Sunday, 28 September 2014

Space Dwarfs, Robots and Award Dinners...

Welcome to Inso's World again. It has been another week of interesting developments so we will start at the top and work down.

As you know from last Sunday's post, I recently returned from a course that was to do with an upcoming deployment. Well... Monday, I found out that I wasn't going any more. I found out because of an e-mail which gave me information on stuff I needed to go somewhere different! After a few tense moments, it was confirmed that my sunny tour had swapped to a snowy one and that the course I had been on was now redundant. On the plus side, the course was for Quality Assurance and it is a good one for the CV... also, due to the change in destination, I get to do another off-road driving course (which is FINE BY ME!!!!).

Thursday, I was invited to a special award dinner as one of the guests. It was a very formal event with lots of high profile guests. The evening was free and was an oportunity for the bosses to thank us for the work we had done... so much wine, food and entertainment was had by all and to top it off... I was given Friday off to relax. I didn't win one of the awards but to be nominated was good enough for me. Unfortunately, Friday was a bit of a write off due to my excessive celebrating but it was worth it.

This week has seen the start of the Unofficial Diorama of Doom 2014 competition. It is an opportunity to show off your diorama building skills whilst using set ranges of miniatures. Here's a link for the rules so feel free to pop along and throw your hat into the ring:

I am not sleeping again. It has been particularly bad over the last couple of days so I am getting a bit upset by stupid things... so as you may appreciate, I have steered away from the hobby a bit. That doesn't mean that I have been completely idle though. Here is a picture:

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On the top row we have two finished servitors and a WIP Squat Engineseer. Below that we have three finished Squats. It may not be a lot... but it is still ticking along.

As for the Squat Engineseer... I tried to chop up spacemarines to convert one but couldn't find a way of getting the proportions right so I have bitten the bullet and will sculpt one. He is going to have a bionic leg, a power weapon, a ranged weapon and a servo arm. That is all I know at the moment and as he progresses, I will show of pics.

With Squats and my deployment in mind, I will have a perfect opportunity to get some sculpting done. I will be away for six months and, as long as I have a decent light source, I will be able to take my mind off being away from home with a little sculpting. What I plan to do is take the platoon of Squats that need their arms sculpting and sculpt on the arms. That way, when I return and have some time off (post deployment leave), I will be able to start painting them.

Of course... no plan survives contact with the enemy...

See you from the boat!

Sunday, 21 September 2014


This will be a very short blog update.

Due to being away from home for a week and the subsequent catching up when I returned home, I have only managed minimal hobby work this week.

I have sculpted the hip joints and built up one of the arms on the second Squat robot/servitor and have assembled the basics of his heavy claw but still need to do the putty work.

I have also dug one of the marines from the dettol bowl and have begun the process of converting it into an Engineseer... but have encountered a major problem with proportions... Squats were definitely not designed to wear standard power armour. It will be a case of either persevering or sculpting from scratch... and sculpting from scratch isn't going to be fun.

In other news... I passed my Quality Auditors course so that is a little 'yay' moment.

Yesterday my wife and I popped to Portsmouth and while we were there, I got the opportunity to see a passenger hovercraft actually on the job... this has led me to more determined thoughts on hovercraft based transport options.

Every day is a learning day.

See you from the end of the universe!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

And so it all begins!

I am sure that you will have noticed that today's blog post is a little on the early side today. Well, as they say in the movies; "there's a good reason for that". A little later today, I am going away on a course so I won't have time to post anything later on. I am sure things will revert back to normal next week.

So... where to start?

Do you remember this?:

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Well, it can now be purchased, as 'Hannibal the Dwarf' from Grekwood Miniatures; HERE. Pop a long and have a look in the shop... there is all sorts in there.

In other (similar) news, you may remember this:

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She was converted from a dolly for the FoD 2012 sculpting competition. Well... time has passed and it looks like there may be some life in the competition yet. How do I know? Well, look at this picture and, bottom left, is something that looks terribly familiar:

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It seems that another sculpt has reached the metal stage. I'll share more news when I get it.

So... what have I been upto this week? Well... a bit of biking, a bit of working, not much sleeping... and a small amount of converting. Not to mention, receiving miniatures from Ebay and throwing them in the Dettol. From the last post, you may recall a pair of robots. In order for them to join the Squats, I need to have a tech-marine/engine seer... so I bought some plastic spacemarines for conversion purposes. They are currently in the Dettol and will be brought out at a later date for converion. In the meantime, I have finished one of the robots and am working on the second one. Here is a poor photograph, taken using my phone because my camera shut down due to battery failure:

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I put the 'call' out to find suitable robotic arms but there wasn't really anything that worked for me... so I made the arms out of Necron parts, plasticard and putty. I like the long, ape-like arms... maybe you do?

So that is about it for today. Because I have a course this week, I expect next week's blog post to be pretty sparse...but you never know.

See you from the queue at the parachute-jump door!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Get the motor running... head out on the highway!

Welcome to another Sunday blog post and this week, like many others, has been one of variety.

I have had an awful lot of 'real life stuff' over the past few weeks so my hobby has taken a bit of a back seat. News of my six months trip has now properly sunk in and I am now in a position where I can get on with planning, rather than feeling sorry for myself. I have now collected my new 125CC motorcycle and managed to ride it 35 miles home without incident... which I was glad of and to be honest, I was worried that after six years of not riding a motorbike, I would have forgotten how to ride. Fortuantely, as soon as I got on the road, it all came flooding back... so here is my new toy:

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I didn't just buy it for me. I also bought a 125cc due to my daughter just passing her CBT and needing a safe pair of wheels. She isn't quite ready for the road yet... but she has been getting in some practice on a safe road, with me watching and giving her a bit of coaching. Here she is, pottering along... nice and steady:


Click to Play!

So... onto hobby stuff and one of my problems is that I like to know how things work. With that in mind, I thought about how my little hover bike might work so I threw together a quick diagram:

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Some of the airflow is directed downwards to inflate the skirt, while some of the airflow passes through a radial compressor to provide directional thrust. Simple.

Speaking of hover bikes, I have only managed to finish the intake:

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You may also have noticed the two shady looking characters that are standing next to the bike. Well... to cut a long story short, one of my favourite Squat miniatures was the techmarine. I have decided that I will have a techmarine (or engineseer, if you wish) as part of my little Squat army. Now... the techmarine is able to have Servitors and although the human variety is pretty cool, I didn't like the thought of my Squats being turned into mindless automata... so I decided that they would have little robots to help instead. Seeing as I have made some Beetlebots before, it seemed logical to add them to my Squat army as well. They will be getting more work yet (the two in the picture aren't even glued together, they are just loosely pinned) and I will need to figure out what I am going to do with the arms... but it's a start.

So... there you have it. Another week passes and the slow progress towards a finished Squat army continues.

See you from the drill square... SHUN!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

An even BIGGER week...

First up today, I'd like to welcom Buffer to the blog. Welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy your travels along the winding paths of Inso's World. Feel free to share with us and if you feel the need, please comment.


... I got news that I am going away for at least four months (most probably six). I found out when someone phoned me up to say that I needed to go on a course so that I could deploy. I have not had official notification yet (rather disappointing) but know it will be a Quality Assurance job, somewhere in the middle east. It could be as early as November but hopefully, not until March (I'll get a bit more time to prepare then).

As a result of the untimely notification, my mind hasn't been straight this week (especially when you consider that I had to tell my family the wonderful news)... so I went and volunteered to run a seven mile road race a week this Thursday! Add to that Friday's tequila and beer night... and a host of other personal upheavals... you would have thought that I wouldn't get any hobby stuff done...

...but you'd be wrong! I'll admit that I haven't done very much but I have done something. The Squat command squad all have their weapons sorted and have had the first layer of green-stuff added to their wire arms, ready for the proper sculpting later:

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You will also notice the start of a hover bike. I am saying nothing about it apart from the fact that it is very WIP and I want it to be castable so I only need to make one. I'd like to mention that no Lego was harmed in the making of the WIP because the building bricks are from an inferior brand. As soon as I have more to show, I'll be more inclined to add some explanations.

Well... that's about it for now. Hopefully, next week I'll be saying how cool my new motorcycle is and be able to show off all manner of Squat stuff.

We live in hope.

See you from the dust bowl!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The BIG week.

Hi, Mouse! Welcome to Inso's World. I hope you have a great time walking through the gardens and finding stuff to share. Make sure you comment if you feel the need... and idea shared is a wonderful thing.

So this week has been BIG!

First up... BT Infinity, Fibre Optic, Braodband arrived. I have just one thing to say about it...

It is absolutely brilliant to be able to watch videos and have other family members using the web, while I do, without slowing everything down to a crawl. If you don't have it, think about getting it because it really does make a massive difference to your web-based life.

Secondly... I have bought a 125cc motorcycle for me and my daughter to ride. The insurance was half the price of the bike but fortunately, the loan covered it so as of the beginning of September, I'll be a biker again and I'll be making sure that my daughter is safe enough to ride on the roads and then she'll be a biker too.

Next... a bit slower... here's a video of me feeding the ducks and swans (it is my new thing to share with my wife... peace, quiet, reflection, a pic-nic and feeding the waterbirds... lovely):

Finally... some hobby stuff. Here is where I am at with the Squat project:

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From the pic, you will see that I have a whole TWO miniatures finished (so far) with a lot of WIP stuff going on. You'll notice that I have given the specialists armoured arms. I thought that flamers and plasma guns get very hot so I gave the firers a bit of protection.You'll also notice the start of the command squad. It will have the lieutenant, a medic, a flamer and a couple of close combat troops. The lieutenant has a power weapon (made from a flamer head, some sprue and a Mantic hammer). The squad members (Squad 1 and 2) with no weapons are the controllers for the heavy weapon platforms.

So the Squat project is ticking along nicely and I obviously have a long way to go yet.

That's it for today.

See you from the back of a flying unicorn!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

There's a change in the weather coming...

Welcome to another Sunday update and I'll start this one of with a pause...

... No matter what life throws at you, if you take time out to look around at what there is in the world, you may get a better perspective from it. I found that sitting by a river for an hour or so, with some coffee, a sandwich and some company was just such a moment. Add to that, two loaves of bread and a flotilla of ducks and swans to feed, and it was an hour spent recharging. It is soul food and we all need to keep our inner spirit charged up...

...So, this week has been one of progress. To start with, I have sorted through a bunch of Squats, based the bodies, added the heads, sculpted on beards, added wire for the arms to be built on and shortened a bunch of lasguns to go with them. I have added a little green stuff to some of the wire arms to act as a base for the arm sculpting to start proper and have decided that the Sgt's with berets will be used in a beret wearing platoon rather than a helmet wearing one. I have also built up a special character, armed with a pistol and close combat dog... but that is all just so much talk... so here are a couple of images of what I have done so far:

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The middle pic shows my little Squat production mat and on it are a few weapons in the process of being changed (lasguns have been shortened, plasma pitols lengthened to be used as plasma guns). The Character has Catachan Jungle Fighter arms and a throwing mastiff from Mantic's Kings of War Dwarf range.

I'd like to mention at this point that all of the Squat miniatures pictured, were bought painted and have been stripped with Dettol. It does a tremendous job of cleaning them up and smells fairly nice too. There are a couple of Squats that didn't get dipped because they only had tiny areas of paint (so any paint you see  hasn't been left behind after stripping, it just hasn't been stripped).

As is normally the case, I am overthinking everything and it seems that I may be opting for hovercraft for these guys to travel in. After last week's post showing the bikes, I have been looking at various hover vehicles and it seems that the Hammer's Slammers ranges that are about may be brought into play. Here's a way-back link to OLD CROW and here's a current link to AINSTY CASTINGS. Both have a range of Hammer's Slammers vehicles that could prove useful to me, even if it turns out to be just inspiration for my own stuff.

Last weekend, my daughter passed her basic training on motorcycles (125cc) so this week I have been looking at small bikes. I have got myself a small loan (good for the credit rating) and will be going to choose one next week... so it looks like me and my daughter will have a new toy quite soon! I am looking forward to it.

Well... that about sums it up for now so I'll go and get on with stuff.

See you from the middle lane!