Thursday 31 July 2014

Kellie Castle etc

On Tuesday Jan & and I went to Kellie castle in Fife-
The castle was owned by generations of the Lorimer family including Robert Lorimer an important figure in the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland  and Hew Lorimer a sculptor of international repute. The castle is now owned by the National Trust and has a delightful organic garden.We had a fascinating tour enhanced by some excellent guides. Afterwards coffee and scones were taken in the garden  amidst the flowers,veg and chickens.The stables feature an exhibition on Hew Lorimer's sculpture which was fascinating-
as well as his workshop arrayed as it was when he worked there.
We have been enjoying eating the produce of our own garden too and have been using it in different recipes.Even the nettles have enhanced our lunchtime soups.
The sun that we have almost begun to take for granted has left us of late and it is quite a miss.My painting/ modelling/gaming mojo appears to have left too as I cannot settle down to anything at all at the moment. A return to work in ten days hangs pall-like over me.
I am reading this currently-
I have long wanted to read it and think I am enjoying it...

Monday 28 July 2014

Nymphis Sacrvm Vicani Tradgardenes

The Duchy of Tradgardland has come to see the new temple within the Duke's garden.The are filled with admiration for the design and it's creation also.
Mr Noyle and Mr Neville ( antiquarians extraordinaire) are pleased to see that the inscription, they discovered inscribed in stone during one of their recent delvings, has been used.They are however slightly less impressed with the rendering of it in paint by the master painters and apprentices of the Guild...
Next they will wonder at the statues of the Sirens...

Friday 25 July 2014

Valhalla etc

Tradgardland was beset by haar (mist not pirates by the way) first thing. Jan and I had to go into Edinburgh to contract some business on our behalf.The haar burnt away by the time we had finished lunch in St Andrews Square Gardens.Edinburgh is a vibrant place at the best of times but with trams,pre festival preparations and sun Auld Reekie is simply wonderful.
In the evening Phil came over for a game of Vahlla.I had prepared some Welsh ( unarmoured and all with throwing spears or bows) specially.Phil brought his Saxons.Here is the situation at the start-
Table mats under cloth as hills and a simple set up- we are just getting used to the rules .The Welsh had sprinted for cover from their side of the table and awaited the Saxons...
The Welsh started off  well skirmishing to varying degrees of success...
All began to go wrong when it came to close combat.The highlight of the game was a Saxon warrior who threw double after double in combat and was surrounded with slain enemies-
The Welsh then failed a morale test and quite understandably fled off the table edge.All in all a fun game,not taxing upon the brain but producing a reasonable result.Next time we will try a scenario based game and check beforehand we are using the rules correctly.I had wanted to shoot into a melee but the rules were a little vague - I will read up for next time too.
On our return from Auld Reekie the postman had delivered this-
It looks interesting on first glance-have any of you tried it? I am swithering about using it or Hordes of the Things for a little summery Thomas Burnett Swan inspired gaming but not sure which way to go.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

A day out and an update for Jeff and others...

Today we all had a day out to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.Here is a picture of me sitting in front of the planting to commemorate the start of the Great war-
 we had a lovely day out and magnificent weather too.
Here is the latest pics of the ECW project-
The highlanders will use irregular shaped movement trays...
A couple of 32 figure musket/pike regiments...
Earlier this evening I made a four barreled leather gun from an old paintbrush and kebab sticks- we will see how it looks when painted.
By the way has anyone used highlanders with the Bayonet ECW rules?

A day of inspiration... and sunne too

Yesterday a number of things occurred which inspired me re the hobby and beyond. Firstly I found some Les Higgins chaps  ( from Old John) I got some years ago.They are just asking to be finished.Splendid Old School fellows oozing charm. I have plans afoot to continue the project...
Secondly these arrived - Click on for a larger picture.
When at Blackwells (house not bookshop) I had seen this newish book on The Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland. My wife remarked to me afterwards that my eyes lit up as I read it in the Blackwells gift shop ( veritable mine of amazing volumes on the Arts and Crafts movement by the way) and I have taken little persuasion to order it. Well this tome arrived yesterday and is fantastic- beautifully produced and  filled with so much fascinating info.
Whilst uptown I picked up a copy of Current Archaeology magazine. When reading I saw an illustration of 11th century Saxon fortifications on Silbury Hill. Now there's a modelling thought in 28mm or even 40mm...
My ECW movement trays arrived from Warbases (great company to deal with) and will move my project forward.
Finally on another blog I read a comment by John Preece mentioning a 96 figure Captain General's regiment.John, if you do read this please tell us more!

Sunday 20 July 2014

Dalauppror asked (amongst others) that I post a photo of the raised beds when they were planted up.Here they are this week-
Despite the high winds of the other day the Duchy of Tradgardland plaque is now in place-

Saturday 19 July 2014

When we were away

We have been back from Ambleside ( we had excellent weather) a week now so it is time high time for a post on the holiday.We managed to enjoy the surrounding countryside by walking-
This is Stock Ghyl Force in Ambleside.
High Sweden Bridge- an old pack horse bridge.
We also visited interesting places none more so than Blackwell- a house designed inside and out by M H Baillie Scott.He is probably my favourite Arts and Crafts architect and designer.
We also found splendid places to eat like Blackwell's above and Chesters , Skelwith Bridge below-
Chesters has an outside eating area perched just above the river and is a great place to think,read,write or daydream as well as enjoy generous portions of cake and fantastic home cooked pizzas. here is a link to them-
All in all a great holiday was had by the whole family.

Thursday 17 July 2014

By Ben Afleck, near Glen Ford...

It is good to be off work.This morning I walked uptown to Mass and then got some 1p bases on the way home.We finished building the table/bench combo we bought yesterday and used it for the first time at lunch.The great weather continues and the sunne shines on us here in Tradgardland. Of late I have spent some time mentally strolling on slopes of Ben Afleck near Glen Michael - for those of you who have forgotten the awful jokes or are  new here let me direct you to my following post- on my 17th century pun filled part of Scotland.
It has encouraged me to rebase/prepare some figures for some forthcoming battles in mid 17th century Scotland.
Here is the scene of chaos/endeavour/industry in the shed above and below.
The rules will be the Bayonet ECW ones by Neville Dickinson and I am going to use a variety of movement trays from Warbases.
Finally more puns/place names welcome for the forthcoming map- go on give it your worst shot!

Monday 14 July 2014

Modelling three- the fort continues.

This is a continuation of modelling posted on 3rd July.
A visit to Starbucks at Abington on the way home from hols provided two more towers and a dome-
After being glued they were left to dry completely.Today I got out a mix of paint and sand and splashed it on merrily...
I am quite pleased with the progress.
Apart from 1930s North West Frontier I am wondering what other periods and locations I could use it for. Any suggestions?

Saturday 12 July 2014

We have been to...

Been off line this week due to a splendid family holiday (more about this later) to a place which has inspired a little imagineering and flag creating-
Any guesses as to the real place which inspired this flag I created since I got home?
I had plenty of time to read and finished this book which I recommend to you-
A very interesting read about a great poet and author.
I look forward to now reading about what you have been up to on your blogs.

Those of those who commented on my flags might enjoy this old post explaining about their meaning-

Sunday 6 July 2014

Sunday morning

Hopefully less of this
Moving on from yesterday's all consuming nostalgia...
To more of this and further plans,ideas and butterflying.

Saturday 5 July 2014

À la recherche du temps perdu

I found this image on the web last night-
I looked for such pictures having seen an image of a model yacht in one of my wife's magazines and chatting with her regarding my youth.It is the nearest I could find to model boating pond memories of mine from the 1960s. In some details it is wrong- the ponds I went to were not raised up like this,they were at the seaside and I ,as an only child, sailed alone under my parent's gaze.
Much of our hobby is a combination of striving for the new (rules,lead,periods etc) and the old ( rules,lead etc) served up in varying proportions. I constantly have new ideas and plans ,many of which will never see the light of day or lay as ruins along the roadside.I cannot seem to focus on one thing.I am consumed by enthusiasm only for it to wither like a day lilly or die like a mayfly. Enthusiasms come round in cycles like a merry go round and reappear before departing again. More and more the hobby (for me) is either an attempt to portray a simpler/more manageable world or a case of "A la recherche du temps perdu" combined with a frantic search to find the ultimately fulfilling game/period/miniature/system.Am I alone in feeling thus...

Friday 4 July 2014

Modelling 2- and a vague ,rejected working title

Spent much of the day trying to minimise mess and maxamise creative endeavours.Here is where I got to-
The fort so far but what to render the walls with?
An aerial view this time  with a view of the gate.
Ochre painted hills with wooden "firesteps" to put figures on.I am thinking of dulling down the colour...
As lain out on the table top. A set up for some Jazz Age Imperialism- North West Frontier in the 1930s.Figures are Empress Miniatures. A working title is still being sought as I have rejected Tradistan already.

Thursday 3 July 2014


Yesterday we all had a super day out to Perth which we all enjoyed.Today family members are doing different things and I am feeling creative.I am ensconced in the shed-
I have card,wood,paper,glue and sand- any guesses what I am going to do with it?

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Valhalla - a first game...

Phil came over last night with his Saxons for our trial game of Valhalla.I fielded Picts.I had mainly unarmoured troops including four mounted warriors. My opponent's men were mail armoured  with shield and helmet.
Opposing benches ( name for units in the game) come to grips between the houses and the wattle surrounded field.
A tense moment as the mounted Picts are surrounded...
The last stand as others flee or meet their end.
All in all an enjoyable first outing for the rules.Being unarmoured does not help and missile fire is not too effective.You begin to identify with the named figures, each with their own strengths and weaknesses as generated by the website when you upload pictures and put in data with what they are armed with etc.We played this as a trial so set up no scenario with time we will add a back story and see how that plays out.After the game we counted points and discovered the Picts fielded 157 points of troops to the Saxon's 202 points.That too may have helped the Picts to lose.
All in all I would recommend the rules as great fun and an excellent portrayal of the visceral nature of the period.
For more info here is the game's page with loads more details-
You can download the rules from the site and have a go yourself...
Do pop over you'll not regret it...