Sunday, 29 January 2023

Random is as random does.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

The dust has settled and 2023 is ticking along in earnest. I caught "the lurgy" a few weeks ago and am shaking it off... but it meant a few weeks off work and not much getting about. It also meant that I could get some sculpting done but a lack of "peopling" was annoying. I'm back to working in the charity shop now so things have improved.

I have finished going to psychotherapy now. Last Tuesday was my last session after 38 months of visits. If I look back at how I felt at the beginning and how I feel now, the two are incomparable. I haven't felt this light for MANY years so it may have been a tough journey but it was very much necessary and worth it.

I am currently doing this "dry January" thing so I haven't been drinking this month... not that it's been an issue... especially with being poorly... so Wednesday, I'll be able to toast my birthday and finishing therapy... YAY!

I am still ticking along with my charity push-up challenge and am up to day 86... that's 1720 push-ups for the Alzheimer's Society... even though donations have been non-existent... I'm still plugging along. Hopefully someone will bite the bullet and start the donations rolling in... or not... at least I'm trying. Here's my donation page:

Push-up Challenge Page

In other news, as mentioned earlier, I have been getting some sculpting finished. First of all, I have finished sculpting a diver for a friend to wear as a pendent. It's been sent off for casting so I am waiting for copies to arrive for clean-up and giving to my friend:

Click the Pic!

I am hoping that the metal version will polish up nicely. When this was sent off for casting, I also sent Thor, the Engineseer and a pair of advisors so they should be turning up soon. The only miniature that hasn't been posted here is the last advisor... the Air Force advisor:

Click the Pic!

He's the only Dwarf I've sculpted that doesn't have a beard (apart from the Wine Witch... who happens to be a female). 

I have also been busy with other sculpting... a conversion of a Hasslefree Miniature into "Leeloo" for the Frothers table at Salute 2023 (to go with Cousin It and Paddington):

Click the Pic!

I have also been asked to sculpt a couple of pairs of hanging, boxing gloves (28mm sized) for tractor decoration so that will be worked on very shortly. 

Finally, I finished a long delayed sculpt for the Politicos range... a certain Labour Party Leader:

Click the Pic!

He's been sent off and they are happy with him and that means that I am too. 

I have obviously been sharing these images online, in other places and have, as a result, been asked to sculpt other commissions. It's nice to be appreciated but I don't like to get too many or it puts me off sculpting... that said... it's still nice to be appreciated.

What's on the corks now?
  • Two laughing Buddhas
  • A superhero caricature
  • Two tiny pairs of boxing gloves
  • Another politician caricature
  • A Hobbit conversion
  • Two shield conversions
I also have a chess set to paint, a large scale (about 12" tall) lady to sculpt and paint and a couple of 28mm Servitors to finish... not to mention my OWN projects (currently building a Mech for my Squat army) ... so I am pretty busy at the moment... with other commissions banging on the door... madness!

That's it for now. Once I get a bit more to share, I'll share it!

See you from the back of the god-damn lunch line!

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

so it's 2023 now?

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

2022 has come and gone and even though I achieved a lot of things during the year, my biggest achievement was shaking off Long COVID and getting back to being myself again.

2022 was supposed to be "the year of the beast"; a year of sculpting up some sci-fi beast men but I seem to be really struggling to sculpt anything but Space Dwarfs. So far, since my last post, all I have done is sculpt an Ordnance Officer and start a couple of other sculpts... namely an Air Advisor and a commission diver.

Here's the Ordnance Officer:

Click the Pic!

... and here's the WIP Air Avisor:

Click the Pic!

He is going to be fairly unique in that he is the only male Space Dwarf to not have a beard... but up until VERY recently, the RAF didn't allow you to have beards so I felt it was okay... just this once.

Once the Air Advisor is finished, I am planning to knuckle down and finish a couple of commissions... and the two robots that go along with the Engineseer. The trouble is that the commissions aren't Dwarfs so I am struggling to change my viewpoint enough to get some proper work done on them. 

Further into the new year, I am hoping to get some more of my army painted. It would really be great to have a "finished product" at some point and it won't happen if I don't take some time away from all the sculpting. Maybe if I keep looking at my painted troops, I'll get the bug...

Click the Pix!

Away from the hobby, I want to get my bike MOT'd and start working on the project bike again. I have a little time each week, where I can have "tinkering time", it's just a case of fitting chores, hobby and volunteering around it.

I am still volunteering at the Air Ambulance shop for three mornings a week and am still getting therapy once a week... but there should be time in amongst everything to dig out my spanners.

So much to do, so little time!

Anyway... happy new year to you all and I hope this year works well for you.

See you from the firework display!

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Not quite Christmas...

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's been a while so I thought I'd post a few little updates with regards to what is going on.

First, I'm back to working three mornings a week in the Air Ambulance shop and that has really helped me to land. I can safely say that I can't remember the last time I have felt so happy in my skin. I'm off to a Christmas lunch with my fellow volunteers a bit later today so that will be fun.

Storm has really grown. He's about four kilograms and isn't even seven months old yet! He's off to get neutered tomorrow and hopefully, that will rid him of his overtly sordid behaviour. He's awesome.

I have been sculpting and even painting a few miniatures, since I last posted so here's a bit of a catch-up.

First of all, the last group of miniatures that I showed on here, have been sent away, cast up and a bunch of casts were received:

Click the Pic!

I got sent four sets of each and am awaiting a further set to be cast up and sent to me. From these I was really keen to paint up a DJ for my friend who is a DJ called Bobby Bounce:

Click the Pic!

Not only is he a DJ but he is also an avid football supporter so his sculpt got a bit of a themed paint job. He has received it and is very happy with the results.

For myself, I have painted up a Beer Seer and a Wine Witch to join my Squat army:

Click the Pix!

They have both been sent to the box-file to join their allies while I have started to paint a version of the DJ to join them as well. I haven't got very far with it so there are no pix at this time.

In other news, I have been sculpting (as previously mentioned)... both for myself and also for friends. First of all, I sculpted "Cousin IT" for a Frothers Unite table at next year's Salute:

Click the Pic!

Next, there was a bit of a mix up and two people needed a Paddington for tables at Salute 2023. However, I wasn't aware that they were both asking for the same table... so I ended up sculpting two (in different styles), when only one was needed:

Click the Pix!

That meant that I had a spare. Luckily, an Australian friend had expressed a wish to have a Paddington on his massive train layout... so the spare was sent off to Australia. I am looking forward to see how these turn out, once they are all painted up.

Finally, a bit of sculpting for me and the Dwarf Project... an Engineseer:

Click the Pic!

This one will be joined by a pair of Servitor robots; one will have a servo arm and the other will be a heavy weapon variant. These are still WIP but will see some work, once I have finished painting things.

I also decided to sculpt a Squat version of Thor. I decided to mix a bit of Marvel styling with classic, Norse mythology and ended up with this:

Click the Pic!

I think he looks suitably godly...

Things on the table... I am painting a DJ for myself, then will continue with sculpting. I have a pair of servitors and a pair of advisors for the Dwarf Project, a pair of laughing Buddhas and a diver as commissions for friends and a further commission for the Politicos range (which needs to be finished!!!!)... so I have lots to keep me busy in the run up to Christmas.

I reckon that's about it for now.

See you from the snow covered lane!

Monday, 12 September 2022

The experience of glorious failures.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This post is to show everyone that, in order to get further with anything, you have to fail... sometimes, a lot. With this in mind, I thought that I would dig out a couple of my "unfinished work" boxes. These are but two of a number of other boxes of unfinished sculpts, that were close to hand and didn't involve me rooting through the loft.

So without further ado, lets have a wee look, shall we?

I'll start small... and by that, I mean my only foray into the dark realm of 15mm sculpting. Me, being me, decided that I'd go for broke and attempt some space Dwarfs:

Click the Pic!

These are on standard wine corks and each of them measure about 11mm to the top of the head. The one at top left, is the only one I finished but I struggled with casting weapons so they died a death. I think that I did OK with them... for a first attempt. I have not been back to 15mm sculpting since.

Staying on a theme, these next ones were destined to be a range of body-armoured space Dwarfs. I finished a male and female body blank and started another couple but didn't get any further:

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I was happy with the detail but I think I got side-tracked by another project.

The next photo is one of a range of sculpts:

Click the Pic!

From top left is a Ninja caricature (still WIP but sidelined), a caricature for a friend, and a fantasy character called a "grinning Groper"... on the lower row, from the left, we have an Ogryn sniper and a host of unfinished space Dwarfs. 

This next photo is of various creatures:

Click the Pic!

The three in a line, on the left are Mushroom men "bombers". Top middle is a "Knob-headed Shambler" (for a competition that got cancelled) and top right, is a space Lizard. Below is a tentacle creature and a Dragon mount. A bit of a strange collection of sculpts but if I sculpted the same thing all the time, it would get very boring!

Next we have some failed commissions. I really tried to finish these but my heart wasn't in it and it caused me to go off sculpting for the best part of six months. I was open about the troubles I had and no money changed hands. That is the reason I always tell potential clients how unreliable I am and never expect money up front for any commissions:

Click the Pic!

Finally, we have a photo of a selection of sci-fi sculpts:

Click the Pic!

This is a mix of aliens, robots, female space Ogryn and a superhero. I reckon you should be able to work out which is which.

As I mentioned before, this is a small selection of some of my failed attempts at finishing what I started. I don't look at them as failures at all because every time you sculpt, you gain valuable experience that you can carry on through to the next sculpts. Some (most) of these will remain as they are... a reminder that I don't get it right every time... but some will be dug out and reworked in the future.

The main reason I decided to share this post is to highlight that sculpting isn't always "cut and dry" and sometimes you get to a point where you can't face sculpting at all. Sometimes, stopping what you are working on and sculpting something different, will help you "get back in the saddle" again. Other times you can't face sculpting and the things you were working on are retired to the "unfinished work" boxes... but that isn't always a bad thing. We all have to learn and we all need to makes mistakes and gain experience, in order to get to the next level.

Life is hard, sometimes... and simple things can be a big struggle. Be kind to yourself and try to view mistakes as a learning experience with an opportunity to do better, next time.

... all that said... I WON'T be posting my vehicle scratch-building failures... it would take me a week to get everything listed!

That's all for now.

See you from the road less travelled.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

With sadness and grief.

 Today, I have nothing to say other than this...

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away. The very best of onward travels to you, Ma'am.

It was an honour and privilege to serve you and today has filled me with sadness and despair.

The Queen is dead... long live the King.

See you through the rain... 

Monday, 29 August 2022

The random world of sculpting.

 Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

Today is all about remembering some of the random conversions and sculpts that I have either completed as commissions or have created and then sold/passed them on.

Let's start with a few gizzits. Gizzits are leaving gifts for people who are moving away from the section/squadron. Unfortunately, I don't have images of all of them but here are a few:

Click the Pix!

The top one was an old boss of mine, the one below it was a friend of mine and the bottom two are "pengies" sculpted for a couple of friends who were due to return home, from the Flaklands. I have sculpted others but like I said, I don't have images of them. 

Next up, we'll have some conversions that I have done for people:

Click the Pix!

From the top, we have a converted GW Giant, a "true-scale" chaos space marine lord, a converted Squat piper, a converted squad of Squats and a set of shields I converted for a charity drive. 

Now we'll have a few random commissions and sculpts that were finished and then sold/given away:

Click the Pix!

This batch starts out with a "three-eyed, mustachioed, hairy-groper" that was originally sculpted for a competition but got sold on, when the competition ended. Next is a sculpt that attended "Salute 2022" as part of a participation game. Next is a converted Genestealer assassin... make of that, what you will. The Cowboy was sculpted for one of the game designers of the video game that the character is part of. I am sure many of you will know the game. Finally, I have a Dwarf deep-sea, diver. This was a charity sculpt that was sculpted on a whim and raised money for the British Legion.

There have been others... many others... some tiny conversions and others major conversions and full sculpts but I thought I'd share a few of the more diverse sculpts and conversions to essentially reinforce that "I don't just sculpt space dwarfs".

One of the great things about sculpting for other people is that you get to see what they make of them... here are a couple of examples:

Click the Pix!

Pretty awesome, eh?

See you from the desk!

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Where in the world, are my miniatures!?

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This post is purely one to catalogue where some of my work has ended up and in what format it has been used.

We'll start with my Halfling Snipers:

Click the Pic!

Initially, I got these cast up, in resin, and sold a lot myself. This was quite a challenge for me what with packaging, posting, advertising etc... and I ended up with quite a lot that were unsold. As a result I decided to sell to a reputable miniatures company, CP Models and they can now be found here:

Next we have the tale of the five Space Dwarf bodies. I sculpted five bodies, posted them off and they got lost in the mail... so I kindly re-sculpted them for no extra charge. Here are the bodies:

Click the Pic!

These were originally sold to someone who then sold them on, to an Australian miniatures company called Wereweevil Miniatures. He has used the bodies to create his range of Space Dwarfs and they can be found here:

Now let's talk about "Leets". I'd never heard of them but someone asked me to sculpt them and provided pix so this is what I came up with:

Click the Pic!

They were sculpted for Matakishi Tea House and are available from here (as part of a bundle by more than one sculptor):

Next we have a couple of sculpts that I did for Grekwood Miniatures. The first was a caricature of the founder of the brand, Grekwood... who sadly passed away. The second was a random Dwarf that I thought would work well in the character range... Here's Grekwood:

Click the Pic!

He's wearing a fez because... "fezes are cool" (a Dr. Who reference and Grekwood loved that show). This next one is the random Dwarf:

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These are both available from Grekwood Miniatures:

Next we have a Goblin that was originally sculpted for a charity called Goblin Aid. This was to help a fellow sculptor who was assaulted and robbed. Once the sculpt was cast up and sold for a period of time, the sales were stopped and I was asked if I wanted the green back. I said for them to sell it on EBay, which they did... and it was bought by Impact Miniatures. This is the original Judge Gobbo sculpt:

Click the Pic!

When the miniature went to Impact! Miniatures, it was converted into a "chibi" judge and sold in that range with a much larger head. It can be found here:

Now we have a couple of miniatures that were part of sculpting competitions for Hasslefree Miniatures. Both were based on "nude blanks" of Hasslefree miniatures. First we have a sci-fi trooper:

Click the Pic!

Next, we have a female Sleiti (an alien race in the Hasslefree range):

Click the Pic!

At the moment, the Hasslefree Miniatures website is being revamped so I can't post links... but they will be there at some point.

Link to Sci-Fi Trooper TBD

Link to Female Sleiti TBD

Now we come to the most substantial of my sculpting projects, the Space Dwarf "Army Project". This was done in liaison with Macrocosm Miniatures and has been ticking along for about three years, now. Here is the range:

Click the Pic!

This range has all been sent to Macrocosm Miniatures and is normally batch produced and sold through Kickstarter before being sold in the Macrocosm store. At the moment, not all of these are available but for a large proportion of them, have a look here:

One of my latest ventures is to sculpt caricatures for Politicos Miniatures. These are sculpts of political figures in a more caricaturised style. The first one was of Dominic Cummings... seen here:

Click the Pic!

He is the first of the sculpts and I am currently working on a second one. Dominic can be found here:

Over the years, I have sculpted many little commissions; a lot of them being for collectors who just want a character sculpt. I remember making sets of legs for armour that I got cast up and then sold the green... a Halfling thief... a Space Marine Lord... a "three eyed, moustachioed, hairy, groper" ( a cartoon styled beast for a competition), a computer game character... a Dwarf, deep-sea diver... and many others but they aren't being sold anywhere.

I just thought I'd take some time to go through a few things and put them all in one place... as much for myself as anyone else.

If I remember any more, I'll be sure to update this post.

See you from the future!