Sunday 29 July 2018

Water? From the sky?

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It would appear that the weather has turned from glorious sunshine to wonderful storms and heavy rain. The only downside is that it means priming is off the table so I will only be able to progress any projects up to the priming point.

Yesterday we popped over to Porthleven for lunch and we spent a while watching the sea crash against the shore in the blustery weather. That's the wonderful thing about living in Cornwall. You get to see every aspect of the county in all weathers.

I have had uncle duties to attend to this week and have been busy helping to get things sorted with cars. It has made a nice change and has meant doing a few things that I haven't had to do for a while... like getting a mechanic to fix a car without ripping anyone off... so that was fun.

Friday evening was spent in The Rodney Inn, listening to a decent local band while socialising with friends and it was handy that I am teetotal because it meant we could avoid the rain by me driving to the pub.

So... what about hobby stuff? Well, to start with, work on the last of the tanks for the tank company has stalled completely. I am completely unable to sculpt at the moment. I have tried but I have a bad case of the yips and even after mixing putty, I cannot sculpt anything and end up wasting the putty. That said, I am able to fill gaps and do simple stuff but I just can't seem to face anything more artistic. I am hoping it will change soon.

That's what I haven't been able to achieve. However, I have been able to get some work done on the Chimera proxy and have managed to get it finished:

Click the Pix!

I am very happy with the results; especially because it has certain hints towards my favourite AFV, the FV432. I also think that the process is simple enough to repeat in a fairly straightforward manner so producing more 'identical' vehicles shouldn't be a problem.

With the Chimera finished and the last tank stalled, I had reached the end of what I could be getting on with so I needed to have a think. First, I ordered some more tanks... but in the meantime it meant having a look at the army list and seeing what I could work on. Then I had an epiphany. I could finish a Spearhead Detachment fairly quickly by using the armour that I have made, finishing the last tank and painting up five miniatures. here is the detachment:

HQ - Tank commander (Vanquisher Battle Cannon)
Elite - Techpriest Engineseer (mounted in Chimera)
Elite - 4x Servitor (2 standard, 2 heavy - also in the Chimera)
Heavy Support - 3x Leman Russ (Battle Cannon)
Heavy Support - 3x Leman Russ (Punisher Cannon)
Heavy Support - 3x Leman Russ ( Plasma Cannon)

Luckily, everything was already converted (apart from the Company Tank commander) and it was just a case of locating things.

On the 'to-do' list was:
  1. Paint the Engineseer and Servitors.
  2. Sculpt the Company Commander.
  3. Paint the Company Command tank.
  4. Add decals to all of the vehicles (including the Chimera - it would be marked up in the same way as the rest of the tanks because it would be a tank-company support vehicle, rather than an infantry company vehicle).
With a solid plan in mind, I have located my little Engineseer team that originally looked like this:

Click the Pic!

... and have started painting them. They now look like this:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, the Engineseer is more or less finished and I have started to work on the two basic servitors. I haven't started on the heavy servitors yet because I need to sort out basing them but also being able to paint them off the base (so I can paint the bases without being hampered by the tracked chassis of the two servitors).... so I will be putting my thinking cap on for that. 

Overall, I think that having a goal for everything that I am currently working on, that is all tied together so cleanly, will help me to finish sculpting the tank commander... hopefully!

Anyway... that's it for now.

See you from the shopping cart!

Sunday 22 July 2018

Indicators on...

Hello and welcome to Inso's World on yet another glorious, sunny, day.

This week has had a few 'life' adventures with a bit of family visiting and other things going on.

First up, my motorcycle has had its first service and the screen that it should have originally arrived with, has now been fitted:

Click the Pic!

Next up is something that I have been working on in the background. Over the last few weeks, I have been in touch with the local wing of the Marie Curie charity and have applied to become a committee member of the Helston/Lizard branch. This week I sorted out my application, it was accepted and I am now part of the Marie Curie club. I even have a new ID card to go with it:

Click the Pic!

I am rather happy with being accepted and hope to meet the rest of the committee at the beginning of next month. It will not only wake me up a bit but it has also ticked off one of the items on my "leaving the RAF and moving to Cornwall" list. The only thing remaining is to get a job and I am looking into that as well.

On to the hobby and this week I have finished the Platoon Commander for the Battle-Cannon tanks:

Click the Pic!

Obviously, I still need to apply decals but as I have mentioned before, they will be applied when the whole company is finished. With that said, I have also started work on the Company Commander but have stalled somewhat. I have added speakers and a flagpole to her turret and have got as far as sculpting her padded torso but that's it. The ideas for her have sort of run dry and the weight of other ideas has meant that I have needed to "scratch an itch" and change direction a bit...

... so I have ordered another King Tiger kit to play with; this time to try and make a simple conversion into a proxy Chimera. I wasn't expecting the kit until Monday but it turned up yesterday so I have already been tinkering and so far, it looks like this:

Click the Pic!

All I have done is remove any details that were sticking proud of the surface and have added the basic shape of the passenger cabin. The hole at the front is for a small turret.

Looking at the image, I plan to use the top hatches from the turret as hatches for the driver and "machine-gunner", with a vent/grill panel between them. There will be an engine panel on the front of the hull and the "machine-gun" mount will be fitted in the same place as it is on the other tanks. On the top of the passenger cabin, I will be placing a round top-hatch, six periscope viewers and a small, automated turret with the main weapon attached. On the rear of the hull, there will be a large ramp for accessing the passenger cabin. On the sides of the cabin will be six gun ports. Various details will be added and a lot of them will come from the components of the kit so I don't have to find them elsewhere.

So far, the conversion hasn't been too onerous so I am hoping that when I need to replicate the design, it shouldn't be too difficult... but it's early days yet.

That's it for this week. In the coming week, I hope to get the Company Commander sculpted and possibly, finish off the first of the Chimera conversions... we shall see, I guess.

See you from the road, man!

Sunday 15 July 2018

A lot of stippling.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World on yet another glorious, sunny, Sunday.

This week has been one of this and that. Chores, a bike ride, watching the football and the tennis and also getting quite a lot of hobby stuff done. On Friday there was another cool live band at the Rodney Inn and in between all of the comings and goings, it has been sunny and positive all week.

Last Monday heralded the occurrence of two months being tee-total. so I am now into the third month. It has been interesting... I haven't missed the drink but there are downsides to being around lots of people who drink... namely you can't join them!

The football has been disappointing but also quite an achievement... England are out but the team got further than any of the adult, male, England teams in the past 28 years... so it proves that a young, relatively unknown team can get along nicely without the old guard. Once today's game is over that will be it for football, for me.

The tennis goes on and I don't pay it too much attention.

Hobby wise, I have been relatively busy. The two dirtied up tanks have improved and I have got the tank commander for the third platoon finished:

Click the Pic!

I could have done a slightly better job on him but it is another of my 'finished, not perfect' sculpts. He is looking at his digi-map, wondering how he arrived at his destination and not where he should have got to. 

With the Tank Commander finished, I could get his tank up to the same standard as the rest of the platoon so I ended up with three dirtied up tanks:

Click the Pic!

From then it was just a case of spending a few hours stippling and dry-brushing to end up here:

Click the Pic!

The last pic shows the tanks all ready for decals... but the Tank Commander needs to be painted before that happens so he's next up in the painting queue. 

While I am painting the Tank Commander, I will be sculpting the Company Commander... but although I know she will be female, I haven't decided how to pose her yet so I need to do some thinking.

This week, I needed to replenish a few paints and have done so with a visit to my local Warhammer store (for Agrax Earthshade) and also with an order to Great Escape Games. Unfortunately, the order got a little mixed up but one email was all it took to clear everything up so I will heartily recommend them, both for their economical pricing and their great customer service.

This coming week I hope to get the Platoon Tank Commander painted and the Company Commander sculpted... but it all depends on how things pan out.

That's it for now.

See you from the cupola!

Sunday 8 July 2018

Heat pause.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's been very hot this week so I have been restricted in what hobby things I can do. All I have really managed to do is get two tanks up to the same standard... base-coated and washed in shade:

Click the Pic!

I have also been sculpting a little bit and the tank commander is getting there now... just his arms and equipment to go now... but I am not taking any pix until he is finished.

The trouble with all the recent hobby activity is that I am getting to a point where I am running out of various paints so I am nearly at a point where an emergency re-stock is required. I guess I'll have to put in little orders all over the place to sort out the deficiencies but I will try to make things stretch until the tanks are done... but I may not be able to.

So... other things...

I have completed enough miles to get my motorcycle serviced and have the fly screen fitted. That will be in a week or so (it's booked at the earliest possible time) so I can't wait to get that sorted so that my wife can join me on my little excursions (if she is about).

I have been in touch with the local Marie Curie charity committee and (pending approval) will likely become the next treasurer for the local area branch. I had a little 'interview' and we got on famously so I am hoping I will hear from them soon and start the handover process. I am looking forward to it.

England... football... yay... semi-finals... (soon it will be over)... 

That's it for now. It's a bit sparse this week due to the heat.

See you from the air-conditioned toilet!

Sunday 1 July 2018

Another tank-based update.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's world on a day that started out wet but has now turned into a glorious, sunny, Cornish day.

A special welcome to a new follower as well. It's been a while since that happened so I hope you enjoy your stay Deinonychus. Please feel free to get involved and leave comments.

This week saw a momentous event... my daughter had her 21st birthday. As has become our tradition, tattoos were involved but this time (due to blood donation timing) I didn't join her getting inked. That said, she got a few old tattoos recoloured and a nice little Totoro tattoo on her forearm. Here are the re-coloured Soot Sprites:

Click the Pic!

... and this is the little Totoro tattoo:

Click the Pic!

This little Daddy/Daughter moment was followed by a BBQ (arranged by my daughter and her friends/flat-mates) with friends and an evening in the Rodney Inn, with a live band (Bache - one of our favourites and kindly put on by the landlord for my daughter's birthday). It was a great day and it was well celebrated. It was also a day that marked the full adulthood of both our children... so we can now say that it's 'job done'.

Football has been quite frequent... but I can take it or leave it... and we saw another live band last night so we have all been enjoying the lovely weather immensely. I have even managed to put a few miles on the bike and will be arranging the first service this coming week and getting the fron fairing fitted (ABOUT... TIME!).

Hobby-wise, I have been continuing with the tank company and have now finished the Plasma-Tank platoon (apart from decals):

Click the Pic!

I am not sure whether the painting process feminised the tank commander very much but I am happy with the way the platoon and tank commander have turned out. With these finished (and now up on the shelf), I turned my attention towards the next platoon; one with Battle-Cannons. With the weather being so warm, I was worried to get too much painting or sculpting done; due to the humidity so I got to assembling and gap filling. In addition to the Battle-Cannon platoon, I assembled and prepared the Company Command Tank (with Vanquisher-Cannon). Here's where things sat yesterday:

Click the Pic!

Since then, I have sprayed the second tank and am in the process of getting it to the same state as the first one. At the moment, I am waiting for paint to dry before washing the grey parts with Nuln Oil. Once that is done, I can assemble the tank up to the required level before a green re-touch and then washing the tank in Agrax Earthshade. It is looking like I will soon be at a point to think about applying decals to a complete tank company... but the fly in the ointment will be the two tank commanders.

Speaking of tank commanders, I reckon I have an idea for the platoon commander but not for the company commander. You may have noticed that the last two commanders have been fairly 'non-combatant' and I want to keep it that way (there will be no hitting the enemy with Chain-Swords from these tanks). I will have the platoon commander scratching their head whilst looking at a map. I haven't decided whether it should be male or female yet (both could be seen as stereotypical so no matter which I do, someone will moan) but I am probably going to make it a male. That would mean that the company commander will be female... and that means I have to try a bit harder to make her obviously female (facially) and suitably imposing enough to be a company commander.

Still lots to think about.

Well... that's it for today.

See you from the coffee shop!