Thursday, 6 October 2022

He’s got the look or at least he’s trying to get one

 Set up some battlefields today-

Felt cloth with trees, no demarcation of woods by areas of green felt . Trees with wooden bases , still unpainted.
Hex mat but used in non hex mode, trees on demarcated woods and hills. 
Infantry go ahead through the woods whilst tankettes advance on the flank…
Heavy machine gun dug in behind hedge, infantry skirt the woods whilst making for the rolling hills.
Not happy with the look yet but trying options…

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

A third force , work in progress

 My third force is coming along very nicely. They are depicted in a variety of uniforms, including helmets etc collected off the battlefield or bought otherwise. These include Ostmerk and Morava items. They represent militia probably from an agrarian national peasants political party.

Note antiquated cannon and a high incidence of lmg/hmg due to equipment been removed from a local army arsenal.

The big problem is coming up with a name. I had come up with Banat of Transflumen but realised it was a long winded name to say the least. I am still thinking…

Tuesday, 4 October 2022


 Friday saw me hosting a dark age skirmish here- 

P. continued to throw an inordinate amount of ones on d6 . As one who taught probability in primary school in maths ( using a throw d6  a hundred times experiment ) I just cannot believe how many ones he threw not to mention the number of fives and sixes l threw as opposed throws ! A fun game ensued.

Some splendid art on hoardings cinema Edinburgh-

Sunday, 2 October 2022


 Interesting six page article in this month’s Wargames Illustrated on MLS-

I can resist everything but…

 Temptation in the form of Lemax figures and scenery was evident at the Garden Centre yesterday-

I managed to resist, so far…

Saturday, 1 October 2022

A Third Force(2)

I have been reading around Romania a bit and looking at photos. Also found some footage-

Broke out the Funken books too. The WW1 volumes were a birthday present from my parents when I was around twelve or so . I eagerly anticipated these books I had asked for . The day of my birthday dawned and I had the flu. I very briefly opened the two volumes but wasn’t up to it. They lay beside my bed until I felt a little better in the days to come. This illustration was one of my favourites-

Will work further on the figures over the weekend…

Friday, 30 September 2022

A memorable journey


The book on the left I bought in 1988. It is volume one. This morning I bought the book on the right, volume two. I can’t believe it has taken me so long!

These are beautiful travel books which conjure up a lost world of interwar Europe. Norman Stone says of this one - A book so good you resent finishing it. High praise indeed. The first few pages, over coffee this morning, whisked me effortlessly through time and space to Holy Saturday 1934 , Esztergom, forty miles upstream from Budapest. 

Do give these a go, you certainly won’t regret it. Just right for someone working on Mark’s Little Soldiers and a mittel European imagination.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Can’t see the trees for the wood.

 I got these trees today. I can’t make up my mind whether  I like them or not. Probably need to paint them for full effect. However a wooden toy feel might work. Comments please…

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

A third force.

 I am approaching completing my Ostmerk and Morava forces l currently have. The next wave of MLS  will add more soonish. However in the Collector’s Deal there was a third force, those Mark calls Panovian. These l am not sure what to do with in terms of creating another imaginary country. That’s where you, dear reader, come in. I am looking for suggestions for a background to this third force. Remember Ostmerk is vaguely Austrian and Morava is vaguely Czech. I await your ideas with great anticipation…

Monday, 26 September 2022

Albanian Army Footage

Been watching some footage of the Albanian Army of the twenties and thirties as background to my MLS project. I found the mix of uniforms fascinating , ceremonial and otherwise, not to mention the equipment used. So do have a look yourself and enjoy.

This ain’t the way to do it…

 Mark Copplestone kindly sent me some of his paper scenery and MofT sent me card houses-

Today l had a go at them. I learned how not to! Don’t colour in with your artist daughter’s pastel crayon and try to redeem things with gloss varnish.

Don’t glue paper onto cereal packet card- too rough and thick!

Don’t cut out hedges and make a pig’s ear out of Mark Copplestone’s work! Not sure why it all went wrong but will try later and perhaps get somewhere…

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Tankettes on film…

 Some videos for tankette fans-

Hope these prove to be of interest!

I’m so excited…

 Thanks to MofT for the heads up as below-

Which has enabled this-

Can’t wait for the book to arrive! Earlier this year I bought the Napoleonic newish Muskets and Tomahawk rules as well as the eighteenth century ones. I look forward to some skirmishing in 1809 Norway and or around Koge and Copenhagen in 1807.

My fascination for Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars began on a city break to Copenhagen in October 1991 with Jan. We fell in love with Denmark. A visit to the military museum and a subsequent purchase of a uniform book in a model shop began an interest which has continued ever since. 

Don’t forget to get your money off the book and order directly!

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Manoeuvres in Ostmerk…

 Ostmerk infantry and machine gun units on manoeuvres supported by tankettes. 

Friday, 23 September 2022

Alan’s Big Soldiers

 Firstly apologies to Mark C for the title of the post. Secondly these are 54mm figures either recasts or originals with or without new heads. Here they are -

Left to Right- The Duke of Volare Cantare sporting a splendid Alpine hat, Volare Cantare Aide courtesy of MofT, The Volare Cantare Air Attaché in full dress courtesy of MofT and finally a Bergland Officer who is a survivor of mittel europa Little Wars in the nursery.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022


 Monday saw me watching tv for much of the day as the somber, poignant pageantry unfolded. Yesterday was my weekly school volunteering day. Today l hope I might move the MLS project forward further. The painting desk is full of assembly line half painted figures…

Some await a game patiently-

Still contemplating suitable building. I found some interesting paper/card Hungarian houses but can’t seem to download them. Here is the link-
Took a screenshot of this b&w version-

Considering some wood block and card roof dwellings too , inspired by the architect- Karoly Kos. Carpentry, even at this rudimentary level, is not my forte however. 
I have faller buildings and medieval half timbered but want something different for this project- a mix of modern Art Deco with folk buildings too. We shall see…

Monday, 19 September 2022

Saturday, 17 September 2022


 Through my daughters I have become initiated into the world of coffee, coffee made in arcane devices with fanciful names. I have gone from thinking it a fad to becoming a willing participation in the rituals of coffee making and drinking. This week l was taken to Lowdown

We sat outdoors, had coffee and a cinnamon bun. Both were splendid. Well worth a visit the next time you are in George Street. 

In other news l bought a fascinating book called “ Balkan Fabrications “  on a visit to Topping & Co. I thought l had survived unscathed and but this book jumped off the shelf and I could not say no. Here is a wee bit about it-

The armies of Ostmerk and Morava continue to move forward as I listen to podcasts about The Rings of Power whilst painting. 

Friday, 16 September 2022

Stylistic Suggestions Sought

 I am looking for suggestions as to what ranges of figures are compatible with Marks Little Soldiers. I did wonder about the Spencer Smith 30mm ones.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Big sky etc.

 Yesterday saw us up at St Andrews to celebrate the birthday of my middle daughter who is here on a visit from Cornwall. Having missed the bus there by thirty seconds a complicated journey ensued but we got there. First stop was brunch at Northpoint Cafe in St Andrews, a family favourite we have been coming to for more years than I care to recall. A walk through the cordoned off cathedral was next then onto the beach-

Afterwards was ice cream and wee look round the shops before home to a meal and episode three of the Rings of Power. A good day.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

In the Moravan Ministry of Information.

 Inside the Moravan Ministry of Information-

File 267/K/ 723 contains the pocket book and photographs  of Brigadier Jimmy Wilkinson , who was shot on the border between Morava and Ostmerk. When he woke up in hospital he became acutely aware his briefcase and other personal items were missing. These were not returned to him before his flight back to Great Britain. They remain to this day in the Morava State Archives. Here below is a photograph of one page from the pocket book belonging to Wilkinson-

One can read a brief account of the situation in Morava in terms of Army modernisation as well as uniform information. Further excerpts to follow…

Monday, 12 September 2022


 I was in Edinburgh yesterday morning en route to church. I saw the crowds begin to gather , the police and security too. This was the scene on the Royal Mile at around 10:15 am-

Later I was very moved when I had to read these bidding prayers-

I didn’t stay in town to see the Queen’s coffin arrive but felt I had indeed touched history in a small way.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

A visit to Morava.

 The young reporter has been attracting lots of stares since he landed at the main airport of Morava. At first bemused by this he took it as a result of being a visitor to the country.  Only when he entered his hotel  did he realise why he had received such unwanted attention. Above the fire place in the entrance hall there was a portrait of the young Duke of Morava. The young reporter gasped to see such a similarity between himself and the Duke , they could be brothers, even twins such was the likeness! Picking up his dog , Frosty, whilst shaking his head in disbelief, the young reporter walked to the elevator in the corner of the lobby.

Simple conversion achieved by a hat swop with an officer figure.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Pathe News footage

 Some footage of interwar Austrian troops-

The Ostmerk troops are coming along on the painting table. I have put aside the problematic tankettes and concentrated on infantry and a few high command figures. The MLS figures are a joy to paint and seem take paint so much more easily than many others I have worked or perhaps it is just my enthusiasm for the project. 

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Rest eternal…


Morava Hussars- dismounted service

 Some pictures of the Morava Hussars-

Original black and white footage from Pathe News. Below colourised footage after extensive uniform research.
The Colonel of the Morava Hussars refused to allow the replacement of horses with armoured cars at the time of mechanisation. He decreed that henceforth the Morava Hussars would serve as infantry. Eventually this was ratified by the General Staff. Here we see the Hussars in their distinctive and colourful uniform.

There is nothing like a name…

 Finally resolved my indecisiveness about names for Mark’s Little Soldiers armies! They are-

Ostmerk and Morava 

Finally a photo of the Great River that flows through these venerable middle European countries. Both Ostmerk and Morava maintain patrol boats as the border between the two countries follows the course of the Great River in places…

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Uniform print find

 Ostmerk uniform print-

Found in a small, dilapidated bookshop just off the Cathedral Square in the capital. The owner recalled seeing his father in a similar uniform back in the 1930’s.