Latest News

Plastic, Paint, and Glue: Scibor Minis Knight

Hey folks,

Much as suspected, I’m not quite ready to make the announcements I hinted at last week, so it’s another Plastic, Paint, and Glue post this week. I’ve taken a short break from building and painting model aeroplanes, and returned to some mini painting this week.

I’ve got a Scibor miniatures knight this week. Once again, it’s a very characterful sculpt that was a lot of fun to paint. The focus for this guy was non metallic metal gold, and red, which oddly enough is a colour I’ve always struggled to get a result that I’m happy with. It always ends up either too orange or too pink as I try to highlight and shade it.

I’m pretty happy with the result on this one, although the NMM gold is a bit sketchy in a few places, for the most part I think I’ve managed to achieve a reflective looking surface. The metal for the hammer ended up looking a bit too like stone on this one, but that’s an issue I’m always combating on steel type materials.

I also tried an enamel product for moss and lichen on the base, which is meant to texture up, but I don’t think I use it right, as it just looks like puddles of barf, which was not the intended outcome!

Here are the photos of this weeks efforts:

That’s it for this week! I’m very much hopeful I’ll be able to make my announcements next week, so please stay tuned and check in next Monday afternoon (GMT), when I’ll be making my regular weekly post! Until then, take care!

Plastic, Paint, and Glue: Messerschmitt BF109 g6

Hey folks,

I’ve got a hobby post for you this week, this time a Tamiya 1:72 Messerschmitt 109 G6. About 12,000 of these were built during the course of the war after their introduction in Feb 1943.

The kit itself is a lovely one to build, and my first step away from Airfix. I decided to use a custom set of decals and paint scheme that I saw online with this one, and may have bitten off a little more than I can chew. I’m a little disappointed with the end result, as I tried a new brand of paint in my airbrush that I really struggled with, getting constant clogs followed by splatters when the clog got pushed through. It’s the only time I’ve encountered this issue, and I’ve used quite a few brands in the air brush at this point, without this problem arising.

At the time I thought it was just me, but having used a few more paints from this brand, and spent a bit of time since this model practising with my airbrush and experimenting with paint and thinner mixes, I think the issue lies with the paint brand. I’ve encountered it with every colour of theirs I’ve tried and never with any of the other half dozen brands I use a selection from. I’ll be reluctant to use it with my airbrush in future.

This camo scheme has some interesting and pretty unique streaks for its pattern. For the most part it looks okay, but there are a few mistakes here and there that I missed. I had to spend a lot of time going back and forward correcting the issues caused by the inconsistent airbrush flow, so it was a pretty frustrating model painting experience in the end, and one I was glad to be finished with. Knowing what I know now about the paint, I wish I’d gone back with a different brand and resprayed it before all the varnish and weathering, but at the time I thought it was my skill set that was lacking.

Time for the photos!

Overall, I’m happy enough with he end result, but as always, i spot issues when I take the photos that I hadn’t noticed before, and then I can’t see anything else!

I’ve not decided what type of post I’ll have for next week. There are a few things coming through the pipeline, but coming out of my tax filing period, I’m a little disorganised on the admin side work-wise, and am not sure if I’ll be ready for any announcements as soon as next Monday! Progress is steady, though, so it won’t be too much longer!

Until then, take care!

May Updates

Happy Monday!

I’ve got some work updates this week. First off, the final Blood of Kings book is back from its line edit, and I’ll be putting together ARC copies this week to send out to my advance readers. Cover art is pretty much done, so we’re well on track for release in the coming few weeks. I’ll let you know as soon as I have a firm date on that! I’ll have some posts with cover reveal, title reveal, and excerpts over the next little while, so make sure to stay tuned!

The first draft of my next Alpha Protocol book is also complete. I’ve a few tweaks that I need to make before sending it off for developmental edit, but I’m in good shape to get that book out in the Autumn.

Aside from that, I’m working hard on my next fantasy series, which as I’ve mentioned before, is set in an entirely new world, which I’m very excited about. Although I’ve been world building for this for a long time, now that I’m actually sitting down to plot out the first book, I’m seeing all the areas that need a bit more detail and thinking through. That’s not exactly a chore, though, as this is the part of the process that I always enjoy the most. What’s more, the deeper into all of this I dig, the more excited about it I’m getting!

I’m taking a slightly different approach to writing this series, and am spending a bit more time plotting it out in advance. In the past, I’ve had a start point, an end point, and a number of checkpoints in between, and went with the flow from there. This has left me spending a lot of time staring at the screen wondering what’s going to happen next, or how I’m going to get out of the corner I painted myself into a few chapters back.

Often this involves a lot of rewriting which is very time consuming, and definitely feels like one step forward and two steps back, which can be quite demoralising when you’ve 100k words ahead of you! This time, I’m writing a much more detailed synopsis, and taking some time to keep reworking it over a number of drafts, until I have the full story and flow shaped up. It’s a lot easier to rework a 3k synopsis than 40k of written words. It’s working well so far. Hopefully it’s a new and more efficient tool for me!

That’s all I have for this week. I’ll be back next week with a Plastic, Paint, and Glue post, and there’ll also be some announcements to come over the next couple of weeks! Until then, take care!

Model Time: Spitfire MkVc

I’ve got another model aeroplane on the table today. Back to Allied powers this time, with an RAF Supermarine Spitfire MkVc. It’s a 1:72 scale kit from Airfix, and is one of their beginner sets, so it was a pretty quick build and and quite a bit lighter on detail in some areas. At this scale, that doesn’t bother me so much, and gets me to the part that I like the most, which is the painting.

The MKV Spitfire was one of the most used variants of Spitfire, and in its basic iteration was essentially an upgraded MKI/MkII Spitfire with a more powerful engine. It was a stopgap measure to improve performance while a more thoroughly upgraded iteration (the MKVI, which was not really needed in the end) was developed.

It saw action in all the Allied theatres, from Europe, the Med and North Africa, to the Asian theatre of operations. Its presence in Malta is for me, the most interesting, as they spent a lot of time tweaking the camouflage patterns to get something suitable to that mixed over sea and land combat role. I’ve a list of about 16 confirmed and speculative paint schemes (sadly, with the combat so heated at the time, accurate records of colour schemes weren’t kept, leading to lots of discussion about what was and wasn’t used).

I’m hoping to work my way through that list at some point, but for now, this MkV is painted in the standard temperate scheme used over Europe from 1941, when the green and brown pattern famous from the Battle of Britain was no longer considered suitable.

Considering how simple a kit it was to put together, I’m really happy with the end result. Here are some photos! I hope you like it!

I’ll have some more work updates for next week’s post. For now, it’s enough to say things are progressing nicely and I’m approaching announcement time!

Until then, take care!

Model Time – Focke Wulf FW190 A-8

Back to a modelling post this week (which I realise is two weeks overdue!). Switching to the Axis powers for my subject this week, and a Focke Wulf FW190 A-8, also called the Sturmböcke. When these came along in early 1942, they really upset the apple cart, outclassing the best the Allies had available at that time, namely the Spitfire MkVb. The threat was so great that it spurred the speedy development of perhaps the most iconic of the Spitfire marks, the Mk IX (these are, to the best of my knowledge, the planes you see standing in for MkIs in the classic movie The Battle of Britain).

I’ve always thought there was something elegant in the muscular lines of the FW190. It’s certainly no beauty like the Spit, but it certainly looks the part of a powerful fighter plane. My iteration of it comes from Airfix’s 1:72 kit, which had a few tricky moments in construction that almost saw it fly into the bin! In the end I put together a model that I’m quite pleased with.

The camouflage patterns are one of the things that really interest me about these planes, and the subtle mottling effect applied to this one tested my airbrush skills to the limit! Here are a few photos of the end result:

That’s all I have for this week! All things going to plan, I’ll have an updates post next week! Until then, take care.


Hi folks,

I hope you’re all keeping well.

Some quick updates today.

I’m nearing the end of the first draft of Alpha Protocol 3, and am encountering that now regular sensation of reluctance to wrap things up, as it means saying goodbye to the characters and story that I’ve been enjoying for the past couple of months. The good thing is, Alpha Protocol is a series rather than a trilogy, so I get to go back to them all again for book 4 in a few months time!

Before then, I want to get the first draft of my new fantasy series written. I’ve been spending my down time world building for this new story environment, and I’m really chomping at the bit to get going with it. It’s a story world I’ve wanted to focus my time on for several years now, so am really excited that I’m getting close to it being my full focus.

The last Blood of Kings book should be back from edit in a week or so. After that all that remains is a few rounds of proof reading and it’s good to go. I have the cover art complete, once again created by Andreas Rocha, who has produced another beautiful piece of art. I’ll do a reveal for that in the near future, so stay tuned!

Finally, I’ve taken some of my back catalogue out of Kindle Unlimited and released them wide on all major online retailers (to be on Kindle Unlimited you have to be exclusive to Amazon). My reasons for this are many, but the constantly declining rate of pay from Kindle Unlimited is making it an increasingly inviable platform for me if I wish to continue making my living from writing. For now it’s just my first series, Society of the Sword, but if all goes well I’ll be pulling everything out of Kindle Unlimited and making my books available everywhere. So, if you haven’t read the Society books and are thinking about getting them, please consider picking them up on a non Amazon retailer! Here are some links:

Barnes & Noble


Google Play Books

Apple Books

I’ll be back next week with some more painting and model making efforts! Until then, take care!

Paints, Planes, and Toy Soldiers

A painting and modelling post this week. Although I’ve some wargames knights on my painting queue, I had the time to build and paint the Airfix 1:72 scale Hawker Hurricane Mk I. A nice little kit of a fantastic aeroplane that did the majority of the heavy lifting during the Battle of Britain in the skies over England in the summer of 1940, while ceding most of the glory to its flashy comrade in arms, the Supermarine Spitfire. In saying that, this Hurricane is painted to a slightly earlier scheme (the underside is in black and white), making it more appropriate to the Phony War and the Battle for France in late ’39 early 1940.

As much as I enjoy building these, it’s the painting part that’s my real interest, with the camouflage and weathering techniques being particularly attractive to me. So, here’s my little Hurricane:

I had a go at some chipping around the cockpit frame and mud and dust where I reckoned it was appropriate. Plenty of practice needed to get this looking good, but I’m happy with the overall result.

Don’t forget, the audiobook edition for The First Officer – Alpha Protocol 2 is now available for preorder, with release scheduled for 4 April. You can get a copy on Amazon/Audible, here:

Here’s a sample of the narration, by Scott Aiello:

That’s all I’ve got for this week. See you all again next Monday!

The First Officer – Alpha Protocol 2 Audiobook Preorder is live!

Hey folks,

I hope everyone’s doing well. I’ve got a bit of an announcement this week. The audiobook edition of The First Officer – Alpha Protocol Book 2 is coming out on 4 April. Once again, it’s been narrated by Scott Aiello who’s done an incredible job of bringing the whole story to life.

Here’s a quick sample to whet your appetite:

You can preorder your copy now on Audible:

Here’s the cover copy to give you an idea of what it’s all about:

Forgotten treasures lie waiting in deep space. So too does the greatest threat humanity has ever encountered…

Assigned to a new warship with cutting-edge technology, Jack Samson returns to the Frontier, determined to cast off the question marks over his previous conduct.

The Navy ventures ever farther beyond the Frontier, with fantastic new discoveries becoming a daily occurrence. As humanity reaches for these technological riches, it enters a deadly contest with a lethal adversary, the very survival of the human race being at stake.

Samson and his crew face the fight of their lives as they seek to secure ancient technological wonders and humanity’s place amongst the stars.

Don’t forget, if 4 April is too long to wait, you can get the ebook or paperback edition now over on Amazon:

I’ll resume usual programming with some painting and planes next week. Until then!


Hey folks,

Apologies for the late post! Every time I’ve sat down to write up a post this week, something’s come up and distracted me. Some updates and news this week. Nothing particularly exciting going on work wise. I’ve got the final Blood of Kings book ready for it’s copy edit. That will be going off soon, and I’m still aiming for a late Spring release for that.

The third Alpha Protocol book is also coming along nicely, and I’m approaching the end of the first draft. I’m hoping to release this book in the Autumn. On target so far, but the gods laugh when man makes plans!

That segues into my last bit of news for this week. Audible are running a sale at the moment, for the audio edition of The Alpha Protocol. It ends tomorrow (sorry for the short notice, I only found out yesterday!), so it’s a great time to get into my sci-fi series. You’ll have plenty of time to be read up by the time the third book comes out in the Autumn! You can find it here:

That’s all for this week. I’ll be back next week with something painting/model making related. See you then!

A Little More of Something a Bit Different!

I’ve only just realised I forgot to post last week, so apologies for that. Please accept as my excuse that I was hard at work editing the final Blood of Kings book!

I don’t have much in the way of updates this week, as I’m back to working on the first draft of Alpha Protocol 3. I do, however, have another model completed, so will share that instead.

I enjoyed making the model Spitfire, so I decided to have a go at it’s opposition, a Messerschmitt Bf109 E-4, painted in the livery of JG54 in 1940. It’s an Airfix kit in 1:72 scale. Here are some photos of the result!

I’ll be back next week with some updates on how work is progressing on my upcoming books! Until then, take care!