Sunday, 20 August 2017

A warmer place.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week, I travelled up to Somerset to take my Dad for his Chemotherapy again and it went well. Although he is feeling more tired as a result of the treatment, the nausea tablets are working very well and his breathing seems to improve as a result of the drugs. Luckily, Dad has a week off the chemotherapy this coming week so I will also have a bit more time at home to catch up on a few things.

This week also threw up a rather interesting encounter with a bat.

My wife woke me in the morning to inform me that my cat, Sam, had caught a bat and that she had rescued it and put it in a box on the table downstairs. Obviously, with bats being a protected species, I did a little research online and made sure that the box was OK and that there was a tea towel and water in it. The bat was full of beans so I left it to its own devices while I contacted the local bat rescue people. A couple of hours later, I had safely delivered it to the bat rescuers and they said that they would be back in touch to arrange a release at our home... so that is something cool to look forward to. It was a Pipistrelle bat and had a few little blemishes... but would likely make a good recovery.

This week seems to be one of abrupt wake-ups. Thursday night, just after midnight, I hear my daughter arrive home from her job at the pub as usual but then I get "Dad... I've had a crash". Luckily she was none the worse for wear and had only bruised her knee but I got up, dressed and we went off into the wilds of Cornwall to rescue her little motorbike. Another lucky break was that the bike wasn't badly damaged and we got it started quickly so that she could ride it home. Just a broken windscreen and a few bent brackets that were easily straightened. Needless to say, it doesn't look as shiny and new as it did here:

Click the Pic!

Friday was a pub night... Saturday was a house warming party at a friend's house, where the three of us had a great time (including learning how dreadlocks are created and cared for... something that a gentleman was kind enough to explain). Today has seen a trip over to the railway station to drop my daughter off so that she could go visiting and the very smallest amount of sculpting.

Did I mention sculpting? Well... I have been sculpting a little this week but sadly it isn't stuff that I am able to share with you yet. One of the sculpts is for a charity sculpting competition that you can find here (if you are on Facebook):

The other sculpting is something that will likely end up for sale at some point over at...

Speaking of my little shop-blog, I have recently posted an update with regards to the Exo-Armour Legs and the Halfling Snipers so pop over to have a look. 

This coming week, I plan to get some stuff up for sale and catch up on some stuff... maybe get some proper sculpting time in as well. Weather dependent... I may even get to see the sea.

See you from the traffic jam!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

A week in the life of...

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been one of travelling, hospitals and missed opportunities.

Monday I do chores for me and a friend who has a few health issues.

Tuesday, I travelled up to Somerset so that I could take my Dad for his first set of chemotherapy for his terminal cancer. Dad chose the chemotherapy option to give him a few extra weeks/months so I got to his place in time to have some lunch, travel over to the hospital in time for a coffee before heading to the ward to start the treatment. Luckily, I decided to buy a lightweight wheelchair because it REALLY helped with the journey from the car, through the hospital to the ward.

The first round of treatment went relatively smoothly but took a little longer than expected (due to a possible reaction to the drugs). A few extra drugs helped things along and we made it home OK. I stayed overnight to make sure things were OK and travelled back home on the Wednesday. So far, apart from a little nausea and a lot of tiredness, Dad has been OK. His breathing has even been a little better so it seems to be going OK. The second round is this week so I am hoping it goes a little smoother again as we get used to the process.

Thursday, I was a bit of a zombie. Friday, I was kept hanging around to find out when I was taking my daughter's boyfriend to the railway station so I couldn't really get much done. I did, however get a small amount of (secret) sculpting in.

Yesterday was a slow day but we managed to get some cinema time in. We went to see 'Valerian and the city of a thousand planets' which was a good film but sadly confirmed what the critics have been saying... "no chemistry between the leading characters, shallow plot but a wonderful spectacle of special effects". It was good... but not awesome. Worth going to see though.

Tomorrow is another week of much the same. Chores, chemo and hopefully, an opportunity to get something moving on the 'Inso's Diminutive Emporium' front. At least I now have all of the components to get things moving (boxes, labels, bases, bubble wrap, light-box for photos... ). Hopefully, I will get the time, alertness and inclination to get things started.

Seeing as this has been a bit of a slow update, here is a picture:

So much to do... so little time.

See you from the queue!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The traveller returns...

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been one of tiredness but full of progress as well.

I have started a small local community project that I am not going to expand upon but takes up a little time so that has been something that has to be accounted for. I also travelled up to Oxfordshire to collect my daughter because she has moved down to Cornwall and will be staying with us until she can find a place of her own. Obviously, we have been spending time together and going out doing stuff so I have been kept pretty busy.

This week has also seen my wife's 50th birthday so I have made sure that she was spoiled and looked after. She puts up with me so she deserves a bit of a pamper every now and again.

My father is in good spirits and has had his briefing with his cancer team about chemotherapy. I will be taking him for his first batch this coming week. The rest of the week will depend on how he responds to treatment with regards to side effects. Hopefully, it will go perfectly and there are very limited side effects but only time will tell there. One thing that will help is that I decided to buy a lightweight wheelchair for him so that he can take a breather and let me take the strain a bit. I made sure it was one with smaller wheels so that he doesn't feel like he has to help... he'll have no option but to sit and be chauffeur driven.

Hobby time has been fairly limited this week; mostly due to time but also tiredness. That said, I have finished painting the first set of Halfling snipers:

Click the Pic!

To explain the colours I have used, the bases contrast with the camouflage so that the miniatures stand out. I understand that this isn't the idea behind camouflage, however, when you are hoping to sell things, people need to be able to see what they are buying so it makes perfect sense from a commercial perspective. I may add some tufts at some point but I think this current standard shows off the little troops quite nicely.

The Emporium... In a bid to actually get these Halfling snipers up for sale, I have been sorting out the mundane things and have so far got plastic bases for them, boxes to send them out in, bubble-wrap to keep them safe and am currently waiting for some labels to arrive. I have also ordered a light box so that I can (hopefully) take some nice pictures of my products (the light in my house is awkward at best). Once everything comes together, I will be in a position to start selling... fingers crossed.

That is about it for now.

See you from Jamaica!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Snipers arrive!

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been one of highs, lows and indifference so I will try to keep things light.

The low point was talking to Cancer specialists with my dad and to cut a long story short, his Chemotherapy starts in just over a week. That will mark the start of things becoming very real and it will also be a time to be stoic.

The indifferent thing was an attempted hair dying thing. I added blue to my red... but it appears that the blue doesn't like sticking to the white bits in my hair... so the results were not 'vibrant blue roots with purple tips':

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Before on the left, after on the right. Fortunately I have a friend who is a hairdresser and I will turn myself over to her expertise at some point (there is talk of leopard print!).

So... now 'life' has been covered, here's a nice little Hasslefree Miniatures 'Roddy' that I have painted. He will join my Grymn Martian Patrol as a hired mercenary:

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He is a genetic hybrid of some kind so he will make a good tracker. I have kept his skin tone as pale as I can whilst still using my usual painting process.

Well... it has happened. My Halfling snipers have arrived from the casters and I am very pleased with them. Hysterical Games has done a fantastic job:

Click the Pic!

I will be keeping a set or two for myself but the rest will be going up for sale. You will be able to find them HERE, when they are ready for sale. In the meantime, I have cleaned a set up, washed them in soapy water, based and primed them and they currently look like this:

Click the Pic!

Pretty soon, these guys will turn green and will become part of my Squat army. They will also be used to showcase the miniatures for the shop/blog.

Well... I will be putting up more information when I have sorted through all the casts, got hold of some packaging materials and decided how I am going to sell them.

Interesting times... interesting times...

See you from the happy seat!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Some finished painting.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been all about painting and as I mentioned last week, it has mostly been about painting Grymn... so I'll get straight to it with a little squad of painted Grymn:

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As you can see, I have been trying out some of Games Workshop's textured paint on the bases and I think it looks pretty good. I think that they could use a little more depth, however, I quite like them as they are because they look really dry... which is what I was aiming for. 

These Grymn are painted up as a small patrol that potters around on a mars that has been Terra-formed with a breathable atmosphere. I have started to paint up one of the characters that will be joining them and I think that he should be ready for next week.

In other news, I have also painted the first of the Primaris Marines:

Click the Pic!

The photo is a bit rubbish but this particular miniature does not like being photographed in any kind of light so this is as good as it gets. If you look closely, he has a moon and castle emblem on his shoulder pad. This links him to the Lead Legion of Space Marines. This particular legion has been formed as part of a community project over at the Lead Adventure Forum... you can find out about it HERE and you can see some of the results HERE. I thought that I would use the opportunity to give the guys a chapter because I haven't come up with one of my own.

In a random direction, I tried to prevent a friend falling over and this happened:

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Everything is OK but I reckon I'll have a cool scar over my eye and, at the moment, I am finding painting a little bit tricky because I bashed up my hands/wrists a bit. That said... it was a great night on the town and sometimes you just have to roll with it... even if it happens to be rolling on the floor! Drunken shenanigans eh? Where would British culture be without them?

So... this week, I am popping up to see my Dad and accompany him to the hospital to find out where the land lies. It is going to suddenly become 'A THING' when we know what is going on, what treatment is available and how bad/good things are so, fingers crossed, it will be more positive than negative.

What's next? Who really ever knows that, eh?

See you from the bus stop, at the corner of main-street!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Going back to the start...

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

Way back in the dim and distant past, I started using the internet and suddenly became aware of the wide range of miniatures that were available on the market. Up until that point it was Citadel / Games Workshop only... apart from some Scotia Grendel Kryomek that used to be available in HMV (of all places).

It surprises me that I only started this blog in 2008... because, prior to that, I had been pottering around for a good few years... and I am also NOT surprised that the first miniatures I posted on here were from Hasslefree Miniatures. I found Hasslefree Miniatures in 2004 and was instantly drawn to their Grymn range. In fact, it was a single picture of Aylton the Grymn (sculpted by Kev White) that made me hunt down the manufacturer so that I could get hold of a few Grymn myself.

...That was the start of it. My big obsession. Why Grymn? Well... I'll tell you a story...

When I was about 15, I started sculpting miniatures. I used the only putty that was available to me (Milliput) and just went for it. I bent up a paperclip attached it to a plastic base, and built up an armature, followed by a full miniature. It was a Half-Dwarf in powered armour. The next sculpt was a Halfling in powered armour, followed by a Halfling in terminator armour and then one riding a Citadel, Judge Dredd, Lawmaster bike. Not long after that... I joined the military and off I went into the big world.

The reason I sculpted what I did, was that I always thought that Halflings were a missed opportunity. They always seemed to be portrayed with chicken drumsticks in their hands and saucepans on their heads and were, for all intents and purposes, a joke. I hated that. I wanted my Halflings to be warriors with hi-tech weaponry and equipment and certainly no bare feet! That's why I sculpted little people with tough kit.

... Then Aylton the Grymn showed up:

Click the Pic!

It was the above picture (the miniature was painted by Jenova... a very talented and well regarded painter of miniatures) that immediately caught my eye... back in 2004. He looked just like my idea of what a tough space Halfling should look like. Big gun, decent equipment and a strong character. 

I found Hasslefree Miniatures, ordered a set of five (which was all that was available at the time) and painted them up... then more were released and I snapped them up... then the cycle continued up until today. When new ones are released... I can't help myself.

So... why all the reflection on Grymn today? Well... with things being the way they are at the moment, my sculpting muse has decided that, just when I am starting up a little bit of a selling thing, she would go on holiday. Now, that isn't a bad thing... I have had quite a run on sculpting for a good few years and it was about time I started painting again. So I saw the new Primaris Marines and dived straight in... BUT... I stalled. The miniatures are great but what I really needed was something familiar and I knew just what to do. Not only would it help me to get painting again but it would also allow me the opportunity to try out some new basing materials in the process. I dug out a few of my many spare Grymn and, after cleaning them up, basing and priming them, set to work. After a while, as is usually the case, I got to thinking about what comes next so I dug out some walkers I converted (from Critical Mass Games... before they closed shop) and slapped a rough coat of paint on one to see how it looked. Well... this is where I am, at the moment:

Click the Pic!

In the picture, there are three walkers at the back, three specialists in front and then a squad of 8 standard Grymn troops. They still have a way to go but I am really enjoying painting them and the familiarity is a bit like meeting old friends again. It was definitely the right time to be painting Grymn because I have been out of the military now for 8 months and haven't finished painting anything... what better way to break the duck than with some of these excellent little miniatures.

For the record... I can't wait for the new ones to be released... I can always find money for more Grymn!

See you from the Grymn High-Council Chambers!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mixed week.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been another slow one. Lots of things are up in the air (hobby wise and family wise) so I am just waiting for everything to land.

My son popped down for a visit, for the first couple of days this week, and that always means that I am in host mode so not a lot of anything gets done. It was lovely to see him and he is still happy and getting along well in the Royal Air Force. We hadn't told his mum that he was coming so we surprised her... it was lovely to see the look on her face when she arrived from work.

The next couple of days I was hit by some sort of bug or hay-fever because I was extremely tired, lethargic and sneezy... so again... not a lot was achieved. In fact, all I can say that has happened is that I have now got an Imgur account and I have put a couple of new posts, on the forums I visit, that replace old ones filled with Photobucket place-holders.

As for actual hobby stuff... I suddenly realised that if I was going to sell some miniatures, I would need some slotta bases and some boxes/packing materials... so I have ordered bases but am yet to decide on packing materials. That will be over the next few days. Obviously, I am trying to keep things cheap but also decent so I will be doing a bit of homework. I reckon that I will buy 'large letter' boxes to keep postage costs down... but I'll make my mind up once I've had a dig around.

I am currently in the process of painting my Primaris Marines and I am hoping that it may kick-start me to paint a few other things. The camouflage is relatively challenging but it is just right to get my brush skills working again. Maybe after a few Primaris Marines, I will start painting a few of my Squats... who knows? No new pics at the moment.

Sadly... that is all I've been up to. I know it's a bit boring but maybe next week I'll have something better to share. In the meantime, here's a picture of a wonderful sunset over Porthleven:

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See you from the sand dunes!