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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Available from the Spinneyworld shop, or click on the buttons to add them to your shopping cart, then the cart itself to checkout.
From the Spinneyworld blog-
It’s been a while since the last instalment of this build report. Mostly because I’ve been neglecting it.
Painting the tank took more masking than I’d ever done before. I’m happy with the lotus flowers that resulted, though I am showing you the side where a section of paint didn’t lift off with the tape and require bodging with a brush.
The bike started to go together, in short bursts. I didn’t get the engine in the right place, though, and that had a bunch of knock on effects. Such as problems lining up the chain. Which were compounded when I glued it to the side of the engine block.
The foot pegs look good, though.
After a certain amount of faff, the exhausts went on. The kit shares parts with another model, so there were actually two exhaust options available to me. I went with the non-standard ones, but had to do some bodging, filing and cutting to get them working. The left hand pipes are a mashup of the chrome ones intended for the kit, and the longer alternative ones I wanted to use. Check out the gallery for a longer explanation.
The handlebars have finally been ordered from the printer, and the bike should be finished soon after they arrive. Check back soon to see.
The Early Adopter Discount in the Spinneyworld store is a scheme to help me launch new products, and an opportunity for you to get them for less, if you grab them soon enough. Think of it as a rolling, in-store, Kickstarter scheme.
The discount applies from the time a new product is listed, until the first batch is delivered. Qualifying products get a discount of 20%. You’ll have to wait a little longer for delivery, but you’ll be amongst the first to get the model, and I’ll be able to expand my range.
This is an automatic discount, applied to qualifying products at checkout, so you don’t have to remember a code to use it.
Check out my photos and designs, available as prints or postcards, on T-shirts, and more.
Last week’s Extinction Rebellion protest reminded me of Reclaim The Streets, and other demos I went on in the 90s. So I took a dive into my boxes of photos, and found these. The demo closed Oxford Road for a while in 1996. (I checked the release dates of the films on the Odeon billboard to get the year.)
After Pride over the Bank Holiday weekend, this last one was more focused on Anger. Are we working our way through the seven sins? Next week, maybe I’ll just stay in bed for Saturday and Sunday. A big feast the one after.
I can’t wait for Lust to turn up.
Extinction Rebellion was in town from Friday to today, closing a section of Deansgate to traffic, and making it civilised. I visited, and took photos, on Friday and Saturday. It actually upset me, in a strange way, because it reminded me of the Reclaim The Streets demos I participated in in the 90s. We didn’t see the change we called for then until fairly recently, and then only slow and flawed. We don’t have two decades to wait for things to get done about climate change.
Also on Friday was August’s Critical Mass. But I’d walked in, so I just took some photos.
Saturday saw my second visit to Extinction Rebellion, and the Stop The Coup demo, which started out in Cathedral Gardens, and made its way to Albert Square, despite starting in very heavy rain.
Then it was down to Platt Fields for something not angry- the Festival of Manchester. I got some nice photos, then there was more heavy rain, so I abandoned it early.
It’s going to be a busy Autumn, and I’ll try to get to as many of these demos as possible, getting photos and video when I do.
I set off late for Pride, so didn’t get as good a vantage point as usual. But, to compensate, I have a better camera than in previous years, and every so often, a shot framed by the crowd in front of me worked.
Nonetheless, of the 489 photos I took, I only liked 35 of them enough to put into the album. Click on the image to see them.
From the blog at the Spinneyworld shop.
You wait for years for a 1:24th scale Land Rover kit to be released or reissued, then two come along at once. Well, almost at once. The Italeri model is out now, with a Revell kit expected in September.
I’ll be buying both, and measuring them up for components and add ons. I’ve already done a roof rack for Italeri’s 1:35th kit, I ought to do one for its big brother.
The Italeri arrived today, and I did a quick unboxing and took some photos. Check out the gallery embedded below, or click through to Flickr.
Sorry for the blur in some of the photos. I thought I’d try out the SLR, rather than use the phone camera. It was surprisingly dark, and it had issues focusing on the sprues.
The model is curbside (surely hedgeside, as it’s an offroader), so there’s no engine detail. It can be built left or right hand drive, and, unlike the 35th scale version, remembers to tell you which side to put the breather vent. There’s no obvious flash, and few sink holes or ejector marks. There are a couple of moulding tabs on the front of the roof that will need removing, but they’re the largest issues.
Sprue D is made up of Fire Truck parts. If I do build the kit, I’ll probably be ignoring it, and using the bits I design and get printed. But if you are going to use it, it contains a lot of neat bits. The water pump in particular is nicely detailed.
I’ll be doing a comparison of this kit to the Revell one when it arrives. In the mean time, I’m going to design some add on bits.
From the blog at the Spinneyworld shop.
This is the first build I’m going to be doing that will utilise Spinneyworld products. I’ve been so busy developing them, that I’ve neglected the workbench, and haven’t built as much as I’d like.
It’s also my first bike model, and, being me, I’m building it custom. Bosozoku are Japanese biker gangs (the most common translation I’ve seen of the name is “running tribe”), who have developed their own style of customising for cars and bikes. On bikes, it manifests as chopper style handlebars, exaggerated seat backs, and aero fairings lifted up so far they’re more likely to detract from the bike’s dynamics. Intricate paint jobs are common as well.
I’m going to be copying the seat and handlebars for this build, and trying out some new paints and techniques. The fairing may be beyond me, unless I get lucky on eBay. The handlebars will be designed by me for 3D printing (not started yet, need to get that done), and I’ll also be using some of the foot pegs I designed recently.
The model I’m working on is Aoshima’s 1978 Honda CB400T Hawk II, which I ordered from Hiroboy.
The first thing I did was glue the frame together, and the main parts of the engine block.
Whilst the frame went together nice and true. the connection pins for the lower half of the engine block were vague, and, no matter how I lined them up, there was a very obvious seam, which I later had to file down before fitting other components. The two carburettors were similarly tricky to align.
Boring black wouldn’t do, so the frame got a coat of gold paint. Wilko own brand rattle can, in fact.
The engine block, and the wheels, got a coat of Citadel Iron Hands Steel, and I learnt that my airbrush doesn’t work very well with a rotted seal on the air hose, on one of the most humid days of the year. Luckily, the paint’s just there to enhance the colour the plastic was supplied in. Those seams I mentioned were filed down, the chrome covers were attached, and the gaps between the fins were enhanced with a little Citadel Nuln Oil.
The next job is to get the chrome off the footpegs and their mountings. I’ve already tested oven cleaner on a bit of sprue.
Then the pegs will be replaced with these. The ‘Croc Jaw’ pegs, from my very own range.
I had a moment of inspiration whilst sorting through the mess on the workbench. I’ve bought a number of nail file sets from the pound shop, to use as cheap sanding sticks. They may turn out to be too coarse, but some of them are the exact shape I need to build the seat back. Even better, there are three different sizes of them. I cut out a plastic card back, then glued three of the sticks to it, using a combination of superglue and PVA. The next step is to use filler to build up a smoother cushioned shape, and then fit it onto the back of the kit seat.
The fuel tank is in the spray booth (which is a plastic crate on its side on top of the fridge, for the time being). I shall do a grand reveal of the paint scheme it’s getting in the next build report.
As yesterday was the first day for a week where it wasn’t pouring down, I grabbed the chance to head into the city centre and do some writing. Once I’d got a thousand or so words out, it was time to take the new camera, and have a walk through the back streets on the edge of the centre. There are still some run down buildings in the Northern Quarter, but also a number of more surprisingly unused ones nearer to Piccadilly. I also found an industrial age chimney, rising up out of a building halfway between a couple of the busier streets, that I swear I had never even noticed before.
Enjoy the gallery (you may have to click on the image to see it at Flickr). I have also added some of the images to the Ruins of Manchester collection in my Redbubble shop, so you can get prints, cards, and other items with them on.
I know, I know. What’s a Green Party member doing at a car show?
I like cars, particularly ones with a bit of individuality. If I ever get to the point where I can afford to run one, switching it to electric power will be part of the customisation. Until then, I’ll enjoy the looks and styling of other folks’ rides, and steal ideas for models for the Spinneyworld Shop.
Enjoy the Flickr album. You may have to click on the image to go to the site, depending upon how temperamental the embedding code is being today.
I just got a second hand digital SLR, so I was trying it out and experimenting with settings a bit. There was definitely a lot less noise than I got from the last camera I used in EventCity, but even with aperture priority set to its widest, and ISO at 800, exposure times were enough to introduce the occasional blur from shaking. I’ve not included the worst of those, of course. And cars with darker paint jobs are less well represented as well. The autofocus had issues differentiating them from dark backgrounds.