Sunday 29 April 2012

Moving on...

Many thanks for the kind comments you left on my previous post. I hope to resume blogging soon with, amongst other matters, news of the new Duke in the Duchy of Tradgardland...

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Sad news...

Events in Tradgardland have been superseded by Reality!

On St George's Eve my Mother died suddenly.Although she has been unwell on and off for years this came out of the blue,as they say,to us all. Please remember her and us in your thoughts and prayers...

Sunday 22 April 2012

The Battle of Drei Hugel- part two

The battlefield set up at the end of the first turn with the Duke's artillery having fired and missed
A few turns later the battle is well underway. Grenadiers advance across the stream,skirmishers deployed in broken ground and musket fire exchanged. Casualties have been inflicted on both sides...
A lucky shot by one of the light infantry has hit Duke Karl Frederick in his capacity as general.
With his army in disarray the Duke's body is defended by his fellow Tradgardlanders in the face of the onslaught from the enemy. The battle ended with the army fleeing off the table with the lifeless Duke being carried homeward by his loyal men

Another enjoyable ( albeit dramatic encounter) on a small playing surface. All forces involved could be stored into a  box file. The battle was fought using ideas gleaned from many rules sets with no formal rules down on paper. This approach was learned from Fitzbadger and his seminal "We don't need no stinkin rules " of some time ago. 

Saturday 21 April 2012

The battle of Drei Hugel

Duke Karl Frederick of Tradgardland has involved himself once more in the ongoing "petit guerre" waged in the Disputed Valley. As well as bringing a battalion of Tradgarland Militia , he finds himself in command on the battlefield. His force consists of ( as well as the aforementioned Tradgardlanders) some light infantry,a detachment of grenadiers,one militia battalion and an artillery piece. Below  is a picture of his opponents deployed across the battlefield-
Deployed behind the Three Hills  are three battalions of Militia- each from separate towns within the disputed Valley including one of the descendants of Syldavian mercenaries. A small company of rifle armed jaeger are present too.

The politics of the Disputed Valley are baroque in the extreme and it is impossible to give good reasons for the forthcoming battle save to say that it is part of an ongoing feud of shifting alliances which plagues the Valley.

The troops are ready let battle commence...


It has been an awfully busy week here in Tradgardland.We attended the Requiem Mass for our Parish Priest  yesterday who has been here for around 23 years.Family probs reared up and were dealt with not to mention the grind that is work. I feel like the guy in Fritz Lang's Metropolis who stands at the clock thingy and moves the hands. I love working with the children but loath the rest of the ever increasing paperwork and pointless planning /reporting in what can almost be duplicate or even triplicate.
However it is Earlyish Saturday Morning and the weekend awaits. Much to do but I have two plans. Firstly to work on some 17th century Scots in 54mm and secondly  to get in a small 18th century game.I will let you know how I get on. Finally a picture of some flowers currently looking resplendent in the garden photographed on a much brighter day than today.

Monday 16 April 2012


A sunny day here in the Duchy and I am off work. Just a quick snap or two of the Spanam figures awaiting sorting/re-basing and TLC. They are all 15mm Frei Korps and tend to be a tad brittle hence the casulties.
Off outside to dig and weed and think my own thoughts...

Sunday 15 April 2012

The banishment of petrol and diverse matters...

Our petrol driven lawnmower finally gave up the ghost recently. My efforts to bring it back failed and so a new machine was ordered. It was hand powered- no electricity or petrol. The weather finally allowed it to be assembled and used yesterday,Saturday. We were all delighted at how well it cut the grass and without too much effort, I think I was recalling my attempts to use a rusty one as a teenager. We will not be returning to powered mowers here in the Duchy!

This brings me on to an almost Proustian memory of lying in bed as a small child trying to get off to sleep early evening.It was summer and the sound of hand mowing by my father came in through the window. The sound of summer indeed  ever since.

The above photos were taken on our brief trip up the fife Coast on Friday- chips @ Anstruther, coffee and a Gallery visit @ Crail- where incidently I picked up a very interesting wee pamphlet on the archaeology of the isle of May. The photo is of the Mercat Cross in the middle of Crail which is topped off with a splendid unicorn.

Hope to do a little painting today although the sunne is already up in a blue sky here at before 7 in the morning of Sunday.May garden instead after Church -seed sowing in trays I hope. 
Yesterday morning dug deep in the shed and found ( in need of TLC) my two 15mm armies for the Spanish American war. I have brought them into the house to sort through- still look great and they have whetted my appetite for some gaming.

Friday 13 April 2012

Of Balsa and significant numbers...

This morning I find myself rising and finding the sunne already shining in a blue sky and its only 7.00 am! This has been a busy holiday week with much to do and not too much R&R. We have been involved in trying to sort out building work for my mother and accompanying her through the hoops one has to jump through. Ikea furniture has been purchased and made without the air turning too blue And diverse paperwork done .It has been busy!
Last night I had the rare event of having the house to myself as the rest of the family were out together at a friend's house. I was enthralled by the Indian Premier League cricket on ITV4 with two really exciting games. For one who is a tad traditionalist in  many things I am surprised just how much the glitzy world of 20/20 really appeals to me- but it does! The cricket was followed up by a failed attempt to open a bottle of Old Peculiar as our bottle opener was broken and binned last week. Having made some tea instead I settled down to 1612 on dvd . Quite a watch indeed! I was transported back to my Muscovite Hinchcliffe army of the late seventies now long gone. Oh dear i feel my thoughts turning east again. A great film ,visually stunning and splendid viewing.Russia does hermetical holy men so much better than we in the West.
A couple of photos showing ongoing projects. Firstly seed bought which ought to be sown and placed in garden room/plastic cold frame thingy. Potatoes chitting away btw too. My petrol driven mower has died so a hand mower person powered has been ordered.I will be fitter if nothing else! The second photo shows the start of scratch building  Scots 17th century frame guns to 1/32 54mm scale to use in garden gaming. I had searched for suitable barrels for a few days when a chocolate swizzle stick was eaten and the left-over rod was found to be ideal. Definitely a work in progress but I am excited to see what happens when detail and paint are added. 
Finally the post man brought a new book for me by one of my favourite authors Aidan Nichols about G K Chesterton as a theologian. I have started it and it is an excellent read.Have a good day one and all.

Monday 9 April 2012

Storm clouds over Tradgardland

An officer of an infantry regiment of the Imperium has been captured in a recent skirmish within the Duchy.Having been given hospitality, that befits his status as a gentlemen, he is taken to meet with officers of the Duke of Tradgardland's army. They speak with him and ascertain that a raid deep into the Duchy is currently underway...
As the prisoner is led away to the captivity that awaits him within in a local castle the Duke's officers confer about their plans to muster troops in the area and march forth to meet the threat...

Sunday 8 April 2012

Easter Day in the Duchy of Tradgardland

After attending High Mass in the Cathedral in Tradgardstadt the ceremonial events of the day begin . Duke Karl Frederick inspects the Ducal troops as they muster on parade. Music is supplied by the Corps of Drums including a Kettle drummer.Ever conservative the Duke favours the music of Lully,that poor unfortunate composer. Regimental flags fly and the Duke is accompanied by his personal standard. After the parade and the distribution to the troops of Herring ale and Easter pretzels the Duke returns to the Palace for the banquet that awaits...

Saturday 7 April 2012


According to custom Easter begins at sunset on Easter Eve. As I won't be available to blog later this evening can I wish you all a Happy Easter from the Duchy of Tradgardland.

Some themed pictures and perhaps ideas for gaming ...

Taking the easy way out?

Saturday Morning.
No this is not a picture of me as a result of this week's DIY but rather an intro to this morning's post here at the Duchy. I am rather tired having stayed up later than usual to watch a splendid 2hr documentary on Queen which was most enjoyable. Anyway down to business. I am raising a 54mm ECW army for garden service curently. I have begun the project,hoped to do more,got sidetracked by 20mm etc etc. I originally decided to do some Royalists but came up with the conceit of doing some Scots as something different...
After all I live a mile or two from the site of the battle of Inverkeithing and nearish to the place of the last stand of clan troops in the battle. So  I have gone for it. Using 54mm Plastic chaps there will be a few fudgings of history- like the use of armour for the pikemen- but who cares between friends? I had thought of converting heads to bonnets with Milliput/GW kneadrite (?) but have not been able to find some so far these hols. So a brainwave/cop-out was devised- 54mm metal French Alpine Beret Heads! I know they may look a tad too regular but may add Gallic dash to my chaps. For better or worse they are ordered and sent for .I will let you know how I get on. I am tempted to scratch some multi barrel cannon too. I think one of the regts will have to be commanded by a Leckie in homage to that fellow in "By the Sword Divided" if i recall his name correctly...

Friday 6 April 2012

Lower Sedgebury Wallop Home Guard Platoon

Pictures of the Lower Sedgebury Wallop Home Guard Platoon on exercise in the village . The Bren gun is deployed in a garden and the latest addition to the Platoon's arsenal is displayed proudly- a Northover Projector. Those Army Black tanks had better watch out I say!

Thursday 5 April 2012

Updates again

Thursday morning.
I write this in a restored sitting room.The chaos has passed,the books restored and some weeded out and given to Oxfam yesterday. The room looks great- a credit to my wife's good taste in colour and hard work painting . Yesterday we were at the hospital for one of my wife's regular 3 monthly check-ups and all remains well with Jan! Excellent news indeed.
Weather was frosty overnight but the sun is shining here in the Duchy.I've posted another of those piccies from the book I still enjoy and one of me outside the shed/garage/garden room ( still can't work out what to call it consistently) taken around a week ago. The first piccie is posted as it gives a flavour of what I want to do in my small ww2 games-Went the day Well meets Merrie England meets wargaming of my youth. The second because I have been working on a table top persona for myself in my VBCW games.Let me explain. My first school was Gillsland Park Preparatory School in Edinburgh.Housed in somewhat shoddy/faded grandure type buildings- including a long narrow Nissan hut as gym hall.We wore light blue/brown striped blazers and caps. The school is long,long gone but I was reminded of it when I saw the colours I was photographed in. So I have been painting up a chap in a blue/brown blazer to command my ldv- call it self indulgent nostalgia if you like. On the subject of painting I sat down with the following 20mm stuff last night- a garden replete with Anderson shelter,Northover projector and crew,pillar boxes and sundry village characters. I will stop blogging now and get back to the job. Busy days ahead- much social/family juggling ahead but I will get a game in -I hope!
P.S thanks to all who voted in my recent poll-it was much appreciated. For the time being ( whatever that will be) I have decided to concentrate all my efforts upon this blog & Army Red/White rather than over extend to a new one.

Wednesday 4 April 2012


Wednesday  6.50 a.m...
The painting proceeded well yesterday ,a very busy day was had by all. I never fail to be amazed by how much space books take when off the shelves. I include a photo of the work in progress including reflection of myself as photographer. I have also included photographs of a book which belonged to my father. I loved it's illustrations and cutaway diagrams as a boy and still do. I think it encouraged me to get into things military hobbywise and certainly fed into my Airfix /Bellona wargaming of my teens. I hope you enjoy the pictures too...

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Strange days...

Morning chaps! It is Tuesday 7.30 a.m. It has been very busy indeed here in the Duchy. Furniture moved,books hoovered,walls painted, domestic chores accomplished,ongoing issues with my mother moving forward little,a day spent gardening on Sunday and here we are! No miniature painting or gaming done. This morning we rose to snow on the ground and car with sleet battering the house. Pumpkins the guinea pig was brought forth from winter quarters on Sunday( having seen temperatures rise and the sunne shining ) and will probably have to go back there again this morning...
Strange days indeed