Wednesday, 6 April 2022

April already.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again. 

I know it's been a while but things have been ticking along so I haven't really thought much about the blog... it is, what it is. That said, so much has happened that I thought I'd put up a post to reflect on things.

Health...

It appears that my Covid woes are finally over. I am back to breathing normally again, am having hardly any brain fog and have reached a point where my lack of fitness (due to being pretty sedentary for the last year) is what is slowing me down. As a result, my mental health seems to have improved greatly and all I need to really grip, is my fitness. I have even got to a point where I am looking to start volunteering in my local charity shop... that way, I can "get back out there" and not feel like I'm not earning my wages. The shop is the local Air Ambulance shop... which leads me nicely onto my charity endeavours:

Steve's Hair-Topia Challenge (link).

As you will see from the link, I am fund-raising for the same charity and I have now reached the eleven month point! Just one moth to go before I will be shaving my hair and beard off. Currently, I look like this:


DON'T CLICK THE PIC!!! It's Scary!

... and STILL with a month of growing left to go! If you can, please donate.

In other news, I have been sculpting a bit and have managed to get a little further with the five close combat Dwarfs:


Click the Pic!

I just have the pistols, basing tabs and a little bit of a tidy-up before they are finished. I haven't got as far as I would have liked with them... mostly due to these two:


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On a whim, I just decided that I needed to sculpt a pair of proxy "Primaris Psykers" so I sculpted a "Beer Seer" and a "Wine Witch" to fill the role. They use the power of strong alcohol to summon the spirits of the ancestors. I also decided that I needed to work on a mech and I couldn't do that, without sorting a pilot out... so this happened as well:



Click the Pix!

He's a bit rough... but he's all ready for his mech... and it is in the process of being assembled. Big things are on the horizon! Speaking of which, Games Workshop have ONLY gone and decided to release a new range of SQUATS!!! They will be known as the League of Votann and here is a bit of information:


On that bombshell, I reckon it's time to leave. I am sure that, when I have seen more of the range, I will post my thoughts.

See you from the crazy place!

Thursday, 27 January 2022

So...it's 2022 then.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World at the start(ish) of 2022.

Things have already been challenging... the death of my step-dad (RIP Graham), the potential closure of the care home where I worked (Trengrouse) and a small flood in the kitchen (plumbing woes...)... but I am still trying to focus on things picking up a bit.

My wife is happy at home and work, my children are happy, the cats are happy and I am fairly happy... so there's that.

The hobby has been a mixed bag, lately. The cold air has not been kind to me so I am a bit lethargic and struggle for motivation... but there has been some progress.

First up, I received a small parcel from an adorable little kickstarter that I pledged in. Three little war-dogs arrived and have been added to my growing little Khorne warband:


Click the Pic!

Next, I started an armature for the next "Dear Tony Blair" miniature but haven't got very far with it... however, I finished the tail and horns conversion kit so it is still on the radar. I also started a bunch of Space Dwarfs:


Click the Pic!

These will end up as a DJ (with decks and sound equipment) and five close combat troopers (with bolt-pistols and melee weapons). There's still a little way to go on them but I am getting there.

Finally, I have a set idea of what my Exo troopers will look like. The idea-train has kept me awake for a few weeks but I now have the idea set... I just need to realise it now... so watch this space.

Right... back to life stuff...

My step-dad stepped into the breach when I was about to reach my teens and my sister already had. He had to deal with two angsty teenagers who had a bunch of stuff going on, after dad left. He was patient, kind, forgiving and respectful... and he took us on, as his own children. It takes a strong character to be able to do that and Graham had it in spades. I'll admit that we haven't had the closest of relationships, since I left for the military but we have always kept in contact and we have always been in each other's thoughts. I was so glad to hear that he had found true love with Maggs, if anyone ever earned happiness, it was him.

Safe travels to him and the most sincere of condolences to our family and his friends. He will be sorely missed and remembered very fondly.

...

...

...

Finally... the care home. I loved working in Trengrouse care home, up until I got COVID and could no longer work. I have been away from there for just over a year and was always hoping to return to work there. However, as a result of "restructuring"... "economising"... "corporate bullshit", Cornwall Care (the charity that runs the place) has decided to "mothball" the home. In doing so, they will be forcing a number of staff to find other work, accept voluntary redundancy or work out of town (not everyone has transport) and will cause catastrophic disruption to the vulnerable residents; most having specialist care needs. 

We are all VERY angry about this and are not taking this sitting down so various things have been started, to try and save the home. One such thing is a petition. If you feel that you would like to support us, please click the following link and sign the petition:


The second finally... I have a charity page for my "year of no hair-cutting/shaving", in aid of the Cornwall Air Ambulance. Again, please click the following link and support me if you can:


That's it! See you from the picket lines!

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Reflection.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again. I was going to do a review of 2021 and wax lyrical on the pros and cons of the year... but I have decided that it would be really miserable so I am not going to. However, there were a few things that happened that are worth talking about so I'll get those out of the way before launching into my plans for 2022. That said... lets get on with 2021...

Hobby Stuff.

This year has seen the completion of the Space Dwarf Project with Macrocosm Miniatures. This project had a number of set goals and I deliberately placed a limit on what I wanted to achieve. Since the completion, I have agreed to a few other bits and bobs but they are outside of the project (even though they will form part of the range). It took me over 18 months to complete but I am really proud of the fact that, for a change, I managed to remain focused enough to get so many miniatures created. 



Click the Pix!

There were also four special weapons and four heavy weapons that are not pictured. For me, this is one of the things that I wanted to achieve as a 'bucket list' item... I have done what I have always said I wanted to and created a range of Space Dwarfs that were varied enough to create an army with... and they are available for others to enjoy as well.

In the last few months, things have tailed off a bit so I had the space to knock up an "emergency" miniature for the Frothers Unite UK table at Salute and this led to starting up contact with "Dear Tony Blair" miniatures; with the initial stages being a miniature sculpt and a small conversion kit... with a second miniature as a WIP. I am hoping that I am able to create the caricatures well enough for them to be included in the range but we'll just have to see how things go.

During this year, I have also tried (and failed) to come up with some suitable vehicle designs for my army. The good thing is that, with each failure, I am getting closer to what I want... so it is positive (in a way).

My Megaro Zamac collection is now complete! I have all of the old '80s kits from the range and they have been safely stored away for when I need them. They were always a 'retirement' project so it's just a case of deciding when to retire.

More mecha madness arrived with a bunch of Votoms, Dougram and Macross kits joining the household. These will eventually become a group of Space Dwarf mechs but I have been too caught up in sculpting to get a proper start on them.

Chaos reared its ugly head this year, with the arrival of a small bunch of Chaos conversions for the blood God; Khorne. Not something I'd usually do but I felt an itch and I scratched it.

Other hobby stuff came and went but never really got a foot hold... but the main thing that has been going on has been lots of sleepless nights, mulling over different design ideas for various little projects and that means that next year could be quite exciting.

Life.

Family and friends have been exceptionally important. Without them and their tolerance, I don't know how I would have got through the year...

Anyway... to cut a long story short... due to me being at home a lot more than I am used to, I have needed things to keep me on track. I got quite into "Twitch" and also "Stream Raiders" (a game linked to Twitch) and they were very handy time-soaks for when I couldn't do what I wanted to. Add to that, Poppy and I reckon that, outside hobby time and chores, my days have been pretty full.


Click the Pic!

Sadly, I haven't been able to get out very much, on my motorbike but when I have been able to, I have really enjoyed it. Luckily, it still runs and is recently serviced and MOTd so it is just a case of having the right mojo to ride. It still looks gorgeous as well.

2022... Hobby stuff.

Without going too into things, I hope to continue working with Macrocosm Miniatures with occasional sculpts to add to the Space Dwarf range. I also hope to 'get my foot in the door' with Dear Tony Blair and sculpt a few more caricatures for them. I quite enjoy a bit of caricature sculpting so I am hoping that I can reach the required standard (can the little people be recognised for who they are supposed to be?). On top of that, I am hoping (as I do every year) to design some modular vehicles that cater to Space Dwarf units but, as history will tell, this is just a hope, not a certainty... However the main focus in 2022 will be...

The year of the beast

... so keep an eye out for updates.

2022... Life.

I hope that things improve around the world in 2022. I also plan to get to grips with my Long COVID and bother the doctors to find out A) what is damaged and B) what can be done to improve my symptoms. This will be done early in the new year and will be essential to me getting back to work. It'll be frustrating but it has to be done. 

That's about it. I hope I haven't been too miserable because this has taken three goes to write (even I was getting miserable with the last two goes). 

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year and hope that next year will be a shit-ton better than 2021 has been.

Take care.

See you from the gate... but DON'T approach, I've thrown a grenade in there... we don't want a repeat of all that nonsense...

Sunday, 19 December 2021

The continuing saga...

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's been a while but time, like a river, flows... and to be honest, my river has been full-on, white water.

As mentioned in my last post, I finished the big Space Dwarf project and ended up with an army of troops. This army has been fettled and based and is in the progress of being painted but I have been distracted a little with other things. As a result, this is the current state of my army:


Click the Pic!

It can be considered "paint in progress" but I have been tinkering with other things so it will be an "as and when" thing.

In my last post, I mentioned that I was putting together a little squad of Khorne-based troops... and that's what happened. I now have eight finished troops with a final one on hold until I can decide how to take it forward. When it is finished, I will post a pic of the whole group but here's an idea of what some of them look like, all painted up:


Click the Pic!

As well as a bit of Chaos, I was asked to put together a sniper to finish off the special weapon selections for the Space Dwarf army so I converted one:


Click the Pic!

I have also been asked to sculpt some close combat specialists that will be separate from the big project, although they could be used as Sgts... and I am sculpting a DJ (musician) that will also be separate BUT they are in a very early stage so there are no images to show off yet.

In other news, I was recently asked to quickly sculpt a character miniature for the Frothers Unite UK game at Salute... so I did as I was asked and came up with this:


Click the Pic!

It was a quick sculpt to represent Dominic Cummins as a Gollum type character. It was duly sent off and used in the game but in the meantime, interest was expressed and deals were done... and I ended up sculpting another one to fit in with the Politicos range of miniatures... this being the outcome:


Click the Pic!

With this sculpt being more of a caricature, I was able to try and replicate the face better... not perfect but a brave attempt. I was able to get the size correct because I was kindly sent some specimens to use for reference... and one of the miniatures that I was sent called out for a bit of conversion:


Click the Pic!

I call it the "Lying Warmonger"... and as a result there is a conversion kit in progress (two horns and a tail) and I have been asked to sculpt another caricature as well... so it looks like I am working with another miniatures company... which is nice.

That's about it... mostly because it's coming up to Christmas and I like to put a post up for the New Year.

Health wise, I'm ticking along... the cold/wet weather has kept me in the house a bit more than I'd like (bad lungs) but I have obviously been kept busy with sculpting so it hasn't been all bad.

The only thing left for me to say is Merry Christmas to you all.

See you from the dock of the bay!

Sam and Poppy today:


Click the Pic!

Sunday, 17 October 2021

A bit of an update.

 Hello again and welcome to Inso's World. 

It's been a few months since my last post but things have been ticking along; even though it may have been a bit slower than usual.

Life is okay...my mental/physical health has been a bit up and down but when things are good, I am managing to create and do okay... at other times, I do what I can.

Poppy has really settled in and has become my little friend. She is growing nicely and has really developed her personality. She can be completely crazy at times but she always seeks company and loves to have cuddles and lap time.


Click the Pic!

We are now looking to get her neutered so we don't have to worry about her having kittens. Our three other cats tolerate her... she is very full-on at times so in time I'm confident they'll get on better.

Hobby stuff has been pretty good too. As I mentioned in my last post, all of the sculpting for the big Space Dwarf project is complete and now, I have all of the miniatures in my possession so I am in the process of cleaning up the last batch of troops, ready for the big "army organisation day"... when I arrange all the troops into their designated positions and make sure that I get a varied mix of poses in the process. 


Click the Pic!

While I was waiting for the last batch of troops to arrive, I was not idle. I decided to make myself present in the army and converted one of the Dwarf Officers to represent me:


Click the Pic!

It'll act as a proxy Air Force Advisor in the company command squad. When I had finished this one, I also decided to have a bit of fun and convert another officer and this is what I came up with:



Click the Pix!

It'll act as a Captain in the army but will most likely just be for show.

On a slightly different note, I decided to take a little bit of a detour towards Chaos and have been converting a small group of miniatures to be followers of Khorne, the blood god. Again, this is just for fun but it was also a nice little palate cleanser. I haven't finished them yet but there will be eight in total... here are the first three:


Click the Pic!

They aren't going to be particularly demonic... just 'flavoured' a bit. Once they are all finished, I'll post a little bit of background on them... just to add even more flavour.

Finally, I have returned the Storm Lord to the work bench and have been getting a bit of filling done...


Click the Pic!

So far, I have filled a few gaps, contoured the window frames, added the hull heavy bolters and made a wall with a doorway to allow access to the rear firing deck. In the image, the little las-cannon turrets have been removed, just so they didn't fall off during the work (they will be refitted at some point).

So... as you can see, I haven't been idle.

In other news, I am also sculpting a miniature for a friend so that it can be used in a game that is being played at Salute this year... again, once it's done, I'll post images.

So... what have I got planned next? Mostly, finishing things off... most likely in something like this order (depending on mood):

1 - Finish the Salute sculpt.
2 - Clean, base and prime the remaining batch of troops for the army project.
3 - Finish the little Chaos project (sculpting).
4 - Arrange the troops for the army project and number everything, ready for painting units.
5 - GET PAINTING!!!!
6 - Start thinking about the next unit for Macrocosm Miniatures (Close Combat Dwarfs).

After all that, you'd think I'd run out of stuff to talk about... well... you're right!

See you from the naughty step!

Monday, 14 June 2021

At journey's end... before we start the next one.

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

A lot has happened recently and I thought I'd pop a post up to share all the good news.

First of all, after nearly six months, I have finally started to feel like my old self again. I am able to breathe much better, don't have a cough and can walk around without feeling faint. This has made me much happier and now I can even start planning things. The Long Covid was tough... but thankfully, I have had lots of support from friends, family and my psychotherapist and now I can properly see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still need to get my strength back (sitting for five + months has made me unfit) but I am back!

Part of the journey has been me quitting my job at the care home. Covid hit the home hard and I couldn't face returning to all the empty chairs. As a result, I am jobless but will use the time wisely to catch up with all the things I've put off for the last six months. The stress that has been removed from me has had a massive, healing effect... now I just need to decide what job I will try next.

In other news, we are getting a new family member soon... a little kitten called Poppy. She isn't big enough to join us yet but we have met her and we are really looking forward to her joining us in about three weeks. Here's a tiny Poppy (with a very tired me):


Click the Pic!

Down to the big news, now... I have finished the Space Dwarf project! After 16 months and a lot of sculpting, I have finally finished off the list. That is 41 miniatures and 8 separate special/heavy weapons. I am very happy to have it finished and am planning to take a bit of a break before I launch into the next big thing. Here is a collage of all the miniatures (without the separate weapons):


Click the Pic!

With these all sculpted, I just have a few to get back from casting and then I'll send off the last batch... and I'll be able to focus on getting some painting done.

So what's next (apart from painting this army)? Well... there are a few character figures that need to be added (Engineseer, Servitors, Artillery Officer, Naval Officer and [possibly] a psyker) and a squad of Close Combat Troopers... but I am in no rush for those at the moment... and I also want to create some Beastmen at some point so I may have finished one project but I haven't given up!

So things are pretty positive at the moment and the future is looking much brighter.

See you from the front of the queue!

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

I can see the finish line!

 Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

Nothing has changed, outside of the hobby so I'm going to get straight to the point... I have nearly finished my Space Dwarf Project.

From the beginning, the plan was to create a range of miniatures that I could build an infantry company with... and have a small amount of support for it. That would mean that I needed about a hundred miniatures. 

I have never felt that all of the miniatures needed to be unique... in fact, I was hoping to get multiple casts of each miniatures to mix and match throughout the company.

So the plan for the company was to have a command squad, three infantry platoons and three heavy weapon squads to support the platoons. This in turn, led to the following list of required miniatures:


So far, I have sculpted 35 out of a planned 42 miniatures and with a few head-swaps that Chris has done for the heavy weapon trooper, I have nearly got all of the required miniatures finished... and the ones that need finishing are just conversions of casts.

Since I last posted on here, I have finished a Colonel:


Click the Pic!

He is armed with a plasma pistol and a master crafted power glove. If you look closely at the power glove you may notice that it may resemble something from a completely different franchise.

I have also finished a Captain with a dog for company:


Click the Pic!

This is my favourite sculpt of the project and I can't wait to get it painted up... I may even convert one a little so that I can join my army myself !

Finally, I emptied my work-bench by head-swapping a few Lasgunners: 


Click the Pic!

... and after a bit of base tabbing and tidying, these have now been packed up, ready to be sent to Macrocosm Miniatures for casting:


Click the Pic!

Once I get the previous batch of casts, I can convert the last seven miniatures for the project (3 Comms-Troopers and 4 Lasgunners)... and it will be finished! 42 miniatures will have been created and turned into a range. Over a year's work! Finished...

... well... is it, though?

See you from the party table!