Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Commandos are Best Combat Unit again!

With the new camouflage uniform adopted by the Singapore Armed Forces comes a new way of painting camouflage on the faces - "dotted" war-paint to match their new pixalised pattern camouflage uniforms, a far cry from the old "watermelon" design (see picture and text below)

And here are the Commandos in action - Advance scouts from the 1st Commando Battalion securing a shoreline during a beach landing demonstration. The Commandos have won the SAF Best Combat Unit award 6 years in a row, their record 23rd win in the competition's 40-year history. The annual Best Unit Competition grades SAF units on such criteria as battle readiness, physical fitness, marksmanship, manpower issues, logistics, readiness and safety. The Commando Battalion is made up mainly of full-time national servicemen. That in itself, is quite impressive.

Other related posts: Singapore's Land Warrior (link here) and kitbash Singapore Commando (pictures here)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hot Toys Private Billy Sole Part II

Continued from previous post: Nobody remembers Billy being blond. So what's with the blond hair and heavy make-up i.e. camouflage? Was he so spooked his hair turned from black to blond? Word is the actual actor Sonny Landham did not give permission for his likeness to be used. We can only guess it could be due to financial compensation or lack thereof. When Hot Toys first released their MMS (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6 12-inch Terminator action figures of Kyle Reese and a battle-damaged T-800, they also didn't have permission to use Arnold Schwarzenegger's likeness (see my post here and here).

Closer inspection of Billy's head sculpt is in order.

And here's a screen grab of the actual actor

And here are repaints done by some very good painters which I came across on the net. There is a Sonny Landham hiding under all that heavy camouflage make-up.

Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer and Private Billy Sole side by side

Dutch: What's got Billy so spooked?
Sergeant Mac Eliot: Can't say, Major. Been actin' squirrelly all morning. That damned nose of his... it's weird.
Dutch: What is it? Billy? What the hell is wrong with you?
Billy: There's something in those trees.
Dutch: Do you see anything?
Billy: Up there ahead.
Dutch: Nothing. What do you think?
Billy: I guess it's nothing, Major.

They went into the jungles of South America to hunt guerilla fighters and rescue hostages but guess who ended up being the hunted!

Full review of Hot Toys MMS72 (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6 scale 12-inch collector's edition Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer with Arnold Schwarzenegger's likeness here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hot Toys Private Billy Sole Review Part I

Having reviewed Hot Toys Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer already, let's turn our attention to Hot Toys Collector's Edition MMS73 (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6 12-inch Action Figure Private Billy Sole, also from "Predator (1987)".

Private Billy Sole (played by Sonny Landham) was a Native American Kit Carson-style scout in Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Special Forces Team and the team's tracker. He is the first one to sense that the Predator is hunting them.

Hot Toys again delivers with a nice slip case of Billy but with landscape orientation.

Back of slip case reveals more product shots of 1/6 12-inch Private Billy Sole plus his equipment and gear.

Front cover of box packaging shows Billy in a thermal image as seen by the Predator. Back of box is identical to Dutch i.e. showing all three figures from the Hot Toys Predator series.

Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series 1/6 scale 12-inch Private Billy Sole from the movie "Predator" in his tray together with all his accessories

Muscular Body Instruction Manual showing how far you can go with this figure's arms before they break. Not meant to be as articulated as their standard True Type body.

Billy Sole straight out of his box, without his complete gear. Features Hot Toys muscled figure body with over 21 points of articulation.

His accessories include: AR-15/SP1 (removable 30-round magazine and opening dust cover) fitted with a Mossberg 500 12-guage shotgun underslung below the barrel, Woodlands camouflage boonie hat, two water canteens with covers, M67 "baseball" hand grenade, an M1911A1 pistol with removable magazine only (although this is incorrect as Billy and Dutch were carrying IMI Desert Eagle handguns) a machete and combat knife plus sheath.

Billy also has flak vest, H type LC-1 suspenders attached to web belt plus shoulder holster and harness

Private Billy Sole topless wearing Woodlands camouflage pants with trouser belt, wearing Nomex aviator gloves and brandishing a machete in his right hand and combat knife in his left hand.

Billy has blond hair and his face is heavily made-up with camouflage paint.

Billy wears a necklace or pouch which we can assume is part of the Native American tradition. He touches it when he senses the Predator as if calling the spirits for protection. Didn't do him any good, he got skewered!

At several points during the film he feels the presence of the Predator and becomes spooked. Billy's laughter is mimicked in the Predator's dying scene as it activates its self-destruct.

Billy with his flak vest back on

Billy with a Hot Toys 1/6 M1911A1 pistol (with removable magazine only)

Hot Toys MMS73 Movie Masterpiece 1/6 scale 12-inch collectible figure Private Billy Sole in full gear

Billy: I'm scared, Poncho.
Poncho: Bullshit. You ain't afraid of no man.
Billy: There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die.

Billy with his Woodlands camouflage boonie hat - helps to conceal his blondness

Billy has a "cut" (painted) on his left cheek. His eyes are always looking up as if scanning the trees for the unseen intruder. He carries his combat knife close by his side, taped to his webbing.

His pistol is holstered in a shoulder holster secured to his web belt or pistol belt

His machete is secured in sheath by his left thigh. He wears jungle boots.

Water canteens in carrier

Ammo pouch can also be used as utility pouch with M67 "baseball" hand grenade secured

His AR-15/SP1 (removable 30-round magazine and opening dust cover) fitted with a Mossberg 500 12-guage shotgun underslung below the barrel

Who is Billy under all that heavy camouflaged paint? Check out my next post as we reveal the face behind the make-up.

Of all the members of Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer's (Arnold) team, only Private Billy Sole (Latham) is produced. Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura) would have been nice, with his custom-made handheld 7.62mm GE M134 Minigun nicknamed "Ol Painless". There was also Mac (Bill Duke) with his M60E3 machine gun, Poncho (Richard Chaves) with his MP5 (or civilian HK94, if you want to be specific) and HK 40mm cyclinder grenade launcher, and Hawkins (Shane Black), also armed with a MP5.

Review of Hot Toys MMS90 Movie Masterpiece Series 1/6 scale 14-inch Predator from the first Predator movie here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cool Gadget Number 1

Here's a post I hope to be able to do on a regular basis (HINT! HINT!) - review cool gadgets sent to me for FREE :) These gadgets are available through www.BudgetGadgets.com and they sell lots of cool stuff at low low OR budget prices, hence the name BudgetGadget, get it ;p They've got Cameras & Photo accessories, Car Accessories, Cell Phones & PDA, Electronics, Home & Garden, Sporting Goods, Toys & Hobbies, Video Games and other stuff as well. Check it out - after all, you buy it only if you like it!

All their prices seem very reasonable (as in priced for the budget conscious) plus Free Shipping too! If you quote this coupon name - AM5OFF12 when you shop at their site, you can get a 5% discount site-wide! Like I said before, "Blogging has its privileges" - ha! ha!

This is a Multifunctional Compass + Whistle + LED Light + Thermometer + Light Reflector + Magnifier (Item ID: 5372 - link here). It integrates six functions: Compass, Whistle, Light, Thermometer, Magnifier and Reflector. Really handy and great for outdoor adventures. Heck, it's just nice and cool to have.


Whistle - I use it to wake the boys in the morning now - ha! ha!

Compass - one must always have this around, especially when you are house hunting

LED light

The gadget can be taken apart by simply turning the centre knob. The whistle end has a reflector

The centre portion itself is a magnifier. The LED end houses the batteries.

It measures 97 x 28 mm, or 3.82 x 1.10 inches and net weight is 43 g, or 1.52 oz

But here's a measurement I'm more comfortable with - comparing it with a Hot Toys 1/6 scale 12-inch Billy Sole from the "Predator" movie. I bet Billy would find this gadget useful too. Full review of Hot Toys Private Billy Sole here.

So there you have it. Interested parties can check out their website, and remember if you quote the coupon AM5OFF12 when you shop at their site, you can get a 5% discount site-wide.