Saturday 31 December 2016

Happy New Year

As the Duke of Tradgardland and his court dance the night away under a full moon let me wish you and yours a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2017.

Monday 26 December 2016

The beautiful game

Today we played for the first time what , in my opinion, is the most beautiful board game I have ever played.Not to mention really enjoyable.
It is called Tokaido. Well worth a look.

All is well- an update

On Christmas Eve the girls and I set off for Yorkshire and a week's holiday  by car. By mid morning we were involved in a car accident, not of our making, resulting in the car sustaining full frontal damage. The important thing is we were unscathed if shaken up a little . The police were excellent and very kind.To cut a long story short we were home by mid afternoon. A short trip by foot for provisions uptown left us equipped well for Christmas Day.
We had quiet if enjoyable day- Mass,presents,Uno,Scrabble,Escape from Atlantis and a lovely meal. We all enjoyed it and counted ourselves fortunate to be here together and well. My daughters had bought me a Hugh Baillie Scott coloured print and a book about living in Britain during the Napoleonic wars. It is now Boxing Day , the wind and rain howl without and I am about to finish five series of Ripper Street with some coffee with prospect of a walk and a little light shopping later. Have a good one whatever you are doing.

Friday 23 December 2016

A square in Tradgardstadt in the Duchy of Tradagardland

Christmas Eve in Tradgardland-
The Duke wishes his loyal soldiers compliments of the season prior to entering the Cathedral of St Hermes for Midnight Mass.

Sunday 18 December 2016

The Last King - Official Trailer

Available on Amazon Prime currently,enjoy!

Saturday 17 December 2016

Maria Theresa sought

Has anyone got a spare figure of Maria Theresa that they want to sell? I believe it was a freebie at some war games show. She is on foot carrying an orb and sceptre l think.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Chosen men

Many of you will know that I am a big Patrick O'Brian fan ( his work has been compared to Jane Austen and referred to  as England's Odyssey) and have been for many,many years. I have therefore sent off for the new Perry naval  landing party figures  now they are in production. These ,along with the forthcoming "Chosen Men" Osprey rules, will hopefully be used to fight the battles from the books as well as landings in  Denmark and Norway.

Monday 5 December 2016

First large wargame I ever saw....

As a teenager  I went  to see an exhibition of Fenton's (?) Crimean photographs in Charlotte Square Edinburgh. I forget the year. I was really looking forward to seeing photos like these-
The photos were fascinating but what really caught my attention was the wargame put on by the South East Scotland Wargames Club. There laid out in a large room was a Crimean battlefield replete with Peter Laing figures. It seemed vast to me and on closer inspection it was filled with regiment upon regiment. I recall being fascinated. Up to that point I had mainly painted Rose etc 54mm figures for display ( although growing up with Airfix etc fighting battles from an early age) here was something else - I was hooked and find myself still hooked near on forty years later. I went back again and again and watched and was filled with wonder.I can recall the excitement still. The excitement that led to carrying armies ( Mythical Earth and Airfix acw /tanks) around in my father's old Van Heusen shirt boxes to games. The rest is history as they say.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Books etc

I first read this 12 years ago,found it on the  bookshelf recently and am really enjoying it again-
Well written,filled with fascinating characters and events- if you have never read give it a go. Secondly a book sourced for me (thanks Michael) in Sweden-
By same person who did the Karoliner book.Inspiring illustrations.

Monday 28 November 2016

Tradgardland foot of the 17th Century

First a view from the sharp end-

Secondly foot recruited from the guilds- in this case the Plasterer's Guild and The guild of Woodworkers-

Sunday 27 November 2016

Advent begins...

Hung up my calendar today as Advent began
1 Of the Father’s love begotten 
ere the worlds began to be, 
he is Alpha and Omega — 
he the source, the ending he, 
of the things that are, that have been, 
and that future years shall see 
evermore and evermore.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

For Tim and interested others...

After much searching I located this paperback on my bookshelves today-
Found in a old second hand book shop in Edinburgh a number of years ago. It is a much sought after work I believe.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Tradgardland pikemen of the Thirty Years War

I pondered upon the comments left at my last post (thank you for your suggestions)  and have just finished (hence undried glue) basing my pikemen. I have gone with nine figures on a 50mm square base, I think it improves the look and better suggests a dense mass of pikemen-
Next I will work on the basing/painting of the shot...

Saturday 19 November 2016

Basing try out for Portable Thirty Years War etc

This week I got some Minifigs S Range for my Portable TYW/ECW project-
I have used them so far to try out some basing /deploying ideas.Firstly a large Tercio-
Secondly Dutch?/Swedish?-
As ever let me know what you think and all suggestions welcome. Incidentally I have not tried out these formations in a game yet. 

Wednesday 16 November 2016

A couple of interesting reads etc

Theses are a couple of recent additions to the library of the Duke of Tradgardland-
Finally a programme I have just discovered ( well  ok I watched one episode five series  ago and didn't enjoy it then) and am ploughing through the boxset on Amazon-
Just started the second series and it is excellent.Have a good day one and all!

Saturday 12 November 2016


Had an enjoyable trip to the Targe show in Kirriemuir. A sunny car ride through lovely autumn countryside. I will say more about the show once I can get my photos off my phone...
In the mean time can anyone identify the manufacturer of these 40mm AWI figures I picked up for overall around a £1 per figure-

Monday 7 November 2016

Re "Pikeman's lament"- some questions...

I wonder if anyone can tell me the unit types/definitions in the forthcoming rules the "Pikeman's Lament" to help me plan. Is there a category which particularly fits  musket and axe armed strelitsi for example? Is there a category like the 6 figure  infantry skirmisher units in Lion Rampant? I have every intention of buying the rules when they come out for need a tad more info for planning/modelling.

Sunday 6 November 2016



 Currently I seem to go from cold to cold and am very tired and more than a tad low. Struggling on teaching,supporting the girls and trying to find a new constructive way to live my life without Jan. It is hard often.
I have, as ever, enjoyed reading your blog posts ( a great way to to start the day with coffee and breakfast) and sometimes commenting on them. I think of projects but have little enthusiasm or energy for executing them. I can't be bothered getting out loads of figures and setting up a game. I have however just started to do a little work on my 25mm Portable ECW Rules old school Minifigs. It seems manageable currently in both setting up,playing solo and painting for-
I wonder how many of you are eagerly awaiting-
which is due out towards the latter part of January? I am currently enjoying thinking of what forces to raise for it. Anyone started thinking/planning/painting yet?

Friday 21 October 2016

Further adventures of the Society for Convivial Anachronism

A visit to the Mathom-house at Michael Delving saw a hand cart being filled with heavy sacks.The next day farmer Maggot noticed that some of his goats were missing. Soon the S.C.A were the talk of the district-

Saturday 15 October 2016


It is autumn here in the Duchy of Tradgardland.Today the rain and wind lash the house and I will delay going out for supplies.Indoors some Brittanian soldiers are put through their paces prior to the coming campaign.

Friday 14 October 2016

Regiment Blauer Bar

On parade with his regiment  is Colonel Geoffrey von Blauer Bar.They are a Stagonian regiment in the pay of the Duke of Tradgardland. Proudly they bear their colours featuring a Tradgardland rose background with the Stagonian Stag rampant.
Rest in Peace Jeff !

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Brief Battle Report

The rules used were the "Introduction to Battle Gaming" ones by Terry Wise. They provided an exciting,if bloody, solo game. Back in my student days at the Edinburgh Uni Wargames Club I played a lot of Johnny Reb rules with 15mm figures and look back on the system/games with affection. More recently I played "Bull Run to Gettysburg" by Foundry in 28mm with my regular opponent a little. All in all the Wise  rules worked well, produced a credible result,were easy to remember and were great fun. Here are a few photos of the game-
The Confederate advance in the face of artillery and small arms fire.
The aftermath of the Confederate charge prior to them retiring from the field of battle...

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Anyone recognise these?

In the back and front flyleaves of my copy of "Introduction to Battle Gaming" by Terry Wise I pasted  ( over 40 years ago and copied out in my own handwriting) some rules additions for ACW gaming-
They comprise morale rules, a firing chart and rules for gating guns. I am sure I didn't make them up myself. I wonder can anyone shed light on where on earth I got them from?

Monday 10 October 2016


The Union Army is defending a ridge-
Behind ,lies a small township and wood-
The Confederates mass before the attack-
The view from Confederate lines- it sure looks a long way...
Battle report to follow later.


Last Tuesday I attended an interesting event in Blackwell's shop in  Edinburgh-
Photo courtesy of btw. Myself in Tradgardland rose shirt in photo.
Blackwell's hosted handsomely an excellent evening of speakers ( including Dan Mersey) and games. Well worth looking out for future events I say.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Airfix conversions

One of the joys of second hand figures is the pleasure of seeing the artistry of others. My immediate reaction is not normally to repaint but to try and preserve/improve the work of the former owner. It is a joy therefore to see these-
Excellent conversions of Airfix cowboys to act as officers for Hilton Hunt zouaves. I am delighted to field such as these.

Tuesday 4 October 2016


I did as suggested and went to ebay. These arrived yesterday-
They are mainly Airfix with some metal figures (zouaves,infantry and cavalry) I don't recognise.Does anyone know the manufacturer of these rather splendid chaps?
 I am very pleased with my purchase which will form a good start to a collection. Seeing those Airfix figures brings back memories as well as thoughts of battles to come. Finally does anyone know if Terry Wise's Airfix ACW guide contains a set of rules?

Sunday 2 October 2016

Society for Convivial Anachronism

"Ever since Mr Baggins found the secret rooms off the  back pantry things haven't been the same round the hill. There's been a clunking and a clanking,a coming and a going.Sack after sack dragged out into the light of day. Now Mr Baggins and his friends dress up in the rusty old armour, march here and there and dine together. They call themselves the Society for Convivial Anachronism or SCA for short. Arrows flying everywhere and nasty looking swords lying about.It all seemed highjinks until the day the goblins came..."

My Kickstarter of Halflings arrived and what a lot there are,all beautifully produced mind you.I wondered what to do with them all. Yesterday I compared them to the Vendel (can't recall what they are called now) figures I got last autumn (orcs,elves etc) and they look fine alongside them.

So what I intend to do is raise a forces of hobbits in rusty armour for Dragon Rampant. I have been playing around with this backstory for some time.Let me know what you think...

Monday 26 September 2016

An old friend

My father has been gone from this Earth for more years than I care to remember. He would have liked to build kits etc ( the sad thing was I found some of his collection in the attic when we were moving just after his death- loads of Airfix kits and figures organised into units methodically)  but such a hobby was frowned upon by my mother as being unsuitable for a solicitor.
 However he encouraged me in my interests especially as a boy. I still recall him bringing this home for me from John Menzies in Edinburgh ( not to mention Military Modelling in his briefcase frequently) when I was eleven or twelve-
I still have it on the shelf to this day and it inspires me to this day.

Sunday 25 September 2016

I blame the telly!

Last night my copy of "Ride with the Devil" on dvd would not load so I popped on an  old favourite "Gettysburg" and that was me for the evening! My mind went back to my acw games in my teens with Wise's "Introduction to Battle Gaming" and Airfix figures- good times.
How available are the Airfix acw figures these days? Have they been re-released at any point?
I found this image on the web- it sure brought back memories-
I look forward to your ideas and help with this piece of nostalgia

Friday 23 September 2016

Maneuvers in the Duchy of Rosti...

I posted the following over at my Army Red/White blog some time ago-
"One of the lesser known outposts of the British Empire is the Duchy of Rosti which lies upon the Swiss border.It's sovereignty was bequeathed to the British Crown by the last Duke. It is a land of mountains and lakes,a miniature version of Switzerland itself. The British garrison is a hotchpotch of troops under the ever watchful eye of Major General Mackay.
A British spy of somewhat dubious provenance has reported that the Swiss intend to invade the Duchy this summer and claim it back for Switzerland..."
Summer has gone by and the alfresco games never happened sadly. I have,however, decided to transfer the idea indoors  using Ross's "The Tin army in the Great Little War" rules.This weekend sees maneuvers taking place in the Duchy  of Rosti in case the Swiss invasion takes place. Major General Mackay ( my on table persona) will take on that plucky fellow General Mayhem commanding his beloved Guards and highlanders.

Saturday 17 September 2016


A busy week in Tradgardland at work and home. At an after-school cpd session the course leader used the word "Journaling" and I continue to wonder what is happening to the English Language.Keeping a journal is fine but why the need for the odd verb?
My middle child was 21 on Holy Cross Day (14/9) and I can't believe it. I went out with the three girls to Byron Burger in Edinburgh for a most yummy meal. Today sees us hosting family for a meal later today -  like the Queen , Anna has an official birthday too and this is it.

On the gaming front I took delivery of a ( add appropriate collective noun for Halflings here- perhaps a sneak or stone's throw ) of medieval halflings from my Westphalia Miniatures Kickstarter. They are exquisite resin figures and I hope to do them justice when painting them.There are loads! Now back to the preparations,have a good Saturday one and all...

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Can you help?

Firstly does anyone have unwanted copies of the model railway magazine  AW Nuts which ceased publishing some years ago?
Suggestions sought for hobbit/halfling figures in 18th/19th century clothing.

Monday 12 September 2016

A flocked of elves etc

After work today got out the flock -
Dragon courtesy of Jim Duncan,thanks Jim. All in all I am quite pleased with the result

Sunday 11 September 2016

Old School Gondor and enemies

Getting round to basing some Mythical Earth figures bought earlier this year...
Ithilien Rangers
And yet more enemies...
This old school ,massed battle ,Mythical Earth gaming will be played with Ross's fantasy rules.
P.S to flock/static grass or not ,that is the question.Any thoughts?