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? :)


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Avengers Best Buy Exclusive Blu-ray Collection

Greetings again Toyconstruct fans!

We are back to another awesome nerdy entry. On an important note, I do hope those affected by Hurricane Sandy are doing well. My heart goes out to all those who are facing difficulties due to this natural disaster. This goes out to our readers from New York and the East coast who are facing all kinds of issues from this disaster.

I was quite worried for Joshua as he was in Philadelphia when Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, my buddy is alright. And I do hope that it would be the same for the rest of you guys in the North East Coast of the US.

Lighted Up Lithograph Box Cover.

Today I shall be featuring the Best Buy Exclusive Blu-ray Collection of the Marvel Avengers Movie. The Marvel Avengers Blu-ray and DVD were released about a week ago. So since I have been quite a hardcore fanboy of the movie, I decided that I wanted to get a collector's edition.

To my disappointment, most of the common DVD/Blu-ray collector's edition were not really great. Some had a steel Avenger's DVD case which was really nothing much and kinda crappy. After much searching though, I came upon a Best Buy Exclusive Blu-ray Collector's Edition of the Marvel Avengers and I must say, it was FANTASTIC!

Looking at it from the box cover, it showed a lighted up Lithograph of the Avengers' team members. Some may say it is tacky but I thought it was really awesome and cool! It was a pretty neat feature compared to the rather plain looking DVD/Blu-ray editions out there.

Even when not lit up, the cover is a fantastic piece of art with a slight holographic effect to it.

Opening the box up, I was impressed at the amount of goodies they gave. On top of the digital goodies that they have in store for you, the amount of tangible extras include a 208 page Marvel Ultimate Avenger Guide, the DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D CDs, a nice lithograph picture of the Four Main Avengers and a $30 dollar Gift Voucher for Sideshow Collectibles.

I like how they designed the Gift card. With an illustration of Hawkeye, this is the biggest gift voucher you can received from Sideshow collectibles among all the other versions of the Avenger's DVD or Blu-ray Collections. Unfortunately, the card wasn't plastic and was made of hard cardboard paper or something of that equivalent. As such, I didn't really like the feel of it.

However, the other goody like the Lithograph while small and not a poster size, the quality of the picture and the feel of it was really really awesome. I really like how the poses are uniquely different from the Main Poster poses we see for every other DVD/Blu-ray cover. It really does add a nice touch to the already smashing Blu-ray/DVD collection.

Last but not least, it is the Avengers Ultimate character guide. It features more than 200 heroes and villains that have links to the Avengers. It is a pretty great guide that provides basic information on each hero and villain. While the power level and stats on each character does put into question how they rank each of them, it is still a great edition to the DVD and Blu-ray collector's edition.

Finally, the digital content is pretty darn awesome too. This includes the digital copy of the film, its film soundtrack album, a digital concept poster of the avengers and a digital Avengers Comic. Quite a power pack collection for the price of $75 dollars.

Unfortunately, if you are planning to get it, you might want to get to Best Buy near your place asap as they are being snatched up real fast. Furthermore, it is only available in the US as Best Buy isn't really a global brand. So for people who aren't in the US (like me), you could ask a friend in the US to get it for you or order online which could be quite difficult to acquire as Amazon does not have much stock left. I would also like to add that it would also be costlier.

Nonetheless, I feel that this would be the best collector's edition to get for this film. If not, you are better off just getting the normal blu-ray version. Hope you like the review!

Well, that is it for now, stay tune for more collectibles, model kits and miniatures! Cheerios!