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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!

February Updates 1

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all keeping well! Some quick updates this week.

Things have been moving forward well since my last updates post. The final Blood of Kings book is back for its next round of editing, and only today I received what looks like it’s the final draft for the cover art. Andreas Rocha, who created the art for the first two books in the series did this one also, and it looks great – a fitting piece for the final book of this trilogy! I’ll have more on this in coming weeks, once we’ve finalised all the last details!

While Blood of Kings 3 is away with my editor, I’m working on the first draft of the next Alpha Protcol book. I’m hoping to have the first draft of this done well before the end of March, and hopefully get it out by next Autumn at the latest!

That’s about all I have for now! Next week I’ll have some painting for you! Until then!

Now For Something a Bit Different…

A painting post this week, but with a bit of a twist! I had an urge to build a model aeroplane recently, something I’ve not done since I was a teenager, with pretty mediocre results. I picked up a beginner Airfix kit to scratch the itch, and had a lot of fun doing it!

Here’s how it went:

I’m pretty happy with the end result, and I think all my mini painting has definitely helped get me a better result than back in the day! It was a very therapeutic way to spend a few hours, and I reckon I’ll have to rotate them in to my mini painting time!

That’s all for this week. I ‘ll be back next Monday with some more updates on how work’s progressing. Until then, take care!

January Updates

Just a quick post with some updates this week!

I’m juggling a few projects at the moment, which is certainly keeping me busy. My main focus is on working through the edits for the final part of the Blood of Kings trilogy. I’m still on track for a late April release for this, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep to that!

I’m also working on the first draft of the third book in my Alpha Protocol series, which is a lot of fun. Doing some thing a little different to fantasy really keeps things fresh, and it also helps that I really enjoy spending time with the Alpha Protocol characters. I’m hoping to have this book finished and out later this year.

The final thing I try to spend an hour or two doing every day is some ideation on my next planned fantasy work. There are still some gaps in my world building for this series which will be set in an entirely new world. The basic world building has been straight forward enough, as I’ve had a strong sense of what style of world I want to set this in, that being a Carolingian era world, but with the focus location for the stories to centre around an Irish themed nation.

Most notable of the gaps that is how I want to deal with magic in this new world, or if I want to include it at all. I started my Middle Sea books with no magic, but gradually gave in to introducing it incrementally as part of the greater plot arc. I think I will have it in this world, in some form or fashion. Right now I’m leaning toward something druidic in style, but I need to give that quite a bit more thought – I plan on writing in this world for quite a while so need to be happy with it! Once I’ve made that choice, I’ll need to decide on how it’ll work, so lot’s still to do on that before I start into writing it!

That’s all for this week. It’ll be some mini painting next week! Until then, take care!