Another unboxing video, this time, AMT’s 1:25 Subaru Brat pickup.
Yesterday was the first of my Covid vaccinations. As I’ve worn a groove between the flat and work over the last few months, and barely deviated from it, this was something of an expedition. So I took a few photos, and visited some spots that weren’t directly on the route*.
Today, I have a few aches as the vaccine teaches my body how to fight off the real thing, but none of the fever-y and flu-like symptoms others have reported. I’m working from home tomorrow, just in case.
Hopefully, the Flickr album is embedded above. If you can’t move between photos, click through to see them all.
*Don’t worry, I didn’t go mad. A mask was worn in shops and on public transport, and I maintained a safe distance. And, as the photos will show, a lot of the wander was through practically deserted parts of town anyway.
The ChuanYu range of 1:200 remote control ready ships have been popular on the Spinneyworld store, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to look at one properly. So I did an unboxing video.
A build series will follow when I have enough space to work on it.
As the Trump presidency tumbles down in its final days, I thought you’d like a trip back to a more innocent time, when I wrote this piece of silliness in anticipation of the orange one’s inauguration.
Hopefully, the Biden inauguration will go off without a hitch. But Trump is going to be furious if it gets higher ratings than his. Which is likely, given his efforts to turn it into a racist version of White House Down.
January 20th 2017
It happened just as President elect Donald J Trump went off script whilst swearing his oath of office. A figure appeared from nowhere, gun hand outstretched toward The Donald, finger already pulling the trigger.
She had come from the future, her mission- to kill the President before, on January 25th, he nuked Latvia to prove the country’s Prime Minister wrong and show that his fingers were long enough to press the atomic button.
Even before the bullet had left, she was joined by dozens, maybe hundreds of other assassins. With everything from lasers all the way down to clubs, each of them had come back with a specific mission- eliminate Trump before he could carry out the action that blighted their particular future.
It was one of the lasers, by an almost immeasurable fraction of a second, that got the job done. Which triggered the second wave of temporal assassins. These were dedicated to cutting down Mike Pence before he could institute his plans for homosexual re-education camps and sexuality snooping.
Into the middle of this already confused mess came a pair of twenty-second century Men’s Rights Activists. Angry at the unfair advantages equal wages gave females and the sissification inherent in paternity leave, they had decided to travel back and kill the first female President. Incompetence had shunted them sideways as well as backwards, but they never found that out, as they were burnt to a crisp by one of the many flamethrowers present.
With so many bodies and temporal anomalies overlapping, a critical mass was formed. A gore explosion was followed by collapses in the fourth dimension. Time went crazy.
Washington is now the flickering city, to look at it is to watch a jump cut time-lapse of the city’s past and possible futures. Buildings and people appear and flash away randomly, as the time-line tries to knit itself back together.
The inauguration was ground zero, but the effects have radiated out, and there are pockets of temporal instability all over the world. There are pockets where you can step into the past and pull people and things back. The USA is currently being run by the dream team of Kennedy and Lincoln, snatched up just before their assassinations.
It’s a crazy world, ripe for adventures and wacky hijinks. Annoyingly, I can’t think of any silly stories to tell in it right now.
Soon-to-be-former-President Trump is currently failing bigly to overturn the result of the US election. Which is good, because there were times earlier this year when I thought we were living through the prequel to one of my novels.
Sounds of Soldiers was started on November 1st 2008. Whilst not stated explicitly in the story, the back-story was that McCain and Palin won the election, McCain keeled over from the stress, and the (then) worst person imaginable became President of the USA. The culture/civil war that ensued affected the rest of the world, as US troops ran amok in Europe.
Luckily, Obama and Biden won in 2008, and it wasn’t until 2016 that the US got its worst President ever.
Sounds of Soldiers wasn’t finished during NaNoWriMo 2008, as planned. But I wrapped it up in 2009, and published it in 2010. It remains one of my favourites of the books I’ve published, and is available in paperback or for Kindle from Amazon, or- if you don’t want Bezos to get any more money- you can find it on Smashwords and other online book shops.
Just over a decade ago, I decided I was going to follow the 2010 General Election on the blog. In a post on three particular Manchester constituencies, I introduced a character who would go on to make further appearances on Spinneyhead.
Last, and certainly least, is Richard Carvath. He’s standing as an Independent, on the More Self Righteous and Homophobic Than Anyone Else platform judging by his blog. Everything’s a conspiracy, it would seem, intended to turn our children into French speaking Muslim homosexual perverts or something.
Dick provided an insight into a certain type of bigot. His posts made a lot of noise, but shed very little light. They provided enough content worthy of criticism or mockery that I gave him a category of his own, nested under the wider banner of Idiots. He was clearly unwell, and I didn’t just mock him, but kept pushing for him to get help.
The delusions of being a politician faded, and Dick disappeared for a while. When he returned, he had decided he was a journalist, and most of my interactions with him were on Twitter.
The Carvath school of journalism consisted of trying to interfere in court cases, mostly by trying to intimidate witnesses and complainants. This escalated. I reported him to Twitter multiple times, and the Police at least once.
I won’t go into the details of the case that proved Dick’s downfall. Unlike him, I believe in protecting the children involved. He was found guilty of harassing a judge earlier this year. I would have written this piece then, but he promptly disappeared, failing to turn up for his sentencing hearing and claiming to be out of the country. When he was found by Police, in Manchester, it was still a few more weeks before he was sentenced. But I can now say that he’s a couple of weeks into a twenty week sentence, the maximum for what he was convicted of.
It’s not a surprise that Richard Carvath’s tale- this part of it anyway- ended with him doing time. The shock is that it didn’t happen sooner. I’d like to think he can learn his lesson whilst inside, and come out with some insight into how wrong his beliefs and actions have been, and a plan to reform.
But experience tells me he won’t.
Somehow, Dick is out already, after serving only a few weeks of his sentence. And I was right, he hasn’t learnt anything. If anything, he’s worse, talking about starting a crowdfund for a private prosecution to continue his harassment in the case above. He’s also jumped to the defence of another SRA fantasist, who’s been arrested after kidnapping a child (possibly at knifepoint, details vary).
This story will drag on, I can tell.
From the Spinneyworld blog-
Some new stock has come in recently, and I’ve taken the opportunity to shoot a couple of unboxing videos.
First, some figures from Hasegawa-
Then the “Type T” lowrider kit, also from Hasegawa-
I’m getting out more, now. Not rushing out to pubs and all that stuff, but leaving the flat for more things than just going to work or shopping for food.
After last week’s jaunt, I decided to go for another bike ride around Manchester City Centre. This time, I thought I’d pay respects to three Manchester venues that this week announced they won’t be re-opening.
In reverse order of their importance to me-
Nexus Art Cafe has been one of my favourite coffee shops for years. I’ve gone there to write, do life drawing, and meet friends. It was a quirky semi-basement space, which hosted art exhibits and all sorts of other events. A not-for-profit, it was run by a Christian group that displays all the best qualities of religion- caring, inclusive, and all round decent. I’ll miss it, and I hope something as lovely rises from the ashes.
The Deaf Institute. Two bars and a mid-sized music venue. I’ve drunk in there a few times, but may only have been to one gig. I would have liked to go to more….
I don’t know if I’ve ever been in Gorilla. I’ve been too broke for too many years to do the gigging I wish I could.
I’m sure these buildings will be taken over by new management, and the new venues that are created will hopefully be as good. It just sucks that they had to end this way.
I have a job now, and a bit more disposable income, so I’m going to do what I can to get the cash flowing for other local small businesses. After I’d taken my photos, I took the time to go buy some stuff in Fred Aldous and FanBoy Three, because I don’t want to be posting photos of their locked doors in a few months time, saying how much I’ll miss them.
Update: Embedded Nexus’ farewell Facebook message below-
I finally left the flat for something other than work or food shopping. Just an easy ride into Manchester city centre to check out car free Deansgate, then around a few familiar places, and back again. You may have to click through to enjoy the full gallery, depending upon what mood the embedding code is in.
Spinneyhead has been offline for a few weeks, after issues with the back end, and an argument with the previous host. But it’s been ported across to a new home, and has returned.
Things still haven’t completely settled into place, but at least you can see it again.
From the Spinneyworld blog:
A few years ago, I wrote a post listing all the model figure manufacturers I could find sites for. I updated it in 2013, and it’s now time to do it again.
One of 2020’s aims is to build and paint more figures, to improve my skills, so this is as much a placeholder for me as a resource for you.
Alternative Images – USA Film and fantasy resin kit figures. Some dead image links, so I don’t know how up to date it is.
Armorcast – USA Fantasy and Wargame figures
Miniaturas by F. M. Beneito – Spain Historical Miniatures specialist
BNA Model World – Australian model shop. More than just figures.
W Britains – Military figure manufacturer
Bronze Age Miniatures. 28mm and 54mm figures, mostly for gaming.
Creative Beast. Mostly dinosaurs, but some fantasy figures.
Le Cimier – France Military Figures, tools and reference books
Denizen Miniatures – 1:43 motor racing figures- drivers, pit crew, etc, – and 90mm fantasy and sci-fi figures.
Devils Own Resin An interesting selection, but no obvious buying links.
Dragon Models – USA Home page of Dragon Models.
Dream Master Creations – USA Erotic resin figures
The Dunken Company – figure casting supplies and moulds.
Dutkins’ Collectables – Among the many products sold by this company are figure models.
El-Greco Miniatures – A shop with a wide range of companies stocked. I have bought from them in the past, and will do so again.
El Viejo Dragón Miniaturas – Spain Historical Figure specialists
Fontegris Miniatures. The Fontegris site has been taken over by a beauty product retailer. This is a list of their products at Noble Knight games.
Frontline Figures – Beautiful 54mm award winning collectible figures!!
Germania Figuren 1:72nd figures in resin and pewter, as well as 3D printed items in various scales and even 3D files for home printing.
Gremlins in the Garage! – USA Welcome to Gremlins in the Garage the first webzine dedicated to figure kit modeling
Ground Zero Games. Gaming miniatures and fantasy figures.
Wayne “The Dane” Hansen – Figure Kits and Sculpting Supplies
Hassle Free miniatures Gaming figures and accessories. Great figures, mostly in 28mm. I own a few, and love the company’s sense of humour. The models are great sculpts, and tongue was firmly in cheek when most of the names were thought up.
HaT Industrie – HäT Industrie produces 1/72 and 1/32 scale soft plastic military miniatures or toy soldiers. Our goal is to produce a line of figures not produced by any of the past or present manufacturers.
Historex Agents – UK Historex Agents represents over 70 different companies, specialising in connoisseur model soldier kits and AFV conversion set
Hobby Search – buy direct from Japan
Image Anime – USA General Anime kits and figures
Jimmy Flintstone/ Dr Flintbone Primarily manufacturers of hot rod and custom car bodies in resin, Jimmy Flintstone also produce figures to complement the vehicles. Dr. Flintbone is the more adult arm.
Kaiyodo – Japan Star wars, Godzilla (original) and Anime figures.
King & Country – Design and manufacture the most amazing (and affordable) range of toy soldiers, miniature figures,military vehicles, model aircraft and buildings in the world today! All our products are hand-made and hand-painted to the highest professional standards.
Kings X Toy Soldiers – Models from various toy soldier manufacturers, plus an exclusive range of Alamo figures
Legends – Kits, accessories, reference materials, Japanese si-fi & anime, from all over the world.
MBM Models – Holland Military, Sci-Fi and Fantasy fig specialists
Micro Mark – tools for the serious modeller
Mic Shaun’s Closet – Plastic figures from many periods to include Napoleonic, American Civil War, Alamo and World War II from a variety of manufacturers.
Minutemen Toy Soldiers – USA Military figure kits and gaming specialists
Mithril Figures – Ireland Mithril was founded in 1987 and has been dedicated since then to the creation of miniature figures, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth as portrayed in his famous works “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
Moebius Models. Licenced re-releases of old Aurora kits.
Monsters In Motion: A Sci-Fi Gallery – Welcome to Monsters In Motion, the world’s greatest gallery of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror & Famous Movie Personalities as finished statues and model kits for the hobbyist and collector.
Paleocraft – models of extinct animals
Pegaso Models – Italy Manufacturers of 54mm, 75mm, and 90mm figures.
Prince August Factory Shop – Ireland Military figures for the collector, together with moulds and Chess sets
Quarter Kit – France White metal and diecast military miniatures
Reaper Minis – Minis, paints, and more.
Ronin Miniatures – Based in Ukraine, and trading through an Etsy shop, Ronin produce figures primarily in 54mm/1:32.
Saratoga Soldier Shop – USA Pewter Civil War and American revolution figures
Sideshow Inc – USA Site specializing in liscensed figurative vinyl/resin model kits and collectibles based on some of todays leading artists, including: Clive Barker, Bernie Wrightson, Tim Bradstreet, Frank Kelly Freas, Brom, and Bill Stout.
Der Sockelshop German webshop stocking Modern Armies In Miniature, and others.
Spectral Motion Inc – This company sells some amazing horror figures!!
S & S Models – UK 1:76 scale model figures, games and accessories
Stockade Miniatures, Inc – USA “Soldiers of the World” figures, plus metal and plastic figures from a variety of manufacturers
Styrene Studio – Excellent resin figures
Tedtoy Miniatures Online – USA Civil War Military figure specialists
The Toy Soldier Company – The Toy Soldier Company featuring the sales of toy soldier figures, sets, books and accessories
Valiant Enterprises. Figures and wargaming miniatures.
Watson Sculptures and Models – Dinosaur, Ancient reptile and Prehistoric figures and models
Zotz – Mexico Glamour and Erotic figure specialists
A fortnight ago, I went for one last photography wander before starting my full on social distancing*. But I thought I’d go further afield, and hopped on a train to Bolton. If the Flickr embed below isn’t playing nice, you may need to click through to see the whole gallery.
*Even more distant than the social distancing I’ve been doing for the last few years.
The first proper Workbench video has gone live-
Products featured in the video can be found here.
As we all go into social distancing, it’s time to get back to the workbench.
I’ve made a couple of videos already, and I’m likely to make more. The exact timetable will be worked out as I go along, but, for now, some timelapse I shot over the last two weekends.
1- Putting some figures together, so I can practice figure painting-
2- Diving into the big box of dismantled Gundam I won on eBay, and seeing how many I can put back together-
More coming soon!
I’ve got behind on the workbench reports. Atomic Gas was completed a while ago, but I’m only now writing it up.
This little service station is a model from Sarissa Precision that I picked up at the Britcon show in Manchester last year. It’s my first laser cut wood kit (if you don’t count the bed I got the same day), and I’m impressed.
I went overboard with the weathering and debris, but it is meant to be a post apocalyptic location, after all. The transfers came from a bunch of locations- some were old bus advertising from my Dad’s model railway stash, others were sold for nail art, and the graffiti comes from a Judge Dredd game, and my own designs.
Now I need a post apocalyptic game to play, so I can use this location.
From the Spinneyworld blog.
My first Gundam is finished. I made a bunch of little mistakes along the way, but they’re just pointers for how to improve the next one. Click on the image for the full gallery.
Next on the modelling table is my first laser cut building kit.
One of this year’s missions is to get as many as possible of my ebooks available as paperbacks. A couple of Garth Owen books are already in print, and now Sounds of Soldiers joins them.
It’s also going to be available through the appropriate distribution routes for sale in bookshops. If you want your local bookshop to get some of your money, you can ask them to order it for you. The dreaded Amazon still get their cut, and I get less. But I don’t mind that if it puts money into the pockets of small business owners as part of the deal.