Sunday 27 January 2013

Update re POW ship

For anyone interested here is a link to a website about Stobs POW camp .It contains lots of interesting information and now a picture of my ship too.Enjoy!

Monday 21 January 2013

Fury of the Northmen (9th/10th century Tradgardlanders I suppose...)

Across the snow covered land they came,following their mounted chief and his Raven banner. Through the  forest they came in search of gold and slaves.

They hoped their foe's guard would be down in this season of frost ,snow and ice.

Meanwhile ,ahead in the forest,wait Saxon scouts alert for any movement or sound in the forest. Suddenly they hear labouring of men in snow cursing and stumbling as they come.
To be continued...
Please vote now on if the Scouts will be seen by the Vikings- see right hand side for poll...

Saturday 19 January 2013

Coffee in a different light or a tale of two bases

Well I am a tad disappointed as the snow has come to nothing or so here.I know I am a romantic about snow and that it has been a real pain to many of late but nevertheless I feel a little cheated.
Uptown with Jan this morning I bought Wargames illustrated ,not something I do often but it does seem to have loads of interesting articles again  this month-French Indian wars,Sonderbondeskreig etc.
So this afternoon I got on with some figures-
A few weeks ago a combination of having run out of basing material coupled with a lack of desire to fork out money for modelling products  led to experimenting with used coffee grounds. I mix the coffee with wood glue to make a basing medium which adheres to anything I have yet tried it with. The above picture shows me using it to enhance the button bases I used for my 18th century Ny Tradgardland militia.
I also set up a trial Mythical Earth basing experiment,one simple card and one with added coffee,stone and scatter-
I would be interested in your opinions of the respective styles.Part of me like the pure old school card look whilst the terraformed one looks quite good too. Perhaps I ought to try Springfield's interesting idea he suggested in a comment to the previous post.

Friday 18 January 2013

Base fellows etc

The weekend at last.I spent ages trying to get by bus and delayed train to a course this afternoon on to find it not on.Still I cannot grumble as many of you have had terrible snow just recently.For us it is merely a smattering at present and impacted in no way on my journey
Thanks  for the fauna ideas-I will act upon them this weekend I think.It is quite frustrating in a way - for example I really like the Pulp miniatures Big Foot but the postage for one figure makes it not viable.
The Mega miniatures look good and loads of other tempting figures too.
Anyway  on to my main reason for posting- Mythical Earth figures basing. I am wondering if I like the simple green card look.I wonder if a juxtaposition between the simple figures and a more scenic style of basing would look good.Before I try it out let me know what you think...

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Fauna not Flora- help sought

Evening all!
The flora is taken care of in part by the trees I bought but I now looking for the fauna.
I am looking for suggestions for manufacturers of 28mm  North American/Canadian wildlife  for use in my French Indian Wars games- bears,wolves etc. Also any ideas for Big Foot and other appropriate mythological figures appreciated.
many thanks

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Books and an update...

Back home from work this evening and the postman has called. He brought two books.The first was a book by Common Ground about the idea of Parish Maps- individual communities  and their attempts to map a local area showing that which is important to them.Secondly a novel which I was recommended to read by Paul of Funnylittlewars /Borduria Calling fame.I will start one tonight hopefully.
No painting at the weekend apart from working on painting part of my late mother's flat. Too tired for hobby stuff tonight and will chill.The 4ground French Indian War building arrived and looks good but will require a clear mind and is for another day.Plans are afoot for some North west frontier gaming but it will probably wait until half term...

Sunday 13 January 2013


It's two in the morning... well between six and seven on Sunday morning actually but it has the Leonard Cohen vibe that the song has if you know what I mean. I have finished the Weekly Plans,emailed them to myself and safely saved them -huzzah!
Yesterday whilst uptown ( uptown means the shops in Dunfermline whilst into town would mean going to Edinburgh-I  could even confuse myself) yesterday with Jan I bought the above reading material.I don't buy all the glossy mags but if something catches my eye I will purchase it.In this case it was articles about Charles the Bold - a longtime,ongoing interest of mine.The other articles are interesting too and it was a good read.
I finally succumbed to this Osprey in light of my current french Indian War vibe .A good read,great piccies and much inspiration.Incidently Brigadier General John Forbes lived in Dunfermline for part of his life.Plans for today are a little up in the air dependent on weather etc.Have a good Sunday whatever ou do.

Saturday 12 January 2013

A POW ship...photographed at last

Interesting post Steven.
As I write I can see a model of the Blucher made by a German pow out of scrap which was given to a member of my family for some kindness during the Great War.It takes pride of place on my bookshelf.
  1. Hi Alan,
    I would love to see a photo of that model. Stories like yours are a reminder that even in the horror of war, humanity still could shine through.
  2. Will post apiccie on my blog later in the week if i can.
    By the way do you know by any chance where I would get a crew/survivor list fom the Blucher?

     As you can see I finally got round to taking and posting photos I took of this ship which has been in my family for years.I promised Steve of the Old Admirals blog I would do so. 
    I love this ship with it's paper,wood,metal and twine costruction. It is indeed a work of art and looks as if it was a labour of love too.I hope you enjoy the pictures.I know little about it or how common or rare such items are.Anyone know more?

Saturday Morning

Got up at 6.30 am to do my Weekly Plans on the computer ( regardless of the fact that they become partially obsolete by Monday lunchtime as things change due to classroom experience, working with the children and their  needs) to attempt to get it done. When I tried to save it wouldn't let me do so.  Aeons later I managed to save it but don't know how. This didn't happen when I planned paper with pen in my diary on a daily basis making sure the next days work was in it lest I was unwell and to help any supply teacher. This way worked for all concerned.
Is it me or is Education now like the figure in the above picture?

Sunday 6 January 2013


Today is the Epiphany. At church this morning sang about the coming of the Wisemen/Kings and marked the end of the Christmas season.I believe in the past the season extended to Candlemass (2nd Feb) which took everyone well towards spring.
Today also marks the end of my holidays and I dread my return to work tomorrow.
Today seems a good time to thank you all for journeying with me in 2012 on my blog and to thank you too for the pleasure/inspiration your blogs have given me.
This is a good time also to think about my hobby journeying this year. So here are some thoughts-
1) 18th Century- French Indian War ( including Ny Tradgardland) using Muskets and Tomahawks rules
                        - Tradgardland's  foray into Borduria
                        - potentially some skirmishing with Slydavia and Borduria
2) Anglo-Saxons v Norse in 40mm using Tidders simple rules with possibly some tinkering to represent shieldwalls etc
3) Continue VBCW expanding forces and possibly do some skirmishing with the forthcoming rules from Solwaycraft and Miniatures
4) My old school Mythical Earth collecting and gaming
5) Some Portable Wargames games - ideal when energy and time are in short supply.
6) NWF,ACW and possibly Napoleonic
Gosh that's a lot and I haven't even mentioned Funny Little Wars. Still nothing set in stone merely possible stopping off points on the journey.Sounds fun does it not?

Friday 4 January 2013

How grim was my Valley...

The game yesterday was a splendid start to 2013 gaming. All did not go to plan for the Welsh in turn two when two mortars were deployed  and subsequently destroyed by hmg fire.All that frenetic scratch building of the previous day gone to pot..
Here are a few shots to click in for a good look-
The Nationalists advance towards to LFS positions...
An aerial view of Ivor the Engine leading the assault.
The Fast cyclists and Hunt cavalry about to be confronted by LFS debussing.

First and Second T.A companies retreat through the woods after a firefight across hedges.
The debussed infantry were dealt with by Ivor and their transport was used as cover by advancing Nationalists
The Battalion Headquarters company ( complete with Chaplin,sniper and standard,not to mention the half French/half Welsh C.O in his splendid Cavalry uniform) attempts to rally the Chapel Militia...
A final photo of the jubilant Liverpool Free State commander after the Welsh conceded defeat and melted away into the hills. A fun game using Brigadier £8 rules from Solway which give a satisfactory and enjoyable game. More LFS units are on my friend's painting table and I have some plans to raise a unit from Caldey Island and a "one shot wonder" weapon made from a battery of organ pipes donated by the Bethesda Chapel. I fear it will be more dangerous to the firers but we shall wait and see.
Finally any of you chaps collecting/considering VBCW ,do share your plans...

Thursday 3 January 2013

Put out more flags of the geography of the imagination

6.48 a.m
One of the things I enjoy about 1938 VBCW is the research people put into to it.Background knowledge,historical detail and local/national/international "might have beens" are all mixed into a glorious melting pot. I enjoy this kind of research for my League of St Andrew writing and my background to English Mistery as an outre player for power in the world of 1938.
However there is also the sheer fun side. That was what I was doing last night armed with an on-line Welsh English Dictionary and a list of names based upon a map created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin for their fantastic Ivor the Engine animation.Here is the result -some Welsh Nationalist Flags-
From left to right-
Rev R.S Thomas holding the flag of the Llangubbin Fast Cycles aka the Llangubbin Cycle Touring Club
The flag of the Grumbly and District Choral Society Militia
The flag of the Bethesda Chapel Militia
The flag of the 2nd Company of the Llaniog T.A
The flag of the second Company of th Llaniog T.A
The flag of the Tan-y-Gwleh Hunt

All rendered quickly with pen .paper and watercolours. I might or might not replace them with computer generated ones some time.Anyway here they are ready for the fray this afternoon. Incidently they will be aided by Ivor the Engine -turned by the local railway workers into a steam powered tank and a light mortar group carried on pack mules...
Here is a copy of the map for you to enjoy-
Have good day one and all...

Wednesday 2 January 2013

A bargain...

Jan and I popped up to the local garden centre this afternoon. An enjoyable coffee was had as well as some plants etc purchased . I saw the following in the Christmas sale-
Half price ( six pounds) for 21 trees of assorted sizes.Here are the contents of the above pack after opening and displayed with some 40mm vikings on the table top.
I am delighted with my purchase.
Tomorrow my regular opponent and his wife come over for a meal,prior to which we will get a game in while the women chat/go for coffee. My VBCW Welsh nationalists will take the field against the Liverpool Free State. This year I do hope to game more regularly both solo and against opponents.

Tuesday 1 January 2013


Happy New Year to all our Readers from the Duchy of Tradgardland. May we all journey happily and inspired together  through this fascinating hobby of ours.