Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Killer B Games Detectives

Killer B Games produces a 1970's inspired and themed game called Geezers! "Shut it!" which I own but have never played. It is a niche genre of gaming that fascinates me as I grew up watching and enjoying these types of cop shows when they first aired. Now that Crooked Dice Games have brought out 7TV2e, a similar kind of game, and in my opinion, better produced, I can recreate on the table top scenarios starring some of my favourite TV characters of old.
My favourite TV cop show of all time was The Sweeney, which ran from 1975 to 1978. It spawned three feature-length films, one of which was an updated version made in 2012. The programme's title derives from Sweeney Todd, which is Cockney rhyming slang for the Flying Squad, a branch of the Metropolitan Police specialising in tackling armed robbery and violent crime in London. It was a fast-paced edge-of-your-seat action series, depicting the Squad's relentless battle against armed robbery; but it nevertheless included a substantial degree of humour. For the time, it had a high degree of graphic on-screen violence and the episodes had many character deaths.
At the far left of the two photos directly above and below is Detective Inspector Jack Regan (played by John Thaw. John "Jack" Regan is the Flying Squad's chief "thief-taker". He is a tough police officer, often frustrated by Scotland Yard's red tape. Originally from Manchester (like Thaw himself), he has been in London for several years, so his accent has modified somewhat, but traces of his northern origins are still evident. He also refers to his northern roots every now and again (his poor upbringing, his father's work on the Manchester Ship Canal), which brings mild ridicule from George Carter, a Londoner, such as humming "The Red Flag". A heavy drinker and smoker (comically, he is sometimes seen stealing other people's cigarettes), Regan has some success with the ladies – although not as much as Carter. He can be seen as quick with his fists. He has an ex-wife, Kate, and a daughter, Susie. On the Killer B Games webstore, Regan is shown as KB-001 Flying Squad Guvnor, where he costs £2.00.
Next in line is Detective Sergeant George Carter (played by Dennis Waterman) who comes from South London. Regan seeks him out in the pilot episode, Regan, because of his knowledge of the South London area. We learn that George had previously been in the Squad, but had quit for family reasons. George was married to Alison Carter, a schoolteacher, but is widowed in the series 2 episode Hit and Run when Alison is murdered by mistake by a gang of diamond smugglers. He's a former amateur boxer, as we see from the pilot episode, and is described as having professional boxing potential. Like his superior, he's fond of drinking, football, and after the death of his wife - womanising. Carter isn't as violent or aggressive as Regan and usually plays the good cop.
Moving on is Detective Sergeant Tom Daniels (played by John Alkin) who is the most prominent member of the supporting Squad. He is a solid and reliable copper.
Last in line is Detective Constable Jerry Burtonshaw (played by Nick Brimble) who is softly spoken but a good scrapper. Note that all four detectives are armed with .38 Revolvers, a snub-nosed version for Regan and longer-barrelled versions for the others.
These characters can be found on the Killer B Games webstore as KB-002 Flying Squad Skipper for Carter, KB-008 US Lone Wolf Detective, who was actually meant to represent Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan but I already had a better figure for him so I used him as Tom Daniels, and KB-024 Geezer in Shoulder Holster for Burtonshaw. All three figures cost £2.00 each.
The next four figures represent the main characters from two more 1970's drama series - The Professionals, which ran from 1977 to 1981 and Starsky and Hutch, which ran from 1975 to 1979.
The Professionals feature a team working for CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), a fictional British law enforcement department, instructed by the home secretary to use any means to deal with crimes of a serious nature that go beyond the capacity of the police, but are not tasks for the security service or military. The choice of name CI5 is possibly inspired by Criminal Investigation Department and MI5. The premise allowed the programme-makers to involve a wide variety of villains including terrorists, hit-men, racist groups and espionage suspects, with plots sometimes relating to the "Cold War." Led by the formidable George Cowley (played by Gordon Jackson), CI5 is known for using unconventional and sometimes illegal methods to beat criminals, or as Cowley put it "Fight fire with fire!"
Cowley's two best agents are William Bodie (played by Lewis Collins) and Ray Doyle (played by Martin Shaw). Bodie (shown at far left in my photos directly above and below) is an ex-paratrooper, mercenary and SAS (Special Air Service) sergeant while Doyle (the figure shown armed with a 5.56mm Steyr-Aug Assault Rifle) is an ex-detective constable who has worked the seedier parts of London. Of the two, Doyle is the softer, compassionate and more thoughtful character, while Bodie is ruthless and more willing to take on criminals on their own terms. That said, Doyle is more hot-headed and tended to rush in, while Bodie waits for the shooting to start. While polar opposites, Bodie and Doyle have a deep and enduring friendship, and are almost inseparable. Although their loyalty to Cowley is beyond question, they have no qualms about disobeying orders if it means getting the right result, either for the case or themselves.
Bodie and Doyle can be found on the Killer B Games webstore as KB-021 Police Agent with Pistol and KB-020 Police Agent with Steyr-Aug. They cost £2.00 each.
Finally, are the eponymous heroes of U.S. cop drama series, Starsky and Hutch. The series' protagonists were two Southern California police detectives; David Michael Starsky (played by Paul Michael Glaser), the dark-haired, Brooklyn transplant and U.S. Army veteran, with a street-wise manner and intense, sometimes childlike moodiness; and Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson (played by David Soul), the blond, Duluth, Minnesota native with a more reserved and intellectual approach. Under the radio call sign "Zebra Three", they were known for usually tearing around the streets of fictional "Bay City, California". The vehicle of choice was Starsky's two-door Ford Gran Torino, which was bright red, with a large white vector stripe on both sides.
Starsky is shown second from right wearing his trademark chunky patterned cardigan. He is armed with a 9mm Colt M1911A1 Pistol. Hutch, at far right, wears a baseball jacket and is armed with a .357 Colt Python Magnum Revolver.
On the Killer B Games webstore this pair are identified as KB-013 U.S. Detective in Fleece Cardigan and KB-014 U.S. Detective in Baseball Jacket. Once again, they cost £2.00 each.
I liked all three shows but I'd place them in order of preference as The Sweeney, The Professionals and Starsky and Hutch. The importance of The Sweeney cannot be overstated. At its time it was ground-breaking TV and without it series such as Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes would never have been made.

BLOG NEWS 
I have just launched my new blog, All Things Dungeon Crawl, which can be found here - http://allthingsdungeoncrawl.blogspot.co.uk/
The plan is to post Vampifan's World of the Undead every Monday and Friday and All Things Dungeon Crawl every Wednesday. Note that while ATDC will initially be concentrating on the Chibi games of Chibi World and Super Dungeon Explore it will expand to cover other types of dungeon crawl games that have nothing to do with Chibis.

20 comments:

  1. The figures and the painting do echo the TV cop series as I remember them.

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    1. I quite agree, Clint. They are good likenesses.

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  2. Nice figs, they sure look the part Bryan

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    1. I think so, too, Andy. And they are very reasonably priced.

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  3. Excellent work Bryan! Certainly stirring up some childhood memories, loved all these shows when I was a kid.
    I also remember a spoof which had Jack Regan declaring that he was a "twenty guv a day guv". Hilarious!
    Again these tough looking chaps would be equally at home in a zedpoc, no rotten walker would be a match for them Dude!

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    1. Posting this article was like taking a trip down memory lane for me, Bob. These guys would certainly give a bunch of poncey zombies a run for their money!

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  4. Terrific stuff Bryan. Love those shows too, though bizarrely it was "Starsky & Hutch" which I watched as a kid more than the others, and as a result evokes the most childhood memories. However wonderful painting on all the models but they are my faves :-) I'm really looking forward to your imminent BatReps now... almost frothing at the mouth...

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    1. Thanks, Simon. There's loads more tasty eye candy for you to savour this month and by the time I get round to my batrep you WILL be frothing at the mouth, LoL!

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  5. They really do give the feel of the old cop shows, they look fantastic

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    1. Thanks, Damon. They really do look fantastic.

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  6. Splendid figures and great shows! Still watch the odd episode of The Sweeney and The Professionals. Would love to see a report of a game featuring Reegan :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lee. I have the complete boxed set of The Sweeney DVDs - every episode and all of the films. Great stuff!

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  7. I do remember seeing The Professionals on at least some occasions, though Starsky and Hutch is slightly more familiar to me (Huggy Bear, anyone?). Ah, that was a long time ago...

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    1. Cheers, Hugh. It must be an age thing as to which you shows you remember the most. Yes, it was a long time ago.

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  8. Ah, a trip further down memory lane, Bryan. I have to admit liking the shows and the figures. Killer B does have a nice selection of reasonably priced figures. Also the Aggro miniatures available from Ainsty, although geared towards soccer hooligans, does have a few nice coppers, St. John's Ambulance/traffic wardens and greasy spoon owners, along with a rather nice burger van (in MDF) for very reasonable prices, should you not have quite enough figures...

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and heads up for the Ainsty Aggro figures, which I do not have... yet. They are on my shopping list, however.

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  9. Ah, yes. CI5. Loved that show, and the minis do it justice. Although I think it predated the Steyr-Aug. (Googles) Huh. The Australian army adopted it in 89*, but it was first made in the late 70's.

    *hence my confusion.

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    1. Thanks, Mr. Teuful. It is so easy to get confused on matters like this.

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  10. Excellent job on these Bryan, I hope to pick some of these up in the future was quite impressed with the Spy fi figures I got from Killer B

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    1. Killer B Games make a lot of great figures inspired by the 1970's, Simon. Their spy-fi figures are great.

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