Thursday 31 December 2020

It was only a winter’s tale


More than leaves on the line today!
The snow and ice here in the Duchy has reminded me these cold dark days are a time to plan the garden railway in order that I am ready to go come Spring. These chaps and the building are staying outside over winter as a test of the varnish and paint. The weather has encouraged me to start these Finnish 1/32 figures which were a Christmas present. They are lovely models which have been washed in detergent and undercoated . I hope to use them in some wintery gaming soon...

Birds eye view and that was the year that was

An eagle soaring high looks down upon the battlefield below...

Meanwhile the Austrian forces in the village get ready for the coming battle.

Thanks for dropping by here in the Duchy this past year. Your comments and interest have really made blogging enjoyable not to mention thanks to you for the inspiration you have given me through your own blogs and diverse places. Have a good New Year when it comes.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Final game of 2020 set up.

I have just set up my final game of 2020. Taking the advantage of the recent thaw the Reichsarmee have taken the chance to mount an attack upon the Austrian held village of Weltschmerz. Here we see them trudging through the slush filled forest towards their goal.

Unbeknown to the Reichsarmee the forests are crawling with Croats including some dug in occupying prepared positions...

A really niece gift

 A surprise gift arrived yesterday from my niece and her partner. A most welcome and generous gift-

It is about the Arts and Crafts movement in Poland , something I knew virtually nothing about. It is part of a forthcoming exhibition in the William Morris Gallery in  Walthamstow, London commencing in August 2021.  I would really like to go to that exhibition and it is the first time I have made plans in my mind to travel to a particular event. Like many folk I have mused over visiting favourite places but this is the nearest to reality. So Walthamstow 2021 , that’s a date!
The above is a link to an interesting introductory video about the exhibition.


Tuesday 29 December 2020

Just another Tradgardland Tuesday...

 Currently can’t seem to read novels ( been like this for months now) so trying these short stories, some work on the painting desk and the new bird feeder set up. Icy bright day here with overnight snow smattering having frozen.

Monday 28 December 2020

Christmas board games

 I’ve  not played a solo or Zoom wargame since Christmas but have enjoyed some board games with the family. Alice Chess remains popular here. I was given 221b Baker Street and we tried it out yesterday. Lovely looking board and fun detecting. Earlier we had played the UNO esque Mind the Gap and we have also played the cooperative game Forbidden Island. No we shall get some other games out in the coming days. What have you been playing?

Sunday 27 December 2020


 Very recently I was recommended these cardboard buildings which are 3D puzzles rather than wargaming scenery. I think I had seen them before on Howard Whitehouse’s blog possibly. Anyway I sent off for them to Amazon and they arrived before Christmas. I took some time on Christmas Eve to make one up and photograph it with a few 28mm figures. Although more 20mm scale it looks great with 28mm and would look excellent with 40mm as slightly undersized stylised terrain.  The pieces fit well together and are detailed inside as well as out. I kept the instructions carefully to hand and was glad I had done so.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Toys of Peace by Saki

I really enjoyed this classic short story yesterday, it was new to me and I thought you might enjoy it.

Boxing Day morning

 It is still dark outside and the rest of the house is asleep. I have made a coffee, let it brew and am ready for a quiet day. At least until I run a greater family Zoom quiz tonight. Yesterday was a good if different Christmas Day. Gifts were well received and we had much to be thankful for. A different day, as I already said but a good one. 

I was delighted to get some interesting reading material. The Art Deco book and garden gift vouchers were from a greater family secret Santa thing and they chose well. The bird book is to deepen my knowledge of the garden birds who have become even more important to me since Lockdown began in March. Over the summer their presence was a delight and diversion, including the nesting blue tits back again. The 1940 book is to offer scenic advice especially for a Norwegian 1807 project.

I had collected figures for my daughters to give me and I had almost forgotten about them so much so some were almost like a surprise. Firstly there are some 1807 Norwegian ski troops in 28mm , secondly some Belgians in 20mm ( possibly for Portable Wargame use or maybe skirmish games, we’ll see) and some 1/32 Finns in winter kit. Lastly two games were added to the household collection- a fun fast uno like card game we really enjoyed ( made us recall London holidays and look forward to future ones) and a detective board game we will enjoy in the coming days. I was really fortunate in my gifts.


Friday 25 December 2020



Woodcut by David Jones.

Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas one and all!


Merry Christmas one and all from all at the Duchy of Tradgardland! Everyone is welcome here in the Mess!




Wednesday 23 December 2020

Last recruits arrived

 The last of my 54mm recruits arrived today. Some individuals and a box of figure depicting the 28th Gloucester regt in 1900. The figures are still attached by thread. They are in a grey uniform with odd hat which I don’t quite recognise.

My Dancing Day/Dance

Snowball fight game


Tuesday 22 December 2020

Joining the BMSS and wot no wargaming?

 As there were a few spare coppers in the Ducal war chest I joined this  lot ( again , had been a member yonks ago) to give them some support.

I joined for many reasons, Roy Dilley’s book had been important to me growing up, I had collected 54mms before I wargamer, the pioneers of wargaming were members and because of my interest in old toy  soldiers. Wargaming grew from within the ranks of the BMSS but seems to have  no home there now. Am I the only one to be disappointed about this? Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough? Why this divorce between collectors and gamers? Makes me sad, thoughts please...


Annie Lennox - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Official Video) [HD Remastered]

One of my favourite renditions of this carol. The video is terrific too.

Monday 21 December 2020

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Enya

My favourite Advent hymn sung beautifully.


 O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,

And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Seasonal Story , the conclusion


Sunday 20 December 2020

Name suggestions please

 I am looking for suggestions for a Sweden like imagination of 1807. All I have come up with is Midsommer Duchy. I am sure you will have far more interesting ideas...

Seasonal story 1


Saturday 19 December 2020

Albion snowball fight gaming


Over the next few days I intend to set up a snowball fight using these stalwarts of Albion and others. I intend to use Mark’s rules

with some amendments of my own. I took these photos as my gaming set up is not too well lit and the sun seems hardly to shine here to help.  Do pop over via the link to see the snowball fight that Mark staged. 

In the Albion game the soldiers will have to be careful to avoid hitting beefeaters and other passers by or they will be in trouble! Have a great Saturday!

Vignettes of Tradgardland 2

 The Duke of Tradgardland is fortunate to have amongst his troops some Welshmen who emigrated to the Duchy in the time of Cromwell. Here they are free to follow their customs at Christmas.

Here we see some causing fear and consternation , albeit unintentionally, with their Mari Lwyd. The men joke and talk as they clean their Muskets enjoying one of their number under the sheet as he practices his wild dance.
Meanwhile the gentry fence around the fountain, lost in martial exercises unaware they are being watched...   

Thursday 17 December 2020

Vignettes of Tradgardland Life 1

 It is not long to Christmas here in the Duchy of Tradgardland. It is a cold morning  beside the fountain in the square, with a brilliant blue sky above, as the wood cutter brings home another tree from the forest to decorate the town.

Meanwhile the Tomten scurries from the hayloft to go about his business unseen by anyone...


Tuesday 15 December 2020

Imagineering as diversion and escape...

 I really enjoy imagineering. This blog was born out of it and the fun that brought through Emperor v Elector. I have enjoyed thinking of Tradgardland backwards and forwards in time from the 1750s where it began, It grew out of a love of Copenhagen and Denmark with other Scandinavian touches.

Currently much of my gaming takes place in a Europe where Germany never unified nor Italy too. No 1870, no 1914 or 1939 I guess. I haven’t thought through all the potentialities and anyone could drive a truck through inconsistency after inconsistency. However I guess the that’s not the point. I’m not some reasoned history forum but a place to escape and relax. Volare Cantare is based upon thirties travel posters with a look of time and place sans the nasty bits.

The Empire ( neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire) has survived in my world into the twentieth century with a patchwork of states with the governance and bureaucracy of the 18th Century. Jazz Age interwar look ( preceded by Arts and Crafts Movement for the 1900 armies) with none of the rising menace. 

Albion has her queen, colonies and more .  Maple Leaf Country stands guard against the Star Spangled state who has her own worries with Spain and Russia having territories with land borders to her. Fun not worked out to the nth degree but a convenient mixing pot of my interests. Tell us about your imagineering...

Monday 14 December 2020

Go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall

 Middle daughter has been enjoying the “Queens Gambit” on Netflix and is keen to play me at chess. After a few games I introduced her to this-

Chess. I have always liked Fairy Chess so a chance to play this fascinating variant. We will see how we get on...


Getting out of hand

 Things are getting out of hand , where will it all end?

Saturday 12 December 2020