Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Cat With an Arseload of Diamonds

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Jason Morningstar's FIASCO RPG, so when my regular Friday game was postponed, I jumped at the chance to run my favourite indie RPG.


I chose the Gangster London playset by Graham Walmsley which takes its inspiration from the mockney gangster movies of Mr Guy Richie.

The Cast

Dan H - Gold Top the milkman and small time drug dealer who is a bit tasty.
Dan C - Sniffy friend and associate of Gold Top who likes to sample his own product a bit too much.
Tony B - Razor an old style gangster, uncle to Sniffy and into everything but drugs.
Steve T - Stir a disgraced former MP who shared a cell in Wormwood Scrubs with Razor.

Act One

Razor and Stir are in the Admiral Benbow pub discussing their next job, a heist of stolen diamonds from one of the Ukranian boys Frank the Wank.  Sniffy joins them from the bar with his associate Gold Top.  Stir says that Frank has some diamonds coming into the country in a couple of weeks from Amsterdam.  They are being smuggled inside a cat.  Gold Top is the only driver in the group as Stir's Rolls is in the garage, Sniffy is too young and Razor lost his years ago.  "Top of the line milk float, all the bells and whistles" says Gold Top beaming with pride.  Razor and Stir agree to make a visit to Frank's cats home to set up the deal.

Flash back to Sniffy and Gold Top out on their round.  First call of the day is Dodgy Greg an out of work actor who likes to spend his leisure time with Charlie.  Greg lives on the Jasmine Allen Estate, one of the rougher parts of the manor.  Whilst Greg pours out the milk revealing the bag of coke stuffed in the bottle, Sniffy spots a couple of young scrotes trying to nick some milk from the back of the float. They give chase and catch the two kids and give them a kicking.  Some passing cops spot the pair and arrest them.

Gold Top's story is that he's just an honest milkman and the two little milk stealing shits needed to be taught a lesson otherwise they'll end up a pair of right proper Krays.  Call it "preventative justice", you could say they were doing the Old Bill a favour.  The cops let them off with a caution and the pair are released from custody.  As they walk back to the milk float they spot an old lady stapling a picture of her lost cat to the tree.  Gold Top notices the REWARD GIVEN line and asks her how much?  The old lady says that Mr Tiddles is her only companion and means the world to her.  She would give them her life savings to have him returned.  Intrigued by the thought of a few grand in reward money the pair follow the old lady back to her bungalow.

Flash back to Stir in his car driving down the A11 after a Conservative party rally.  He's smashed out of his skull on cheap bubbly and it's 3am.  He barely notices the impact as his Azure Blue 1969 Silver Shadow ploughs into a Citroen 2CV running it off the road, through a fence, down an embankment and into a tree.  He pulls over to inspect the damage to his pride and joy.  Through the cloud of steam billowing out of the radiator a young wideboy looms. 

"Oi mate, ain't ya gonna see if the other car's alright?" says the man. "What other car?" says Stir.  The woman's cries of help can clearly be heard from the roadside.  The man starts down the embankment.  Stir pulls out his phone and calls his mechanic Double Bore Billy. 

"I'm in a spot of bother Billy, I've pranged the Rolls and run someone off the road.  Some stranger has called the rozzers on me, what should I do?".  Billy replies "get the car back to mine and we'll hide it whilst I can fix it but be quick about it."

Razor and Stir leave the pub and head over to The Princess Eugenie Home for Cats.  Frank opens the door.  "We've come about a cat Frank" says Razor.  Frank lets them in and they explain that they heard he was coming into posession of a rare cat.  A "Dutch Diamond" to be exact.  As a cat lover Razor is prepared to pay hansomely for a rare exotic breed like that.  The big Ukranian tells Razor that the cat will be here in two weeks and he better have the money or he will "chop off his balls".  As they leave the cat home Razor comments "Frank always did like his knives.  We better go over to Billy's and get some shooters"

Sniffy and Gold Top are invited into the old ladies house and she explains that Mr. Tiddles went out through the catflap in the kitchen a couple of days ago and she hasn't seen him since.  The kitchen door opens out onto a jungle of a garden with piles of old furniture and trash stacked haphazardly  throughout.  Barely visible at the bottom of the garden is a fence and behind it a row of cat cages.  Sniffy pops a pill and gives one to Gold Top.  The halucinogen kicks in fast and from the corner of his eye Gold Top sees a human sized Mr.Tiddles beckoning at him from the fence.  The mancat wears a top hat and slinks through a broken slat into the fence.  The pair follow and find themselves behind a row of cages stacked 3 high at the back of a cats home.  Creeping round the corner they spy a hairy brute in a butchers apron wielding a cleaver.  He brings the blade down onto a chopping block and a cats head rolls off onto the floor.  At that moment the trip wears off and Gold Top instantly recognises the head as that of the real Mr.Tiddles. They bolt back through the hole in the fence, back through the garden and kitchen and out into the street screaming "He's fucking dead!". 

The Tilt - Something precious is on fire

Act One

Flashback a few years Stir and Razor, known then as simply Jim McTavish, are enjoying one of life's few luxuries when in residence at HMP Wormwood Scrubs, a haircut from the prison barber "fingers" Mario.  Suddenly the top dog Grouty walks in and shouts at McTavish to get the hell out of his chair.  Two of Grouty's heavies start roughing up Mario.  Stir swiftly gets out of his chair and throws a few puches in Mario's defence.  Jim calmly tells Grouty to wait his turn.  As the ageing gangster rushes towards him, Jim leans forward looking for Mario's cut throat razor but all his hands can grab is an electric trimmer.  He launches himself at Grouty from the barbers chair like an olympic diver.  The razor's curly cord stretches to it's limit until, with a pop, the plug lets go and shoots across the room hitting Grouty between the eyes prongs first.  The big man slips and Jim lands on top of him, the cord wrapped around Grouty's neck.  Never one to miss an opportunity when it arises, Jim pulls on the cord with all his might until Grouty breathes his last.  The two thugs run out of the barbers and alert the screws.  Hearing the wardens rushing to give him a beating, Jim looks at Stir and says "I guess that makes me the Top Dog now?"  Stir says well you'll need a Top Dog nickname "how about Razor?"  They both laugh as the first of the truncheons comes smashing down on their faces.

Flash forward to the day before the job.  The gang of four meet in The Admiral Benbow and discuss the plan for the next day.  Razor and Stir will get the cat from Frank and hand off to Sniffy and Gold Top in the milk float in case they get chased.  They'll all meet up back at Razor's.

Sniffy looks at Gold Top with a smile, they will have plenty of time to get the diamonds out of the cat and give it to the little old lady.  Everybody wins.

After the meeting Stir takes a walk over to Billy's garage to check on the Rolls.  As he turns the corner he lurches back into cover.  Outside are 3 police cars and a van.  Billy is being led out of the garage in cuffs.  DCI Reagan confronts him saying:

"Billy, you've been a very naughty boy.  I don't like shooters on my manor and I especially don't like people who run old ladies off the road in their expensive motors.  Don't worry we'll find out who's car it is.  Carter lock em up, It's 3 in the afternoon and I need a pint!" 

Razor and Stir ring the bell at the Princess Eugenie Home for Cats.  The door is answered by Frank's right hand man a hulking hairy butcher known as Sergei.  He shows them into the waiting room and Frank walks in carrying a cat box containing a black and white cat and places it on the coffee table.  Stir puts a briefcase onto the table.  Frank tells Sergei to check the case.  Razor pulls out a double barrelled shortened shotgun from inside his jacket and tells Frank there's been a change of plan. 

Frank laughs and reveals a remote controlled hand trigger. "I said no funny business put the gun down or the cat goes boom!"

Razor pulls a trigger and Franks head dissapears, the trigger drops to the floor.  Sergei lunges for the trigger and Razor shoots his last round blowing Sergei's hand off.  Grabbing the cat Razor and Stir swiftly exit the cats home as Gold Top and Sniffy trundle past in the milk float.

Sniffy grabs the cat box from his uncle and the pair speed off down the road.  Looking at the cat he can't believe their luck.  The cat in the box looks just like Mr Tiddles.  This deserves a celebratory snort so he cuts a couple of lines of coke, one for him and one for Gold Top.

Gold Top should have heeded the warnings on the TV.  Never snort and drive at the same time.  As the coke hits the spot a little old lady walks out of the road in front of him.  He swerves left and mounts the pavement hitting a pile of earth from an ongoing street repair.  The milk float is launched into the air and crashes through the front door of the police station.  The catbox flies out of Sniffy's lap its door pings open sending the cat flying through the air.

DCI Reagan looks down at the scene of destruction that is the foyer of the Police Station.  Picking up a milk soaked baggie of coke he says

"Well if it ain't the honest milkmen and their cargo of contraband.  Carter, book these boys in.  It's 9:30 and I haven't had any breakfast!"

Outside, the old lady exclaims "Mr.Tiddles, I thought I'd lost you!" and picks up the cat who is licking up the torrent of milk flowing down the Police Station steps. 
 
The Aftermath

Things don't go too well for Sniffy and Gold Top.  It's their first time in prison and Gold Top is still haunted by the memory of the Mr Tiddles beheading.  They both descend into a pit of despair and despondency.

Razor returns to The Scrubs, his violent reputation preceding him and quickly resumes his position as Top Dog without any bloodshed.

The long arm of the law catches up with Stir and he goes down for a 5 year stretch for causing death by dangerous driving.  Whilst inside he discovers he has a talent for writing.  His first true crime novel is published a few years later.  The Cat With an Arseload of Diamonds.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Reaper Bones #23 - Vermin!

Can you believe that only 8 weeks ago I was patting myself on the back after painting my 50th Bones mini.  This weeks offering of some tiny critters pushes me past the 100 mark!

Reaper Bones Giant Spider, Scorpion and Beetles

Every DM needs a selection of menacing critters to up the threat level when the party are getting that little bit blasé when casually clearing dungeon rooms.





Bones Progress

Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 101

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Birthday Wishes and Resin Printers

As regular readers of this blog will know I am a 3D Printer owner, hobbyist maker and novice designer. 

I've owned my cheap as chips FDM Printer (a CTC i3 Pro B) for over 2 years and it has served me exceptionally well given the limitations of the technology.  With my birthday coming up I am feeling like I should take the next step and buy a Resin 3D Printer so I can printer higher definition and smaller scale objects.

What budget Resin Printers Can I Buy?

There are 3 main models that seem to be popular at the moment and are within my price range:


Creality SLD-002R
Buy it on Amazon


Anycubic Photon S
Buy it on Amazon

Elegoo Mars
Buy it on Amazon

SPECS
Vol: 120 x 65 x 165mm
XY Res: 2560 x 1600px
Z Res: 20-50 microns
Speed: 50-70mm/h
Price: £253
SPECS
Vol: 115 x 65 x 165mm
XY Res: 2560 x 1440px
Z Res: 25-100 microns
Speed: 20mm/h
Price: £280

SPECS
Vol: 120 x 68 x 155 mm
XY Res:
2560 x 1440px
Z Res: 10 microns 
Speed: 22.2mm/h
Price: £230


I am leaning towards the Creality SLD-002R on the basis of the print speed and the print volume so if anyone has any real world experience of this printer please drop me a comment below.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Reaper Bones #22 - A Flurry of Familiars

Probably the tiniest bones I have yet to paint.  Unfortunately I seem to have lost my dog mini from Pack 1 but I'm sure he'll find his way home.

Familiars 1 - (Various Sculptors SKU: 77176)

LtoR: Bat, Hawk, Dragonnewt, Weasel and Cat

Familiars 2
- (Various Sculptors SKU: 77196)

LtoR: Fairy, Coatl, Red Hood, Fire Sprite, Ragdoll and Tree Sprite


Bones Progress

Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 95

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Saturday, 20 June 2020

Vintage Miniatures - Ral Partha AD&D Ogre Mage

Last week I shared the oddity that is the Ral Partha AD&D 3 Stage Miniature Illusionist.

Ral Partha made some absolutely beautiful miniatures back in the day and one such mini is...


This is a hefty beast standing an impressive 50mm tall.  He is a multi-part mini with a seperate katana and  optional left hand with dagger or holding a female prisoner.  Lost Minis Wiki has a great archive of all the AD&D range and photos of both A & B configurations of this mini.   

Ral Partha AD&D Ogre Mage - Buy it on eBay

The Ogre Mage was lifted from Japanese mythology (along with the Oni) and appeared in Greyhawk supplement (1975) hence the attire. 

I decided to go a non traditional route with this mini and paint his face red as he has a very devlish grin.