Monday, 19 June 2017


Two new graduates in the family-
and their undergraduate sister on the right...
My daughters were most generous for Father's Day-
Including this utterly  splendid book-
which was new to me completely.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Northish Westish 1885ish

Last summer my eldest and I painted some 54mm old Britains figures. She added detail and faces on them for me. Of late I have fancied giving them an opponent in the form of Metis and Indians- a vague 1885 North West Rebellion vibe if you like. With this in mind I have undercoated some Armies in Plastic Boers as a first step.Can anyone suggestion plastic Indian figures to use alongside them?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

If H G Wells had known breakfast biscuits, or a work in progress...

Currently working on these buildings here pictured with some 40mm Bavarians. Idea came to me whilst recycling and I hastily saved the packaging!  I will work more on them at the weekend.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Ducal Weekend...

Yesterday was Anna's degree show in Gala. We travelled by train to go to it and spend time with her. Here is the proud ( and rightly so ) Textile Design student with her  final work-
Today I have been enjoying the garden-
and the pea or bean structures built today add height-

Saturday, 20 May 2017

On the march- Mythical Earth Rampant

Wargs,giants and bats on the move to meet the forces of Good...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Some of  my newly based Mythical Earth Elves-
Also got round to painting white bases of the trees with green paint.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Carronade, Falkirk

A most enjoyable day at the show. I was tempted by the Warbases Roman buildings but resisted just.Met some folk and enjoyed seeing the games especially a division level acw game, a 28mm WW2 game set on an imaginary Greek island and a 42 mm SCW game with a slogan drenched train. However, for me the star of the show was the Westerhope chaps 40mm game complete  with visual effects-
Great game and friendly to talk to too ,what more could one ask!
Got the book below for a fiver and was delighted-

Sunday, 7 May 2017

On patrol...

Roman legionaries carefully make their way through the forest in what would later become the Duchy of Tradgardland. A blood curdling scream stops them in their tracks.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Music to report by

I am currently writing reports  (yes,that time of year again) and am really enjoying listening to the above as I think and type.It has certainly helped speed the plough.

When Saturday comes

Weekend at last.Weather is sunny but windy here in the Duchy. I walked today about six miles enjoying the countryside,the green and gold finches and the exercise too. Perhaps this hopefully might become a good habit...
This afternoon I am painting some country folk
 whilst listening to Caravan's "In the land of the grey and pink."

Monday, 1 May 2017

Elves (Aureola Rococo) Minifigs

Anyone got any of these High Elf or Tunnel Elves Minifigs to sell? Are 1-21 is the coding. Thanks.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

We sail the ocean blue...

A friend gave me this splendid miniature some time back.It has come in and out of my mind with what to use it for as it sits on the shelf beside my writing slope. 

I really like it and have been thinking of a back story to use it in a water based Dragon rampant scenario for some time.Yesterday in my local waterstone I saw some toy  ( a make beginning with S) seahorses,octopus etc and was tempted.I wonder if anyone else has suggestions for allies/enemies in term of figure ranges? Finally I think it is Ral Partha,can anyone confirm this and give a title?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Master Classes

Every Friday we have what are called "Master Classes" in the school where I teach. They are to teach the pupils skills such as turn taking,strategy etc. I run a games club which consists of tradition games from around the world such as Well Gonu,Pumpkin Gonu and Surakarta (well worth a go) as well as Chess and Draughts. Today because of this post on Man of Tin's blog -
I tried something different and  it was my first Wargame with the group. Sadly there were no figures available so laminated pirates stood in-
Cards were hastily prepared out of cards and cm cubes  kept track of wounds. It was received with mix enthusiasm but quite a few tried it and enjoyed it. One lad even asked to take a set of cards,chart,laminated pirates etc home at the end of the club.What next?
Thank you Donald Featherstone and Man of Tin for bringing it to my attention. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Just Us - Cloudbusting (Official Video)

A new version of a classic- enjoy!

The Ancient (portable) Wargame etc

Happy St George's Day!
Today I placed Hexon on the potting bench/ gaming table I made up from Aldi's some time ago.
A place to leave up some playtesting games this week. By the way I would quite like to replace the missing spears/javelins on these lovely old school figures I got.Can anyone recommend me where to buy some in terms of quality and price?Thanks!

Saturday, 22 April 2017


I am determined (after all it is over two thirds through April)  to sit and read in the garden today in spite of it being chilly the moment the sun is obscured by clouds. I am currently fascinated by this novel-
I am also endeavouring to playtest some portable wargame ancient rules for Bob and enjoying the process.
I hope you are enjoying Saturday whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

                                                  But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
                                                  our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
                                                   now above the sky he's King, Alleluia!
                                                    where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

George Gush or went the day well?

Today we tried out the 1420-1700 George Gush rules we had not played for over 23 years. Went the game well- you bet it did. The joy of morale tests to be taken- my Burgundians even managed to throw three ones on three D6. Free hack at routing troops and artillery which actually did something. For the Period ( Burgundian wars) the rules gave a much,much better game. It was like meeting an old friend who one had not seen for ages  but with whom the dialogue just picked up so easily.
The element basing did not affect the game and we are keen to try them again soon.
For anyone interested and lacking a copy of the originals here is a link to John Curry's page-
The army lists and play sheet are even downloadable as a pdf there. Go on give them a whirl,as the Likely Lads said "The only  thing to look forward to..."

Books just asking to be gamed

I got this book 40 years ago when I worked in a bank in Edinburgh. The Accountant ( as the 2nd in command was called in those days) liked to read quietly over lunch in our miniscule staffroom so ,as our lunches often coincided,I often brought a book to work. I used to buy cheap second hand paperbacks in a wee bookshop in Easter Road.The above was probably my best buy.I have kept it through weed outs of books and many moves.I have read it many times over the years and thought  often of gaming the final battles in it. It would lend itself really well to Dragon Rampant.What books are calling out to you to game?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

George Gush 1420-1700 rules

Anyone tried using George Gush 1420-1700 rules with dbm based elements? How did you get on? I am considering them to fight the Burgundian Wars. DBM does not give us a good game for the period.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

I've been to...

I have been away staying with friends in Yorkshire.On the way I spent some time in Leeds-
The public art was quite inspirational.
The contrast of house boats and modern flats was interesting too.
I was very impressed by my first visit to the Royal Armouries.
The demonstrations of weapons and techniques ( in this case Talhoffer and the longsword)were informative and fun also.
Fascinating exhibits,interesting interpretation and an excellent building too.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dragon Rampant,ring bearer scenario

My elves lost the the game but it was great fun.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Elven arms race

I have a game tomorrow against the forces of Saruman/Sauron using "Dragon Rampant" rules.I worked away with these splendid fellows off their sprues finding the heads a tad fiddly.However I wont have time to get them finished for tomorrow-
However I did find these Eagles (Greater Warband) and Woodland Creatures (lesser warband)
to fill the gap until the elven cavalry and infantry are ready.

I am reading this interesting book-
More really interesting posts on this blog-
Do pop over there for loads of inspiring posts!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Colf in Tradgardland : an entertainment of sorts

I have been playing around with the idea of  table top 18 th century colf. It is a game where players try and hit a target in the least number of strokes. Here is one such game beginning-
The players have chosen the statue of Hermes as their target but need to beware of the trees. I allow a player to choose the number and type of dice from a selection- say D3,6,8 and when thrown this is the distance the ball travels in cm. Non accurate hitting is worked out through scatter dice and/or a chart.

I use buttons to mark the position of each player's ball with little buttons.Here is a game coming to an end.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Potting Bench 2

I have a potting bench in the garden which comes in handy. Today I bought another in Aldi's and customised it a tad-
assisted by my eldest daughter the project moved forward-
Paint was added then Railway scenic paper and artificial grass from Aldi's got some time ago.
Finally some inspiration for a late 17th century garden for the Duchy of Tradgardland which I intend to build on this table/board/set up
.All in all I am pleased with this wee project to provide an area to game /model in which can remain up.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The sun has got his pickelhaube on ,hip ,hip ,hip hooray

Been a tad low on the morale front of late ( 3 ones on 3 D6 ) but a little brighter today. I enjoyed reading Conrad's article on al fresco gaming in the latest issue of Miniature Wargames whilst having a cup of tea in the garden. I also watched Army Black's Spring maneuvers-

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Heinz etc

Tomorrow will see my Heinz birthday and Tuesday would have been Jan's 55th. It is a mixed time for us here. When Jan and I first met it seemed a splendid conceit for us to have birthdays on following days but over time it  felt like it would have been more fun to spread the fun out over the year.
57 varieties seems an appropriate number - the number of projects I have currently on the go hobby wise :), the diversity of books around me as I type and of course my age.Also I must say that there are 57 and more blogs which I read regularly for entertainment,enjoyment and inspiration.
The girls made a splendid meal last night and I look forward to presents today including the latest John Curry book on Lionel Tarr. Tomorrow and Tuesday will see me thankfully in work with the 57 varieties ( no offence meant) that make up a school. 57 not out I say!
p.s anyone watching SS GB on BBC1? I found it a tad slow at the start but have warmed to it greatly.
p.p.s does anyone recall a novel about Britain losing the war and people being sent over from Canada(?) as agents to the fallen UK? I really enjoyed it years ago and would like to read it again.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A grid of offset squares for the Portable Wargame

I have tried squares and I have tried hexagons so I thought I would try something different-
I set it up using a paper board ,some wooden houses and my late 19th Century/Early 20th Century Scandinavian armies using Airfix 20mm plastic soldiers. Not to mention an elk for local colour.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Memories etc

Black dog been sniffing around all weekend and I have done little hobby related. I was however browsing the web and found this-
I have an original Athena one rolled/scrunched up under the eaves replete with drawing pin holes and blue tac. Along with the Rodney Matthews Elric on dragon it was on my wall for many,many years. It defined the look of the LOTR characters in my mind.
I am currently looking at the LOTR Citadel figures of the 1980s on ebay and am sorely tempted. I have my Mythical Earth collection, my GW figures and my Vendel ones. Do I really need another collection,hmmmm...