Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year etc...

New Years Eve:
All the Ducal Court has gathered to see the the latest sensation at the Tradgardstadt Opera House...
Tonight the celebrated castrato singer Senor Belliconi will sing the lead role in the newly composed opera "The vile Stagonian Beggar" a rip-roaring satire and buffoon filled comedy based upon the Duke of Stagonia and his vile mistress the Duchess of Sachsen-Vindow.
The Court will then leave to attend a masqued ball (the theme of which will be the story of Dido and Aneas) to while away the last remaining hours of 1760 in a glittering setting within the Ducal Palace.
The Duke of Tradgardland, his Household and the whole Duchy of Tradgardland wish a Happy New Year when it comes for 1761 and 2011 to one and all!
Gentle reader your attention is craved with regard to the current poll here in the Duchy. Your opinions are sought regarding the forthcoming fabrication and decoration of a miniature army depicting an army of the fifteenth century by that fellow worthy of some esteem namely Mr Gruber of the aforementioned Duchy. Pray vote and register your comment too

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmastide update




It has been a good Christmas. Jan has been better than ever we imagined. We had a super day yesterday in Perth where we shopped ,wandered about and had lunch. On the way we collected my parcel from the P.O - the fantastic Perry plastic late medievals. I have opened the box only as yet but have already fallen for these graceful warriors. They will form part of my late 15th century German army along with older Foundry figures that have been waiting in the wings for years...




I have enjoyed also the time and energy to read- the D M Cornish novel has been restarted and is proving enjoyable as ever with it's fascinating imaginary 18th century world so well evoked by the author. I have enjoyed the Osprey on Philadelphia but my heart remains with the Saratoga campaign and the fascinating mix of troops and scenarios...
I have posted two pics of the campaign -Herkimer bravely commanding in spite of his wounds and a super picture of Fort Stanwix. I hope to get a small game upon the table in 2012- enough to satisfy my interest in the period and use the "Gentleman Johnnie's War " rules I kept from a magazine many years ago. The project has had a boost also in the very reasonably indeed price I am buying some unwanted unpainted British infantry for from a friend
- thanks Ted!
Hope to get some figs cut from the Perry spru after my return from the doc's to get my flu jab
-have a great day !
Alan
p.s Don't miss the new "Upstairs Downstairs " from the bbc it was well worth watching when it comes to your public service broadcasting or on i player...


Sunday, 26 December 2010

In the Library







St Stephen's Day has arrived in Tradgardland. Between Mass of the Day and the Mummer's visitation Duke Karl Frederick has time to spend in his Library . He is accompanied by his old Jesuit friend Fr Wallander.
Together they pour over manuscripts and rare volumes pertaining to Prester John and the lands of Aethopia. Fr Wallander's Order had first hand experience of this exotic and fabulous land. He is able to answer some of the Duke's questions . An idea forms within the mind of Duke Karl Frederick which could change his life dramatically in the forthcoming year....

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day

Well an excellent day has been had by all in the Duchy. Santa has come to all and all are happy with his gifts. I myself was blessed with a couple of books on the campaigns of Saratoga and also Philidelphia ( fits well well with der Alte's forthcoming range- too tempting I fear) to read over the hopefully lazy days ahead. I have been out to morning Mass, had excellent food and just enjoyed an inventive and entertaining Dr Who Christmas Day Special- well worth catching on I player if you missed it.

On a slightly sad note the Wargamers Annual failed to arrive but may be the parcel waiting at the sorting office to be colllected on Wednesday....

A great day in company of my Ducal Household who all endeavoured to make a glorious meal. Hopefully
another good day ahead tomorrow and maybe even the paint brush out!

Merry Christmas to one and all and do tell what Santa brought you!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Eve...







It is now Christmas Eve in the Duchy of Tradgardland...



The sun is not up yet and I have begun my day as ever - strong coffee and a foray into the world of EvE to catch up on all your inspiring efforts.
Jan feels she is up to the "Present Run" so we will be driving to see various households however briefly. Afterwards we will return to the Duchy and undertaken final preparations for tomorrow and some R & R.



All that remains is to wish you a Merry Christmas from us all here- the Household of today and that of Duke Karl Frederick in our glorious world of imaginations and related hobby entertainment. Wherever you are may you and yours celebrate this glorious feast day together making a day to remember and treasure!
The magnificent Christmas illustration (done on "Paint" ) by my middle daughter shows her mastery of the package - I must really get her doing some Standards in the new Year...
The painting shows a typical EvE court at Christmas and the writing slope reminds me to do some writing this Christmas hols...


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

School's out for Winter...


Just off in ten minutes to School via the icy wastes.Term ends in under six hours and the holidays begin-huzzah! What are you doing today?

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Disputed Valley - the Syldavian factor...


One hundred years ago a Syldavian mercenary unit settled down for their winter quarters in the Disputed Valley. They stayed, married local girls and brought their culture and traditions with them.
Over the subsequent hundred years this small corner of the Valley took on exotic flavour with it becoming almost a "little Syldavia" . It has raised a couple of militia units which remain ever vigilant for the presence of foreigners upon it's soil. The enclosed map shows the area of influence...
Now Duke Karl Frederick of Tradgardland has to secure their help in opposing the incursions of the Imperium within the valley. An ambassador has been sent to seek the council of the Syldavian Leaders. It is uncertain how the will respond...
The above will be represented upon the tabletop with a militia company currently upon the painting table- watch this space.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snow and an inspirational gift...


Snow is falling - we are in for the day and trying to put transport and postal delivery thoughts aside as we can do nothing towards tomorrow. As they say let it snow,let it snow...

Cleaning and decorating are on the cards as well as a swift card run around the neighbours by the girls. I thought also I might get some figures painted and thought I would post a picture of some 15th century artillery painted by Phil Olley which he very kindly gave me some time ago. They remain my inspiration and will spur me on when the painting starts . I fear I cannot achieve his results but hope to do them justice...


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Musings...


Yesterday Jan had her second last chemo. All went well and the suspected vile weather conditions did not materialise. I took the latest copy of “Battlegames “ magazine in to read and pass the time as it had arrived the night before . As ever it proved most enjoyable. I was most taken with Mr Siggins’s article about his interests being cyclical with regard to wargaming . I am sure we can all identify with this as we have our favourite periods we always return to as well as passing fancies and diverse enthusiasms…
I was also planning there ( via my precious and indispensible Dodo pad ) what projects to work upon and time was available to think and decicde what to do:
1. My ongoing imagination work and one page 18th century rules- Tradgardland and the Disputed Valley
2. The GNW army of Gottrop- Holstien to use at the local club with ULB rules
3. 15th Century projects fuelled by my love of the period and the clothes/livery and armour of the 1470’s and 80’s. One is to raise a WOTR Yorkist force to oppose my regular opponent and long term friend Phil’s Lancastrians. The other is one I have planned ,researched ,dreamt of for some years – a German army of around 1474 to oppose the Burgundians (again Phil’s!) who besieged Neuss and incurred the wrath of the Emperor himself…



I also decided to have a figure buying freeze and try to tackle the Lead Mountain! Lasted one day I’m afraid as I succumbed to the Perry Plastic Mercenaries earlier today!!!!!
I hope you are moving well through Advent towards Christmas – keep warm ,travel safely and keep inspiring me with your excellent blogs and artistry! More about the other projects etc next time .

Thursday, 9 December 2010

From " A Gentleman's guide to Europa..."


The 9th of December ( commonly held as the feast of St Lando the pious) marks the start of the Carolling Season in the Duchy of Tradgardland. The streets ,ale houses and dwellings high and low resound to the sound of singing. The favourite is “God rest ye merry Tradgardlanders…” which can be heard almost constantly. Others include “The Vile Stagonian Carol” – which is neither vile or Stagonian but is a sweet lullaby for babies. All are welcome to attend and voices heavenly and hellish mingle in a song of celebration and devotion…

Monday, 6 December 2010

Home again and "A change is as good as a rest..."

Went to work round the Fife circle via the long way round and was subsequently sent home by mid morning...

I won't bore you with more winter stories as I am sure that you are fed up with your own probs of work and home inconveniences...

At the weekend I had a change from 18th century painting and switched to some 1930's Welsh nationalist troops and opponents for a VBCW scenario. I have so many rule sets for the period I must really decide to stick to one- the last ones being purchased from the toofatlardies a few days ago.

Finally the weather has given me an excuse to post this glorious 18th century sleigh. Any skillful modellers out there ( yes I mean you- don't be modest) I challenge you to make one for your army commander this winter!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Re factions.... trying to anchor 20th century into the past ?

I've been putting my thoughts on paper ( tying to make links with Tradgardland's past and those of her neighbours) and digging out ideas I wrote down last year-here is where we are so far...

Freikorps: a unit equipped in traditional dress (like the lederhosen wearing Freikorps Werdenfelds) to be portrayed by Eureka 1808 Tyrolean figures.
Another unit in late ww1 German uniforms.

Faction ideas so far:

Ducal Army- Duke himself,Guard unit,Militia units-loyal to Duchy
- some units who threw in their lot with revolutionaries

Spartacists-left wing,revolutionary,Russian backed,

Guild/Union militias- Herrring Fisher's Union etc

Sachen-Vindow Freikorps- aristocratic unit from former Duchy led by decedent of the notorious 18th Century Duchess - vile Stagonians and assorted shady characters

Volunteers from the Imperium - led by ex Austro -Hungarian officers who wish to make fortune from the struggles which divide the duchy.

Well here we are at this point in the planning - do let me know what you think!

Anyone for 20th Century Tradgardland?

A while ago I posted here about doing something about Tradgardland in 1918-1920 or so. See the original post link here:
http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2009/06/tradgardland-1918ish.html

The idea has been in my mind again of late and I thought it might be fun to think of factions - Left/Right/Ducal Loyalists and not to mention the Freikorp...
I wondered I could use some of my VBCW stuff to morph into the project too. AS ever comments and Faction suggestions most welcome!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Advent again in the Duchy of Tradgardland...



Well December is here again and the Advent calendar has made an appearance in many homes around the globe. I thought you might like to share in the opening of our one here in Tradgardland and so I will post pictures of it daily...

Gruber household off work again,schools closed and Anna's prelims cancelled today due to wintry conditions. I watched the BBC4 programme on Frederick the Great last night and really enjoyed it. Couldn't do justice to such a man in an hour but interesting never the less. Monday's programme on German art was excellent too and well worth catching on I player if you can. Take care,keep warm and Happy Advent to one and all!