Tuesday 31 August 2010

The road goes ever on...

I have finally succumbed...

I have avoided buying Tolkien inspired figures for some days of late. I have combed the web ,weighed up the options and come down upon the side of 10mm! A new scale indeed for me and I hope my eyes are up to it. I have sent for 74 Pendraken Halflings in army pack form. They will form a Hordes of the Things army. One of the deciding factors was I felt I could do the Shire greater justice in 10mm than in 28mm!
I am eagerly awaiting them- even though the company suggested 21 days!!!! My Shire militia will battle against goblins and perhaps wargs . Let battle commence- soonish that is.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Updates etc

I couldn't resist these super travel posters ( combining two of my favourite types of images- vintage travel posters and LOTR/Hobbit inspired stuff ) by Steve Thomas. I hope you enjoy them...

On the Jan front she is getting stronger and trying to be good in the sense of resisting doing too much around the house. We heard from the hospital with results this week and heard that a course of treatment over 18 to 24 weeks will get things sorted. We go to the Western General on Thursday to hear the exact pathway ahead. We are all doing well and ,although tired , are moving forward well together...

Oh thanks for all the interest in T.T.F.N- do please send in your ideas- Steve has already done so and I am working on mine as we speak!

Tuesday 24 August 2010


Oh no not another one I hear you cry- wrg,wab,dbm,dba,dbmm,fog etc etc etc! Well this one is my invention for a little project for me. It stands for Tiny Tabletop Field of Mars...

This is my self imposed quest - to write a very simple,brief,old school vibe, mid 18th century rules for a 6 foot by 3 foot dining table (hence tiny table) like the one here at home.

I intend to use small units and have the rules on one side of A4 paper if possible . Such a project is great for mulling over during odd moments of the day.I hope to commit thoughts to paper asap.



p.s if anyone would like to join in with their thoughts or even A4 contribution that would be great!I loook forward to your ideas


I am delighted to show the photos of Danish Guardsmen
referred to by Stephen in a comment to my last post but one. These stout fellows look most impressive and I hope you enjoy them.
The week is hardly started and I feel I could do with the weekend already!
Off to work very soon so will leave it here- have a good day one and all.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Council sought...


Your help is sought to identify these stout fellows of the Duke of Tradgardland's Life Guard. They were sent from a variety of E v E imaginations to form a Companion style Guard. We would be grateful if you could give name and country of origin to those brave Guardsmen...
New employment will follow for these gentlemen soon...


Archivist to the Duchy of Tradgardland

Saturday 21 August 2010


Have just spent ages trying to paint Holger Eriksson Danish guardsmen- results are awful! Must be too tired - should have listen to Stokes in the CWJ...

Friday 20 August 2010

Wargaming thoughts...

It has been a busy week here in the Duchy. I have returned to work after the hols and also have tried to support Jan as she starts to get over her operation. The girls have been great helps generally but it has been really hectic. The good thing is Jan moves forward daily and seems stronger. There has been no time for painting let alone energy( I am ready for bed before ten pm almost daily) however I have planned/dreamed/read as I travelled,cooked and ironed...

The first thing I have been thinking about has been my army for for the Funnylittlewars H G Wells centenary competition in 2013! It will be a Swiss army of around 1910 based around a Brigade of Mountain infantry with cavalry and mountain guns etc . I have started to collect the figures and eagerly anticipate the alfresco gaming ahead!54mm figures here we come- not to mention card monoplane and trenches to make. One match firing mountain gun bought and assembled.

Secondly I have been thinking about the recent upsurge in colonial gaming by my fellow bloggers. It reminds me of my enduring love of things Himalayan- an interest I have had for years. Perhaps it was the Tibetan style fort in Dr Who in my youth, perhaps yetis, perhaps the heavily armoured cavalry they field in ancient/medieval times,perhaps the scenary,culture, religion and much,much more- who can say!
Anyway I have been having quick checks of books I already have plus the odd internet search and have come up with some ideas which I think would game well . I hate to be distracted once more but it is good to dream/plan/prepare. So far I have come up with the idea of a Tradgardland Priest Fr Ullman ,who is part of the Jesuit mission to Tibet in the mid 18th century. He gets embroiled in the fighting between the petty kingdoms of the time and acts as spy/advisor to a ruler . Games to be fought with gaslight perhaps. One could throw in China,yetis and more . Its rather tempting and could look great upon the table. Enjoy the Tibetan pictures enclosed within this post -including the period map .Just the sort of thing Fr Ullman would have in his travelling writing box I think!

Sunday 15 August 2010

Further updates...

Jan got home from hospital yesterday and we were very glad to have her with us again. It will be a long, patient road for her but she has started the journey well!
Some pictures ,not in any particular order, for you. The garden resplendent with Courgettes, runner beans etc. Our new family members - Petal and Pumpkin the Guinea Pigs. Finally a paper mache balloon ( from my 1898 El Caney display game of many years ago with the Edinburgh University Wargames Club) which will form part of the Duchy of Tradgardland Balloon Observation company for my mid 19th Century games. Back to work for me tomorrow and so Jan will be looked after by my daughters. Have a good week one and all!

Friday 13 August 2010


Jan has had her operation and is recovering well from it. I have been busy holding the Home Front along with my daughters- they have done well and it has been a hectic week...
Today the postman brought a parcel all the way from Sweden- which seems to make it even more exciting if you know what I mean. It contained the figures you see pictured for my 1866 project. They are Holger Ericksson - as if you didn't know. They are Modern Ceremonial figures depicting the Danish Foot Guard and Swedish Mounted Life Guard. I am using them as the Tradgardland Ducal Foot Guard and the mounted figures as heavy Cavalry. I can't wait to have a time to prepare them and start painting!

Monday 9 August 2010

Claymore and more...

It has been busy of late ( in fact the summer has been too) here at the Duchy. Saturday saw our long awaited game at Claymore. Our "old school" game of the Action at Spurlash Down was well received by the show going public. My thanks to Phil W, Tony and of course Phil Olley who organised the game and provided the figures. Phil W took the superb photos I have posted and Phil Olley (of course) painted the figures. We won fourth prize ( I now see on GWP that we were in fact 3rd equal!!!) in show which we were all very pleased with.
I will not spoil the battle write up ,which will adorn the pages of the Classic Wargamer's Journal, save to say that Major Von Fripp learned a great deal of how to / how not to command an army. I commanded the Imperial Army and some glorious charges ensued, not to mention a heroic village defense! A rather nasty sting was in the tail however... I hope you enjoy the posted piccies.
Yesterday saw a day at home preparing( it has been part of our lives since June when the tests began) for my Wife's admittance to hospital which happened this morning. She will have a big operation tomorrow, hopefully getting home at the weekend, and will be off work for around 12 weeks plus/minus afterwards. So the girls ( not to mention the guinea pigs who have been with us a week now) and I are holding the home front . It will be a busy time ahead here with my wife needing looked after by us on her greatly anticipated return.
I hope to continue to paint,blog and plan, as and when I can . Do keep reading for further updates.

Saturday 7 August 2010


Things have been very busy here at the Duchy of late...
Last weekend saw me prepping & painting ( and dodging frequent rain showers) long planks of wood prior to the joiner using them to replace the roofline which had seen better days. He also removed the rhones for me to strip and repaint. I was sustained by a combintaion of Kerrang radio , mint tea and whychwood breweries ale! In the midst of this my daughter was 13 and we had to help her get her present - 2 guinea pigs and their run ,hutch and kit! We also have been dealing with family stuff and making preparations of which more anon. It has been a big busy time but fun and useful too.

I have enjoyed using the produce of the garden (symbolised by the evocative photo above) potatoes,runner beans,salad, cougette etc and even blueberrries for the morning porridge. I gain such pleasure and peace from participating in the cycle from seed to plate. If you have not tried yet I urge you to give it go - it is a win.win situation!

In half an hour (it is 6.40 a.m) I am being picked up to go to Claymore and refight the battle of Spurlash Down. Whatever you do this weekend I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Introducing Major von Fripp...

The Duke of Tradgardland has recently sent one of his most trusted officers and aide de camp, Major Von Fripp, to take up residence upon the Staff of General von Schwarz currently commanding The Imperial Army. Von Fripp has been sent to gain experience and learn from that venerable "old warhorse" that is Von Schwarz...

Apart from his undoubted charm and military knowledge , Major Robrecht von Fripp brings with him his legendary playing skills upon the Spanish guitar and his pedantic attention to detail coupled with high standards expected from his fellows...

This visitor from the Duchy of Tradagrdland ( aka the Court of the Crimson Duke) hopes to be present at the battle expected within the coming days...

Dear reader , if you are coming to the CLAYMORE wargames show in Edinburgh on Saturday please look out for Von Fripp upon the tabletop in the OSW game put on by Phil Olley and others including my good self. Do come and say hello if you are able!

Sunday 1 August 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!