Monday, March 14, 2016

'Risk Taker' from Millsy - 'Nothing Ventured...'

The attic workshop of Sir Michael Awdry. Limehouse, London, 1889.

Dramatis Personae:
Dr Sir Michael Isembard Kingdom Awdry, inventor and taxidermist (MA).
Colonel Curtis Pettigrew Campbell III, unbridled enthusiast and compulsive early adopter (CC).
Reverend Miles Josiah Reidy, man of the cloth and unwitting test subject (MR).
The Right Dishonourable David Docherty, inveterate gambler and frequenter of saloons (DD).

Act I, Scene I:
CC: Gadzooks Sir Michael, you've certainly outdone yourself this time sir! A triumph my good fellow, that's what this is! [Ahem] What do they do then???

MA: I call them my Patented Energetic Transmutation Capsules. They transform biological matter from a solid state to a form of invisible energy and then transfer that same energy betwixt themselves (by means most cunning!), thus enabling instantaneous travel between two points in space.


CC: Marvelous, simply marvelous! I don't pretend to understand a word of what you've just said but I can't imagine anything finer. Can we try them?

DD: This is the trouble with you Campbell! Every time someone presents you with something new and exotic you can't help but compliment them, often without even the slightest idea of what it is you're looking at. Remember the last time you fell over yourself to try one of Sir Michael's creations?

CC: Actually, I'm afraid I don't as it happens...

DD: My point exactly! Goodness knows what other lasting effects you suffered. Nor do you seem to remember the 20 guineas I won from you at whist immediately beforehand I'll be bound [whistles to self].

Just look at poor Reverend Miles here for example! He tried that cursed contraption out too and now he can't be exposed to direct sunlight or he grows hair over his entire person and howls at the full moon. Its 96 degrees and he's attired from head to foot for fear of a little sunshine! Poor Mrs Jenkinson will never be the same. What housekeeper has ever had to wax her employer head to foot before?!? And the less said about what he tried to do to poor old Rousell’s leg the better – that is NOT behaviour suitable for ANY Christian gentleman, let alone a man of the cloth, for heaven's sake!

MA: I say, that's rather extreme! It's only teething problems and he's much improved. He's walking upright again now isn't he? Amazing stuff that Mind Bleach, I must say. Besides, Rousell appeared to be enjoying it so no harm done…

MR: Grrr... Woof woof!

CC: [Absently throws a tennis ball into the corner of the attic. Reverend Reidy goes in hot pursuit]. Oh come now Docherty, I think you're being jolly unfair. Poor Sir Michael has invested so much effort to create these wondrous devices and here you are pooh-poohing his efforts to his very face. I'm going to give them a try. Nothing ventured, eh what?

DD: I like a wager as much as the next man, as well you know, but even I wouldn't stake my person on those odds. It's your funeral, Campbell. Or worse! Just remember, some risks just aren't worth it no matter what. The Challenge is to work out which is which...

The Build:
This one rattled round in my head for a good few weeks until it tumbled out all at once. As Mrs Millsy has just pointed out "The stories are half the fun for you aren't they?" and she's 100% correct. To be fair, even when she isn't I tell her she is. Choose your battles and all that!
Once I had the germ of the plot it was simply a matter of time and effort to get this one going. The pods took a bit of work but that was more about a balance between form and function than anything else. I wanted them looking suitable steam punk but not overwrought as Sir Michael would never engage in such gauche creation. They're a combination of pill bottles, plasticard, cardboard and MDF off-cuts - simple but effective. One will remain here and the other will go to Curt to make future Curtgeld submissions cheaper and more straightforward.

The stage was something of a late addition as the pods and protagonists alone didn't tell the story nearly well enough when completed. Loading it up with references to past entries from Sir Michael was, as Evan put it, "riffing on the great man's work" as opposed to outright plagiarism. Student's of Mr Awdry's wonderful creations will recognise a number of elements from his past efforts.

That's all I have to say on this one. I hope you've enjoyed it folks.


  1. Brilliant work Millsy.nan enjoyable tale!

  2. That's darn cool Millsy! Well done!


  3. Wow Millsy, another beauty. Great job, and I loved the whole post!

  4. Absolutely brilliant my good sir! The prose is both clever and witty. And the figures are fantastic!

  5. Brilliant work and very entertaining Millsy :)

  6. Taxidermied dinosaur, check; Ripper 'wanted' posters, present; clockwork tentacle, yep! Lots of little clues here strewn about for those who enjoy a spot of deduction!

    Terrific work, Michael, you played a blinder, lad!

  7. Early adopter indeed! I particularly like Mr. Reidy in this. Spectacular entry Millsy.

  8. Coming into the hotel room after a bad day at work and reading this... Millsy you've saved my day! Absolutely wonderful entry.

  9. Thanks everyone! I must admit I did enjoy this one quite a bit myself so I'm please others have found it entertaining too.

    @Curt. So you're NOT an early adopter? I should refer to you as a change-phobic dinosaur instead?

    @Moiterei. That's great to hear mate! My work here is done :-)

    1. No, I said 'early adopter indeed', meaning 'absolutely yes'!

      I'm also very much looking forward to us exchanging figures with the Patented Energetic Transmutation Capsules!

  10. Magnificent! You have truly out vignetted me again - I must try harder. Witty, beautifully painted and greatly appreciated, well done mate.

    1. Glad you liked it mate. :-) I've taken a leaf from your book and spent a lot more time on the bonus rounds this year than ever before. It's an amazing time sink!

  11. Brilliant Millsy, you have my vote!

  12. Absolutely wonderful work Millsy! Very, very creative.

  13. A wonderful entry - exceptional work!

    I also must thank you for shining a light on the terrible affliction of excessive body hair in such a tasteful and compassionate way. I've suffered in silence too long and thanks to your art I will stand up for my rights and demand my Brazilian waxes be given without snide comments or retching.

    Yes, I stand before you all Fuzzy and damn proud of it

  14. Great and funny story and a magnificent entry Dr Millsy. What a marvelous way to transport the Curtgeld from here on. Please send me one of these machines to cut down on postal costs. cheers

    1. Dr Millsy? Cool! I've always wanted an internet qualification and it didn't even cost me the usual $9.99.

  15. Millsy, those are....WONDERFUl!! I love the storyline as well. Great work!

  16. Grand work, Millsy! Both story and mini craft! ;)