Spinneyhead


Flashback- Time Trumps

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.


The attempted coup will be Tweeted

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.


A blast from the past goes to prison

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.

Update

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.


The big list of figure model makers and suppliers- 2020 edition

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.

Alternative Armies

Ancient and Modern Models

Andrea Miniatures – One of the world’s premier figure manufacturers. You can get Andrea figures on Amazon.

Armorcast – USA Fantasy and Wargame figures

Army Bits

Artomic Studios

The Assault Group

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.

Brother Vinni

CP Models

Creative Beast. Mostly dinosaurs, but some fantasy figures.

Crusader Miniatures

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

Drum and Flag

The Dunken Company – figure casting supplies and moulds.

Dutkins’ Collectables – Among the many products sold by this company are figure models.

E2046

Elan13

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

Empress Miniatures

Essex Miniatures

Eureka Miniatures

Fields of Glory

Firing Line Miniatures.

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.

Footsore Miniatures and Games

Friendship Models

Frontline Figures – Beautiful 54mm award winning collectible figures!!

G-Force Models

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.

Heresy Miniatures

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.

Magic Sculp

Magister Militum

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”.

MK35

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.

Mooncrest Models

Mr Dandy

Nagleworks

Otherworld Miniatures

Paleocraft – models of extinct animals

Perry Miniatures

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.

Resin Crypt

Resin Realities

Ronin Miniatures – Based in Ukraine, and trading through an Etsy shop, Ronin produce figures primarily in 54mm/1:32.

S & D Models

Saratoga Soldier Shop – USA Pewter Civil War and American revolution figures

Shiflett Brothers

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!!

Spectre Miniatures

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.

Wargames Foundry

Watson Sculptures and Models – Dinosaur, Ancient reptile and Prehistoric figures and models

Zotz – Mexico Glamour and Erotic figure specialists


The Workbench – now with video

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!


Sounds of Soldiers is available in paperback

Sounds of Soldiers cover

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.

Universal Amazon link

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.


The Bosozoku Bike Is Finished!


Honda Hawk Bosozoku Bike- finished

The Bosozoku style Honda Hawk is finally finished, and now I can properly move on to 2020’s projects. I’m rather proud of it, even if the flaws and mistakes inherent in it being my first (characteristically over enthusiastic) motorbike model are obvious on close inspection. For example, there is no way a boso rider would sport a full face helmet, but it’s there to cover up the shoddy join between the saddle and its oversized back.

See the full gallery below (or maybe have to click on it to go to Flickr, depending upon how temperamental the embedding is being).


1:12th Bosozoku style Aoshima Honda CB400T

Spinneyhead is (nearly) nineteen!

In the build up to New Year, lots of people were posting photos of themselves in 2009 and 2019, and doing mini recaps of the decade. I haven’t done that, because I’m contrary. But I would like to take a trip back in time.

The first post on the Spinneyhead blog is dated January 27, 2001. So the blog turns nineteen this year. I actually thought it was older. The domain has been around longer than that, but most of the content from before I started blogging has been lost to the mists of time.

So, as the first of what may be an ongoing series as I count down to the blog’s twentieth, I thought I’d find posts from New Year’s day (or soon after) from 2001 onwards.

2001’s first post is linked above. There was no NYD post in 2002, because, as I explained the next day, I was unwell (can’t guess why).

By 2003, I’d started using titles for my posts. I listed all the resolutions I would go on to break, and posted one of my personal favourite posts- The World According To Clancy.

2004 opened with a Happy New Year!

New Year 04/05 was conducted out in the wilds, in the days before moblogging was seamless. So there was nothing posted until the 3rd.

2006 started with a very small thumbnail. Then there were more resolutions destined to be unkept.

NYD 2007 saw me looking ahead to my birthday.

2008 opened with a short story.

For NYD 2009, I left a GI Joe figure at Tebay services.

I was still distributing GI Joe figures on NYD 2010, leaving two in Edinburgh (1, 2).

In 2011, all I could muster was a link list that only had one link in it.

In 2012, I didn’t manage to blog until the 3rd. But it was a picture of a friendly penis*, so I demand forgiveness. *Graffiti penis, not a real one.

2013 saw me being lazy, with only a cross post on the 2nd.

2014’s first post was a grainy photo taken in a pub.

2015’s first post wasn’t until the 4th, and was about Creationism and the inevitability of life.

2016’s first post was about some of my 3D printed products, and was recently updated.

Posting has been significantly sparser in the last few years. 2017’s first post wasn’t until January 29th, and was about a letter sent to my local MP. The subject? Brexit, of course.

I managed to post on the 1st in 2018. But looking back on it, I was ridiculously naive to think the political situation might somehow improve.

Last year’s first post was the last part of A Death In Didsbury. Which you probably can’t read unless you’re supporting me on Patreon.

And this year’s first post is this one.

Resolutions have proved pointless in the past, so I’ll just offer a vague hope for things to be better- for me, those I care for, the country, and the world- over the next twelve months.

And for more Nazis to get punched.


Lining up the projects for 2020

From the Spinneyworld blog.

For someone selling models and modelling accessories, I don’t get anywhere near enough models built. I’ve finished a couple of small scale builds this year, and may manage to wrap up the Bosozoku bike soon.

So, I’m challenging myself to make more models in 2020. Particularly ones where the build utilises my own products or stock.

The first three are lined up, and ready to go.

Build 1 will be this Fujimi Honda CR-X.

Honda CR-X

The recently added Street and Track Racer Parts set was designed, in part, to provide bits for this build. I’m aiming for a mix of track day toy and street racer, with definite nods to Kanjo racers and their like.

Build 2 will be a Gundam.

Gundam

I know next to nothing about Gundam. There’s a mythology, games, and who knows what else. I just want to build a giant robot. One of my new distractions is watching Gundam build videos on YouTube, and I am inspired to detail up the model, and pose it in a diorama. I don’t have any specific 3D printed stuff to go with it yet, but the scale is 1:144, so it will work with N gauge/ 10mm wargames buildings and models.

Build 3 will be a Land Rover. Or maybe several Land Rovers. I have the Italeri 1:24 fire truck, as well as their 1:35th 109″, and Revel’s 1:35th soft top. If I pick up Revel’s new 1:24th offering as well, I may try to build it and the fire truck side by side.

That’s the current plan. I’d love to be organised, and do a build a month. But I’m realistic, and I know how a plan like that soon comes unstuck, so we’ll see.


6mm (1:285)’Narco Sub’ Bigfoot II


6mm (1:285) Citroen Traction Avants


1:32nd Hands Holding Smartphones


1:35 Hands Holding Smartphones