Tuesday 31 March 2020

How do you solve a problem like Maria,sorry these brushes...

I can’t pop out and buy new brushes, as was my want, so I have collected together those I have shamefully neglected.
They are encrusted with acrylics. How can I restore them rather than have to buy replacements online? All suggestions welcome. I have tried boiling water to little or no avail.

Battle! Practical Wargaming in 54mm ...

I go back quite often to this classic of wargaming.It was first serialised in Mecano Magazine prior to being made into a book. As many of you know the book did not originally print all of the articles, I have never been quite sure why. Perhaps someone in the collective Blogsphere can answer this, I would be interested to know. Anyway l was looking at the printed off copy I have of the magazine articles and was reminded of the author’s suggested idea to play outdoors with 54mm 1/32 figures. I decided to organise some of my toy soldiers in similar fashion to the way it was done in the book-
Here are my Homeguard (with accompanying Boy Scouts troop as runners,messengers and scouts) with their Bren carrier suitably on parade. The weather is a tad cold for outdoor games but I am keen to try the rules with 54mm figures indoors. I will let you know how I get on.

Monday 30 March 2020

Shed, 1898 and a recommendation

A cold day here yesterday but I braved the shed to rummage around and find these chaps for the forthcoming Colonial Portable Wargame. They are Freikorp 15mm from the mid eighties. The metal is/was brittle and some repairs need to done.

I was really impressed by the ideas that you came up with for opponents, did some reading and watched a couple of film trailers along the way. Lots of ideas and I will have a think. Finally can I recommend some novels to you by John Biggins. They are set in the last fifty years of the Austro Hungarian empire and are most enjoyable,full of fascinating characters and interesting background. Although I don’t quite agree, but know what they mean, someone reviewed them and said they were a cross between Tom Clancy and Patrick OBrian. Well worth a read.

Sunday 29 March 2020

Of kern and gallowglasses is supplied or the Irish are finished.

Yesterday after a final push I finished my 28mm Irish. I am pleased with the results and the basing. The single figures on bases with rocks represent kern marksmen as I imagine them rising from behind cover to take a pot shot. The other two bases with individuals on them are priests clad in cosy looking mantles.I like the combination in this army of archaic weaponry, natty Tudor bonnets and mail clad gallowglasses. Some musket armed and a unit of pike. I think they will look splendid on the table. Have a look at these reenactors and their fascinating site.

Saturday 28 March 2020

Planning for the Colonial Portable Wargame...suggestions please

I have two forces ready in 15mm - Spanish and American for 1898 with possibilities of have just enough to field Cuban rebels too. I am firstly looking for ideas for other opponents for these armies as a wee side project, any suggestions most welcome. Secondly I am trying to source Moro warriors in 15mm and available in the uk , any one point me in the right direction?

Surfaces etc

It began with one or two figures beside the loose change etc on the top of the chest of drawers and is now this-
Not very good photo but you get the idea, really ought to find a box. Below is the top of the desk I use for painting. It is in the extension off the kitchen and great for natural light and warms up well when the sun shines. Handy too for kettle and biscuit tin.

My painting glasses always sit there ready to be used and the wireless for company although of late I have enjoyed painting silently and thinking my own thoughts or listening to podcasts on the iPad. The figures on there currently are my ww2 Homeguard and accompanying Boy Scouts and some German opposition. Various figures get added to the array as I find, sort or paint them. The German opposition are Britains (?) toy soldiers with an Airfix lmg team on a base. I have other Airfix Germans but the look too big and/or animated alongside the old toy soldier Homeguard. I looked briefly online for some paratroopers to provide opposition but nothing jumped out at me. Perhaps I will need to bite the bullet and paint the Airfix fellows. Thinking of getting one tank 1/48 or 1/32  that’s the question and then perhaps scratchbuilding a Homeguard Northover projector or something like that, we shall see.
P.s I am posting this at 07.02 on Saturday but it comes up as Friday, do I need to change my blogger clock and if so how?

Friday 27 March 2020

More painting etc

Firstly a photo of the top of one of the bookcases-
These are Elastolin Swiss, made of composition material bought in Switzerland on a family holiday in the early seventies. They were bought from a small newsagent/tobacconist near where we were staying. The set dressing beer mug is from a local charity shop. These figures are old friends.
Yesterday saw rain here and a cold day so I moved forward the next stalled project, 16th century Irish
I looked out this Osprey classic bought in 1993 and the rules I intend to use. This project is a small game for my regular opponents and I to play on the kitchen table here as opposed to big games in his wargames room. I had edition one of the rules and bought the next when it came out.

The figures are 28mm and were bought from Hoka Hey Wargames. I like the way the sculptor has based some figures on 16th century illustrations. Follow the links to find out a little more of the rules and see some games the author played using them.


Thursday 26 March 2020

Dragon Rampant warband lists ( and some commentary on them) for the Rabbits and their opponents

I have worked out points for the two war bands as follows:

Meanwhile an unfortunate occurrence in the village lat week...

Wednesday 25 March 2020

What I painted yesterday.

The first University of Edinburgh art history course I took when I retired was on Medieval Manuscripts. It was fascinating with an excellent lecturer’s input and good discussion from fellow students. One area I found particularly fascinating was that concerned with those bizarre small drawings in manuscripts, what are known as marginalia.
Strange pictures of snails fighting men, weird beasts and of course rabbits! Rabbits with bows,swords and much,much more. Here are a couple of examples

Then came the Kickstarter and how could I resist? The world of marginalia made into lead wargames figures. The sculptor did great research and made rabbits based on manuscript illustrations. For example the rabbit on a lion,the rabbit on a greyhound holding a snail as if hawking and a rabbit attacking a monk. I backed the Kickstarter and in time beautiful figures arrived. They had been put on the back burner until yesterday. So I decided to spend the afternoon enjoyably painting and ended up with a 24 point army for Dragon Rampant not to mention some scary rabbits! Here they are-

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Ancient battle...

Click on the photos to read the text with ease...

A little corner of Volare-Cantare, for Mark...

Mark ,man of Tin commented thus in a recent post-
As the Don would say, Enjoy your Garden. The alpine trough or bowl looked good, although something small scale people such as the Alpini seemed to be missing?”
Better than a gnome, maybe not.

Monday 23 March 2020

Duchy doings

I am intending to post daily at the moment. I think it is important we bloggers, support, inspire  and divert each other at this time. Yesterday saw sunshine on Tradgardland and I gardened for much of the day. I did find some time to do some repair work-
 These broken,battered and twisted hollowcasts came as part of a mixed lot of broken toy soldiers ages ago. They have lain in the wee potting plastic green house waiting for something to be done. I find that hollowcasts can have torn edges where parts  of the figure came off and also , as in the case of the foot lifeguard be bashed in too. One horse was attached to nails on a base around which I will form legs. The other horse had tissue paper scrunched in a glue drenched ball placed in the cavity to help attach the leg and the head. Before the glue hardened I popped in a matchstick leg former.

An excellent artist

One of my middle daughter’s friends is producing really interesting artwork recently. She runs a subscription service for the zines she produces. Here are some examples-

Her work is excellent and I post it here to share it amongst my blog readers. Her work can be viewed here

Sunday 22 March 2020

Brigadier Tim to ground control.

Morning from a sunny, preceded by frost, Duchy of Tradgardland. Over the coming week I am planning to play another of my wee Maple Leaf Country battles. I wondered if anyone would be interested in taking a command role? Haven’t thought it through but wanted to see if there was any interest first. Roles would not be onerous but hopefully diverting and fun. Any takers?

Saturday 21 March 2020

Jazz Age Wargaming in Albion.

l do find the interwar period fascinating. Before the advent of a Very British Civil War some years ago I had read little of that period in British History. Through the forum online and people I corresponded with ( especially al front who was a mine of information and encouragement) I read loads of articles about that time and really became hooked- kibbo kift,tankettes,biplanes and much more .
This interesting reading was built upon by watching Pathe news and other footage from the period. I especially enjoyed seeing British manoeuvres in the later twenties and early thirties. The heady mix of old and new, horses and tanks, biplanes and much else is something I wanted to reflect on the the wargames table. The figures are old toy soldiers, metal and 54mm scale, I was lucky to buy three already made biplanes  (1/48) on eBay and the vehicles are old dinky and new sky birds. I have set my games in my imaginary England called Albion so I might include might of beens such as bicycle mounted infantry. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Friday 20 March 2020

This is the end... well for today anyway.

The battle in Maple Leaf Country comes to a conclusion.

“I believe that it’s called al fresco”

After an early frost the sun warmed the garden and my youngest daughter and I took the chance to tidy the patio and give it a spruce up. Later in the house I found a notebook with my musings from seven years ago. The plan was ( and still is) to use the patio for gaming ...

Thursday 19 March 2020

Maple Leaf Country: the battle rages on...

Click on the photos below for a battle report so far. I have added comments on the pictures...

I hope to report the outcome of the battle tomorrow.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Maple Leaf Country Battle, turn one and a quick question

 The initiative lay with the government forces who advanced towards White Cloud’s camp. The scouts met strong resistance from the enemy on the hill and were forced back after some hand to hand fighting. The Rifles engaged the enemy from the hilltop they had occupied but were driven back by heavy fire. Another rifle unit is locked into a melee beside the aforementioned hill. White Cloud’s men are advancing and holding the high ground and woods in spite of fierce opposition. White Cloud himself  intends to leave the camp and command in person.

Finally the question.
How do you work the labels thingy at the bottom of the blog posts? I would find it helpful to link posts. I can’t seem to get it to work.
P.s spent a lot of yesterday afternoon painting figures as the house needed quiet whist my eldest daughter had a three hour tutorial/lecture on Skype (or something similar) amazing what happens in the ether these days!