Sunday, 25 January 2015

Almost a month done.

Welcome to this week’s blog post and this week it will be a fairly quiet affair.

One of the things you have to do when you go to a place like the Falklands for four months, is decide what you are going to do while you are out there. Now, it may seem like quite a simple thing to decide but whatever you choose to do will shape your tour.

Last time I was here, I chose to work hard and in my free time, visit the bars and socialise... and yes... there was much karaoke going on as well. This was all very well but I was lucky to get home without a massive beer-belly and a failed liver... not to mention the low times I had due to the depressive nature of alcohol. 

This time around, I have chosen to focus most of my attention on getting fit and running a half marathon while I am here. As part of the fitness programme, I have started to undertake the Falklands challenge (which I will expand upon later). I also wanted to go on a couple of battlefield tours (Mt Tumbledown was the main one and I have already ticked that box) while I was here and have a proper visit to Port Stanley to have a good nose about.

There are other options; many clubs, volunteering, arranging trips, going on heli/aircraft flights etc... but you can’t do everything, can you?

The Falklands Challenge

This is a challenge to cover 574 Km on land and 62 Km on water. The land options are: running, cycling or cross training. The water options are rowing or swimming. Fortunately, you can use the swimming pool and the machines in the gym to complete the distance (which is representative of a trip around the islands). Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any swimming trunks with me so I am covering the water part of the challenge on the rowing machine. Since the 8th of Jan, I have covered 82 Km on land and 25 Km on water. I have also clocked up over 700 press-ups and sit-ups... so I am properly ticking along with the whole fitness challenge.

With all that, plus the fact that I am not sleeping at all well, you will understand that I haven’t even looked at my sculpting kit yet so I apologise for the lack of Squat pictures. Hopefully, I will have something interesting to share with you next week as the weekend promises to be highly entertaining.

See you from the top of the wall!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A trip to Mt Tumbledown

Welcome to this week’s blog post and this week it is all about a little trip I took to visit Mt Tumbledown on the Falkland Islands.

Tumbledown overlooks Port Stanley and was the focus of fierce fighting between Argentinean troops who were dug in on the mountain and British troops who wanted to shift them from the high ground.

It was winter; there was snow and extremely cold weather. The British had to cross large areas of dead ground to reach the base of the outcrop and then assault upwards, in darkness under a hail of bullets, mortar rounds and artillery shells.

The battle for Tumbledown was fierce and in some cases, hand to hand with bayonets and knives but ultimately the British won the battle.

Today, I followed the route the British soldiers took from the approach to Mt Tumbledown, up the mountain, across the ridge and then on to Mt William. It was tough going in daylight with the rain falling and the wind gusting but it was nothing compared to what the British troops faced in 1982. To face a constant barrage from well dug in troops when you are cold, tired and can’t see very well due to the darkness must have needed superhuman determination and courage.

Here is a poem written by a guardsman who took part. This poem is displayed in the main corridor of the Mount Pleasant complex:


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 And here is the site of the battle:


Right click the picture and open in a new tab for larger image.
 
 I think I’ll leave things there for now.

See you from a position of reflection!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The first post from the island

Welcome to Inso’s World again and as you will have noticed; I am a week late in posting. The reason for this is that I am now in the Falkland Islands and have had a very busy couple of weeks. It all started with a 26 hour journey from my front door to my new room on the island. I spent 16 of those hours in the air, with the remainder being an hour to get me to the airport and a lot of time waiting around. Being an insomniac, I didn’t get any sleep on the aircraft so I started my time here tired... but that didn’t stop me having to do ground defence training, rifle zeroing, arrivals processing and then sorting out my life when I got here. I was then put straight on call-out for over a week whilst being second in command of my own little platoon of 30 troops (something a little alien for a desk-bound, aircraft technician). That said, it has certainly been entertaining and time has flown by.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to celebrate the New Year in a fashion of my choosing (due to being on call-out) so my new year began on the evening of the sixth Jan and included cider and darts.

The section I am on has a bunch of great people on it and it was thanks to them that I got Christmas Day at home (they shared all the duties of the guy who I replaced for a few days so that I could come here a little later than the 24th Dec; which is when I was due to leave the UK). A lot of my work is Health and Safety, documentation, Quality Assurance and other office work but on top of that, I have my platoon to look after and a number of other little jobs to keep me busy.

There is still the opportunity to get out and about and see the sights so it isn’t all work and no play. In fact, on Friday night, I spent an evening in the mess and got the opportunity to sing a few Karaoke tunes so it was a fun evening.

My room is quite spacious and has all the home comforts including a TV and a sink (it enables me to wash and shave without having to queue up at the communal facilities so it is a godsend). The bed is comfier than my bed at home so I am starting to get a bit of sleep now that I have settled a bit. Here is the view from my window (I have blotted out certain items for security purposes... the Islands are, after all, still contested by the Argentineans):
 

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As you can see, it is a bit bleak.

I have brought some sculpting to do but haven’t started doing it yet because I have been settling in. I expect that I will start doing some sculpting soon so that my bunch of Squats finally get their arms.

The internet wireless can be patchy and it costs £8 - £10 for 100 minutes (although there is the opportunity to use free internet from fixed consoles) so I am restricting my internet usage. As a result of that, my forum and blog activities have been reduced so I can spend more time talking to my family.

Well, that’s about it for now. I am sure that once I start getting into the routine of things, I will post more interesting things but for now, I will bid you farewell.

See you from the command post!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Travelling.

This week's Sunday post will be today because I can't guarantee that I will be able to post the usual Sunday news due to me travelling.

Over the next few days, I will be flying over 7000 miles to a small group of islands in the South Atlantic, very close to the Antarctic... the Falkland Islands.

From now on, the posts will change to news of what I am getting upto over there, hopefully with lots of pictures (assuming I can upload them).

I am all packed, have some sculpting equipment with me and am just waiting until I go really (so I am starting to fidget!).

There you have it.

I also have some news that I can't share until the New Year... but it is pretty cool so I hope you can wait.

Well... Cheerio for now and as soon as I am settled, the posts will start again.

Here's a gratuitous penguin picture from when I was last there (taken on Sealion Island):


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See you from the Island!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Wishes.

It's that time of year again... Christmas Day. I hope that you have all enjoyed your day and the company of those you wanted to share it with.

I have had a lovely meal, a few gifts and my little family all together for the day (me, my missus, my son and my daughter) so I am feeling happy and chilled out.

In two days time, I will be on a plane travelling to the South Atlantic and over the next two days, I will be making sure I have packed everything for my four months away... but today, I am chilling out with a few glasses of port and enjoying a bit of family time.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a happy Christmas and a merry New Year and leave you with a wonderful picture of my friend's dog, Piglet (who happens to be awesome):


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See you from the Antarctic!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday again.

Seeing as it is Sunday and I haven't been putting any work into the hobby lately, I thought I'd dig out a few more bits and bobs for army pics.

First up... the enemy that lurks under the earth on the Tunnel Fighter's world:


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The bugs are Tyranids (of course) but instead of being the GW idea of bugs, these are indigenous to the planet and occur as a result of bug-like breeding. I have deliberately not used any form of ranged weaponry to add to the 'naturally occurring' look of them. I deliberately chose a desert theme because they are on a desert planet and have naturally occurring camouflage. There are more of these in the 'to-do' pile but I doubt very much whether they will ever get done.

Next up; this next little army started out as a WH40K patrol force and expanded a little:


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This little army was put together using an older Imperial Guard Codex where platoons could have partial squads in them. The army has a command HQ, a storm trooper squad, 2 special weapon squads, a heavy weapon squad, 2 platoons, a sentinel and an ogryn squad. One of the platoons has an extra five troops because I happened to have them sitting around. All it would take is the addition of some transport and it would make a good starter force.

This next little army was the one that started my Grymn obsession all those years ago:


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The army has a few conversions (including the only female OGrymn alive - scratch sculpted apart from the hands and weapon), features the very first incarnation of Torge's Tigers and is still very close to my heart (even though I couldn't finish the army due to TOO MUCH BROWN).

Finally today, we have a selection of specialist troops:


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At the front, we have an inquisitor with a small retinue. Behind him are a couple of small stormtrooper units. Behind them, a few Grymn Spartans and over to the right are some Judges with a bit of support in the form of a justice department riot control walker.

Well... in other news, I purchased a Revell starter kit (wiith paints, glue and brush) today... a 1/144 A-10 Warthog. I just felt like I needed something to take my mind off everything while I was alone in the house. It is tiny :).

Well, it will soon be Christmas so I hope you all have a great one. I also hope that Christmas, for you, is the way you would like it to be... and if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have a great time during your religious celebration / holiday and spend it doing the things you want, with the people you love.

See you from the undergrowth!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Bot-tastic Saturday.

Yep... I'm still bored so here is a full army pic of my Beetlebot force:


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It isn't the best of pictures but I am still getting used to my new camera (which is more of a 'fun camera' than a proper camera).

The Beetlebots have cropped up on here quite frequently over the years but I haven't taken an army pic of what I have finished... so I thought it was about time.

There are more units planned for the army; namely sky-surfers, heavy weapons and spider-snipers... and of course a BIG Beetle Bot... and another leader on a destroyer chassis... and maybe some Dreadbots...

Anyway, there may be more little army pics coming up so watch this space.

See you from the depths of the caverns!