Monday 31 December 2012

Battle of Took's Farm- with apologies to HGW...

Today I played my first Mythical Earth game . Please click on the above picture to see the dispositions...
Figures used were Minifigs Mythical Earth figures and Jim Duncan's rules - both circa 1976. 
Farmer Took had vacated his farm and sought shelter as soon as the first wargs were seen in the woods nearby .Soon they were joined by their evil allies. Farmer Took's son was able to seek the aid of Elves and Riders of Rohan to try and save his land. The Took family found a place from which to view the coming battle and waited for the action to commence.
A fierce battle was joined between the Wood Elves and the Trolls/Giant for  Firefly Temple.
Ent,Huorn,dwarves,goblins and Dunlanders contest the wood...
The Wood Elves flee in the face of superior odds...
The Riders of Rohan rout off the table after a fierce melee preceded by archery. The wizard ,whose magic has gone wrong routs off the table.

At the end of the battle the goblins and Dunlanders rout off the field,the wargs flee back to the mountains whilst the giant meets it's end at upon myriad lance points.
The game ended in a draw with farmer Took the only winner. Both sides slunk away under the cover of darkness. I really enjoyed the game and will have another solo one very soon adding in swarms of bats ,eagles etc...

Saturday 29 December 2012

A little light conversion work...

Yesterday my 40mm  pre painted Anglo Saxons and Vikings arrived from Expeditionary Force in Singapore. I finally got them unpacked this afternoon.They were really well packaged and travelled extremely well.So I settled down for a litttle light converting.Figures cut well and stuck on with superglue. In the first picture I have converted a Saxon Cavalry standard by taking a viking figure repainting the cloak,swopping a hand and adding a banner.
The above vikings have had a paper banner added and a sword hand stuck on from the mounted figure in the first picture.

All I have done here is to add a banner to make a Saxon standard bearer .

Finally a picture to show the scale involved. A 25mm SYW figure stands with a 40mm Expeditionary Force archer.
I am delighted with my figures and will set up a game soon using Tidders Saxons v Vikings rules. A pleasing enjoyable half an hours work.

Friday 28 December 2012

Painting ...

One of the joys of this time of year is the chance to get a little more time to paint.I have no permanent place to lay out the work in progress  so sometimes I cannot be bothered to get out all that is necessary for the job. This morning I assembled the books etc needed to paint up some Pennsylvanian infantry from Fort Ligonier. I chose these splendid fellows for two reasons.Firstly I like the green coats faced red and secondly General Forbes lived in Dunfermline where we live. I enjoyed using for reference some Ospreys as well as a splendid American book I picked up in Foyles Bookshop in London in 1988. I loved the book at the time and it has given good service and joy over the years.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Ezekiel Dunn's Company of Rangers

  1. Today we had a day at home ,having been feted by my cousin and his family yesterday. I resolved to paint a few figures for the French Indian Wars in the shape of a Company of Rangers. Figures are Rafm and I enjoyed painting and basing them.They will be used with Musket and Tomahawks  which I bought late summer and have not played yet. I hope you all had a good Boxing Day's Boxing Day if you know what I mean...

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Old ,middle and new school?

Boxing day morning and all the rest of the family are still slumbering. I am up working on my Middle Earth project.Today I have finished an old school Huorn (sentient tree) from the mythical Earth range, middle school bat swarm (Chariot miniatures) and Eagles (Peter Pig) and new school- a plastic Hobbit film related goblin bought for a couple of pounds in a sealed bag in Waterstons when I saw it at the till when buying a present for my wife.I have utilised  him as a giant in the absence of having one of those lovely (Pauline Baynes inspired?) Minifigs Mythical Earth Giants I wish I still had. Please forgive the old/middle& new School peg  which I have hung my post on  as it is merely a passing thought.
Finally what rules did you chaps use for the Mythical Earth range in your youth and if anyone finds  any old M.E range figures in th eloft I remain interested...
Have a great Boxing Day!

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas Day

A splendid day is being had here in Tradgardland.Up at seven,Church at nine and home for bacon/maple syrup/pancakes and the rest of the pressies later. Jan made a beautiful meal,the girls assisted and I washed up.
A copy of the Wargamer's Annual and a book on Catherine the Great are waiting to be enjoyed later. New lead in the shape of 1920s Gurkhas and Pathans in 28 mm arrived and look superb ( you can't go far wrong with Copplestone and Empress I say) and will form the basis of a new project for 2013. Have a great day one and all...

Monday 24 December 2012

Christmas Greetings...

Although many of you have left Christmas greetings already( thank you one and all) I still wanted to post my Christmas photos for you all. The Ducal band is preparing for Midnight Mass accompanied and supported by standard bearers who will form part of the procession tonight.

The inhabitants of the Trollshaws have an expected visitor today outside their lair today in Mythical Earth...

Have a great Christmas whatever you are doing.I look forward to hearing of the gifts you have received and your plans for them and 2013!

Merry Christmas from all of us here in the Duchy of Tradgardland.

Sunday 23 December 2012


The Duke of Tradgardland's  newish Band are finalising their music for the Christmas season in the shadow of the Ducal Palace.They have settled in well to life in the Duchy and are keen to make a significant contribution this year.

Monday 17 December 2012

Four good things...

The postman brought a number of packages etc to the Duchy today.Firstly some Mythical Earth figures for my old school middle earth project- thanks Mike they arrived safely,cheers!
Secondly some garden inspiration in the form of a monthly magazine we subscribe to - good reading for the dark winter nights,inspiring gardens and tempting book reviews.
Thirdly the customary of our Lady of Walsingham- a new prayer book bringing the riches of the Anglican tradition into the Catholic Church ...
Last by no means least the latest very British civil War title from Solway Craft s and Miniatures.It is even more exciting as I contributed the material on the League of St Andrew and get a mention for doing so.I am chuffed to bits .
Only a few days to the Christmas hols can't wait!

Sunday 16 December 2012

The Hobbit

Went last night to see The Hobbit with my daughters.Great film and we loved it.What do you chaps think?

Thursday 13 December 2012

Funny little Wars help sought

Evening chaps!
I am looking for a historical precedent (if such a thing is appropriate or even desirable in our games) for having units of Army Black and Army White fighting side by side in a FLW army.Of course it is a case of wanting my cake and eating it ( how appropriate for the Austro -Hungarians of Army White)  and wanting to field both splendid troops in one force .Can you help?
many thanks

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Jazz Age Imperialism...

Evening all from a frosty Tradgardland! Just a quick post with accompanying photo. I am hoping to get some 1920s/30s pathans and Gurkhas from Santa this year.Yes,I know it is a new period/diversion/side period but who could resist the Empress Miniatures figures and Copplestone Castings too?
I have been doing background reading in the form of John Master's autbiography,Edwin Herbert's Risings and Rebellions and myriad internet sites etc. I like the whole twenties/thirties vibe,solar topees,wooly poolies,armoured cars,tankettes,sepia photos and the alike.
I am looking for ideas for rules.So far I have Triumph and Tradgedy  and The Osprey Interwar Rules  in mind .However I would appreciate your ideas .It is to be a wee game set up- 30 or so figs a side ,a gun or two and an a/c.Maybe a gleaming silvered plane from the RAF. Let me know what you think...

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Waiting patiently

It is six fifteen a.m and I am off to work very soon via the train. A combination of lack of time,energy and icy weather has meant I did not get round to my weekend game.So in the meantime,to encourage myself and to let you see part of the project , here are the forces waiting patiently in their new boxfile...

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Hard times of old Tradgardland 2- The previous day...

Hiding in the woods a small figure looks and listens as the farmer dons his uniform,collects his musket from above the fireplace and hugs his wife and children farewell.The small figure remembers the farmer's politeness and frequent saucers of milk and with a heavy heart follows the farmer at a discrete distance until he sees him join with others soldiers marching towards the city. The farmer needs me reasons the small figure and he resolves to follow wherever it made lead...

Sunday 2 December 2012


And so Advent begins...
Yesterday Jan and I did a little Christmas shopping together in Edinburgh at Holy Corner (so called because of the number of churches at the junction of some roads there)which was a lovely way to start the Season. A sudden freezing has left the Duchy under sheet ice.Considering my enthusiasm for ski troops in miniatures I am surprisingly wary of ice generally as I walk about. We had wonderful coffee and apple strudel at the German baker/coffee shop pictured in the top photograph.If in the city don't miss this place!
Cards were bought too including ones with a painting by the Marianne Stokes.I have posted this image of another of her most famous works. I had better dash -off to Church soon and later this afternoon I hope to have time to set up a Middle Earth game on the dining room table. Have a good day one and all!

Monday 26 November 2012

Re Liebster Award

Many thanks to those who nominated me for the Liebster Award.I'm delighted to get mentioned and now need to nominate five .So without more ado here goes...
One. War Diaries of a little Englander
Always an eclectic mix of periods,gardening ,poetry and diverse items to think upon...
Two Steam Steel and Torpeodoes- great modelling and a fascinating back story...
Three.Sumer to Sargon.A visually beautiful and very informative guide to Sumerian wargaming.Those onager pulled battlecarts are fantastic
Four:Shandy and Vauban - al fresco wargaming the 18th Century with 54mm figures and indoors too
Five: A very creative 18th century imagination and diverse ideas for scenery and gaming.Do pop over and see if you haven't been there yet.Always something intersting

So there we are gents.It was so hard to choose only five but I had to make a decision...

Sunday 25 November 2012

Balrog!!!!!!!!!!And I'm back...

Our dwarven friends have encountered a Balrog ( an evil spirit remaining from the 1st Age of Middle Earth) and have decided to stand their ground.More fool them I fear. Figures from The Mythical Earth Minifigs range circa 1976.These are from the first wave of small packets containing  figures for my nostalgia project.I hope more will appear here in the Duchy this coming week
I was able to post this thanks to the helpful advice left here and on EvE,not to mention Photobucket. Thanks very much one and all.

Help sought....

I seem to have come to a limit with the pictures I can upload to my blog Duchy of Tradgardland! I couldn't post a picture this afternoon for this reason.Has this happened to any of you here in EvE land? What does one do. Mention came up of buying space.Answers in terms for the technologically challenged like me please ...
many thanks

Saturday 24 November 2012

friends reunited

The weekend has arrived here in Tradgardland.The frost lies white upon the lawn and I have had my coffee-allowed one a day of the caf stuff .It has been a busy week at work and home  and it is good to be off for a couple of days. Firstly a book to recommend-
Sorry about odd piccie of it but I got it off the web rather than getting the camera out. I just started this book the other day and it is a splendid read so far. I'm quite taken with this Jazz Age Imperialism malarky. I watched The Drum on the web last weekend and enjoyed the battle scenes immensely.

On a different front,due the helpfulness of fellow gamers,I am beginning to build my Mythical Earth forces for some gaming circa 1976.One wee parcel has arrived full of goodies and I await two other larger ones. I can't wait for the post to come. To some the figures may seem odd and basic but to me they are a joy.It is like being reunited with old friends.Have a good Saturday wherever you are.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Hard times of old Tradgardland...

There are lean times in the Duchy of Tradgardland these days. The Duke's coffers are nearly empty and he has wracked his brains with regard to how to get his hands upon some coin. After many late nights in the taverns of  Tradgardstadt,talking with characters of ill repute, a deal has been struck.News soon leaked out to the people who were shocked by that which he heard. Two regiments of Tradgardland  Miltia have been "loaned" for an indefinite time to another country far ,far away! The troops marched down to the waiting galley fleet through the sobbing crowds.Old men spat at the mere mention of the Duke's name.Wives wondered if they would ever see their loved ones again.For one and all knew that the men were destined for a country of ill repute-Borduria.
Tradgardlanders as mercenaries,whatever next.
The troops sail with the tide.
to be continued

Saturday 17 November 2012

Whats on the painting table today?

Morning all,Saturday at last-huzzah! Quick quiz question what am I painting today? Scale,manufacturer and unit if you want to answer...

Saturday 10 November 2012

Span Am1898 big board portable wargame preparations.

This morning I went uptown and printed off Bob's Big Board rules.I saw fascinating paper sculptures at the library and had coffee with my wife followed by a browse in Waterstons. The afternoon saw me getting out my old battered Frei Korp 15s and setting to work upon them.They are brittle and many need superglued to get them ready.Firstly theSpanish-
Then the American and Cuban allies were tackled.Having spent ages on a  base I clumsily let it fall and shatter into many pieces. Here are the Americans-
complete with dynamite gun,machine gun and dismounted Rough Riders.
I now need cloth,card or paper to rule grids upon and then the game may begin-can't wait.

Mythical Earth- warning this contains nostalgia!

Morning all!
I am starting on my quest to raise some Minifigs Mythical Earth figures ( I
blame that forthcoming film...) once more.I have some about to come from afar
and am asking you all in case you have the odd fellow lying about unwanted.
I would like to begin to rebuild my forces of circa 1976.

These chaps of mine could do with some company  so rake hard and let me know what you can spare.
I never did them painting justice all those years ago and I would like to make it up to them if I could.We were so keen to play that they took the field ( carried lovingly in one of my father's empty Van Heusen shirt boxes) with a rough coat of paint and a few details highlighted.Worst were the wee trolls in a pinkish shade.Those were the ones who tuned to stone in daylight in a battle or two and became hard cover to defend! I was rather envious of the splendidly painted armies in use at the South East of Scotland Wargames club at the time. I can't quite recall where all my figures went in many house moves save to say they have been gone for ages.A shoebox, full to the brim,were used regularly in my student days to play Dungeons and Dragons and were left in an Edinburgh flat live din by my friend Tony and where the games were played  ( may be still there in a dark corner -loads of Uruk -Hai and lesser orcs too,enough for a splendid dungeon crawl...)from what I recall for some unknown reason.Whoa,that enough nostalgic wallowing for one day.Have a great Saturday one and all!
p.s apologies for odd font size/layout but either Blogger or myself is playing up terribly this morning!

Thursday 8 November 2012

I'm so excited...

Just booked my cinema tickets for THE HOBBIT for 15/12/12 online this evening.I can't wait!

Sunday 4 November 2012

Portable wargaming advances...some ideas and pictures

Just a brief update on my activities today. Firstly I found the hobbits hidden away in the garden shed/room.They are now primed and ready for painting.Secondly a photo of their potential portable wargaming opponents-
They are 10mm Pendraken wargs and goblin riders mounted on pennies.I intend to use 2 figures per unit/square to assist with casualty removal  as well as the fact it looks better. I have started to adapt/butcher the portable wargame rules for fantasy use.I have scribbled ideas in my moleskine book today.A work in progress this week during train journeys and walks to and from the station.
Finally I have resolved my dilemma of 3D hills in a gridded game-
I did not want to draw a grid on the hills as I wished to use them in non -gridded games so I achieved what I wanted with thread secured below the hill with masking tape.The two lines allow me to place/move the figures on a 3d hill without the need to add the threads at ninety degrees to the ones depicted. All in all I am pleased with what I achieved.As for blastof bridge ,it will have to wait until next weekend once I have figured the best way to set the river up on a 8x8 board.

North by North East...

Yesterday we took the car Northwards from the Duchy (over this splendid bridge which was the scene of fighting in 1639 at the start of the ecw) to Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen to allow Anna to attend their Open Day. I had come along for the ride and thought I would wander about whilst Anna and my wife had the tour.However I was most fortunate and was able to tag along with them.What followed was a very stimulating tour,chance to see student's work and chat with staff.It was fascinating even for one like me with zero artistic talent.Anna now has to weigh up the pros and cons   of which University to apply to...
Too tired at night to paint,so after downloading an ap,I was able to watch "Tis pity she's a whore" a  drama about the English civil War.It was one of the few times where I enjoyed everything but the battle scenes! Peter Capaldi was Charles I and it worked ,much to my initial surprise. I think I will stick with it and try episode 2 soon.
I have been searching for some 10mm hobbits (excitement regarding the forthcoming film is rising...) lost somewhere in my Lead Mountain but to no avail.I have been in the shed and everywhere else too.I have located their opponents in the shape of  wargs and goblin warg riders.It is my hope to try and get them up and running as a portable wargame adaption. Otherwise litttle actual gaming/painting this week but loads of thoughts and ideas.Scribbled notes lest I forget them adorn (deface?) my Dodo Pad...
I remain currently very taken by the idea of gridded wargaming and hope in around 9 days to get my wife to pick up felt for me and then help me grid it(bad English) as her "eye" transcends mine .I am thinking of 3 inch squares for my tabletop which can be used for many different periods including 18th century imagination games.
It is morning here with frost on the lawn and the sunne shining.I'm off for another coffee before the family rises .Have a good day one and all...

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Fact and Fiction...

Some time ago on GWP3 I wrote the following vbcw related item-
"In the latter part of the 19th century there was a lot of emigration from Baden W├╝rttemberg to the U.K . Many of them were butchers and specialist makers of cold meats. They set up as Pork Butchers in a variety of locations such as Newcastle and Edinburgh. Surnames included Sneider,Ludwig Egner,Baumann and Gruber. They integrated well into English and Scottish Society whilst retaining a desire to socialise with their German relatives. They met up for picnics ,card games as well as at family weddings and ocassions.They remained a close knit community.
In Edinburgh such a community existed. In the unrest of the late 1930’s the Community formed the “Fleischer Radfahrer Burgerwehr” or Butcher’s Cyclist Militia . The meat was often delivered by boys on bicycles so a bicycle mounted force seemed obvious to those who founded the unit. Although mainly raised for the defence of family ,homes and business premises the F.R.B were available for service further afield when required..."

I later developed the unit for my creation The League of St Andrew where they were a cycle mounted unit .The other day Panzerkaput (aka Pete Barfield) that talented artist of the Panzerkaput blog created an illustration of a member of the unit-
He is a splendid creation and I am delighted by Pete's fantastic work. I thought it would be fun to post a photo( which recently came to light when sorting through my mother's things) of my family outside the shop in Edinburgh in the 1930's -

Note apron clad boys and window filled with red ,white and black puddings! Thanks again Pete I am chuffed to bits with your painting!

Saturday 27 October 2012

Battle and Book

The Duke of Tradgardland and his forces could not hold off the Danish invaders-
The Duke flees the battlefield with the remnants of the Ducal army. He hopes to meet his opponents again at the strategic river crossing at Blasthof bridge where he is determined to stem the tide of invasion. Photos of my portable wargame "take" upon the Brigadier's game tomorrow.
Finally if you are interested in the Danish army of the period the following book is a must-
Text is in Danish but it is still incredibly useful for it's information ,illustrations and maps.

The portable Imagination circa 1801

It is Saturday morning .Last night I managed to finish basing the figures and glue the Tradgardland Militia colours to their standardbearers after a busy week at school.Prior to going to bed I set up the game on the dining room table.It is on a 13inch square flooring tile.Here is the situation at the start of the game-
The Tradgardland Militia (commanded by Duke Karl Frederick iv himself) are defending a small market town.The Duke's command consists of 5 units of Militia (rated poor in the rules) a unit of artillery and a squadron of  hussars. Attempting to take the village are their arch enemies ( in the Enlightenment Age at least) from the Kingdom of Denmark commanded by General A E Bertgesson. He commands five infantry units ( 2 average and three poor) two cavalry ( militia rated poor and line rated average) a unit of artillery and  one of light infantry in the shape of  Frivillige Korps Livjeger.
I can't wait to see what happens when the game commences after I pour myself another cup of tea..
Finally another view of the battlefield-Duke Karl frederick and his army awaiting the assault...

Sunday 21 October 2012

Some small steppes,sorry steps...

With my recent inability to/lack of desire to carry on (at present) with my Tradgardland mid 18th century project my mind has been exploring possibilities for another opponent for The Imperium and her troops.On trains and in diverse places I thought of a few possibilities-an Italianate Dukedom,Gallia in the 1740s to name but two. However a combination of  my visit yesterday ( and the preceding anticipation) some Osprey's purchased at the time of my 50th and a rummage in the depths of the lead mountain came together last night-
The very start of a big 50 man unit.I don't know if and when I will finish it although I very much intend to give it my best shot time and energy considered.Thoughts too are of a new character in the form of a  young princess from the Duchy of Tradgardland travelling to the East to marry a Prussian obsessed Duke.We shall see where we go with this one...

Saturday 20 October 2012

Tradgardland goes to Russia,almost...

Well we are coming to the end of my Half Term break.I have enjoyed it as well as getting some useful things accomplished also. I have moved my late mother's flat and affairs forward with my wife's help and enjoyed a renewed enthusiasm for the hobby.
Today I went with my eldest, Zoe, to see the Catherine the Great Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.It was put on in partnership with the Hermitage Museum and contained a selection of it's treasures.
A photograph of the Duke of Tradgardland  just prior to going in to the exhibition-Two key eighteenth century figures depicted together for the first time.
We were treated to a glorious array of   court costumes,china,paintings and diverse fascinating items from the 18th Century.A few hours flew by very quickly indeed. I was particularly taken with a wooden intricately carved sledge and the picture of an ice mountain built upon a frozen river used for toboggan rides by the Court.It was a tremendous exhibition to visit and I have had my "Enthusiasm Batteries" for the 18th Century recharged...

Thursday 18 October 2012

Now with added...

The Freikorps have enlisted the help of a tank which they have personalised with jaunty skull and crossbones.Meanwhile the Spartacists have been reinforced-
by Revolutionary sailors from the Volksmarine division.What will happen next...

Tuesday 16 October 2012

A more pleasing layout...

I tried the German Revolution 1919 game with the new terrain pieces I purchased yesterday-
Above is the Spartacist's headquarters situated in the old town.
The Freikorps enter from the table edge near the old town gate. All in all a step forward with the look of things I feel.

Horse & Musket wargaming-Tradgardland 1805

Morning all.I have decided to post some pictures of my attempt to make a portable wargame set up for the horse and musket period.I have used a chess board for the trial game but hope to get some green felt to use later.Anyway the fun is experimenting at present.I have set the game between the forces of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Duchy of Tradgardland 1805.
Figures are essentially Minifigs based in sixes from a display game some years ago of the battle of Koge.
The Tradgardland Militia defend a village from the invaders.
I am pleased with the results so far and look foward to adding forces and tweaking the set up...

Monday 15 October 2012

Great value ...

I was in Waterston's in Dunfermline this morning.Picked these houses up there for £4.99.A  bargain indeed!