Friday 31 January 2014

Friday night/St Bride's Eve

It is Friday evening and the whole weekend stretches out before me.It is a time I really enjoy with two days ahead free of work. Jan & I managed this afternoon to get away for a quick coffee together ( she started the week  exhausted but has gained energy in the last day or so) at the local garden centre.Whilst there I picked up this-
I am looking forward to reading it over the weekend and hopefully inspired to do some modelling related to it...
On the wargaming front I am about to embark upon what,for me, will be a major project. It was certainly not planned for  or even anticipated but an opportunity presented itself which I could not resist. It will involve  loads of painting and will keep me going for ages I imagine.More info later.In the meantime your guesses are more than welcome.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

ESF- Edwardian Science Fiction?

I am currently looking at a wee "period holiday" with regard to my gaming.I fancy a little side project involving a few figures.I have looked out my copy of the Osprey " In her Majesty's name" and some figures I have collected - enough for a couple of companies.
I fancy taking things forward a tad to the Edwardian period and wondered what differences I ought to factor in compared to the Victorian steampunk/SF period.
I have found the white undercoat work very hard ( a rather frustrating Sunday session with little to show for it)  and will "cop-out" for the  two companies and go back to black undercoat/wash...

Sunday 26 January 2014

Meissen and easy (or not) does it all the time- with apologies to the Stranglers

In a rain lashed Tradgardland I have been experimenting with white undercoats this weekend but have not got as far as the glossy varnish yet.I have found it hard after years of black undercoats and /or washes fudging my results in my favour as I don't paint well.
No photos as my eldest is in London and has her camera with her. I have been inspired by the look of Meissen Porcelain and have found the following pictures on the web, when I have been painting-

That is what the figures remind me of and I think it is a cool connection with the 18th century.
I have also been musing on the imagination potential of that 18th Century idea of the Orient-
This Meissen figure is just crying out to be modelled in 28mm or whatever scale. Nonsense yes but fun...
Another figure in porcelain hinting at the exotic east...
It is not the East as it ever was but as it was imagined in the 18th Century.Therefore just the sort of imag-ination to add a bit of colour to our battlefields,Courts and Gardens. Finally a quaint figure I could not resist-
What do you think? Just imagine a heady mix of styles,colours,armour,beasts etc facing up your Ducal armies upon any Field of Mars...

Thursday 23 January 2014

Do not miss this..

Fabby new BBC series on the Rococo which is well worth a watch-

Don't miss this- more imagination inspiration in one hour than you could possibly imagine. Atmosphere,aesthetics,and more...

Stating the obvious or maybe not?

This might be the most obvious post in the world or maybe not? One of my all time favourite sets of rules are the Wargames Holiday Centre  Malburian ones. My regular opponent and I adapted them for the Seven Years War quite successfully.They give a simple,fast enjoyable game.
The rules require ,for example infantry units to be  made up of normally 4 bases ,each 40mm square and each containing four figures. I am a bit off multiple basing at present currently favouring single penny basing. So what I have decided to do is to try the single figures making up the same frontage and depth and otherwise the rules as normal. Perhaps a wee stick to take the dressings and frontage/depth would help marked at 40mm and 160mm intervals.I hope to try it out soon. Single basing and favourite rules a good combo me thinks.Anyone tried similar?

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Re-basing or if you can't beat them join them...

David at is currently doing a thread upon his recent purchase of 40mm Late Bronze age Europeans. Inspired by this I have begun to re-base my Foundry 28mm Late Scandinavian Bronze Age chaps-
 Ever since I went to Denmark for the first time and saw the Lur horns,shields etc in the National Museum I have loved the period.I still remember the excitement I felt when these figures were released.
So tonight I have taken them off their stands and put them individually onto penny sized bases and added Milliput.I intend to use them for skirmishing with Songs of blades and Heroes.
I imagine them to be the inhabitants of Tradgardland  in the Bronze Age.

Sunday 19 January 2014

A (what is the proper collective noun) of perukes...

I've gone a tad peruke crazy this weekend by converting some figures to varying degrees of success-
From left to right- a show freebie of an ecw commander in armour, a converted figure whose provenience I have forgotten, a Foundry ecw officer and a Front Rank late 17th Cent officer.
The far left figure and the one third from the left have completely milliput created perukes whilst the other two have had their's heightened. On the whole I am quite pleased with this first attempt and will work on this in the future. Next project will be a couple female figures-

Saturday 18 January 2014

When the day's duties are done...

When the duties of the day are done the good folk of Tradgardland enjoy many pastimes.Take for example these gentlemen playing the game of Colf-
Colf was brought to the Duchy by a Dutchman in the middle ages. It involves hitting a ball at a local landmark in the least number of strokes.Although popular in the town ( in spite of miss hits, broken windows and cracked skulls) the game is most popular in the country.These men have a wager upon who will first hit a statue nearby...
Sixteen strokes later the game is finished,wager won and money changes hands.Little do the gentlemen know that their every word of gossip and intrigue is overheard,committed to memory and will be duly passed on.

I have a mind to try and perfect a set of rules for Colf on the table top- a few dice for distance,scatter dice/chart for miss hits etc...

Thursday 16 January 2014


Inspired by this image from the "Draughtsman's Contract"
(which still remains one of my favourite films) I have begun a model of Duke Aeneas of Tradgardland .
I started with this Front Rank fellow-
and set to work with Milliput upon his wig , resulting in the conversion below-
I intend to work on painting him come the weekend. Incidentally Duke Aeneas ruled 1684-1700.I hope to share more about his reign later. 

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Why etc?

I've been looking at late 17th century rules of late and came across these-
What is the point of the cover illustration?What message does it give the non- wargaming public?Why do we need a scantily clad female? What do you think?
As for me I think I'll stick to my old Partizan press well loved and battered ECW ones...

Saturday 11 January 2014

A busy Duchy...

A busy day in the Duchy of Tradgardland : the shepherdess drives the sheep to the pastures and wood is gathered by servants  for the palace kitchen...
                                                            Yet all is not as it seems...

Sunday 5 January 2014

We have been to the Desolation...

Well that's the four of us back from the film.Verdict? We all enjoyed it but  with a few reservations.It was a tad too long,not sure about goblins and elves fighting in Laketown and not entirely sure of Tauriel having been added.Although she was better than I had imagined as a character.I must go back to the book and compare and contrast...
What did you think ?

12th Night

Time has accelerated in the last few days towards my return to work.We have had an enjoyable time including walks and coffee out.Yesterday the post man delivered this second hand book-
It is an architectural history of glass houses filled with fascinating facts and inspiring drawings.I would like to add an orangery to the Duchy of Tradgardland.I have found some illustrations that give the feel of what I wish to do-

With doing the necessities of life too there has been brief periods only to start construction.My first card effort was ugly and too big. I will start again soon.A few 18th century civilians are proceeding including Duke Demtri of the Grand Duchy of Nikolai. Some figure to work in the orangery are being painted too.I am still deciding how to depict the trees.Railway scenery can be so expensive so do you have any ideas?

Today I have finally found a time to go to see The Desolation of  Smaug.Tickets bought we await it with keen anticipation...

Friday 3 January 2014


"There is much to be celebrated in the gardening style prevalent in the Duchy of Tradgardland sir,yet much that is dowdy and lamentably Dutch..."
"I hear that the Duke favours others these days even over that scoundrel De Groot.Dull he may be but he knows his canals if nothing else..."
"My brother in law once spied a nymph rising from the canal covered  in weeds.Other say is was the Duke's daughter having slipped upon a pear..."
" Duke Demtri struts around in furs I have it on good authority from my kitchen boy's mother. Some say he is more bear than man..."

Thursday 2 January 2014

18th Century Plans

The New Year has begun and I begin with some plans for 18th century gaming this year-

  1. I bought these rules in July 2012 and to my shame I have not used them yet.I have based figures and browsed through the rules but no more. I want to learn to play them and use them for solo( Ny Tradgardland based games) and two player games.My regular opponent and I have decided to make this our focus so we will see...
  2. Paint the Galloping Major rangers I have on order and finish any other F & I war figures lying about.
  3. Re base consistently my 18th century collection- Umstrittental,Tradgardland and the Imperium.Some are on penny sized bases,others on 20/25mm one.I want them all on the same size and possibly organised via movement trays.Once unified they will take the field together for bigger games and petite guerre ones also.
  4. Lastly to continue to paint my 18th century civilians and use them around games and vignettes set in the gardens,orangeries and estates of the Duchy of Tradgardland.
So I have thrown down the gauntlet to myself.All that remains is to go for it...