Thomas Swift Productions

                                           Odds and ends                                              

This page will contain titbits of information about the books and how they were made, including the contributions made by friends.

 A new resource for Playmobil customizers - a gallery of PLAYMOBIL HAIR !

I've focused on bare headed styles, and the list isn't yet comprehensive... but getting there ;)  Just klick on the link :)

Playmobil Hair

Photo Editing Techniques 3

Opening a Playmobil car door - Unfortunately only the bonnets and boots of Playmobil cars open, so when I wanted a picture of Thomas opening a car door and Clare's shopping tumbling out, I hade to resort to some photo editing. Click on the picture below to see how it was done !

GREEN MAN Facts & Figures

  • The story is told in 320 pictures on 48 pages.
  • The source material takes up around 200GB of disk space.
  • Each picture can take up to a day's photo editing.
  • However, it took many more than 320 days to create the book!


The medieval town of Culver is sited at Reculver on the Kent coast.

Reculver is the site of a Roman fort and the remains of a dismantled church moved stone by stone because of the coastal erosion.

The 'Dam Busters' used Reculver as a practice beach during WWII.

You can just about see what Reculver looks like now on the screensaver on Anika's laptop on page 5.

The off-shore wind farm that can be seen on Page 18 was opportunely built during the course of making the book!

Some more on locations

Oxbridge is a collective word for Oxford and Cambridge.

There are 'Trinity Colleges' at both Oxford and Cambridge.

Devon University is based on The University of Exeter, which now has campuses in Cornwall too.

The first picture in the book is a composite of the Exeter campus.

Hornstrup is the highest point in Denmark (...which isn't saying much).

The Isere region of France doubles for Denmark in the book.

Shingle Street on the Suffolk coast was once thought to be the location of a failed German invasion during WWII.

...and some more

Many of the characters and some places are named after friends and family (but not necessarily because they share anything in common!).

Thomas lives over a music shop called "Wardle's Music"

"Meet your Ancestors", the TV show Thomas Swift presents in his spare time will feature in future adventures (see Page 21).

U.M.M, the Unexplained Mysteries Ministry translates as M.M.I in French  and M.U.M in German.

For Playmobil enthusiasts!

The pirate galleon that can be seen in the museum display case (Page 20) is a custom replica of the 'colour' ship that is displayed in the Nuremberg toy museum.

The museum contains some rare figures sought after by collectors and wargamers.

One of the rarest items used in the book is the milkmaid yoke seen on page 17.

Another rare item used in several pictures is the british policeman's helmet which appeared in early Playmobil sets produced by Marx in the UK, and on keychains produced by Geobra Brandstatter.

The beach theme with figures in swimsuits was opportunely launched after the book had been drafted.

Cars in the UK are left-hand drive, which means all steering wheels (apart for Thomas' car), had to magically appear on the right side of vehicles (e.g. see Page 27).

An initial inspiration for the book was the idea of Playmobil figures playing with Playmobil toys to scale. The idea pre-dated the Playmobil 'mini series' of magnetic playsets, with toy-scale Playmobil, by several years.


 Photo Editing Techniques 2

Putting together a typical picture - Some more of the basic techniques used to get the whole picture in focus, tidying up and creating an image for a TV screen.  Just click on the picture below !

For "The Green Man" fans - what's the clue in the picture to future events?

For Playmo fans, what did I use for the TV remote?


One of the main inspirations for the plot of "The Green Man" was the idea of having Playmobil scale toys for Playmobil:-

These are some of my 6mm scale Roman army (made by Heroics & Ros)

The idea of having a Playmobil figure (klicky) holding another klicky in its hand was the starting point for the book:-

...take a peek  


Click on the picture to find out more !




The Vikings are invading! Click on the photo below and spot the 10 differences!


Contributions to The Green Man !


My friend Frederic Dien from Lyon produces some wonderful Playmobil art, including  Playmobil versions of Tintin comic book covers.  He also, uniquely, designs Playmobil postage stamps which he prints on the reverse of real postage stamps to great effect.   Frederic very kindly let me use one of his designs for the envelope on the first page of The Green Man.

Here's a closeup of how the design appears in the book.


 Another contribution not specifically acknowledged in the book is a photo that my friend Helen took.  It is of a custom klicky that Helen made for her Dutch friend Olaf.

Helen used to own and run the best independent toy shop in New York - The Laughing Giraffe at the Monkey's Wedding, serving customers all over the world.

I used it for the 'pin-up' calendar hanging in the porter's lodge at Trinity College Oxbridge - the last picutre on page 3 (rather appropriately!).  Here's how it is used in the book:-

Photo Editing Techniques

A group photo with 10 English bobbies.... but I only have 4 of the rare helmets (produced under license by Marx in the 1970s):  What do I do?

In the first of series of a articles I explain one of the basic photo editing techniques used in "The Green Man". Just click on the picture!



Check out the cast of characters in "The Green Man" by clicking on the picture below !


 Find out about...

 Click on the picture

Visual References

There are one or two visual references to movies / paintings in "The Green Man":  Did you spot them?  Click on the picture below to find out more. 







MamaDragon contemplates herself on page 27 of "The Green Man".




Thanks Rona for allowing me to use your avatar and for the photo!

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