Thursday 29 September 2011

Flaggy thingy bob...

Well I have finally got my favicon,flaggy thing to work! I thought due to the horticultural nature of the Duchy's name I would use the flag of the Topiary Guild . It seemed appropriate. The flag is carried by the Guild Master's son who is in his 5th year as an apprentice of the Topiary Guild. His final piece involves work upon a yew representation of a vile Stagonian which graces the Duke's Winter Palace garden.

Monday 26 September 2011

Two questions and returning to my roots

Of late I have sensed a going back to my roots- hence the old D&D piccie. I really enjoyed D&D ( not to mention Bunnies and Burrows at school- I kid you not...) in the late 70's and early to mid 80's. I got out of role playing for years and now find the same excitement I felt then in the Ganesha games -Songs of Blades and Heroes,it's supplements and songs of drums and shakos. The same engine works for fantasy,awi, Monster blood Tatoo,Ny Tradgardland and other of my projects.

I enjoy the planning of warbands as much as I enjoyed my characters from my RPG days. I played a lot of druids in those days - so much so that it became my nick-name in certain circles at the time. So here I am nearly 30years later getting back into the sort of games I enjoyed then- this time mainly solo.
Finally two questions-

1) Ideas please for 18th century adventurer figures please- the quirkier the better

2) Ideas for the sort of adventurers I knew in my D&D days- druids,cleric, etc- you know the types. I am not so up to speed on fantasy figure manufacturers so I'd be grateful for some pointers...

Sunday 25 September 2011

Packs etc sought..

Can anyone suggest a source of 25mm/28mm scale packs,pouches,spare weapons and sundry items to equip an 18th century adventurer prior to going off on an adventure?
many thanks in anticipation

Saturday 24 September 2011

A reccomendation to watch...

Morning all! Weekend at last...

Hopefully you will have some free time and can I suggestion you drop by at for an excellent programme on the English Civil War artist

William Dobson. Go on treat yourself you deserve it.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Good reads and "... another door opens."

Rob had kindly offered to send me his Mythical Earth figures. The five figures arrived today and were in fact from Minifig's D&D range...

I was a tad disappointed not to see some figures from my youth but delighted see the pig faced orcs. I have never owned pig faced orcs before ( to be honest I always was unsure of these D&D chaps- I had always been told that Gary Gygax had had a misunderstanding with his illustrator - perhaps you know better) but am excited at the prospect of using them as a warband of orcs for Songs of Blades!
Perhaps I might take on Ross's early Citadel chaps if he's interested!
Also posted is a photo of a couple of excellent reads I am savoring at present- the Pike&Shot Society's journal and a magazine of Living History from the America.

Monday 19 September 2011

At gnome today in the KFC...

Monday Holiday in Edinburgh has meant I am not at Work today,unlike the rest of the family. It has been a busy day with some school work to plan, housework,shopping,garden tidying and of course some hobby time! I have painted and based figures for some skirmish gaming I hope to do ,set in that small corner of the Mohawk Valley that is the KFC. Karl Frederick County, home to immigrants from the Duchy of Tradgardland that find themselves caught up in the awi/American revolution.
The photos include the first figures for both sides .Firstly the British Rangers and their Iroquois allies .Secondly KFC militia and rifle armed woodsmen. I also took Blue Bear Jeff's advice and watched some of the "Last of the Mohican's on dvd over lunch- excellent film as ever! A simpler lifestyle in some ways I guess.One which sense tells me not to over romanticise.

Finally I could not resist posting a picture of my gnomes which I found when cleaning up outside today. The small one belonged to my Grandma and dates to the 1930s.It is made of some odd rubbery composition stuff and originally pushed a wee barrow . The second bigger gnome,made of terracotta ,I chose in the mid 1960s and I have had ever since.He originally carried a wooden rake. They evoke memories for me of my family garden and that of my grandma. They continue to bring me pleasure after all theses years I have to admit...

Sunday 18 September 2011

From Bergmann's "Events and counter events of the years of struggle" published 1793 in Leith ,Edinburgh...

In 1772 that half of New York which held borders with the Indian lands and Canada was separated from Albany to form two Counties. The majority was named Tyron County and the smaller part Karl Frederick County ( henceforth known as KFC) for posterity.

Both Counties entered the war divided. Some communities and families joined whole-heartily with the revolution whist others remained loyal to old ties and bonds. In the KFC those of German Palatinate and Tradgardland origins had no great attachment to England and were subject to less agonising. Many favoured rebellion and others remembered how ill they had been used by the rich families of the area...

Saturday 17 September 2011

Invaluable resources and diverse matters

It is Saturday morning here in Tradgardland with places to go and people to see- in this case my Mother's monthly shop and a visit to the Gyle Shopping centre. Last evening was partially spent ( when not watching an excellent bbc archaeology prog at 9pm) organising awi militia, rangers,Iroquois etc for a Sounds of Drums and Shakoes solo game later this weekend.It will be based in the Mohawk Valley.
As I needed to look some information up in these books I thought I would post a picture of three old friends- books I have found invaluable over the years. I have had them between 20 and 25 years now and they have provided many enjoyable hours of browsing not to mention inspiration for painting and gaming.

Friday 16 September 2011

Two foot square...

At home now,after lunch and listening to the cricket on radio 4...

This box was originally purchased as a jolly useful portable set up for dba ( 15mm ) and the alike from S&A Scenics many,many moons ago. It contained a rolled mat,some roads,hills,rivers etc for 15mm games. Quite a useful bit of kit which has seen many games over the years!

Of late I have used it to keep 25mm scenery and odds n ends too. I thought it might well perform as a skirmish set up for 25/28mm games,one which can be packed away and kept in a cupboard for when necessary- space being ever an issue. So I thought I would set up a wee scenario set in the 18th Century. It all proved to be great fun and the mat/scenarywill work well for SB&H etc skirmish rules not to mention HOTT etc in 15mm. I hope to set up a section attack or two set in the 1938 of a VBCW to try it for size too.Let me know what you think chaps. BTW the Arquebusier has arrived today but I am keeping it for later

Ooops etc... Friday Morning early

We had a lovely meal for Anna's Birthday (16th not 15th actually- early morning typo/miscalculation I fear) and Jan did her proud with cooking an excellent meal and baking a birthday cake too.This was preceded by the opening of the cards and pressies- a good evening had by all.
I have been enjoying ,of late, Hamish Macbeth on dvd .I have seen each episode many times but still find it funny,quirky and entertaining every time I watch.It is set in the Highlands and features a policeman named as in the title and a whole host of characters.Do give it a whirl if you havent seen it at all!
Suffered yesterday an hour of online iplanner training to "help" plan maths at school. Oh brave new world-not! This is my September long weekend with me free from lunchtime until school starts on Tuesday. Some paperwork and chores to do but I hope to set up a solo game or two and perhaps paint. Can't shift this cold- one downside of working with younger children is being constantly sneezed and coughed upon. Off for the train in ten mins - have a good day one and all!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Perhaps a tad impatient...

Yesterday evening I posted a request on OSw,GWP3 Tardis and somewhere else I can't remember! I haven't had any replies and perhaps(as it is 6.00am 14/9/11 as I write this...)I am being a tad impatient. I am looking for some Mythical Earth figures (circa1976) to use in a Songs of Blades and Heroes side project combining these newish rules with Old School figures. I have a few left from the armies I raised at school which have long since gone. I have mentioned them here before and posted piccies of my wargs and wood elves. I am not looking for loads just some to use in skirmishes. Do have a look in the loft and let me know - I am not looking for freebies by the way - in case people have misunderstood me on other groups etc.
Today is my middle daughter's birthday and she will be 15- I can hardy believe it! Today is also a year to the day since Jan began her course of Chemo and I cannot believe that either. It has been a big year,will be an annoying day at work I fear but we look forward to an enjoyable family meal tonight at home.Have a good day one and all!

Monday 12 September 2011

At the sign of the "Kobold and Cleaver" in Ny Tradgardland

The faded sign, depicting a strange creature armed with a lethal looking cleaver, swung noisily on its rusty hinges in the evening storm. The shutters rattled at the windows and the candles flickered in the many draughts which made "The Kobold and Cleaver " a rather uncomfortable place to while the autumn nights away. The few customers huddled over their ale and gossiped as was their custom.A solitary figure struck up a popular song but soon grew quiet in the face of overwhelming apathy...

In the cellar it sat ,lapping at the milk left for it in a tin saucer. It had travelled across the sea from Tradgardland with the men,yet unknown to them,and now was the Spirit of this house. It moaned away contentedly to itself aware of others like it yet different in the woods and clearings nearby. Like the men upstairs it was a stranger in a strange land with much to learn and little time to do it in.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Thanks etc

Some thanks to begin with.
Firstly ,as no one has come forward yet, many thanks for the mystery donor who donated an excellent 25mmm lantern on a pole. I could not read your signature but I am very delighted to add it my Lamplighter Quatro.
Secondly on the subject of magazines- Springinsfeld I am a member already of the P&S society having rejoined after some years away from it and am looking forward to the next arquebusier very soon. Will have a look at "history Today " when next up town...
Martin I am so grateful for the link to Backwoodsman - I have been trying to recall the name for ages.The magazine brought me so much pleasure years ago and I am glad to renew my acquaintance with it- have asked for a quote for single issue/subscription cost. The Journal of the early Americas looks really interesting too- I have am going to ask for a trial copy. I feel my reading could be on the up and up!

Sunday night already- too much to do including the dreaded school related paperwork/paper-serving planning. Another week starts tomorrow! I enclose a photo of our garden produce from yesterday's evening meal preparation. Cutting the grass and digging around the new shed/summerhouse/garage ( what will I call it?) gave me time to think and plan hobby wise. That combined with a find of my Ral Partha(?) 25mm French -indian war figs and canoes in a box has led me to do much thinking on reviving Ny Tradgardland as I began some time ago. I enjoyed my mental trip in to the imaginary colony just south of Louisberg...

Saturday 10 September 2011

20 years (plus) after...

Well over 20 years ago I used to go to a shop in Glasgow called Tower Records which was an excellent shop with a wide range of products. I remember buying an American magazine - card unglossy cover,black and white illustrations only which contained articles abouts homesteading,American folklore,the outdoors and diverse interesting stuff. I eventually subscribed for some years...
I cannot now recall the magazine's name nor little about it- the copies have loooong since gone. I have a yen to have a look again at it .Any suggestions about what it could be?

Whilst on the subject of magazines I must say I find it hard to find anything consistently to my taste. The wargames glossies are ok ( or sometimes not at all) but little depth in terms of articles- all eye candy and merchandising. I subscribed to "Battlegames" for a while and it was better. Phil Olley's was grand but now on hold/gone. I am interested in living History but find "Skirmish" bitty and superficial. I have bought "On the Trail" from the US and really enjoyed it. I buy "Gardens illustrated " every month and find it inspirational- good articles and inspiring visuals. Anyone suggest something to read- who knows I might end up subscribing and reading regularly in my pride and joy,sorry garage/sun room....

Friday 9 September 2011

Will the benefactor please stand up...

On arrival home from work today I found a letter addressed to me containing a lovely 25mm plastic lantern and pole. I cannot read the signature and wondered if my kind benefactor might let me know so I could say a heartfelt thanks...

Wednesday 7 September 2011

A shed load of updates...

Wednesday evening and the latest on the garage.Here is Gary the Joiner and his great work today.We are more than delighted with it so far and cannot wait until it is finished! Reading an excellent pdf translation of a 13th century Norwegian book called "The King's Mirror"- geography,folklore,military detail and sheds loads more fascinating delights to read... fairly cheering up part of lunchtime I can say!

Went the day well?

It certainly did. This is where the garage got to on Tuesday and was photographed on my return from work at 7pm.Despite the high winds and rain it has been moved on well by Gary. The plan will be to do the work in two phases with the external shell completed this week. Come the new year work will take place to add insulation and flooring to the sitting area,electricity will then be added and we are considering a small wood burning stove too. It will certainly be a glorious place to read,think and plan etc after that. Over this coming winter the garage will provide refuge for Pumpkin the guinea pig who will be visited and illuminated by wind up lanterns.

Monday 5 September 2011

Songs of blades and garages

Well Monday evening already.I thought you might like to see how Gary the Joiner has got on in his first day. He has raised the barn,sorry garage ,high and has made an excellent job of it.

Having listened to part of "Just a minute " on radio 4 I took time to set up a trial scenario for "Songs of Blades and Heroes" set in Middle Earth. The elves have been ambushed by large wolves which emerged from the forest.Note only D6 are used in the system and also the handy double-sided downloadable measuring device/rules summary
. The figures are some of the few Mythical Earth figures I have left from my armies of circa 1976.They are Minifigs and I would dearly like to get my hands on some more to use in skirmishing!
The rules are excellent ,give a fun, fast game even solo and are worth a look at.Well ,who do you think won?

Sunday 4 September 2011

Norway 1809

Not sure if you'll be interested but here is one of the drawings I got hold of some years ago concerning the Norwegians in 1809. It is of an armed civilian or partizan- if interested I could post more...

Stumps and plans...

Up at 6.30am and three hours later much of the paperwork is
finished! Missed Church but Jan needed a quiet
start to the day to get her energy levels up to speed for the coming week.
Here I am pictured (note Tradgardland Rose socks)working for the third weekend
in a row preparing for the new garage which the joiner will
build this week,the old concrete one having been
removed last week. Yesterday I carried on with the preparation work and dug out the no man's land betwixt our property and the neighbours.Today I attempted to remove a sapling and stump with saw,hammer and iron chisel thing. I almost succeeded and will bow out gracefully using a chemical stump rotter to finish the job...I have also spend some of the day reviewing current and ongoing projects. here are my thoughts in no particular order-

  1. 1938 VBCW ongoing -needing to knuckle down to it as my regular opponent is slowly army building

  2. "Song of Skis and Snowdrifts" 1809 Swedish invasion of Norway using songs of drums and shakos skirmish rules- 28mm ski troops,Norwegian irregulars and Swedish troops. Have 90% of figures already .Researched for it for about 15 yrs now...

  3. 18th century imagination - ongoing Tradgardland/Umsttitental gaming moving towards big battle a a couple of weeks and "sumf spiel" skirmish game

  4. Newly started Danish/Swedish 13th century stuff- maybe on back burner as a friend has offered me a load of appropriate figures at an excellent price -need to wait until War Chest is fuller for this one. Also wish to do some research on the period before going further..

  5. D.M Cornish's Monsterblood tattoo 18th century world of magic.Skirmishing with SBH rules or Morheim -in planning and looking for good cheap "nickers" at present - any thoughts?

So here we are so many hobby ideas and little energy - hope you are having a good weekend one and all.

Friday 2 September 2011


Friday night at last. I am overly oppressed by planning paperwork and by the ever shifting sands of what I am expected to do...

Work to do over the weekend and little or no energy to do it.Things can only get better! Sorry for being a moan chaps.