Saturday, February 27, 2010

In Memory: Mohd Shukor Md. Tahir a.k.a Koi ( November 23rd, 1981 - February 25th, 2010)


A dear friend of mine just passed away on Wednesday night at 28 years old due to heart attack. An honest, kindhearted, humble, and happy-go-lucky person, one who never wants to share his personal problems with others as he doesn't want to burden others that we had to force it out from him. He was my best friend since our high school years, and we went through thick and thin together.

His sudden death was definitely a huge shock, it was like a massive tidal wave smashed against my chest squeezing the life out of me. It was on Thursday morning; I was in middle of texting a message to him, wanted to go hangout with him this weekend as I got a long weekend break off work, when the bad news arrived. Shocked and stunned, I actually froze in my seat for a few minutes with tears dribbling down from my eyes.  Heart attack...he was a smoker and asthmatic, but it never crossed my mind that he actually had any heart problems. Up until now, I still couldn't recover well.

I met Koi during my first year in high school, was actually introduced to him by Shahril. The three of us practically had the same hobbies, and ran into one another quite frequent, largely due to our enthusiastment to one of our hobbies (Magic: the Gathering TCG to be exact). This game also introduced me to current fellow tabletop gamers; Faizal Sani, Arzmi, Rizal a.k.a Jit, and Alvin Forsberg among others, as we too were hooked up with this game. Since then we became very good friends, we even worked together as staff for Comics Corner Subang Jaya and columnist for the Gamer's Sideboard magazine for several years. I still remembered the days during my semester breaks that we just drive aimlessly through Subang-PJ-KL throughout the day watching the things people do, and have a laugh at it. Also the days that we went through various FNMs, and tournaments, even multiple Grand Prix; oh boy, did we take our hobby too seriously. And the moment we decide to call M:tG quits as our work/studies and economical condition was not conducive, plus the metagame scene was evolving too fast. We still however continue to read/collect comic books, and did I mentioned that he had a huge collection of Transformers action figures. I still remembered at one time, we even planned to open a comic/hobby shop together in the future.

Koi was also one of the people that pushed me to go on and never give up with my studies, even when I was in the verge of quitting it. He was also the one who taught me on multi-tasking and how to make time despite our own  hectic daily life. He went on with his path in the entertainment business, while I continued at the health care field. However since the age of Friendster/Facebook, I have to admit that I took things for granted. Regularly checked his page for updates, but didn't actually make an effort to contact or message him in person.  He was a  very good friend, but I don't think I was one to him. Regrets filled my mind and soul, but what's done is done. We can never change the past, we can only make an effort for a better future.

Innalillahi Wainnalillahi Raji'un.
Rest In Peace, my brother. I'll never ever forget you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

IRON PAINTER - 20th February 2010

Iron Painter was a huge success! (Thanks Jeff!) 10 participants showed up for the first Iron Painter here, and it sure was a fun long-grueling event. Everybody was so determined to complete the task, that none bothered to even go out for lunch. All of us just decided to stay at the event, surviving on the packets of nasi lemak that Subhan actually brought for breakfast, some biscuits, and drinks.
Anyway, here are some quick summary and pictures from the event.

0950: Only four participants present at the scene; me, Arzmi, Is, and of course, Jeff. We were given the freedom to choose our own hobbying spot, and set up our tables.
0955: Stanley and Subhan arrived. Five minutes to start was declared by Jeff.
0959: Alvin arrived just in the nick of time.
1000: The Iron Painter officially started. Only Jeff and Arzmi actually started on time as the rest of us were still busy unpacking and setting up.
1030: Shazli arrived late with his primed marines but surprisingly was still unassembled as he wanted to paint the areas where the bolter covered the body. Juan, who attempted the Adamantium Mantle, also arrived with his fresh boxes of marines. By this time, I already had completed my first layer of scorched brown on my Forest Spirits.

1200: I've completed the third layer for my army. Dann arrived, not competing in the Iron Painter, but instead joined us ust to paint his Nids. Redeye and some of his friends also came to watch the competition and have some dice-rolling action. Note: Noon marks the beginning of the Necron taunting by the Ultramarines.


1400: Four hours passed. Alvin and Shazli talked about hunger and lunch, but nobody budged from their seats. Khairul finally showed up, after deciding to have a quick game of golf in the morning. Jeff however, only got two models painted in and decides to just continue hobbying, as the Iron Painter seemed out of his grasps. Note: I've completed all five layers of my Forest Spirit, and started applying base colour on my Asrai Noble.


1500: Ivan, Legio's resident master sculptor, arrived to the scene with some needed beverages for the participants. Just like Dann, he joined the day for hobby but instead of painting, he sculpted his models. If there was an Iron Sculptor event, it would definitely be Ivan's hands down (and he's secretly hping for one). His conversions were absolutely amazing, and would look far better when he finally decides to paint his miniatures. Note: Painting leaves is a huge nuisance.
1800: The other participants are still vigorously painting, and doesn't seemed to be bothered about eating. As for me, I'm starting to feel hungry and hypoglycaemic. Hence the biscuits, cans of coffee, and bottles of Gatorade. That probably explained why I spent the next one and a half hours just to flock the bases. Anyway, the Necron taunting got more intense and then begins the living terrain joke. Khairul only managed to finish three Howling Banshees since the moment he arrived, decides to throw in the towel and just continue painting whatever he has left. He also declared, "No more Eldar for Iron Painter after this." Azlan dropped by and brought his kids along to show them what Iron Painter is all about. Note: Noticed Alvin and Shazli started to talk nonsense and Juan's cigarette break is getting more frequent by this time.
2100: One hour left. I got past the hunger, and just focused on painting my Asrai Noble, my last model. Subhan and Alvin both starting to have hand tremors and seeing doubles. While Arzmi just kept his cool and continued painting like nothing happened, it's just amazing to see him maintain his cool throughout the day. The same can't be said for Alvin as was actually talking to his orks. Such is the pressure of painting for 12 hours non-stop. Note: Forgotten 'washing' actually needs time to dry but fortunately Alvin's drying fan is just within arms reach.
2130: Subhan and Is were pushing themselves hard for Iron Skull is just a stone's throw. Most of the others has decided to stop at what they have, as we're all just too tired. Note: I'm still applying the final (rushed) highlights for my Noble.
2200: The Iron Painter officially ends. The successful painter arranged their miniatures on the appointed display table, and voting for the Hobbyists' Choice began.

Iqbal's Wood Elves

Subhan's Necron

Stanley's Word Bearers (Chaos Space Marine)

Iskazri's SCARS (Imperial Guard)

Arzmi's Evil Sunz (Orks)

Alvin's Orks

Shazli's Ultramarines (Space Marine)


Then, comes the good news. Seven hobbyist managed to get the Iron Painter award (70% completion), Subhan and Is both got their Iron Skull award, and my Forest Spirit army was voted the Hobbyist' Choice. Thanks a lot guys!
Dann said that I made a smart decision by painting a brightly coloured elf among densely packed terrain, I don't think that joke is going to end anytime soon.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank some people here, as they played large roles in my success.
First massive thanks would go to the brothers, Khairul and Arzmi, as they were the ones that taught me of painting with airbrush.
Soo Jin, for teaching me the preshading technique that I applied to my Forest Spirits.
Jeff, Azlan, Kadir, and Dann for all the constructive comments given to me during Hobby Nights regarding my paintbrushing skills, you guys definitely made me a better painter.

Anyway, here are some close-ups of the miniatures I've painted during the event.


And of course, a close-up shot of my first ever Purity Seal.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The First Half of February

I've been MIA for quite some time, time for a lengthy update.

Chaos Road Trip
It was definitely a pleasant road trip back to Jakarta. I get to reacquaint with some old friends, reminiscing old memories, and also get some games in. There were some disappointments too, but none that really mattered. For the gaming part, suffice to say that my Alpha Legion achieved flawless victory there.

Hey look! There were lots of nice models on display. Feel free to browse through the mini 'art gallery'.

Background story: In a previous war between the Fallen Angels and the Inquisition, a mighty and honorable battle brother was severely injured by the Psycannon bombardment. In a desperate attempt, Brother Folca of the Fallen Angels constructed a makeshift dreadnought sarcophagus for him. Thus the creation of a four-legged dreadnought, which wrecked much havoc on subsequent wars. The prototype design for this dreadnought was later found missing, however. Approximately three months later, the Alpha Legion introduced 'Venom', a spider-like dreadnought automaton which later turned out to be a new version of the Defiler. Although the similarities between 'Venom' and the Folca-pattern dreadnought is undeniable, the Legionnaires kept silent regarding the matter.

Iron Painter
My original Iron Painter list was: 10 Glade Guard + 7 Waywatchers + 3 Spellsingers = 558 points.
Then, I changed my mind. I arrived back from Jakarta quite early on Wednesday morning and therefore, had the whole afternoon to myself. My previous scavenger hunt in my room resulted in two Treeman miniatures, so I (finally) assembled this particular one.

Yup, it's not exactly an official Wood Elf Treeman. It's a vintage metal LoTR Ent model, that I received from a lucky draw in a FLGS way back when I was still studying in Jakarta. Since both are GW-made models, why not? So, I've changed my list and it currently consists of 24 Dryads and 1 Treeman. I've thrown in some models to the list, coz who knows, when I'm in the zone I could paint really fast. Iron Skull perhaps, but let's just keep it at plain Iron Painter for now. Here they are...

It was a 'Haywire-Thursday' last week. Why? Because several kindred ties were severed due to real life commitments; Peter, Syamael, and Subhan went panic frantically looking for someone to bleed with. After the storm, I ended up partnering Peter and thus a rather significant change to my army list. My initial list with Faizal was a Black Legion list with a 'Council of the Ancients' theme to it., but that list and fluff has been thrown out of the window. Now, it's just downright plain nasty (actually I'm very relieved that we agreed not to do the maxed out Lash-spam list).

Somebody was really smart to put my name on standby list for work on 6th March when I already submitted my request since 2 months back, so Kindred is 50/50 for me. I can't really complain, just a blue-collared worker in a white-collared world, the bottom feeder of the pyramid.  I don't really mind working, but now I'm just hoping + praying that my transfer appeal is accepted and be transferred to somewhere near instead this coming June/July (starting to get sick and tired of the uncertainty). By the way...Saleem went to the Middle East, Johan has flown to Sabah, Doc has been shipped to Penang, both Faizal and Khairul got transferred to 'bang-cock'; a bit grim-looking future for my gaming club I might say, but I'm very determined not to follow suit. This hobby and the current gaming group I have are the things that refreshes my mind off working. I am so not going to let this go. That being said, I need to keep reminding myself that I'm just a plankton in the vast ocean, the bosses above won't even care.

Blood Bowl
Ahmad the Mudster handed my elves an undead thrashing on my last game, lost 3-0. Luckily, nobody was severely injured (two linemen will miss the next game though). But I think I know why my team didn't perform well; two guys from the team were not fully painted in that game. Don't worry, it's just a minor setback, we'll be back. And I already had the blueprints of the Sunseer Roar Stadium in my head.

SporeCon 2010
This would be another huge question mark for me for I may or may not go (again with the real life commitments). So, I can't really confirm if I'm able to join Team Malaysia this year. However, thanks to Cikgudin I'm pretty much now set on my final list to bring there (just need to tweak some weapon configurations on the extra 13 points). I'm going to bring an undivided Alpha Legion, although that means unabiding by Legio's 'Imperium doctrine'. My Raven Guard will be obsolete come Blood Angels in April (mostly due to Chapter Master Seth of Flesh Tearers), and I'm not interested to start another marine army or the Imperial Guards. Truth be told, I'm starting to get bored of painting marines. Expect four to five rhinos from me as usual, 'Venom', and some new additions to the force. Rest be assured that I'm not going to play any Lash Prince nor Obliterator-spam, you can at least trust me on that.

Wow, a very long post. Should've made this into a two-part posting next time. Hahaha :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Clean-up Phase

As was foreseen, last week was one to be forgotten. Thank God it has passed, hope I will never have to experience it again, ever!

I arrived very late at last Friday's Hobby Night, around 9.30 pm, still in my office outfit without any of my armies. And guess what, secrets are beginning to unveil. Somebody brought his first five miniatures of his Space Wolves army, while somebody else revealed his 1750 pts Necron army. The night was closed with the usual mamak routine, and boy everyone sure was starving (almost everybody ordered double portion of Indomie with eggs).

I think I slept almost the whole day on Saturday. I was just too damn tired of the work I've done in the previous week. Later at night, I went out to get some stuff for my incoming holiday (yay!). And Khairul, don't worry bro, I'll get you that stuff that you craved a lot from the place I'm going to. Hahaha :D

Sunday was the eventful day of my week. Somebody said that he wanted to come over and learn how to airbrush but then he disappeared without any news. So, by noon I decided to ransack my room and reorganzied the mountain pile of boxes at the corner of my room. Guess what I find; treasures and junk.

The mountain of plastic sprues in my room turned to be junk. Most of them only has about <10% stuff on it. So, I de-sprued them all and as expected, I was able to get rid of three boxes of those sprues. Just look at these mountain of plastic frame, empty of sprue.

I need to admit that I'm one lazy person, for I just unboxed a huge box yesterday, after almost three years returning from Indonesia. One of the reason was because I know the things in there are just for safekeeping and I'm  not going to use them everyday. It contained most of my lecture notes, some textbooks, photo albums (fond memories there), lots of TCG, and a NIB Wood Elf Treeman (now I have two!). But, the treasure I meant were actually the novels I've read and collected all the years I've spent there. Lo and behold, my mini library.

So, tomorrow my holiday begins. And I'm returning to Jakarta, the place which made me the person I am now and I missed it so much. So many memories there, and I feel so attached to it that it felt like my second home. I won't be able to attend this Friday's Hobby Night, but that won't stop me from gaming; 1 sorcerer, 3 terminators, 2 rhinos, 14 plague marines, 4 obliterators, and 1 defiler decided to tag along to Jakarta for a 1200 pts game (actually I wanted my Melta Chosens to come along, but since they're being repainted, they have to guard the home base). Hahaha :D