The colours are fairly acurate in the photos - blues into jade on the front, purples into blue on the back, with silver detail and grey/black trim. The foot is a mottled purple, otherwise the wheel itself has my 'classic' vortex colour blending - have never shown any of my paintings here, but folk that know them will recognise the style.
The lettering on the front of the wheel is definitions & descriptions of spinning, yarn and wool. They spiral out, so that when it's in motion it has a full on hypnotic effect - my own idea and damn chuffed with it ;)
The back of the wheel blahs on about spinning, although methinks the back framework needs something else, and I can't decide. I was thinking of a funky sheep sticker or something, but stickers are like tattoos - as soon as you have one, you want another. Shall leave it as it is for now until the right idea comes to me.
I made a slight modification to the wheel - having ordered a jumbo flyer from P&M Woolcraft, I need to shorten the 'peak' at the top that holds the tension adjuster knob. This ensures enough clearance for the much wider flyer (Ian from UKSpinners, you were right!) - it wasn't a difficult job and hasn't affected how the tension works.
I could moan on about all the imperfections (there are some, trust me) but I won't - am really happy with the finished effect. I *love* it! It's not as surreal as I originally thought it might be, which is cool. Some parts of the wheel, such as the flyer, were painted and stripped back more times than I care to count until I was happy with the colour and design. Acrylic paint is very easy and forgiving, quick to dry too so once the primer was dry there wasn't much sitting around and waiting. Didn't initially want a gloss varnish, but they don't do satin for acrylic, and matt was too...matt, so gloss it was. It's alright, really, not too shiny.
Now, isn't this another good reason to buy a Hitch-Hiker - to personalise it? I'm so smitten it's daft. She's working beautifully too - wasn't sure if taking her apart and painting would affect the resulting yarn, but it doesn't. Infact, she's slightly better. So to answer Tangelled Angel, yes, I would highly recommend this for a first wheel. I've quickly got the nack of stopping and starting the wheel without using my hands, which makes me look like a pro ;)
Tom's away early in the morning for a couple of days, off to the Lake District with his best mate. So I'm gonna make full use of that time, wash the Ronaldsay fleece and spin, baby, spin!