Tuesday, 25 September 2018

An interesting Kickstarter

There is currently an interesting Kickstarter for figures based on medieval marginalia-
I have signed up. Go over and have a look. I have no financial interest in this but merely wish to bring a good idea to the attention of others.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Inspiration comes in many forms 

Two things recently caught my imagination recently and the picture below neatly sums them up-

I accompanied my middle daughter to Cornwall as she began a Masters year of study there. As a boy l went to Torquay on holiday but had never been further west. Although my visit was brief ( photos of the trip are on my phone and l cannot access them currently so you will have to make do with the picture of the bag of leaflets and a book l picked up whist there) l was smitten by the countryside. I feel that at some point l would like to game some actions set in Cornwall,we shall see.

The second inspiration was the local charity shop find ,this book containing Rodney Matthews artwork. As a boy l had the Elric dragon poster taking pride of place in my bedroom and many Lps featuring artwork too. I wonder what wargames figures were produced with a Rodney Matthews vibe to them? Let me know what you think...

Finally l took delivery of a prepainted Napoleonic force to oppose my Swedes when the Portable Napoleonic Wargame is published later this year. I realised that l have neither the skill or energy to tackle Napoleonic figures and so found myself a reasonably priced option. I look forward to seeing them in action soon.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

On the workbench Vendel Miniatures 

I read that ,the other day, Vendel Miniatures (recently called Bloody Day) are no longer available. I am saddened to hear that for l felt the figures were full of character and charm. When they were no longer available here in the uk l sent over to America to get some , l wish l had bought more...

Here are two giants with fantastic haircuts , wonderful shoes,patched tunics and business like clubs. They remind of the artwork of Pauline Baynes and the Mythical Earth giants by Minifigs. I am working on wood elves and goblins too. The heavily armoured dwarfs were an ebay bargain which arrived today. They look like they mean business. I do hope one day that Vendel Miniatures will be available once more even if the mounds were getting old. 

Friday, 21 September 2018

A "Battle Of Machines" - Longer Version. (1930)

Saw this on Facebook today "Salisbury Plain. A 'Battle of Machines' is the feature of this year's Army manoeuvres - when 'Southland's' army of 150 tanks and 15 armoured cars invade 'Northland' with its 50 tanks, 35 armoured cars and 2,000 cavalry!" Sounds an interesting scenario for a game...

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Painting advice please...

I bought these superbly painted figures from their painter Jim Duncan last year-

I quite fancy having a go at painting some opposition for them but have no idea how to replicate such painting. I am therefore looking for some advice/ tips about where to start. For example can you line them with a pen? All help gratefully received.

Monday, 10 September 2018

An Marc Sluagh - restoration on a cavalry figure

Restoring a figure to represent the Blue Hussars ( An Marc Sluagh) of Army Green White Orange. Mainly drawn from the artillery they were a ceremonial unit which also appeared at horse shows and gymkhanas. This figure will be a cavalry scout unit for my interwar games.

I am trying to replace the missing horse legs with pins and masking tape covered in super glue. It is an experiment,we shall see how it goes...

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Matters of scale and taste 

I ordered this and it arrived today in a lovely blue box-

A thing of joy to behold ,pressing many nostalgia buttons for me. Here it is (1/72) with some 54 figures on my gaming cloth-

I like the look of them together and feel it gives the result l am after , a game aesthetic based on 1930s toy soldiers ,vehicles and home made scenery. I would however be very interested to see what you think.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

New recruits 

These were waiting for me when l got home today:

The top row has two mounted figures with steel helmets for use as interwar cavalry. There’s also the camel mounted one too...

I particularly like the highly animated highland infantry in kilts. Any help with suggestions for identifying the figures very much appreciated.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Restored hollow casts etc a 54mm venture

Yesterday l finished the first lot of Britains etc for my interwar project. I based them very plainly on circular bases as l felt that these non square bases better represented the loose formations of the period.

I maintained the broken weaponry of these figures but will get some new arms for others. I mixed ww1 looking figures with ww2 ones.

The ones nearest the camera are dismounted cavalry. I have some steel helmeted mounted troops coming.

The chap with the binoculars was a broken machine gunner who l added two plastic tubes to his broken hands. The  broken standing firing figure had a thin nail inserted up his leg to help him stand.

The command group in the garden ( Britains hedging and wall from my childhood) stand in front of a house painted last year on the outside of a breakfast biscuit box.  They are watching proceedings carefully before popping indoors for a cuppa.

All in all I am pleased with how this lot have turned out. Next step with the project is to get some replacement heads and arms , await for the new arrivals to mend and to try and bid successfully for Dinky tanks on eBay within a reasonable budget.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Army Manoeuvres (1935)-inspiration for 54mm figure project

Found this footage today. Lots of interesting interwar hardware on show- wee tankettes, carriers even an autogyro! Do have a look. Working on my Britains etc figures today and hope to post some photos this weekend...

Thursday, 30 August 2018


Jan’s third anniversary today. A walk with the girls,coffee and pottering about are on the plans to get through it.
Rest Eternal ...

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

A question of compatability

As RAFM Blue and the Grey ACW figures are no longer available in Europe can anyone suggestion figures that would be compatible with the ones I already have from the Mad Padre? I don't wish to build up two big armies but am trying to build up small forces  for skirmish games.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Ideas for trolls?

I am looking for suggestions for trolls to use against my 40mm dark age Norwegians , any suggestions?

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Battle of Hook’s Farm part one

Farmer Hook woke up,yawned and opened the curtains and looked out. To his surprise the Danish Army were still there. Furtively he placed the telescope to his eye and noted as follows- mainly infantry,a few jäger,cavalry and a cannon. Hurriedly the farmer scribbled a note ,gave it to his son and told him to deliver it to the Tradgardland general. The boy left and the farmer thought of what he would do with the coins he had just earned...

The situation a few hours later. The farmer has locked himself and his family in the farm cellar for safety,the Danish Army climbs the hill to take positions around the farm and Firefly church. End of turn one.

The woods on the left flank are occupied by the Danish jägers,they have sustained casualties in the process. Hook’s farm is the scene of heavy fighting and melees occur on the right flank. End of turn two.

35 years after and a battlefield 

Last night l played my first game of Dungeons and Dragons in 35 years. It was using this setting-

My fellow gamers were more than patient as l created a character and came to terms with the sheet to be completed. One chap was particularly helpful in showing me what to do. We all eventually created our characters and game play commenced. I felt a tad rusty but got into the the swing a bit. Many thanks to Richard ,our DM, for a great evening,for inviting me along and l look forward to continuing the adventure in a fortnight.
My portable wargame of my previous post was a bit of a mess( too many troops and no room for manoeuvre) so no battle report was was worth writing I have prepared a game for today using the map of Hook’s Farm from Bob’s book “ Developing the Portable Wargame “ -

Battle report to follow...

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Portable Wargame

Set up a very simple Interwar battle between the Duchy of Volare - Cantare and The Imperium. Simple chess board and 20mm figures. Rules are those from “Developing the Portable Wargame” book.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Claymore 1994- Battle of Winwick Pass display 

Claymore  2018 was most enjoyable. The three games that stood out for me were two Napoleonic games and the Suez one. Another to mention was a 42mm game complete with a Russian renaissance wagon fort, it looked splendid. I didn’t take any photos but was shown  afterwards a photo of a game l was part of , a display for the Pike and Shot society in 1994 . Jan painted the standard on a sheet for us.  Photos were taken of the actual battlefield,terrain made and figures painted. A team effort.Happy days.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Close Wars

Having done some chores,proof read for daughter number one , supported her through ict issues and worked/ tided at the painting desk I set up a game-

I will play it through later today and tomorrow. Victory lies in destroying the enemy or getting at least 50 per cent of their force on to  their enemy’s baseline.

Friday, 3 August 2018


Looking out inspiration from the Ducal library today...an old favourite from 1991, an Osprey from 2005 and a book featuring artwork from the Carolingian Empire.


I had a most enjoyable holiday staying with friends in Yorkshire. We went to Reivaulx Abbey which was fascinating but l felt the interpretation of the site was neither informative or engaging and included dreary illustrations of medieval monastic life. A 3D printed replica of a weathered stone left me cold, the printer lines being distracting. On Saturday we went to Skipton castle and enjoyed an excellent show by 1715 redcoats from queen Ann’s regt l think. They looked fantastic,were informative and a pleasure to talk to. All this inspite of rain. Sunday saw us at St Margarets Ilkley a beautiful Anglo Catholic Church with friendly folk and uplifting worship.

On my return l played a most enjoyable game where myself and my fellow general G were celts trying to stop Hannibal crossing a mountain pass. A most exciting game ensued where we eventually beat Hannibal ( commanded by P ) and sacked his baggage train. Dbm continues to serve us well as we just don’t have an inclination to learn a new set of rules for big games.

A small amount of hobby stuff has been got in but life has been busy what with catching up with friends over coffee and my youngest Freya turning 21 yesterday. We enjoyed a family day in St Andrews eating at a lovely Thai restaurant called Tanon and generally wandering about. Incidentally the coloured interpretive panels at St Andrews Cathedral were much better done and thankfully not computer generated. Old school illustrations at their best.

Plan is to work on my 28mm Carolingian Army ( beautifully painted by Jim Duncan and bought from him last year) adding to it in make a reasonable size force . I cannot replicate Jim’s lovely style but I try. Twenty cavalry are on their way and once they are painted the army will take the field. I am considering peasants which have little fighting ability but for whom l have a soft spot. 

Saturday sees Claymore ,a show filled with memories of putting on games and attending for more years than l care to remember. I hope to be inspired and not too distracted purchase wise.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018


I have done little or no gaming this week and little painting/modelling either. What with the heat and other stuff to do or think about time has passed by quickly. Here’s the state of the painting bureau:

In the foreground are some old lead fellows undergoing renovation and the early stages of painting. I am pleased with the 54mm toy soldiers waiting patiently to take the field using the portable wargame rules and Ross’s Square Brigadier. Towards the back at the bottom are some 18th century Tradgardland folk and Ottomans. Perched on the plastic box containing static grass is a very old figure of  Henry viii which has lain around for ages, does anyone know the manufacturer? Beside her is The Empress whose white clad troops are the scourge of The Duchy of Tradgardland. When painted she will have a chance to review her forces patiently await her arrival on the parade ground.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Dettol- the result...

Having soaked in Dettol since Friday l got the figures out of the jar-

The Dettol has worked wonders on them. I cleaned them next with washing up liquid, neat as per instructions. I am delighted and would certainly do this again. Have a look back at a few posts ago and see the GIs prior to the soaking. The figures that had not worked with paint stripper previously are clean thanks to Dettol too.I am free to appear in commercials for a suitable remuneration.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Upon my return 

I am just back from a family wedding. The postman had left these for me-

They are a very mixed bag and not in great condition. As ever can you help identify these figures. There are some fellows amongst them l have never seen before . Thanks for your help.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Testing times 

I found the jar of figures l had unsuccessfully stripped with brush cleaner-

I then added the new figures prior to adding the Dettol. I will leave them overnight and see what happens.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Currently reading and need your help...

I got this mixed bag online this week for a very reasonable sum-

Can anyone identify the figures? Thanks in advance.

These are the books that I am currently reading. I would recommend them unreservedly to you. The novel is beautifully written and engrossing whilst the non fiction one is a mine of fascinating facts and shines new light on the subject.
Finally good luck England for the game tonight, l haven’t been as caught as l am for ages.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Hollow men 3 imagineering etc

I have been looking around for options for the game and in doing so recall toy soldiers of my childhood. I always had two sides Britains v Timpo and the rest when using 54mm figures. The Britains were the good guys and the Timpo ones the baddies. I thought the Timpo ones were fine and was happy to have a variety of them but to me Britains were much superior. I think I have retained that view ever since.
I have been thinking of a background to my interwar gaming partly based on what l have available and partly on Pathe News footage l have viewed for inspiration. So we have Army Red v Army Orange,White and Green. Army Red are the King’s Army and  ArmyOWG are their celtic speaking neighbours. Relations between the two countries are cordially, since the OWG fellows gained their independence peacefully but occasional disputes occur. This was established by the fact that I had some AIP figures about who would pass as 1930s Irish. I am still doubtful about mixing the plastic and lead but considering the price of Dinky tanks l need to save money somewhere.

As this is the World of toy soldiers there is absolutely no political element to my choice of sides,after all it is fantasy and merely a conceit for some fun modelling and gaming . I wish to offend no one. So here it is . A game built from plastic,lead ,celluloid and paper nothing more.
Finally all the best to England for this afternoon’s game from everyone here in Tradgardland!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Hollow men 2: the look of things 

I am going to use my 7.5 cm square cloth. I wanted to see how the Britains figures looked in that sized square-

Four figures looks a little crowded for my liking so l will probably settle for three. Assuming l can get one at a reasonable price l will use Dinky medium and light tanks. They are a different scale but I think they will give a pleasing effect with the figures. As l am meeting a friend for coffee this morning and the World Cup is on later l don’t think l will get much done today but that’s ok l think.

We are the hollow men...

These arrived today ,an online purchase-

They are certainly walking wounded but , in my opinion, are full of charm. A few new heads,arms (Dorset miniatures perhaps) and they will serve admirably. I thinking of Portable Wargame/ Square Brigadier game with toy soldiers of the time set in the interwar period. Possibly using armies in plastic too although I am uncertain of the old and new figures mixing, we shall see.  A little wars look for the jazz age?

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


I have enjoyed Man of Tins recent posts on repairing old toy soldiers. He uses a combination of skill and technique to great results. I found these laddies waiting aid on my desk top -

I will see how l get on. The feet replacement is okish but I am not so sure about the missing head. Perhaps a wee sculpting challenge to build it up in milliput?

Monday, 2 July 2018

We’re going on a boar hunt,we’re not scared. Late Scandinavian Bronze Age Tradgardland 

I got these rules recently and they are well laid out and interesting. I am going to try them out with a small boar hunting expedition.

Incidentally I was thinking about magazines l used to read and recalled A W N U T S made up of splendidly whimsical model railway. Sadly when l downsized 21 years ago the magazines couldn’t be kept. I’d love to read them again . The odd copy appears on eBay but with £15 postage charges. Just too much for me. Any thoughts on where to get copies?

Friday, 29 June 2018

School’s out for summer 

Last day at school prior to my retirement. I was presented with a leavers hoodie with words others had chosen relating to me-

I was delighted with this thoughtful gift. Retirement starts now...

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A post about today’s Post 

These were awaiting me on my return from work today:

Forty years ago I had a Minifigs TYW army which has long since gone. I read wedgewood eagerly and Eduard Wagner (?) too. For reasons of nostalgia I ordered this book which,on first glance, looks really interesting indeed. I had also bought into the kickstarter for Noggin the Nog figures and am delighted with the figures which may get used for Dragon Rampant. Can’t wait to see more from Little Soldier Company in the way of Noggin figures.

Friday, 22 June 2018

On the workbench 

Last Saturday l based my syw figures or should l say rebased them. I cannot recall the different ways l have based them over the years- individually,in multiple bases,on coins and movement trays. I have gone with 40mm square for infantry and 50mm for cavalry.

They deserve to march across the tabletop rather than remain in barracks awaiting some new drill formations. I will finish these fellows ( two opponents Reichsarmee v Austrians) then see how things lie with the ottomans. The time has come to game and model more,procrastinate less.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Wandering off the path 2

The figures arrived today:

They are 1/32 Chintoys. I hope to begin them at the weekend. Off now to find some visuals for painting references.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Wandering off the path...

I hadn’t planned this not particularly wanted a new project in a different scale. Here are some clues:

A photo and  Werner Herzog film title as clues. Can you guess the scale and manufacturer?

Friday, 8 June 2018

Hold the ford!

An advance guard of light cavalry and infantry has been spotted by some local woodsmen-

The woodsmen sought out the cavalry billeted in a village nearby and reported what they had seen. Orders were given and received, the Horse Grenadiers mount up and ride out of camp. Their orders are to hold the ford at any cost,the invaders must be stopped.

A wee game set up for the weekend. I will play it through later today. Figures are 40mm and come from the collection which has lain in boxes underneath the beds for ages. It is high time they were on the tabletop...

Monday, 4 June 2018


Some dragoons finished today for my English Civil War project. It has been positively chilly today and I have done very little outdoors apart from mending some wooden items that have awaited wood glue for ages. 

Sunday, 3 June 2018

His Majesty’s Landship Amazement or Mazey to her friends 

Captain George Aubrey R.N is showing off the Mazey’s powerful gun to a  fascinated watching crowd. Soon a demonstration firing will take place. The crew are warning the crowd to keep to the side and not stray behind the wagon lest they are crushed beneath the iron wheels when the recoil occurs. Like his father before him George values regular gunnery practice. 


I am gradually running out of paint. Over the years I have bought one pot at a time as needed. Now I find that l am coming to the end of many pots as some dry out and others finish. I fear the time has come for a more radical restock!
I am looking for ideas of how to do so economically online. All ideas gratefully received.

Saturday, 2 June 2018


Having seen my middle daughter off on her recce of south coast and far west universities l quickly got some shopping and hurried home to listen to Test Match Special. Rain had stopped play but the conversation was as interesting as ever.

Pottered pleasantly in the garden as well as working on the above landship. Off on Monday as it is a holiday weekend in Fife.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Fearful Engine

I ordered this recently from Alternative Armies and it was waiting for me when I returned yesterday. A quick paint job and it is ready for action in renaissance games. Having decided that the 28mm tanks were too big l am pleased with this 15mm one. I feel it works well with the Minifigs inspite of it being a smaller scale .I wonder if smaller scale artillery might work too...

Sunday, 20 May 2018

16th century Tradgardland 

I have realised that I have enough S range Minifigs to start gaming some renaissance battles
I have a few more figures but if anyone has any unwanted S range renaissance figures for sale please let me know.