Wednesday, 29 August 2012

ACI Toys ~ Dr. Martens Boots.

Also known as Doc Martens, Docs or DMs, the iconic boots are given a 1/6th treatment by ACI Toys.
Popular amongst subcultures, particularly in Britain since the 60s, its popularity reached its zenith, at least in my opinion, by the 90s. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary and Jane were wearing one, or yearned to own one. The boots to be seen during my college days, I used to own a pair of the classic version, which I could not remember the model. Copycats abound here in the tropics due to its popularity during those times, and outlets sprouted up everywhere. Nowadays, particularly in certain hipster forums, you risk getting "flamed" for proudly announcing that you are still wearing it. What do they know about it. Yes, Red Wings are still my priority but personally, a pair of DM is still fresh in my mind as if it were just yesterday. Pity that they no longer produce it in big quantity in its country of origin in UK, currently all DMs are mostly made in China and Thailand. Not an issue but there are obvious differences in the design. Should have kept my pair. Gave it away.  
I decided to swap the "I don't know what shoe is that" standard worn by a Tomorrow King with the ACI DMs. Also, I reckon since the RVHK Yellow version Old Guard and BBiCN Oya Pathfinder need some distinctions, particularly their shoes. Afterall, the 7 Bones (except for Queeny, and I don't know, maybe the remaining members) wear Converse, so an Old Guard could have worn a classic boots. Pity I could not lay my hand on the cherry coloured version.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Texas - Inner Smile.

Not a fan of Irish band Texas but two of their songs made a big impact on my list of must have, the 1989 "I Don't Want a Lover", an awesome rock and rolling blues intinged song and this, 2000's "Inner Smile", which music video is inspired and based on Elvis's 68 Comeback Special. That's lead singer Sharleen Spiteri dressed as Elvis in his famous black leather suit and using prosthetics to resemble Elvis. The video clip was shot in London in November 2000 with a live audience and with the band members playing different roles as musicians and/or audience members (with Spiteri portraying various groupies). In one of the scenes, Sharleen (as Elvis) sings along with Sharleen. It is often assumed this scene represents Elvis and Priscilla Presley.

Neil Armstrong.

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012).
 "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

Monday, 27 August 2012

Chloe & Dylan ~ At Birthday Party.

Well, my cousin and her husband invited us and every relatives to their second daugther, their third child, first birthday as per tradition, held at Kota Kemuning's clubhouse. Chloe and Dylan, both whom had earlier went to nearby the house 3K Kompleks for a swim, could not resist seeing the pool, and impromptu went for a second round, cladded only in their undies! They really enjoyed themselves and so were Esther and I. Luckily there were towels around, and after the dip, they had the buffet meal and birthday cake. A great night overall.

Chloe & Dylan ~ KLCC Park.

The long Raya brought the kids to the KLCC Park after having a nice lunch at Madam Kwan. I would have thought that the holidays would means less people. Wrong. The entire place was filled to the brim with people. Esther and I thought we were in some foreign countries heh.

Chloe & Dylan ~ BBQ.

BBQ time! Its Raya holidays, so have a little BBQ at home.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

ThreeA ~ WWR : N.O.M. Nightwatch Heavy Bramble Mk 2.5

"They who arise in might."

A (mis) interpretation:

Category : Warbot.
Unit type: Mass production heavy support warbot.
Model type: Heavy Bramble Mk 2.5
Manufacturer: The Rothchild Corporation.
Affiliation: The 86th "Night Watch" Division, II Corps, Global Defence First Army Group, Terra Coalition Armed Forces - excommunicated 1943.  The N.O.M. Legion - Der Assurgam Spezialgruppe (current).
Height: 7 feet.
Weight: 3500 kg.
Armour type: Super hardened ceramic steel composite alloy.
Armour thickness: 150mm; Plates: 130mm.
Power plant: Quad turbo BRINK supercharger diesel engine.
Std. armaments: Panzerfluch - modified AUNTY JACK rocket launcher x 1; The Djin Blade - power weapon x 1; Auspex - multi spectrum scanner; Machinensegnen - modified Task Intelligence System v. 2.

During the blitz across Eastasia and Eurasia sectors on Terra by the Ecclesiarchy's Frateris Militia in 1939, the Terra Coalition Armed Forces established the Day Watch (DW) and Night Watch (NW) divisions across Terra as part of the Global Defence Force against the onslaught of the Reds Army. The Ecclesiarchy of Mars also establishes their own DW and NW divisions on the Tannhauser Gate. The Day Watch and Night Watch divisions immediately gain reputation as a highly honourable military organization with excellent mastery on defensive tactics. Subsequently, these divisions are steadily infiltrated by the N.O.M. insurgence, eventually taken over in its entirety. Acting as the eyes and ears of the N.O.M. Legion, their true allegiance is eventually discovered and revealed during the assault on Rothchild CIty by the Legion in 1944, resulting in all the DW and NW divisions being declared excommunicate traitoris.
The members of the Assurgam Spezialgruppe comprised of the 86th NW Division. They are primarily responsible for the overall defence of the asteroid N.O.M. Legion fortress monastery, keeping constant vigil over possible enemy forces encroachment together with their former DW counterpart. The Assurgam Spezialgruppe are allowed to maintain their distinctive Totemkopf or death's head symbol and black colouration. However they are now emblazoned with the Seal of Trinity. The Heavy Bramble MK 2.5's  Task Intelligence System has been extensively modified, re-programmed and totally "machine wipe", creating a absolute loyalty and allegiance only to the N.O.M. Legion. Through the process of machinensegnen or "machine blessing" by the N.O.M., the Heavy Bramble MK2.5 possesses processing protocols system closed to the artificial intelligence level with self-evolving and learning capabilities in contrast to the standard series version 2 Task Intelligence System. Regardless, they curiously maintain their military culture stemming back from their days as members of the DW or NW. Honour and duty come first for these former Terra Coalition Force army.
The Assurgam Spezialgruppe gains reputation for being masters of defensive tactics. They are noted for showing no hesitation nor fear when putting themselves in the path of danger. They care little for personal glory and would not engage in actions that would jeopardise the safety of those around them. They are always ready to give their lives in battle as they believed themselves already dead and that their only worth are to honour the Supreme Mother through their sacrifices. They unquestionably accept all the hardships place upon them, which include assignments that their comrades feel are not glorious enough. As such, they offer no complaint whether stationed at the forefront of an insurmountable attack or standing alone on guard duty at a Watch Tower.
The Assurgam Spezialgruppe's Heavy Bramble MK 2.5 has Langsam und Schwer etched on their armours, for they are comparatively slow and sluggish by nature but incredibly resilient as Rothchild made them to be, ideal for the defence role as they would stubbornly hold onto their positions regardless of any assaults. When on the move, they march slowly but steadily, absorbing and repelling heavy attack but yet still slog on until they reach their targets and annihilate them. 
Each Heavy Bramble MK 2.5 carries the massive AUNTY JACK four barrelled, shoulder carried missile launcher, of which the N.O.M. Legion renamed it Panzerfluch (Armour's Bane). Each pod contains up to 4 missiles each, fire in tandem pairs, or larger missiles fire one at a time. A “fire and forget” weapon, once a target is selected, all missiles will aim, fire and guide itself to the target through the Logis Engine System. All missiles have surface to space capabilities. It fires surface to space missiles at over 518 km per second, or 45 times escape velocity with an effective range in excess of 15,000 km. All missiles carry a non-nuclear thermal warhead with a megaton explosive yield.  
The Assurgam's Heavy Brambles are additionally issued with an additional power weapon in the form of a warbot class combat knife known as the Djin blade.
During the War of Unbelief led by the traitorous Barguest de Plume, the Assurgam Spezialgruppe fought side by side with those loyal to the Supreme Mother. The team's Heavy Brambles are highly accredited and recognized by the N.O.M. Legion for single-handed held an entire Dirty Deeds Einsatzgruppe to the last warbot standing until a counter-attack could be directed.  


After scoring the African Def HB, I was offered an opportunity to own this rare model of HB, at a reasonable price, from a friend of a friend of a friend. Yes, that's correct. That's where networking kicks in after letting the news out. I was reluctant to fork out anymore moolah for a HB as I am pretty contended with the African Def HB, but just could not resist. I feel guilty of course. After all, it is hard earned cash. Biting the bullet again, and bearing in mind that I still have tonnes of POs with xl-shop, apart from paying bills and ensuring there are foods on the table as well as raising a young family, I took home this long searching after version. It is used of course. No way I could have scored a mint, dead stock ones. Hellbay, yes, but I would have to donate my organs. I was pretty excited. Took it home, unpack it, and...darn, the weathering are all wet! It is like akin to a chocolate figurine! My fingers are all smutched with the colour-ways! I was of course, pretty disappointed, but I did not pursue the matter any further. Maybe it could be that the person may have displayed it under intense down light or perhaps open it only once and then put it back into the clamshell box. Either way, it could cause the colour-way, in the case of the latter, not to dry outright. So, after taking those pics, I put it back into the box, and I must find a space to air it soon, or at least ensure that all the paints are dry. Onto the figure itself, I got it all covered in the African Def HB post i.e. top heavy design issue, too big rocket launcher. There are few small insignificant differences - it comes with one knife, only four pouches instead of five and although it is like a melting chocolate when handled, the colour way and weathering are darn good, my fav thus far, with that Punisher like skull insignia on the front armour. FYI, I am not really into the standard Nigthwatch or Daywatch NOM bots coz its too clean. And I reckon it goes well with the POed Nom di Sciple 27.   

Thursday, 23 August 2012

ACI Toys ~ Gladiator of Rome 2 : Spartacus.

"I'm Spartacus!"
Spartacus was a Thracian who served in an army. He was later sold as slave and was trained to be a gladiator. The inhuman treatment at training school drove Spartacus and other gladiators to rebel. Huge number of runaway slaves joined him to fight against the Roman Republic and to fight for their freedom. Led by Spartacus, the Slave Army defeated several Roman Legions and threatened the Roman Government. Spartacus was finally killed by the army of Crassus in the Battle at the River Silarus. The Third Silarus War, also named as War of Spartacus, ended in 71BC. According to Wikipedia, little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable. All sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader.
Spartacus' struggle, interpreted by some as an example of oppressed people fighting for their freedom against a slave-owning oligarchy, has been an inspiration to many political thinkers. It has also has been featured in literature, television, and film.
The final battle that saw the defeat of Spartacus took place on the present territory of Senerchia on the right bank of the river Sele in the area that includes the border with Oliveto Citra up to those of Calabritto, near the village of Quaglietta, in High Sele Valley, which at that time was part of Lucania. In this area, in the past decades, there have been finds of armor and swords of the Roman era. On the battle, Spartacus was killed but his body was never found. Six thousand survivors of the revolt captured by the legions of Crassus were crucified, lining the Appian Way from Rome to Capua.
One of the most memorable rebels from the ancient Roman era, I remembered watching the 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast. The life story of the historical figure Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War were adapted by Dalton Trumbo as a screenplay. The film stars Kirk Douglas as rebellious slave Spartacus and Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. This figure, by ACI Toys, is based on the 2010 first season of Starz subscription channel mini-series Spartacus : Blood and Sands, which starred the late actor and based on his likeness, Andy Whitfield  whom died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Sydney, Australia, on 11 September 2011, 18 months after his initial cancer diagnosis. His role is replaced by Liam McIntyre for the second season, Spartacus : Vengence which premieres in 2012. The figure itself is good, articulation and all, except that it is a pain in the **** for putting on the feather duster like thingy on the helmet. I actually have had to glue the left one onto the helm as it couldn't, just couldn't slot into the eeny, meeny, miny, moe, tiny little hole. And again, I have had to watch out for the wrist peg as the hands are difficult to swap but ACI Toys are smart bunch and they include a little note - hairdryer time. Which works well. And seasoned collectors would have gone that route. Now, where's Maximus?

Tony Scott.

Anthony David "Tony" Scott (21 June 1944 – 19 August 2012)
Tony Scott, director and younger brother of Ridley Scott, shocks the movie industry after committed suicide by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the San Pedro port district of Los Angeles, California on 19th August 2012. While no much a fan as to his elder brother, Ridley Scott's works, still, together with producers, the late Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott gave the world one of the most memorable action film of the 80s, the 1986 Top Gun. Everyone was talking about it. A box office smash hit, it catapulted a handsome than handsome actor calls Tom Cruise to super stardom. Next came 1987 Beverly Hills Cop 2, which again was a box office hit. True Romance,  1993, was not so popular but I like it, and that's because it is based on the script by Quentin Tarantino, and as such, it is very much in the veins of the former's movies. Enemy of the State, 1998, again smashed the box office. Majority of his movies are action based, typically in the same style like Bruckheimer - loud and fast with frantic pace - and as such is not popular with critics but a hit with majority of the popcorn munching audiences. The Scott brothers also founded the Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), a film and commercial company as well as studio company, Scott Free Productions which include producing the hit Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and American Gangster (2007).

Monday, 20 August 2012

Guy Ritchie.

Amongst the best British comedy crime caper films by Guy Ritchie with complex and inventive storyline in which the characters weave in and out of each others' lives...the scripts and dialogues are also reminiscence of Tarantino's movies to a certain degree. His subsequent films are disappointment alas, but I think he made up for it for the two Sherlock Holmes movies, which are good in my personal opinion.