Friday, 26 December 2008

On the painting table...




Members of the Legionne de Tradgardland painted today. You may recall that the light infantry component is serving with the Duc de Padirac in Scotland at present. The figures represented in the photos are the fusilier component of the Legion. I intend to raise 10 fusiliers ,10 light infantry with rifles and 8 hussars to represent the Legion. Perhaps I will raise a 3pdr gun too. They will be commanded in the field by the Duc de Padirac himself...

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas



The Duke and Duchess of Tradgardland and Alisona extend Christmas Greetings to one and all this Season. May you all have a fantastic time wherever you are...

Our thoughts are with our people in Ny Tradgardland, the Shetlands and especially with Von Bergman and the Duc de Padirac in Scotland.

To all Rulers of Imaginations everywhere may you continue to rule well and provide for your households a Season to remember...

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Building Plans...



The Duchy of Tradgardland potteries appear to have made a mistake with the date upon this plate- it of course ,should have read 1758...

It portrays well the Capital -including the signature Tradgarlander church ( found in every community big or small)with external staircase for the militia to use as an observation post.

One of the tasks I set myself this holiday ( once the coldy/fluy symptoms have finally left me and mine) was to build some typical Tradgardland buildings using the Grant/Stokes methodology. I want to have a go at one of these churches very much - since I saw a similar one in Denmark when I last visited there some years ago!

Anyway I shall give it a go - if the results are at all pleasing I will post photos. Any advice for the making of the external stairs/ balcony ( see photo on my Blog page for an example of such a church) would be most appreciated! I hope this finds you all moving forwards well to a well-earned break!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Charge...



It has been a busy few days. Jan and I are still under the weather with fluy colds and my eldest is off to the doc today with earache!

We have had a hectic time preparing for a family gathering here yesterday . It all went swimmingly . On Saturday we decked the halls and put up the tree plus shopping. The soiree day itself was hectic but fun. I even organised a quiz which was appreciated by all. Jan produced a lovely meal for all.

As I write Anna is cutting and sticking together for me some lovely chance cards sent to me by Stokes- thanks Stokes!. I hope to get some cardboard houses begun to go with my resin Vauban fortifications in 25mm. The arrival of the Wargame companion @Christmas will further inspire me further. Santa will bring a few Minifigs companies for my imaginations too...

I am interested in seeing Bluebear Jeff is tempted by the Old School look having been inspired by Stokes. I do hope Jeff does go for it. I am starting with some batts but also some company sized units too. Build up slowly is the way I am going. So it will be a Charge inspired Christmas for me - maybe a wee game by the New Year - we shall see. I hope you are all well and preparing for the Season and for some R and R too!!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Pathfinder


Recently I talked about this super film ( Pathfinder) on the Duke of Stollen's Blog. I had forgotten the name but someone (thank you) reminded me of it. It is well worth watching and seeking out ,especially as the winter solstice approaches. It is a cracking adventure set amidst the snow with great action and really cool traditional skiing too!So hire it from your local video shop- or even better buy it. You will want to watch it again I'm sure. Have a good glass of mulled ale or wine- heated with a poker straight from the fire of course! Sit back and enjoy!

Pathfinder (original title in Sami: Ofelaš and in Norwegian: Veiviseren) is a 1987 Norwegian film, directed by Nils Gaup. The movie is based on an old Sami legend.
It was the first full-length film in Sami, and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988. It was written and directed by Nils Gaup. Nils-Aslak Valkeapää played one of the parts as well as writing the music to the film, together with Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Marius Müller.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Gifts

Well Christmas is coming ever nearer. My middle daughter had her High School Party today and my other two have their one tomorrow night. My own school class had a good one today with a heady mix of games ,Scottish Country Dancing and Grease Medleys...
Anna came home with early presents for the family- a 2d and a 3d Gingerbread house! Both were made of clay ,fired and decorated. I think they are fantastic...
The 3d one can have a candle in it . Whilst passing thru the German market last week I had admired wee houses which one could put a nightlight in. I resisted their charms and am very glad I did so. They were not a patch on Anna's one. I feel they would be excellent scenery for Jim Purky's Teddy Bear armies...
To complete the day my youngest brought home a lovely greenery table centre- pictures of it and the tree to follow.



Monday, 15 December 2008

Rose

It is Duke Karl Frederick's favourite Sunday of the year- Gaudete Sunday . On that day the vestments are the same colour as the Ducal colours- namely Rose.
As he surveys the congregation in church he sees a sea of Rose as he sees Militia officers,men ( resplendent in their uniforms ) and their families gathered here. He feels once more the deep pride he has in his vocation as leader,nay father under God, to the good people of Tradgardland.
After Mass the Ducal Cavalry escort him and his family back to the Palace where they will recieve guests from near and far at a reception for members of the Ducal Society.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Cold/flu

Full of cold/flu - no painting done yesterday or today . Slept much of p.m yesterday. Started decorating house today for Christmas - starting to look good. I will take my leave now as a Lemsip awaits. Normal service restored asap....

Thursday, 11 December 2008

General Mackay












General Mackay has been busy all day drilling his new troops. They have been hand picked from the Tradgardlander Militia and are gathered at the artillery camp. Mackay realises that the coming months will see a threat emerging from the Saschen-Vindow army...




MacKay , a traditionalist by nature and principle, makes sure the men are well acquainted with the arcane drill associated with throwing of grenades. They will become an elite within the Duchy and are to be paid from the Duke's personal gold inherited from his father - a product of plunder upon the field of Mars....



Note to the reader: these figures are currently in the process of painting and I hope to move them forward well this weekend...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Charge



At the weekend I was reorganising things for a Charge solo project I am planning. Here is a Tradgardland Militia unit. I wonder if Vonn Bergmann and the duc de Tradgardland and his troops will be home from Scotland soon? I am happy for them to be there if they are needed to fight for bonnie Prince Charlie.

I hope to raise a Tradgardlander Cavalry unit sooner or later...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

One to Watch...



If I can recommend one film to get hold of on dvd these cold , freezing winter nights may I humbly suggest you seek out "Fanny and Alexander" by Ingmar Bergman. I cannot do it justice in a few words save to say that it makes one laugh, cry and everything in between. The scenes of a 19th century Swedish Christmas Eve are magical and unforgettable . Go on give it a try and let me know what you think. It's my favourite film and perhaps it will become yours too...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Comet...



As the Duke looked out into night sky he observed the passing of a previously unrecorded comet . He mused upon how the ancients saw them as heralds of joy or deep sorrow...

His reverie was interrupted by a sealed letter being placed upon the nearby table. He opened it and read of the events earlier that day in neighbouring Saschen- Vindow . He sighed audibly realising that all hope of peace had been broken upon the wheel that very day...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Advent

Today marks the start of Advent- a time when Christians prepare to be ready to celebrate Christ's birth at Christmas. Time too for me to get my priorities right as well . A time to reflect,for me, on ancient words,well loved lyrics and carols too. The words to "Of the father's love begotten .." are centuries old yet speak across the centuries so much to me.

On the hobby front I had hoped to get more painting done than I did .However I have found an interesting command figure which I did a simple conversion on with a change of head attire facilitated by scalpel blade. I enjoyed watching "Time bandits " with my daughters yesterday - a much underrated film I feel. It conjours up atmospheres beautifully and is always inventive and surprising...
I have got my Christmas present ordered from the family - "The Wargame Companion" and look forward to reading it over the holidays . I trust you all had a good weekend too. I bet you were glued to Stokes's fantastic game too - inspiration in abundance





Thursday, 27 November 2008

Of Magazines and ideas...

The rain is pouring and the week has been long and tiring. I have become distracted once more - the lure of bicorne and/or shako in 28mm with biggish units! Yet I sit at home delighted with this magazine which arrived today. I am fed up with the glossies on the high street- lovely pics but little text. I look briefly and leave them upon the shelves these days. Yet "Battlegames" has both (great pics and great text) and more..
I have read quite a few issues but not yet subscribed- I fear I will have to do so . This is the tonic I needed- thanks Henry and others! The fascinating article on the Freikorps has begun me pondering what might have happened in the Duchy of Tradgardland in 1918 and beyond - not to mention Saschen -Vindow... Too many ideas not enough time and money- I imagine that is something we all have in common... I will leave off and get back to the articles! P.S a happy thanksgiving to all my American blogging associates on EvE and beyond- have a good one!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

A change of hat shape...

Oh no I have succumbed to the Bicorne!! I have thrown mine into the ring and committed to raising some Napoleonic French. To be particular- Massena's army of Portugal 1810 - 6th Corps,3rd Divison under Gen Loison !! I will tell you more when I get over the shock...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Williamsburg and Miffy

I had a comment posted by Jeff yesterday.
He wondered who the character modelled in snow by my daughter was. Here is a picture of Miffy . She is a rabbit featuring in charming books by Dick Bruna. He writes fantastic books with simple yet elegant words and pictures. Anna,my middle daughter, has been a fan for many.many years!
On an entirely different subject-I have found an interesting Blog about casting a cannon-I enclose the link


It is part of a website I really enjoy - Colonial Williamsburg. If you haven't had a look it is well worth looking for inspiration. I would be interested ,if any of you have been there, to hear your comments upon the place and the whole set -up there.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sunday

Last Saturday was the first snows in the Duchy of Tradgardland . Last night saw the first snows in the kingdom of Fife . My
youngest daughters went out and enjoyed the snow. They eventually transformed their snowman into a snow sculpture of Miffy. She is accompanied by her own snowman. I also managed to get some of the 48 figure battalion painted. I also think I shall raise some 1809 French...


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Saturday

We went shopping to Perth this afternoon and I saw the book on the right in Waterstones. It is a collection of biographies and fascinating details about early science and scientists. I had a look and it looked most interesting. Just the sort of things the Ducal Society in Tradgardland undertakes or is it undertook?
I rose earlyish today and did some work on my first 48 figure infantry unit for Saschen-Vindow. It will be made up of RSM figures and should be quite impressive en masse. I browsed thru Wargames Illustrated in WH Smiths. An interesting article on syw rules was illustrated by beautifully painted figures- painted well,well beyond my standard. It initially made my morale sink but I guess its more about fun than expertise. Eye candy can be useful to spur one on at times. I must realise it is not a competition but a hobby!!
I read on the grimsby mariner blog about an author called Greg Heyes ( I think) who writes alternate universe novels about the 18th century. These are totally unknown to me and I wondered if any of you were familiar with them? I would be interested in your thoughts...
I have finally chosen a figure for The Duke of Tradgardland and have been working on him too. I hope you are all having a good weekend- enjoy!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

First snowfall...



The first snows of winter have alighted upon Tradgardland. In the villages the people huddle by the fireside at night as the wolves prowl around the outside looking for food and shelter.

The first snows rarely last long, yet they provide a time to sit round of an evening and take stock of everything. A time to prioritise one's daily tasks, to bask in that which has gone well and banish the ghosts of the past.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Pigeon post 2

Another post by pigeon arrives.Out of breath and in a state of collapse the bird releases its note:----------My Dear Duke,The expected battle of the 8th instant at Carmugeon Castle did not occur. The Prince did not attack.Your Obt. Servant,von Bergmann.

Duke Karl Frederick finds a scrap of parchment and begins to write:
My Dear Von Bergmann,it is good to hear of your safety yet vexing that the long expected battle did not occur. Has the Prince gone into exile or is he planning so to do? Has he no longer service for your good self, your men and the Duc ?I await your answer with interest. All is well here in the Duchy and our friend in Saschen-Vindow works with haste.
God be with you ,Karl Frederick
The parchment is fixed to a pigeon's leg and it is sent heavenwards towards Edinburgh...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Nocturnal conversations in the Palace of Tradgardland

And how is our loyal servant in Sachsen-Vindow?
All is well Duke Karl!
I received a communication yesterday - I hope the fellow has not over exposed himself...
Worry not ,your Grace, all will be well!
Is nothing suspected at all?
Nothing ?
Nothing!
And will our plan succeed ?
Yes.
Yes?
Indeed ,your Grace I am sure he is the man for the job...
Pray God you are right! You may go now.
Good night your Grace.
God be with you too.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Pigeon post...



The messenger pigeon alighted upon the window of Duke Karl Frederick's study. Talking to it in a soothing manner, the Duke unwrapped a folded paper,which he extracted from a small copper tube attached to it's leg. He read the following:

"Things are afoot here in the castle. Duke Peter is planning to go upon autumn manoeuvres with the Ducal army. I will explain more when I can."

Having read the note the Duke threw it upon the fire and stared at the flames ,deep in thought, for along,long time...

Dear reader you are directed to the following blog for further insight:

http://saschenvindow.blogspot.com/

Monday, 3 November 2008

Further Winter plans...

At the weekend I told you of my plans re Napoleonics and 16th Century Reivers. I also said how I wished to continue building up the forces of Tradgardland. Much thought was given to all this whilst travelling on trains to and from work , as well as whilst washing up after tea tonight. I feel I just don't fancy using my Austrians to invade the Duchy from the Austrian Netherlands again. However I would like the Tradgardlanders to have an opponent...
Oh no,I hear you cry, he's off imaginationing ( if that be the word)again! Well I am afraid you are right in what you have thought.
I have taken, as my stimulus, a flag I designed recently for a as yet unknown regiment from a as yet unknown country.In the far off recesses of my mind there is the seed of an idea germinating- a small Duchy upon the periphery of Tradgardland.Of course we are all aware of the Tardis like nature of the borders of Tradgardland - in other words small duchies can be contained without affecting our map or anyone else! I will see where the idea takes me - I will think some more upon the matter and will let you know where my thoughts go. Now let me see this Standard belongs to...

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Winter plans ( at the moment at least!!!)



Well we went to the Kirriemuir show and saw some interesting games- a lovely Sudan game with Perry figs, a medieval siege of Orleans, 1796 French v Austrians to name but a few. The 1st 200 folk thru the door got a free figure- a highlander who will paint up a treat as a chief!

I didn't buy anything but some plans crystallised for the forthcoming winter...

My regular opponent,Phil , is going to paint up some 1807 Brits and I will paint up some Danes of the period. We will try and use BAR as a system rather than "In the grand Manner" which was one option.Units will be about 30 to 40 figs strong for the inf. As light relief we are looking at Border Reiver Skirmishing - small forces and we have suitable terrain already - tho I am tempted by a peel tower. Some reivers will be bought and sundry cattle and sheep...

I will also proceed with the forces of Tradgardland and will need to get some figures underway for Funnylittlewars in 54mmm. All in all I am pretty fired up with enthusiasm - more than I have been for ages. Let's hope that work related fatigue doesn't get in the way too much. Have a good weekend one and all!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Good news..

As a new week commences I got some good news in the form of a friend saying he is up for the wargames show at Kirriemuir,Angus,Scotland on this coming Saturday - 1st November! I am up for it too.
It is good to go to shows,perhaps converse with others and generally see what inspiring things/games are on offer - food for the wargaming soul and mind... So only six days to go!

Ideas...

Tomorrow sees me return to work after half term. I am pleased with my flag designs which have printed off very well indeed. I have been putting some ideas together for army lists for the writer of the Funnylittlewars rules and have taken some time to consider The Duchy of Tradgardland in 1911 or so. I hope to make an army list and also design suitable flags. I have been aided in this matter by reading the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911. It is available online and well worth a look.
It has been interesting to imagine what the Duchy would be doing at the start of the 20th Century. I have started writing some ideas/storyline as a file on the Funnylittlewars yahoo group. We shall see where it goes...
Enjoy the rest of the Weekend one and all !
Alan

Thursday, 23 October 2008

True colours shining 2







"And so Gentlemen the first of the new flags for our beloved Duchy! Note the Sun in splendour- the sun that shone upon the Golden Herring all those years ago at the start of Tradgardland! The sun that gives us light and warmth,that makes our crops grow. The same sun that like our Risen Lord rises in the East. Note also the motto that talks of the Light of Faith and Reason, the Light of the Heavens and our role as a beacon of Faith,culture and natural philosophy! Behold the product of the hard work and industry of the women of the Court. Gentlemen take these new colours and serve them well - now and always!"
And with a flourish Duke Karl Frederick sits down ,his speech ended and he basks in the thunderous applause and cheering...
p.s flags made with Microsoft paint package and clip art- printed at the library today. There are more to come over the coming days...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

True Colours shining...



The women of the Court are near the completion of the new flags for the Duchy Army. They will soon be revealed to the people of Tradgardland and presented to the Army later ...

Monday, 20 October 2008

In the Country



It is a week now since the mysterious Wurm left Tradgardland. It was last seen flying away over the forest having been encouraged upon its way by a battery of field pieces...

Duke Karl Frederick and his Duchess Liv are residing in the forest for a few days away from the pressing matters of State. Their time is spent in a simple hunting lodge ,far from other dwelling places. They will read ,walk and hear Mass said by the Ducal domestic chaplain.

The season of fruitfulness and mists is upon the Duchy and all bask in the last few days of sunshine before the Dark days and evenings prevail...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Wargaming :home and away...











We went to the show in Forfar as we had intended. The weather was sunny and the autumn colours beautiful. The show (Skelp) is held in a large community hall with much charm. The steak pies are indeed excellent.




The show consisted of many games and quite a number were ww2 or fantasy and of little interest to me . There was a charge of the light brigade game in 1/72 with soft plastic figures which was impressive in scale and execution. The chap running the game engaged us in conversation - a rarity these days at shows! I cannot abide going to shows and being presented with gamers who are so wrapped up in their games and totally uninterested in those watching. What is the point of shows if not to engage the public and share interests and insights?




There was an interesting game based in 1918 with and armoured train and a Sudan game with lovely terrain and figures. A participation game of note was one based on the film "Aguirre wrath of God" which featured a raft of conquistadors on a raft being fired at by natives- good fun and well executed.




After returning to my house (and tucking into Home made soup and home baking - thanks to Jan and the girls!) my Roman Army was wiped off the table by German tribesmen- shades of Gladiator but with differing conclusion. A good day had by all. I post some photos of the game for your edification- enjoy!

Friday, 10 October 2008

The Weekend

I am going this morning with a friend to a wargames show in Forfar Scotland called "Skelp" - I will let you know how it goes .
I have been putting quite an effort into researching the history of the Duchy of Tradgardland of late . I hope to post some translations from the official history of the Duchy which was compiled in the early years of the 20th century. The multi-volumed work brought together myriad sources and produced something of a classic. Watch this space...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A new venture...

Gentlemen
Join me for my new foray into the 18th century:
http://karlfrederickcounty.blogspot.com/
I hope you will enjoy it as it unfolds

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Time Travel ...


Of late I have been much concerned with the Succession in the Duchy of Tradgardland. What that means in reality is what happens to the Duchy over the next 200 years - 1758- 1958. Today , whilst waiting in my daughter's school to meet Jan and Freya for parent's night , I scribbled away on paper and have some key Ducal moments up to 1807. I have names for Dukes and key events too.

All this has been brought about firstly by me looking at the list of Dukes up to 1757 I published on the blog last year and secondly by a desire to perhaps see what the Ducal army was like at points in the 19th and early 20th century. This may or may not lead to depictions upon the wargames table - we shall see! I will post some excerpts from the Ducal history soon.

I would be interested to hear if any of you have done a similar project or are thinking of doing so. Sadly I get bogged down in my knowledge of history and internally debate the possibilities back and forth...

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Little Wars


I am unaware how many of you have any interest in Little Wars by H.G Wells. I must confess the combination of nostalgia for a lost youth, quirky line drawings and the sheer fun of it has me hooked.
An army padre is currently writing an update/extension of the rules with a view to publication. He has terrific ideas as well as enthusiasm. I first discovered his work/project in a magazine about toy soldiers I saw in the newsagent up town. The picture of the alfresco game and accompanying article had me hooked. There is a super Yahoo group devoted to the fun called funnylittlewars - do have a look you won’t regret it! You will find the fun at:
Enjoy,have a look and you will add another dimension to your hobby!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Wurm ...



Andersson called out the cavalry at dawn.The Wurm had departed from the bridge and could not be found. The cavalry patrol left the town along the north road , eyes vigilant and trumpets blaring , in the vain belief the Wurm would be put to flight by such music.
The Wurm waited in the woods, biding his time, the patrol passing completely unaware of his presence. With a shriek he left the wood chasing all horses and riders before him...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Paper


I have discovered ,in the last few days, a most interesting site called " Junior General" which has an absolutely amazing collection of 15mm scale paper soldiers. They cover every period you could desire and many I hadn't even thought of! In the spirit of endeavour, and eager to try something new, I have printed off some syw Danes and Swedes. Armed with glue,scissors and a good eye I have begun . I will let you know how things go...

Monday, 22 September 2008

Night...




It was dark before Anderrson left the church. The missal could not be found but Father Moribund had located a wall painting within the Church of the aforementioned Wurm.It had been there decaying for centuries now.
As Anderrson excited into the chill air of the autumn night he observed the Wurm was still there. The townspeople had taken courage and returned to their homes,lighting every lamp and candle they possessed in order to drive the Wurm away. it had been to no avail- the wurm still lay upon the bridge! Anderrson left for his house his mind filled with military stratagems which he would implement with the dawn...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Of brambles and books...

Kronk licked the last of the bramble juice from his fingers-it tasted of autumn.Andersson still observed the Wurm. The last of the company were seen streaming into the relative safety of the woods. With strict instructions given to Kronk to observe the Wurm and to remain awake, Andersson returned to the village. He sought the company of Fr Moribund who had been the local priest since before anyone could remember. Fr Moribund possessed an illuminated missal which contained illustrations of the last Wurm seen in Tradgardland 300 years before. Andersson felt by consulting the manuscript he might gain council and perhaps courage too. As he walked his thoughts turned to Kronk then back to the company. At last ,he thought , the presbytery door! Andersson rang the bell and waited . After what seemed an age bolts were drawn back,keys turned and the door opened...




Saturday, 20 September 2008

Wurm



The Tradgardland Militia Captain looked through his spyglass and observed the village bridge. He was unable to comprehend what lay in his vista. The local informant had indeed been correct - A WURM!

There had been no sightings for centuries ,yet here and now in 1758 Year of our Lord Captain Anderrson saw that which all dreaded most...

Anderrson invoked the power of the Saints and of Heaven itself as he crossed himself whilst murmuring a prayer. Giving the spyglass to his faithful Sergeant Kronk ,Anderrson turned to address the company of men at his command- men upon the edge of running away and heading for the safety of the local forest...

Monday, 15 September 2008

Recent days...


A combination of busy times at work leading to tiredness and the subsequent sniffing around of the black dog has led me to not post of late . I hope to be back soon.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

London Bridge



In the highest attic of the houses upon London Bridge a number of Tradgardlanders lived at relative peace with their neighbours. By day their trades were numerous and diverse, by night they gathered to sing the songs of the homeland and discuss the events of the age. Of how the planets and stars influenced all manners of mankind and how they had prophesied sorrow in the Duchy to come ....