Saturday 31 December 2011

New Year

The Duke of Tradgardland heralds in another New Year with fireworks in the pleasure gardens surrounding the palace.May I take this opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to you all for 2012 when it comes!

Yesterday's game

Our trial game using the aforementioned new ACW rules went really well yesterday.Jan,Wendy & the girls watched a film (About a boy- excellent well worth seeing if you haven't,one of our favourites) while Phil and I gamed.Afterwards once the lead and plastic were packed away we all ate together. A most agreeable time was had by all.
The rules worked really well and gave us a result with minimal brain ache- something that cannot be often said of rules we have tried for diverse periods.We felt the factors will be easily memorised and the game will flow even quicker in future. We have agreed to try and game more often in 2012. The figures are Foundry,Perry and the odd Dixon for the Union and all Dixon for the Confederacy.All in 28mm.

Thursday 29 December 2011


Another wet and blustery day in Tradgardland. Yesterday was my Mother's 80th birthday and we all went out for lunch with her to celebrate at Mackenzie's restaurant in Colinton, Edinburgh.A convivial time and excellent food was had by all. A busy but enjoyable day was had by us.
Before breakfast I finished the Union Brigade I will need for tomorrow initial acw game using the Foundry rules by David Bickley. I will augment these chaps with cavalry,artillery and further infantry soon.
I am thinking about what projects to do in 2012.I am currently involved in the aforementioned ww1 campaign with Paul of FLW and hope to do one with Jimho of Syldavia. Figures need to be painted for the latter and i would like to augment the forces of Tradgardland from my unpainted metal pile.Much to plan ... It has been here over the last week (not to mention the term just ended) so a quieter day is in order as well as a reread of the rules too.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

A picture etc...

Since I began my blog I have really enjoyed the searching out of inspiring and interesting images for it. Pictures have always been integral to the whole Tradgardland thing. I set myself a challenge of finding one image to convey the 18th century Duchy in winter and I have settled upon the one above.Let me know what you think.
I have been most fortunate over Christmas with gifts including the following- a 2nd hand copy of Roy Dilley's "Scale model Soldiers" which I loved as a boy, an account of the archaelogical dig at Jamestown called "Jamestown the buried truth" by Kelso and recruits (currently being painted) for the acw game on the 30th. I also got a very useful piece of stationary with fantastic wargaming potential.If you want to know more pop over to my Army Red/White Blog. Off to peruse the work of my fellow bloggers ,drink more coffee and then get back to the painting...

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve in Tradgarland

It is now Christmas Eve in the Duchy of Tradgardland.Every year a ceremony takes place in the barracks square in Tradgardstadt. The militia regiments present the Duke of Tradgardland with a Christmas tree for his palace. In exchange the Duke presents his loyal and brave soldiers with barrels of salted herring and mulled ale for the celebrations ahead...
This will be my last post before Christmas Day and may I take this chance to thank you all for your support,comments and ideas this past year. Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here in Tradgardland.May you have a glorious day tomorrow.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Put out more flags

Home for the hols from school now- that is me until Jan 9th 2012! We had the Nativity play in church a.m and then a convivial gathering briefly in the staffroom. It is good to be off. I was grateful to a fellow blogger (tinsoldier) for posting the trailer to "The Hobbit" which I had not seen- roll on 14th Dec next year!I can't wait...
Some posts ago Jim (I think) commented upon my flags so I thought I would post on them. The Duchy of Tradgardland's army is comprised ,on the whole, of militia regiments .They are maintained and funded by the Guilds. The flags reflect this - for example in the province of Smaaland they make raquets and balls for tennis,exporting them across Europa.Hence they have this depicted on their flags. Others shown depict the "sun in splendour" badge of the duke.
When I began this blog some years ago I painted my flags( badly on paper) but soon changed over to designing them on the computer and printing them out. I searched in vain for an example of my early efforts to no avail last night to photograph with these more recent ones.

Monday 19 December 2011

House building in Tradgardland...

Having been impressed recently by Tidder's buildings I decided to have a go myself.I resized a photograph,printed it out and glued it to card.It was then scored and cut to size. I am pleased with the results whch will form the edge of the wargaming table and can also be used as a free standing 3D one too.I am pleased with the results.The next stage will be to add different coloured shutters and other details.

Sunday 18 December 2011


The tree now decorated including some decorations from the 1920s which my father had on his tree as a boy.We have kept them very carefully and will pass them on to the next generation.

The road less travelled...

After church today we went straight to Blairadam forest ( a few miles north of Dunfermline and run by the Forestry Commission) to buy our Christmas tree. We have been going there for ours the last 14 years give or take a few years when we have used a growing one which is still in the garden in a pot. Here is a photo of the tree back at the Duchy as I forgot to take the camera with us. Blairadam is nearby and the road winds down to the forestry centre through dense woods which the imaginative (me) might perceive to contain boar,bears and other large mammals. We hope to decorate the tree later today and post an image here

Saturday 17 December 2011

Outwith the Imperium camp...

Saturday at last! Went uptown en famile a.m today and did a little shopping but came back prior to the crowds. Jan is at her work lunch today which is being held in a Californian restaurant in Edinburgh.I am too tired to paint effectively and once some ironing etc was done I set up a small game between the Imperium and the Duchy of Tradgardland. The situation was a Tradgardland advance guard coming upon the outskirts of the Imperium army camp unexpectedly. The game was played solo using no rules but ideas thoughts etc from many set informally held in my mind.It was fun ,relaxing and I must do it more often! I enjoyed see the Ducal forces on the table after a too long absence.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Of Elric and Cooperative Learning...

Well,sadly, my three days Cooperative learning course ended this afternoon. I have rarely been inspired by CPD events in the past but this was different. Inspirational teacher (Chris Ward ,a Canadian) good company and great food provided by the Home Economic students of Tynecastle High School.I return (reluctantly) to the chalkface/trenches with good ideas...

My companion,in the form of a book, on the train journeys was a compendium of Elric novels by Michael Moorcock. I loved his books,read them in my teens & twenties and gave them to Charity ( along with many others of various kinds) when I had to downsize dramatically my book collection many years ago. I have not really picked them up since and was pleasantly surprised how well they read after all this time.I am gripped once more by the character and the creativity of Moorcock.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Snow,no, Elks and a map question...

After the storms of Thursday we awoke to snow lying a few inches deep this Saturday. Life is hectic here and it is busy with different family members needing to be diverse places at diverse times.I am working this Sunday ( Cooperative Learning 9- 4.30 leaving home at before 7am) with the course continuing Monday & Tuesday .I will not be at school theses days therefore & can't make up my mind wheter this is a good or bad thing.

A recent post at the Duchy of Stollen -
talks of "No Days" - a need to just have some R&R for oneself/family at this time of year.I feel the Duke of Stollen has an excellent point to make there.

Finally a confession- I love elks ( or Moose to our American friends) and think they are fascinating animals.Here is one from the Black Forest (bought by Jan in Oct in Peebles) which I was given today as we approach Christmas . He will feature in our decorations this year.
Finally my school was having a clear out and kindly gave me some 1966 25 inches to the mile maps of where I grew up in Edinburgh.Any hobby thoughts about how I could utilise such fascinating reminders of my youth?

Thursday 8 December 2011

Storm and Impetus

Fife and City of Edinburgh schools closed at lunchtime due to extreme weather. I had a horrendous journey over the Forth Rail Bridge in an over crowded train. The train crawled over the bridge and swayed in a way I have never known before. As a result we were all home by mid to later afternoon. The wind howls outside but we are cosy and safe for the night.
I am posting images of my completed Basic Impetus armies. The Scottish mythological includes amongst others- a base of kelpie,sidhe in chariot and on foot,a druidic shaman and the fachan.Note one of the "old things" as Kipling calls them- old gods who survive in diminised form.In this case it is the Dagda. The Highland/Islands army has skirmishers,armoured islesmen and fierce highlanders.
Those of you still to jouney home I wish you safe travel and a peaceful evening by your hearth.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

An update...

Another hectic week here in the Duchy. I have started the ACW project and am raising the following Union forces:

3rd brigade Col T B W Stockton

20th Maine inf regt

Michigan Sharpshooters,Brady's Company

16th Michigan Inf Regt

12th New York inf regt

17th new york inf regt

44th new york inf regt

83rd Pennsylvania inf regt

I have committed to a trial game with the new rules on the 30th of December so I am getting my skates on re painting. A limited palette does help compared to the 18th century...
Am thinking of my initial dispostions for Paul's WW1 campaign and first moves will be soon.I am commanding Army Black and have much to ponder.Photos and updates etc will appear on Paul's blog.
Painted two ww1 figures in 28mm and am pleased with the results.One is the Duke of Tradgardland of 1919 and the other is his aide de camp. The figures are from a period of great turmoil in the Duchy where diverse factions fought an overspill campaign from the Left v Right chaos which torn Germany apart. Ducal,Freikorps,Left,right and others fought over Tradgardland with the Duke at the centre things.

Monday 5 December 2011

Trial by Fire...

The following day sees our hero encountering Croats in the winter flecked woods. A trial by fire ( thankfully not accurate )sees this brave Tradgardlander survive once more...

Saturday 3 December 2011

At Dawn

After travelling through a cold and wintry night a young Tradgardland Militiaman finally arrives at his destination as the light of a new day dawns. Exhausted he knocks in an certain way upon the ancient doors in the hillside and asks to be allowed in in the name of Sarastro. The door is unbolted ,a servant stands within holding a lit lantern.Whispers are exchanged and the Militiaman follows him down the stairs...

Thursday 1 December 2011

Warg !

The wolves are becoming a menace on the borders of Tradgardland as winter approaches.They decend from the Umstrittental Mountains in search of easy pickings.Here we see a patrol encountering a pack.A well aimed shot ,the wolves depart only to regroup once more under the cover of darkness.