Thursday, 29 July 2010

Toys Story 3.

Reach for the skkkkyyyyy....Simply a satisfying conclusion to an excellent animated story from Pixar. The ending almost left me teary eyed. Sniff. Could not believe it has been that long since the first movie came out. Ultimately a tale about what friendships about, personal sacrifices and selflessness, Woody, Buzz and the Gangs never fail to lift a smile or two on me face each time I watch the re-runs on DVD (a fav of Chloe and Dylan by now). To infinity and beyond!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Enterbay ~ The Storm Warriors (风云II) : 1/6th Lord Godless (絕無神)

Name : Lord Godless i.e Juet Mo Sun (絕無神).

Weapons :
The Invincible Body Armour.
The Fiery Kirin Sword (火麟劍).

Martial art skills :
The Invincible Body Armour Stance (不滅金身).
The Deity Destroyer Fist.

Swordsplay styles :
The Heretic King Ten Armageddon Stance (邪王十劫).

...honestly, the Aaron Kwok head sculpt is slightly disappointing, but Simon Yam's made up for it. The HS is quite, nah scratch that, very close to the prototype pics and the real mccoy. The only complain? The figure pretty much can't stand properly at all and accessories are incredibly limited, just down to a pair of alternative relax, open palm hands. After being "conned" by Sam of XL to get the swords set (heh, let me get this right, we were discussing how Enterbay currently occupy the niche market of 1/6 figures representing HK films and actors, then asked whether the figures come with swords or not. I clearly remember Sam said no...NOW I AM STUCK WITH ADDITIONAL SWORDS!!! ARGH!). Then again, the detailing on the armour simply took my breath No infos in English available on this character at all, so I simply add some of the other characters martial art skills and swordplay styles to this guy. In my mind, this guy is really invincible, the numero uno martial arts warrior lord of the Fung Wan universe whom also would face both Wind and Cloud in the final showdown, leading the demise of all three characters, heh.

ThreeA x BBICN ~ Adventure Kartel : Blood Nails Tommy Mission.

Double tap
Beware of bathrooms
Wear seatbelts
Cast iron skillet
Travel light
Get a kickass partner
Bounty paper towels
Bowling Ball
(Don't) be a hero
Limber up
Avoid strip clubs
When in doubt, know your way out
The buddy system
Check the back seat
Enjoy the little things
Swiss army knife
- (Some of) the rules, Zombieland.

"i think it's dark and it looks like rain" you said
"and the wind is blowing like it's the end of the
world" you said "and it's so cold it's like the
cold if you were dead" and then you smiled for
a second.
"i think i'm old and i'm in pain" you said
"and it's all running out like it's the end of the
world" you said "and it's so cold it's like the
cold if you were dead" and then you smiled for
a second
sometimes you make me feel like i'm living at
the edge of the world like i'm living at the edge
of the world "it's just the way i smile" you said
~ Plainsong, The Cure.

His ashes will rise, black butterflies...
- promo write-up.

A (mis) Interpretation :

Name : Thomas "Tommy" Mission.

Alias : King Emo.
Age : 21 years old.
Affiliation: The Adventure Kartel - Leader.
Std. armaments : The Hand of Fate; various magic objects.

Abilities: Magic manipulation; Occultism; Synchronicity wave travelling / probability manipulation; Prestidigitation; Deception; Escape artistry; Average hand to hand combatant.
2001. New Andria, Apulia Sub-Sector, Europa. Thomas "Tommy" Mission is a self-styled, post modern, "I've got hip but I'm not a hipster" mage and the only son of the infamous, erstwhile William "Bleak" Mission. The Chthonian, as Bleak is sometimes known as, is himself a powerful mage in his own right whose current where about is unknown. Tommy is the current, albeit reluctant, leader of the Adventure Kartel, whose members comprise, from various times, of misfits, mercenaries, magicians and supernatural beings with exceptional, extraordinary skills and abilities. The collective is officially commissioned, contracted and sanctioned with extra-judicial powers by Baron Seth Von Sydow, the dhampir Governor-General and de-facto aristocratic ruler of New Andria to combat the walking dead known as the Zomb Horde lead by the Zomb MD and other forms of supernatural threats arising from the destroyed old city site, now known as the Necropolis or the Carrion City. The group adopts a revolving door policy and as such, members can join and leave as they wish. Prior to the establishment of the Adventure Kartel, Tommy runs his own record shop business, Vinyl Mission which specialises in obscure white labels, indies and alternative music in strictly vinyl format pressing only. But the business is losing money every month and by agreeing to lead Adventure Kartel, where the pay is good, ensures Vinyl Mission stays afloat. Once Tommy even formed his own band, Missionary Position, which was managed by him with limited releases under his own indie label, Fock The Mission. Missionary Position achieved a brief 15 seconds of fame after a single from their only album, "Do Boys Cry?", was given positive review by prominent music journalist, Peppermint Grove. The single did well in the indie chart and gathered a following but was relegated to obscurity after the punk band, Funlicker 2215's immensely popular "Pink, Wet, Smelly Pussy" blew it out of the collective consciousness of the indie crowds. Tommy was said to be so crossed that he tried to erase the Funlicker 2215's holographic cat lead singer, Doohan, from existence.   
Tommy is an aloof, emotionally distant and antisocial introvert with a cynical view on life. He often has trouble forming relationships and friendships, preferring to keeping to himself and distant from others. All his relationships always ended up in not so amicable manner. This is due to a troubled and traumatic childhood experience at the Olive Creek orphanage as well as the absence of parental care. He is a fierce romantic at heart, can be extremely emotional with mercurial temperament and sensitivity, earning him the much hated nickname, King Emo. He is known to frequently prescribe to anti-depressants and painkillers. Regardless, Tommy would reluctantly stands up against shit-stirrers and assists those in need of help, struggling internally to be a compassionate humanist which often leads him to unconsciously forays into acts of heroism more often than he wants to.  He has been dumped for a record 49 times, surpassing even George "Buttface" Porsche, the undisputed winner of ten consecutive New Andria's "Mr. Naturally Cute But Ugly" annual competition. His ex-gfs often cited "moody", "self-absorb" and "boring" as reasons for breakup. To further his dilemma, Tommy is currently infatuated with Elizabeth Von Sydow i.e. Lil Shadow, a 300 years old dhampir in the form of a 19 years old teenager, and the youngest daughter of Baron Seth. However, Lil Shadow treats Tommy just as a close friend and keeps their relationship strictly platonic and does not reciprocate his romantic approach towards her as by law of the Cognate Society, a dhampir could not form any relationship outside of their own kind. When Tommy eventually met up with Bleak and learnt his true identity, both of them never truly reconcile and amend their father and son relationship.
Tommy possesses extraordinary magical abilities, a hereditary skills of which the Missions family are renowned for. Tommy first forays into occult "heroism" occurred during the Ripper Nun attacks at Olive Creek which ended up disastrously when majority of his fellow orphans were killed in a desperate attempt to destroy the spirit by accidentally summoning Azazel, a powerful daemon prince of Dis. The dreadful incident is caused by Tommy after he bailed out at the very last minute. Thereafter, Tommy hides away his childhood innocence and vulnerability in a box of which he hides beneath the foundation of the shop. Tommy is still being regularly visited by the dead souls of his departed childhood friends, gloating and taunting him whenever he is having a bad time. The guilt and memory of the incident quietly torture him to this day. 
Apart from running Vinyl Mission and hunting Zombs, Tommy also earns his living as a con artist  and as a master of stage magic skills, occasionally performing at the Slaughtered Lambs. He would also uses the ability of illusion, mental manipulation or summoning to con wealthy aristocracy or bureaucrats with it, usually through the pretext of making them believe that their houses are haunted by malevolent spirits or a family member is possessed and only he would be able to exorcise it. Sometimes such con jobs would backfired, as the summoned daemon or spirit would initially gains upper hand over Tommy's ability to control them and cause havoc. Like the case of the flying pigs, talking hens and the infamous possessed doll.
Tommy would later becomes the owner of the Hand of Fate. He obtains it after a series of confrontation against Azazel once more, involving a battle of wits, cunningness and an elaborate con. The daemon prince had intended to use it to change the course of mankind's direction.  The Hand is one of the most powerful magical artifacts ever possess by a mortal. It literally taking the form of a petrified human hand and would glow eerily when invoking its power. The Hand of Fate contains the essence of the Three Sisters of Moirae. Through the Zeus Moiragetes, Tommy could exercise a great degree of control over the Hand and invoke its power. Tommy calls the Hand the deus ex machina of his life for it has saved him from certain deaths on numerous occasions. The Hand could accord to Tommy the ability to presume cause, force, principle, or divine will that would predetermines events and subsequently, the effect, consequence, outcome, or inevitable events predetermined by this very cause. Simply put, the Hand of Fate could alter the destiny of anything in existence. Gods, goddesses and daemons greatly fear the Hand of Fate for none could alter what has been preordained by it. However, Tommy never invoke the Hand's power unless when he is really out of options, for he understands it would cause unforeseeable interference with the very fabric of Order itself. The Hand of Fate ensures that the balance between Order and Chaos are in place. Tommy very much keeps the possession of the Hand of Fate a secret, although several individuals, primarily Elaine Von Sydow i.e. Big Shadow, had learnt about it and managed to steal it from Tommy on one occasion. Regardless, the Hand of Fate chooses its master, and could not be forcibly obtained without the consent of the current possessor. Tommy later realises that owning the Hand of Fate comes with a price. Like a curse, it would lead its owner to suffer from  anankastic personality disorder. Also known as the Curse of Ananke, the mighty mother of the Sisters of the Fates, Tommy is slowly succumbing to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, becoming increasingly preoccupied with orderliness, perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. This is what led to the great quarrel between The Drown and Tommy himself when the former, a powerful independent ANKOU robot, argued that members of the AK Collective should all strictly wear hoodies and trainers when Tommy opposed it, leading to The Drown raising the questionable leadership of Tommy due to his OCPD condition and demanded that he relinquish the position. The voting which subsequently took place was in favour of Tommy (due to him invoking the Hand of Fate), resulting in The Drown and his brother, Fat Drown leaving the group after calling Tommy "an anally retentive f***tard". Tommy eventually begins to self help, leading to self insight about his condition.
The Wheel of Fortuna is another powerful magical ability which Tommy could invoke through the Hand of Fate. Known as synchronicity wave traveling, it enables Tommy to have an instinctual supernatural ability to be in the right place at exactly the right time. This has led Tommy to uncanny luck at games of chance, the ability to avoid harm and to meet the right kind of ally to help prevent or stop an apocalyptic event from happening. Regardless, Fortuna is a whimsical goddess, and Tommy could also suffer from bad luck should chance has it that way. Thus, Tommy is extremely cautious even when invoking this aspect of the Hand of Fate.
Tommy may possess powerful magical abilities and skills but he is not a good hand to hand combatant. Tommy would generally lose most fights against more physically inclined or expert hand to hand opponents. Thus he would generally avoids physical battles. Nevertheless, he has been known to win fights on occasion, either through magic spells or by fighting dirty and deception. He faces most of his challenges relying primarily on his cunning, his vast knowledge of the occult, manipulation of opponents and allies alike. Tommy is also known for his uncanny ability for escaping from any forms of traps or prisons in realspace or the warp. He is known to be quite stealthy, using illusions and sigils to sneak on his opponents or escaping from them. 
In one particular incident, Tommy was caught by the Zomb Horde and infected with the Curse of Nurgleth. He succeed in reversing the curse but with the permanent side effect of both his hands mutated into the likes of a Zomb, gnarly and ghastly. Yet, it makes Tommy immune to all forms of virulent diseases and against the touch of the Zomb Hordes. But like all magic practitioner, each magic used would drain his stamina, thus the stronger the magic, the greater the strain on Tommy.


This 1/6 figure is so different, yet I am quite excited about it as it was one of the few characters release by 3A based on the artworks of renowned Australian artist, Ashley Wood of which I think looks real...kewl (the others being the ultra sexy babes, Tomorrow Queens from the Popbot series, and so-called on off, off and on GF of Tommy called Little Shadow). I do not know anything about Tommy Mission or the series he is featured in called Adventure Kartel but I think it gotta do with some zombie hunting (called Boiler Zomb in the series, I think..), 3A toys tend to be quite rare and more often than not, only available via their online store called Bambaland. They tend to offer several color variants and designs (or colorway as they call it). They have an extremely devoted fan base, whom will lap up all offerings within first few minutes of the toys when it is released. This Tommy, one of the six or seven offered thus far, is a collab between 3A and an online toy retailer call BBiCN. Tommy is said to be an emo, so naturally comes clad in skinny jeans (with awesome stacking fades if I may add ;)) and hoodie, but curiously smell of turpentine when I first unbox him. Sam calls these toys "designer toys" ala Michael Lau / Eric So category of 1/6 vinyl/articulated, ultra rare, figures. I dunno about that but real glad to have obtained one and "see" what's all the hype about ;P

Monday, 12 July 2010

1/6 Bruce Willis - Last Man Standing Kitbash.

It's a funny thing.
No matter how low you sink...
there's still a right and a wrong...
and you always end up choosing.
You go one way so you can try to live with yourself.
You can go the other and still be walking around...but you're dead and you don't know it.
I was coming through Texas on my way to Mexico.
I needed some time to hide out.
I had spent most of my life on the dodge.
Drunk or sober, I got no complaints... even if I did get my hands dirty on the way.
Jericho was a jerkwater town maybe miles from the border.
Dirt streets, ramshackle buildings.
One thing for couldn't find it anywhere on the map.
For the most part, I was a big-city guy.
I like pavement under my feet... and bright lights after the sun goes down.
I figured this burg was just the kind of gassed up the car, got something to eat...and if you got stuck, maybe spent a night.
Then I got a look at her...
and that's when all the fun started.

I hadn't gotten a real warm reception...but I started thinking maybe this was my lucky day.
A crook for a sheriff...and two bootlegger outfits that hated each other.
If I played it right...I could make some easy money and move on.

The Italians were winning
in New York and Chicago...
but they weren't doing too good
in Jericho.

You know something, amigo?
I think I just spotted the chink in your armor.
When you go down...
it's going to be over a skirt.

For most of my life, I made my own rules.
You don't do any favors. You don't ask for any.
Watch the percentages.
But you can know the rules and still do the wrong thing.
The only thing I knew for sure was this...
Strozzi, Doyle...
and every son of a bitch that worked for them...
they were all going to be better off dead.

Name : Unknown.

Nickname : John Smith.

Aliases : The man with no name. The stranger, The fugitive, The independent.

Age : Unknown.

Armament : M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol x 2, Thompson Submachine Gun M1921 Caliber .45 x 1, switchblade x 1, couple of hundreds of magazines, thousands of .45 ACP cartridges, loads of Southern Comfort and cheap beer.

The 1992 movie may be a dud based on what I read from most film critics but it is a personal favourite of mine. Perhaps it is because of the stylishly executed "dancing bullets, double wielding handguns, akimbo style" ala John Woo's string of so-called Blood Opera movies i.e.A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, The Killer etc. Maybe because of the dust filled, desolated landscape and monochromish background with equally monotonous narration by hung-dog looking Bruce Willis. I dunno for sure, I do like it enough to watch it several times. An official remade of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), and preceded by another Hollywood remake (although not officially billed as such) by Sergio Leone's A Fistful Of Dollars (1964, Clint Eastwood), Last Man Standing sets the story in the late 20s or early 30s, perhaps nearing the end of the Great Depression/Prohibition Era period (instead of Samurai era and Spagetti Western style from both aforementioned movies respectively). It also pay some sort of tribute to John Woo type of movie via wielding of double hand gun which shoots endless bullets mowing down countless enemies and targets whom literally hurled through the air as the bullets hit them, lightning fast reload (with recoil special sound effect - which goes like drawing an extreme sharp sword - skink skink - and last visited, if I may recalled correctly by Wong Kar Wai's 1994 Fallen Angels). This kitbash is based on Brucie's character, with an excellent head sculpt from Virtual Toys (Sin City's Detective Hartigan), and all body, clothings from DiD's SD civilian version of T. Becker. The fedora hat is from some accesorries toy co as well but I could not remember. Coupled with a pair of DiD's M1911A1 (which is not accurate coz Bruce's character actually uses M1911 - differentiated by the "spade" design on the handle) and ACI's Tommy gun (metal but broke into two halves soon after unpacking), the machine gun which makes the "20s roar". It also serves as some form of 1/6th tribute to the 20s Chicago gangsters...pity I could not find any decent long overcoat ala Sam Mendes 2002 Road to Perdition style clothing in 1/6 currently. A kitbash of Tom Hanks as the Angel of Death Michael Sullivan would be nice...also this era type of 1/6 figure is severely under represented...

Monday, 5 July 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Dylan!

...a small celebration at home for Dylan Boy's 2nd birthday, with some close relatives attending it. The kids definitely have some great times together, holding those elongated trick balloons and pretending it to be swords. Unfortunately, they occasionally gang up together and "attack" Dylan only. No harms done and Dylan really enjoy himself that night. Esther's not around this time due to her ongoing project for the steel mill in Vietnam.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Zippo ~ WW2 1944 Black Crackle Replica

...scored this replica from eBay recently. I used it immediately of course, but little did I realise that the black crackle actually wears off pretty easily. Supposedly a replica from the original issued en masse to the American troops in WW2. The black crackle "paint" is actually applied not without a reason. Reduce cost due to resource conservation and scarcity during wartime period. Just like how the 501XX version 1944 has applied arcuate paints instead of stiching.