Thursday 27 February 2014


Jan's scan went well. Described as "more than satisfactory" by the doc. Cancer hit away over the boundary for six I say! All delighted here!

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Mythical Earth figures sought

Evening all!
I am after the following Mythical Earth figures-
ME 36 Beorn Bearman

ME40 Giant Spider

Alternatively can anyone suggest suitable"old school" style substitutes?

Monday 24 February 2014

A cool blog to visit...

A great advocate of the KISS school of rules and all round creative chap is Fitzbadger. Do pop over to his blog here- 
for a most entertaining game and diverse enjoyments...

Saturday 22 February 2014

In praise of the non elite

Bluebear Jeff left a comment on my blog recently  ( How refreshing to see a battle with mostly "ordinary" troops as opposed to so many that feature elite troops. Bravo for you, sir. ) commending me for using such troops. For many years I have favoured the under dog or the under equipped in my games.The Duchy of Tradgardland is one such force.As I look back  I recall with affection my 1/300 2pdr armourd tanks and Italian tankettes not to mention Sassanid levies.Not battle winners but such a joy to play with. I guess that is one of the reasons I so enjoy  a VBCW too. In 25mm I have my long held onto Danish army of 1807 awaiting painting. In fact I so loved the illustration ( found in a book bought on my first visit to Copenhagen) below-
that I commissioned a figure, based on the above, from a chap who was Eagle Miniatures at the time and a dentist who sculpted in his spare time.I have the figures here as I type. It is still in production as is the other Danish infantryman of 1807 I had made for me too. They are great sculpts and one day (!!!) they will grace my table finished.
So let's raise a glass to all the irregular/untrained,E class/militia etc etc figures in our wargames armies who give us all such fun/frustration/challenge on the games table.Now do tell us about your favourites...

Friday 21 February 2014

The Square Brigadier in Volare- Cantare etc

I have set up a trial game using Ross's Square brigadier rules. The Imperium ( 1930's Austria) has invaded the Duchy of  Volare-Cantare-
The Duchy is defended by light infantry and tanks.The Imperium invaders are equipped as below-
Infantry,anti tank units and a mortar unit. Game will be played tomorrow... sadly no more pictures as my daughter is off to Lyon with college and has taken her camera with her.
The skip is nearly filled to overflowing-
The land has been flattened,the path rediscovered and holes dug for fencing which our joiner put in this afternoon.Next stage is the extending of the hedge along the edge of the drive and the raised beds themselves.That will, however, be a little away...
P.S the Napoleonic game was great fun and ended in both sides withdrawing from the field ,honours even.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Hip to be square

Inspired by the picture, I found the other day, of the 1807 Battle of Koge-
I set up my own little squared battle between the Duchy of Tradgardland and the The Kingdom of Denmark.
Don't forget to click on the picture for a better view.
The Ducal forces at the top of the picture are all militia except for the hussars on the road and the sailors/naval guns on the hill top right.The Danes, at the bottom, are a mix of Landevaernet (militia) infantry/cavalry/artillery and regular cavalry/infantry. Battle report later..

Monday 17 February 2014

Updates and the result of the Spencer Smithing

It is Monday in Tradgardland and I am on Half Term hols. Jan had her last chemo last Wednesday and is slowly recovering from it. She has a scan tomorrow and the consultant in nine days. I am so glad to be off.
Although wet our skip came today and I got started-
The debris was left from the patio and extension work last year. We intend to level it (hence the skip) extend the beech hedge ,curving it round the corner a bit, and add raised borders to grow veg in. The view shows things as the project begins. I spent part of this morning moving soil,stone and turf. Here is how things stand now-
Half of the 3 ton (?) capacity skip is filled and I am pleased with my work so far.

The Spencer Smithing has not gone well ( not to mention the Garrison Vendhyans I butchered with a disastrous ink wash today having worked on them over the weekend)  I tried a variety of approaches including white undercoat. I am giving up with them for the moment .I am just too tired I think. I will retain them and recommence the project later. In the meantime I will concentrate on painting wee skirmish projects and playing some solo games with  current armies. I have been tempted by the Donnybrook rules but at £31 including postage I just can't contemplate it at present.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Ski training

In Tradgardland ,at this time of year, the light infantry train on skis. They engage in inter company competitions consisting of a mix of cross country skiing races and shooting . Each man is equipped with two skis, one ski pole and a rifle. At the end of each day they retire to mountain huts where they cook their food, share pickled herring beer and sing long into the night...

Saturday 15 February 2014


If you are an early Genesis/Peter Gabriel fan you will love this BBC 4 rockumentary which is in the Spinal Tap mode-

It is really well done and the interviews and early Thotch video material is tremendous. So Prog rock fans everywhere sit back and enjoy!

A new DVD watched by me this week...

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Tusind Tak!

I am most grateful for your encouragement and advice regarding the Spencer Smithing I undertook recently.I have decided the figures are well,well worth persevering with.I hope to try out some of your advice come the weekend.In the meantime I'm posting one of the illustrations I have found recently on the web which have inspired me as I think/plan imaginations and armies

Sunday 9 February 2014

Having Spencer Smithed - what next...

I will not share my painting efforts here suffice to say that they were not as hoped for. I am rather taken aback,it must be a lost/dying art as John Preece remarked here in his comment.Nevertheless I am not sure what to do.The instant reaction is to say that's enough and stop,even contemplate passing the splendid chaps on. The bubble has burst ,the initial enthusiasm floating away...
Perhaps I should wait until I am less tired/better lit/older/wiser/more talented/retired? I just don't know...

Sunday Morning

Up trying to paint the Spencer Smith chaps and my eyes are finding it hard. My reading glasses (which I only use for painting) help but...
 What do you use as light sources for painting by?

Yesterday Jan and I had a belated Wedding Anniversary trip by train into Edinburgh.  We had lunch at the National Portrait Gallery. As ever I enjoy looking at the mural paintings by William Hole-
Please click on for a bigger picture. As a boy this was the National Museum of Scotland and I loved coming with my father to see the Roman things and my favourite a reconstructed chariot- fitted in well with an Airfix Ancient Britain fan...
Hole's battle scenes are so evocative and his  frieze of the Kings and Queens and diverse notables brilliantly done-

I often think a wargames army dressed a la Hole would be lovely to look at colouful and fun ...

We both really enjoyed our leisurely look round town and the lunch and later coffee we had. I came home with a £1 bargain-
Which I look forward to reading.I have the first 5 in the series but went off them through reading one after another.I look forward with reacquainted with Hervey soon...
The day ended with a glass or two of wine whilst watching "Went the day well..." on DVD. In our case the day certainly went well...

Saturday 8 February 2014

Saturday morning early

I got up early after a bad night disturbed by coughs and a cold.I took the chance to quietly watch this film-
I found it a moving and beautifully filmed production, well worth watching.It was not as I anticipated but excellent.Have any of you seen it?

The first six trial ( a mix of horse and foot) Spencer Smith figures are primed and undercoated.I want a wee go prior to commencing on full units. I shall see how I get on with them.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

The Project has landed... part 2 further in

I have itemized the contents of the package as follows-

1 x infantry regt in red plastic
3 x infantry regt in blue plastic
1 infantry regt in red&light blue
1 grenadier regt in blue,light blue,red and brown plastc
36x spare mounted officers in brown plastic
2 x cavalry regts in brown plastic
48 infantry in shako in blue plastic
20x uhlans in brown plastic
35x drummers in red,blue & light blue plastic
5 x guns and crews and 16 spare artillery in blue plastic
18x FPW infantry in crested helmets in blue plastic
20 spare infantry officers in assorted colours as drummers
8 spare grenadiers and 1 private
4 spare cavalry

(all units a la Charge organisation)

I was interested in Neil's comment re  the colours of plastic and their respective  paintabilty.

I think such a horde deserves some new imaginations to go with it. Today I dreamed up the Kingdom of Lurland - based upon Denmark. The other day I found a few pages of information on the Danish army of the syw somewhere in the house but I cannot find it now at all. I hope it turns up...

As for an opponent I can't quite work it out .Any suggestions ?

Monday 3 February 2014

The project has landed...

When phoning Jan at lunchtime, a daily occurrence during the week,the door went and a parcel was duly handed to her by the postman.I had to wait the rest of the day until my return from work to see the contents.It contained Spencer Smith Plastic miniatures- a total of 125 mounted figures and 524 foot figures including about five cannon and crews!!!
They were carefully sorted by Joppy into units and types- thanks for your hard work ,most grateful.It includes some Franco Prussian Uhlans and infantry but the vast ( and I mean vast) majority are SYW.
My initial thought is to do some imagineering a la "Charge" and include the FPW types as part of the fun.
There are 6 Charge sized infantry and 3 of cavalry plus the FPW chaps.
I am daunted and excited in equal amounts...
This project will keep me going for years and years. Being plastic I am considering using multi basing to avoid paint flaking- anyone used "Charge " in such a manner? Plastic painting advice welcome too.
Off now to dream,plan and think of what my forces will be.

Sunday 2 February 2014

A visit

Being Candlemas the officers of the Tradgardland army are allowed to stroll in the Duke's gardens.A favourite place to visit is the hemitage with it's resident hermit.