Saturday, 29 June 2013

ThreeA - Popbot : Tomorrow Kings Seven Bones Shogun Shiho.

There were only ten that ever walked with us, that each could held an army at bay single handed. They say we will never see their kind again and each of the ten shelter a silent wisdom cast from a memory of the end. These are the Shogun TKs.
- write up from the box.

It is worth it they thought, to fight a universe for a cat and a guitar.
Dumper was a transitional planet, between the ground level universe and the underverse. The Tomorrow Kings have used it as traditional base of operations for nearly 800 years, well until today. One Interloper was all it took, hidden in a troop movement via Dumper. It was always known that this would occur, and plans were made.
The last two Shogun, Gorei and Tsuki, had always had the mission, they were born with the task of holding a legion of Mortis for 37.3 seconds and all would be corrected.
The Mortis only had to stop a boy and a cat from going home, but they had to do it via Dumper.
For 29.8 seconds the two Shoguns held a line that saw not a single Mortis trooper pass, then an errant and un-expected thought of a long dead TK made Gorei falter, in an instant he knew he had lost his position, but he marvelled at a feeling he had never been allowed, the feeling of loss was thrilling, a feeling for a universe,  he thought, was worth it. 29.9 Tsuki pivoted to take the onslaught alone, 7.4 seconds and he could rest.
Lady Sham held the young boy's hand tightly, and guided him across the silent road towards his house. Her grip tightened, not wanting her life to walk away, she knew they would meet again, someday, but that didn't make any difference now.
A white cat with black cow like markings darted in front of them, and barked. "Move it ya slapper, they'll all be here soon!"
- short write up from the "Dumper" Gorei and Tsuki twin pack.
The inferno spews out hell's horde
Casting the flames upon our world
As death eclipses all the light
We make our last stand, 'til death: fight
- Shogun, Trivium.

A (mis) interpretation:

Category: Limited production replicants.
Model type: The Tomorrow Kings - GEN 1.0.
Unit type: The Seven Bones / 七
I.D: Shiho.
Rank: Shogun.
Function: Leadership / close assault.
Manufacturer: The Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation.
Incept Date: 15th Jan. 1986.
Serial no.: TKG01MAB000000007B.
Longevity: Unknown.
Physical Level: A+.
Mental Level: B.
Std. armaments: Monohoshi Zao - nodachi power blade x 1; Ō-yoroi - artificer power armour : menpō - faceplate x 1; kabuto - helm x 1;  mabisashi - forehead plate x 1;  sode - spaulder x 1; wakibiki - upper chest armour x 1; han kote - vambrace x 1.
Abilities: Panzer Kunst - anti- armour martial art; Tsubame Gaeshi - sword technique; superhuman physiology; precognition.

1987. The Great Scouring of Mortis. Ten legions of titans and battlebots were raised by Queen Mortis to put an end to the replicants super warrior of Luthor Bean Jr. once and for all. Leviathan 1 trembled before the movements of the massive war machines pouring out from the Underverse Warp rift. The skies blackened with smokes from the Soot Divers. The population, hidden within the bunkers, their eyes locked and focused on the vid-vox of the upcoming onslaught upon the nigh unstoppable Tomorrow Kings and Queens, themselves numbered in millions. Luthor Bean Jr. threw in everything his corporation had against the machines relentless march. Waves after waves of his replicants threw themselves and fought off the Mortis legions. The Underverse battle had begun once more. But this time, Queen Mortis was steadily gaining an upper hand in her campaign to seize Leviathan 1. 'Flesh is f***ed. Metal rule!', the vox caster screamed across the charred, scorched and burning battlegrounds within the belly of the derelict, massive interstellar spaceship. But Luthor Bean Jr. had a triumph card up his sleeve. The Shogun series Tomorrow Kings. Specially customised male replicants with selected genomes from the finest gene seeds formulated by the DNA Organ. They are to a standard Tomorrow Kings what the latter is to a normal human. Ten times stronger and faster with pre-programmed ancient sword technique, known as the "Turning Swallow Cut", in addition of the Panzer Kunst anti-armour martial art. Only ten were produced. Each is armed with a master crafted electro-plated, great power sword and half artificer power armours, helms and face plates inspired from an ancient, feudal Eastasia war-culture. They do not wear the standard Ion Cyclotron power gloves. They don't need it. Shogun TKs were effective enough to stop the onslaught of the machines before they breached the outer limit of the rift from total incursion into the realspace. The remaining eight Mortis legions were annihilated by the ten Shogun TKs alone. Regardless, only three remained standing - Gorei, Tsuki and Shiho. Not since the times of General Showa and the Oyabun of the Old Guards were the population so enthralled by the virtuoso display of combat skills. The Shogun TKs became overnight legends and heroes of the Underverse War.
1991. 'They have breached Grid 7175. I repeat. The Hekatonkheires have claimed 7275', said Lady Sham into the vox caster, 'the squids would reach 7175 in t-minus 40 seconds'. Lady Sham, demi-goddess taken the form of a mortal to stop her insane techno-mancer sister, Queen Mortis, stands atop Grid 7174, the final defence line of the Underverse Warp rift, should they be able to claim it. 'Hold on to your position, Your Highness. Reinforcements on their way. Brace for deep strike teleportation. Teleport beacon in place. Co-ordination, 108958', Luthor Bean Jr. replied from the smoking ruins of Hatchery 51. After rejuvenating himself with the blood of a half alive hatchery engineer, the dhampir biorobotics, genetic engineering genius and reclusive CEO of the Luthor Bean Jr Corp. proceed to activate the three remaining, hibernating Shogun TKs, together with several hundreds of thousands of other remaining TK  and TQ series, and teleported them directly into the path of the Hundred-Handed Ones. Each Shogun TK is programmed with skills to hold and annihilate a Mortis legion within 37.3 seconds timeframe, no more, no less. For 29.8 seconds the three Shoguns held a line that saw not a single Mortis squid pass, but an Interloper mutation manifested suddenly amongst one-third of the TKs and TQs. Gorei was distracted and he faltered, split apart instantaneously in a hail of shredded flesh, bloods and bones by the squids. At 29.9 seconds, Tsuki and Shiho pivoted to take the onslaught themselves, while the remaining un-corrupted TKs and TQs fought the Interlopers to the last replicant standing. Another 7.4 seconds and the remaining two Shogun TKs could rest. But the peace Tsuki long for did not reach him. He was fending off one hundred Squids when his mind suddenly turned errant, with thought of a dead TK. A precognition of death. All it took was a deadly swing from a remaining Interloper to severe Tsuki's head from his shoulder. The Interloper berserker was in turn cleaved into half by Shiho. Shiho alone held the final bastion against the tide of the killer machines. Lady Sham arrived later and described a scene of extreme carnage but no sight of Shiho. Luthor Bean Jr. later deducted that the process of creating the Shogun TKs had resulted in an irreversible damage to the DNA Organ's gene seeding process and selection, resulting in a random, unpredictable Interloper mutation within the genome and gene codex of the TKs and TQs. Luthor could not find any solution to this anomaly up to now. The Ten Years of Darkness is said to begin at this point.
1995. The Fourth Punk King sat upon a throne fashioned out from a pile of severed Mortis titans' heads within the grasp of a massive titan hand, worthy trophies of his personal battles and victories against the anti-flesh giants, symbol of his office and rights of the champion of champions. 'Have you located him?', asked the brooding Punk King at a Dot Info TK. 'Yes. The Great Waste', replied the TK. 'The Waste...prep up the matrix. I'm going in to retrieve him', thundered the anarchic rogue ultimate warrior of Leviathan 1. Trapped in the intermix of psychic energy of the Warp and physical space-time of the real-space, Shiho is alive and fully functional. Within the Warp rift, space and time do not exist and reality changes in accordance to the chaotic flows of the Warp. For Shiho, he felt like 800 years had passed. When the Punk King found him, Shiho's skin colour had turned pale due to the influence of the Warp but not corrupted for, as a replicant, there is no soul for the daemons to corrupt nor consume. His precognitive ability are awakened and amplified. Shiho had came to this place when a techno-mage champion of the Mortis summoned a breach in its death throes during the battle and pulled Shiho into deepest zone of the rift, known as the Great Waste. Shiho would be trapped eternally in limbo within the Underverse but the Punk King is strong enough to locate him after obliterating a thousand corrupted machines standing in his way. Shiho was retrieved and brought back to be initiated as the fourth member of the Seven Bones. Shiho is recognised as one of the few surviving deadliest replicant ever come into existence.
Shogun is quite a departure from previous TKs released by ThreeA. It lived up to its designation. Very samurai like, with botak style head and a tuff of hair, yet still retaining the sytlised "essence" of a TK with tinge of modern vibe. Just wish that 3A would revert back to the older, broad shoulder body as slim body is kinda, well, not macho enough. Personal opinion of course. Absolute love its shoulder/arm's armour, and that massive sword/blade. Three versions are made and released. My first choice would be Gorei, the "orange one", which has the best colour way as well as extra decals on the helm. Tsuki is alright but it didn't catch my eye, and so is the random drop (?) DIY, Light and Shadow sets. I have had to settle for Shiho as default due to it being designated as a member of the Seven Bones. The skin tone is kinda pale compared to Gorei and Tsuki. I wonder if there were some sort of story behind this. I noted that Seven Bones Oya Kyoku has the same skin tone. There's a goatee on the head sculpt as well as the mandatory Seven Bones tattoo on the right arm and left leg. Noted that the kanji characters are different from one Bones to another. Curiously, Wasabi and Kyoku tattoos are black while Queeny and Shiho are now blue in colour. I searched the Wiki for infos on samurai armours, as well as curiously inspired by the swordsman, Sasaki Kojiro. I am eager for ThreeA to complete the release, and follow by the Punk King but, I think, fat chance. Seems like ThreeA is "character hopping", for the lack better sentencing, jumping around various licensing and (pre-mature) announcement. Like, what da heck happen to Hammerstein? Or Mrs Shadow? But putting all that aside, the Shiho figure I got is pretty sturdy after the heart-attack inducing "problematic" NTQ Munich TQ that I have. Nevertheless, the moment I opened up the turpentine tinged figure from the box (yes, that means fresh and mint condish from 3A), one of the mouth guard's err..thing...which is to be slotted onto two grooves on the helm to hold it on place, well, broke...and gone missing (it is really tiny). Then the slot in of one of the wire's connecting the massive sword to the battery pack broke as I tinkered with the position. Sigh. I have to resort to good ole glue again, to resolve it. That aside, Shogun stands out as one of, if not the, most outstanding TK release from 3A thus far.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ThreeA - Adventure Kartel : Johan LSBBG.

Well I'm a member of a country club
Country music is what I love
I drive an old Ford pick-up truck
I do my drink-in from a dixie cup
Yea I'm a bona-fide dancin' fool
I shoot a mighty mean game of pool
At any honky-tonk roadside pub
I'm a member of a country club
- Tritt Travis, Country Club.

A (mis) interpretation:
Unit type: Custom personal security robot.
Model type: ANKOU.
Designation: Johan.
Alias: Cherry Shadow Badass Bodyguard / The Undefeated.
Affiliation: The Sydow Famiglia / The Sheba's Hill Gang / The SXCLB.
Manufacturer: The Thruxton Industries.
Armour type: Luna titanium steel composite alloy.
Armour thickness: 40mm.
Height: 6 feet.
Weight: 350kg.
Power plant: Hydrogen fuel cell.
Armaments: "Mahrem" - power fist x 2; "Bakabana" - banana bomb x 1; multi-spectrum scanners; sensorium; A.I. system ver. X.
Abilities : "The Lion of Judah" - robot martial art; cybernetic enhanced physiology; invulnerability against magic/physical attack; techno arcane adept; master strategist and tactician.
Johan is a customised ANKOU robot, retainer of the Sydow Family, personal bodyguard of Eliza von Sydow aka Cherry Shadow and chief trainer of the New Andria's ANKOU Shadow Security Garrison and the Non Living Containment Squad (N.L.C.S.) special units. Johan's early background is shrouded in mystery. It is said that Baron Seth von Sydow discovered a destroyed and disabled ANKOU in the Northern Frontier bordering the Robot Islands. The Governor General of New Andria and lord of the local dhampir clan immediately formed a psychic link with the disused robot. Bringing it to the Thruxton Industries for repair and restoration, the Baron learnt that the ANKOU is a prototype Thruxton Industries Army for Hire series of robots for one of the Terra Colonial Administration's Navy covert military operations, the CAM Operations Support Detachment (C.O.S.D.) in the Malabar Front, Oceania.
The Baron secured the ANKOU from Thruxton Industries and made several modifications to its original specifications - more powerful, intelligent, and possess abilities, skills above an average ANKOU robot. The Guv'nor named it Johan after a retired, famous Dutch footballer of which the Baron is a fan, as well as inspired by the given masculine name of an obscure Sindo-Malay language, which means "champion". Johan's body is restored using Luna titanium steel composite alloy instead and prior to that, inscribed with arcane glyphs down to the molecular level to protect it against any form of magical or sorcerous assaults. Its ANKOU power fists are master-crafted and can unleashed several hundred times greater electromagnetic punches at super sonic velocity apart from generating an energy field around it that disrupts any solid matter it touches. Johan is programmed with a specific robot martial art, "The Lion of Judah", which is said to have incorporated both the Panzer Kunst and the Space Karate electromagnetic martial arts. A formidable, above expert level hand to hand combatant, Johan is more than capable of overwhelming and defeating any martial art experts in three moves, as it has the ability to continuously self learn and analyse an opponent's fighting style in order to retaliate accordingly, thus earning the name "The Undefeated". The Fighting JC once said that he considers Johan to be one of very few individuals which could match his own martial prowess.
Johan is also one of the founding members, along with Cherry Shadow, of the Sheba's Hill Gang (S.H.G.) active in sub-district 90210 of District 1, where the famous and wealthy, not to mention obnoxious, aristocratic members of New Andria's more affluent residence stays. The collective is equivalent to the District 12's prolific Adventure Kartel (AK). Both fights off any Zomb Hordes and rogue robots incursion into the city. The S.H.G. was nearly wiped out during the Battle of Five Points, including Johnson and Sanakhte. The group is currently on hiatus after the incident. 
Johan is highly associated with the SXCLB faction. It occasionally carries out "special mission" on the orders from Elaine von Sydow aka Big Shadow. This explains the "Pinkerton" colour Johan has on him. Johan often carries a banana bomb during such mission, which he slowly peels and place on the body of its fallen enemies before detonation. Somehow Johan believes its targets, though it does not know them personally, should be entitled to a peaceful and happy death, and the banana bomb would gives them that. Usually a song from an obscure, children programme would be played along by Johan, with slight but vulgar variation to its lyrics, which goes like this, "Bananas, in pyjamas, are exploding on yer f***ed up face". Johan plays a pivotal role in bringing down the last bastion of the Zombots defence during the Robot Islands War.
Johan is described as a gentleman and speaks in an eloquent manner, but susceptible to using pretentious, pseudo-poetic words sprinkled with malapropisms while not training the Shadow Security and the N.L.C.S., of which is said to be akin to drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from the movie, Full Metal Jacket. Johan is called behind its back by fellow ANKOU robots as "Leather Lungs" and "that pink a-hole". Tommy Mission dislikes Johan and derisively calls it "country club's Mrs. Malaprop" to "the bourgeois egg head" on every occasions they meet. Johan's view on the young mage is mutual, calling Tommy a "trust fund dependent hipster wanna be" to "cry baby". Johan has a taste for young men and doesn't hide his preference, openly engaging or picking up men in dive-bars or country clubs.     
Johan LSBBG (Am not really sure what the abbreviation stands for) is a random drop figure by 3A. I was fortunate enough (a first, really) to come across it and fend off several cart jacking attempts before hitting the jackpot. Lots of F5ing as usual, really when it comes to such situation. Just glad I didn't have had to pay through my nicotine tainted nostrils for one in the secondary market. Comes in a "carded" package. When it arrived, which was sometime ago, I was hesitating and not sure whether to open it. I was at 50/50 on this figure, may even wanna let it go when I saw it but changed my mind as I thought this would be the only ANKOU I should have, thus, self-rationalising with myself as usual, can now rest assured that any past, present and future ANKOU would no longer entice me to depart with my hard earn income. Also it goes well with the SXCLB ANKOU EX colour way scheme. Johan has since grown on me, with its 70s (?) style polo shirt and 90s (?) shorts which remind me curiously of what Pete Sampras worn during his heydays as tennis champion. Comes with, uh, a 1/6th banana. The official background has it that Johan is Lil Shadow bodyguard and trainer. There is a little confusion on my part as earlier version has a Zombot called Sanakhte as Cherry Shadow's bodyguard.  

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Southeast Asian Haze 2013.

Hear the salvation army band
Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride
Than what you've got planned
Carry your cup in your hand
And look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
- Hazy Shade of Winter, Simon and Garfunkel.

It's '97 and '06 all over again. And no. It is definitely not hazy shade of winter. Although it seems like a scene from winter. Or from Silent Hill. Instead it is choking air, lingering burning smell and extremely humid, hot temperature. Demand of N95 surgical masks outstrip supply resulting in flippers jacking up the prices. I love BBQ but I ain't no BBQ or smoked salmon for that matter. Or being smoked alive. Even for someone who smokes nearly a pack a day, ergo the nickname Chugginton by friends and close customers alike. I definitely do not want to be a human satay. I have had enough pollution within my blood stream to kill me several times over. But if I die due to nicotine, tars and what other cancer inducing stuffs they put into the sticks, it is due to my addiction and weak will. My f***up choice. But this.  This is not my choice. This ain't no "act of God" kind of situation either, like some volcanos erupting somewhere. The backyard BBQ party is happening coz some tits are burning the palm oil plantations and/or carrying out some "slash and burn" activities in one of the neighbours. Today alone at least eight walk ins wanted air purifiers from the shop. Alas, all sold out and supplier stocked out. Darn. The API spiked up to a near record 700+ in the southern state (800+ in '97, the mother of all hazes), resulting in the PM declaring a state of emergency over the south last weekend. Based on what I read, any API readings above 50 is moderate, above 100 is unhealthy, above 200 is very unhealthy, above 300 is hazardous. As I type this, the ever presence lingering burning smell is again, slowly permeating the entire household. I worried for my family. Darn, gonna git that only display set air purifier left in the shop back home.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Esther's Birthday 2013

Happy birthday Esther. Wish you happiness and healthy always (as the Sumatran haze again blanketing, choking the entire Tropics right now, amongst others). I may not be the ideal hubby but thanks for standing by and accepting me for all my idiosyncrasy.

Father's Day 2013

Thanks Chloe, Dylan for the gifts. And yes, Chloe knows I loves artery choking American breakfast. And thanks Dylan for the best father badge, even though I always think I haven't done enough for all of you. Thanks Esther for all the trouble to make a delicious dinner of roast chicken for us. Love you all dearly.

Friday, 14 June 2013

ThreeA x BBICN Exclusive - Popbot : Tomorrow Queen Munich NTQ.

A (mis) interpretation :

Category: Mass production replicants.
Model type: The Tomorrow Queens - GEN 3.0.
Unit type: NTQ.
ID: Munich.
Rank: Sukeban.
Function: Culling/assassination.
Incept date: 6th April 1994.
Longevity: 4 years.
Physical level: A.
Mental level: B.
Manufacturer : The Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation.
Std. armaments : Monomolecular edged katana x 2; carbon nanotube jacket x 1; Ion cyclotron power glove x 2.
Abilities : Panzer Kunst - anti-armour martial art; superhuman physiology; stealth.

The Hatchery of the Luthor Bean Jr. Corporation practices a culling method where the Breeders evaluate and select replicant stock based on a weighted table of characteristics, after the gene seeding stage by the DNA Organ. The Breeder would select qualities that are most important and assigns them a weight. The weights of all the traits should add up to 100. When evaluating a replicant for selection, the Breeder measure the traits on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most desirable expression and 1 being the lowest. The scores are then multiplied by their weights and then added together to give a total score. Replicants that fail to meet a threshold are culled (or removed) from the Hatchery programme. The total score gives a Breeder a way to evaluate multiple traits on a replicant at the same time. It also allows for weighted improvement of multiple characteristics. The Breeders could make major gains in one aspect while moderate or lesser gains in others Replicants that do not meet this minimum total score are culled from the breeding program. The culling process is repeated until the selected group of replicants is of proper size and consistency desired before being released and designated as an official Tomorrow King and/or Queen.
The NTQ, designated Munich, Tomorrow Queen series is a special task group, programme primarily to carry out the process of culling their Tomorrow Queen sisters which have failed the said requirements. The NTQ series gain ill-repute image after the Leviathan tabloids learnt of their existence and secretly filmed their acts of culling which involve sonic speed slicing of fully grown, screaming female replicants which horrified the reporters. They term their culling as an act of sororicide which involves inhumane method, as well as environmental unfriendly. Luthor Bean Jr. shrugs off such reports, and would often snaps back when the subject is brought up, saying that he has a business to run and a war to win. Luthor Bean Jr. also officially states that all culled TQs or TKs for that matter, are recycled for nutrients. The NTQ series are combat ready and occasionally deployed into the Underverse warp rift for special assignment involving precision assault against champions of the Mortis Legion. However, for the right price, the Luthor Bean Jr Corp. would also loan out the NTQ to third parties as assassins. In such cases when the contract is completed successfully (an NTQ has a 100% kill rate), each TQ would be mind-wiped and implanted with new memory.  


The Munich NTQ tomorrow queen is one of the several 3A exclusive figures for BBICN for the ACG Comic Con during 2013 New Year's Day in Guangzhou, China. The other being the KDO TK and the Hard Nipple War Set (snow variant of the masked Bleak Mission, Custard and Lil Shadow). Just like the Thailand Toy Expo (which exclusives, amongst others, are ThaiK and ThaiQ, each limited to 90, I think. I think they are called Waza and Irimi respectively. The ThaiK, typical of 3A, has been re-released with different colourway as the first figure of the TK Klub) exhibition, these exclusives are available only to attendees. I sometimes wish there's a large enough fan base or principle distributor to organise one for this country by 3A. But I doubt it is possible if only four and myself would comprise the total attendee to justify Ash and Kim's flight tickets alone. Usually when it comes to 3A exhibition/convention exclusives, the only way I could get one if I really like it would be paying by parting with my kidney and mortgage the assets to purchase one through flippers on the secondary market.
Nevertheless, BBICN dropped a bombshell later and decided to release it for open order through their retailers this year. It was controversial. The announcement perhaps flipped a few whom attended the event (flight, accommodation, sexy funs ;P and food) as it was supposedly limited to 500 sets only. Guessing BBICN didn't shift it much. While I sympathised the attendees (infos have it that in order to buy the TK and NTQ, one has to buy the Hard Nipple War set first), more power to those whom could not make it and guessed the flippers got a bit flipped as well (someone offered me RMxxxx for the NTQ before the announcement of availability through retailers).
It just arrived at xl-shop, and blessed Davey of BTS branch, who managed to secure one (perhaps the only one but hey, I got to steer clear of flippers as best as I could when on the hunt for exclusives) for me as TQ is like the late Robert Palmer's hit single, simply irresistible. I would have gotten NTQ with KDO if not for his recycle version, KDA, through Bambaland. Lesson learnt are that, 3A never cease to surprise and cause emo, like the Pascha Isobelle "Wanpi" set 10 minutes "I scream boo!!" sale, even though as a 3AA member, announcements were made only minutes before the sale, making it an unprecedented 3AA limited drop. But for this particular case, patience pays off well and extra budgets to be allocated for some others which I really wanted but could only be obtained through the sharks infested secondary market.
Nevertheless, there're few concerns with Munich which I got. The black "bubble" jacket (?), which is a bit weathered with grimy feel to it, seems to be made from material which might go "flaky" down the road. The high socks, the tube dress are ok, blackened throughout. Posing is a problem for me, a first, as the ankle joints are loose and hindered by the design of the shoes. Curiously, there are no such concerns with Yesterday Princess and Cherry Shadow, both which shared the same design. I applied some, not insane, pressure, downward motion in order to tighten it a bit and it works but only for a marginal seconds before Munich wanted to commit suicidal desk dive. So in the end it's back to old glue application on the leg peg to tighten it, which works as usual. The head sculpt is basically TQ Princess. But hey, they are clones, yes? Comes a face bandanna, with wiring running through it, like a TK Slicer, except it could only wrap up to the mouth and not the nose. The paint on the hair has some unsettling wet paint like marking. Most likely all the above concerns are only the one I got. Sigh. A pair of black katana rounds off the set. The (mis) interpretation is taken from Wiki on the subject of culling.
Till the next TQ.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

ThreeA - WWR : Peaceday Dropcloth 1.5U

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.
- Leo Tolstoy.

The next step in changing the world.
- Peace Corps.

A (mis) interpretation :

Category : Warbot.
Unit type : Mass production tactical warbot - security provision.
Model type : Dropcloth 1.5U.
Designation : Alfred.
Manufacturer : Herbert and Spencer Corporation.
Affiliation : 24th "Peace Day" Division (excommunicated, 1940), Peace Corps, United Space Colonies Federation.
Powerplant : Single turbo BRINK supercharger diesel engine.
Armour type : Super hardened ceramic steel composite alloy.
Armour thickness : 60mm.
Height : 6.5 feet.
Weight : 500 kg.
Std. armaments : "Rest In Peace" - 9 x 19mm 1C5O sub-machine gun x 1; "Peacemaker" - 12 gauge 1C5O semi-automatic shotgun x 1; "Peace Out" - .45 1C5O semi-automatic handgun x 2; Paix Coupeur - SdA coupe coupe machete x 1; Sarong - carbon nano-weaved protective mantle x 2; Auspex - multi-scanners and sensors; Task Intelligence System (T.I.) ver. 2.

The Peace Corps was originally a volunteer group established by the Rothchild family dynasty under the auspices of the politically neutral and isolationist United Space Colonies Federation (USCF). Their work focused primarily on social and economic development due to the impact of the Great War. Officially a non-profit organisation, it was primarily funded by the Rothchild Corporation as part of its philanthropy endeavour. In actual fact, the Rothchild Corporation used the group to evade tax/tithe payments, for slush funding, conducting covert operations on behalf of the mega-corporation interest as well as steering the political/ideological directions of the nations the volunteers were sent to. Its headquarter was based on "Mother Teresa" space colony, Site 3, L2. Equivalent counterparts to the Peace Corps was the Crisis Corps, which consisted of the global EMGY TRG garrisons, and the Newel Medic Corps. The Peace Corps was equally equipped with warbots to effectively carry out its objectives as well as participating in low intensity operations.
The Great War began on 28th July 1914 upon the secession of the Archduchy of Mars from Terra following the declaration of independence. The seven ruling nations of Terra formed a united global army known as the Terra Coalition Armed Forces and mobilises against Mars. After the Terra Coalition defeated the Archduchy Army in a series of successful offensives, Mars, which had its own trouble with theocratic revolutionaries, agreed to an armistice on 11th November 1918, ending the war in victory for Terra. The Archduchess Llana of Gathol, abdicated, effectively ended the ruling dynasty established by the Archduke Jon J. Carter, the first man to land on the red planet in 1865.
After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the former Archduchy of Mars government officially ending the war. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles forced Mars, despite its vehement protests, to admit guilt for starting the war back in 1914, and therefore being liable for huge reparations. The great majority of Martians felt humiliated and resentful on this point, and it became a major campaign issue for the Ecclesiarchy Movement in the 1920s. The Principality of Mars was then established by Terra. The puppet government was doomed from the start, saddled with hyperinflation, massive unemployment and violent, societal upheaval. Theocratic nationalist movements emerged and became popular amongst the local population. One particular party, the Ecclesiarchy Movement, gained tremendous popularity during such tumultuous time. This was due to the fiery "sermons" of self-appointed "saviour" of the local population and leader of the party, the charismatic demagogue and hierophant,  Baldassare  Giovanni. Giovanni preached and convinced the majority of the Martian population that the atheist, oligarchic aristocracy governments of Terra and the Principality was religiously and morally bankrupt. He stressed that the failure of the Archduchy governance was due to the lack of faith, and more seriously, convinced the population that the defeat was due to political betrayal by those new immigrant Terra "heretics" amongst them. Giovanni also wants to extend the political sphere of Mars to Terra due to economic and living space issues. Sustainable living space was a monumental problems, as regardless of the atmospheric stations capabilities, calculations showed that Mars would lose its current terra formed environment in the next 100 years. Subterranean towns and few hive cities were beginning to establish to avoid the increasingly harsh surface environments of Mars. The Ecclesiarchy Movement subsequently began a series of guerrilla warfare against the Principality under the leadership of Giovanni. The latter was briefly arrested after a failed coup known as the March on Olympus Mons in 1923. In prison, Giovanni wrote a 20 volumes texts called "The Martian Dilemma".
A series of guerrilla assaults or "incidences"  eventually cumulated at the Marcus Paulus Space Harbour Incident in 1927 which marked a full military conflict between the two factions. Terra sent military auxiliary reinforcements but were ineffective due to  its own military and logistical shortfall after the first conflict. A flu pandemic also swept across Terra during this period which killed several hundreds of thousands. The Principality Army was finally defeated and surrendered after the Mars Revolution by 1928. Giovanni seized power and established himself as the Ecclesiarch, de facto religious leader and head of the planet nation's government known as the Ecclesiarchy of Mars, a totalitarian theocratic government. Pogroms were launched and hundreds of thousands perished. Due to the Treaty of Lausanne, massive population exchange between Terra and Mars occurred in which several tens of thousands people were believed to have died. The new government immediately embarked on a full re-militarisation programme. Giovanni, now officially known as the Ecclesiarch Boniface the First, began to secretly plan a large scale military operation upon Terra which he called The Great Crusade.
The Ecclesiarchy declared independence and simultaneously launched an all-out war against Terra, embarking on a full scaled military operations on 1st September 1939, marking the beginning of the second phase of the Great War. The Martian forces launched surprise attacks against Terra's navy harbours, military outposts and forge centres, effectively crippling majority of their navy fleets on  Side 1, Side 2, and Side 4 space colonies on L5 and L4. Attacking a mere three seconds after officially declaring war (a fact that was sardonically referred to as the "three second warning"), the Ecclesiarchy army, known as the Frateris Militia, used the Rothchild Corporation warbots to eliminate Terra Space Navy Forces resistance. It was during this time that Luna and Site 3 at L2 declared its neutrality in the conflict.  The Ecclesiarchy then launched Operation God's Hammer, which involved dropping two derelict colony cylinders onto the Tokaido City and Aus City. However, particle cannons from Terra's remaining defence orbital satellites caused the colony cylinders to disintegrate. Two largest chunks hit Perth district in Western Aus Republic, Oceania and Kowloon sub-sector in Sino City Two, Eastasia respectively. Its impact wiped out 16% of the both continents, creating a 300-mile crater on each area. The opening conflict and first week of war, known as the One Week Battle, resulted in the near complete destruction of primary sectors of Eastasia, Eurasia and catastrophic climate change on Earth, killing 50% of Terra populations. Terra was caught by total surprise and any battle was one-sided. 
Terra retaliated by bombarding Mars with asteroid missiles through Operation Meteor, devastated most of the atmospheric stations and wiped out majority of surface dwelling human population cities and towns.  However, the Ecclesiarchy of Mars remains intact, as majority of the military installations and forge centres were located underground, with the primary target, the headquarter of the Ecclesiarch, located beneath Olympus Mons, making it impervious to any conventional inertia drop assaults. Majority of the asteroid missiles also did not reach the surface due to Mars' twin orbit defence rings. Terra's 1st Navy Fleet, which carried out the operation, was exhausted, due to the just concluded military suppression of the Zeon Uprising on Ceres and could not push through Deimos and Phobos twin defence rings, and was forced to withdraw.
Twelve months into the Great War, the total human casualties reached approximately 8 billion on both sides, due to the indiscriminate use of weapons of mass destructions by both forces. The Peace Corps stepped in and acted as mediator to both forces, resulting in the Treaty of Antarctica, which resolved the issues regarding the rules of war. It resulted in a unanimous agreement of total ban of all forms of weapons of mass destructions. NBC strikes and inertia assaults such as space colony drops and asteroid missiles were prohibited. Neutrality by Luna and Site 3, L2 were recognised and enforced. Both factions had examined their military and political positions during that time, and each had positive strategic interests and tactical advantage in signing the treaty. But no one was more delighted than Darwin Rothchild himself, whom had brokered for the treaty. It simply meant the Great War was confined to conventional warfare and a prolong war. 
After the annihilation of Terra's Navy Forces, the Ecclesiarchy of Mars had conquered a large swathe of Terra's territory, totalling two-thirds of the Earth's land mass, including most of Eastasia, Oceania, Eurasia, Europa and United Kingdom of Afrika, through a series of blitzkrieg assaults. Unfortunately, they did not possess enough troops nor logistical and resources to maintain control over all of the territories and thus were forced to defend captured key forge and resource centres. Although the newly established Terra Coalition Armed Forces received the equally advance warbots from the Rothchild Corporation, it was still lagging behind in terms of military numerical superiority compared to the Frateris Militia. The Terra Coalition also struggled for military cohesion as well as the question of resource allocations. Both factions were now locked in a symmetrical warfare, each too weak nor strong enough to claim an absolute victory over another.
Thus a conference to discuss on an agreement for truce was suggested and agreed upon by both factions after several delegates met from both sides. Representing the Terra nations  was Foreign Representative Archduke Heinrich Solvil, and  on behalf of Mars, the Cardinal Palatine of the Ecclesiarchy, Gordianus Von Marianus. The date was set on 2nd September 1945 and the convened site for the conference was agreed to be at the "Geneva" space colony, Site 3, L2. The Peace Corps was unanimously appointed by both factions to provide a neutral security for both attending delegates and invited dignitaries. A special division was raised for the conference, the 24th "Peace Day" Division, consisting entirely of Dropcloth 1.5U version. According to Herbert and Spencer Corporation proposal, the historical event was an opportunity to showcase their latest infantry warbot, an upgraded version of the Dropcloth series. Telecasted live from Terra to Mars, the event was filled with much fanfare and positive anticipations. Each representatives took turn to make official speeches. By the end of Marianus's speech, 100 doves, the traditional symbol of peace, were released much to the excitement of the attendees. The thunderous applauses suddenly came to a halt and replaced by the sound of firing bullets. The horror then started.
The 24th Peace Day Division had suddenly began shooting at the doves and before their shot out, flaming carcasses hit the tarmac, the Dropcloths then turned upon the attendees. Firing indiscriminately, everyone present were killed in the ensuing massacre, including Solvil and Marianus. Screams and cries of terror were echoing everywhere before being silent forever as bullets continue to fire and the sound of fleshes being chopped. Prior to the conference, a garrison of the EMGY TRG from the Crisis Corps had been ordered to be stationed nearby as security backup in case of Martian zealots or Terra ultras attack. The EMGY TRG garrison responded 10 minutes too late, and by the time they engaged the trigger-happy 24th, no one and nothing were left standing. The Crisis Corps ordered the EMGY TRG to eliminate the 24th with extreme prejudice. The fighting lasted half an hour. Only three Dropcloths from the EMGY TRG were left standing. The sickening scene of death and shattered warbots, some tangled together in their death throes, filled the entire conference area, now resembling a warzone.
Any chances for peace were shattered forever by the incident, infamously called "The Peace Day Massacre". Any thin treads of trust connecting both factions toward the path of ending the war were burnt off perpetually. The Great War resumed, with ever greater intensity and hatred between the two factions. The timing could not had been better for Darwin Rothchild, as he re-watched the vid vox recordings of the massacre over and over again within one of his secret hideouts on Terra after the Assault on Rothchild City by The N.OM. Legion. The Herbert and Spencer cyber-engineers, tabled an official report from their diagnosis on the 24th Peace Day Dropcloth and pointed out that its Task Intelligence's SAFQL programme had been infected with virus of unknown origin, causing heightened aggression as well as mistaken the doves as SPAZ ammunitions. With no witness due to 100% casualty, all pic vids and vox recordings confiscated, both factions accepted this as the official cause. The USCF were blamed, which in turn forced the Peace Corps to accept absolute responsibility for the incident. Although the Peace Corps was not dissolved, all its directors underwent trials and sentenced to lifetime imprisonment on the penal colony of Butcher's Bay, Site 7, L3. Terra and Mars each independently began to politically harass the USCF, including demand for reparations for the incident and military threats. The USCF  eventually caved in to the political pressures, leading to the Ecclesiarchy of Mars'  military occupation of Site 1, L5 and establishment of the Tannhäuser Gate, an asteroid military and supply base of which became the primary staging area for attacks on Terra. Site 8, L1 itself was annexed by Terra and re-established as the Vichy of Terra. The Great War then evolves into numerous proxy wars amongst various factions. All doves were culled worldwide on Terra, leading to their extinction and the only surviving dove during the massacre, nicknamed Edwin, was secured by the Herbert and Spencer Corportion. Upon its death, it underwent taxidermy and was displayed on Darwin's desk whom occasionally glanced at it and always brought a smile on his face.


This is my first Dropcloth, a infantry type, typical tin-can designed robot from 3A as based on Ashley Wood's stylised art. This is the "1.5" version, so, in addition to the neck/collar shield, there's an additional pair of arm protectors and dual eyes, instead of mono. Comes with a sub-machine gun, shotgun, and a chopper. The art and design layout of the box is now taking the direction of the Caesar and Harold, with a short write up, and schematic of the accessories which comes with the figure. The Peace Day colourway is not new. It's first debut  was in the form of the first version, as a special drop during Christmas 2009 and was highly sought after in the aftermarket, commanding insane, flippers price, typical of those exclusive, secret drop and what not from 3A. If I am not mistaken, there is a Peaceday Square as well, which comes bundled with another hard to find EMGY first generation Droppy. Fortunately, the 1.5U version was offered as a standard release, with other random drop, including the ever popular EMGY version. If I were to turn back the clock, I would have had focus the WWR line exclusively only on the EMGY line. Simply because it comes with that additional riot shield and a crowd control baton. Bloody hell, even the Caesar was twin shields with SMRTGUN. But that would mean more money to be spent on the secondary market. I have since decided not to think about EMGY, I even sold off the Armstrong at a good price after the announcement of Meat is Murder superset, as I veered towards the JEA colourway instead. After all, aren't the bots were meant for war? Again, I taken liberty of information courtesy of Gundam Wiki, the One Year War and ThreeA Wiki. Officially, in the WWR universe, the Earth Coalition (EC) is a religious based faction while Mars is atheist. I reversed it around. It's all fan fiction.