Sunday, 23 November 2014

A typically Autumnal week.

Before I start, I would like to welcome zorro the Inso's World. I hope you find lots of things to keep you occupied during your stay and feel free to share comments if there is anything that particularly interests you.

I guess Autumn is properly here. It has been dreary, with a capital D, all week. It didn't help that I have pulled a muscle in my back which meant meds and a lack of mobility... but I didn't let it stop me going to a wine and cheese tasting evening this week (I am not a big wine fan and cheese doesn't agree with me... but we had a great evening anyway).

From the drearyness of the week to something really cool. I mentioned that Impact Miniatures were selling a Chibi Judge figure based on my Goblin Aid sculpt last week. Well Tom sent me a gift this week:

Click the Pic!

He has mentioned that the original miniature will also be sold at some point so if you are interested, pop along to Impact Miniatures to see what's what. Thanks to Tom for his very kind gift.

So... where do I start? I know, let's start with the Squat project and first up, we have some beards added to the remaining command figures (although I seem to have forgotten the leader's moustache:

Click the pic!

While I was at it, I also added their neckerchiefs (which can only be seen from behind). Once I've given the leader his 'tache, I only need to sculpt the arms/hands and they will be finished. Still on the Squat theme, I have finished Big Robot... he even has a name badge:

Click the Pic!

I decided to keep a lot of the details simple and hope that he looks OK. I wanted to give him a questioning look so I tilted his head slightly and made him stare into the sky.

In other news, I have had a change of heart on my UnDoD 2014 project and have changed the miniatures and the story. You will get nothing but miniature selection from the photo... but it is a start:

Click the Pic!

The base is just a CD with a disc of plasticard glued on. It will turn into a Diorama over the next four weeks and I will keep posting WIP shots in the meantime.

Last but not least, we have the first assembled Mechadrome mech. It is a light mech called Kodachi, however, in my world it is a standard military mech:

Click the Pic!

Grant (from Hasslefree Miniatures) is just there to show the size of the mech. This mech was much better quality than the medium mechs but still had issues with the little steps that went up the right leg... so I trimmed them off. Apart from that, I couldn't work out how the shoulder armour should go so I added a few bits of plastic to pack things out and used Green Stuff to sort the gaps. The rest was a doddle to assemble. I have another five of these to build so I hope that they will be faster to assemble now I have sorted the shoulder problem. I think you'll agree that the light mech is a joy to behold.

So not a bad week really. Hopefully, this coming week will see more progress on the Diorama and also the Squats (with maybe a little assembly of Mechadrome mechs into the mix).

I nearly forgot... Do you remember these?:

Click the Pic!

They are Greys from Tengu miniatures. Unfortunately, Tengu seems to have disappeared but I have just found out that many of the Tengu miniatures (including the Greys) are available from CP Models so I am still able to get hold of them when I decide to expand the force. I am quite pleased about this.

See you from the middle of the fast-flowing fjord!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A week of nice distractions.

I knew I wouldn't be able to focus on the Squat project this week... especially when I have my Mechadrome mechs sitting so close. As a result, I have spent a lot of the week messing around with my mechs and... to be brutally honest... first impressions didn't last.

Don't get me wrong, the mech casts have suberbly sharp and crisp details but while I was cleaning up the resin components, I quickly realised that quality control at Gangfight Games could be a little better. This week, I have focussed on cleaning up the resin components and getting them washed ready for filling/assembly.

Click the Pic!

The light mech bodies aren't too bad apart from one or two being fractionally misaligned and the steps on the right side being in various states from perfect to missing... but not so bad that I couldn't fudge it enough to look OK (that means 24 little brass foot rails need to be made and fitted into 48 little drilled holes).

The medium mechs took a lot more work and to be frank, for the money I paid for them, the work was too much. However... they are cleaned and washed ready for filling. Here are the components for the medium mechs:

Click the Pic!

The picture shows the torsos, legs, gun-arms, rocket pods (they go on the top of the torso), a pair of fists, the shoulders, the little pistons (for the rear of the legs) and two mystery components (I think they fit to the front of the cockpit... but I guess I'll just have to wait and see).

Overall, the details are fabulous and the design is excellent but there are a number of things that bothered me about the resin components:
  • The legs were slightly misaligned and took a lot of work to look OK.
  • The torsos were slightly misaligned and took a lot of work to look OK.
  • There are a good few airbubbles and blobs of excess resin that obscure details.
  • The guns were so misaligned that I had to cut them down their length to realign them.
Here is a picture of the guns:

Click the Pic!

I think that the main issue I had with the legs could be as a result of them being cast as a single item, rather than being broken down into two legs and pants for casting. 

What about the metal components? Fortunately, they were much better and didn't need too much clean-up. Iwas disappointed to find that I have been given opposite fists rather than two left fists (like I ordered) but I am not hugely concerned as it will just mean that one of my eight mechs will be a lefty (a special character... maybe the overall leader).

I still have to sort out the metal components for the light mechs but I have checked them and they are all correct so it will just take me the time to clean them up prior to assembly.

So quality control could be better but I am not unduly concerned (however... it did take the shine off a little). I could complain but I can't really be bothered as I have made the best of them anyway and it just adds time and awkwardness to the whole thing... and I want these to be assembled... NOW!

To cheer things up, an online friend of mine (DWartist), sent me a very generous gift this week:

Click the Pic!

You may not be able to see the pic very clearly but there is a veritable horde of Grymn and a rather handy Old Crow Hammer's Slammers vehicle. I'd like to extend a public THANKS! to DWartist for his wonderful gift that really cheered me up after fighting with my mechs all week. And what better way to highlight how much it cheered me up by showing what I plan for the vehicle:

Click the Pic!

That's right. The Engineseer now has some transport for him and his two servitors. I will be adding a servitor head in the hatch on the front to act as the driver and I will also be adding a mechanical arm and a pair of bolters. Big Robot will either have to walk or be sent off to another army.  

In other news, I recently spotted my work on the Impact Miniatures site. Unfortunately, it was labelled as being sculpted by someone else... so I contacted tham and queried the mistake. They got back to me straight away, corrected the error and are sending me a gift. I didn't ask for anything, other than the change of details so I am really very impressed with Impact for their kind gesture. The miniature in question uses the body from this miniature that I sculpted for Goblin Aid:

Click the Pic!

but with the head sculpted by another sculptor.

This coming week should be one of more component cleaning, assembling, filling and maybe a bit of converting. 

... and I have to go into the gas chamber again (yes... it is that time of year again). 

See you through the bleary eyes of realisation!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Adherence to ceremony and a host of new mecha.

Today is Remembrance Sunday. It is a day when my family visit the local town of Wallingford to attend the ceremony of Remembrance. Every year (when I am in the country) we do the same and every year, the square is filled with people who are also there to pay their respects and give humble thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of so many people so that we could live in relative peace and freedom today.

In 2007, I went to Iraq for a couple of weeks to carry out some maintenance on a helicopter there. When the plane landed, we discovered that three of our colleagues had just been killed when a rocket landed in their accomodation area. Today, I remembered them.

Here is a short poem I wrote for Remembrance day:

They fought, 
They fell, 
They went through hell, 
To keep us safe. 
Remember well. 

I remember them.

As you will have already found out, I got a parcel yesterday and it contained all my Mechadrome Mechs. Well, I have now had time to have a root through and here are a couple of pictures:

 Click the Pic!

Click the Pic!

In the top pic, I have provided a ruler, standard 28mm human and a Grymn for scale. As you can see, the mechs are quite large (60mm and 90mm without the rocket pods). In the lower pic I have shown all of the arms, shoulderpads and rocket pods.

Overall, the quality is excellent but, and there is a but, the two resin guns (bottom left) have a bit of a step in them (mould mismatch) that will need a little extra work to put right. It isn't a total catastrophe... just a bit of extra work with a knife and file. The resin pieces have a few bits of waste resin to trim off and I think there is a single, small, airbubble on one of the medium mech bodies... but the details are sharp and everything looks brilliant.

I am likely to leave them as they are for the time being as I don't want to rush them and I haven't decided which particular army/unit they are going to join so they will be 'awaiting paint' for a while; until I make a decision.

... In the meantime, I have my Squats to work on. This week, I have tinkered a little with Big Robot but have spent most of my sculpting time on a pair of Squats from the command squad for the first platoon. Here is a Squat with flamer and a medic:

Click the Pic!

The command squad uses pistols from the Khorne Berserker boxed set and as a result, the hands are quite large. I can live with it but it may not be to everyone's taste. The flamer Squat uses shortened space marine arms for extra protection. The hose from the cannister to the flamer is a piece of brass wire with a 'Scouby' string covering it... sometimes having a daughter who is into crafts is handy when conversions are being created.

This coming week, I am planning to work on the other three members of the command squad whilst ticking along with Big Robot... however, with so much mecha goodness sitting in a box nearby, I am not confident in my resolve to ignore them!

See you from a place of respect!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Mechadrome has landed.

I know it's Saturday but this is just too good not to share.

My parcel from the Mechadrome Kickstarter from Gangfight Games has arrived... (Click on the pics for bigger images)...

Here is the box:

Here is the bag:

Here is the bag once removed from the box:

Here are all the mechs:

That is all I am showing off today because I am very hungover and daren't go any further with unpacking for fear of messing everything up. I hope that all of the bits are there but I will have to wait until later for a full inspection.

It's all rather exciting!

See you from my cloud!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Of completed conversions and trips to London...

Hello again. Another week has passed and it is time for another update.

This week has been one of a virus for a couple of days, some very quick (for me) running, some sculpting and a trip to London.

So... Monday and Tuesday, I got a bug that knocked me for six. I had no energy for anything but still dragged myself into work. Wednesday and Thursday, I felt much better so was able to go for a couple of runs. First a 3 miler (at 8min 20sec mile pace) and then a 4 miler (at 8min 28sec mile pace); both much quicker than the usual 9 minute mile pace I have been used to. It goes to show the importance of having a running partner.

Over the week I have been trying to finish the Squat Engineseer and have got to a point where I am happy that he is complete:

Click the Pic!

He's not perfect but he is now properly equipped for the task at hand. Since his completion, I have been working on the robot but have not got to a point where there is enough done to show very much progress so I will wait until next time for that.

So... yesterday I went to London and managed to get a glimpse of the poppies at the Tower of London. Unfortunately, there was no chance to get in to see it properly due to the vast crowds of people there so it was a view through the railings for me. It didn't upset me that I couldn't see them clearly though... to be honest, I was humbled that so many people have taken the time and effort to go and see it... and bought poppies on the way. The rest of the trip to London was just plodding about in shops.

In other news, I have had notification that a parcel is waiting for me at a mail office. It is not my usual mail office and due to London, I can't pick it up until next Saturday... so I have a week to find out where it is. Part of the notification was that I owe £33.00 in charges and VAT so I can only assume that it is my mechs from Gangfight Games. This makes me very happy (even though I have to fork out additional money to pick them up).

Well... that's about it for today.

See you from through the railings!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Another tick on the list of life.

Welcome to Inso's World on a rather autumnal Sunday. Before I kick things off, I'd like to welcome our newest traveller, Bob Kinnear. Welcome Bob! I hope you enjoy your time here.

WOW! What a week.

I have had a few days at home and have done a few cool things this week. First off... I travelled over water on this very beast:

Click the Pic!

When I was a nipper, I was able to look inside a static display of a hovercraft at a theme park but this week, I travelled from Portsmouth to the Isle of White on a hovercraft. What was it like? Well... it was very much like travelling in a helicopter rather than a boat and it was great fun. It has further fuelled my desire to have one of my armies transported by a fleet of sci-fi hovercraft.

One thing in life that always humbles me is how completely wild animals react to humans. Yes, we've all been close to wild birds and animals but for them to actually interact with you is just wonderful. This week, me and my better half went to a nature/wildlife park and while we were there, some migratory geese made friends. One in particular even let me stroke it! It's a proper privilege to have a wild bird eating from your hand and choosing you for a bit of company... here's my new friend helping himself to some pellets from my hand:

Click the Pic!

The clocks went back today so I have gained an hour... but that said, I actually slept through the whole night (8+ hours!) for the first time this week and feel up to the challenge of using the extra hour to do STUFF!

On my travels this week, I spotted this:

Click the Pic!

I don't need it... but I bought it just to show everyone how perfect it would be for a Spacemarine bike or even a Rough Rider bike for the Imperial Guard. It only cost me £2.00 and I think it has great potential for converting for your 28mm heroic scale miniatures.

In other news, I have been informed by Gangfight Games that my Mechadrome Kickstarter pledge is on its way! I am REALLY happy about this and can't wait to get my hands on some mecha goodness... like THIS.

With so much happening, you would have thought that my hobby may have taken a back seat... but you would be wrong. I have taken the opportunity to focus my attention on my little Engineseer and have finished his body. He just needs his head and backpack sorting out and he will be finished. Here he is with his charges:

Click the Pic!

Because the main focus has been the Engineseer, I have only managed a very small amount of work on 'Big Robot'... but at least he has arms now :).

Ebay has been lucky for me this week as I managed to win a Grymn walker for a very reasonable price (Half RRP)... so I now have a character model to add to the walker platoon (when I eventually put it all together).

Well... I think that about sums everything up for now.

See you from the line of scrimmage!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday sculpting and converting.

Hello again. It is Sunday so it is time for me to round up the week with a post about the things I have been getting up to.

First of all, I have been running a bit. That has meant a number of things...

Firstly, I have run around 13.5 miles this week. That was in 3 runs but still amounts to a half-marathon. This has led to the conclusion that...

Secondly, I need new trainers because my shins are not at all happy. I expect this to be as a result of the old trainers I have been running in so I went into town today and bought some shiny new running trainers and they are WAY better than the old ones.

Thirdly, I have signed up for a half marathon. That will be the furthest I have run in a single go (currently, it is 10 miles) and I will have to decide on a charity to get donations for... although it is likely to be the Royal British Legion.

The trip to town was eventful too... I managed to kill a pheasant. It ran all over the place and then ran at the car with fatal results. It was not a good start.

So... that is running done, now let's talk about the movie 'The Edge of Tomorrow' (I finally got to see it on DVD after missing it in the cinema).

The film is all about a bloke who ends up being labelled a deserter and put in a small unit of troops who are chosen as the first wave in a massive assault against alien invaders. The attack goes wrong and when the bloke is killed, he wakes up back where he started and has to re-live the day's events again and again. This leads him to meet a hero in the army who helps him on his journey.

There are aliens aplenty, some excellent powered suits and really cool looking aircraft. There is also the scene with an RAF Puma helicopter landing in Trafalgar Square (the very same aircraft that I have fixed in the past) so that was great.

What did I think of the film? I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any sci-fi film buff.

On to the hobby now... and here is a picture:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, the hovercraft conversion is coming along quite nicely. It is in the process of getting the add-ons shaped to fit the hull. There is still a way to go and the front and rear sections will change a bit before I am finished. The Squat Engineseer is starting to get his armour and is also taking shape nicely. I have learned that my sculpting finesse has taken a hit because the surfaces aren't as smooth as usual but I guess that I am just a little out of practice. As a result of only being able to do tiny bits at a time on the Squat, I have been bulking up the 'thing' in the middle with the leftover putty. The 'thing' will be revealed at some point... it should be worth the wait. Finally, at the bottom of the page we have the five eights. These are five sci-fi troopers from Hasslefree Miniatures that are going to be purple to go with these guys:

Click the Pic!

As a result, 'Meg and the Purple Pugs' will soon become 'Meg and the Purple Pirates'. When new stuff turns up, it is always a case of 'adapt and overcome'!

This week also saw the arrival of my sculpt for the Hasslefree sculpting competition 2012:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, the sculpt survived the casting process completely intact... and you will also notice the metal version next to her. I am very happy to have another of my sculpts in the metal. Hopefully, she will be deemed worthy to go into the Hasslefree Miniatures store... but we will have to wait and see. As well as my two sculpts, I also received a bunch of the winning casts and some others that were chosen, like mine, as HF choice miniatures. All in all... Hasslefree Miniatures have done me proud.

That is it for today. I hope to have some very exciting things to go in the next update so I hope you pop in and visit Ins's World again next week.

See you at a thousand miles an hour!