Sunday, 23 July 2017

Some finished painting.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been all about painting and as I mentioned last week, it has mostly been about painting Grymn... so I'll get straight to it with a little squad of painted Grymn:

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As you can see, I have been trying out some of Games Workshop's textured paint on the bases and I think it looks pretty good. I think that they could use a little more depth, however, I quite like them as they are because they look really dry... which is what I was aiming for. 

These Grymn are painted up as a small patrol that potters around on a mars that has been Terra-formed with a breathable atmosphere. I have started to paint up one of the characters that will be joining them and I think that he should be ready for next week.

In other news, I have also painted the first of the Primaris Marines:

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The photo is a bit rubbish but this particular miniature does not like being photographed in any kind of light so this is as good as it gets. If you look closely, he has a moon and castle emblem on his shoulder pad. This links him to the Lead Legion of Space Marines. This particular legion has been formed as part of a community project over at the Lead Adventure Forum... you can find out about it HERE and you can see some of the results HERE. I thought that I would use the opportunity to give the guys a chapter because I haven't come up with one of my own.

In a random direction, I tried to prevent a friend falling over and this happened:

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Everything is OK but I reckon I'll have a cool scar over my eye and, at the moment, I am finding painting a little bit tricky because I bashed up my hands/wrists a bit. That said... it was a great night on the town and sometimes you just have to roll with it... even if it happens to be rolling on the floor! Drunken shenanigans eh? Where would British culture be without them?

So... this week, I am popping up to see my Dad and accompany him to the hospital to find out where the land lies. It is going to suddenly become 'A THING' when we know what is going on, what treatment is available and how bad/good things are so, fingers crossed, it will be more positive than negative.

What's next? Who really ever knows that, eh?

See you from the bus stop, at the corner of main-street!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Going back to the start...

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

Way back in the dim and distant past, I started using the internet and suddenly became aware of the wide range of miniatures that were available on the market. Up until that point it was Citadel / Games Workshop only... apart from some Scotia Grendel Kryomek that used to be available in HMV (of all places).

It surprises me that I only started this blog in 2008... because, prior to that, I had been pottering around for a good few years... and I am also NOT surprised that the first miniatures I posted on here were from Hasslefree Miniatures. I found Hasslefree Miniatures in 2004 and was instantly drawn to their Grymn range. In fact, it was a single picture of Aylton the Grymn (sculpted by Kev White) that made me hunt down the manufacturer so that I could get hold of a few Grymn myself.

...That was the start of it. My big obsession. Why Grymn? Well... I'll tell you a story...

When I was about 15, I started sculpting miniatures. I used the only putty that was available to me (Milliput) and just went for it. I bent up a paperclip attached it to a plastic base, and built up an armature, followed by a full miniature. It was a Half-Dwarf in powered armour. The next sculpt was a Halfling in powered armour, followed by a Halfling in terminator armour and then one riding a Citadel, Judge Dredd, Lawmaster bike. Not long after that... I joined the military and off I went into the big world.

The reason I sculpted what I did, was that I always thought that Halflings were a missed opportunity. They always seemed to be portrayed with chicken drumsticks in their hands and saucepans on their heads and were, for all intents and purposes, a joke. I hated that. I wanted my Halflings to be warriors with hi-tech weaponry and equipment and certainly no bare feet! That's why I sculpted little people with tough kit.

... Then Aylton the Grymn showed up:

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It was the above picture (the miniature was painted by Jenova... a very talented and well regarded painter of miniatures) that immediately caught my eye... back in 2004. He looked just like my idea of what a tough space Halfling should look like. Big gun, decent equipment and a strong character. 

I found Hasslefree Miniatures, ordered a set of five (which was all that was available at the time) and painted them up... then more were released and I snapped them up... then the cycle continued up until today. When new ones are released... I can't help myself.

So... why all the reflection on Grymn today? Well... with things being the way they are at the moment, my sculpting muse has decided that, just when I am starting up a little bit of a selling thing, she would go on holiday. Now, that isn't a bad thing... I have had quite a run on sculpting for a good few years and it was about time I started painting again. So I saw the new Primaris Marines and dived straight in... BUT... I stalled. The miniatures are great but what I really needed was something familiar and I knew just what to do. Not only would it help me to get painting again but it would also allow me the opportunity to try out some new basing materials in the process. I dug out a few of my many spare Grymn and, after cleaning them up, basing and priming them, set to work. After a while, as is usually the case, I got to thinking about what comes next so I dug out some walkers I converted (from Critical Mass Games... before they closed shop) and slapped a rough coat of paint on one to see how it looked. Well... this is where I am, at the moment:

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In the picture, there are three walkers at the back, three specialists in front and then a squad of 8 standard Grymn troops. They still have a way to go but I am really enjoying painting them and the familiarity is a bit like meeting old friends again. It was definitely the right time to be painting Grymn because I have been out of the military now for 8 months and haven't finished painting anything... what better way to break the duck than with some of these excellent little miniatures.

For the record... I can't wait for the new ones to be released... I can always find money for more Grymn!

See you from the Grymn High-Council Chambers!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mixed week.

Hello again and welcome to Inso's World.

This week has been another slow one. Lots of things are up in the air (hobby wise and family wise) so I am just waiting for everything to land.

My son popped down for a visit, for the first couple of days this week, and that always means that I am in host mode so not a lot of anything gets done. It was lovely to see him and he is still happy and getting along well in the Royal Air Force. We hadn't told his mum that he was coming so we surprised her... it was lovely to see the look on her face when she arrived from work.

The next couple of days I was hit by some sort of bug or hay-fever because I was extremely tired, lethargic and sneezy... so again... not a lot was achieved. In fact, all I can say that has happened is that I have now got an Imgur account and I have put a couple of new posts, on the forums I visit, that replace old ones filled with Photobucket place-holders.

As for actual hobby stuff... I suddenly realised that if I was going to sell some miniatures, I would need some slotta bases and some boxes/packing materials... so I have ordered bases but am yet to decide on packing materials. That will be over the next few days. Obviously, I am trying to keep things cheap but also decent so I will be doing a bit of homework. I reckon that I will buy 'large letter' boxes to keep postage costs down... but I'll make my mind up once I've had a dig around.

I am currently in the process of painting my Primaris Marines and I am hoping that it may kick-start me to paint a few other things. The camouflage is relatively challenging but it is just right to get my brush skills working again. Maybe after a few Primaris Marines, I will start painting a few of my Squats... who knows? No new pics at the moment.

Sadly... that is all I've been up to. I know it's a bit boring but maybe next week I'll have something better to share. In the meantime, here's a picture of a wonderful sunset over Porthleven:

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See you from the sand dunes!

Monday, 3 July 2017

A small post.

Hello again.

I just thought I would post up a link to a new venture that will be arriving soon. It's called 'Inso's Diminutive Emporium' and it will soon be worth a visit, if you fancy getting hold of some of my work.

If you aren't... move along... nothing to see...

See you from the front of the queue!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Metaphorical car crash.

Hello again.

It's been a week, hasn't it?

My week started with a trip to see my Dad in hospital. It turns out that he has cancer. We are waiting for the specialists to decide what to do... but there are more tests this week.

That was a big thing to soak up so I have been a little bit 'out there' this week and have been unable to focus on very much.

Then... the Photobucket thing.

You know how it goes... you use a free resource for 15 years... you become reliant on it... you put up with all the advertisements so that you can link your photos to the various forums... hundreds of images... in hundreds of topics... on a dozen forums... for 15 years...

... then you wake up one day, turn your computer on to discover that they have changed their policy... with no warning and in order for you to continue to use 3rd party hosting it'll cost you $399.99 a year. If you don't pay... all those images in all those places have turned into a Photobucket placeholder.

I know it was free and I appreciate that these things change... but after the week I was having, it sort of ripped my guts out a bit. In fact, I am still in limbo about what to do. I have had various recommendations about hosting sites but I am almost tempted to just not bother any more. Just stick to my blog and have done with it.

Well... this is my take on the company (feel free to copy the image and post it where you like):

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And in order to get a grip on things, I went for a posh coffee, picked up something from the supermarket and did this:

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Yes... it is that bright. Yes, I am getting stopped in the street by bemused children and yes, my head has been stroked by lots of random strangers (now I can understand how women feel when people want to touch their baby bumps). At least it stopped me getting another kitten, a tattoo or a motorbike... so it was very much the cheapest option and will grow out eventually.

As for hobby... well, I have got a little bit further with the Ogre:

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It is still in the bulking out phase and all of those muscles will be covered over eventually.

I have also done the first (rough) base-coat on the Primaris Space Marine:

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Again... still a long way to go on this one but it's a start.

Keeping with the Primaris subject, I have now sorted out the EBay mix up and have 17 troops: 10 with bolters, 5 with plasma-guns and two lieutenants. This will be a nice little patrol to work on and once I have finished it, I will decide if I want to add any more.

In other news, my five Halfling Snipers have gone to the caster and should be cast up by the beginning of August. I will be thinking about how I am going to deal with selling them over the next couple of weeks... but I am in no rush. They'll be available at some point... promise.

So... this weekend has been properly boozy with live bands and a bit of drunken Karaoke:

I don't think I need to say anything else, really...

See you from limbo!

Sunday, 25 June 2017


Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

This week has been another busy one around the house and on the hobby front.

To start with, we now have a fully functioning guest room with all the furniture and a bed in there. All that is needed is a bit of linen and someone to arrive.

I managed to get a day where I could be outside and not melt so I took the opportunity to clear out the shed, replace all the shelving and give it a good old clean before putting most of the stuff back into it. There is actually floor space in there now... which is great.

On the hobby front, I have been busy sculpting and have continued with the ogre sniper (no pics) but also managed to finish all the Halfling Snipers so that they could be sent off for casting:

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As you can see, they all have nice little basing tabs so I know they are mine. They were sent off on Saturday and the casts should be arriving by early August so there will be an opportunity for other people to get hold of some, fairly soon. This will be the first time that I have had my own miniatures cast up for myself so it is a bit of a departure from the norm. It will be interesting to see how they are received.

As well as sculpting, I have been receiving hobby stuff through the post. First, a small batch of Primaris Space Marines arrived from EBay. There has been a bit of a faff because they weren't the ones I ordered but we have reached an agreement and things should be sorted soon. In the meantime, I decided to start work on the lieutenant model... so I replaced his head, moved his helmet to his belt and added a 'bulge' on his helmet so that his bionic eye would be able to fit:

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In the above pic, you can see the converted helmet and also see that he has been primed, ready for paint. I plan to paint these all in camouflage and have started to lay down colours to see what they look like. I just have some small black flecks to add... but this is going to be the pattern I will be using (with little black flecks added next):

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It will end up as a stylised version of British DPM. I have put the paints I have used, in the background so that I know which ones they are for later use (I have a lot of greens and browns). This miniature isn't one I ordered so I am happy to use it as a test model to see how things go. Obviously, I have a long way to go yet but every journey starts with the first step.

In other news, I stumbled upon an opportunity that I couldn't resist... cheap Megaro Zamac kits. On this ocasion, Run Valam:

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This particular kit is one that regularly turns up on EBay for £30+ but I got this one for £5.49. It was advertised as 'bits only' but later, the seller posted that all the pieces seemed to be there so I took a punt... and they were. Bargain. Now I just need to decide whether to add it to the rest of my 'retirement' Megaro Zamac kits or convert/build it up as a single. I am sure I will make my mind up soon... these are the retirement kits:

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That is it for this week.

See you from the nice, clean shed!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

It's all getting there.

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

It is HOT! Damned hot! So hot, I have to keep wiping my hands while I sculpt to prevent the sweat on my hands making the putty too slippery to work with. It is absolutely wonderful having such glorious weather though... Cornwall is a magnificently beautiful place; when the sun shines.

So... sculpting. This week, I have finished the fifth Halfling sniper:

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That means that I now have five finished and am in the process of deciding whether to get the first five cast up or waiting for the next five to be finished, before I get all ten cast up... Decisions, decisions... 

... in the meantime, I have started on the next 'Halfling' sniper... but he seems to have been hitting the growth hormones a bit:

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It's all very well having a band of snipers but when the enemy turns up with a Dreadnought, it's difficult to take it down so there is a need for an anti-material weapon... step forward an Ogryn with a lascannon! As you can see, it is early days yet but the pictured dolly will be getting a lengthened lascannon with all the top-spec targeting equipment and a hat. Let's face it... you can't get ahead without a hat. 

The dolly started out as some 1mm brass wire, twisted together to form the frame, then a coat of Milliput was added (it is cheaper and more solid than Green Stuff) to bulk it up. Finally, Green Stuff is being used to complete the sculpt (with a few bits of rod). I haven't decided how camouflaged he is going to be but he won't be getting a full Gillie suit... and the leaves will be more 'tree like' than 'plant like'... Maybe I'll camouflage his head and torso in leaves and give him thick banded corduroy trousers to wear so he can be painted to resemble a tree! Who knows? 

In other news, the spare room is nearly kitted out. The furniture arrived on Friday so it currently looks like this:

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Only the bed to go (to be delivered on Tuesday) and we will be ready for guests. That said, we will be having one guest for a few months because my daughter is relocating to Cornwall and will be shacking up with us for a short while until she is able to make other arrangements.

Turning my gaze elsewhere, I have been working on another little project... Operation Cat Hotel! 

Since we moved here, we have noticed a compost bin at the bottom of the garden: 

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It was filled with un-composted material so I decided to empty it and put it to good use. After a quick brush-up, I drilled a few holes and threaded some rope across:

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I then added some leatherette fabric to act as a hammock:

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I also put a reinforcing wooden batten across the front (which you can't see) so that the rope wouldn't droop at the front. I still have a lot to do (tidy the fabric up, possibly put some windows in and paint the outside) but it already acts as a shelter for the cats when it rains and they have been into the hotel for shade (although I haven't seen them use the hammock yet).

Well... that's about it for now. This coming week will be about a new bed, liaising with a friend of mine about getting the bathroom renovations started and sculpting an Ogryn with a lascannon... not to mention, the imminent arrival of some Primaris Space Marines. 

It should be an interesting week.

See you from the dais of change!