February 18, 2016

Construction Bricks MOC Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind"

Continuing my new found craze for Lego type military vehicle, here we have arguably the first mobile anti aircraft platform that ever roam the battlefield. And the "Wirbelwind" or Whirlwind are faithfully reconstructed from Lego type bricks.

From Wikipedia :
The Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" (Whirlwind in English) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the Panzer IV tank. It was developed in 1944 as a successor to the earlier self-propelled anti-aircraft gun Möbelwagen.

In the first years of the war, the Wehrmacht combined German military forces had less interest in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, but as the Allies began to gain air superiority, the need for more mobile and better-armed self-propelled anti-aircraft guns increased. During the early summer of 1944, SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Wilhelm Krause with the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend came up with the concept of the Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind. He presented the concept to SS-Obersturmbannführer Max Wünsche, commanding officer of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment and it was approved by Hitler.

The Panzer IV's turret was removed and replaced with an open-top, nine-sided turret which housed a quadruple 2 cm Flakvierling 38 L/112.5. A closed-top design would have been preferable, but this was not possible due to the heavy smoke generated by the four anti-aircraft guns. The shape of the turret earned it the nickname of Keksdose (Biscuit Tin). Production of the tank was carried out by Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia. However, in combat the 2cm shells were felt to be insufficiently effective against aircraft and so a more powerful successor was produced which eventually replaced it. Known as the Flakpanzer IV Ostwind (East Wind), the successor was equipped with a single 3.7 cm FlaK 43.

The combination of armor and rapid fire from the four guns of the Wirbelwind also made it effective against ground targets.

Between 87 and 105 Wirbelwinds were produced during the war, but due to discrepancies between the recorded production numbers at the Ostbau Works and Wehrmacht service records, the exact number will probably never be known.

February 6, 2016

Construction Bricks Decool No. 2112 Hummel M1097A2 Cargo/Troop Carrier

If you want to own some Lego type military hardware / vehicles and you do not want to pay through your nose buying boutique sets, Lego type construction kits of China brands are the current option. I stop short of calling these Lego "bootleg" although each brick's design are undeniably 100% Lego design, the finished product is something not found in the current Lego inventory. However, it seem like a complete copy of Batisbrick's M1097A2.
In this entry, Decool's (what a name for a brand..) Hummel "Pick-up" is reviewed. The set contains 170pcs of bricks. This is the first Decool set I've build and lets find out how well it scores.

January 25, 2016

Construction Brick Kazi KY82011 German WWII Tiger Heavy Tank

Kazi (开智积木) is a brand from China producing KO Lego clone products - as in a deluge of other "home" brand from China. However, Kazi stands out - at least to me - by making quite accurate German World War Two German armored fighting vehicles complete with linked tracks. The details are aplenty and it enhances the model greatly.
This entry is about putting the microscope to one of Kazi's offerings - the German Heavy Tank Tiger I. An original box build model will be reviewed and thereafter, some pictures of my own modification, from this same model, to suit my taste better.

November 5, 2015

Majestic Studio 1/6 scale Battlestar Galactica Cylon Centurion (Reworked)

Vong vong.... vong vong... by your command (with a robotic, mechanic, monotone voice). The Cylon Centurion captures my wildest imagination when I was just a small boy watching Battlestar Galactica on TV.

From Wikipedia :
Military androids with silver armor. Basic Centurions make up the ground forces and pilots of the Alliance military. Although Earth's Roman Centurions commanded a unit of eighty men, Cylon Centurions form the rank and file of the Cylon forces.

Centurions are armed with a powerful energy weapon, often referred to as a blaster rifle. They also have bayonets and swords for close combat and the execution of prisoners.

Some Centurions in the series have been given names: Flight Leader Serpentine from "Saga of a Star World", Centuri from "The Night the Cylons Landed" (Galactica 1980), and Cyrus from "The Return of Starbuck" (also Galactica 1980). In the episode "The Lost Warrior", there is a Cylon Centurion that remained active after its ship crashed on the planet Equellus and was named "Red Eye" by the humans who found it.

The Cylon Centurions – the type most often depicted in the original Battlestar Galactica — were strikingly similar to the Imperial stormtroopers of Star Wars (in fact, both were designed by the same concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie). The similarities were so strong that it was one of the factors that prompted 20th Century Fox's lawsuit for copyright infringement against Universal Studios, owners of the Battlestar Galactica copyright. However, the lawsuit was ultimately unsuccessful.

Both the gold Command Centurions and the silver Centurions had their voices vocalized with the use of an EMS Vocoder 2000.

October 16, 2015

Bandai Model Kit 1/12 scale Star Wars C-3PO

From Wookiepedia :
C-3PO, sometimes spelled See-Threepio and often referred to as Threepio, was a bipedal, humanoid protocol droid designed to interact with organics, programmed primarily for etiquette and protocol. He was fluent in over six million forms of communication, and developed a fussy and worry-prone personality throughout his many decades of operation. After being destroyed and discarded on the planet Tatooine before 32 BBY, C-3PO was rebuilt; his salvaged nature gave him special qualities that distinguished him from similar droid models. Along with his counterpart, the astromech droid R2-D2, C-3PO constantly found himself directly involved in pivotal moments of galactic history, and aided in saving the galaxy on many occasions. C-3PO considered various droids and organics to be friends of his, and was very dedicated to them, as well as to any master that he served.
Originally activated on Affa in 112 BBY, C-3PO had served as a protocol droid to the emissary of the Manakron system. Nearly eighty years later, he was gutted and discarded on the streets of Mos Espa, a city on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. After being rebuilt by the Human slave Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO served Skywalker and his mother Shmi for over ten years, performing household chores and helping Skywalker earn his freedom by winning a pod race. Skywalker left Tatooine but returned in 22 BBY when his mother passed away, and C-3PO was given to Skywalker, now a Jedi Padawan, by Shmi's stepson Owen Lars. C-3PO, Skywalker, R2-D2, and the Naboo Senator Padmé Amidala immediately became embroiled in the Clone Wars, a galaxy-wide conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems. Skywalker married Amidala and gave C-3PO to her as a wedding gift, and C-3PO faithfully assisted her in her senatorial duties throughout the three-year conflict. The two often entered the front lines of the war, at times fighting alongside Skywalker and R2-D2.

September 28, 2015

Custom Star Wars 1/6 Tusken Raider (aka Sand People)

From Wookiepedia :
Tusken Raiders, less formally referred to as Sand People or simply as Tuskens, were a culture of nomadic, primitive sentients indigenous to Tatooine, where they were often hostile to local settlers. The term Sand People was given to them due to their existence in the desert, and was in use from at least around 4000 BBY; but the more formal name of Tusken Raiders was acquired much later, due to a period of concerted attacks on the settlement at Fort Tusken in 98-95 BBY. Although this name is often used as a common term for the race, it actually refers only to the participants of the attack on the settlement.

Specialists studying the past of the Tusken Raiders also used the term Ghorfa to denote an earlier sedentary phase of their culture, and lastly Kumumgah, for the earliest stratum of sentient civilization on the planet, believed by some to represent a common ancestry shared by the Ghorfa and the Jawas. In the culture of the Tuskens, to expose any part of the flesh was forbidden and seen as a disgrace.

September 17, 2015

Sideshow Toys Star Wars 1/6 Endor Rebel Infantry (Reworked)

From Wookiepedia :
With the discovery that the second Death Star was protected by an energy shield generated from the forest moon of Endor, Alliance High Command realized that they needed a highly skilled strike team to penetrate the Imperial defenses and neutralize the facility. General Crix Madine devised a plan to insert a commando force onto Endor using a stolen Imperial shuttle, Tydirium, and destroy the Imperial base on the surface.

September 13, 2015

Marmit Star Wars 1/6 Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot

From Wookiepedia :
TIE fighter pilots were an elite class within the military of the of the Galactic Empire. They piloted the TIE/LN starfighters, one of the Empire's most recognizable symbols of power. There were two nicknames for TIE pilots: the vac-heads, who operated in space for the Empire's Imperial Navy, and the ground-hogs, who operated in planetary atmosphere for the Imperial Army. Because the vac-heads had better public recognition through propaganda posters and the HoloNet News reports, the ground-hogs were often resentful of them. The rivalry between ground-hogs and vac-heads was so intense that most Imperial flight bases had separate bars for the two groups, with the notable exception of the Bright Jewel Oversector Flight Base.

Of all the cadets who underwent the Imperial pilot training program, ninety percent never actually graduated. As a consequence, those who did tended to be both proud and arrogant. The precision and streamlined design of the TIE fighter was a source of pride for those pilots, who also prided themselves for usually not needing deflector shields, life support, ejection systems and hyperdrives, which they viewed as tools for the cowardly.

Since TIE fighters were identical and interchangeable, TIE pilots might never fly the same ship twice and, as a result, rarely developed emotional ties to their crafts. Nonetheless, they tended to be very protective of their vessel of the day, and loved to push around lower-ranked stormtroopers. Very dedicated, TIE pilots were willing to surrender their lives for the greater glory of the Empire's New Order.

TIE fighter pilots wore a black jumpsuit with pockets and zip-front, a reinforced helmet reminiscent of the stormtrooper design, and a chest armor with flexible gas transfer tubes plugged into the helmet

September 1, 2015

Marmit Star Wars 1/6 Imperial AT-AT Driver

From Wookiepedia :
AT-AT drivers were Imperial combat drivers specialized in operating the Imperial Army's AT-AT walkers.They operated in groups of two, and were overseen by a commander who also occupied the walker's cockpit.

August 30, 2015

Sideshow Toys Star Wars 1/6 Imperial Snowtrooper

From Wookiepedia :
Snowtroopers were specialized stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire trained and equipped to operate in frigid environments such as the icy planet of Hoth. When the Empire routed the enemy Rebel Alliance from its headquarters on Hoth, snowtroopers led by Darth Vader were involved in the battle.

Snowtroopers were known to have been handpicked from worlds already known to have frigid climate. That way the Empire would have troopers that were already used to the cold climates they were going to be dropped into. A must have for their elite corp. The snowtrooper armor was also thermal to trap body heat to help defend against the cold.

August 26, 2015

Hasbro Star Wars Power of the Force 2 1/6 Biker Scout Trooper (Reworked)

From Wookiepedia :
Scout troopers, also known as biker scouts, were specially trained soldiers of the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps. As light-armored variants of the Imperial stormtroopers, scout troopers were specifically trained for activities too complicated for regular infantry troopers. As such, they were exceptional additions to the Imperial Military as reconnaissance troops, spies and survivalists. They were especially excellent marksmen, and thus they were regarded as the finest snipers in service to the Galactic Empire. Hence, they were particularly useful as assassins.

Their wide-range of skills inevitably created feelings of pride and self-importance amongst the scout troopers. As a consequence of their bravado, they developed a fierce rivalry with their infantry counterparts, as well as everyone else in the military who was of equal or lower rank. Their most infamous activity was arguably in the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. Although they were stationed in an environment most suited to their training, the scout troopers were unable to prevent a small team of Rebel soldiers from destroying the shield generator that protected the incomplete Death Star II. An entire legion of Emperor Palpatine's best soldiers, including many scout troopers, were annihilated by a few Rebels, assisted by the Ewoks, an indigenous species of Endor.

August 20, 2015

Bandai Model Kit 1/12 scale Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper

From Wookiepedia :
Stormtroopers were the elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire. Like Imperial-class Star Destroyers and TIE fighters, stormtroopers served as ever present reminders of the absolute power of Emperor Palpatine. These faceless enforcers of the New Order were considered an extension of the Emperor's will, and thus they often used efficient yet usually unreasonable tactics as a way to keep thousands of star systems throughout the galaxy in line. At the height of the Empire, stormtroopers had effectively become symbols of major authority. With few exceptions, they were distinguished from all other military units by their signature white armor.

May 3, 2015

Planet X - Third Party Transformers PX-04 Summanus (not Dinobots Snarl)

Have officially started collecting Transformers Dinobots after unintentionally bought Fansproject's LER-02 Cubrar (not Slag). At that time, I'm still not knowing that a whole gang of 3rd Party manufacturers have already embarked on the Dinobots project. Start to search around the internet to check out the other guy's offerings and eventually shortlisted Fansproject and Planet X.
Planet X Summanus (aka Snarl) has the best looking dino mode Stegosaurus as well as in robot mode comparing all the Snarls that were released or shown by the other manufacturers - except for Fansproject which hasn't shown anything about this bot yet. Not even a prototype. If Fansproject's Snarl looks even better than Summanus, then Summanus can be posed in Dino mode for display. That is how it will be approached.
At this point, it will be a mixture of Fansproject and Planet X to form my original 5 members of Dinobots. But seem like Summanus will be the only Planet X member in my team... read on to find out why (if you are interested to know).
Surprisingly, nobody seems to bring in Planet X products for sale and I have to try my luck on Sunday China Square flea for one. And that one visit is my lucky day that 1 flea store is selling just 1 set and Summanus is the one for sale. Got it at a good price. It is brand new. However when I opened it up, noticed the instruction sheet and biocard are missing in the box. Wrote a message at Planet X's facebook wall requesting a replacement set and were totally ignored. Just so disappointed by their client service and I decided not to buy another Planet X product.

Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-12 Autobots Lambor (Lamborghini Countach LP500S) - KO Version

I've long been intrigue and fascinated about these - high quality - Knock Off (KO) version of the original Takara Tomy Masterpieces. Was looking around for a MP-12 Lambor in eBay and noticed a chunk of auctions having a $40+ buy it now with free shipment. Too good to be true since MP-12 was released sometime back and price should be going up instead of coming down.. so drastically. A quick research got myself the answer.
Check this youtube video by RocketPunchArmy for a detail comparison of the authentic and the KO version of MP-12 Lambor. Let me know what you think after going over the video ;)

April 25, 2015

Bandai Model Kit 1/12 scale Star Wars Astromech Droids R2-D2 & R5-D4

Disney is releasing it's first Star Wars movie in December 2015. Maybe it is just me but I felt that Star Wars related merchandise are picking up momentum. From Crocs shoes to personal fashion accessories to the toys collectibles of course.
Collectors has been calling out for more variety in 1/12 scale toys collectibles and the request has been answered by Hasbro when the 1/12 scale (6 inch) Black series were first release in 2014. Recently, Bandai, the Japanese toys giant, is jumping into the fray kicking off the range with a 1/12 Stormtrooper and Darth Vader model kit. R2-D2 and R5-D4 (Yes, 2 droids in a box) were released soon after. Kaiyodo Revoltech also does a 1/12 version of Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and R2-D2. Seem like a golden period of Star Wars collectibles is here.
I first bought and build Bandai's 1/12 Stormtrooper couple months back and are massively impressed by the quality and the details. When this droid set hit the shelf, there is no hesitation.

March 11, 2015

Hasbro Transformers IDW Generations Deluxe Series - Skids

Autobots Skids from Transformers Wiki :
Skids is a theoretician. This is appropriate, as some would say his existence is merely theoretical; everyone forgets who he is or that he was there. But if they got to know him, they'd learn that he likes to daydream, get built into furniture, and pick up cowboy chicks.
Skids is a fast learner, voraciously absorbing and compartmentalizing new information he receives. This allows him to adapt to new environments and unexpected situations very quickly. His calm, observant nature and tendency to fade into the background sometimes causes some to question his ability to fight, but make no mistake; Skids can handle himself in battle.
He'd just rather...listen to some music, y'know?

January 9, 2015

December 17, 2014

ThreeA Ashley Wood Evenfall Moonbase Omega Astronaut Strigoi "Johnson"

Yup, another skull head figure from 3A. I shall call him "Strigoi" from here onwards. Strigoi was actually human but was infected by some outer space bacteria and got mutated to this state. Sorry I wasn't following the story that much but that is about how Strigoi comes about.
The figure was released for pre-ordering at Bambalandstore on 21 Nov 2013 and a total of 3 versions were available then. A white suited Strigoi, an orange (torn tattered) suited and another orange (non-tattered). USD160 ea before 3AA discount. I thought I can get a non-tattered version and tear it if I wanted but I can't mend a torn suit to make it perfect again. No brainer there. Skipped the white one as I already had a White Gangsta Astronaut and also a white Lasstranaut... time to add some color.
Strigoi arrives 372 days, after pre-ordering, on 3 Dec 2014. It is a record longest ever figure to wait for receipt.