Monday, 28 May 2012

A request of generosity.

I have a friend who is asking for help. Please follow the link and read what he has to say and make a choice.


That is all I can ask.

Thank you for reading.

Sprue-shots for new GW flier.

Just a couple of Sprue Shots for the Storm-Talon:

Clik the pix to get a better view. I think that the sprues make good viewing because the cockpit seems to be a self contained unit on the same sprue as the engine pods.

More food for thought and I am now in two minds as to whether to make a gunship or transport. If there is space in the cockpit, I want to add a Grymn with a Beetle-bot gunner :).

See you from the edge, man!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

WHAT!? More?!

I know it isn't the norm to make multiple posts in one day but I have done something today that has been waiting for four whole years to be done.

Today, I have done a bit of sculpting but I have also started to work on my bike! That is right, I have started to fix my beloved motorcycle starting with a new brake disc and front fork seals.

The jobs took me all day but I have been going slowly and have been stripping other bits and bobs down. I also managed to turn the engine over but in doing so I have realised that I need a new battery. I have so much to do now (new oil, filter, fork oil, brake fluid, hose clamps, brake-lever spring... the list goes on) but I have started... and that has really made me happy.

Now all I have to do is sort out four years of neglect!

I love making things difficult for myself.

See you from the garage (well... the garden, next to the tent filled with bike bits)!

A packed Sunday post

To kick off today's post, I'd like to welcome maxxev to Inso's World. I hope you enjoy your stay and feel free to get involved with comments and questions. If you look over at the blog list, you'll find his blog there and it is well worth a look because of the interesting conversions on display.

Here's a (blurry) picture:

Click the Pic!

On the left we have the start of Goliath for the super-soldier program and on the right we have a secret sculpt at a very early stage. It just shows that I am still ticking along on my current sculpting journey. Speaking of which, I have got more done on the Gizzit and the cowboy but I have been reminded that these are surprise gifts so I shouldn't really post them up... so I'm not going to (until they are finished and gifted). In other sculpting news:

Click the Pic!

I managed to finish Beast and have even got as far as painting him:

Click the Pic!

I think he fits in rather well. There is a nice mix of colours going on but red seems to be winning at the moment so it will be nice to have a big, blue Goliath towering over them all. I have been steered towards sculpting a Wolverine to go with the team and I think a dash of yellow would compliment the group as well. I just have to decide on how to make his claws.

In other news, my shopping addiction has returned and this week I have spent FAR too much money on STUFF. I have pre-ordered a Storm Talon, thrown some money into Old Crow stuff (more on that in a later post) and have been bidding on E-bay again... three Void miniature boxed sets (Syntha) for £12-00 (including postage) can't be bad.

I have been charging my bike-battery up and it appears that I won't be getting away with firing the bike up. I guess it is deep-strip time... at least I'll get to do a bit of spannering again :). I need to get some oil circulating around the engine so I'll have to hand-crank it with some oil in there... that means taking things to bits, removing the spark-plugs and trying to turn the rear wheel with the bike in-gear. If that fails...the engine will have to come out and get stripped and cleaned and re-assembled. I hope we have a dry summer (I don't have a garage).

Yesterday I watched a short film called 'The Telephone Box'. It is an old, foreign film from 1972 that when I was really small, it gave me terrible nightmares. To cut a long story short, it is about a man who gets trapped in a telephone box. He is just about to be saved by the fire brigade but the phone company turns up and takes the box, and its occupant away to a warehouse where there are phone boxes everywhere. In each one is a person in various states of decay. The box gets dropped off and the truck drives away. 

Well, I watched the film and although I didn't find it frightening, I could see how I would have been frightened and to be honest, I didn't really enjoy watching it again. Whether it was the memories from my past or the actual film, who knows? I am glad I watched it though... but I remembered it from start to finish...  it really must have made an impact on me.

Well... that about sums everything up. 

See you from the rickety bridge!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

It's OK but... is it?

Every once in a while something crops up that initially makes me think 'what the bleep is that?!' but after a while I see something within the odd shapes and unusual design that makes me think 'it might look OK with a few changes'.

Well, a picture (or three) speaks a thousand words:

Click all the pix for big versions!

They are stumpy, front heavy and have too much weaponry for what they are... but there is something about the fuselage and engines that has caught my eye. Here's what I think could make it acceptable:
  • Remove the chin guns
  • Remove the side pods
  • Lengthen the tail
  • lose the downward pointing tail-fin
  • Work out where to put some weapons
  • Work out where to put the undercarriage
It's from Games Workshop and it has JUST appeared on the advance order page. Hmmm...

See you from the Zorb!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A thing.

I'd Like to welcome Mark Mondragon to my happy little world. I hope you can extract something of worth as you potter around.

I quite like that song :).

Beast is really getting there now:

Click the Pic!

Just his head to go now :). He looks a bit weird at the moment but once his face is put on, he'll be fine (I hope).

See you from the hot seat!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Slow and steady wins the race.

I have been ticking along with the sculpting again and am making slow but steady progress. The only trouble is that I have to wait for things to dry and it can be frustrating...

... anyway, here is some progress:

Click the Pic!

So, the cowboy has a face so I will be more inclined to finish HIM now (he was an 'IT' before he had a face), the beast has most of his fur done. I just have his forearms to go before I start on his head proper... he looks a bit like an ape at the moment! The mystic is gradually getting his coat finished. He still needs the sleeves and his sash sorting out but once they are done, a general smooth over will finish him off.

So... there you have it... sculpting progress.

I went to the cinema the other day and I saw 'Dark Shadows'. It was a film about a cursed bloke who was turned into a vampire and locked away for 200 years before turning up in the '70s. It was a Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp, Hit Girl, a Bond Girl, Michelle Pfeifer and Beatrix Le-Strange in it. 

It was... O.K. Not earth shattering... just O.K.

On a completely different note... I have finished writing my staff assessments and can kick back and relax now.


See you from the box, in a box on the shelf, in the shed, in the garden of a home on the hill!

Monday, 21 May 2012

I was like... you know?... whatever...

I'm going to start by welcoming my newest follower DangyyDingyy... Welcome fellow traveller. Normally I'd gear my welcome towards the miniatures side of things but it would seem that DangyyDingyy is a lost traveller who takes the road less travelled. I am not a hundred percent sure why she would want to join Inso's World but sometimes, the fisherman doesn't only catch his chosen fish...

...So welcome aboard, enjoy your stay and stay happy :).

This morning was a no-brainer for me. I got up after a bad night, and a fairly sleepless weekend and thought... I need to be at home. So after a quick trip to work and a day's leave being put in, I have been chilling out at home and catching up with Radox and the quiet life.

I sometimes enjoy my little quiet times. Times where it is just me, the cats and the house. No television... no music... just me and the gentle snoring of the cats, the odd thudding of the helicopters overhead  and the humming of the PC fan. It is really quite relaxing.

Today, I have been progressing some sculpts and I have decided two things...

  1. I really can't abide sculpting/working with Milliput
  2. Sculpting fur on a 20mm tall miniature is a pain in the proverbials
Fortunately, the Milliput side of things is nearly finished so I can return to putting down layers of Green Stuff again (it's only the big sculpt so I am using the cheaper alternative to bulk out the armature before I start with the Green Stuff). Beast is being a bit awkward. I have started adding fur and he has lost a lot of his definition... but, to be honest, if he ends up looking like a teddy bear, I am not that worried... he is, after all, a Grymn Beast so he is likely to be a bit different anyway.

The cowboy is really coming along nicely. I've decided to focus on getting his head done so that I can make sure I am happy with it. It will also help me to finish it because once a sculpt has a face, it has a personality. He is going to end up quite chunky by the time I've finished... should be fun.

Finally, the OGrymn now has everything finished except for his coat and a few gems on his sash. He could be better but I think I have reached a stage where he needs to be finished soon or he will forever hide in the obscurity of the 'nearly finished' pile... and I really don't want that because I am really happy with his head and armour.

Do you ever stare at your hands and marvel at how they work? Our pose-able thumb is a truly remarkable piece of bio-engineering. All that movement in such a small space and hardly a muscle in sight. Add to that... skin. Skin is fascinating. All those strange little shapes, joined up to form a flexible latticework... 

... the older you get, the more details you can see in your skin due to the texture changing as it loses the ability to hold as much fluid... becoming sluggish and less reactive. Wrinkles are cool. They make it so much easier to see details and lines between structures...

When you sit and really look hard, it is easy to see that we are all, truly amazing.

Speaking of truly amazing things... here is Brian:

Click the Pic!

He is a Giant African Land Snail and he is around 7 or 8 years old. It would appear that he has taken an interest in my hobby for the first time (and no, I haven't messed with the photo... he really is that big).

I can sit and watch Brian moving around his tank for ages. You see the texture of his skin change; waves of moisture flooding it regularly... and when he moves across the glass, you can see his foot rippling. You can even hear him chewing when he eats! 

See you from the top of Salvador's Elephant!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Plans made... and ignored!

So... the fickle hand of my obsession has changed my plans again.

I have been sculpting and have made good progress:

Click the Pic!

In the above picture you can see a 'Gizzit' for a work colleague that will eventually be a bloke stood holding a shotgun, wearing plus-fours and having the face of the afore-mentioned colleague. Then you have the start of a space-cowboy commission that I am doing. He is a cartoon character so don't worry too much about the proportions... he has a big head and over-sized hands and feet. Next up is the Tunnel Fighter mystic who is based on an OGrymn model. He has been in a half-finished state for a very long time and I have decided that he'll join the others on the sculpting table. At the moment, I am just tidying things up and finishing the details before embarking on the coat. Finally, we have Beast. He is going to be joining the super-soldier team when he is finished....

Click the Pic!

So... yesterday I watched Underworld - Awakening... it was OK but pretty much more of the same from the franchise. It is always nice to see Selene running about in tight leather so it wasn't a waste of time.

We are off to see Dark Shadows today. A Johnny Depp vampire film... I hope that the only funny aspects of the film aren't limited to the preview adverts... I guess we'll see.

So... since yesterday, I have stopped the Vulkans and ignored my 'limited sculpting on the table' ethos.

I am a fickle person.

See you from the blacksmith's!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Just ten more to go!

Only ten more troops to varnish and the foot-sloggers for the Tunnel Fighter army will be finished.

Add to that the fact that I have started to lay down putty onto an armature and dig out all of my Vulkan battle suits to prepare for assembly and it would appear, at first glance, that the hobby has kick started again.

I guess I just had a subconscious urge to get the cupboard emptied again before I got too far ahead of myself. Add to that the worries I have with paint now that the GW range has changed and maybe, I just needed a small break.

What am I sculpting?

At the moment, I am bulking out a 5-inch tall armature with some Milliput that will become a caricature of a work colleague. He will be wearing plus-fours and will be sporting a shotgun. Once I have finished, I'll post some pix.

My current plan is a simple one:

  • Finish the first sculpt
  • Finish a second  caricature sculpt (a cyclist in lycra...don't ask!)
  • Finish a sculpt promised to a friend (well...start and finish it, really!)
  • Finish a commission sculpt for a games-designer
  • Clean-up and assemble/convert 15 Vulkan Battlesuits to add to the Clankers in my Tunnel Fighter arm
As you can painting. I think I need to focus on other things for the moment. I could make all sorts of plans but at the moment, I want to really keep things simple so that I don't get distracted. As a result, the sculpting will be done 'one-at-a-time' rather than starting them all and have them stare at me! The Vulkans can tick along in between to keep me busy while the putty dries.

It is good to be back in the hobby seat.

See you from the captain's chair!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Don't Panic!

80 Tunnel Fighters varnished... 30 to go!

... I have started sculpting again :).

Whatever next?

See you from the bus stop!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sunday again.

Today, I'd like to welcome Rovanite to Inso's World. He is the guy who has just started up Grekwood Miniatures so he is more than welcome here. I hope you have a look around and make comments where you see fit. Feel free to link to bits and bobs and if you have any questions, just ask.

Something strange happened last night.

I thought about Space Dwarfs. I thought about how people would normally think a Space Dwarf should look. I thought about what sort of equipment they might carry. I thought about the armour they might wear and how I could sculpt it. I even got as far as thinking about their boot-fasteners.

I have been thinking about recon vehicles for my sniper units. I only need four and have probably decided that there isn't a vehicle that I could use on the market at the moment. I'd love to have the Stoat armoured car from Micro Panzer but they are just too small to be of use. The Warthog ADV from Antenociti is too big and I am not set on the Old Crow range, even though the vehicle I chose will have to fit in with the rest of the Old Crow vehicles that I have for my urban army. A while ago, I started building some AFVs for a project and they may well get an airing at some point to see if they can be used (I'll just need to find some tracks or wheels to use).

I have been thinking about dropships again. Smaller ones than I have of late. Not a platoon level dropship, more a squad sized one. It must have something to do with HALO and my current thoughts on the subject (especially seeing as there is a smaller scale version with some of the aircraft being released at some point in the near future).

All this, of course means nothing until I start tinkering again but even on that front, things seem to be progressing. The varnishing is going really well. I have decided not to varnish my Super Soldiers at this time but have really put a dent in the rest of the troops.  So far, I have varnished (just troops so far):

  • The VASA bike platoon (10 bikes, 3 bikes with side-car) LINK LINK LINK LINK
  • The VASA Black Legion (5 minis) LINK
  • The Syntha marine squad (5 minis) LINK
  • The Beetle-bots (13 minis, 9 Dogbots and 3 skimmers) LINK LINK LINK
  • The Tunnel Fighter auxiliaries (3 medic bases, 3 k9 bases, the drone unit - 14 minis and an OGrymn) LINK LINK LINK LINK
  • 4 squads of basic Tunnel Fighters (40 minis) LINK LINK LINK LINK
I don't think that it is too bad for a week's worth.

Only 70 more Tunnel Fighters to go before I have to worry about vehicles and mechs... but I won't be worrying too much about those until I decide to start buying more cases for them to be stored in. The cupboard is my only worry at the moment and there is getting to be plenty of space in there... which is really pleasing because it has been a bit of an anchor around my neck.

Hopefully all this housework will stimulate a little bit of a movement with my muse.

See you from the midst of a varnishing haze!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A few updates

First of all, I'd like to welcome Manus to Inso's World. Welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to comment as you see fit.

I have been busy varnishing and I am now into the Tunnel Fighter troops... gloss varnish is going on ready for matt spray. The house really does gain an 'interesting' odour when I start spraying. I gloss varnish one day and matt the next so the varnish smell is pretty much constant at the moment.

As a side effect of all the varnishing, I have had to order another miniatures case. Once I have finished all of the troops, I'll be starting on the mechs/vehicles but I am not in too much of a rush to get them stored away so I'll hold off on buying cases for those for now. It will just be nice to see some empty space in my cupboard!

I have been pottering about and I'd like to make a specific mention about Grekwood Miniatures. If you do not know, Grekwood was a long time patron of the Forum of Doom who sadly lost his life to an inherited disease a short while ago. In tribute to his brother, Carl Sutherwood has set up a miniatures company in remembrance and has managed to collect a small range of miniatures and accessories together in his store. The small range of miniatures are fairly 'rustic' but have bags of character. His shop contains Green Stuff, basing materials, glues and the Cote d'Arms paint range, amongst other things (which may be particularly apt now that GW has messed up their paint range...Cote d'Arms made the original GW paint)... so it is well worth a look.

I have added a permanent link on the right hand side of my blog.

On a different note, you may have noticed that I like my mecha. Well, I have added a blog to my blog list called Mech Dude's Blogspot that is pretty cool. He is in the process of getting the Macross range of mechs on the tabletop. He is working with the IP holders to both produce the mechs and a rule set to go with them. Hopefully they will hit the streets sooner rather than later... but until they do, the blog contains some really excellent miniatures to ogle at.

Finally, I have now only got one more Megaro-Zamac kit to go for the whole set. The one I was waiting for from Germany has arrived and is now stowed with the rest. If anyone happens to know where I can get my hands on a 'Run-Valam' kit from the Megaro-Zamac range, please feel free to leave a comment.

I have had a really weird week. I haven't thought about miniatures ideas once. It seems my muse has really done a number on me! I hope she returns soon so that I can get some sculpts done... I am WAY behind the schedule where commissions are concerned.

See you from the desk!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bank Holiday

I'm glad it is a bank holiday. I was still pottering about at 04:00hrs this morning so it would have been a bit annoying to be going to work for 08:00hrs today. It was nice to see The House of Flying Daggers again... and the X-Files movie... and a bit of American Pie 2... night time TV is better than day time telly :).

So far, I have been a taxi driver for my little princess, have dug a piece of earth about  a foot square so that I could plant a potato and have been filling the house with the wonderful smell of spray varnish.

After the varnishing adventure today, I have decided that a coat of brushed on gloss followed by a spray matt varnish after that is the way forward. I'm glad that I picked up a few cans of the matt :).

So...I have now sorted out my cupboard so that I have the miniatures segregated into those that need varnishing and those that don't... I still have a long way to go but now I have to start thinking about how I am going to store the varnished ones... I do have an empty case but I need to adjust some of the sponge compartments to fit things in... I may just get another case with some differently sized compartments.

Hmm... decisions, decisions.

I have had a strange week. I have had absolutely no compulsion to do any painting or sculpting. None whatsoever. I have looked in my cupboards at all sorts of things to try and kick-start a muse... but nothing.

I am beginning to think that summer is creeping into my mind and that usually spells trouble for my hobby.

Hey... maybe I'll start getting my bike back on the road again! Oh... probably not... hell hasn't frozen over yet!

here she is:

Click the Pic!

She needs a lot of attention...


See you from a chilly plateau near the top of Ben-Nevis!

Sunday, 6 May 2012


It is Sunday again. I am in the house-hold driving seat because my better half is a bit poorly so I have been to the shops and prepared dinner.

I had one of my late nights again last night...02-30hrs due to not being sleepy. I had the opportunity to surf a bit and get a bit more varnishing done. Speaking of varnishing... here is a pic:

Click the Pic!

Varnishing has been a bit of a pain really. I have been gloss varnishing by hand, followed by a brush matt-coat and the matt hasn't been very good at all. That has led me to get a few cans of spray varnish (which is REALLY matt) to give them a final coat. Three coats of varnish seems a bit excessive but it keeps me busy. As you can see from the pic, I have got my Void stuff and Beetle-bot stuff on the the table and will be starting on the Beetle-bot brush-matt coat this afternoon. 

Yesterday's trip to Hobby-Craft also produced a couple of packets of Milliput so that I can bulk out armatures for a couple of sculpts I have to do. They will be caricatures of friends at work and will be about 4-6 inches tall. You never know, it may stimulate the artistic juices! I also have two other sculpts that I have promised to do so I really need to find my mojo fast!

In other news, I have spent far too much money on another little passion... Megaro Zamac kits. Looking at the following pic:

Click the Pic!

I have already got five with 'Va-Gal' on his way from Germany (too much money but it was one of those things) and only 'Run-Valam' to find. There are two others that aren't in the picture (a Harrier gerwalk and Phantom gerwalk) but I am not really bothered about them. I really don't know why I am collecting them... it is probably nostalgia but they are fairly nice kits... even if they look a bit 'Power Rangers'.

Well... that's about it for now. I'm off to find some Paracetamol and a nice glass of water.

See you from the bottom of the deep, blue, sea!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A dad's adventures.

My daughter and I were chatting about things and the subject of dying hair came up. My daughter is in her teens so she has dyed her hair before (the first time was scarlet... it was permanent... and I dyed her hair for her without telling her mum!) but we decided that a silver/white would be cool. So we bought some dye and went for it this afternoon.

Bear in mind that her hair is currently a reddish brown with her natural blonde roots coming through.

Well... now she's a ginger with white roots!

The dye just didn't work as well as it should have. At least it will take less time to grow out and then we can go for it again.

After dying her hair and sitting back for a moment I thought...'not many dad's would do this.'

Soooo... time to do a bit more varnishing.

See you from the cliff edge!

Friday, 4 May 2012

The fragility of life.

Facebook is a strange place.

You potter along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you get a friend request. Usually (for me at any rate) you know the person straight away so you can make an instant decision on whether to accept them or not. Sometimes you really have no idea who they are and it is an equally quick decision to make.

But sometimes you get a friend request that you are not quite sure about. Usually it is a woman whose name you don't recognise (due to being a married name), who has changed over the years so you can't quite remember them.

So you start the detective work and find out that it was someone who you knew at school so you accept the friend request and have the odd chat and send/receive the odd message and over time you get to know them all over again.

Well today, I found out that a friend from school died in her sleep last night.

It was a surprise to say the least but it made me think about how we deal with life and death.

She was my age. It is no age to pass away. She collected friends on Facebook like an avid hoarder. She loved her cats and until recently, her status was married. She was certainly a larger than life character and after a few drinks, liked to chat about this and that.

I am almost ashamed to say that I didn't know her any more than I have mentioned here.

But that is just the way of things. We all have circles of friendship that start at the point the pebble hits the water and expands to barely a ripple. It would be nice to think that we can keep every friendship we ever made but it wouldn't be possible. Some friendships are fleeting and others are a part of you.

Facebook helps us recall those fleeting friendships of the past but doesn't help at times like these. It doesn't comfort you and sympathise with your loss. It doesn't help you get back on track or take away the guilt or doubts you may be suffering. All it does is keep providing the opportunity for re-kindling all those long forgotten associates and friendships from the past.

Rest in Peace Caroline. I knew you half as well as I should have and a hundredth of what you deserved.

See you from the pebble beach.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

And lo, it came to pass...

My muse has left me.

She has picked up her bags and walked away.

What that means is that I will have a bit of a lean period on the hobby front because no matter what I have tried to turn my hand to, I just can't motivate myself enough to enjoy it... or get it finished.

Obviously, the last few months have burnt me out so I need a bit of a break so I will use this time for a bit of consolidation. Sorting things out and maybe (if I can stomach it) some varnishing.

It isn't anything to worry about because I always have peaks and troughs with regards to the hobby and now that I have more time at home in my new job (rather than going on trips abroad) it has just compounded the problem because I am pretty immersed in things when I am at home.

I will continue to add blog posts but they may not include very much in the way of hobby progress.

Sometimes you just need a bit of a recharge.

See you from the vaults!