Saturday, 31 July 2010

And we must not forget...







The fantastic art of Roger Dean who designed album covers for Yes amongst many , many more projects . I could not resist a few of my favourites - enjoy!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Down memory lane...




I looked at the blog "18th Century Sojourn" yesterday and was fascinated to read of the Elric inspired army. It reminded me of my favourite poster ,which adorned my bedroom when growing up- a depiction of Elric by Rodney Matthews...


I loved his artwork then ,and upon revisiting it via the Web today, love it still. I cannot resist therefore posting two of his illustrations- on e of Elric and the wonderfully evocative Magnum Album cover "On a storyteller's night..."


Whatever you are doing this weekend -enjoy!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Tradgardland province of Smaaland



Smaaland ,governed from Smaaland Herrgard, is famous for many things. It is particularly renown for it's Tennis court ( to be found at Smaaland Herrgard and pictured in this post) often used by Duke Karl Frederick as well two main industries - the keeping of bees and the manufacture of tennis balls and equipment.
Readers familiar with the Duchy are no doubt aware that the militia regiments are maintained by the Guilds. Guild members serve alongside each other in Companies which meet a number of times a year at Wappenshaws- organised occasions for military training as well as convivial feasting. Each Company,as well as carrying a Ducal Colour, carries a Colour which has upon it a design reflecting the Guild's endeavours. Some of these are depicted above...







Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Duchy of Tradgardland 1866 an Old School Project...

I am really keen to do a purely Old School wargaming set up. It is hard to do this in my 18th century Tradgardland games as I have such a mix of figures esp minifig/rsm inf and Front rank cavalry. I cannot replace all the inf or the cav ( and really have no desire to do so financially speaking) but enjoy the games I use them in. That ,after all, is the most important thing is it not?

However with Tradgardland 1866 I can maintain as osw a continuity of approach as much as possible. I will use Spencer Smith Classic 30mm infantry at the moment,with the cavalry & artillery when they are produced.
As for rules I am looking at the ones on the oldschoolacw blog.
I will raise forces initially based upon the scenario "Vanguards Collide" by Phil Olley in the recent Classic Wargames Journal.

As well as this I will try and do some GASLIGHT small unit games with characters and a wide variety of figures. This will not have such an old school flavour and will allow a different aesthetic to operate. As ever your thoughts are most welcome...

Monday, 26 July 2010

Interlude...







As we have not been able to get away on holiday this summer we thought we would have some fun locally.
We had our very first garden bbq ever - it was prepared excellently by my daughters and cooked by them too.
We went also into to Edinburgh to visit the Gallery of Modern Art and were able to walk upon the amazing Land form for the very first time. This gave us a whole new perspective on it too. Afterwards we went along the Water of Leith walkway through the heart of Edinburgh and enjoyed the fascinating buildings as well as getting our first glimpse of the statues installed in the river of late.
With regard to 18th century Tradgardland I have been focusing in upon one province in the Duchy and looking at it in greater depth. I hope to post some results from this very soon- Smaaland has much to interest the 18th century tourist as part of his or her Grand Tour...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Inspiration...


Well it has arrived and isn't it super- the CWJ that is ! Phil Olley has done a terrific job on the launch issue and I really enjoyed the contributions from you chaps - a loud huzzah to one and all!
I am considering,as a result of reading the CWJ, of adding Bluebear Jeff's personality ideas to my commanders in the forthcoming battle betwixt the Imperium and Ducal forces. I had not intended to use brigadiers but have been tempted so to do. I will post more command figures over the weekend.
Finally I could not resist posting a picture of these amazing dressing gowns worn by the Danish monarchy in the 18th century- they are fantastic and I would not say no to one here in Fife this winter...
I am tempted to try and find a 28mm figure to adapt to portray some Tradgardlander noble in such fetching attire- any ideas more than welcome for figure sources.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Introducing Von Apfelstrudel- The C in C for the Imperium




I decided to use the chart from Terry Bath's book to give a character for the Imperium's commander in the forthcoming battle. Some dice later Von Apfelstrudel can be described in the following terms- open and sunny,saintly,having a thrifty tendency,bribable,ugly,well liked ,stupid and erratic, possessing some military and political aptitude!
All in all quite an interesting character with possibilities and potentialities for the battlefield...
These will come into play when giving orders,rallying troops and the alike. I am unsure whether to use dice to work this out or add an element of free kriegspiel/roleplay into how I give orders etc. As ever I would be delighted to have your ideas...
p.s the hound is a "Corgi" toy that came from a set with police vehicles from the 1960s - found in a spares box and untilised over 40 years since I first got him...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The battle of Herring wood part one


The long awaited marching orders had finally arrived. Graf von Apfelstrudel, instantly recognisable in his shabby blue coat and faded gold sash, ensconced in his office in a rather down at heel part of a unremarkable town in the Austrian Netherlands, read the paper in his hand. Yes all was in order- troops to gather in the town square by Friday, safe passage to march through neighbouring lands and a spy's report of the border situation in the Duchy of Tradgardland...
Meanwhile as the officers of Infantry Regiment Schwarzwalder-Kirshtorte attended vespers ( the Swabian inspired second breakfast not an ecclesiastical office) the talk was of the forthcoming campaign and the chance to teach those Tradgardlander upstarts a lesson they would never forget...
Dear reader the above marks the move towards a solo game I intend to play over the next week or so. Photos as and when action occurs will be posted here

The first Nordic Bronze figures...

The weather has been awful here at times and I have tried to get some figures started for the Nordic Bronze age Basic Impetus army.I arranged and rearranged them in a variety of combinations on the base as an impetus ( excuse the pun) to get the figures/army finished. Although the archaeological evidence is not present for long spears in battle I thought I would use the Foundry figures as they are- I just can't bear to cut the spears to a more reasonable length...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Bronze Age in Denmark- Tradgardland's Late Bronze Age Roots...

I am about to start on a project that has been in the making since I first visited Denmark nearly 16 years ago. I fell in love with the culture of the Late Nordic Bronze Age...

Foundry brought out some fantastic figures for this period which have lain for ages in the garage . Now I intend to build them into my first Basic Impetous army. In the meantime enjoy the evocative video and the haunting sound of the Lur horns-enjoy...

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Of Baroque,bases and nettle soup...

The weather here in Fife has been awful today.The rain lashed us here for hours. The mail arrived in a sodden state. The Continental Wars Society newsletter needed to be dried by the hairdrier before reading...
However the postman did bring the Spencer Smith 1860 Prussian figures I had ordered and my movement trays from Warbases. This led to a flurry of rebasing ,flocking and preparing for an 18th century battle involving an invasion from the Austrian Netherlands of Tradgardland. This I hope to stage and fight later this week using simple Charge inspired rules. I intend to give these rules a playtest in a solo game involving the oppostion being moved according to a series of charts which allow the army to be controlled as if another was operating them. I think I got them years ago from the osw files.If the game proceeds I will photograph it and post an account here.
The day began with strong coffee ( as does everyday I'm afraid) and a fantastic programme on the Baroque art movement on the BBC I player. Well worth catching. It included the above painting which for me represented the type of militia/civic guard prevalent in 17th century Tradgardland- as much a social/gossiping/drinking and dining fraternity as a viable military force. I must stop myself being tempted into painting them!!!
At lunchtime the rain abated and Jan and I were able to pick nettles for the fantastic nettle soup my wife makes- wholesome,hearty, marvellously green and delicious!






Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Forth Estuary and the Forth Coalition

The weather was good today so the Gruber family went off to Aberdour for a picnic . Aberdour is less than 10 miles from us and on the Forth Estuary. It was a tad windy but we all enjoyed a change of scene. The postman didn't bring any lead or bases so I got on with that I am working upon- a couple of Tradgardland units- militia and Guard. I did mange to order a 1860 (albeit anachronistic) steam train for the wargames table which will arrive in kit form.
Whilst on the subject of the Forth Estuary I am rather excited by a forthcoming demonstration game at the Claymore wargames show in Edinburgh which I will be involved in. The informal group ( named geographically) is the Forth Coalition. It includes a number of chums including one known to many of you through painting points. More details later...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Technologies and diverse matters

As a unit of Ducal Guard are progressing well on the painting front ( yes the uniform will contain rose before you ask) and are needing to be left to dry I have been musing upon the level of technology to be found in Tradgardland...

I was inspired by a recent discovery (in the loft) of some Luther Arkwright comics from my youth. Theses have lead me to examine some steampunk sites on the web. I do not wish my imagination to be too diverse from "reality" but am interested in some alternative material- inspiration has been Babbage and his difference engine,clockwork
technology and some form of mechanical transport beyond the railway. As ever I am interested in your thoughts...


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Tradgardland by Gaslight...

It is very rainy here today and so I have continued with the first Gaslight unit and my first Major Hero(depicted here) who is Baron Von Bergman. His ancestor has appeared in my 18th Century Blog entry and is currently (in the past that is) engaged in a Jacobite Rebellion and susequent recovery from wounds sustained there.
The 19th century Von Bergman is President of the Ducal Society -a group of gentlemen who are at the cutting edge of scientific endeavour and progress. He wears his uniform of Colonel in chief of th Ducal Hussar regiment and is armed with a percussion pistol (replete with telescopic sight) of his own design and fabrication.

I also enclose a photo of the garden a few weeks ago for those interested in such matters. Courgettes are about to be able to be eaten and the peas and beans are not too far off. Whatever you are doing have a good weekend!



Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Brief updates

The Eureka Tyroleans,sorry Tradgardlanders, arrived yesterday. They are beautiful figures and will look fine on the table. I have undercoated them and begun to paint...
Gaslight is in the post and I await their arrival with mounting excitement. Hopefully the new movement trays (to aid 18th century ) will come soon and I will re organise those chaps. My daughters are going to build me some 2D hills and a waterfall ( sorry Fitzbadger but I could not resist- a case of the sincerest form of flattery!) with river attached over the coming weeks so I can't wait...
On a totally different matter may I recommend "Medical Mavericks " on BBC4 with it's fascinating history of medical self experimenters. Well worth a look. The presenter did a series on surgery some time ago which was also great.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Tradgardland- 18th & 19th Centuries- an update

I have been busy over the weekend with the Duchy
For the 18th century I have been reorganising into smaller units using movement trays with figures on GW bases inserted-casulties will be removed when needed. This is to facilitate a major new storyline in the Duchy coming soon which will be resolved upon the tabletop in a series of linked games.
For the 19th century I have decided to use gaslight for some quasi skirmish games involving hussars in the forest.The rules have been sent for and figures too. I await their arrival and will keep you posted. Thanks to all for your interest ,advice and ideas... I may even be trying "spin off " for Blasthof Bridge with Shiny Tin Soldiers for 1866 using Charge. But we will see what develops.




Saturday, 3 July 2010

Maps- part the first...

A couple of maps pertaining to the Duchy of Tradgardland in the middle of the 19th century. Firstly from a German historical atlas showing the political boundaries of the time and secondly a map show the extent of the railways in Germany and the year that the railway came to Tradgardland.


Friday, 2 July 2010

Some mid 19th century background thoughts..


I fear it is time,having looked at rules and purchased some figures,
to look at some background . I have posted a map of
Europe in 1866- a year of great turmoil.
Only back in 1848 the Duchy of Tradgardland had it's ducal Palace burned as part of the "year of revolutions...
Now, in 1866, the Duchy and it's near neighbour ( yet to be given a name) have to decide which side to support . Will they opt for the mighty Prussia or side with the German Confederation- perhaps neutrality beckons as another option. It is with such a situation my 19th century gaming will commence.
Many thanks to all of you for your interest and helpful comments. Once more your views upon the background I propose would be appreciated. Even suggestions for the yet unamed imagination would be great!

Stop Press: I have just bought some Eureka Tyrolean inf as Tradgardland militia... I could not resist their charm and beautiful sculpting- they will indeed be a unit to be reckoned with I feel

Still blaming Steve Gill- not! Now Rules...

This project is moving forward. Today I have been thinking about rules.
I like the set up of the Soweiter League - small units and simple rules
and a visually attractive and stimulating style.
I am also considering Charge - the orginal format and also the small unit version by Stuart Asquith. I am still uncertain about the suitability of the rules for mid 19th Century use. I have consulted the Victorian charge rules additions on OSW already.
Have any of you used the rules for this period or know of amendments? Or have you any other rules suggestions to make- as ever your view are sought here in Tradgardland. Finally just to let you know I have ordered some Helion Hussars already...
Today I hope to devote some time to geography and maps.
P.S I hope you enjoy this photo- it says so much about the attractions of this period with regard to imaginations