Saturday 30 November 2013

Gridded game with 40mm figures

This afternoon I ruled one side of my felt cloth into 3inch squares for gridded games. It will be used for a variety of periods, scales and rules. It can hold 1/72 scale tanks for example.I set up the first game with my 40mm Dark age figures-

A card river and linoleum road was added,along with hedges,trees and a bridge.
 Note berserkers in foreground. Three close order figures to a square,two figures for skirmishers and cavalry.
I hope to play the game tomorrow .I am pleased with the look of the set up and hope the game works out as well. Rules probably Gathering of Hosts maybe a Tony Bath adaption, we'll see.

New Year's Eve

Sunday sees the start of a new year in the church's calender with the first day of Advent.This seems therefore a good time to take stock on a number of fronts.Firstly thanks to all who helped my daughter with her "White" work- splendid you all are indeed!
My return to work has proceeded well in many ways but has left me exhausted.It is a bit  of a struggle to get through a week but we are getting there.Little time or particularly energy for anything beyond doing my "bit" at home,domestic matters and the odd bit of light reading or television before an early bed. Here however are a few additions to the already overstuffed Tradgardland Library - probable purge is needed of some paperbacks I fear too.
I like to try a little serious reading in Advent (sometimes I succeed sometimes not- fond memories of underlining  passages in a snow stuck train a few years ago...) and found this collection of poems and accompanying meditations in  the Cornerstone Bookshop in Edinburgh a few weeks back.I will try to stick at this one...
An interesting collection of his wartime memories and many inspiring rules. A good buy. I do fancy grafting some fleeing/stampeding elephant rules onto my gridded ancient games or adapt Tony Bath's for grids and elements. The colonial ambush rules look good .I wish I had kept my Peter Laing 15mm WW1 in East Africa armies!!!! Can one buy Laing figures these days?
Finally a fun month by month account of a chap's living of the good life- I would love to follow in his footsteps armed with my copy of Self Sufficiency by Seymour etc.One can dream.
Off to make Jan a cup of tea ,perhaps a little light paint or skirmish later  we shall see...

Sunday 24 November 2013

The Battle of Twin Farms part the second

You are invited to pop here for part one-

Now for part two- don't forget to click on the pictures to make them easier to see...

Saturday 23 November 2013

Can you help my daughter?

My middle daughter has a request-

"As part of my university course I am doing a group presentation about the colour white.  My section of the presentation is the associations of the colour white in war.  I have already come up with the ideas of a white feather for cowardice, white flag for surrender and white bandages.  I was wondering if anybody had any other thoughts?Thanks, Anna"
Let's see what you can come up with chaps!

Saturday Morning and the box of delights...

The week has gone quite well but I am exhausted on it. I came home Friday afternoon ,saw a parcel had arrived  but needed more than forty winks before feeling like opening it.It was from a State Tankette Factory in Tratvia aka Tim Gow...
Here is the box in the process of being unpacked as the goodies are revealed.Interesting 1970s type lloonngg trucks but they will serve well alongside the rest. Most exciting so far.
More unwrapping later and more is revealed. German armour etc in snow camoflague as well as three primed Japanese tanks in the foreground and some armoured  cars and self propelled guns in the middle.
My favourites are probably the tanks converted from bren carriers- just the sort of think the Volare- Cantare engineers would like and the tankettes in all their glory.Does anyone make leather coated/hemeted tank crew in 20mm?
The Tratvian gift has me thinking.Will I open up an Eastern Front ( I have loads of plastic Russians and in the tradition of "Battle Practical wargaming I am more than happy to mix nationalities of tanks etc- need a soviet type imagination name- any thoughts chaps)  with the snowy camouflaged vehicles and the heavy armour I already have. Thus  leaving a lighter ,earlier period infantry  predominating to fight between Volare-Cantare and The Imperium.Or will all get mixed in together.Much enjoyable thinking and planning to be undertaken...
I plan an easy weekend doing very little.A walk uptown to do some shopping in the company of my eldest, home over the weekend from Uni, along a tree lined cycle path which was the old railway line.. Miniature Wargaming to be picked up at WHS and a few other items too. Other than that mainly reading,dozing, watching tv and maybe a small game/painting set up if energy allows.
Finally  viewing and reading recommendations at the side- do give them a whirl...

Monday 18 November 2013

Monday 2

Both of us home 7pm (Jan's appt started at 9.30 a.m) chemo went well,my class welcoming ,colleagues supportive,increased paperwork oppressive and absent management/H R procedures/meeting insulting and absolutely stinks!
Thanks for all your comments, prayers and positive thoughts-most appreciated by us both!

Sunday 17 November 2013


After weekly phone calls, reflection, outside agency consultation etc etc I return to work on Monday for a phased return which looks a little too "return" rather than "phased" but we will see.The above photo shows how I feel!
Through all this I have had my first real glimpse of absence management procedures (shudder) in action and H.R at work (the very language shows the  core of it I fear) and it is a sad indicator of where our 21st century society is at ...
Monday too sees Jan go for Chemo number three blood counts permitting.
A big day- positive thoughts ( and prayers if that is your way) if you can.Following your projects,games and ideas has helped and continues to help.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Sorting the 18th Century out..

Today I have done a little work on part of my 18th century collection. I have been working on the troops of the Umstrittental -  the Disputed Valley. In case you are a new follower/visitor here the valley lies between the Duchy of Tradgardland and The Imperium. Each town within the valley  raises it's own troops.The towns fall in and out with their neighbours , forming and breaking alliances regularly. There is a map of the valley to the right side of the blog-
This is a small unit project with infantry regiments of ten figures,possibly fewer for jaegers.The figures are mounted on 1p pieces and each regiment has a movement tray.This can be used to depict the regiment in column-
And also formed in line of battle-
More work tomorrow...

Sunday 10 November 2013


                                   They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
                                     Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
                                        At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
                                                  We will remember them.

Setting the bar or the managing of projects in winter quarters.

As I move towards my return to work (probably in a week) I think it is a good time to see what are my hobby priorities as winter looms. As anyone who stops by here knows I am a bit of a butterfly who flits from project to project regularly. That's the way I am - not for me ( at least so far) the discipline of one period one project.I sometimes think to myself if I had what vast armies I could have amassed...Anyhow here is my thoughts on what I want to keep moving forward-

  1. 20mm/1/72 Interwar/WW2 project- the Duchy of Volare-Cantare project.Plastic 20mm figs Minitanks/Airfix battles with "old school" rules. Paint up V-C's forces and their enemies. Possibly a look at V-C's place in the sunne too.Hopefully loads of tankettes with an eclectic mix of tanks and troops.Loads to base and paint.Oh and a few interewar planes maybe...
  2. 25/28mm ancients- smallish games on grids using Ross's Gathering of Hosts rules.Ancient imaginations a la Tony Bath's campaign. Couple of  wee armies to finish &sort out,resist being tempted to get some more...Easy to set up, play solo and put away.Fun imagineering background too.
  3. 54mm Funny Little Wars - take armies White & Red White in to the interwar period by "bolting on" appropriate period transport ,tanks,ac's etc- scratchbuilding/converting toys and a few bits and bobs
  4. Deutsche Homage project- keep moving forward with painting my embryonic collection of figures in the style of Heyde,Spenkuch and the rest... sort thing one might pick up for brief periods of an evening.
  5. Diverse wee game projects for skirmish games such as Songs of Blades & Heroes,Songs of Dust and Shadow etc (might try to link this to skirmish games relating to bullet point two)
  6. Non Solo projects- work relating to games I play re my regular ( or in reality far less regularly than we would like) gaming opponent- paint up some Perry ACW ,1938 etc etc
  7. Finally I must remember not to worry if I have set the bar too high re projects.It may need lowering,or even walking away from at times.The hobby has aided me greatly in these last few months and I am sure,judicially used, it will continue to do so...

Saturday 9 November 2013

My Books

Author you've read the most books from: Patrick O'Brian without a doubt
Best sequel ever: The  Gospels- but not really a sequel I suppose...
Currently reading: Metro 2033 but got bogged down and can't seem to move forward with it
Drink of choice whilst reading: Coffee or Theakston's Old Peculiar
E-reader or physical book: Physical Book don't own a contraption thingymbob
Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school: All boys school precluded such things
Glad you gave this book a chance: Verdun "Night in the Middle Ages"
Hidden book gem: "The Stripping of Altars" by Eamon Duffy
Important moment in your book life: English Master at school throwing open his cupboard and encouraging  us to borrow anything we wanted.Another English Master starting to read "The Hobbit "to us then closing the book and saying that if we wanted to know what happened we would have to read on ourselves...
Just finished: "Ordinariate of OLOW" by Aidan Nichols
Kind of book you won't read: Anything That says on the blurb " In the tradition of..." say Tolkien,Patrick O'Brian or any other major author although I did in the case of Mallinson I suppose...
Longest book you have read: Patrick O'Brian's naval books - really one long and glorious tale-England's Odyssey I have heard it called
Major book hangover because of  disappointing endings: just can't recall
Number of bookcases you own: 6 ish
One book you've read multiple times: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Preferred place to read:a Lloyd Loom chair in the corner of the extended kitchen
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feelings from a book you've read: “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” 
― Julian of Norwich
Reading regret: Never finishing "A Glastonbry Romance" by John Cowper Powys,have started  many times...
Series you started and need to finish: Christopher Biggin's books about Otto Prohaska
Three of your all-time favorite books: Thomas Burnett Swann Day "Day of the Minotaur""Loose Cannon" edited by Damian Thomson and "I heard the Owl call my name " Margaret Craven
Unapologetic fanboy for: Patrick O'Brian
Very excited for this release:next Harry Sidebottom novel- he captures the ancient world so well
Worst bookish habit: Not finishing novels and picking them up ages later to finish if at all,buying too many books
X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book: "Above the snowline" Steph Swainston 
Your latest book purchase: The Hobbit- official movie guide- got at Asda yesterday when shopping for groceries...
Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:) Too tired to stay up late to read
Thanks for staying with me to this point!

Friday 8 November 2013

An attempt at ordering things...

Morning all!
I have updated one of my other blogs re my ancient wargaming plans,do pop over and  have a look-
I hope to keep this as a place for my ancient/medieval gaming.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Preparation of plastic question...

An ultra quick post. How do you chaps prepare plastics prior to painting?I have washed the chaps in detergents and would normally paint them in diluted pva/wood glue now.What do you do?

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Unpacked ,sorted(ish) and plans...

Yesterday I mention a parcel which arrived here at the Duchy.It came from Conrad @ Joy and Forgetfulness.Here it is during the sorting process this afternoon - just the sort of exciting job for a dull, dreek day,a little like an exploration into  exciting ,uncharted territory...
First to be looked at was an assortment of  tank parts,bases,88mm guns and diverse interesting building bits.They are most interesting and await rationalization later this week. Next the figures were sorted and de-sprued -
What a collection of goodies-
The Duchy of Volare-Cantare has now got some Bersaglieri and Alpini (with skiers and mules!!!)

There are is opposition for the Duchy of C-V in the form of either a mix of WW1 Austro/Hungarians/Germans or WW2 Germans.I'm inclining to then former but what do you think ?

There are 19th C Besaglieri too with Zouaves and Italian (?) Cavalry to be the start of an 19th century project- Duchy of C-V 150 years or so ago?Maybe using Neil Thomas's book and rules for the 19th Century.

Loads also of  Africa Korps ( still thinking of an idea for them- any thoughts?) and WW2 Airfix Japanese ( maybe convert some to Italian troops ) and some Russians too. Ooophs nearly forgot the German paratroops- probably to be used against my Home Guard chaps/What a haul,what a sort,what inspiration - many thanks Conrad!!

Monday 4 November 2013

Today in Tradgardland

The day began at 6.00am when I got up and looked at the glories of a cloud free night sky through the many windows of the  new kitchen extension.I stood for some time without putting the lights on. Outside Orion's belt blazed oh so bright...
It was a frosty morning and I took this picture of a windfall with the frost still on it-
Jan and I were able to get out into the garden ( under  a brilliant sun) to tidy it up as we move towards winter and I was able to cut the grass for probably the final time this year. Yesterday we planted bulbs,wallflower,garlic and onions.
Later a knock came to the door with a parcel for me-
More about it when I have had a chance to unpack the contents...

Saturday 2 November 2013

Anyone used these?

It is Saturday morning and I'm up early browsing the bookshelves. I've been having a read of this.I picked it up for 30p in the summer of '98 when it was withdrawn from stock by our local library.I have incidentally got some splendid books in a similar way over the years.
I have,to my shame,never played the rules in the book but it has been an interesting read I have returned too over the years.I'm wondering if any of you have used the rules, and if so, how did you get on?