018. Have a Merry Christmas by Kitbashing your toy!

Merry Christmas Comrades!

Amidst the family gatherings and roasted meats, and all the socializing, lets not forget when the nephews and nieces come to visit, there's always a surprise to be had. Most families would be busy decorating their houses and such, and to add to the scenery, I've always added a touch of figurines. Just a little shift of the glass shelf where you keep the toys and figures and comics are sure to leave the kids engulf into the Christmas mood.

Usually, the most time consuming part of leaving your toy collection for the kids to gawk at, is the diorama part. Most times you can get away with draping cloth with unique textures or print out a picture of a scene in a movie and stick it in the background. 

It's amazing what lighting effects and drapery can do instead of putting alot of
effort into making or buying a diorama.

As long as it looks complicated and bada$$, there's no reason why the nephews and nieces
won't adore coming to your place every Xmas!
Or you could make a conventional one like the one below. The sky is the limit when your lifestyle is surrounded with toys and figures, agree?;D

Today though, I'd like to share a kitbash recipe that I've been working on. It's for my nephews and nieces to gawk at this Christmas when they come over. And it's base on a superhero that has been my favorite since the 90s! The Flash!

My fascination with The Flash started when John Wesley Shipps first appeared as the flash in a tv commercial for the television series in the 90s.

Since then, I have devoured Flash comics and Flash content in every known media. Oh boy! those were the good years.

The days when superheroes weren't skinny lads in costume. No offence Gustin!
Hero crossovers like these spurred my imagination and my love for
the scarlet speedster grew.
Back then, the SupermanvFlash races spurred my imagination and my love for the scarlet speedster grew as he won the races(oops..spoiler).

Then again, after a long hiatus, CW gave the flash franchise a burst of new life.

In case you're wondering, I did a retouch of the Flash emblem to keep him in-line
with CW's TheFlash Season 2.
But, and that's a big but...so far, I havent seen a really awesome 12" figure of my favorite superhero...yet. I'm sure Flash fans will agree with me on this when I say: we need the flash in a highly detailed 1/6th scale figure!

Sideshow has made a prototype which is awaiting licensing rights to the figure, but heck, I can't wait any longer and it's Christmas, my nephews and nieces need to see something. Therefore, It's up to me to kitbash the Flash!

Photocredits: toynewsnetwork.blogspot.com(a great blog that has went on a hiatus)

The Concept

Behind every great toy is a concept, especially if you're talking about hero costumes. The flash I would be kitbashing would be a real-world Flash, so his gear would have to be something inspired by modern day science and military technology. I know, some of you might say that it's okay if it's a teeny bit outlandish because with Star Labs, anything is possible, but I'm trying to re-imagine a Flash that is more true-er to our time. Here's what I used:

The Head

First Ingredient: Captain America's Avenger head
Finding the head for TheFlash was an important task for me. As with the other Captain America heads, the "A" alphabet on his forehead is grooving outwards and that would be a problem for me as I'd have to carve the head. I'm no professional sculpt artist, so if there's a situation to avoid it, why not? I'd rather add to a headsculpt than subtract to it.

What I did was to add putty on certain areas to make the head smooth.
The next step was to paint the head with a shade of red and add "ears"

Here's the final headsculpt.

The Body

As you can see from the picture above, there's a shirt that he's wearing. What I did was die the arms red. I didn't want a suit, like a water-tight suit because I thought that it'd take away the element of him being more of a altruistic guy in a soldier-like attire. The flash that I have re-imagined here is older and has more experience, he's been taught more fighting skills by his friend, Bruce Wayne then when Barry first started fighting crime, so his attire is adjusted as such.

Some of you might say that his attire now, cannot fit into his ring. In my defense, I'd say that there's no such technology that can keep a great high performance suit inside a tiny ring. And if Flash is the fastest man alive, finding his stowaway suits throughout the city and changing into them wouldn't even take a second~!

I've chosen Naked Snake's body vest to be TheFlash's body armor. 

Flash's body is covered with a utility vest that has an in-built defibrillator
and a temperature compensating mechanism for when he becomes super hot.
It also acts as a protective shield against any stray projectile, much like a kevlar.
As you can see from the description, The body vest serves multipurposes in the Flash's fight against crime.

The Arms and hands

As for the arms, Flash would need some sort of lightweight protection, something in the form of kevlar or carbon-fibre so that his arms can articulate quite freely in the case where he needs to rotate his arms to create a whirlwind. Which also means, he can't wear pauldrons.

Snake Eyes bicep guard is something which I need for Flasher
It would look really really cool if I could add Snake Eyes's pauldrons along with his bicep guard for the flash, but it'd be a hindrance if Flash needs to create a whirlwind to get out of sticky situations.

The wristbrace and hands are very important to me.

I feel that the gloves of TheFlash would need to be friction resistant and would need to have excellent gripping power and hard callouses on them just in-case Barry needs to execute his "supersonic punch". With that being so, I have chosen to go with TDK's gloves.

Look at those callouses on those gloves! <3
As for the wristbrace, after awhile of brainstorming and thinking, I came up with....nothing. There's no wristbrace from Hot Toys, Sideshow, ThreeZero etc. No wristbrace that fits with Flash's personality and utility that the Scarlet Speedster needs.

I imagined the wristbrace to provide lightweight protection, structural support(so his bones dont break easily when he does the "supersonic punch", much like how boxers have it) and I imagine the wristbraces to be equipped with ballbearings that slide up and down his wristbrace to create a sort of "pendulum" effect, so he generates more weight going forward when he swings his arms through running. This is valuable as it adds extra weight to his supersonic punch.

As you can see, there are also no straps on his wristbrace. It is strapped by
3magnetic straps. No fuss of untying


The Flash would want his pants to be streamlined, but not too much until it traps heat, it must also allow the heat his body is generating to leave the suit. As for this, I am spoilt for choice here. I didn't want it to be a suit, although I think Superman's suit would have looked nice. 

But for this, I'd have to go with Thor's pants(the first movie) as it's simple and its cool and doesn't shout out too much of Thor's character.

Thor's pants here is just about nice, it looks cool but it also doesn't
scream out it's master's name. btw, Thors' helmet does look like it
can belong to hawkman right? just saying...

Kneepads and Boots

For no reason whatsoever, CW and CBS has churned out Flash's that have no intention of wearing the iconic yellow boots. Just sad. 

CBS has no excuse to leave out the boots...
For me, Flashs' boots need to be in it's iconic color but at the same time, updating the color palette to modern time by replacing yellow, with gold. And that's how my Scarlet speedster will look like, will be in red and gold.

I imagine Flash's boots to be friction resistant, no straps like how the wristbraces are and lightweight. During the initial stages of coming up with the boots for Flash, I was considering Falcons' or Hawkeye's boots but I soon find out that, having military boots would be too heavy and having straps and laces wouldnt help in running and easy-wearing.

Falcon's boots have smashingly good looks, but it is too heavy though

Hawkeye's boots are the closest to my idea of The Flash

So I was shopping on ebay for Hawkeye's boots until I saw the perfect boots for TheFlash. Thank goodness I delayed my purchase.

Look at the boots, no straps, easy-slip-on, lightweight and it looks futuristic
without looking ridiculously out-of-this-world.

The moment I laid my eyes on Flynn's boots, I knew that was the one and there was nothing else that comes close.

As for the kneepads, I thought Flasher would be glad to know that should he trip during his lung bursting run, his kneepads can always break his fall and prevent his knees from shredding off when he skids on asphalt. Haha, yeah, that was pretty graphic aint it?

Looks good once it's assembled don't it?

The Finishing Touches

Once it's all assembled, all that's left to do is to put on the Flash emblem and color the whole "suit". I had two shades of red when I painted the Flash; Metallic red and a maroon sort of red, for the "ears", boots and emblem, I painted them gold, instead of yellow. There's also no white in the emblem as I thought that would be like announcing to any bad guys to "Shoot here" directly into his chest.

The emblem is made of clay, just like the ears. You can also make them with putty.

...And...Voila! here are the final pictures! The Flash doesnt have the "lightning streak" on his hips though as I thought that would be excessive, and adding a gold belt would make him look like batman, so I just left it how it is. I hope you like it! If there are any comments, do leave 'em below.

Liking the "weathering" effects on the suit and emblem?

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017. Starwars Battlefront: 5 things you need to know before you buy

Hi guys,

StarWars Premiere early this week in LA. TCL Chinese Theatre
where the first trilogy was launched. Photo:Businessinsider.com

We all can agree that it is going to be a very busy Star Wars week this week, yes? The opening of the star wars franchise is finally here! Earlier this week, some of us has had the first sneak peek into the long awaited movie of the year. The re-beginning of the franchise that has gotten us into a frenzy. Websites issuing the pre-tickets have crashed and families have cried while watching the trailer. It is finally here, people...

The frenzy is so great, you can see many companies capitalising on the franchise. Disney is smiling all the way to the already fat bank account they have.

We await StarWars Battlefront, and it is here! but wait...There's something severely lacking

But we're here to talk about the video game that has been launched to capitalise on this wave: Star Wars Battlefront by EA. Why do we say EA? well, cause we had all the warning signs imaginable when we hear that EA is taking the reigns to this anticipated game(supposedly, of the year). To add to it, I don't think DICE really had too much say in this game. It's the same vicious cycle everytime, game developers get bullied by game publishers, and quality gets compromised.(to that end, kudos to Fallout4)

The Origin platform has never been a great success, but I guess it's a
stepping stone.

The Bare Naked truth

To be honest, there's much less to this game then what it is made out to be. When you're dealing with Star Wars, the potential is so great, that there's a standard you must live up to. EA fails miserably. Not only that, EA has displayed all the signs that show us gamers that they think we're sheeps.

That's to put it lightly. Here's five things that broke battlefront, even before the movie comes out.

01. As of 16th Dec 2015, Origin lowered the price of the game under the pretense that it's a limited time offer.

One month into the game and origin is offering a discounted price
for SW:Battlefront?

Should we forget that the game was released only exactly one month ago, on Nov 17?(18 or 19 on some areas).

Gamers who have bought the game early on found, to their dismay that to get the full experience that the game has to offer, they need to buy the battlefront season pass. Off course, one can just skip season pass, but the current game lacks depth in so many ways(we'll get to that later).So now you pay double for the price of one game.

So, season pass unlocks what we all want, but at what cost? It doesn't even
improve the game past decent...

Imagine the rage, Star Wars fans feel after this early discount?

02. The game lacks serious depth

Players get to immerse themselves in tutorials, singleplayer and multiplayer modes. As you pass through the tutorials, youd find so much potential in flying an X-wing, tie fighter, racers and AT-STs. That;s all good, no problem there, but then you get to the singleplayer mode and you find a big flaw.

Singleplayer modes reveal the barebones content that populate the
wealthy potential of the game.

So players get to choose a limited number of maps they want to play on.
Singleplayer looses out on game longevity.

Tutorial mode: Speeders

Tutorial mode: X-wing

AT-ST in the tutorial mode is awesome.

Singleplayer mode doesn't have a storyline. It's very mission oriented, in the form of battlefield. Off course you get to play as one of the main characters. On the imperial side you have Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Boba Fett, on the rebel side; Luke, Han Solo and Leia Organa. For the first ten minutes playing the game, you get so hyped up playing the characters, but the enthusiasm dies down so fast as you realise, there's nothing else to offer.

The Empire faction hero characters you get to choose to play in every map.

The Rebel faction hero characters that you get to choose to play in every map.

We were expecting the game to explore some StarWars lore going into it. Personally, we'd like a story that makes us travel through all the planets playing as a character and completing missions that are not points-based.

All you get is the cutscene that is meaningless...no story, no plot, nothing.

All we get is a location with our mission to get most points, get collectibles, restore health etc.All the potentials of the franchise gone to waste.

03. The game's core is weak

So, okay then, the singleplayer is a let down. Fine. Let's go to multiplayer and you find abit more depth, but not enough, if at all.

A wider range of game modes are available in multiplayer mode, thank goodness.

In multiplayer, you get a lot of the fps multiplayer modes like "capture the flag", "get the most kills" etc, but is it enough?

To add to that, some of the maps are so unpopulated that you'd spend more than half hour just to que. It's a disgrace.

This will take up most of your online play as the servers are so unpopulated.
At least Jakku DLC wasn't that bad, but still only on certain maps.

In multiplayer you accumulate xp and points so that you can unlock items like guns, grenades etc, but you only have 3 slots at loadout. Also, character customization is limited to customizing haircuts, facial hair on a preset UNKNOWN character. Wuttt?

Also, the gameplay in multiplayer allows you to take control of speeders, AT-STs and wing fighters and hero characters, but the hero characters are too overpowered that you just can't help but just die. Don't get us started on Bobafett.

Boba is just amazing. His jet pack makes him super overpowered. You could
leave opponents in the dust with this guy, and therein also lies the problem.

04. Play the Jakku DLC

Although the DLC looks nice. It just lacks any meaningful gameplay. Of course we are not asking for a storyline that might spoil the movie, but there is no story at all.

You gotta admit that it does look awesome. This is a map in jakku that gets the people.
Most other maps are still very much quiet.
The character of the maps, not just in Jakku, but every other map, lacks a character that is at least close to battlefield. It's just pretty much "duck-and-shoot" with most of the debris here. There are spots that offer you little more advantage, but that's it. It's just bland.

Sure, some of you might ask, what then could be a good suggestion.

and hoth is not much different from the other landscapes offered
in this game when you strip of the beautiful graphics.

I mean, c'mon we'd like to use spears and boulders every once in awhile, either
for fun or for strategy...

Like, what we mean is, like for example, they could add ewoks in endor as neutral parties, or taun tauns that we can utilize on hoth, you know? Or we could have maps that players could interact with the environment to give them the winning advantage. We think Star Wars deserve better than that.

05. This point is a culmination of all the points that makes this game bad

It comes to a point where you wonder if EA even think fans are humans. We love starwars, but we cant get immersed in a world where there is a lack of a storyline to feed our thirst for the force, nor can we get immersed in a world where skills count for nothing. The fight mechanics are just too 'guided', we don't have any form of 'planning phase' of the game to strategise AT ALL. Players just get onto the field and "try their best". The light saber duels are so "hack and slash" and doesn't provide variety. There is just no variety.

It seems almost like EA just created a game and thought fans might be content with the thought of the beautifully reproduced StarWars landscape that we know and love. We need more than that EA!

If EA creates more series in this franchise like what it does to their other titles, overprice it and underwhelms the game, then maybe it's best to stop supporting this title. They have gotten money from this title, but they are not going to get anymore.

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