Have a rummage...

Sunday, 27 November 2011


Despite the recent deluge of 7TV posts, I have been keeping my hand in the Lard, so to speak in the meantime, metaphorically nibbling away at the leadpile for Vietnam and Charlie Don't Surf.

Firstly, the Peter Pig door gunners for an under-strength aero-rifle platoon are now all painted and ready to be attached to the four waiting Revell 1/100th Hueys.  Just need to check that there's nothing more that needs to be done to the Hueys.  Once they're sorted, the Hogs and Cobras can be attended to.

Likewise, a start has been made on three firebase terrain pieces from Frontline Wargaming.  As is usual with these things, on the day the Frontline parcel arrived, Timecast released some more goodies for Vietnam firebases and similar military installations!  This is not a problem though, as this means a less uniform look can be generated by mixing the various manufacturers' pieces- everyone's a winner!

Lastly, green stuff has been applied to the gaps in some paddy field I've attempted to make, in an effort to increase the likelihood that I'll have a crack at slapping some paint on them over the winter hols.

This level of (relative) organisation really is most perturbing.

Oh, and there was a black pudding and roast parsnip jumble for lunch today.  Good-o.

7TV Campaign: Jimmy Albion's...Grave Mistake

(Finally, the report of my own game on Friday, which is woefully inadequate compared to the others!)

Jimmy Albion & The Nuneaton Ninja versus The Man From F.R.A.N.C.E.

Strange signals have been detected in the vicinity of a site containing both an old graveyard and a considerably older stone circle (location shooting at Avebury didn't threaten the budget too much).  Unbeknownst to each other, rival agencies have been despatched to investigate, and bring back intelligence...

"Don't go into the graveyard, Jimmy; it'll be the death of you..."
Erm...well...that'd be a lie.  Despite the snap-shooting of OSS 118, The Man From F.R.A.N.C.E., this also proved to be another short, sweet and bloodless game (a good thing too, as my opponent, Mr T- no, not that one- had but a scant 90 minutes to spend at the club).  

Essentially, Mr T's Jimmy and his Ninja chums retained the initiative, bounding merrily around the countryside snaffling up objective markers like they were sweets (which, to be fair, they were; given 7TV's 70s globetrotting, international roots, Ferrero Rocher were the only option).

By comparison, OSS 118 was very much on his own.  Van Der Stroell's cameo role meant he was never going to be seen on camera until the start of turn four, and instead of the dependable Ms. Betouche, OSS 118's eye candy in this episode was the ditzy Marie-Chantal.  Resigned to having to do all the work himself *again*, OSS 118 administered an adrenaline shot to himself and managed to pick up two markers (he can't 'alf shift it when he wants to).  Another marker was also picked up by Marie Chantal who- bless her!- had wandered into the crypt looking for somewhere to fix her hair.  This would never have happened if the pragmatic Ms. Betouche had been on the case.

Realising there was no point now hanging around, OSS 118 began to withdraw, but his attention was drawn to a distinctive white tuxedo shining in the gloom from behind a nearby hedge.  A snap shot was sent in the direction of Jimmy Albion (for 'twas he) but the cowardly rosbif was wearing body armour!  At this point, it was time for an ad break....

As was stated at the start, short and sweet indeed.

Well, both shows managed to recoup their expenses, but diverged wildly after that!  Industrial action somehow spread from the S.P.A.C.E. backlot to that of the F.R.A.N.C.E. production team (perhaps it's something to do with all the acronyms attracting the unions?) with actor Harry Vorster (who portrayed Van der Stroell) striking in sympathy.  Luckily the production team pulled a "Darryl" and simply replaced Vorster with Bazza Flosster, albeit at some cost.
By comparison, Sydney Barron- or at least someone close to him- must have taken a close interest in Jimmy Albion et al, as it looks like Department X star Pandora King (Yes! The Pandora King!) is going to be making a cameo appearance in a future episode.  Lucky blighter!

Back in the real world...
The next scheduled broadcast of these fine 7TV shows is due to be Friday 9th December.  Stay tuned!

7TV Campaign: Behind The Scenes Shenanigans...

In 7TV, an actual game represents your cast and crew filming a scripted episode or scene, complete with special effects and so forth.

However, in the context of a campaign, between games each player also gets to find out what is happening off-screen, whether that's in your show's production office ("What do you mean, Benny the accountant is missing?"), at an awards ceremony ("I owe it all to my pet budgie...") or (oh dear) in the tabloid press...

By way of example, therefore, here's an extract from The Stage, concerning the backlot of The S.P.A.C.E. Man show (once again, courtesy of the Doc)...

“Equality for Extras?”

While it is the big stars themselves that sell a show there are times when the lesser roles in a show play just an important part. Even harking back to the silent films of the 20’s it was the scenes with many hundreds if not thousands of extras that stole the show. But while the life of an extra in film or TV is always one that will pay little, even what little rights they have are often squandered.

One such controversy saw me driving my battered 57 Chevy to a disused industrial complex on the outskirts of St Augustine Florida. The old and disused apparatus were quietly rusting in the Florida sun, but pocked between them were stranger sights. Bits of rocket litter the landscape and men in strange uniforms sat around calmly eating lunch. For this was the set of The S.P.A.C.E Man, 7TV’s latest escapade about rockets, spies and action. Except that when I turn up, the only action is two extras dressed in military uniform getting marched off set. 

Dicky Mainwaring, the show’s British director and producer took me over to the production van, but not without introducing me to his cast. It was good to meet the blond beefcake that is Rhett Braun and the technical marvel of T.I.T.A.N, (played by P. Mayhugh and voiced by UK-based Pete Horkins). Yet the fact there were few extras was of puzzlement to me.

The cast of The S.P.A.C.E. Man. The two extras fired are far left and right. Mark Bacomill pictured second left
 “We had to let our extras go” admitted Dicky once we had settled into our plush chairs and he had poured me some tea (“A memento of home” he tells me). “Our show has to date had few extras in it due to the cost of effects”. This was clearly true, but I had to ask whether it had more to do with the double standards by which the extras were treated. After all, the sacking would not be big news were it was not for the promotion of extra Mark Bacomill from a brief appearance as a simple technician to an “Also Starring” credit.

“If there are double standards then it’s to do with the scripted character, not the actor himself.” admits Dicky. “The simple truth is the role Mark played had far more potential than either the pay he was getting or the presence we realised it gave to the show”. I ask him if he knew the two extras were Vietnam vets and that their sacking might be seen as unpatriotic. He laughs and shakes his head.

“There is no discrimination. While Mark’s role was expanded, theirs was not. They both wanted more pay for the same role and the studio is unwilling to do that. I have no personal grievances with either of them”. Finally I ask about the manner of their ejection from set. “Oh, that’s because one of them grew angry and started damaging the set. Many parts of the set are from NASA and cost a great deal for us to hire in. But no charges will be made”.

No comment came from either sacked extra, But Lorrie Fishbone’s lawyer wished us to know that “legal action may be underway after the case has been assessed”.

Meanwhile, The S.P.A.C.E Man is looking for extras to replace the roles lost and is adding one more extra to the cast. If interested please respond to the various advertisements placed in the industry newspapers such as this august organ, via Mr Mainwaring’s PA.

One of the disgruntled extras
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