Tuesday 31 January 2023

A Grand day out etc

 On the 21st January Ronnie and l went to a day of lectures set up by the Falkirk Battlefield Trust. It was a fascinating day. Here are the photos with brief comments-

The tartan expert answering questions. He was only there due to someone being unable to attend but he was such an interesting speaker. He was happy to answer one to one questions too.
Above one of the speakers in full flight.
An original piece of eighteenth century on top of a replica made of it.
Another speaker entertains and informs. Notice Ronnie’s purchases on the table…
What might turn out to be the oldest tartan in the world, currently undergoing dating. 
Our final speaker , an art historian, talking on his work with paintings. Interesting article about him here      

Some of the fascinating portraits on display on the day.
Anther speaker above and an interesting book to try and track down below.

All in all much to think about. The tartan expert said red was the status colour of the period to which folk aspired. In battle the Jacobite front rank gentlemen would be in red tartan, the middling sort in say blue/yellow tartan and the back rank fellows in muted tartan. A thought for painters perhaps? One speaker talked of clan pipers giving their pipes to their ghillie and then drawing their swords to get stuck in. Again new info to me. Finally one speaker reminded us of the fact Bonnie Prince Charlie’s grandfather was John Sobieski who delivered Vienna from the Ottomans. He mused upon the fact this might account for BPC’s personal courage…

In other matters I am enthralled by BBC 1 “ Happy Valley “ with its great characters, enjoying “Wednesday “ which is a fun filled romp and fascinated by “ Andor” which I initially was sure of but am completely absorbed. There is so much world building, fascinating asides and a great plot in it. The gritty everyday life is created with such detail not to mention customs , it is soo good!

Saturday 28 January 2023


 Not much happening on the hobby front here in the Duchy. I developed a UTI which has left me feeling like doing very little at all.. Medication is helping but I am on such a variety of tablets and powders that l feel a tad nauseous much of the time.. Hobby projects surround me but I have little or no desire to do anything like that.

I have however been enjoying Patrick O’Brian on Audible , Father Brown ( played by Andrew Sacs)  on BBC Sounds as well as the podcasts Zero Ducks Given and Off Menu.

I have  been, as ever, captivated by the birds that come to the garden. During the first Lockdown they became important for me and the interest hasn’t waned since. It is the big garden bird watch this weekend and not too late to sign up- 


Hopefully some hobby news next time…

Wednesday 25 January 2023

The postman always rings once

 Finally managed to organise a redelivery of two parcels that came last week. They arrived this afternoon. 

The first contained a most generous gift of two cogs from DC ( not David Crooks) for my Lamming medieval games. This means that three ships will take to the table for naval warfare and hopefully some amphibious landings too…

I look forward to getting these ready for a game…
The second parcel contained some figures for the 1790 Tradgardland project-

These are from my painting service who have done me proud so far -
Finally a gratuitous Ladybird book photo from a book I loved as a boy -

P.S thanks for your kind words in the previous post, most kind and greatly appreciated.

Friday 20 January 2023

Papa’s got a brand new bag

 I’ve been away for an overnighter in my local hospital. That old friend urinary retention  came back to visit. As ever the nurses, auxiliaries, doctors and consultants were excellent. I got out late morning and am glad to be home for a rest. 

Incidentally here are a couple of photos I took before l went away-

Monday 16 January 2023

Greenshirts or boys from the Banat - MLS again

 Been working on some figures for the Banat of Samovar-

The above are reservists, wearing old fashioned uniforms supplemented with personal items of attire.
These are Social Credit Party of the Banat of Samovar Militia or “Greenshirts “ as they are commonly known-


Well organised militia with heavy machine guns.

Finally working on some officers -

I stuck them to bases so that they could be easily identified on the battlefield and when leading units. I also have decided to have five figures per 4 inch hex or square as opposed to four as I like the look it gives. This is a busy week so l doubt if I will have a chance for a solo game for a few days…

Sunday 15 January 2023

Donnybrook essentials

 I bought Donnybrook years ago , read it with interest and filed it as a “one day” project. The rules were interesting, glossy and full of potential. Now I see the authors are about to sell a no frills version of the rules reminiscent of the style of yesteryear-


I am delighted to read this and hope it works well for them. I loved the amateur, simple , booklets ( rules or army/uniform info) of earlier hobby days. I for one am going to buy a copy, what about you?

Saturday 14 January 2023


 Years ago l used Araldite to fix weapons and shields to figures. It worked well, too well if you wanted to get them off again. Since then I used superglue but find lately that shields/weapons ping off if you so much as touch the figures. Maybe superglue isn’t as super as it once was or is it my imagination? Anyway what do you use in the way of glue?

Friday 13 January 2023

Memories of ‘34 - a Wargame using ‘Mark’s Little Soldiers’

 I had the pleasure on Thursday afternoon to have a Zoom game with Brian C. We tried out his rules ( see title of this post) and had a most enjoyable game indeed. The rules worked really well giving a game that was both exciting and enjoyable. Here are a few screenshots l took-

Brian moving troops on the off set square grid. 
A soldiers eye view of the battlefield.
The game in progress as we played to an exciting finish.

Thursday 12 January 2023

Last Stand or a tray based mountain man game using Eric’s rules

 Set  up this last stand scenario on the tray today. Will fight it over the coming day. I’m trying the skirmish rules l got from Eric for a simple, fun game. Figures were numbered and I will use a paper roster to track damage inflicted.

Wednesday 11 January 2023

Music to paint by…

 Currently working on some 28mm figures depicting the Duke of Brunswick and his followers for Very British Civil War. For the real Duke follow the link-


Also working on Mark’s Little Soldiers hoping to get them finished prior to the next wave release. I like to get something to listen to which speeds the plough and has a feeling of the period, so here were today’s choices-

Monday 9 January 2023

Scale creep

 Since Jan died seven years ago, this year, I have put on weight. It fluctuates up and down as I go through phases of addressing the issue or not .However as we begin 2023 l am 5 kg plus heavier than I began 2022 and I want to do something about it. I confess I comfort eat and do more so when l am down. I am not a gym person and my regular exercise is walking, something l have done far less of late.

Any advice, suggestions gratefully received. 

Sunday 8 January 2023

A wee game

 I’ve been messing about today with a wee tray bien game. Drew hexes on to paper and popped it onto the tray. Using mdf hexes for variations in height and trees for woods. I will add stones to signify rough ground. Got out some of my Jazz Imperialism chaps and had a fun wee game. Just a trial today but moving forward…

Saturday 7 January 2023

The Rocket troop’s first game.

 Another enjoyable game today. Here is the table set up and the forces awaiting the start and deployment-

Sadly I got carried away umpiring and forgot to take many pictures during the game. Here are two however-
The opposing sides move towards the village to attempt to secure it.

The above photo is what happened the very first time the rocket was fired. The aiming point , marked by the blue dice, was where the rocket should have landed. However there was a misfire! The burst circle marks where it actually landed! A most unreliable weapon but great fun, it missed its intended target but hit another. An exciting game which ended in a draw. The village people put up a splendid fight considering their low level of training and being armed with an array of shotgun, rifles, pistols and a few lmgs. Another game soon introducing armoured cars, Molotov cocktails  and anti tank rifles…

Friday 6 January 2023

We three kings

 Epiphany today. Here are some splendid versions of my favourite carol-

First Blackmore’s Night


Second Dolly Parton


Third traditional choir.


Hope you enjoy the music.

Thursday 5 January 2023

Penny for the guy , mister!

 Tomorrow sees me hosting the postponed VBCW game. I will be fielding a platoon based upon a village-


Luckily the postman brought the rockets I ordered prior to Christmas. They will be set off by the local scout troop which will also furnish a forward observer. Here are the Scouts ready for action as well as a 1930s Standard fireworks poster-

I look forward to seeing how the Scout rocket troop performs in the game. I will post pictures and an after game report anon…

Wednesday 4 January 2023

Guild gangs

 Yesterday l printed the Minceheim rules ( https://brushandbattle.blogspot.com/2022/11/an-invitation-to-minceheim.html?sc=1669739473035#c5110901850199631417 ) with a view to doing some skirmishes between different gangs . I want the gangs to be diverse as possible to allow me to create some interesting gangs with unique features. A rummage in the shed brought some Bruegelberg figures to light as well as this box of potentialities -

I worked on two gangs today-

One figure has an axe and pistol, one figure a sword and pistol, one figure an arquebus and the final figure has two pistols. These men are from the guild of gunsmiths who make and repair the City’s guns. They are proud of their technical knowledge and have a determination to bring the age of gunpowder quickly to their locality.

One figure has a two handed sword. One figure a crossbow , one figure a bow and one figure a knife with club. These men are from a rather down at heel archery/ come social club which styles itself a guild but is a place to go for a heady mix of shooting, cheap beer and popular piety directed upon St Sebastian.

I am indebted the book below for inspiration, background and an idea for a colour scheme-

I hope to do some work on these in the coming days as well as to start work on some other gangs. Hopefully a game will be set up in the not too distant future…

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Possible plans for 2023

 I don’t drive, my late wife said in some ways it was just as well as I was always too interested in the things around me. Looking at that inn sign, looking at the trees , looking at the fascinating buildings, you get the idea. It was true. In the hobby l get distracted too. This morning by the splendid 40mm lotr orcs on Ross’s site. I have forgotten them already, for now! So a few thoughts , reminding myself this is a hobby, meant to be enjoyed and not another pressure in life-

  1. Duchy of Tradgardland 1790 ,  28 mm winter based project. I hope to finish off the two sides ( awaiting some from a painter) and get some bigger unit games in . A few vignettes , simple set dressing too.
  2. I backed a kickstarter for a 28mm Late Judean dbm starter army. Get this painted and on the table. 
  3. Tray bien wee games. I am particularly keen to try the minceheim game with some old school figures. Wee games will include mountain men in 28mm  for example.
  4. Not to add to the lead pile if at all possible by buying lots of new toys which have a passing interest only . Perhaps get a few choice pieces to complete collections. A good rummage in the shed should produce projects needing TLC and finishing or taking forward.
  5. Read the contents of my library and not splash the cash on lots of new books especially as myriad volumes are screaming out to be given the attention they deserve!
  6. Not to be stressed when I do a “butterfly “ and flit around with this and that project. Others are driven, incredibly focussed and put all energy , time and money into one or two projects I am not like that.
  7. Accept that this is only a rough guide which does not need to be adhered too and that by not adhering to it I have not failed or sold myself short.
  8. Just have fun with our wonderful, creative hobby and the excellent folk involved in it

Monday 2 January 2023

Tray bien or it’s a small world.

 One of this year’s gaming plans is to play games in a small space, one even smaller than the permanent set up ( former potting bench) l have used for years. The first part this morning was to remove the “in progress “ bits n bobs off a tray that had been a wedding present. Here it is cleaned and ready-

It is a tad battered and bruised and has seen better times but it is solid and fit for purpose. The ruler is for scale. The playing area is about 11 inches by 18 inches taking account of the round corners.  The former potting bench offers a playing area of 37 inches by 20 inches by comparison.

The ideal is to see how the tray can be utilised for small scenarios across scales and periods. I set up the picture below in seconds-

Or the below with mdf hex and trees-

It is only an example to show the direction that might be taken. Having cleared the tray l can now look at it and begin to imagine how it might be used. I am happy to go upwards a little in terms of height to accommodate buildings , hills or trees but no more than say four or five inches. The games will be portable, playable on knee, table top or other places. Anyway that’s where we are at now. As ever your suggestions and advice are most welcome…