Sunday, 9 December 2018

Grinding advance.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

What have I been doing this week? Painting a tank. Sadly, I haven't been able to get as far as I would like because I have had work and family distractions... plus a strained back... that has meant that my hobby time has been restricted. As it stands, I have a painted tank with a WIP tank commander and the model will be finished by next weekend... here's some paint:

Click the Pic!

The fully painted and assembled tank:

Click the Pic!

This image shows the base-coated and washed tank commander. She is ready for the highlight stage which will probably start tomorrow because I have to go to work very soon:

Click the Pic!

It has been a nice change to work on this tank... but I still don't enjoy the stippling part of the painting process... however, it does create the effect I am looking for so I guess it's just something I have to put up with.

What happens when this is finished? I'm in two minds. I'd like to get more APCs converted and painted but I have a few distractions that are due to arrive over the coming weeks and months, namely:

Mantic Valkyr Bikers. (12... like the ones in the link).

The plan is to convert the Onna-Bugeisha miniatures to a sci-fi gang, use the bikes as Scout bikes in my Squat army, convert the Fireforge troops into a small Astra Militarum detachment and do 'something' with the Diehard miniatures...

... however, I would also like to paint some more Squat troops so that I had some finished passengers for the planned APC conversions.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions.

See you from the hobby desk!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

A little bit of sculpting?

Hello and welcome to this week's blog post.

To say that this week has been an uphill struggle would be an understatement.

Working in elderly care, especially where dementia is high on the agenda, can be a roller-coaster ride. This week has proved it to me. I have seen the highs of making a huge difference to some of the resident's lives and I have seen the lows of watching the coroner taking away residents who have succumbed to dementia.

There have been staffing issues, disgruntled people and 'interesting' challenges that have arisen due to some of the more diverse behaviour that dementia can cause... I have even worked two extra shifts to try and ease the situation... but it has all been positive (for me) so I am happy ticking along.

Add to that, my charity duties whilst I have had time away from work (counting charity boxes, creating event programmes and paying in money at the bank)... and that means that I haven't had a huge amount of hobby time...

... however... a small miracle has happened. My muse has paid a visit and I have got a little sculpting done. I'll also add that the sculpting has enabled me to remove a stumbling block from my work bench.

This week, I have finished off the company commander for my little tank company. Here she is:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do on her tank but that all revolves around getting sprues of components sprayed, ready for assembly so everything comes together when the painting starts. Sadly, the weather is dreadful at the moment so getting the spray-cans out, isn't going to happen for a day or so... which is going to be frustrating; now that I have finished the commander.

To add a bit of an explanation to the sculpt; she is holding some paper in one hand (orders) and a microphone in the other (so she can give the orders... loud and clear). The brown thing on the side of the turret, is a set of speakers. Her tank has a Heavy Bolter in the hull and has a Vanquisher Battle Cannon in the turret. The finished model will proxy for an Astra Millitarum Tank Commander, in a Leman Russ Vanquisher.

The good thing is that once this tank is painted, I can then get all 11 vehicles marked up with decals and finish the company properly. In case you can't be bothered to trawl through... here are the other ten vehicles:

Leman Russ Punisher Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Leman Russ Executioner Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Leman Russ (Battle Cannon) Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Engineseer Chimera Transport:

Click the Pic!

... and to finish off the company, the Engineseer and his Servitors:

Click the Pic!

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some paint on the command tank this week... but only the weather can say whether or not that can happen... so we'll have to wait and see.

See you from the workshop!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Getting there.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been one of this and that...

There's been lots of work and I'm beginning to get used to the demands of it. Having something to eat, before going to work has made a lot of difference so that is a good thing. As is normally the case, I got the wrong day off this week... I wanted Friday but got Thursday... so I am now hoping that I don't have to play hooky on Christmas day because they haven't taken into account my initial request (when I joined) and the Christmas rota request (that I have clearly marked)... I have PLANS, Damn it! Hopefully, they will understand and realise that I will not be attending work on Christmas day, whether I am supposed to or not.

So Friday was a bit of a rush. I worked until 14:30hrs and then dashed to the local church for my 14:35hrs, blood-donation appointment (33rd donation). When that was done, I pottered home, sorted my life out and when my missus returned from work, we went out for a meal to celebrate our 27th Wedding Anniversary. I worked yesterday, have work later today and tomorrow but have Tuesday off... but I'll be counting charity money and sorting out event paperwork for a Christmas concert for Marie Curie.

It seems that I have gone from "not very much to do outside" to "EVERYTHING to do outside". Luckily, my motivation is good and my physical fitness is improving so things are able to go at the pace I want to without falling over.

I am still loving my new job and will love it even more when I get used to the physical demands of it and gain more experience... but I am learning fast.

On a more hobby related subject... I have been bombarded with Black Friday adverts. Normally, I would immediately delete them but I saw one that appealed to me so I have ordered something that will start to ship from December 7th. The something in question is from Mantic Games and is 12 Forge Father motorbikes. This is the first time they have been available in groups, on their own and I have jumped in quick...

Click the Pic!

I will be using them as Hearthguard Bikers (proxy Space Marine Scout Bikers) and they will replace 3 standard Hearthguard squads in the High Echelon, Command Battalion (I will need to use the components to convert these bikers). There will be more information on this, very soon.

You will remember from last week, that I converted a Bullgryn Bodyguard. Well, here he is; finished:

Click the Pic!

He's called Snorri the Giant and he is pictured with Big Olaf. He isn't a Bullgryn though... he's a very badly wounded Squat, in a robotic suit of armour that proxies for a Bullgryn Bodyguard... Here's his story:

Snorri the Giant.

 Snorri glared across the field and saw the warboss, bold, 
And as he glared, his anger rose and then his blood ran cold. 
He knew the Warboss must be stopped, before he reached the gate, 
So his ancestors infused with him and filled his heart with hate. 

 He leapt from off the parapet, with axes in both hands, 
And as he charged the Warboss, he was joined by allied bands. 
The sound of clashing steel rang out, when the enemies first met, 
And in the guild's librarium, began the bravest story yet. 

 Snorri fought the mighty Ork, with fury rarely seen. 
His bravery, the kind of which, had rarely ever been. 
He brought the monster to the ground, and cleaved off his raging head. 
And he stood upon the Warboss' corpse as it lay there, clearly dead. 

 Alas his triumph was short lived, as Orks are hardy foes. 
And though its head was clearly gone, it's axe, it slowly rose. 
And with a final death strike, the blade met Snorri's head.
And Snorri dropped down on the field, the Squat was surely dead. 

 Snorri's lifeless body was, removed from off the field. 
But there was the slightest heartbeat, and the hope he could be healed. 
All the guilds around the lands were called and asked for aid, 
But the best of all the medicae, failed and were dismayed. 

 Poor Snorri was alive in mind, but his body was a shell. 
His arms and legs were useless, he felt he was in hell. 
But a Squat called Jorgen Bursmith, had an idea in mind. 
And he built some special armour that would leave his woes behind. 

 Now Snorri, he could fight again and he made sure that he would, 
And his fame was too important, so his guild ensured he could. 
But his size was far too great now and he needed to be seen, 
So the guild made him a warden and he was sent to guard the Queen. 

In time, the legend of the Squat, in massive armour spread... 
Of the cybernetic warrior, who refused to lay down dead. 
His name "Snorri the Giant", with shield and gun in hand, 
Who defends the royal family, the Guild and all the land.

See you from the battlefield!

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Life's distractions.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been one of slowly getting used to working for a living (again) and a bit of hobby stuff... so here we go.

Work has been pretty heavy this week. I haven't really had a manual job for a good ten years and I think that the heavier aspect of this job... especially when stepping up from two years off work... has caught up with me. How can I tell? Well, I nearly collapsed at work on Thursday and if it hadn't been for the fact that I knew where the chair was, I would have. I managed to quickly back myself into a seat and put my head down to try and shake off the feeling that I was going to pass out. Five minutes rest, a drink of water and some fresh air sorted things out but I learned a valuable lesson... I need to eat breakfast. With that in mind, I now have some breakfast bars to go with my morning tea so I am hoping that the energy boost will keep me going at work.

Apart from that, I have had a great week at work and am getting properly stuck into things now. It is great to be part of a team again.

On a different note, I have got two good friends who have been running during the year and have clocked up an amazing amount of miles in aid of the Royal British Legion. One of them, finished the year on the 11th of November, by running 11.11 Km up to the Menin Gate Memorial, in Ypres... reaching his total mileage in the process. Here are their stories:

If you would like to donate to the RBL, on either of the links, please do.

From a hobby perspective... I got distracted again. No Dash Hound this week but instead, I have Big Olaf:

Click the Pic!

He is from Hasslefree Miniatures and can be found HERE. Here is a scale pic:

Click the Pic!

In addition to Big Olaf, I was also drawn to another big Dwarf... but he turned out to be VERY big... here's what I mean:

Click the Pix!

The miniature itself is from HERE (EBay link) and I have decided that it will make a perfect Bullgryn Bodyguard. I have swapped the Axe for a shortened Slab Shield and have got this far (still WIP):

Click the Pic!

Whatever happens, it will join Big Olaf in a small detachment of some kind and will be getting some background fluff to go with him at some point. Obviously, I still need to finish painting him but I think he looks pretty cool so far.

In addition to those two Squat related miniatures, I have also assembled an armoured Platypus from HERE but haven't got any further with Dash Hound just yet... maybe he'll get some attention this week. Who knows?

See you from the gurney!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

In Remembrance, joined.

Today, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month... on the hundredth year... We remember them.

Today, I found myself unable to sing the National Anthem. It wasn't because I didn't want to because I really did. I was unable to... I was too moved by the occasion.

Luckily, I was among many friends and towns folk who joined me in my reflection on this hundredth commemoration... this centenary of the end of the "war to end all wars".

I remembered those friends and colleagues who sadly took their final journeys, while I was serving.

My first trip to Iraq is particularly poignant at this time of year because I landed in Basrah, to find that three of my RAF colleagues had lost their lives to a mortar attack on the living accommodation.

During my time in the RAF, I made a lot of friends and acquaintances along the way and I remember those who have been taken away while at home and travelling... in accidents, through illness and through mental tragedy.

I also remember and think of, those who are still struggling with their own personal memories that cause them great pain and continued suffering, especially when remembrance is the focus of the nation.

I also think of the families of those servicemen who are currently on operations abroad... those who carry the weight of their families while their husband, wife or significant other is facing peril, many miles away.

I also remember my family members who were changed by WWII and spent many years, overcoming their demons to lead relatively normal lives... some I never met, yet they had a profound effect on my family and how I was raised.

I also think of my legacy... my son who is currently serving in the RAF and who will be away from these shores over Christmas. My daughter who is at home, working hard... but who always manages to take those two minutes to reflect; if she is unable to attend the Remembrance commemorations with us.

Then I reflect on the freedoms and opportunities that we have, as a result of the sacrifices of those who have laid down their lives... I never knew them... but without them, our lives would be very different.

At this time of year, these words come to mind:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, 
England mourns for her dead across the sea. 
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, 
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, 
There is music in the midst of desolation 
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. 
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; 
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home; 
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; 
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, 
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known 
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; 
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.

For the Fallen

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Is this the real thing? Or is this just fantasy?

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

Forgive me, friends, for it has been two weeks, since my last update.

Last week would have been a fairly boring update. It would have just been about training courses, tiredness and work... with no hobby stuff at all.

This week is fairly similar but maybe, a little bit more varied...

Over the last two weeks I have been getting training and work experience and have been plodding along very nicely at work. I have been involved with most of the day to day duties that a Health Care Assistant, level 1 (HCA1) may face but I have had to be line of sight and monitored closely while I am in the learning phase. I have assisted with personal care, eating, hoisting, restraint and also have had time to enjoy the company of clients in a friendly environment. Sadly, one of our clients passed away this week so I have also felt the sadness of what Dementia eventually causes... so the last two weeks have been pretty full-on.

This coming week, I have more training and then I will be free of induction and can start really focusing on the job at hand and building up my 'work stamina' again... yes, I have struggled getting back into work after nearly two years off and have felt pretty tired out, as a result.

The main thing is that I am loving my new career choice and have found something that is extremely rewarding to do... even if the wages are ridiculously low for the work and responsibility that is expected from you... but that is just the care profession for you. On my travels, yesterday, I noticed that I would get 5p more an hour, working in Mac Donald's... so make of that, what you will.

On a different note, I have had a weekend off this weekend so yesterday, I drove up to Aylesbury and back to visit family. We had a lovely visit and put the world to rights before a drive home in what can only be called, terrible weather. Needless to say... for the first time in as long as I can remember, I slept for over 10 hours last night! I must be both tired and happy, to do that.

Okay, okay... let's talk about hobby stuff.

I'll start with what I have been tinkering with; namely Dash Hound:

Click the Pic!

Dash Hound is a super-speedster (mostly created because I have been watching a lot of DC's "the Flash", recently) and he has been converted from THIS Hasslefree Miniature. Hopefully, you will get a better idea of the miniature, with primer on it:

Click the Pic!

Dash Hound will be joining my existing super team:

Click the Pic!

In addition to Dash hound, I have also purchased another Hasslefree Miniature from HERE and he will be getting some similar conversion treatment... but I haven't decided which direction to take him yet... so it will definitely be a 'watch this space' thing on that one. In the meantime, Dash Hound has been base-coated and will be getting finished this week.

Obviously, from the previous information, you can tell that my order from Hasslefree Miniatures arrived this week... so I now have STEVE (who will be joining a different group of heroes... yes, I have many groups) as well as the conversion dolly and two pots of green paint (for my Demiurg Earth Guild drones). As it happens, I also received a very nice little extra miniature... which will be getting lots of noise and fanfare when it is revealed... but I am not mentioning any more about it yet... apart from, it's worth waiting for.

In addition to the Hasslefree order, I bought a Primaris captain from EBay and also a Primaris psyker from WH Smiths (Warhammer Conquest magazine) so my little Primaris project is gaining momentum. I'd show some images but... they're just marines...

From a charity perspective, this week I traveled with my committee chairperson, up to Bodmin for a bit of a get together with other Marie Curie members on Thursday evening and had a very informative time. There were speakers from various places amongst the charity and I got a good insight into what the charity was about and where it hoped to be in the coming years. Well worth the trip and there were even posh biscuits... so it was win-win!

That's it for this week... or two?

See you from the head of the line!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Back to work!

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's a gloriously sunny day and I've been removing the remains of the fence in the garden. It was a victim of the recent storm and needed to be removed after some of it was blown down... that led to removing a 'seat' made of cement blocks and some slabs; which were obviously built by someone who never played with Lego as a child... I'll leave the sweep-up for another day.

Anyway, I digress.

This week has been one of training and pottering about. It is just like being back in the RAF... sitting through induction training. Mind you, I am getting to learn and use the new equipment that is required for my new job so it is most certainly worth while and is fairly enjoyable.

This coming week, I have more training and some proper work shifts... obviously with maximum supervision but at least I will be able to start working properly, rather than being limited to what I can do.

As a result of some of the more 'interesting' challenges I am expecting to face, I am also required to take a course on conflict deescalation. That will be at the beginning of November and that will mark the end of my induction training. I have already seen the training being used in my care home so it is definitely something that I will need.

In other news, I was informed that I had a parcel on the way from the USA, via email from the US postal service. I didn't recognise the sender and spent a good deal of time tracking them down... luckily, the parcel was cool... one of these, as it happens:

Click the Pic!

It's an Aliens APC with a Ripley figure to go with it. It is pretty big and will find a use somewhere in my collection. On a different note, this highlights how using nicknames instead of real names, gives people a certain amount of anonymity... I ended up spending a lot of time, searching the forums to see who I'd sent things to, in order to find the identity of who had sent the parcel... just so I could thank them. That's why I always put my forum name (Inso) in my signature, when I am dealing with other people in my hobby.

Other hobby news is not going to happen. I haven't received my parcel from Hasslefree Miniatures yet, I haven't ordered anything else from anywhere else... but... hang on... there is that Kickstarter that has just funded... and I pledged on... this one:

As it stands, my pledge will get me 48 troops, a separate champion and a separate champion riding a horse. I think that I will be able to build a good sized platoon of troops with support and command elements but I will be turning them sci-fi... so I have arms, heads and weapons to think about... but not yet because they aren't due to arrive until May next year.

I have also received a box of random kits and miniatures from a friend who will be sending a few more as well. The idea is that I can sort them out, sell them on and give the profits to charity... so I am hoping that I can get some tidy profit from these very generous gifts. More will come to light, once I get my teeth into the contents.

Unfortunately, I have lots of chores this weekend so I can't see myself getting much hobby time (my wife is poorly so I am picking up the reins)... and I reckon that, with everything going on this week, I will be too knackered for much hobby so until I start getting back into the swing of working again, I can't really see very many hobby related items turning up here...

... but in the words of "The Secret of Mana"... "Time, like a river, flows"... so who knows what may happen over the next few months?

That's it for today.

See you from the university of life!