Wednesday 29 April 2015

Musings two- Norway 1890ish.

The Norwegian General and his Staff looked carefully at the map-

It had been turned thus to make a point. Heads nodded and smiles formed on lips. General Jarlsberg suddenly spoke to the assembled throng " Gentlemen we have much to plan.Now please ask Admiral Gamalost to join us."

Tuesday 28 April 2015


I wonder if  my WW1 1/72 Germans would paint up as this chap?

Monday 27 April 2015

Quo Vadis 2

Sent off today for "One hour Wargames" by Neil Thomas. Also decided to not burden myself  by too many targets/plans. Small steps,wee targets and some games I think.

Sunday 26 April 2015

No longer a Duke of the Stone Age

Readers of this blog know my penchant for simple rules and old school gaming -on the whole.
But no longer!
Yesterday I popped by one of my favourite blogs-
I read there about a pike and shot game for the ipad. I downloaded it today and it seems great fun some far, I have had little time to devote to it. It reminds me of old battle maps and gridded games. I look forward to trying it out more later today.
p.s don't worry normal gaming service will resume shortly

Saturday 25 April 2015

Hurrah for Conrad Kinch!

Three cheers for Conrad Kinch bringing to an even wider audience the joys of gaming with grids through his splendid article in Miniature Wargames 385! A useful mention in the article of blogs and bloggers who have done much to move this splendid form of gaming forward especially Ross and Bob.Well done that man I say.

Quo vadis?

Its Saturday morning here in the Duchy. The excellent  weather of late has broken and I can hear rain as I type. Jan's first chemo went well but she is still at the stage of feeling miserable and very  off.Yet she remains so"up beat" as she goes through all this again.

I have been planning and thinking about hobby ideas in the odd moments been domestic and work matters this week. I have been thinking of what to do next with the ideas/lead pile. Is  worth setting out on a bigger project and moving it forward with small steps or to try something less ambitious...

The following have been considered-

  • Big Portable Wargames rules projects in 1/72 .One being a tankfest between Army Red and Army Black on the eastern front. The other being a tankette and infantry game between the Duchy of Volare- Cantare and Austria set in the mid/early 1930s. This project would be on a gridded cloth with plastic figures and tanks. Easily set up,gamed and put away it has much to commend itself not to mention time satisfaction in terms of one tank/two or three infantry painted equals one unit to play with.
  • Norway 1809 - loooong on the back burner . 28mm Napoleonic Norwegians v Swedes- very,very loosely based on the battle of Trangen . I have all the Norwegians,files of information and could build/buy the Swedes over time. This project with involve 24 figure units and a lot of work . Terrain would be a simple wintery theme.Rules would be that thin booklet (can't seem to lay my hands on it now) with a title like simple napoleonic wargaming. based round the Peninsular War it has lots of photos of a game with smallish armies painted in shiny style probably by Bruce (?) somebody?
  • Do bits and bobs as energy/time allow and try to get a balance of solo gaming and painting /modelling on a number of fronts...
Decisions decisions,we shall see...

Saturday 18 April 2015


We have had a good Easter holiday all things considered and have enjoyed being in and about the garden/house as well as having some most enjoyable wee day trips away.It has also been a time of plans,appointments,disappointments  and changes to plans. To cut a long story short Jan's cancer is back and on Monday 20/4/15 she has her first chemo of  a course of six. She is in good form and we all go back into this positively and dealing with it on conventional and dietary fronts. As before we ask for your positive thoughts and prayers.

Thursday 16 April 2015

French v Danes Nov 6 1806- help needed

Can anyone tell me what French units were engaged  in the fight with the Danes on that date? I know the Danish units involved but need the French ones.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Ancient gaming

I forgot to mention that I have posted some ancient gaming pictures here-

New additions to the Ducal Library and an old friend

I've got some new additions to my library -
A splendid annual publication on old toy soldiers ,fascinating articles and photos.
An addition to my aid my 18th century Spanish project in 40mm and a most interesting read.
Finally an unexpected gift from a friend-
Looks a good read and one I shall read on my commute when I return to work next week.
Finally an old friend which I have been rereading (today) looking,not for the first time,at its potential to inspire some medieval/fantasy gaming-

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Along the Water of Leith

A phone call yesterday radically changed our plans for this week and beyond. We felt the need for a wee trip out today. We parked at the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and had a splendid lunch in the cafe.Afterwards Jan & I went for a walk along the river to Stockbridge.We watched a heron and other birds and enjoyed the combination of lovely natural scenery
and beautiful buildings like this one in the Dean Village

This gate caught our eye too-

We looked round some of the Stockbridge shops including the excellent Oxfam bookshop before walking back to the car via Ann Street , it was a good trip out.

Saturday 11 April 2015

How we see ourselves...

I found this splendid portrait online recently-
I probably have missed the point of the picture but it reminded me of myself surrounded by my clutter of hobby things,sentimental possessions  and too many books.What portrait reminds you of you?

Friday 10 April 2015


Jan had an appointment to keep in Edinburgh and I tagged along for the ride. I had some time to wait for her so I read and planned in my trusty Moleskin notebook. Afterwards we had something to eat and went on to the Botanic gardens which were bathed in sun. Here am I-
We also encountered alien life forms-
I managed to sneak up close and get a photo of their emerging antennae before making a hasty retreat...
Off uptown to the Post Office etc- have a good day one and all

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Seeking suggestions

Any suggestions for figures (other than Schneider semi-flats) that would fit in with these chaps in terms of style and size.I am thinking of current manufacturers probably.Thanks!

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Counterpania game.

It has been another sunny day in the Duchy.As well as gardening  (first grass cut of the season,planting potatoes and alpines) I set up a semi flat game with some new figures. here are some photos-
Also some older ones-

Saturday 4 April 2015


Now the Green Blade Riseth

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been:
love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid him, love whom men had slain,
thinking that never he would wake again,
laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
love is come again like wheat the springeth green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
he that for three days in the grave had lain,
quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving in pain,
thy touch can call us back to life again,
fields of hearts that dead and bare have been:
love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Happy Easter from all of us in the Duchy of Tradgardland!

Friday 3 April 2015

Hols have arrived

Today is the first day of my Easter hols.With starting a new job it is my first break since Christmas. I find myself looking forward to being on holiday but also looking forward to returning to work for the summer term- something I could hardly ever imagine thinking when I was in my last job. I cannot recall when I last found my work so enjoyable,challenging and satisfying.I am fortunate .

Hobby plans begin with having a rest and domestic matters but then to take a few projects forward. I am still enamoured with the semi flat homecasts. I have a growing collection of them to use in the wars of Counterpania and a new idea of utilising my Prince August chaps too-
As readers of this blog may recall I have become interested in matters Spanish over the last couple of years with my weekly Spanish lessons (not to mention tutors and fellow learners) keeping me sane in my old job.As I have changed regions I no longer have the lessons but I have decided to add some Spanish element to my gaming. I will paint up some Prince August figures as Spanish in North America and use my native American homecasts as opponents. The project is inspired by the Spanish expedition to Nebraska.
A long term idea is have an imaginary 18th century Russian invasion through Alaska into Spanish territory partly inspired by the garrison of Catalonian Volunteer companies at Nootka on Vancouver island- but that is definitely on the back burner!