in...and ready to write once again on toyconstruct! Today, I will be featuring my remaining and yet unreleased shots of my WFB pistolier regiment. And yes, this is another painted unit I got at a rather good price on ebay (aka Joshua's Rag-Tag Imperial Army).

I am only familiar with the Empire of the old 5th edition, and out of disgust with GW's $$$ making tactics, I haven't been buying later editions (shame on me?). It seems to me that the current Empire lineup has more new units that look quite powerful, like the Demigryph knights, Hurricanium, and a redesigned Deathclaw (the old griffon on steroids).

One thing I do love about playing as Empire is the variety of units you can deploy, from the gallant Knightly Orders to the psycho Flagellant regiments (and ability to recruit mercs to boot). So far I have found that the strength of the Empire lies not in uber heroes or uber stats, but in proper tactics and choice of units. And one of the special units of the Empire is none other than the pistoliers, bold young men who fearlessly ride into the enemy for the Emperor (or mercilessly at the whim of your decisions on the tabletop).

Pistoliers charging into battle. FOR THE EMPEROR!!!
Side-view of the dashing pistoliers.
Ranged combat for the Empire is a little bit of a mixed bag...they do not have the legendary Ballistic Skill of Elves, but they get bonuses from armour piercing bullets and added punching power of gunpowder. Hence, using gun-units like the pistoliers may result in a large number of misses, but any hits will have a good chance dealing wounds.

Sometimes I call them "Cowboy Bebop" just on the merit of their resemblance to cowboys.
Top-down view of one of the men.
Experience-wise, I find that using pistoliers (and light cavalry in general) is a high risk/high reward tactic. You need to get your fast cavalry into favourable positions, where they can unload their pistols at a good range (pistols have short ranges), not get engaged/charged by enemy units, and have the space to flee from attempted charges (far away enough as to not affect friendly morale). Close combat and entrapment is death for pistoliers.

Outrider champ with repeater pistols.
So far I have only deployed them against warmachine crews to deadly effect, and haven't tried using them as bait for larger regiments. One thing I like about regiment champions is their enhanced stats and ability to equip better weapons. A pistolier unit can have an Outrider champion, and giving him repeater pistols will make a difference (I think you can choose an outrider unit that has all repeater pistols). Owing to human's mediocre BS and that pistoliers are mostly firing on the move, getting more shots will certainly make your unit much more effective.

Riding into war like a Sir.

Taking pictures of this pistolier unit was quite fun for me, somewhat due to the steampunk-ish fashion of the champion. I can see why some people (like JQ) are not big fans of the puffed up uniforms of the Empire, but I do feel that GW has managed to produce a unique look and feel to Empire units. You can certainly tell an Empire army from a Brettonian army without much difficulty.

An officer and a gentleman.
The pistoliers also exude a feel of "organized chaos", which is natural for the role they are used in WFB. This inspired me to arrange the figures as a unit, and yet not in a neat rank and file, which would probably be closer to how they would really ride in real life (and not as a neat row of 5 horses). Arranging the pistoliers in a mess helped to add a sense of movement/speed in the shots I took.

Have you had experiences with light cavalry or ranged cavalry? Please share any wisdom you have, and once again, thank you for visiting and being an integral part of toyconstruct!