Sunday 30 June 2013

Ancient & Modern

Suitably attired I went forth to paint.We did two coats successfully but it will need a third.Concrete edging was also dug out in the garden,another useful task. The postman arrived with another book,this time by one of my favourite authors Christopher Duffy.
I haven't had more than a glance but it looks a good read.It tells the story of the Hessian troops in the '45 rebellion.It has all the marks of being scholarly,well written and enjoyable-just what one would expect from the author going on his past output of books. I can't wait to read it it.Just the kind of background for a wee campaign on the tabletop...
We all,at home,enjoyed following Laura Robson's progress yesterday and watched some of the Glastonbury Festival on tv.I enjoyed two Door Cinema Club and Example but went to bed after  five mins of the Stones, never been a fan anyway.Jan stayed up and enjoyed them.

Saturday 29 June 2013


Here is the extended kitchen awaiting painting.It will be a joint effort with my wife as she is a far better painter than I am. Two or three coats of paint ( a primer having been applied earlier) and the flooring laid on Wednesday coming and we will be able to use it.
I have always loved the work of the artist Pauline Baynes. Her Narnian illustrations accompanied my childhood,her paperback cover for LOTR was on the book I bought in a station kiosk in London en route for France with the school in my teens and the above poster had pride of place in my bedroom for many,many years. Looking last night at her illustrations for "Farmer Giles of Ham" I feel there is a gaming scenario forming in my mind but first there is the matter of buying a dragon.
Finally a Narnian illustration to end with and one of my favourites-
Have a good Saturday whatever you are doing!

Thursday 27 June 2013

Any giants out there?

I am trying to get hold of this Minifigs Mythical Earth giant .Can anyone help?

Sunday 23 June 2013

Midsummer mayhem in Tradgardland - a small battle fought.

It is Midsummer in the Duchy of Tradgardland. A time of celebration across the land.With a smattering of snow still upon the forest clad hills, the Master of  the Golden Herring Knights looks on as preparations are made for the annual Tournament. Swords and other cutting weapons are blunted,arrows fitted with wooden bodkins in preparation. It is  an affair of honour but no blood will be shed- hopefully!
One group gathers consisting of Knights and crossbowmen ready for the fray.
Their opposition gathers- bowmen and men at arms.Let the tourney commence!
 Under the Master's watchful eye the crossbowmen exchange blows with the men at arms.
Rubbing their bruise covered arms,legs and bodies the prostrate crossbowmen and knights vow never to charge a bowman filled fence again.They have learned their lesson!
 Seeing the fate of their friends the crossbowmen make a hasty exit...
An English bowman ,in the employ of the Duchy, cannot resist a defiant gesture as his opponents leave the field.
Things go from bad to worse.Two fleeing crossbowmen are chased through the Duke's hunting reserve and just get away with their lives!
The Grand Master is pleased with all he has seen.And so, as the Midsummer sun shines on everyone , battered and bruised Tradgardlanders make their way to the "Cornered Kobold" tavern  to quaff ale,eat herring and sing the evening away until the sunne finally sets.
An enjoyable game using"Suggestions for a Medieval Wargame " rules by Charles Grant from an old Military Modelling Annual. It was good to get a solo game in today.

Friday 21 June 2013


Have a great Midsummer from all at the Duchy of Tradgardland-enjoy!

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Another book..

I succumbed to yet another book which arrived today and was awaiting my return from school.It tells the story of Martin Travers a talented ecclesiastical designer,stained glass designer and graphic artist. I feel he is sadly forgotten by many but this book tells his glorious story and shows examples of his talent. A talent used to glorify God and beautify his House.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

A room with a view etc

A view from behind our kitchen sink (beside our old backdoor) into the the extension.This was the scene a few days ago. Now the old  window and door have been removed  the whole extended kitchen is here in all its glory  with room for table,chairs etc in the new part.Work has slowed on the kitchen (as it will now be referred to) but will start next week again with plastering ,painting then flooring.We are delighted with it.It has been used already as a very pleasant place to read ,chat or eat.
I have reached the point in term when I sleep even worse,wake constantly in the night to think of 101 things to be completed before the end of the term and can think of little else.Odd lucid moments are spent with the family or in brief hobby speculations which I note down before they disappear forever.Attempts to paint or solo gaming have dried up completely.Solace is found in the sun or pottering in the garden Hols begin a week on Friday and I can't wait but I must press on until then...

Sunday 16 June 2013

Uniform info - can you help?

Morning all! Just a quick post ( hope to catch up late) to say I am looking for info on the Norwegian army and it's uniforms around 1930.This photo is all I can find .Can you help?
I'm not after 1940 stuff by the way but ten years earlier. This is part of some ongoing thoughts re platoon actions with my Interwar Swedes...

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Of Clocks and standards and work in progress...

The boiler was removed yesterday amidst men crawling through and under all manner of places in the house.New hatches were created and some water leaked out as one might expect.The old tanks were removed.A new boiler will be installed today and the electrician and plumbers will be in attendance.The external porch work moved forward well again yesterday too.Finally a shot of my converted Swedish standardbearer-
He is a ww2 French officer body with an 18th century tricorne head added.He carries the standard of the Lutheran volunteers in the VBCW.He was started around a year ago when first mention was made of the forthcoming interwar Swedes  and is almost finished.I fear I have overdone the black inkwash over his grey cavalry coat..
The character is  a member of the staff from Lund Cathedral . As well as being the standard bearer he is also of an engineering background .In 1923 he was involved in the restoration and reinstatement of the great medieval clock in the cathedral which had been stored away.A mechanical wonder of the world is still going strong and looks like this-
A man of God and a practical man too .We shall see what he helps turn his hand to over in England in the dark days of 1938...

Sunday 9 June 2013

A sort of Swedish day...

9th of June-a tad sad that we did not celebrate the Feast of St Columba at Mass today. He is my Confirmation Saint and his Feast Day is the day on which I got engaged.Just another "Ordinary Time" Sunday ( if such can exist I say)instead.
A trip to Ikea and subsequent making up of the furniture purchased has meant I had little time to paint my VBCW Swedes. I nearly finished a conversion of  a Swedish standard bearer using a couple of old 28mm figures  but piccies etc later .Meanwhile the state of the extension on Friday night-
Impressive or what I say!

Friday 7 June 2013

Meanwhile... the build and books eccleciastical

In unusually warm weather for the Duchy the build continues...
The foundations are dug.
Concrete poured and the wood has arrived.
Three dimensionality is added.This is the point reached by late afternoon yesterday.All is proceeding well so far.It is now Friday 6.ooam and another weekend looks over the horizon.
After tea in the garden last night I began to read this new book which arrived yesterday-
It is an account of the Anglo-Catholic movement in the interwar years. It is accessible and scholarly at the same time.I cannot wait to read further this weekend. In the past I collected Anglo-catholic literature  which was often well produced by their "house printers" like the Society of SS Peter and Paul and the C/L.A. Sadly when I downsized much of it went to the specialist charity booksale in Edinburgh run by Christian Aid.I still have some some things left and may be start to collect again space and money permitting. Off for the train toodle pip everyone!

Thursday 6 June 2013

A tad disappointed...

Instead of opening a box of bright shiny 28mm interwar Swedes tonight I have found a card from the P.O instead wanting £17.80 before they will deliver them - customs it say.Humbug I say!
I have to say that Historgfigs emailed me back very quickly when I informed them.They said this-
Hello Alan,
Not sure what to say on the customs duty problem. This hasn't been an issue/problem with other shipments to the UK. Of course the mysteries of customs duties are hard to unravel (not sure we know anyone, here or overseas who fully understands them).
In any event, what we can do to help with the problem is this: Issue a refund for the amount of your shipping charge. We realize this won't make up for the full amount of the customs duties, but it should help.
We will go back and do more research on how best to document our shipments to the UK, so as to help reduce any duties issues on the receiving end. We don't want to break any laws, but we do want customers to not have unexpected duties to pay.
We are sorry for the inconvenience, and hope that the refund of shipping charges will help offset the unexpected expense. Pleas let us know if we should proceed with the refund of shipping charges.
Thank you,

 Mike & Alison Taber

All in all most helpful but I remain a tad mystified and very fed up with our Post Office.Can anyone explain?

Monday 3 June 2013

Interwar Swedes,Lutherans and changes to the Duchy...

The Duchy at the weekend prior to the extension starting...
The Duchy this morning as foundations get dug outside the back door of the house... further updates tomorrow.

I am awaiting my Swedes and still am thinking about quite to use them for. This is an enjoyable process as I travel to work and am too fatigued to read. I have decided to use them in a VBCW setting and perhaps also in another interwar scenario. Only the standard bearer needs to be different.

I intend to field a platoon of Swedish troops who are volunteers for the Anglican League and/or the League of St Andrews. The premise is that they are fellow "High-Church " travellers with the anglo-catholic element  within the Cof E. They are a mixture of idealists ( the sort of Swede who volunteered in the SCW and /or the Finnish War) and members of organisations like Societas Sanctæ Birgittæ and S:t Sigfrids Brödraskap who support the theological aims and mores of the Anglican League .
Michael posted this organisation below-
A swedish Infantry platoon by the time was composed of:

1x Platoon commander (Sabre and Pistol)
1x 2nd in command (Sabre and Pistol)
2x Runners (Rifle)
4x Rifle squads (12 men each, 11 with Rifles and 1 with LMG)

In total 52 men 

The Swedish infantry squad was composed of:
1x Gruppchef / Squad leader with rifle
1x Stf. gruppchef / 2nd in command with rifle
1x Skytt / LMG gunner with LMG m/21
9x Skyttar / Riflemen

In total 12 men. 

I will field 3 Rifle squads- one of lay members of the SSB and /or theological students  studying for the Lutheran Priesthood, one of volunteers relying on their National service Training and one of volunteers from diverse backgrounds such as members of the Swedish Sailor's Church and  the Ulrika Eleonora Swedish Parish in London.
As ever your thoughts on my ideas are most welcome...