Saturday 31 December 2022

Suggestions please.

 I left a comment on a recent post regarding how I would like to get better acquainted with current comics/graphic novels but am not sure where to begin at all. Any suggestions for a good read in terms of artwork and storyline would be great. Thanks in anticipation.

And all for under a tenner!

 Up Dobbies ( garden centre not house elf) for breakfast this morning and got these in the sale-

A figure for general 54mm use, an arbour with fencing and spare wreaths to add a Christmas touch to my houses and a winter backdrop. All came to under ten pounds , I am well pleased.

Friday 30 December 2022

It was long ago , it was far away, it was….

 One of the highlights of the run up to Christmas, when my daughters were small, involved the local library. They wanted to be there when the Christmas books were put on display and out to be borrowed. Year after year we eagerly tried to get the family favourites. The one in this post was the most sought after.  Some years we got it, some years we didn’t. Anyway many years later my eldest tried to track down a copy to buy as it had been such an integral part of her growing up. Eventually, after much time and effort, she tracked the book down and got a copy that had once graced a library , it seemed fitting. It remains a prized possession. Here is the book she got-

Comic Kingdom

 Went to an interesting comic/ graphic novel exhibition in the local library this morning. I took some pictures and thought that some of you might be interested-

On until the 14th January 2023-

Thursday 29 December 2022

Don’t stop the cavalry or maybe I should?

 Been thinking of additions needed for the 1790 Tradgardland project. I had  thought of vignettes, baggage and a few bits and bobs then it struck me - Cavalry! I got some images up for inspiration-

Great pictures but not a solution. Anyway the game will be set in snow with snow based units including ski troops. So here’s the question- how useful are cavalry in a snow covered battlefield? Do I need them or not? What eighteenth century precedents do we have for cavalry in winter warfare? All answers are eagerly anticipated!

Wednesday 28 December 2022

In Edinburgh

 In Edinburgh today. A wee visit to the Portrait Gallery then coffee then a wee look then home. The girls stayed on looking for sales bargains.

One of my favourite paintings in the whole gallery.
Part of the large scale murals in the entrance hall.
The blurb on the wall about the L.D.V painting.
A photo to try and show the scale of the murals in the entrance hall.
Finally a couple of photos of my Christmas presents-
I was very lucky to get such interesting, useful and creative gifts this year
Slight downer to today was I fell on the way home on black ice landing on my side having slipped into the road . A car stopped to see if I was ok and another offered to drive me home. I declined gracefully , walked gingerly home ,was fine on the whole , a tad shaken and my pride dented. Grr 😠 ice!

Monday 26 December 2022

Basing and experimental basing

 Over the last few days l have moved the 1790 Tradgardland project forward a tad-

I based my first 48 figure unit and am very pleased how they look. I also based a light infantry unit with three figures per base rather than six. They depict open order skirmishers.
I also began an experiment to make melting snow bases by adding another layer of white felt on top of the green felt…
Here are the finished bases so far, I’m not entirely sure what I think. I added brown paint to represent mud.

Probably won’t try this again but I am reasonably pleased I gave it a go. Any thoughts? Comments most welcome. After a splendid Christmas Day meal  yesterday-
we are at home today, looking at our presents and having our own Christmas dinner later this afternoon. Enjoy your day whatever you are doing.

On the feast of Stephen


Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas look’d out,
    On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
    Deep, and crisp, and even:
Brightly shone the moon that night,
    Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
    Gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither page and stand by me,
    If thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
    Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence.
    Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
    By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh,and bring me wine,
    Bring me pine-logs hither:
Thouand I will see him dine,
    When we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went,
    Forth they went together;
Through the rudewind’s wild lament,
    And the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now,
    And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know now how,
    I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, good my page;
    Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
    Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod,
    Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
    Which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
    Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
    Shall yourselves find blessing.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Merry Christmas!


Advent 1955

A poem by John Betjeman

The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It's dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound -
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out 'Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.'

And how, in fact, do we prepare
The great day that waits us there -
For the twenty-fifth day of December,
The birth of Christ? For some it means
An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards, And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end, of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know -
They'd sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back. Oh dear!
Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.

We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell'd go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
'The time draws near the birth of Christ'.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Night march 2 ( and Merry Christmas)

 All that marching through the frozen wastes was deemed to be worth it when the city of Tradgardstadt came into sight. The soldiers marched through the silent streets towards the market square. Once there , Glogg was distributed to one and all, before the Carol singing began. As the voices of the troops carried across the square and beyond , citizens left their homes , joined the throng and sang too. A glorious night under the jewel encrusted black velvet cloak of the sky!

Backdrop courtesy of an old, well loved advent calendar, felt by
                                           Fantastic Duchy of Tradgardland flags by David of-


                                                  Bases by Warbases-
                 Figures painted by Northumbria Painting Services-
              Monk on mound a gift from Barry Hilton, more years ago than I even care to think about!

                   MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours from me and mine here in the DUCHY of                              TRADGARDLAND! May you have a splendid time that befits the joy of the season!

Friday 23 December 2022

Night march

 Through the deep Tradgardland winter they trudged. The moonlight shone on the columns of marching men. Even in the depth of winter they trained, marching long into the night…

Where were they headed and why? On such a night as this! 


 Baron Benevolence is delighted with his new cog. He bought it from a couple of rather shady looking second hand cog sellers from Venice who happened to be in the area. The ship is called the San Marco. She has proved seaworthy and shipshape and Bristol fashion. The Baron’s retinue is gradually acquiring sea legs and becoming more confident at fighting on the ocean. Here are some pictures of the San Marco being put through her paces ( along with the retinue) on the high seas-

Couldn’t resist placing this old school figure ( kindly given to me by a friend some years ago) beside the cog. All suggestions for old school mermaids, mermen and other sea creatures most welcome!

I am greatly indebted to Mark Copplestone who kindly sent this ship to me. What a coincidence it is called the San Marco. I look forward to naval battles ahead with Bill Lamming’s rules…

Thursday 22 December 2022

Me, myself , I or early Christmas presents from me to me

 Bought these rules( which have just arrived) here in the Duchy. They are an early Christmas present to me from myself. The idea was to buy at a time of year when there might be opportunities to read them quietly over coffee or something stronger.

Initial thoughts are very positive. I like the diceless nature of tribal and the playing cards used for everything, including measuring distances. In Death in the Dark Continent the army lists are captivating. I have long been interested in the Sokoto Caliphate and it is good to see a list for them. Interesting reading and planning ahead…

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Scissor sister

 The young woman in the local craft shop was very helpful pointing me to just the right tool to buy. She also showed me where to get white felt. At the checkout she asked me what I was making and I told her about the bases and that I was a wargamer. She listened in  an interested manner . Her colleague said that they get wargamers in all the time, had heard of the hobby and was enthusiastic about what was perceived as another craft. I will certainly be back. Next visit will be to buy a Wargames Mat in the shape of a six by four piece white felt. Morale of the story support your local craft shop, they’re our friends.

In other news I succumbed to a Christmas jumper ( for use at school, warm space project etc) in a sale for the first time ever. The writing says “ Mince Spies” a pun that I could not resist!

Monday 19 December 2022

Just another manic, sorry frustrating, Monday

 Up early, coffee drunk, cricket on the radio and the intention in my mind to base a 48 figure unit. Here are the figures-

So the bases were got out. As you know I am currently using Ronnie’s method of sticking felt to mdf and figures then to felt. Now to get the scissors to cut round the bases stuck on felt…

I then discovered that my eldest had taken the cloth cutting scissors away with her! So the best laid plans ground to a halt completely. Better get my own pair later today…