Wednesday 31 December 2014

A trip out

It has been hard to have a day out this holiday with someone busy ,working or studying each day.However we all did manage to have a day yesterday ( the 30th ) in St Andrews-
Lunch at the Northpoint cafe, photographs (for inspiration for artwork) taken at the harbour and then back through the town via a splendid new bookshop- Topping and co-
I resisted spending there but will be returning very soon. A splendid day rounded off by watching the beautifully filmed (not to mentioned costumed) Mapp and Lucia on BBC 1-
Today hopefully some time for a solo game,but we will see.
"Bring out your lead!" the shop keeper called in the back streets of the other Heliopolis.
Incidentally if anyone has any "old school" ancients that they wish to swap/sell let me know ...

Tuesday 30 December 2014

A poem

The Land of Counterpaneby Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Monday 29 December 2014

Guess who I thought of today...

We went into Edinburgh today.On the way to see the BP Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery we saw this-
The Duchy of Tradgardland would not be here but for him...

The weather outside is frightful...

Morning all!
Heavy frost here in the Duchy of Tradgardland.
My collection of Airfix 1/72 figures are out in the unheated shed/yurt/summerhouse in boxes in drawers.Will the plastic be affected by the weather and should I bring them indoors?

Sunday 28 December 2014

Updates etc

I had been avoiding it ( it being Frozen) but ended up promising to watch it on Boxing Day.I was pleasantly surprised by the film and entertained too. I also watched it as a source of gaming ideas too-
I particularly liked the juxtaposition of 19th century ships and viking looking dragon- prowed boats in the harbour.If it is good enough for Disney...

The same day I watched a splendid film called "Salmon fishing in the Yemen" on iplayer which I would recommend wholeheartedly to you all.I believe it is still available on iplayer until tonight.

Yesterday we had a family gathering here which went well. I was introduced to Pintrest by my niece which I had vaguely  heard of. I took little persuasion and joined up directly.It is such fun. I can see me being sucked into this and many happy hours spent collecting images.

Whist being  very tired still I am beginning to think what I would like to game /collect/paint in 2015. There are too many ideas floating around my brain/dodo pad/moleskin already and I will have to be disciplined,well a little I fear. After all the hobby is meant to be fun and life has enough disciplines without being to hard on myself hobbywise.I will let you know how my thinking goes...

Saturday 27 December 2014

Warriors Brave...

I have been enjoying this story over Christmas-
For more of the story follow the link below-

I fear that some residents (Warrior braves from the north of Guyleria) of my house must have been reading over my shoulder...

Friday 26 December 2014

Boxing Day

Morning all from a foggy Tradgardland this Boxing Day,Feast of St Stephen ( as in the song) proto martyr.
House is quietish.Daughter two is off to do a morning shift at work otherwise it is peaceful morning here.
We had a splendid day yesterday with lovely food after Mass and an enjoyable time together.Here are some of my gifts. This year the extended family did Secret Santa.We gave three ideas to Santa and one was to be given by him. I was delighted with the Kelly Kettle I got- something I have fancied for years now.I will try it out in the garden very soon. My daughter's gave me/us a Pointless board game ( I love the telly prog) which we will play hopefully today. Jan chose me a novel which looks an excellent read and gave me some Garrison lead to continue my Vendhyans including a war mammoth. I am a most fortunate chap indeed.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

On the borders of the Duchy of Tradgardland (in the Middle Ages) patrols are out regardless of the weather-

They make their way back to the Palace in time for Midnight Mass and the feast there after. Figures are 40 mm conversions and  toy elk/reindeer  got ages ago.
Merry Christmas to one and all from all of us here in the Duchy. Have a great Christmas!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Christmas Music

I have listened to this many times this Christmas so far. I find it moving . I hope you give it a go and maybe enjoy it too...

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Tree pictures...

We put up our tree tonight as the girls have returned from university.It is pot grown and we will try to grow it on outside after Christmas.
And now a close up with the tree surrounded with items filled with memories-
Finally some new and newish residents awaiting some wood foraging orcs ...

Sunday 14 December 2014

Don't blame it on the sunshine....blame it on the Mad Padre! :)

I had innocently posted a few days ago about my desire to get a Minifigs M.E range dragon for my "Old School"  Middle Earth gaming. That was as far as I had thought. Then along comes this comment to my post-
I am intrigued and delighted by the possibility that there is a corner of the Duchy where dragons live. Unless it's a parallel universe to the Ducy ....                                                                                                                                   
Oh dear , that was indeed a seed planted into my mind ! and so I began some research in the Duchy of Tradgardland Library vaults-
Firstly I came upon the above in a dusty,neglected tome.
Then evidence was found of what some poor 18th Century gentleman suffered in his garden.
Another example from the later 17th Century was found  in a leather bound volume half hidden under dusty pelts . Finally a rare  pair of etchings proved to conclusive-
Michael ,what may you have begun...

Saturday 13 December 2014

Turning bad into good...

Of late I have woken almost every day around four in the morning-one minute asleep, the next wide awake fretting about work matters. Often that is me awake for the day, though I lie in bed quietly ( or try to) until around an hour and a half later when I get ready for work.
 Today (thankfully) is Saturday and so I got up to make coffee. After that I listened to two episodes of "Master & Commander on the  i player radio app whilst painting some Mythical Earth  Ents,Giants and other "old school" figures. It has been a most agreeable way to begin the weekend...

Friday 12 December 2014

Hip to be square?

I have enjoyed (of late and for some time now) wargames using a square grid. Be it the "Portable Wargames" of Bob or Ross's "Gathering of Hosts" they have given me some excellent solo gaming. This week a thought popped into my mind-
the staggered square grid ,if that's what it is called.
I wonder what the pros and cons of such grids are and if one could use them with rules set up for a normal squared grids? Are they merely an easier to draw substitute for hexagons? How would a staggered grid effect my games? Any thoughts gentlemen?

Thursday 11 December 2014

100 not out

Tomorrow ,12th December, would have been the hundredth birthday of Patrick O'Brian.

Still bringing pleasure and joy to readers everywhere...

There I have you,' cried Jack. 'You are bit - you are completely dished. Don't you know that in the Navy you must always choose the lesser of two weevils? Oh ha, ha, ha, ha!” 
― Patrick O'Brian

Sunday 7 December 2014

Mythical Earth

Missed out on a pile of old school monsters on e $£y tonight.I had fancied the Mythical Earth dragons in particular but nearly thirty pound was a tad expense for my warchest. This is the chap-
If anyone has a spare one they want rid of for a fair price let me know...
p.s on a more positive note I got two giants,two beorn bearmen and two large ents (all from the M.E range) for a reasonable price.

Friday 5 December 2014

A map begun...

The weekend at last and what a busy one.Anyway it's Friday night and two days work free awaits. I have been musing on a map and name for my Hyboria inspired campaign. Using free resources on the web I have begun with this-
I have yet to add borders of kingdoms/countries to the map. I have named it Guyleria after Deryck Guyler. Here is a picture of him (he's the one in the middle) with other famous wargamers-
I loved the picture of his painted Ancient Flats that I saw in the T V Times as a boy. I also recall with affection his TV characters from "Please Sir" and other sitcoms from the 1960/70s. So Guyleria it is...