Sunday 31 March 2024

A short spell of things.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again. It's Easter and the last post was around three months ago but frankly, it's been a bit "meh" since Christmas so I've not had much I wanted to post.

I was hoping to be a shop manager by now but that was on the table for eight days before "situations beyond our control" happened so it was deferred for at least 6 months. That means I have had to wait but I can't wait for ever... and I haven't got any idea what I'd like to do instead... so "meh"!

I had plans for sculpting a few more bits for the army but my sculpting mojo disappeared... so "meh"!

I had a long run of insomnia so I wasn't safe to go out on my bike... so "meh"!

I had a "health issue" that was linked to drinking grown up drinks... so I've practically been teetotal since the end of November... so "meh"!

... and then...

The Frothers Unite / Bunny Badger gamers for Salute, threw out a request and that started a bit of motivation which led to quite a lot of sculpting... and I'm still sculpting things as a result so it seems that things are looking up.

At least I have cats, eh?!

So... the sculpting. My friend Ben from Bunny Badger games put a request out for some Teletubbies (including Noo-noo) and I thought they would be a good thing to get my mojo back so I offered my help. There were a few specific requests (one needed to be holding a rabbit and one needed to be eating one) so I used a bit of poetic license and came up with these:

Click the Pic!

They were finished in good time and have already been painted up, ready for the gaming table at Salute 2024 (a massive gaming event in London  at the Excel Centre). I was also asked to make a token for the gamers to take away as a prize... so I made some Tubby Toast:

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This was sent over to Jon at Ainsty Castings to replicate for the event. As a result of this little sculpting "change of direction" I decided to try working on an Astropath for the Dwarf project. I started with a clear idea of what I wanted... and then went with the flow; creating something completely different but perfect for what I wanted... so here's the Astropath:

Click the Pic!

I was aiming for a clean-cut version of a "Living Ancestor" but ended up with a feral "shaman" type of chap... which works fine for me.

As well as that, I finally finished a sculpt of the Ukrainian president for the Politicos range:

Click the Pic!

Sadly, it was one of those sculpts that was intimidating, due to having to get the likeness right... so it took far too long and in the end, was a reasonably passable version of Zelensky... not perfect but passable.

Then I got a request / commission for some themed miniatures from my friend at Macrocosm Miniatures, which I am keeping under my hat for now... but I've got a team of seven miniatures in mind, with six of them already on corks undergoing the very early stages of the sculpting process... ie, they all have feet!

While that has been happening, I started on a little personal project which I have called "my secret project"... and that is very nearly finished so will be appearing in the next post on here (whenever that may be) so it's a case of "watch this space".

Furthermore, I have made a decision on how to base my Epic Squats and have got some classic "strip" bases, rather than the square ones. I've started gluing the troops into them but haven't got any pix so far... so here's a reminder of where the were before I started gluing them onto their proper bases:

Click the Pix!

Hopefully, I'll have progress pix, next time...

Plans... plans... plans...

I still need to sculpt a few servitors and possibly a second Astropath... but that's all for the Dwarf army project. Then... whatever comes along, I guess...

See you from the big chair!

Saturday 23 December 2023

The deep breath...

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World for the last post of the year.

This year has been a mixed bag... good health, bad health, achievements and procrastination... but over all, it's been a much more positive year than 2022 so it's not been so bad.

I'm still working at the Cornwall Air Ambulance shop as a volunteer and am still enjoying it. My wife is still happy with her job. My children are both happy and doing well. The cats are great, the fish is still swimming and the house is slowly getting better (with an almost finished, new kitchen). My motorbike is still running but hasn't been out much... and the hobby has been getting done (most of the time) so pretty positive stuff.

On the health side, I have realised that I have to accept that the long covid (2021-2022) has affected my lungs so when the cold weather turns up, I have to slow down a bit. Not a major thing but it's something I have to come to terms with. My plans to train for a marathon have fallen by the wayside but I still plan to complete a marathon in 2024... just a bit later in the year!

The hobby has mostly been successful but over the last couple of months I have stalled a bit... however, I think I've accomplished quite a lot so here's a list of what I've managed...

P = Paint

S = Sculpt

C = Converted

S - Squat Air Advisor

S - Diver

C - Leeloo (for the Frothers table @ Salute)

P - Squat First Platoon (CMD, HW and 2 Infantry Squads - 31 troops in total)

P - Diver

Click the Pic!

C + P - Squat "Santa" Beer Seer

C + P - Squat "Elf" Wine Witch

P - Squat "Thor"

Click the Pic!

P - Squat Air Advisor

P - Squat Artillery Advisor

P - Squat Second Platoon (CMD, HW and 2 Infantry Squads - 31 troops in total)

S - Kier Starmer (Commission)

Click the Pic!

I don't think that's too bad but there isn't as much sculpting as there could have been on the list... maybe 2024 will be better but after a good few years of sculpting pretty solidly, maybe it's time to keep things slow... who knows?

At the moment, I have a few things on the corks... namely five miniatures for the Frothers Salute table for 2024... one of them being this:

Click the Pic!

I also have a sculpt of the Ukranian president on the go (commission) and a few other bits and bobs but nothing firm apart from that.

I still need to sculpt some Servitors and an Astropath for the Squat Project but after that... "white noise"...

... in other news, I have been thinking a lot about Squat Bikes and Transports/Armour and a few "special" sculpts for the Squat Project that I started but need to rework. I'd also like to sculpt some plate-armoured Squats (Stormtroopers) but I am not set on designs so that will definitely be a bit "wait and see".

All that remains is to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope you have a safe journey from now and into the new year and find your own way to enjoy the end of the year and the start of the new one... whether it's your thing or not. 

Click the Pic!

See you from the dawn of a new year!

Friday 1 September 2023

Wake me up... when September ends...

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's the start of September and that means that I haven't posted in three months... so I guess it's about time :) .

It's been a standard summer in Cornwall... so I have been avoiding the crowds and my motorcycle hasn't left the garage in ages. I'm happy, my family is happy and the cats are all happy, work is continuing and life has just been ticking along.

I have been getting a bit of running in but have bit hit by one thing after another... broken toe, shin-splints, summer cold etc... so I am hoping to get back into it very soon. After all, a marathon won't run itself! I have another charity page for the marathon but I'll not share details until I have got into a routine of training.

Hobby wise, I have been fairly constantly busy with much more painting than sculpting... in fact, I don't think I have finished a single sculpt since May. There's a few bits on the corks that I have been fiddling with but I may end up starting over and that is probably one reason why sculpting has stalled: indecision. 

With that in mind, lets get some of my painted work up on the blog, shall we? First up, I'll be posting a few repeats but the first infantry platoon is complete:

1st platoon command:

Click the Pic!

1st platoon support:

Click the Pic!

1st platoon infantry squad 1:

Click the Pic!

1st platoon infantry squad 2:

Click the Pic!

Onwards with the painting and the second platoon is also complete:

2nd platoon command:

Click the Pic!

2nd platoon support:

Click the Pic!

2nd platoon infantry squad 1:

Click the Pic!

2nd platoon infantry squad 2:

Click the Pic!

The only other thing that I have painted since May is Thor:

Click the Pic!

... and I felt that a little fun was in order...

Click the Pic!

In other hobby news, I have been looking at the WH40k 10th edition index cards for the Astra Militarum and have discovered that I need to make an Astropath, in order to include any advisors so that is one of the sculpts on the corks (that may end up restarted). I also need to sculpt four servitors to go with the Engineseer... again, I have two on the corks but I'm not enthusiastic about them and will probably restart them.

Furthermore, I have been thinking about the next big thing... which was supposed to be Beastmen (that went for a ball of chalk) but is now going to be Stormtroopers/Scions instead. It's VERY early days but I have some very solid ideas about how I am going to construct them...  so watch this space.

With that said, I am still in a painting sort of mood so I am hoping that I can get the army finished soon... before I need to sculpt the final troops (Astropath/Servitors)... but my muse is a fickle beast so who knows?

That's about it for now.

See you from the gallery!

Saturday 6 May 2023

Mayday, Mayday!

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again. It is May already and May always signifies a lot of change for me; this May being no exception... so let's start.

First of all, I have been working away at the Air Ambulance shop and have been enjoying all aspects of work; especially the social side of things when I am working at the till. I am constantly surprised by the donations and stories that go along with some of them and understand that part of working in a charity shop is taking in donations from people who have lost loved ones and are clearing their possessions... so I am also required to be the oil for troubled waters... my previous work in care has stood me well.

Flora Day has come and gone and although it was a little less sunny, it was a great day. It is definitely my chosen day of the year to celebrate community and inclusion.

I have also completed my "20 a day until May" charity push-up challenge, in aid of the Alzheimer's Society. I am still a way off my target but the page is open until the 30th of May so there is still time to donate:

Push-Up Challenge LINK

With the push-up challenge completion comes the next big challenge... the running of a marathon! My plan is to run a Marathon before next Flora Day so I have roughly 12 months to get training and deciding which marathon fits the bill best. I will be running for Marie Curie and the Cornwall Air Ambulance so I will be putting up a new charity page very soon. 

As for the hobby, I have been (mildly) busy with painting and sorting out divers... Here's what has happened with the diver project:

First the sculpt:

Click the Pic!

Then the resin master casts:

Click the Pic!

Then a few more resin masters casts and a host of metal casts:

Click the Pic!

Then tabs were removed and and the polishing started. The one (on the left) is now a pendant being worn by the chap who commissioned it:

Click the Pic!

Another eight have also been de-tabbed and polished up, marking the official end to the commission.

In other news, I have been painting things...

First was an Infantry Squad for Blue Company:

Click the Pic!

Followed by an Engineseer:

Click the Pic!

With a Heavy Support Squad coming up next:

Click the Pic!

I have also base-coated the second Infantry Squad for Blue Company but before I could finish it, I became distracted by preparing the divers for delivery and the painting of one; just for the fun of it:

Click the Pic!

I thought a traditional look would suit it well but I have another one in the process of being prepared for a more up-to-date paint job.

With painting in mind, I have also continued to paint a Beer Seer and Wine Witch that I have converted. They will be finished soon and will have a specific leaning to their decoration.

Other plans include finishing a sculpt for a charity, completing the Infantry Squad and then starting the next platoon.

With marathon training on the horizon and plans for another range of miniatures, this year is shaping up to be quite busy!

See you from the finishing line!

Monday 6 March 2023

Time is Marching on...

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

Time has been flying by and not very much has been happening so I have pretty much been ticking along, enjoying life and just getting on with things. OBVIOUSLY... there may have been a small amount of procrastination and for the last few weeks my sculpting muse has been on holiday but work has been great and I've been able to enjoy myself again.

The big question, I guess, is what I've been up to with my hobby...

First up, I have sent a batch of minis off to be cast by Macrocosm Miniatures. The miniatures sent were: The diver, the two advisors, the engineseer with his servo arm and Thor. They have all been cast in resin and will be sent to me soon... all that will be left to do is wait for the diver to be cast in metal.

While I've been waiting, I haven't been sculpting because I think I've just burnt out a bit and needed a break from it. As a result, I dug out my Dougram conversion and have been working on that. I have got much further with it and it's down to the filling and detailing stage now. I am having to pause with painting it until I get some liquid mask to mask off the window so I think my mojo has waned a bit, as a result. That has meant that I've been working on another Chimera proxy. This one has been converted from a Meng "World War Toons", King Tiger (with Porsche turret), much like most of my other tank conversions. I decided to make this one a bit more "Russian" looking and I think you'll see what I mean in the pix. Here's the conversion:

Click the Pic!

... and here's the conversion with it's first layer of paint (tying everything together):

Click the Pic!

While I'm at it, here's the Dougram mech conversion (Ironfoot):

Click the Pic!

I still need to get some plastic filler before work continues, just so that I can properly fill the seams and smooth it all out. I use Green Stuff a lot but it just doesn't work as well as Squadron green for filling plastic kits.

While work continues on those two projects, I am looking to get my sculpting hat on again and convert a Halfling/shields for Old School Miniatures, sculpt two tiny pairs of boxing gloves for a Frothers game at Salute and sort out the casts that I receive from Macrocosm Miniatures.. so I have plenty to be getting on with.

Outside of the hobby, I continue to work at the Cornwall Air Ambulance shop and am still enjoying it very much. I am also continuing with my charity Push-Up challenge, for the Alzheimer's Society and have now completed 123 days (2460 Push-Ups). I would have liked to have received a bit more support but I am very thankful to those who have donated. Here's the link:

Only two more months and 1200 push-ups to go... then it's Flora Day and after that, the marathon training begins...

2023 has definitely been a massive improvement over the last couple of years (so far) and I hope it continues.

That's about it.

See you from the lobster shack!

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!