Tuesday 30 July 2013

A good read and a good place to eat...

Had this book lying around at home for some time and I finally got round to reading it recently.It has turned out to be a fascinating read and one I would recommend highly to others. Whilst recommending let me mention a lovely cafe/deli we discovered in Aberdour yesterday afternoon when out walking there. Great Coffee,baking and a superb menu for a lunch .Do give it a whirl and say the Duchy of Tradgardland told you...
 Mctaggarts is relatively new ,being opened I think in March.I wish them well with the business.

Monday 29 July 2013

A question of scales...40mm/42mmm

I took this photo today of 40/42mm figures I have in the house.Left to right they are- the Danish figure from my previous post,a pre-painted viking from a Singapore company,an Irregular miniature,42mm and an Elastolin 40mm turk from my youth.
The Danish figure towers over the rest followed closely by the Singapore one.The Irregular chap is very slight even compared to the Elastolin one. I will have to think about just what figures I can get to work together...

Sunday 28 July 2013

I think the future (or part of it at least) is (or will be) 40mm

I have been a tad  quiet these last few days due to coming down with another  bladder infection. The antibiotics have "kicked in" and I feel a little better. I decided to finally get round to painting a 40mm figure I got in Oct 1991 when on a short minibreak to Copenhagen with Jan.
I got it in Model figures and Hobbies I think in Copenhagen along with a large format uniform book .I had visited the Tojhusmuseet and was beginning my love affair with things Scandinavian which has never left me.The figure has never been painted in all these years-
 I decided it was high time to paint him.I hummed and hawed about doing him as an 1864 Dane in one of the three heads you see depicted.In the end ,due to his being such an old friend,I decided to paint him up as the Duke of Tradgardland in suitably Danish inspired uniform but with a Duchy of Tradgardland tweak..
I have sent off for a 12man unit and a sample hussar (all Danes) in 42mm  from Irregular and hope they arrive soon.Table Top FLW is going to be the way forward hopefully.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Out and about

Having decided that it is best that we do not go away over night this summer due to my wee health issue we have made this a week to go some places as a family. On Sunday we went to see the gardens of Crail which were open as part of a Open Gardens charity scheme-
We saw a variety of beautiful gardens ,all different, which gave us great pleasure as well as ideas for our own garden. Crail is also a lovely village just to wander around.A picnic was taken and enjoyed by all of us.
On Monday we went to Culross to see the garden of a 17th century merchant as well as having a wander about generally.
The garden is laid out in early 17th century style with the plants of the period too.All is gardened organically.In the picture above you can see the splendid buildings too.
Although not pictured in this photo I was delighted  to see that one  of my favorite plants Alexanders was being grown. I have it in my garden and it is a  superb architectural plant up to 6ft tall and can be eaten. The plants I grown are direct descendants of  plants grown in the medieval herb garden at Craigmillar castle. It is beginning to set seed and if any UK bloggers fancy some let me know...
On Tuesday we went to St Andrews and enjoyed the beautiful town by the sea.
Some of the family outside Northpoint cafe ( a great place to have lunch and well worth visiting for lovely food and coffee) where William and Kate went for coffee in their Uni days. The cafe celebrated the good news of the royal birth by putting the "Boy" balloon in the window. A walk along the beach and a look at a few shops completed and lovely day.
Today ,Wednesday we had a walk around part of Loch Leven and a lovely coffee overlooking the the loch at the Laird's Larder.Great scones too btw.
Some work completed on my Interwar Norwegians who are moving along well too.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

On the paint table and a confession...and great national news

Until yesterday I had never used Milliput.I have read about the conversions of others and seen a variety of putties on a variety of blogs. So as part of my Sweden v Norway interwar skirmish project I ave started converting some figures-
I have been converting some figures to be members of the Norwegian army. I added Brodie helmets to some interwar Swedish bodies and have added bergen rucksacks on to them with Milliput. For the  dismounted cavalry I have used Polish figures in long coats and swopped the Adrian Helmets for Brodie ones  from Gripping Beast/Woodbine.A work in progress...
Finally I must join in the world wide joy at the birth of the young Prince-
God save the Prince!

Monday 22 July 2013

Mythical Earth Collection

This morning I laid out my painted and unpainted M.E figures on the table to see how the project was progressing- you can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you wish-
The Good and Evil forces mustered...
The Good guys including Ents and  Huorns  with a barrow wight at the top of screen...
Orcs, Dunlendings ,goblins and Uruk Hai on the march.
Various trolls ,Ringwraiths and wargs too.
So here we are,things moving along nicely.Room for a few more nostalgia laden recruits I think...

Sunday 21 July 2013

On top of the mountain and a question...

Yesterday (Saturday)I finished sorting the lead Mountain in the garden room/yurt/shed.I was delighted even if I didn't find the Mythical Earth Elven King I was hoping to find. I am considering giving some of the Lead to a Charity shop ( we have used Cancer Research a lot over the years to donate to) but wondered if they would "appreciate" in terms of understanding what the figures were worth/used for. I don't mean to be patronising but I am just unsure.Any thoughts chaps?

Friday 19 July 2013


A combination of feeling a little below par,the hot weather and the model shop still being closed has meant little or no painting has been done. Instead I have relished the chance to be immersed once again in the past.In this particular case the ancient world
Sidebottom transports me to another age and allows one to have a chance to experience that world from within.That's why I find historical such a pleasure.
For me,the master of the genre is Patrick O'Brian and his Napoleonic naval stories which are filled with his scholarship,wit,humour and much besides. I am also partial to Rosemary Sutcliff and Alfred Duggan ,both of whom seem to be read  once more. For the Napoleonic period again I loved Delderfield's "Seven men of Gascony" which is a cracking read. Anne Rice's novels about Jesus and his times are well worth a read too especially as they are written in the 1st person from the perspective of Christ himself.
Allan Mallinson and John Biggins are terrific too.But now over to you out there in blogdom what do you like ,do please tell us here...

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Images of Tradgardland part 1

In my imagined mental landscape of the 18th century Duchy of Tradgardland I have been influenced by many images.An evocative picture has said as much to me as pages of prose .Today I found this image by Anna Maria Garthwaite.It is a late 17th century/18th century papercut-
Please click on the image to enlarge it for even better viewing.
To me it pretty well sums  up for me life in my imagination.It fact it could be the basis for tales told and games played.I love the detail and the little vignettes of life.I hope you enjoy seeing it too.
P.S Feeling a tad better today.We had an enjoyable trip to Perth and lunch out with the family.I am going to enjoy the fine weather with a Harry Sidebottom novel which has been in the "To read" pile for nearly a year

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Go with the flow & diverse matters

I have spent a couple of days going,or rather not.,with the flow & dealing with District Nurses ( all of whom have been excellent) possibly having to visit A&E and now the Doctor. To cut a long story short I am on antibiotics for a urinary infection and feeling a tad fed up.
My Interwar Norwegian conversions lie abandoned on the table  but are proceeding well. Hopefully I will pick up the challenge soon.
 As energy and enthusiasm allowed I have been reading around the '45 in general , a couple of superb Ospreys arrived - one on Cumberland's Army and one on the Jacobites themselves. As ever I am enchanted by the work of Gerry Embleton and his son (?) Steve especially the illustration of some litttle boys pretending to be Hessian troops whilst a yellow clad hussar looks on with a long pipe. My recent Duffy purchase has re-enchanted my enthusiasm for the 18th Century in all it's Baroque military wonderfulness. To read of Hessian hussars skirmishing around Dunkeld and other places I have visited,marching through towns where I have lived has all added to the fun. Prof Duffy has come up with another blinder of a book-don't miss it! The sunne has been a real tonic to morale here.Off for a wee seat and read...

Wednesday 10 July 2013

A different sort of day ...

Plans are a great thing but sometimes they go adrift.Thought I was off to the hosp am for a very quick check-up but ended up unable to pass water at all at it and was there for hours.Have come home with a catheter and an op in 6-8 weeks looming.Have come home and lain prostate (pun intended) reading an Osprey book that the post had delivered and listening the cricket on Radio 4.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Parasol weather

Tuesday Morning...
It has been unseasonably hot here in the Duchy of late- much to our surprise and delight. Much of my days have been in the garden pottering,reading or just enjoying the sunne. I don't recall a summer like this for years!
On the hobby front  little has been done but-
I have bought a green felt cloth to game on at last.
I have started reading around an 18th century campaign( partly inspired to do so by a watercolour of a castle which was given to my late father and which we will hang here soon) with a view to using it on the tabletop.Two Osprey books on it are in the post as I write as well. I have assembled some forces for it from the Lead Mountain ( a work in progress) and I found some flagsheets still unused circa 1996 in a book too.I want the project to reuse current lead as much as possible to save expense from the Ducal Warchest.
I am working around Interewar gaming potentialities with my Swedes and a potential opponent- probably Norwegians. Anyone know section/company  organisation for them around 1930?
Off today en famile to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh . Let the sunne shine on...
p.s will post piccies of finished kitchen extension soon

Sunday 7 July 2013

Interwar Norwegians - how to model them?

Found these paintings, amongst others on the web -
Any suggestions on figures to convert to make these in 28mm. I thought I could use an Interewar Swede officer as  the Norwegian one with boots converted to trousers?However any ideas for the rest would be apreciated...

Thursday 4 July 2013

Into the depths

Yesterday the kitchen was finished and some work was started in the garden room.As part of the moving process I began to tackle the LEAD MOUNTAIN.
Here it is.Vauban fortification,samurai house and loads more emerged from the boxes.I began to sort the unpainted mountain into appropriate piles.The job has begun but will take some time.So far I have not come across my Mythical Earth Elven King ( although I did find a yellow painted hobbit circa 1976) or some treasures from my youth which I now feel for certain have gone.For example my 40mm  viking and roman Elastolins and my father's Dinky tanks AA gun etc.They have been lost/mislaid along the way. I did find some interesting figures-
I photographer them this morning.A old Garrison (?) peasant with scythe who will look great painted, a Citadel (?) knight who has had a kite shield glued on years ago and who looks brave with a splendid moustache, a bard (Ral Partha?) who is a lovely medieval figure complete with harp and finally an enchantress (?) from Ral Partha (?) who should paint up well too. IF you know better as ro the fantasy figures origins please let me know. They will be useful in some games of Song of Blades and Heroes I think...

Monday 1 July 2013

Painting options?

The hols have begun and I have had a busy day in the garden etc. My thoughts are turning to my 30 interwar Swedes on the painting table - actually an upturned biscuit lid! Some time ago in another blog I explored interwar Tradgardland -http://interbellumimaginations.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Tradgardland
and some troop ideas etc. I am now thinking of painting the Swedes as the aforementioned Tradgardlanders.They will engage in a Very Ducal Civil War with a variety of Duchy based factions and beyond. BUT and it is a big BUT,is this just a vbcw with different uniforms? Should I paint the Swedes as Swedes or my Lutherans for the League idea.What do you think?