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:

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1st platoon support:

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1st platoon infantry squad 1:

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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:

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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:

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Then the resin master casts:

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

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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:

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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:

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... 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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.