Sunday, 30 December 2018

2018 in retrospect.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It's very nearly 2019 so I thought I'd look back over a year that has seen a lot of change for me and my family... plus a little bit of hobby along the way... so let's get started.

Early in the year, things were pretty settled. I was at home, my wife was at work and things were ticking along nicely... then my other shoulder froze up so the painkillers came out again. As a result, I became lethargic and began to get a little bit house bound... so I decided to do something a little bit different, in memory of my Dad, and quit drinking for a year (the only exceptions were toasts for very special occasions and the passing of friends/relatives). Since 8th May 18, I have been on the wagon and have had seven toasts... I will be finishing this drought on 7th May 2019, which is the evening before Flora Day and the first toast will be to my Dad.

Quitting drinking has made a big difference and I have been more cheerful as a result. I have also lost all of my 'drinking' weight and am back to where I was when I was fit and healthy in the RAF.

This year has also seen the completion of my "leaving the RAF" list because I have not only become a member of a charity committee (Marie Curie) but have also got myself a job, working as an HCA in dementia care, for a non-profit, charity organisation... completing my list, which was:

  • Move to Cornwall.
  • Become part of the community.
  • Get a part time job that I could walk to.
  • Get involved with charity.
It wasn't a big list but it was an important one. Now the list has been completed, I can properly settle and get my feet under the desk. 

As I have mentioned, my job has changed directions in a dramatic way... from Aircraft Engineer to Dementia Care-Worker. It has been a real eye opener and has been extremely tiring... I haven't had such a physically demanding job for years... but I love the work and get a huge amount of satisfaction from it so I am likely to be doing care work for the foreseeable future.

From a Charity perspective, Not only have I been assisting and working for charity, I have also been able to do a bit of fund raising and donating and have raised well over £1200 this year for various charities... especially those of which my friends are involved. I hope to exceed this amount in 2019.

From a family perspective, my daughter is doing very well at her job and is gaining more training and responsibility... and getting suitable pay rises to go along with it. She has also found a nice lad to share her journey and things are settling down nicely... joint habitation is their goal in 2019. My son has been in the RAF now, for 3 years and is currently enjoying a detachment in the Falklands (another coincidence because the Falklands was my first overseas detachment when I was in the mob). 

Click the Pic! (Port Stanley, The Falklands)

He is enjoying himself and has really flourished in his military role... and he has grown up considerably as a result. He passed his driving test this year and will be getting a car when he returns to the UK. My wife has been pottering along as she always does... being the anchor for us all to cling to. She was the one who gave me some tough love and got me to seek work... something that needed to happen. She still loves her child-care job and is looking forward to a few changes to her work routine in the new year. The pets are all doing well (apart from Boris, our Giant African Land Snail, who passed away), especially my cat Sam, who has really grown into a proper cat now:

Click the Pic!

The house renovations have stalled... I am too tired to start doing all that stuff at the moment but will look to ramp things up in the new year. Another thing I plan to do in the new year is get some miles in, on my bike. I am ashamed to say that I have had the bike for a year and haven't even ridden a thousand miles yet! That will change in 2019... my bike needs to be seen:

Click the Pic!

From a hobby perspective, I have been fairly productive. In fact, I thought I'd been pretty slow this year until I checked back through this blog and listed what I'd done... Here's the list:
  • Sly Marbo - Conversion.
  • Valkyrie Drop-Ship - Conversion.
  • Sgt Harker - Conversion.
  • 6x Demiurg Air Guilders - Converted and Painted.
  • Squat Berserker - Sculpted, Sold, Cast Received, Painted.
  • Halfling Cavalryman - Converted and Painted.
  • Badger Rider Squat - Converted and Painted.
  • 2x Dreadnought - Converted.
  • 5x Squat Bodies (Commission) - Sculpted.
  • Tank Company - 11x Armoured Vehicles - Converted and Painted (Awaiting Decals).
  • 10x Halfling Snipers - Painted.
  • Engineseer and 4x Servitors - Painted.
  • Primaris Beastman - Painted.
  • Squat, Platoon Command Squad - Painted.
  • Squat, Infantry Squad - Painted.
  • Dash Hound (Superhero) - Converted.
  • Big Olaf - Painted.
  • Snorri the Giant -Converted and Painted.
  • 3x Hearthguard Bikers - Converted.
On top of all that, I have also painted a few Primaris Marines, part painted a host of Drones (for my Demiurg project), part sculpted a bunch of commissions (but lost my mojo and haven't sculpted properly for most of the year), part sculpted an Ogryn, Lizardman and various other characters... and I am currently in the process of converting a couple of Hearthguard Biker units. That said, I think that my crowning glory, this year, has been my tank company. I have always struggled to complete armoured vehicle conversions so I am glad that I have managed to complete the tank company:

Click the Pic!

That was 2018... so what will 2019 bring? 

Hopefully, a settled year where I become accustomed to the physical aspects of my job and start getting my home-life back... rather than getting home and flopping! More bike riding, more charitable activities and more hobby time. I don't make resolutions because they just set you up to fail but I do plan to try hard in 2019, just the same as I do every year... and that is resolution enough.

I'll be celebrating the New Year in company and will be having a toast at mid-night (the only drink of the evening) so I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a 2019 that they deserve and also that you all stay safe and remember that living to work, will kill you... so work to live!

Click the Pic! (Taken at Perranuthnoe Beach).

See you from the big reveal!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Company is a good thing.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been pretty much the same as last week. I have been working hard, had a small amount of time off and have squeezed in hobby time here and there.

At work, it has been a good week. I have had my first assessment and they are very happy with both my performance and my progress so I am happy with that. In between work I have been helping the Marie Curie committee with their accounting and have also managed to see my wife occasionally... I'm sure that one of the reasons I left the RAF was to see more of family but it doesn't seem to be working at the moment...

So... hobby time.

To start with, I finished painting my Tank Company Commander (I'll take some pics at some point) and this is where the Company is, at the moment:

Click the Pic!

I still need to add the markings but I have now received my order for varnish so it is just a matter of time before I knuckle down and get the Company finished.

In the meantime, I have also received my Black Friday offer from Mantic and now have fourteen Valkyr Bikers to add to my army. They will be Hearthguard Bikers and will count as Space Marine Scout Bikes (for rules purposes). I decided that they needed to be converted to match the existing Hearthguard better so I have started work on them and have finished the first one:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, the body and head is the same as an existing Hearthguard and I have converted the legs and arms to pad them out a bit. These are the existing Hearthguard:

Click the Pic!

I am not going to be going too overboard with these and they are likely to look extremely similar to each other because, to be honest, they are a bit of an afterthought and do not really inspire me too much. They should look good 'en-mass' and painted up though... and will certainly beef up the 'Space Marine' section of my army.

As well as the bikes, I have also dug out the next four Toon King Tigers, washed them and have started to convert them into Chimera transports for No1 Platoon. They are at a very early stage so I haven't got pictures that I wan't to show off. However, I am taking 'step-by-step' pictures so that I know what I am doing (and can repeat it) and I can post a guide, later on. Watch this space.

Christmas is on the way and the lead up to the event is going to be very busy for me. I have a few long shifts so I doubt that I will have much time for the hobby... but I guess it's for the greater good.

See you from the ropes!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Grinding advance.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

What have I been doing this week? Painting a tank. Sadly, I haven't been able to get as far as I would like because I have had work and family distractions... plus a strained back... that has meant that my hobby time has been restricted. As it stands, I have a painted tank with a WIP tank commander and the model will be finished by next weekend... here's some paint:

Click the Pic!

The fully painted and assembled tank:

Click the Pic!

This image shows the base-coated and washed tank commander. She is ready for the highlight stage which will probably start tomorrow because I have to go to work very soon:

Click the Pic!

It has been a nice change to work on this tank... but I still don't enjoy the stippling part of the painting process... however, it does create the effect I am looking for so I guess it's just something I have to put up with.

What happens when this is finished? I'm in two minds. I'd like to get more APCs converted and painted but I have a few distractions that are due to arrive over the coming weeks and months, namely:

Mantic Valkyr Bikers. (12... like the ones in the link).

The plan is to convert the Onna-Bugeisha miniatures to a sci-fi gang, use the bikes as Scout bikes in my Squat army, convert the Fireforge troops into a small Astra Militarum detachment and do 'something' with the Diehard miniatures...

... however, I would also like to paint some more Squat troops so that I had some finished passengers for the planned APC conversions.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions.

See you from the hobby desk!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

A little bit of sculpting?

Hello and welcome to this week's blog post.

To say that this week has been an uphill struggle would be an understatement.

Working in elderly care, especially where dementia is high on the agenda, can be a roller-coaster ride. This week has proved it to me. I have seen the highs of making a huge difference to some of the resident's lives and I have seen the lows of watching the coroner taking away residents who have succumbed to dementia.

There have been staffing issues, disgruntled people and 'interesting' challenges that have arisen due to some of the more diverse behaviour that dementia can cause... I have even worked two extra shifts to try and ease the situation... but it has all been positive (for me) so I am happy ticking along.

Add to that, my charity duties whilst I have had time away from work (counting charity boxes, creating event programmes and paying in money at the bank)... and that means that I haven't had a huge amount of hobby time...

... however... a small miracle has happened. My muse has paid a visit and I have got a little sculpting done. I'll also add that the sculpting has enabled me to remove a stumbling block from my work bench.

This week, I have finished off the company commander for my little tank company. Here she is:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do on her tank but that all revolves around getting sprues of components sprayed, ready for assembly so everything comes together when the painting starts. Sadly, the weather is dreadful at the moment so getting the spray-cans out, isn't going to happen for a day or so... which is going to be frustrating; now that I have finished the commander.

To add a bit of an explanation to the sculpt; she is holding some paper in one hand (orders) and a microphone in the other (so she can give the orders... loud and clear). The brown thing on the side of the turret, is a set of speakers. Her tank has a Heavy Bolter in the hull and has a Vanquisher Battle Cannon in the turret. The finished model will proxy for an Astra Millitarum Tank Commander, in a Leman Russ Vanquisher.

The good thing is that once this tank is painted, I can then get all 11 vehicles marked up with decals and finish the company properly. In case you can't be bothered to trawl through... here are the other ten vehicles:

Leman Russ Punisher Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Leman Russ Executioner Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Leman Russ (Battle Cannon) Squadron:

Click the Pic!

Engineseer Chimera Transport:

Click the Pic!

... and to finish off the company, the Engineseer and his Servitors:

Click the Pic!

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some paint on the command tank this week... but only the weather can say whether or not that can happen... so we'll have to wait and see.

See you from the workshop!