Sunday, 14 February 2016

Of Robots and Squats.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been a bit topsy turvy but, for a change, apart from my missus getting poorly for a day, I have had quite a reasonable week.

So... this really caught my attention this week:

I love the way it can go anywhere, has no suspension or steering mechanism (it skid steers and has squishy tyres to take the bumps out of the road) and with a little bit of thought would make a truly excellent vehicle to be used on a swamp planet. Seeing as my Squats are from a swamp army, it got me thinking.

As did this:

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I love these vehicles (not mine, they are from Khurasan Miniatures and the ones pictured can be seen, along with other great 15mm stuff, at The Angry Lurker Blog) because they are different and they could also be amphibious, just like the SHERP in the video (just a bit slower and better armoured).

So... with that in mind... I have visited EBay and bought a load of wheels... and yes, this could be the start of yet another unfinished project!

In other news, I decided that I would finally succumb to the voices and buy some female heads (LINK LINK) from Statuesque Miniatures. I decided to choose the heroic scale ones because they are designed for GW sized miniatures. Luckily I did because I ended up padding out the cheeks of my first trial run:

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I thought that, seeing as it is a fairly common thought that you can't tell a male from a female Squat, I would use the standard bodies and arms but just swap the head... hopefully, it has worked (even though the head is still just slightly on the small size). The Sgt in the picture is now base-coated and waiting for her wash before highlighting. She is going to be the Sgt in a veteran squad of lady Squats... once she is painted, I'll show her off. Keeping Statuesque Miniatures in mind, I decided to get some Fembots to join Tiny and the gang. They are truly wonderful miniatures and everything that got delivered was exceptionally well cast... 

... did I mention Tiny?...

I have also got a little further on him this week. He now has the start of his face:

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Well... I think that about sums up this week's activity on the hobby front...
Oh, don't forget that I have some stuff finishing today on Ebay:

See you from the workshop!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

What a week!

I am going to start this week's blog post with a picture:

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On the left is a very proud dad (me) and on the right is his son who has just passed out from basic training for the Royal Air Force.

It all happened on Tuesday at RAF Halton and was a whole day of waiting for a parade, and watching it. The parade went really well and the flypast was by a Puma from RAF Benson's 230 Sqadron (my old Squadron, ironically). The picture above also has a lot of history behind it. When I was in training, Block 16 was my home for two and a half years. A few years after I left, the Apprenticeship system was stopped and a few more years later, basic training was moved to Halton. In the period from then onwards, the block got its 'Puma' name. My son also spent time in this block during basic training... more coincidence.

When I left Halton, I started my RAF career at Odiham, working on Pumas... and over my career, I have worked on Pumas for over 15 years (on and off) so to find out that my old block had the Puma name really made me smile. 

I view this picture as a handover... as you know, I am leaving the Royal Air Force soon and I am handing over to my son who is just starting out.

So... that was Tuesday. On Thursday I went out for a fantastic meal with my workmates at my boss's house and we had a great evening of fine dining and partaking of a few drinks... so with everything that has been going on, you would have thought that I didn't have any time for the hobby...

... but in another shift of direction, I started work on Tiny. Who's Tiny? Well... this will be (when he's finished):

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For some reason, I decided to make a robot that was inspired by Mongrol from the 2000 AD comic 'ABC Warriors'. I certainly don't want to replicate him and this isn't going to be a direct copy but I hope to get some of the design cues in there. I think he is going OK so far. I have used the legs off a GW dreadnought, some parts from a 1/100 Armoured Valkyrie and a wooden doll's head (plus plasticard and green stuff). The arms will look similar to this when he is finished:

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In other news, I have bought a 1/48 scale Airfix kit of a Coyote vehicle so that may get used for parts for an APC later. I have also put up a bunch of model kits for sale (after 16:30hrs today, although there is one in there already...) on EBay so a bit later on, have a look. There may be something of interest:

I think that is about it for now. 

See you from the stands at the pass-out parade!

Sunday, 31 January 2016


This week has been another slow plod but I have managed to slap some paint on things so here's a few pictures.

First up, Pug number two is finished:

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The bases will all be finished together so that they match the scenic base. 

Next we have a WIP Big Robot:

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He's the one on the right... The one on the left is another robot conversion. Obviously, I still have a way to go but it is getting there. These two have also caused me to think about putting together a small band of warrior robots... a bit like the ABC Warriors... but I have only got as far as these two and possibly the embryo of a larger one that I have had on my mind for a very long time... but only time will tell what happens there.

The hobby. It is just two words. It means different things to so many people but to me it is a habit that I have built up over the last thirty years or so. What does it actually mean to me? It is a way to pass the time... but it is also a massive time-soak that I could be using for other things. I often look at my hobby stuff and despair... this is my living room (I am not even going to mention the state of the loft):

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The three cupboards are completely full so I have no space to tidy away all the mess on top of them... and this is my dinner table:

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If we have friends around for a meal, that stuff gets plonked on the computer table. My life is dictated to by the amount of hobby stuff that I have... it stares at me everyday and there is no escape from it. Last week I was talking to a workmate about it (he's not in the hobby) and I referred to it as an anvil around my neck that I had no emotional attachment to. I simply continue to do the hobby because I have got into the habit and it has cost so much that I feel obliged to keep going with it. I then said that if someone turned up and offered me a fair price for the lot of it, they could take it all away and I wouldn't miss it... it would probably be a great weight lifted from my shoulders.

I think there are many such things in life that you allow to take control of you and it is only when you start tripping over things and are forced to confront them that you realise just how unimportant they are.

To put it into perspective, lets's take a box of plastic space marines (ten tactical marines):
  • You buy the box of marines.
  • You have to decide how you want to build them... so you need a codex.
  • You then need the tools to remove them from the sprues and clean them up.
  • You then need glue to assemble them.
  • You then need to undercoat/prime them.
  • You then need to paint them.
  • When they are painted, you need to base them... so you need basing materials.
  • When they are finished, they need to be varnished.
  • The remaining components need to be stored (either on sprue or clipped off into a storage box).
  • The tools need to be stored.
  • The glue, paints and basing materials need to be stored.
  • The troops need to be safely stored.
Before you know it, you have to think about all of the things above and until everything is finished and stored properly, there is stuff to get involved with. That doesn't take into account having to transport everything (something that happens quite regularly in the military).

All that, just to have ten plastic marines to game with. It makes you think.

I look at my collection and I despair because a lot of it doesn't have transportation storage... so I have to sort it out this year OR sell the stuff. 

It's all on a knife-edge at the moment.

If I get rid of everything, I can start again... but will I get a fair price? If I don't get a fair price, will I regret it? Will the new 'freedom' justify the lack of a fair price? Do I just suck it up and get storage for everything? 

So much to think about.

If you are interested in buying some of my stuff... here's my Ebay link:

Things are going slow so you may get a bargain if you are quick!

See you from Lobo's Space Bike!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Catching up.

Well, it's another Sunday where I was debating whether or not to update the Blog but then I thought... what the heck... so here I am.

This week has been very quiet on the hobby front with no painting being done on the pugs but a little bit of painting has been done on Big Robot... you remember Big Robot?:

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He'll be painted similar to this one (on the right):

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I have no idea why I decided to paint him but I am sort of 'clutching at straws' with the hobby at the moment. I guess the long run of sculpting Squats has sapped my hobby mojo and I need to recharge.

In other news, I finally got to watch a film that I have wanted to see for ages: Kingsmen. Well I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of stylised violence with a lot of classic 'James Bond' nonsense. It was definitely worth the wait; even if at times it was totally predictable.

I also found a copy of one of my all time favourite films; Brazil (by Terry Gillingham) so I will be able to watch that again soon.

In other news, the ginger cat has been poorly... and expensive this week so we've spent a bit of time at the vets trying to get things sorted out. Fortunately, things seem to be on the mend so hopefully (touch wood) she should return to normality very soon. She's 17 and a half years old, senile but seems to be as fit as a fiddle.

I'm sure you remember me mentioning that my son was away on basic training for the Royal Air Force... well, he has finished all the hard work and is now preparing for his pass-out parade in a week or so. The boy done good!

Finally, I have a few items for sale on EBay again (starting at 16:30 GMT today):

That's it for now.

See you from the top of the ladder!

Sunday, 17 January 2016


No... Pugs in powered armour!

This week I have been working on a couple of miniatures that have been sat for a long time gathering dust. They are from Hasslefree Miniatures and are a pair of pugs wearing powered armour:

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The one on the left can be found HERE and is almost complete. The one on the right can be found HERE and still needs a bit of work. Once these two are finished, I have a human adventurer to go with them and a nice little scenic base.

I apologise for the poor picture quality but the light in the house is terrible today and outside is just as bad.

It's just a short post today so I'll be off now.

See you from the crossroads!

Sunday, 10 January 2016


Hello again.

It has been a very quiet week where I have not really managed to achieve very much of anything, especially from a hobby perspective.

I have really come to a grinding halt with the hobby and was toying with the idea of not posting today's update... but here it is anyway.

The Sharclons are in a box with their part painted shuttle and my muse has also been suitably packed away. That said, I have found something in my cupboard that I am working on but I can't show it off because it will be a surprise for someone... when I finish it (once I have finished it and it has been sent off/received, I will post pictures and links).

In other news, I received a nice little parcel through the post this week:

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I am really pleased with it for two reasons... first, it is a lovely little prize that I wasn't expecting to be so nice and secondly, it means that I have reached the 25 donation milestone; which I am quite proud of.

So... today another milestone happened. Me and my wife went to the gym together. We weren't there for very long but we got some exercise in. The milestone is that this is the first time my wife has joined me in the gym EVER (we've been married for nearly 25 years). As a result, we took things VERY steady... but it is a start and I hope that we can make a regular thing of it.

I'm sorry there isn't much to show off this time around but who knows? Next time there may be something a bit more interesting.

See you from the bendy-bus!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Welcome to 2016!

Happy New Year and welcome to Inso's world for the first post of the year.

I guess that, with every new year, there come resolutions and plans that people want to follow through. Well, I have plans that I HAVE to follow through this year and they include:
  • Thinning down the hobby stuff
  • Saving money as much as possible
  • Planning for a big move at the end of the year
  • Prepare my CV and get some courses/work experience in
  • Move to a different county
  • Prepare to be a civilian (after 28 years of being military)
  • Sort all the niggles of the house out, ready for moving out
This is the last full year I have in the military and come January next year, I will be a civilian. It is a big change but I am looking forward to it... 28 years is a long time.

In addition to the stuff I HAVE to do, here's what I would like to do:
  • Properly sort through my collection and get storage for what I want to keep
  • Spend less time on the hobby and more time on getting things done
  • Get myself a dog (at the end of the year)
  • Sort out all my little medical/dental issues while I still have the support of the military
  • Get myself back to my regular level of fitness (I have let my standards drop since the Falklands)
  • The most important thing... be happier this year (another thing I let slip since the Falklands)
So... there you have it. No resolutions, just things I have to do and a few things I'd like to... but if I don't get everything done... that's life.

Now the boring stuff is out of the way, I thought I'd chare a couple of images of the Sharclon transport. Here's a 'before primer' pic:

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... and here's one after a unifying coat of primer has been added:

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I have started painting the transport but am not very far along yet. It is going to be gun-metal with glowy bits. I am also thinking of using Tau decals on it... but that may change.

That's it for now. I hope you have all had a great Christmas and wish you well for all of 2016.

See you from the branches of the singing, ringing, tree!