Sunday 29 January 2012

If you go down to the woods...

Had a go at some cheap and cheerful cardboard 54mm trees- have a look at them at
let me know what you think - I fancy them en masse for 28mm figures!


Thought I'd post this picture of the books currently being enjoyed by us.It is a handy place to leave books being browsed through and looks great too.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Friday night game...

My regular opponent and I have a New Year Resolution which is to game once a month.This would be far more often than we managed last year or for some time before. The period of choice is the ACW at present and we are still learning the rules.Artillery was factored in for the first time last night and we aim to use cavalry as part of things properly next time.
Last night's game saw my Union fellows streaming off the table having been routed by a combination of bullet and bayonet. My Union guns were charged and their crews put to flight too. Not a good night for the North but a great game anyway- our second within  a month...
Finally I have been gathering ACW movies of late- Gettysburg,Gods and Generals,Ride with the devil and most recently Glory. What should I buy next -recommendations please gentlemen

Tuesday 24 January 2012

A return

I found this waiting for me on my return from school.It is an old friend given away years ago and now bought second hand anew. It is a charming tale well told.I can hardly wait to begin to read it...

Sunday 22 January 2012

Enjoying 54mm

Not much happening here but more at
Do pop by if you have a moment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

A question of flags...

Evening all ! I wonder if I can trouble you for a minute? Can you pop over to my other blog and vote on which flag design you prefer.You will find the poll at
Many thanks

Sunday 15 January 2012

A question of scales...

I thought I would post a picture to compare the size of a couple of cyclist figures I own. The smaller is a Dixon's miniature which will be used for a VBCW, probably as part of a Welsh Nationalist recon unit. The larger one is a 54mm cyclist for my Funny Little Wars/ Big Wars project. I am painting him as a Swiss cyclist circa 1914 for my Army Red/White as it is known. The army name relate to the army Red and Blue used in  H G Well's "Little  Wars" book- without which our hobby would not have begun. 54mm is fun to paint and a good change. I have a blog dedicated to my 54mm modelling and my love of period photos and paintings of around 1900 to 1914.It can be found at
Army Red White and others  h
Do pop by and have a look. Over the short time I have had it I have found quite a diversity of pictures depicting armies of the time ,have a look back when you are there...

Saturday 14 January 2012

Update from the Duchy

Firstly may I say a big "thank you" to all who left supportive and encouraging advice here.They were a great  source of ideas to think upon.I have tried to act upon the advice,restart an old project and have enjoyed painting today - both this morning before breakfast and now in the afternoon.
I have made the transition back to work and have had a busy ,useful but at times frustrating week. Highpoint of the week was Jan's visit to her consultant  where we were given the fantastic news that all is going well one year almost exactly since treatment stopped!
I have posted a photo of me at work today on the restarted project-do feel free to have a guess as to what I am gluing and painting .More information very soon.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Musing darkly

It is early Saturday morning, coffee mug in hand. I am up trying to work up enthusiasm for the mind numbing paperwork needed for my return to work on Monday. I am getting nowhere. I say to myself that I am fortunate to have had a long holiday and I should be ready to return to the fray.I am not.
My mind has gone over the half finished ( or should that be half-baked) hobby projects that lie as ideas in jotters and bitty lead/plastic around the house and in the shed.Little to show for years of spending and collecting that is valid.In some way I wish I had concentrated all my efforts into a few grand projects but I am also glad I have been a butterfly flitting around the hobby.Fickle fellow me.Nevertheless there is little of quality and originality in my hobby output and whereas I often  gain inspiration from other's hobby work all I can see is the more disciplined,better achieved and more eloquently described work of others...
Maybe its just a bad ,dark morning in Tradgardland.

Friday 6 January 2012

Health Warning 3

Any suggestions for "Old School"  style figures to depict the french of around 1792- the scruffier the better!

Health Warning 2

I knew it would happen. Whilst taking down the Christmas  decorations and throwing out old papers and extracting articles from magazines prior to recycling I came across the two books pictured here- Funcken and Haythornthwaite. I have kept them since I started ( and eventually downsized when moving 15 years or so ago) a Revolutionary War  set up circa 1989.In the Funcken I found Nafziger orders of battle now mottled at the edges and scribbled upon with notes about the Hincliffe Survorov Russian and French I bought then.

Anyway I spent part of yesterday looking at the books which are excellent and filled with superb pictures and info.Something came back to me that Jean Louis said about an integrety of my Tradgardland blogging/collecting etc. It started me thinking about the Duchy of Tradgardland in 1792- a conservative state which has retained it's army since the SYW more or less the same ( ie my current Ducal 25mm army) and faced with the Revolutionary Gallian (French) forces and their new tactical doctrines. I imagined the Gallian Duc de Padirac leading an emigre unit ...
 Wargamers Annual 2012 you have a lot to answer for :)

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Health warning required?

Yesterday I ordered a book over the phone from Caliver and it arrived today- splendid service indeed! The book (Wargamer's Annual 2012) is fantastic and inspirational.Packed with great articles and ideas it is just what one needs on a dreek Scottish evening.However I fear it should carry a health warning for what it could do to one's bank account! Loads of ideas for new periods, scenery etc.Steady in the ranks I say! I am rather too tempted by the emigres and the Revolutonary War...
I was really interested to read of the reissue of the Grant's WW2 book with additions- oh no another temptation.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

1860's Tradgardland -getting the look right...

I have been painting and organising today.This project began last August and was planned even longer ago.A little was done on the holiday of the Royal Wedding and then put aside unitil now. I want units of around 12 figures for infantry and am still undecided for cavalry and artillery. The figures represent the Tradgardland Ducal forces of around 1864. I am looking for units which look good on the table as well as giving an impression of the warfare of the mid 19th century. The game will be fought with only a few units aside on a smallish table.The photos show an infantry regiment with skirmishers sent forward (perhaps next time I ought to get firing figures for the skirmishers?) one with a movement tray and one without. Movement trays are useful to define formed troops as well as to aid movement on the tabletop- lazy chap am I not? I would be interested in your thoughts on my organisation as well as advice on cavalry...
Finally I want to use my informal rules free gaming as I have done in the 18th century.How should the game differ? What are the key elements of the period warfare? I await your ideas gentlemen...

Wind and Wuthering

Tuesday 7.30 a.m
We planned to go over to Edinburgh today but the severe weather warnings from the Met office changed our minds. I awoke at 6.45 a.m and heard the rain and wind battering the Duchy! Last night we watched "Endeavour" on ITV1 and I thought it was excellent. I am a great fan of Inspector Morse,less so of Lewis but loved this new  Endeavour. Morse was depicted in his youth of the 1960s and his earliest days of detective work.Well worth a watch chaps.
I couldn't resist this 18th century picture of a windy day in Edinburgh in the days when she was the Athens of the North.
Yesterday tried to sort things out re hobby stuff,paint a little and think about what to do this year, One definite is to game more. Hopefully to establish a monthly game with my regular opponent Phil. The ACW will feature large in our gaming and plans. I have sent for a couple of artillery pieces complete with crews and odd figures to complete units in the brigade. Hopefully Dixon will dispatch these soon. I am keen to solo game more too- time and energy allowing. With this in mind I have shifted all the Umstrittental units into a box file for pickupability.I am more inclined to game if I don't have to hunt stuff out. Gosh that wind is hollowing outside- last year snow this year wind? The Forth Bridges are suseptible to closure and this "ups" things greatly with regard to travelling to work. I am fortunate to not have to go out today! Other hobby plans are up in the air at the moment.I have loads of ideas,half finished schemes and loads of lead around. I feel I have lost my way a little with vbcw gaming- I never game it ,try to model too diverse a range of stuff and don't really get anywhere with it. Yesterday I found a half started project of 1860's Old School style wargaming set in Tradgardland. Some figures looked good and I could have enough for some gaming- hmmmm. Loads to think about as I pour another coffee and throw a metaphorical log on the metaphorical fire...
Finally the title of this post came from an album by the band Genesis who I have loved since I discovered them in my teens- this album was possibly one of their best in my opinion.

Monday 2 January 2012

The Carpenter's Guild of the town of Sumpf in Umstirittental

The countryside surrounding the town of Sumpf is famous(or should that be notorious) for the foul smelling swamps which are the bane of traveller and local alike. The local people use long poles to aid their travelling by vaulting over drainage ditches and stagnant pools. This is a custom similar to the inhabitants of Ditchmarschen.
The local carpenter's Guild provide the town with a company of jaeger. Here you can see them with Guild banner,equipped with the aforementioned long poles and rifled muskets. In difficult terrain the company is formidable in spite of their reluctance to attend shooting practise on Sundays after church...

Anyone got a spare Elric etc...

Monday morning early...
I'm up painting some 25mm imagination stuff- a colourful change after all the acw of earlier in the hols. At Hogmany we watched 84 Charing Cross Road as a family.A superb film and one that had me hankering for my old habit of going round 2nd hand book shops in search of elusive personal treasures.Now I use Amazon! Memo to me- must go more bookshops this year.
On the subject of books I had a very pleasant time yesterday reading my Elric short novels/stories. After walking to and from Church and having a splendid meal I enjoyed the adventures of Elric and Moonglum.I wold dearly like a figure of each for Songs of Blades and Heroes gaming. If you can help let me know ...