• The Ruins of Bolton

    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.

    Ruins of Bolton

    *Even more distant than the social distancing I’ve been doing for the last few years.


  • 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!


  • The Workbench – Atomic Gas

    I’ve got behind on the workbench reports. Atomic Gas was completed a while ago, but I’m only now writing it up.

    Atomic Gas

    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.


  • 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.


  • A couple of walks on the fringes

    Feb 1st Wander

    I started the month with a walk around the area close to Mayfield Depot, on what I think of as the Ancoats/Ardwick border. Lots of interesting stuff, and I finally found the location of Dirt Factory, where I plan to throw bikes around some day soon.

    Pendleton Decay

    My next wander was closer to home, and more of a hunt for something specific. I watched a couple of episodes of car customising programme Goblin Works Garage, and kept seeing the Beetham Tower in exterior shots. So I went for an explore in street view, but couldn’t find the exact location of their workshop. Until one of the shots showed ‘Pendleton Cooperative Industrial Society’ carved into the bricks of their neighbours. The building was less than a kilometre from where I live, so I went and visited at lunch time, and got some shots of the neighbourhood.


  • On the Workbench 2020 – the CR-X and My First Gundam

    The hope for this year is to build more stuff, learning and re-learning skills along the way. I’m also going to utilise products from the shop as often as possible, showcasing how they can be used.

    First project of the year is the Honda CR-X kanjo-style racer. The Fujimi kit has gone together well so far, apart from needing to clamp the front subframe as the glue set. I have now reached the point where the chassis is complete, and so is the interior. But it’s being put aside for a while, until I get my hands on the colour shifting paint I want to use on it.


    Honda CR-X Street racer - interior

    Not the best image of the interior. I shall try to get a better one. This build, as well as utilising a wing and steering wheel from parts sets, has been detailed with bits from the Spinneyworld JDM Interior Parts set, and the Street/Track Racer set, and will sport the JDM Style Door Mirrors when complete.

    The CR-X album is here, with more photos, and some commentary.

    Whilst the CR-X awaits its paint, I’ve moved on to project 2 of the year- My First Gundam!

    This is not the giant battle suit I had originally bought to be my first Gundam, because I got another one cheap on eBay, and decided to have a practice on that one first. I should have some of the scribing tools and detailing parts from the store by the time I start on the second build, so I’ll be able to see how they change the experience.

    After watching *a lot* of Gundam build videos on YouTube, I have some ideas of what I’m going to do. First off, I’m welding all the seams, then cleaning them up. Then I’m going to look at improving the existing panel lines and maybe scribing some new ones. But I’ll still head off on my own tangents quite often.

    One such tangent happened when I had a look at the shield, the back of which was far too flat and empty. I dipped into my tubs of old kit bits and ‘greeblies’, and added a ring and other pieces, to give it some depth. Few other parts will get this level of added texture, but I had fun adding all of this.


    Gundam Mercurius Build - shieldGundam Mercurius Build- detailed shield

  • Alternative Olympics

    It’s an Olympic year, and, if I’ve replaced my recently deceased TV by then, I will be watching some of the action from Tokyo. But in the mean time, it seems that YouTube wants to show me some alternative sports that didn’t make the cut.

    It started with extreme gravity racing, with lots of clips of downhill carting in, mostly, Ecuador. Check out this crazy drift trike race, and tell me you wouldn’t watch a show dedicated to it.

    The redneck delights of Barbie Truck Racing are positively tame compared to it.

    Then, I spotted Longsword fencing. I haven’t a clue what the scoring system is. But I don’t know it for standard fencing, either.

    Because I’d watched the longswords, it was suggested I have a look at Medieval Combat. Which appears to be LARPing meets car park brawl. Of course they’re playing The Final Countdown in the background, and it goes without saying that the American commentator can’t understand why the Polish crowd is cheering on the home team, rather than the USA.


  • 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