Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
(Even if it is pissing down out there...)
[grump] So I had a dental appointment. So what did I do last night? Lifted a conchiglia pasta shell from the furiously boiling pot to see if it was cooked, was in a hurry and it didn't click that it was open side up. It slid off the spoon onto my lip...
I now have a whapping great blister on the outside of my lower lip, a smaller one on the inside, and a burnt tongue.
Dentist was sympathetic, at least. Wants me to go back for a deep clean, so I've made another appointment for a couple of weeks time - should all be healed up by then.
That aside, it was a successful trip - found a gorgeous double bedding set in the PDSA charity shop, deep teal with teal appliqué flowers with gold stitching. Exactly what I wanted for our room - dead chuffed! And picked up crickets (just as well, Rosa only had one left).
And I remembered why cleaning the greenhouse is such a pain in the arse: you can't get the staging out without disassembling it... Going to try moving it out towards the centre and using the extendible squeegee to get the sun-ward side clean.
Currently fending off trick or treaters with chocolate...
Yes, that is a flower on the medlar. Climate gone very strange...
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
[blink] Where the Pit did Monday go?
Oh, yes, of course. I cleared all the tomato and cucumber plants out of the greenhouse in preparation for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting later. Kai's already said he'll help me move the staging and assorted other bits out for a few hours so I can get it done thoroughly with Jeyes fluid. Then I'm going to try putting the organic slug gel I have around the base, trickled down between the frame and the glass. I will get rid of the little buggers one way or another...
Feather is now down to the last three mice in the pack. Once she's eaten them I'm going to try her on the rat weaners - had a proper look today and they're about the right size for her to cope with. (Though that reminds me, I need to pick up some more crickets for Rosa after I've been to the dentist tomorrow.)
We watched the second ep of Grimm season 2 in the evening - it's intriguing - and finished a role-play scenario on tumblr in the night. Was fun, but I think I'll wind it down a bit now.
Today: Next!Poppy is coming along at a steady pace. And I've made a start on next!D3-N15 as well - hoping to have the latter up tonight and the former before the weekend, but it's a busy week so no guarantees. I also have a little client stuff to get done...
But this afternoon Kai and I are going to rewatch the last four eps of Prime season one in preparation for Friday's Primefest... Definitely making time for that!
Lutra suggested I watch this. It's hysterical! (A bit risqué but SFW).
Going to make time to watch a few other skits - these guys are so funny.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Happy Birthday Sue!
Hope it was a good one. (Also hope the package arrived...)
Ken and I went over to the LoveFood Hallowe'en Festival. Great fun!
But that's about all we've done today. Weather's been very cold and drizzly, most unpleasant...
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Next Friday! From 9 am! The first twelve eps of Transformers: Prime Season 2 back to back!! A five and a half hour Primefest!
Well that's what Kai and I will be doing next Friday! I'll record them then Ken can watch later - and for backup. Always useful to have backup...
In other news, Kim and I went out to Cadbury garden centre. They have all their Yule stuff already out for sale (and it looks as though this year the trend is for old fashioned and realistic or sparkly and fibre-optic). They have an ice-rink (for display skating and public skating) and today Avon Owls had a stand there, with all sorts of goodies and souvenirs - and owls that members of the public were welcome to hold! (This is Fidjit on Kim's wrist.)
Much fun was had. And I bought two little Yule decorations - two pairs of small angel wings. Why? You'll find out later!
And as for this week's Prime ep: ermergerdermergerdermergerd! Want to know what happens next. Need to know what happens next! But don't want spoilers. But need to know!! [runs round in circles] And it's the last ep next week! ermergerd...
*ahem* It was jolly good.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Twenty second part of New World - Home Comforts 4 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Pretty little car is little and pretty!
Tailgate. Basically a redeco of Cliffjumper, but very pretty. Also very dead, but when has that ever stopped anyone...
Thursday, October 25, 2012
This is the sort of thing Kai is working on at the moment. Absolutely beautiful. If I'd been taught maths as music it would have made so much more sense to me...
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Well what a day it's been!
Kai's Yule present arrived (no, not going to say what it is in case he or a mate read this), then my Energon mk 2 Starscream arrived, hand-delivered by the seller who was in Briz working 'just around the corner today'!
Pretty! (Anyone spot the deliberate mistake? I corrected it before I posed him out here...)
Seller also gave me a freebie - Japanese catalogue of the Unicron Trilogy figures, which is great fun!
Then it was out to the Post Office and down to Sains - who are having a sale with a third off all toys, including Tfs. And they had a Cyberverse solo Knock Out [sigh]. Then again, I like the driller, and the solo figure's colour is more orange than his true cherry red, so I'm not bothered. I did pick up a Tailgate though...
And I've just had emailed confirmation that my Hearts of Steel Starscream has arrived at the BigBadToyStore and the order has been processed! EEEEEEEEE!! He's on his way...
And even Poppy is coming along OK today!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I'm awfully tired of being constantly tired...
We had a garden designer visit today - Diane, who is setting up her Urban Eden Designs business and offering to do a few visits on LETTs to get her name known and generate a bit of free publicity. We had a good walk around the garden while I explained our own aims and pointed out things that have to stay and ones that we'd be happy to transplant to other areas, and she's going to get back to us with some plans. The basic thing for us is for it to be as cheap as possible, so we'll have to see what she says!
Haven't managed to get much else done (though a trip to Tesco took up a good hour and a half), and I'm very tired, so may not get much done tonight either - which is annoying as both Poppy and D3-N15 are nagging me now...
This is fun!
Monday, October 22, 2012
Monday hummed along... had a bit of a lie-in, cleared a wee bit of client stuff, made stock, wrote a little Poppy...
Quotes from Transformers: Cybertron ep 9 - all on the TV:
I rather like that second one. And the last one...
First ep of Grimm season 2 in five mins.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I actually started typing this last Tuesday, but after diving back to ebay to check the grossly overinflated price I found another at a sensible price and didn't want to say anything in case I jinxed my attempts to buy it. Not that I'm superstitious but life has an odd habit of managing to do the opposite of what I write here...
What am I talking about? Well, remember I said on Thursday that there are two versions of Cybertron Starscream? Heh. There are two version of Energon Starscream too - only you don't actually find out about it until episode 42 (I think it was), and how many people are dedicated (or daft) enough to watch that far? Other than me I mean. Doesn't help that he also goes by the name Nightscream. I think. It's all about as garbled as the series. Basically he's a redeco of the first one, which I find really pretty - and the second version is even prettier. This is a not great screencap from ep 46 (the yellow thing is Megatron's sword and nothing to do with SS).
So I went in search of his toy - and last Sunday found one on ebay US for £88 (plus another £32 p&p), which is FAR more than I want to pay. Also, it's the Supreme version (which is 15 inches tall and rather crudely made) with the Hasbro colouring, which is not show-accurate. So that was a definite case of a 'sod that for a game of soldiers, I'll keep looking'.
And then, as I said above, I checked again on Tuesday - to find that someone, in Bristol, no less - was selling the correct Takara version. For £9.99.
I've been on the archetypal tenterhooks all week, and actually got quite annoyed last night when someone dared to put in a bid for him! So I was up early this morning sitting on the site, watching like the proverbial hawk, and put in my own bid at 4 minutes 40 seconds before the end of the auction, to find that the other bidder had added a max. [g] Ken and I had already agreed my max bid, so I entered it: three mins later the auction ended and I got him for £12.50 (far far below my max bid)! Dead chuffed.
It's been a good day all 'round though. Managed to get exactly what I wanted from the Sunday Market (teal coloured downie cover and pillowslips and a new rucksack for me: the one I saw and chose was black and blue, but the only ones they had left in the lorry were black and olive green! Perfect!) And the Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid DVD we bought yesterday plays perfectly - we had it on this afternoon. Kai is now half-watching The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and loving the dreamlike surreality: will have to see about getting him a copy.
Next Poppy is started - will see if I can get it finished tonight.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Just a wee bit tired...
Ken commented in passing a week or so ago that we never seem to get much time out together - and on reflection I realised he was right. Other than occasionally going shopping - which hardly counts! - the last time we went out was... um... our 20th wedding anniversary? Which was three years ago!!
Something really needed to be done about this. So knowing that today had nice weather forecast, I suggested we go to Wells. (It's a nice ride and a gorgeous place, a real favourite trip out as regular readers will know.) Ken suggested we go a little further and visit Street - somewhere I've never been (as far as I can remember anyway) but which Ken and Kai had visited in the last couple of years...
It was a lovely ride, mild with the sun through clouds and mist in the hollows of the Somerset Levels. And Street is a great place with loads of charity shops. Found several (new!) shirts for Ken, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid DVD, an illustrated history of the MG ('Beat will be pleased!) and a Beany Baby Zodiac Rat. It's actually quite creepy with an intense stare and eyes that follow you, but I couldn't resist. It wasn't until later I realised that it reminds me strongly of Vector Prime in Cybertron - same colours and similar patterns and I have to assume that's why I had to have it (was only £1.99 so not exactly bank-breaking): Vector Prime is just so pretty. Not to mention being a fascinating character - he was the Prime who was the guardian of time and space.
... which means I have a beany rat who can control the space-time continuum. As if things weren't surreal enough around here...
ANYway... we had a good look around, which didn't take long as the place is tiny, and checked out the Clark's Village, where we found a Works outlet with a decent art supplies dept - and sketchpads for £1.99!! Came home with A2, A3 and A4 pads ([rubs hands] can really get into the Tf mini-comic backgrounds now!) and two packs of various paintbrushes for the next project. All most excellent.
Then it was back to Wells for a quick look around the Saturday market - found a small variegated acer, pale green, white and pink, which I'm going to plant by Roeg's Pool when we start getting the garden sorted again - and then headed back to Briz. A really lovely day: we both thoroughly enjoyed it and are going to make a point of doing it more often (to different places, I mean).
Kai spent the day playing Terraria online with friends and tells me he now has a mer-form. Yerrs... He's on half term now for two weeks.
And this weeks Tf: P ep? Mostly flashbacks, and the ending was NOT what I had hoped was going to happen. There are only two more episodes until the end of the season... [bites nails]
But legs are aching - feel like I've run a half-marathon. Unlikely to get any writing done tonight, and tomorrow I need to do a major shop (Sunday market and The Range in the hope the latter has some pink grapefruit and sugar free tonic Sodastream syrups as I'm almost out, as well as the usual Sainsbug Sunday shop). May even try for an early night...
Friday, October 19, 2012
Click the pic for the full view. Go on. Click it, please... The text, when I upload it to deviantArt, will read -
Featuring Starscream draping himself over the equipment like a super-model (or, as Lutra phrased it, '[smirk] Starscream, you tart...') For those who don't know, this is from Tf: Prime, the energon driller used in energon mines. The other transformers featured are, from left to right, Knock Out (red), Breakdown (dark blue and lurking at the back), some random vehicon (D3-N15 is you like), and Megatron in the background.
[g] I like the driller. When you press that pink button the heads all rotate and lights light up. Heh, I'm such a kid inside....
Meant to post this skype yesterday, exchanged shortly before Lutra went to bed, but forgot...
Back to Poppy...
Thursday, October 18, 2012
From this - left - to this - right - in less than two weeks at less than an hour a day.
Not too bad, I think. Pics of the real thing here.
And I quite enjoyed it.
Which is just as well, as now I need to find and redeco another one...
Started watching Tf: Cybertron last night, and to my surprise - and pleasure - found myself enjoying it. The dubbing is good (so far) and makes sense, the plot is logical, the cgi is lovely, the characters engaging (although the weird mix of accents threw me to start with - when did Jetfire become fake-Australian??) and some of the designs very pretty (Vector Prime is just gorgeous. Such a pity his toy does him no justice at all...) Even the humans are bearable (just).
And Starscream? Well, he's undergone considerable changes over the course of the trilogy. He started off in Armada as essentially a downtrodden lackey despite being second in command, beaten and horrendously badly treated by Megatron, fighting against his core Decepticon programming to try to forge his own destiny, and eventually sacrificing himself to save Cybertron. Then in Energon he's brought back to existence by Alpha Q (trying saying that quickly all as one word [eg]) as an amnesiac who is literally only half there (able to turn insubstantial at whim) who Megatron brainwashes into serving him - Megs then basically treating him like a pet dog. In Cybertron, however, the two seem to be on a much more equal footing (although I am only on episode 4 so that could change in an instant...)
And my needing to redeco another figure? The whole Transformers phenomenon exists to sell toys, so I shouldn't have been too surprised to find Cybertron Starscream has another colour scheme from the one I have. [sigh] Same mould as mine though - so I need to find a third one and embark on another paint job. (They are available to buy, but the only one I can find is the 'Supreme' version, 15" high and very crude-looking, not to mention the one I found was over three hundred quid.) Not in any hurry though, and I don't want to fork out too much, so will just keep checking ebay.
Got up to Toys Я Us this morning to see if they had a Cyberverse Knock Out. No joy with the individual toy, but they had the Knock Out with Driller set (not the Bayverse diller, this is a mining machine as used in the series), which was the version I was hoping for (even if significantly more expensive). It's fun though (pics tomorrow, too dark now). Now I need to do some more backgrounds - energon mine, oh joy...
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
But it's been an interesting day. Starscream is still almost done - have his right-hand wing brand to do (I trimmed the tiniest brush to half its width and painted the left hand one by hand. It's not
And the interesting bit? Well, maybe frustrating is a better word. In 24 hours I had over 100 hits - and a number of readers adding it to Story Alerts - on Advantage, the first Knock Out/D3-N15 fic, on FFNet.
24 hours. For a little thing I scribbled out in an hour and a half (and a good 20 minutes of that was rewatching two eps on Youtube to make sure I got details right) and posted in the general Transformers directory. Compare that to The Poppy Tales, now into its 6th book and (I think) over half a million words, which in the year I've been writing it has attracted around 40 followers - and which I made the mistake of putting in the Bayverse Transformers directory, where (understandably) very few people ever go...
[sigh] Moving it isn't really an option, I don't think. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that people who like the KO/D fics (yes, there will be at least a couple more) will enjoy them enough to check out my profile, follow the links and read onwards.
I also posted it on my deviantArt account, where it immediately attracted views and favouriting, rather to my surprise (and delight). I'll post it to AO3 once I've written the second part.
Starting Transformers: Cybertron tonight...
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
After watching the latest Tf: P episode, Inside Job, a ficlet idea grabbed me and just wouldn't let go, so I wrote it and posted it in a new section here - but please note if you haven't been following season 2 and/or haven't seen the ep I'd recommend not reading it. Unless you're Lutra, as she reads all my online fic before anyone else does, and I explain the background as necessary. (Tell me if it ever gets boring, aijin!)
I was most intrigued by my reaction to the situation. I mean, I find Knock Out pretty and cocky as hell, which is oddly attractive - but this is the first time I've seen him vulnerable, and it was very affecting...
I'm four eps away from finishing trudging through Transformers: Energon and it just gets worse and worse. Except for Starscream. And when I've finished Energon, I have the 52 episodes of Transformers: Cybertron to plough through. Remind me to fall for a less labour intensive obsession next time, please!
Monday, October 15, 2012
To my surprise I'm quite close to finishing! Still have to do his eyes and the helm detail, and the teeny weeny faction brands on his wings - not looking forward to those. But after that there's just a few minor tweaks and tidying up any mistakes and he's done! Quite pleased with him...
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Twenty first part of New World - Home Comforts 3 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Saturday, October 13, 2012
A bit messy - have a load of tidying up to do and am now getting close to the really fiddly bits. I also discovered that I accidentally bought matte black instead of gloss - but I think I'll keep it, I rather like the contrast (and it's my custom job, after all!)
Next Poppy now nearly a page in. Hoping to have it ready to post this weekend.
And as for Tf: Prime - Smokescreen is a bloody Marty Stu and I'm really beginning to hope he's the one that goes...
Friday, October 12, 2012
I haven't tried the grey wash yet, as you can see. Maybe tomorrow.
[snarl] I have Transformers 4 on google alert. Today this came up.
In other words, it's going to be the same screwed up hellacious mangling of the fandom as the first three, crammed with eye candy, car chases, explosions, infuriating inaccuracies and unforgivable continuity errors. Arrogant little wanker.
On a lighter and much funnier note, Lutra pointed me in the direction of The Adventures of Fatty Thor. It's hysterical - and very clever...
Thursday, October 11, 2012
No SGSS pics today: I've finished the white (except for the inevitable touch ups where paint will smear) and made a rough start on the red, but I was late starting and it was too dark to take photos when I stopped. Looking good though. Tomorrow I'm hoping to try to very lightly colour wash the cockpit 'glass' and energon blades with a pale grey to cover the dull light purple (this one has much paler transparent plastic than the other figure I have) then continue with the red. I'll do the fine detail last. It's quite fun!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Big TV is BIG.
Was also supposed to be plug and play, and probably is if you have a standard set up. However, like just about everything in our lives, our set up is anything but standard. But only took a couple of hours to find the best permutation of cabling.
And it's awfully nice. Feels almost like a cinema screen.
Starscream does yoga (so I can get the paint into all the visible bits and joints). It's going well - should be able to touch up the white tomorrow and make a start on the large areas of colour (saving the small fiddly bits for when Kai's made me a stand for the magnifying glass or I've learned to use Ken's loupe...)
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Seventh part of Poppy Dreams - Vortex - now posted at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!
The front primed. Should be able to start painting tomorrow!
Bodie cat doesn't like the weather...
Monday, October 08, 2012
I shall now proceed to bore you all with a day to day update of Project Shattered Glass Starscream!
Everything assembled. See that printed page there? It's 'How To Custom Paint Transformers'. Yes, someone has done a guide sheet!
The back (because I need practise with the spray paint before I tackle the front) after two light coats. The spray is relatively easy to use but I'd forgotten about the horrible smell.
And I have a very sensitive nose. It seems to be getting more so the older I get - possibly to make up for the loss of audio sensitivity. Damned annoying it is too. It's no fun having to stay well away from people wearing strong perfume (or clothes washed in strong conditioner) unless I want streaming eyes and a debilitating sneezing fit.
ANYway, after the first spray I had to move the table out to my room, close the kitchen door and the curtains between lounge and here, and open the patio door to let the smell (and stray chemicals) drift out. Which would be OK except it's horrible today, cold and wet and miserable. Even Tyjer is in and settled on the arm of the settee as close to the fire as he can get. (Bodie cat is back.) The paint is covering quite well - better on the black plastic than the maroon - and is very fine, so it's not clogging the joints. There's a long way to go yet though...
Sunday, October 07, 2012
[sigh] The TV is no more. It has finally kicked the bucket, popped its cogs, gone 'ome, given up the ghost. It is a deceased TV. Defunct, dead, extinct.
Switched it on this morning and five hours later it still hadn't booted up, so switched it off and have been pricing up on amazon. Timing could have been better, and it's not all that old, but it was on almost all day most days, so I suppose we've had good usage out of it. We played music on the cube all day instead while Kai did homework.
In other news... um... there's not much. Ken is now back from Devon (went to stay with a friend for the weekend in Crediton, desperately needed to get away from Bristol for a while - and yes, that's away from Bristol, not away from me!) Tyjer is happier now his world and family are back to normal. Kai cleaned out Feather's vivarium this afternoon while I petted her: she was absolutely fixated on the torch he used to see what he was doing. But she doesn't like Muse. Must remember that in future.
And that's about it. I actually managed to get done everything I had planned for the weekend - quite pleased about that.
Later edit - found a very reasonably priced Samsung 40 inch LED on amazon uk so have ordered it. Should be here Tuesday (must admit I can't wait to see things on a larger screen!)
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Twentieth part of New World - Home Comforts 2 - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
(Later edit at end of post...)
Well that was an astonishingly successful morning.
Into town for shopping. Picked up all the bird supplies I needed from Wilkinson's - and found a BotShot Jazz, so bought him as well. I had intended to stop buying them, but I don't have a Jazz in any other form and he was only £4... Then it was off to the Galleries...
Remember my plan to turn my second Cybertron Starscream into a Shattered Glass Starscream? There's a new(ish) model shop opened up in the Galleries - ModelZone - with amazingly helpful and knowledgeable staff. I borrowed one for fifteen minutes while I described what I wanted to do, what the figure is made of and the colour (because painting white over dark maroon is going to be a right bugger) and asked for advice.
I've come home with acrylic white matte spray (will need to cover cockpit, blades and face), shiny black, rich red and mid grey acrylic paints and a lovely metallic blue for the eyes - can use it to give my Bayverse OP and Bee eyes as well, since they came without them painted - a clear varnish to fix, fine sandpaper and three assorted brushes. And instructions to only use the spray twice - up and down twice and from a fair distance - then to let it dry for a good 45 mins before doing another coat. Oh, and to make sure the joints all move freely before allowing the paint to dry. Once I'm happy with the white I can move on to the detailing.
This is going to be interesting - I've never done anything like it before. And at just under twenty quid for the supplies it's not too hugely expensive. I shall make a start sanding the surface tonight, and carry on tomorrow. I'll spray the back first, to get used to the paint.
There will be pics. Unless I make a complete cockup of the exercise...
Last night. This is why I shouldn't Skype when so knackered I can barely keep my eyes open...
I'm off to watch the ep now - there may be a later blog edit...
Later edit: uh, wut? That doesn't make sense...
Friday, October 05, 2012
Client sites, a little more tidying up, and now two and a half pages into the next Poppy chapter, Home Comforts pt 2...
Also fighting off the cold that Kai has brought home. Can't shift this damned headache.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Why does confused (dot) com make such a fuss about their customers getting ONE THOUSAND NECTAR POINTS when they take out car insurance? I mean, 1,000 nectar points equals just five pounds (£5). That's barely enough for a pint and a bag of crisps at your local pub...
Still ploughing through Transformers: Energon. Still hating all of it except Starscream, who just can never get a break...
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
One of those days...
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Short Community Garden meeting this am (got the email 20 mins before it took place but didn't see it until 5 mins before, but it was at the end of the road so no problem). Think we have the whole thing sorted out now.
From there I dived down to Sainsbug's. [bemused] When I got back Energon Starscream had arrived - wrapped in a map of the Lake Tahoe area.
He's very pretty...
He's significantly smaller than his other two Unicron Trilogy versions - but kind of cute... (Not sure what Bayverse Protoform Starscream's doing there...)
I've got as far as ep 14. It's... awful. But at least the voice actors are the same, so there's some consistency. But I feel so sorry for Starscream. So far his treatment in Energon has been no better than in Armada.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Inspiration struck last night as I took a closer look at a photograph of the Shattered Glass Starscream...
Cybertron Starscream on the left, Shattered Glass Starscream on the right.
(Both pics pinched off the 'net.)
Notice the difference? Hint: it's the colours.
And only the colours. Shattered Glass Starscream is a redeco of Cybertron Starscream.
And it just so happens I have two Cybertron Starscreams (the first arrived without the all important Cyber Key so I had to ebay another cheaply). And there are two hobby and modelling shops in Broadmead. And it's well-known for collectors to customise their figures. Going to get into town at some point and see if the usual acrylic model paints will cover the dark maroon - if so, and I can find a way to fade the pale mauve cockpit and energon blades to a pale grey, I shall repaint the spare. At least I can have a 'pretender' SG SS, even if I never get a real one!