30 September 2005

M1A1 Abrams

The mount of the US Army. A fearsome behemoth. This vehicle and many like it formed the spearhead of the armoured drives in the stunning capture of Baghdad. Two amazing thunder runs later, the brutal Iraqi regime fell, sparing the city from a bloodbath. If there had been a siege and a block to block war in the city streets, the city would have been razed and the casualty toll to the civilians and combatants would have been horrendous.

The thunder runs were a brilliant stroke of improvision by the ground commanders.

This is a tribute to the brave fighting men in Iraq.

"welcome to a life that knows goodbye
welcome to a mind that dares to wonder why
welcome to the world behind your eyes
welcome to goodbye
welcome"
'Welcome to Goodbye' Rotersand

Figure IV: Traipsing in the Rain

He stumbled and trudged wearily towards destiny.














"show me my leader and i'll pledge obedience
whisper the name of the enemy mine
blessed be my fate and my tools of expedience
i'm going to fulfil what's my mission divine"
'Exterminate, annihilate, destroy' Rotersand

29 September 2005

Illustration Friday



Theme: Fresh

The Desert Tower

This is another swift electronic piece done using Painter 8.0. The medium is colour pencils with water colours for the sky.











"If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through"
'Precious' Depeche Mode
The Pillars

This is a fast electronic piece done using gorache with a little pastel in the skies and ink in the sea.












"build me a shelter,
a place i can dwell in
show me a future that i can enjoy
give me a reason and i'll be your fellow
show me the target i have to destroy"
'Exterminate, annilhilate, destroy' Rotersand

Battleship Musashi

I read this book a couple of weeks ago. It is a light narrative on the building and subsequently, the short operational career of this white elephant. The perspective is indeed different as Akira Yoshimura is a Japanese popular historian of sorts.

You won't find any book reviews in my blog, it takes too much energy to write a good proper one. I will, instead, make a few observations (like in my other blog entries concerning books).

Firstly, during the building of the capital ship, secret police from the civil government were utilised in both arresting ethnic Chinese people and other foreigners living in Nagasaki. Not surprisingly, there was a focus on the Chinese during the arrests and deportations. Military personnel were used in civil roles such as securing the hills beyond the perimeters of the shipyard. A lack of reaction from the populace appeared to point to a quiet acceptance of the erosion of civil rights and the rise of miltiarism during that period. The co-operation of the civil and military in these operations were an indication of the level of ultra-nationalism and militarism which permeated the Japanese society in the years leading to the war. The exercise of funds to purchase warehouses and buildings near the docks to prevent foreigners from observing the construction was another indication.

Secondly, the Nagasaki Shipyard, owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, was previously constructing the battleship Tosa and battlecruiser Takao before work was halted. Like the Kure shipyard which built the Yamato, this shipyard was capable of launching the largest of battleships. In the course of building the Mushashi, many new measures were undertaken and this had strained the resources of the yard to the utmost. As noted in many studies, the Japanese navy would have been better served by building more escort vessels rather than this battle wagon. Thus, during a crucial period leading to Japan's eventual defeat, the shipyard was tied up constructing a white elephant.

Thirdly, there was a mention of the warship utilising its main guns in an anti-aircraft role where the skies were cleared of American aircraft using a special shotgun type scatter shell. The claim of a single salvo wiping out a formation of aircraft appeared to be extremely unlikely.

Despite the vast numbers of anti-aircraft artillery mounted (though mostly of the 25mm variety), the Musashi appeared to have shot down very few of its attackers.

The attitudes of the crew and the shipbuilders were that the battleship was 'unsinkable' despite the loss of other major surface ships of the British, American and Japanese. The sense of a created reality due to ultra-nationalism was clearly evident here where it was thought that the martial spirit would overcome anything.

The Musashi also spent most of its life in port due to a lack of oil and also of a role.

Lastly, the book made scant mention of the causes of the war beyond that of the United States imposing trade sanctions and freezing Japanese assets. There was no mention of the war on China and the US demand for withdrawal as a pre-condition to withdrawing sanctions. There was no mention of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbour. The implication is that the United States had forced Japan's hand.

"give me your faith,
something i can believe in
and you'll be my family,
my brother, my friend tell me a truth
that i find not deceiving
teach me a lesson that i understand"
'Exterminate, annihilate, destroy' Rotersand

28 September 2005


Rotersand, Colony 5 and Hubert KaH

A few CDs from Rotersand, Colony 5 and Hubert KaH finally arrived over the weekend. Wooo hooo. I have been listening to them for the most of the last two nights, relegating the Cruxshadows CD to the morning. Rotersand, great stirring, hard-hitting ebm. Colony 5, futurepop. Hubert KaH, great pop music.


"Jesus...had days like this
Cyborgs - cybernetic organisms..."
'Mindphaser' Front Line Assembly





















Figure V: Striding with the World before you

Striding confidently through, the Every Man seeks to mold the World in his own image. It was a portent of the shape of things to come.

"And I will write her name and cast it to the sky
silhouettes recede into a mother's tearful eyes"
'Dragonfly' The Cruxshadows

27 September 2005



Fortress in Flames

I have been listening to the Cruxshadows' 'Fortress in Flames' which I bought at Borders over the weekend. This is, by far, the most memorable Cruxshadows CD yet with remixes from Clan of Xymox, In Strict Confidence and more. Rogue vocals has been quite compelling. A form of pop-Goth if you will.

"a host of angels clamor to her side
a light dissolves to kiss the wind
release the dragonfly"
'Dragonfly' The Cruxshadows
Japanese Infantry

The highly trained Japanese infantry swept everyone before them in a series of lightning quick operations in South East Asia in the Second World War. This is an infantryman armed with a Type 100 submachine gun.

EBM, Industrial and Futurepop

My favourite EBM* CDs:

Orange Sector - Masquerade
Orange Sector - Love it!
Covenant - Sequencer
Covenant - Europa
Lost Signal - Catharsis
Flesh Field - Belief Control
The Azoic - Forward
VNV Nation - Praise the Fallen
VNV Nation - Burning Empires
[Active] Media Disease - Organic
X Marks the Pedwalk - Drawback
Front Line Assembly - Civilisation
Front Line Assembly - Epitaph
Front Line Assembly - Tactical Neural Implant
Snog - Buy me... I'll change your life
Snog - Remote Control
In Strict Confidence - Holy
In Strict Confidence - Mistrust the Angels
Imperative Reaction - Redemption
Imperative Reaction - Ruined
Seabound - Beyond Flatline

There is, of course, the standard bearer, Front 242. While, I find Front 242's singles brilliant, their albums can be inconsistent. Thus, I am unable to really list any Front 242 albums.

My tastes in industrial runs towards EBM or electro-industrial. Sampled sounds with processed and distorted vocals! Synthetic pounding!

I don't particular like metal industrial though I do have CDs from Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein. I listen to a lot more like Apoptygma Berzerk, The Young Gods, Lights of Euphoria, Syntec, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Haujobb, Cleen, Novakill, Cleaner, Newt, Neuroticfish, Neotek, Neuroactive (early albums), Cesium 137, Icon of Coil, Funker Vogt, etc, but these are my favourites here.

*For the uninitiated, EBM stands for Electronic Body Music or otherwise known as electronic industrial.

"Through waves
They shift
Below they hide
Corporate killers
Side by side"
'Circuitry' Front Line Assembly

26 September 2005

The Road goes ever on*

This is inspired by a photo on the cover of a novel which took on the quality of a painted piece. Of paramount importance here is the will to resist over-drawing. I am often guilty of it due to a clash of two styles I employ. Sometimes, less is more.

*Some of the titles I used will be familiar because they are titles of books or references.


"Don't ask me to surrender"
Her voice fell tired and spent
"My hopes and dreams, a silent heart
I carry here within" "
'Dragonfly' The Cruxshadows

Goth Albums

My favourite Goth CDs:

Frozen Autumn - Fragments of Memories
Faith and the Muse - Evidence of Heaven
Sisters of Mercy - Floodlands
Lycia - Tripping back into the broken days
Lycia - Compilation appearances volume 1
Dead can Dance - Aion
Dead can Dance - Toward the Within
Clan of Xymox - Clan of Xymox
Clan of Xymox - Medusa
Clan of Xymox - Live
Peter Murphy - Dust
Lisa Gerrard - Duality
Red Flag - The Crypt

My tastes lean towards the electronic-goth and industrial-goth direction. I am not a goth, but my musical tastes do lean slightly towards that direction.

I don't care for those MTV 'goth' bands like Evanescene and Marilyn Manson. Lots of mascara and makeup does not a band goth make. I will admit that the lead vocalist of Evanescene has a great voice though. I don't particularly care for the 1980s icons Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure either. Ditto for hard rock and metal-related Goth. Thus, I am not particularly interested in Fields of Nephilim, Christian Death, heh, and others. Any goth band that sounds like hair-metal and their metal ballads (think White Lion, Bon Jovi, yes, they were considered metal in the 80s), no thanks.

These are my favourites but I do listen to other goth bands on a less consistent basis. Those bands include Wolfsheim, The Northern Territories, Faith and Disease, Loveliescrushing, Mira, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Chandeen, The Cruxshadows and lots more.

Red Flag's only real 'goth' album is the sublime 'The Crypt'. Sadly, not too long after, Red Flag is no more after the death of one of the Reynolds brothers.

"Massive violence
The slaughter begins
Future Collides
Nightmare begins"
'Circuitry' Front Line Assembly

25 September 2005

Club Street and its Surrounding Environs

I did manage to make it to Club Street in the late afternoon. It was a glorious day with strong sunshine casting long shadows in the narrow confines of the windy streets. It was perfect for taking photos. I soon lost myself in the streets, wandering and marvelling at the restoration and transformation of these shophouses while listening to an encoded album from In Strict Confidence.

That evening, I wandered over to Prego's at Raffles City and had dinner with two funny friends who were just so alive. The dessert was heavenly. Later, I was at Borders again and I picked up three volumes on history, one of which was Michael Grant's analysis on Greek and Roman historians. 'Greek and Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation'.

Later, June Hwang dropped by Borders and we adjourned to Burger King at Liat Towers and had a great discussion on military history and wargames over drinks.






















"To celebrate the fact
That we've seen the back
Of another black day"
'Black Celebration' Depeche Mode
The End

And at the end of the trail, she saw a brilliant light. She realised that her arduous journey had come to an end.















"Within this moment now I am for you,
though better men have failed
I will give my life for love
For I am Winter born"
'Winterborn' The Cruxshadows

24 September 2005

Swords!

I picked two volumes on swords at Borders last night. One of them traces the archaeology of swords and other weapons while the other is detailed examination of various types. I also picked up a small volume on the Roman Army. I was browsing through something by Michael Grant which examined the reliability of Greek and Roman classics.

While I stopped by Burger King for a drink, I managed to do four quick but satisfying sketches. Three landscapes and one Roman centurion.



Flood

The waters rushed in, flooding the meadows.


Desolation

Nothing lives in this land of the dead.

23 September 2005

Frolicking and Basking in the Glow of an arbitrary Demarcation of a Unit of Time, another Nebulous Concept

Okay, that was a massively long and silly title but, WOO HOO, the End of the Week draws near. It is time for contemplation, well, not really. Time to come alive! Time to daydream. Time to let my mind drift, and perhaps, hitch a ride on the cosmic tramp starliner to Arcturus. A voyage to Arcturus. Bah!

Anyhow, I think I do a few more ambitious sketches tonight rather than thumbnail size little things.

Tomorrow, if I can douse myself from the vestiges of dreamland, I shall make my way to Chinatown with a camera and attempt to capture the windy corridors of yesteryear. Indeed I shall.

Here are two images familiar to people. Three minute thumbnail sketches. One is a sullen beng while the other is a dissatisfied software engineer. No prizes for guessing which is the beng or software engineer.
Enigma

The manse was standing on the site of an ancient burrow in the desolate country. The weathered monoliths which surrounded the manse stood in mute testimony of an earlier period where unspeakable horrors walked the land.
Figure II: Standing in the Sun

The second in a set of nine.

22 September 2005

Landscapes and Buildings

Here are the links to previously posted drawings of places, buildings, landscapes and more. They were done using ink, pencils, and by electronic means. They are a variety, some were done swiftly while others were planned. The quality, of course, varies greatly, from the mediocre to the satisfying piece (for me). I didn't put the incomplete and bad ones up.

The Cove, The Tower of the Queen, The Tower, All Roads lead to Rome, The Wilds, A Walk in the Wilds, The Lone Tree, The Road goes ever on, The Labyrinth, Clock Towers, The Desert Tower, Enigma, A Forgotten Moment, The Glade, Flood, Desolation, The Castle, Stone Bridge, Floodlands, The Trail, Landscapes, Dreams, Movement, The Wind in the Meadows, Woodland, Hotel 1929, Forest, The Hidden Path, The Bridge of Sighs, Beneath the Trees, The Pillars, The End, Loneliness, Moonlight, The Distant Bridge, Loneliness, A Verdant World, A Verdant World Revisited, Moon Terrace, The Heart of the Forest, Heart of the Forest: In Full Glory, Solitude II, The Island of a Thousand Days, Lone Tree on a Knoll, In a Lonely Place, The Tower of the Queen (Colour), The Forgotten Hall, Heartland

This page will be updated from time to time.
Figure III: Transcendence

He sees the light.
The Lone Tree

I used to wander the Yorkshire Dales quite a bit ten years back, armed with a map and sketchbook. It was, however, too cold to sketch.

This was an imaginery piece inspired by the wide open spaces.

Lone trees of that pictured here is actually a rarity.



"Your optimistic eyes
Seem like paradise
To someone like
Me"
'Black Celebration' Depeche Mode





"Dry your eyes and quietly bear this pain with pride
For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave
And promise me, they will never see, the fear within our eyes
We will give strength to those who still remain"
'Winterborn' The Cruxshadows

21 September 2005

Eurodisco

'Brother Louie Louie Louie....' I remember those early eurodisco days of the mid-eighties. Modern Talking, C.C.Catch, Lou Sern, Blue System, Michael Fortunati, Gazebo, Bad Boys Blue, Silent Circle, and lots lots more. Those were the days when Far East Plaza were filled with shops and stalls selling cassette compilations of these artistes. (Before the copyright laws were in place and thus, they were not 'illegal' then.) Those were the days of the tea-dances at the Warehouse at Havelock Road. The days of bengs in rainbow-coloured shirts and baggy pants and lians in furry tube tops (remember those?). I am certainly curious as I have not had the opportunity to venture into the dark confines of the discotheques of that era.

Of course, those pre-dates the 'eurodance' of the early nineties where you have 2Unlimited, Haddaway, Captain Hollywood Project, Culture Beat, Ace of Base and others. This time, the trendy spot was Fire disco at the seedy Orchard Plaza. It was, of course, the place where NS boys congregate during the weekends.

How swiftly time flies. It's 2005 and now there is another set of fresh-faced Eurodance artistes. 'Atlantis is calling, SOS for love...'

Addendum

Actually, that image of bengs is not too accurate. There were two types in the eighties. The first would be the type who spots a mullet, wears a sports jacket with upturned collar and shoulder pads, baggy pants and leather shoes. The second would be one who has a hair band with his mullet, tight sleeveless T-shirt, tight Levi's jeans, rolled at the bottom to expose the white socks and a pair of Nike sneakers. Yes, they would have the gold bracelet and chain. The long fingernail on the small finger only came with the bengs in the nineties.

For bengs, I think the version in the seventies would be the sum-sengs with their John Travolta look. Permed hair, large collars, unbuttoned shirt, gold chain and bracelet, Rolex, bellbottoms, platform shoes. A different world altogether.

Well, maybe, I will draw all three types mentioned here in the near future. Heheheh.
Star Wars Stationery

I dug out a stack of Star Wars stationery, circa 1977, from the warehouse. Apparently, these were made by Queen Co Ltd of Tokyo, Japan. Vintage stuff. Japanese stationery of the 1970s are extremely well-made. Even today, these files feel and appear brand-new and can easily be displayed in any department store. The quality of Japanese stationery from that era is outstanding.

Likewise, a poster and catalogue sheet appeared brand new.

I must say that I am amazed. Anyway, I am not a Star Wars fan and I will sell them soon. eBay maybe. I think I should be able to get a good bundle for these.
















A Forgotten Moment

As I type this blog entry, I have the Cure's Greatest Hits playing in the background. I have not found the music of this iconic goth group of the eighties to be compelling in any way, I prefer the Sisters of Mercy, the Clan of Xymox and Dead can Dance.

This bland forest scene was drawn a few weeks ago when I was waiting at Father's Flanagan at CHJMES for Wilson and Colin. Colin wanted to have dinner there. Irish food. What can I say?

20 September 2005















Panther

The Panther is considered by many to be the finest medium tank in World War II. During the initial phases of Operation Barbarossa, the most prevalent Soviet tank types encountered were the T-26, BT-5 and BT-7 fast tanks and these were knocked out in vast numbers. Later, the appearance of numbers of KV-1 and T-34 began to cause concern to the German army as these tanks were largely immune to German anti-tank guns like the 37mm gun.

The Panther was developed in response to the T-34, featuring a sloped glacis, wide tracks (thus reducing ground pressure), greater mobility, and a high velocity gun. The 75mm gun of the Panther is 70 calibres in length and thus, has a higher muzzle velocity than the guns mounted on the M4 Sherman, the T-34, the Pzkw IVH. This equated to greater penetration of armour for the gun. At the standard combat ranges of 1000m, the Panther is thus able to destroy most medium and some heavy tanks of that period.

The Panther Ausf D first made its appearance in Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) in 1943 though most were lost to mechanical breakdowns rather than enemy action. Improved versions which solved most of the teething problems soon followed with the Ausf A and Ausf F. The Panther soon proved to be the finest medium tank of the Second World War and it has been estimated by the US Army that it would take five Shermans to take out a single Panther.









Jagdpanther

One of the most formidable of all assault guns, the Jagdpanther has a fine balance of firepower, armour and mobility.

The Jagdpanther is developed on the same concept as the other assault guns, which is that of mounting a heavier weapon on a fixed superstructure with a lower silhouette. Like the Jagdpanzer IV before it, the Jagdpanther is based on the chassis of a Pzkw V Panther. Without the weight penalties and complexities of a turret, it proved possible to mount a long high velocity 88mm gun of 71 calibre lengths. This powerful weapon, more powerful than that mounted on the Tiger I and similar to that of the Tiger II, was capable of destroying any tank of the Second World War.

Thankfully for the Allies, less than four hundred of this fearsome tank destroyer were built and fielded.

Figure I: Standing amidst the wind

I have played around with light and form for the longest time on paper. This, however, is an electronic piece. Somehow, playing the Static Movement CD, 'Visionary Landscapes', awoke something.

Static Movement is an electro-goth band formerly based in Turin, Italy.

19 September 2005

Space-faring denizens, unite! Your time has come!

I bought an old David Bowie 1996 single, 'Hello Spaceboy', S$2.90 at Sembawang Music at Orchard Cineleisure on Saturday night. When I was lying in bed earlier, daydreaming, I was stuck by the superficial similarities in titles of S.P.O.C.K.'s 1994 single 'Astrogirl' and the Beloved's 1993 single 'Outerspace Girl'. Most curious, these space-themed titles.

Of course, these singles do not have real space themes, the only relation they have to space travel is their titles. There are other groups which have released singles with space-related themes like the Children Within and Komputer. Komputer's delightful 'Valentina' single which was released in 1997 is about the first female cosmonaut in space.

Anyway, the three singles are great fun being disposable, memorable and infectious synthpop gems.

Tiger I

The powerful Tiger I took a heavy toll of all Allied armour and vehicles in all fronts. The Tiger I's 88mm L56 gun has greater penetrative power than any other tank gun in 1942. Unsurprising, given its weight, the Tiger I has a short operational range, thus reducing its strategic mobility. A column of Tigers on a route march had always resulted in many broken down vehicles.*

Otto Cassius' 'Tiger in the Mud' is a classic account from a Tiger tank commander. He eventually finished the war with more kills than the legendary Michael Whitmann.

Wolfgang Schneider's 'Tigers in Combat I' and 'Tigers in Combat II' carry unit histories of every Tiger units and their exploits.

*As related in Otto Cassius' account.


'We're ready for a new age of innocence'
Faith and the Muse 'Shattered in Aspect'

18 September 2005


A Walk in the Wilds

An imaginery trail in the wilderness, sketched while I was sipping a drink at Burger King at Liat Towers one Friday night.


'Divine or diabolical the vacant face of youth
Powdered and rouged the Monster in its place
Playing god on stage
So talented at wretchedness search Cities of Refuge
All eyes dim past the empty seat of the honored guest'
Faith and the Muse 'Plague Dance'
Fantastic!

I was in town on Friday night and bought a volume of artwork titled 'Imagine: The Art of Imaginery Friends Studios'. This volume has the best artwork I have ever seen from Singaporeans (and it includes some other regional and American artists). A lot of the work is stunning and can easily rank with the best manga/anime artists out there. I called Kelvin and told him what I had seen and he told me that he knew of one of the artists in the book who had an oil-painted realistic style. Fantastic work.

I am very impressed.

On a related note, I was messing around with electronic oils on Painter 8.0. I have a lot to learn. On pen and paper, I can manage nice textures but on the electronic medium, I clearly have a long way. The potential is there. The tools are there.

As I tried oils, I was listening to an old Collide album 'Beneath the Skin'. Collide is a female-fronted goth band. Meanwhile, I finally heard the album from Poe titled 'Haunted'. I am not impressed.

17 September 2005

Israeli Centurion MBT

An image of the most successful postwar tank, the Centurion. This is an ink sketch from a photograph of an Israeli machine. The Israel Defence Force were prominent users of this tank and with them, they drove the invading Arab armies from their borders.

The drawing is a tribute to these brave Israelis who defended their state from the armies of despotic Arab governments and Palestinian terror.

In 1945, six prototypes of the A41 Centurion were rushed to Germany for field testing but these prototypes did not see action. They would have been a match for the German Tigers and Panthers. The Centurion was armed with the 17-pounder (76.2mm) gun then. In subsequent years, Centurions were upgunned to a 20 pounder (83mm) gun and finally a 105mm gun. The longevity of the Centurion in service was due to the basic soundness of its design and its ability to mount heavier armament.

With the ranging machine gun, the Israeli tank crews were able to acquire Syrian and Egyptian tanks before they can respond. Egyptian and Syrian T-54s and T-55s were utilising stereoscopic sights for ranging then.

"With so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns. " Richard Dawkins

16 September 2005

Byzantine in Full Armour

I am planning to draw a fifteenth century Byzantine foot soldier in full armour. This will be a slightly larger piece than my usual 10 cm by 10 cm sketches. This will measure about 20 cm by 10 cm, thus allowing for more detail in the armour.

The reference will be a line drawing from Ian Heath's 'Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2'. The line drawing is based on a construction.

This should be interesting. Not particularly ambitious. I have not done something ambitious since 1995 or 1996.

At the same time, since it is Friday, I may sketch a section of Orchard Road tonight. I will need to find a good vantage point. Lighting will, of course, be a challenge. It will really depend how I want to plan this. Hmmm...

Maybe not, I will just stick to sketching the usual imaginery landscapes. Heheh. And that will probably only happen after I comb for books at Borders as usual.
Teutonic Knight

A drawing of a Teutonic Knight based on a simple sketch of a figure in a book. I have given it texture and shadows.

The Teutonic Order was originally one of the three religious orders present in the Holy Land. By the thirteenth century, the order was settled in Northern Germany and with another religious order, the Sword Brothers, it launched a series of crusades against the pagan Prussians. The Teutonic Order and the Sword Brothers continued expanding into Livonia and Poland-Luthuania until 1410 at the Battle of Tannenberg.

'Angels with silver wings
Shouldn't know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes
He's seeing through'


Depeche Mode 'Precious'

15 September 2005


















Wargames and such

GMT Games has just announced the following games for pre-order:



  • Gergovia (GBoH Module for Alesia) Designer: Richard Berg
  • Kutuzov Designer: Mark McGlaughlin
  • Monmouth (American Revolution Series Volume V) Designer: Mark Miklos
  • Pacific Typhoon Designer: Ben Knight
  • The Bulge (Fast Action Battles Series #1) Designer: Rick Young
Previously, I would have been interested in 'Kutuzov', 'Pacific Typhoon' and 'The Bulge' due to their playability. Given the number of unplayed games that I own, I think I will stick to pre-ordering 'Gergovia' for now. I will need to focus. I will go re-read Caesar's defeat at 'Gergovia' in his classic 'The Gallic War'.

'Pacific Typhoon' is a fast playing simulation of the Pacific War utilising cards with a system similar to Avalon Hill's out of print 'Atlantic Storm'. 'The Bulge' is a fast playing block-based wargame on the 'Battle of the Bulge'. (Of course!)

'Kutuzov' is a theatre level card-driven simulation of the 1812 campaign into Russia and should be relative fast-playing. An earlier game utilising the same system, 'Wellington', has began shipping. 'Wellington' is a simulation of Wellington's 'Peninsular War', the 'Spanish Ulcer'.

Meanwhile, the new issue of Strategy & Tactics magazine #231 features a new treatment of the French & Indian War. The news stand edition is now available at Borders at Wheelock Place while the wargame edition available at Paradigm Infinitium. Other feature articles include the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a French armed forces update and battles of the French & Indian War.

The next two forthcoming issues:
07 Oct Strategy & Tactics #232: Catherine the Great (Solitaire)
25 Nov Strategy & Tactics #233: Dagger Thrusts (Market-Garden plus a Patton scenario)

Addendum

OSG's operational level wargame about the campaigns of the Italian Wars (1494-1530), 'All is lost save Honour' is now at the 214 unit mark. It will take 36 orders before publication! Yay!

'I came, I saw, I conquered.' Julius Caesar
Handgunner

A medieval handgunner. The handgunner became more common towards the end of the Hundred Years War. The French utilised numbers of handgunners and were able to nullify the unquestioned battlefield supremacy of the English longbowmen through a variety of means including refusing battle.


'Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give'
Depeche Mode 'Precious'



14 September 2005

Kill Every One, Extraordinary Ways

Australia's Novakill has released a terrific ebm album, 'Kill Everyone'. Harsh, uncompromising and absolutely evil. Not to be missed. Recommended.

Meanwhile, Rhys Fulber, formerly of Front Line Assembly and Delerium, has released his second Conjure One album, ''Extraordinary Ways'. Wonderful album but without the ethnic stylings of the first.



I have shelved Goldfrapp's 'Supernature'. It was a good listen for a while but it gets tired easily. Forgetable.

Other news

On the drawing front, I have just completed a sketch of a Second World War Japanese infantryman armed with a Type 100 sub-machine gun (SMG).

I have also done a coloured piece using Painter 8.0 of an ink sketch of a forest path which I posted a few days back. That was a first.

It would also appear that three of my submissions for ideas is at the Battle Angel Alita website. Nothing elaborate. Just something for the writer and artist. I hope he employs my contributions in the next volume. Anyway, that is just wishful thinking.

Meanwhile, I am typing something up on the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. I will be also typing something on the campaigns of Marlborough.

There will be more blog entries on books and military affairs soon. Of course, there will be one new drawing daily.

The Keymaster

This is an even older sketch done a decade or more ago using a ballpoint pen. This is a keymaster. Yes, you need the keymaster for the key which will open the portal. The keymaster is the key!












"The State is nothing else but this domination and exploitation regularised and systemised."

Mikhail Bakunin (1867)

13 September 2005

Drawings of Tanks and other AFVs

Here are the links to the current drawings of tanks and other AFVs*.

Centurion, Hetzer, Jagdpanzer IV, OT-34, M4A1 Sherman, Elefant, Pzkw V Panther, Jagdpanther, Pzkw VI Tiger I, Pzkw IVH, Comet, M1A1 Abrams, PzKw VI Tiger II, KV-1, KV-2Sturmgesch├╝tz III

For the drawings of AFVs, I use photographic references, other drawings and schematics. The references I use are books from Schiffer Books, Concord Publications, Signal Squadron and several other books.

These drawings are usually done with pigment ink markers from Eddings, Artline, and a few others. The sizes I use most frequently is 0.3, 0.1 and 0.05. For large shadows, I simply use a big black Copic marker. For the ones in colour, Copic markers are used.

These drawings are normally completed from start to end in two to three hours.

*AFV - Armoured Fighting Vehicles

"If the tanks succeed, then victory follows." Heinz Guderian
Samurai

This is an old sketch created mostly using a ballpoint pen. After which, an Artline technical pen was used to darken the shadows. The image is the samurai is copied from the cover of an book published by Osprey.

It was a delight doing this sketch. I did draw a hoplite and I will post that one up some time.

Most of my ballpoint pen sketches date back about six to eight years I think...