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.

Tuesday 6 September 2022


 I’ve been busy recently with real life - with family matters and an enjoyable but last minute trip to Yorkshire. Got back yesterday, in school today but managed to do some work this afternoon on six tankettes. I am underwhelmed by how the paint technique has come out-

I don’t paint afvs and would be delighted to get advice from you. The base green coat needs dry brushed or toned down or something! The cammo effect is not really great either. Help!

The tankettes will serve with Mark’s Little Soldiers eventually. A friend has written some terrific two page rules that I can’t wait to try. 

Friday 2 September 2022

Eagerly anticipating

 I have watched ( and rewatched) the trailers, listened to analysis, recapped on the Lore and now the day has come! The Rings of Power is finally here, can’t wait…

Thursday 1 September 2022

Moravians on the march, well the painting table actually…

 A bright sunny Ducal morning sees me spray painting my Moravian army of MLS figures…