Thursday, 31 December 2009
Sunday, 27 December 2009
We have eaten and drunk excellently-as befits a Major Feast and enjoyed ourselves well. I was given some inspiring books - "Vanished Armies" is a collection of eye witness paintings of uniforms from the lead up to the great War. Beautifully rendered they are just waiting to be replicated on the table top...
Two Osprey books (Herod and TYW) arrived too and I am sorely tempted to raise a small Herodian force for Basic Impetus . Add to that a calender featuring one of my favourite artists/designers Voysey and a beautiful Moleskine journal to record ideas and thoughts...I have done very well indeed.
On the workbench are a unit of 1938 militia belonging to the English Mistery and some Parthians not to mention the Lutelanders...
Have a great day whatever you do!
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Hello, I am Zoe, The Duke of Tradgardland's eldest daughter. I will guide you through the preparations that have been happening in our house today.
There is still a large amout of snow lying and it it is very cold outside and weather predictions of snow showers throughout the night.
This year we bought a pot grown Christmas tree that we are going to bonsai and keep for many Christmas's to come. There is a selections of decorations that have been collected over the years. Including 1920/30's decorations from my Dad's side of the family and several that we have made ourselves.
Freya made the Snow man, above in technology as well as holly and a tree.
Today the house has been busy cleaning and preparing food. I made cranberry sauce this afternoon, a Delia Smith recipe that I have slightly changed.
Makes 4 portions
250g fresh Cranberries
1 and a half tablespoons of red wine/ port
Juice and zest of 1 orange
a small piece of cinnamon stick/ quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
35g caster sugar
Optional: 1 teaspoon of fresh root ginger/ half a teaspoon of ground ginger
Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or roughly chop.
Add to a sauce pan with the other ingredients and gently bring to the boil and simmer for 5-8 minutes with a lid on, until you get a thick consistency. Serve warm straight away or leave to cool, cover with cling film and store in the fridge until needed. It can be kept refrigerated for 2 weeks.
Merry Christmas to you and your families
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Afterwards the girls spent much time outdoors enjoying the snow and made this super snowman.
All in all a good day. Later in the afternoon the postman arrived with a parcel from Lutelande. What more could one ask...
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
I am now on my hols- huzzah! School broke up yesterday with a lovely Carol service in church followed by an atmospheric train ride home thru the snow.
I have much planned hobbywise. Terry Gore medieval rules are coming after Christmas having been got by a friend for me at a good price- these will be used for 15th Century games especially. Some parthians arrived yesterday for a small force for Basic Impetus at my local club. I hope to start work on the 1938 vBCW militias I am slowly building and preparing.
Not to mention the parcel coming from America...
Have a great day one and all!More stamps tomorrow.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
He thoughts turned to Rose -that traditional colour of the Duchy
and it's servants.His mind strayed to the new regiment being raised from amongst the Lutelanders for Tradgardland and its young colonel Paul of Stollen...
After Mass the court Chaplin inquired when Col John Liam Panettone ( a famous Irish- Italian soldier of fortune) would arrive to drill the newly raised troops and put them through their paces.As Paul of Stollen is but a babe in arms Panettone will assume command. The Duke was unsure of exactly when he arrived but made discrete enquires as to his whereabouts....
I am looking forward to receiving a extremely exciting parcel from the States very soon with some new figures to start upon over Christmas. More details soon!
Saturday, 5 December 2009
A happy St Nicholas (6th Dec) to one and all from the Duke of Tradgardland and his Household!
Monday, 23 November 2009
Midsummer 1938 saw things come to a head in East Fife.Growing concern over the increasingly Communist nature of Fife coupled with a desire to support a "Godly King" in the face of Republicanism had the local area aflame with rumours . Finally( in great secrecy) a meeting was arranged in the university town of St Andrews.Around the table sat a disperate group of men representing the interests of many- Established Presbyterianism,Anglican League influenced Episopalianism,the University authorities,the town council ,local lairds ,tenant farmers,the Royal and Ancient golf Club and members of the fishing community.Promises of support from beyond the sea were laid upon the table also. The debate lasted long into the night and latterly they were joined by the commander of the local airbase at Leucars. The following morning saw the start of what became known as The League of St Andrew. Four days later ,within the ruins of the medieval cathedral, a vast crowd gathered to hear oratory and see flags unfurled...A message of Independence,under God, was sent to the Goverment in Edinburgh and patrols established over the coming weeks in the surrounding fields ,sea and sky. What would be Edinburgh's response. The coming months ,as summer drew on to autumn would see many changes,joys and sorrows...
Do let me know what you think of it!
Sunday, 1 November 2009
his memories of the battle are hazy- the routing of the Tradgarland dragoons on the left flank and the pursuit of them by Imperial hussars and curaissers,the taking of the barricades by Tradgardland infantry, the valiant Archbishop's jaeger on the right flank and the bloody fire-fight in the centre...
Whilst, in the midst of his thoughts, the Duke is interrupted by a messenger. The Duke opens the letter and a smile crosses his face for the first time in days-there is a newly born heir in the Duchy of Stollen!! The Duke leaps from the bed,calling for his Chamberlin and Secretary and dictates a decree that the bells of the Duchy be rung after mass on All Saints Day to celebrate the birth of the heir to the Duchy of Stollen...
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Saturday, 24 October 2009
I was rather disappointed and somewhat surprised. However the good thing was that Tradgardland beat the Imperium in a close fought game. My regular opponent is due tomorrow and I will post pictures afterwards.
I went to a wargames club for the first time in perhaps 30 years. I was invited by a chap I travel with sometimes on the train-thanks Tom. He invited me to see an Ancients rule system being played "Basic Impetus".
I was most taken with the game and the friendly welcome I received. I will go back and intend to raise some Picts for what is a diverting and enjoyable system.
Of late I have become more and more immersed in the alternative world of VBCW ( a very British Civil War) where Edward viii didn't abdicate and Britain was plunged into civil war. The background is well researched and I cannot wait for the second source book due out next week. It is a heady mix of interwar equipment and fascinating what ifs...
I have also had my interest in the history,art,architecture and politics of the period reignited and I am enjoying a combination of BBC 4 documentaries and reading.
By the way there is a lively discussion of VBCW at the gentleman's wargames parlour.I have also been revising a FLW Scandanavian army list and ferreting out images for my FLW blog- some crackers posted there of late ,if I say so myself...
I must go now- clocks to turn back,church to go to and friends coming back here afterwards...
Have a good Sunday!
Monday, 5 October 2009
I taped them over the Christmas they were first shown- a 5 minute episode a day. I ( and my family) have watched them many times since. They can be enjoyed by children ,adults and all ages!
They are wonderfully witty , quirky and really funny- don't miss them! If you are a fan do share what is your favourite episode /character. I love the base metal to gold one...
p.s a link to a site to find out more:
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
It had been a most successful evening - thirty men signed up and all looked like they could handle themselves both on and off the field of Mars.
Kaptain Heider settled into the corner of his chair near the roaring fire,the flag having been placed in the sack under the table , and took out a couple of books from his worn and battered satchel. He opened the copy of Aquinas's Summa Theologica and became immersed in another world...
His thoughts drifted back to the village school he had taught in before he answered the misguided call of adventure. He had been shocked to meet one of his former pupils tonight who had offered his services as a doctor for the company.
A knock at the door brought him back to reality. His face returned to the familiar gruff mask of daily life as he acknowledged his supper with a grunt. Now back to St Thomas and the long hours to read in before the morning brought the problems of another day...
Monday, 28 September 2009
Those who did so would find themselves in a decaying slum within a slum. They would be lucky to get out alive -obviously without any valuables they possessed!
Towering over all else in the Syldavian quarter was a large inn namely "The Black Pelican." It formed the social,political,religious and cultural heart ( a black one of course) for the community of Syldavian exiles which sought to make a living within the Duchy of Tradgardland.
The inn was large and looked as if it had grown from the putrid earth itself rather than being built by human hands. The sense of something organic was almost tangible . Within, all was stained black by the smoke from the roaring fires and the never extinguished pipes of those who frequented the place. No dog passing the kitchen yard was safe and the yelps of the unwary could be heard frequently by passers by.
Tonight the inn was busier than ever for a Freikorp Kaptain was recruiting - no questions asked, no soul too warped and no rest for the wicked!
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Zoe( my eldest) has bought a French dvd of Tintin- to improve her listening skills. It is the one featuring Sylvania- The sceptre of Ottokar. I have been watching it and am most taken with the uniforms . My thoughts have run , amidst visitors& school reports, to what uniforms were worn in Sylvania in the 18th century. Any Tintin aficionados are welcome to make suggestions here...
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Monday once more.. Off today for Monday hol. @ doctors re ankle ( no joy 2 courses of antibiotics and 2 x rays later) still doesnt know what it is or really what to suggest except blood test and physio...
Busy but satisfying weekend of reinstating ,assembly Ikea furniture and the like. Still time to base some figs tho.
Am flocking syw figs today configured in units of around 32 or so inf. It is the "Militia" organisation in Peter Young's Charge Rules circa 1967 . I am increasingly drawn to these rules and the simplicity/fun they point to. Will try solo game soon I fear... off to read Sidebottom and drink coffee to warm up as the central heating is off at present- hopefully reinstated soonish. By the way picture is by Caspar David Friedrich- one of my favourite artists and painter of atmospheric,wondrous pictures .Hope you like it and are inspired to seek out more of his work. Jolly useful to illustrate 18th century blogs too...
Friday, 18 September 2009
Monday, 14 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Yesterday was spent reinstating the siting room. Myriad books were transported,placed lovingly upon the shelves and the final effect was excellent.Furniture was put carefully upon the new oak floor and the room looks great. There will be a quieter time until the kitchen units arrive from Germany and the decorating completed. We hope all will be finished by the commencing of Advent.
Today (like yesterday) the sun was shining and the grass (long abandoned to its fate due to busy household events of late) was given a couple of cuts.My thoughts went to the lawn's potential for fLW gaming next summer- weather permitting. Sadly I employed the petrol mower rather than the scythe depicted in the Swedish painting in this blog entry. It was a good chance to think about the hobby plans for Winter Quarters:
SYW- games with Bill Protz's rules Tradgardland against the forces of the Imperium currently camped upon the border. Basing to be accomplished and magnetic basing to be employed. Units with be raised for the Duchy from figures I have and I think I will invest in some hussars... A small bishopric may also raise forces - funds and energy permitting...
FLW ( have you seen the super "LittleWars" for the 21st Century rules by Paul wright called "Funny Little Wars"- you must have a look as they are inspirational and witty too.) I will continue to collect 54mm Swiss,sorry Army Red/White, expanding into cavalry and artillery by way of some chalets as scenery. I hope to take the army forward into the age of inter-war mechanised warfare with the odd tank and bicyle towed anti tank guns...I must also finish some army lists for Paul too!! I need to think of an oppostion for Army Red /White too. Those pesky Danes also are rather attractive to model too!
Ancients:still unsure about rules but will probably go down the dbm/dbmm route. Also hope to play test some rules which are period specific. As to which army to finish I am ever torn and go between many, completing none! I am currently reading Sidebottom's newish novel and Sumner's super book on Roman military clothing- I fear they will influence my choice of painting...
1938- A very civil war. Vol 1 of the source book really interested me and I am sooo tempted to dive into yet another period. Vol 2 is out very soon. There is an excellent set of "Old School " rules posted on the gentleman's wargame parlour site for this period which are well worth looking at... not to mention going 54mm and employing FLW.
No doubt I will be derailed from my plans. Already I have been thinking about the sunny and saintly Prince bishop of a small bishopric within the Duchy of Tradgardland. An inspirational 16th century map has really caught my imagination and I feel being sucked into this intriguing and colourful city -state.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and have fun while the sun shines...
Friday, 4 September 2009
Weltschmerz-Hammerklavier lies within a forested valley within the Duchy of Tradgardland and is an independent ,if minuscule, town proud of it’s ancient traditions . Traditionally remaining aloof from the life of Tradgardland it has been a Europa-wide exporter of carved Nativity scenes for more years than anyone can remember.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Forces of the Imperium on the Tradgardland border:
C in C- Graf von Apfelstrudel
Infantry Regiment Kaiserschmarrn ,Infantry Regiment Schwarzwalder Kirshtorte ,Linzertorte Curaissiers ,Lebkucken Hussars ,Knoedel Grenz Hussars,A detatchment of Schaumrollen Grenzers and elements of theTrain of artillery...
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Floor down thankfully! Reasonably normal weekend ( if hectic) to hand and thoughts re re basing 18th century figs. I have just finished basing them 60mm by 40mm with 6 figs per base. Now I feel I have limited myself...
Tried experiment yesterday of basing on 25mm LOTR round plastic base. Fig looks good ( still broken digital camera so no piccies) and I feel I have options for Charge, Bill Protz's rules etc. A great deal of work but worth it. What do you think?
Photo from German photographer mentioned of late upon "Wars of Louis xiv " of late.
Link if you are interested:http://www.history-live-foto.com/bgal3/index.htm
I just love her work -it is amazing !
Back to work tomorrow,bases to order,children to educate,house to return to normality and adventures to be had. Have a good week one and all!
Friday, 28 August 2009
Life is hectic- new term,new boss and the builders in! The kitchen walls are being knocked down to form a larger area incorporating the hall and a new oak flooring is being laid upon the dining/sitting rooms. The upshot is all books are in the process of being moved ,everything is in the wrong place and it is indeed the domestic world turned upside down.
It has meant I have seen books and figures I have not laid eyes upon for years. I am in a dilemma as to wheter to give rules I don't play to the Charity shop. My wife ,sensibly remarked,that I would probably end up buying a new copy in months to come so not to bother!
There are so many uncompleted projects have out of boxes- syw,ecw,ancient ,Victorian s.f ,54mm H G Wells for FLW and many ,many more. The enthusiasm rises,money is spent,figures arrive and then are spirited away . It is hard to focus...
One advantage of the house being like this is I have no chance to paint/game in the foreseeable future and therefore am taking stock of what to do. I don't know about you but I am often too tired after work to do anything much.
On the reading front I am loving "Warrior of Rome " by Sidebottom - a cracking read and great fun - even if you hate ancients ( how could anyone ,I hear you cry) it will make you want to buy Romans!!!! Also reading about a north African philisopher/bishop/gentlemen/general called Synesius of Cyrene who also wrote some cracking poems and hymns- not to mention organising,raising and commanding troops against invaders/raiders. Well worth a google if you have time...
On the audio I am having great fun listening to Florence and the Machine and The Killers. On the visual front Babylon 5 is living up to my expectations and more- I am hooked once more!
Have a good weekend and if I can re set up the computer I will add more over the weekend.
p.s the Picture ( The Traveller ) is one of my favourites, I was using it for an art lesson this week and thought you might enjoy it...
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Over the summer we have been planning our new kitchen. We hope to get one by a German compamy called Alno. Thereir motto appears to be "Der Unterschied liegt im Detail" which means "The difference is in the details."
On such a theme I have posted a photo I took at the 18th century house in Cockermouth. It's evocative detailing transported us to the past when we were there...
In the world of blogs/imaginations and tabletop armies it is the detail that makes all the difference. The touch in word or image which brings the country or army to life- little details which evoke another time or place ,which transport us ,albeit breifly,to another world.
I have loved these small things of Tradgardland (as well as those of others too) which have given me the most pleasure- thinking up a name,family traits,everyday life and so much more...
We are indebted to Phil Olley and many,many more who inspire us to add more vignettes to our armies - to have big fun in the Wee detail....
New computer arrived today -huzzah! The Grubers are online again. I have begun to catch up with the E vE material and individual blogs- glad to see Lady Emma moves forward. The accompanying photo is of us all at the 18th century house in Cockermouth I previously mentioned. It is good to be back...
Friday, 31 July 2009
Friday, 24 July 2009
One picture is of the "garden" as it was called by the company from whom we rented the holiday cottage previously mentioned. Needless to say it was never used by us at all.
The other picture is of Wordsworth's childhood home ,maintained by the National Trust , in Cockermouth. I will write more on this later. It had a working kitchen ( as of 1770) and a garden planted with varieties from the 18th century. It was a fantastic place to visit with fascinating things to do for all- well worth a visit ,unlike the holiday cottage! Spot the difference if you can- no prizes upon offer I'm afraid!
We did see some interesting things -some pertaining to the 18th Century. Stories and pictures to follow...
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Now I begun again, I am reborn and rise from the waters to greater heights.
My masters returned from their Grand Tour to Stagonia and Rome .They were unwilling to return with a piece of ancient masonry displaying the glory of the ancients. Mean more like ,unwilling to blow moths from their velvet purses I say...
But this has been my gain. For I am the living sculpture ,once kitchen porter and spit turner - now any hero my masters wish me to be. Hop on to the plinth,green grey with the artist's pallet applied. Now I am off to be the statuary of Europa for my masters- what wonders will I see?
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Monday, 6 July 2009
Uniform of a Swiss Jaeger from circa 1770.
The first basis for a Federal Contingent was established by the DEFENSIONALE of Wil and Baden. It fixed the number of men and artillery every ruling Canton ( 13 in total) had to provide. The first Cantonal military regulations date to 1755-1757 . In particular to an order of Nov 10th 1755 which concerned weapons,uniforms,annual reporting etc.
The Cantonal Regiment was formed of 2 battalions ( each of 4 companies of 100 men + staff) + 2 "banner companies" ( very old or very young men) + 1 artillery company. Men were enlisted for military service from 16 to 60 years unless dispensed with for health reasons.Every man had to supply his own uniform,weapon and equipment.
This morning I have begun work on some Canton Zug infantry and standard bearer. It is proceeding quite well so far subject to time and energy...
P.S those interested in the Swiss army of 1900 -1914 or so might enjoy my other blog - http://armyredwhite.blogspot.com/
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Last summer I contemplated venturing forth into 18th century Switzerland on the blog. The feeling has never really departed...
I have posted an illustration by Gerry Embleton of 18th century Swiss from Canton Aargu. I was particularly taken by the "District Captain" who looks as if he has stepped out of landsknecht times.
A correspondent in Switzerland has scanned some 19th century and modern illustrations of 18th century canton troops ( I cannot post them here ,alas, as I only have hard copies now) which include flags. They are excellent and informative illustrations.
I have a notion for some Tradgarland units be hired or become otherwise involved in a Cantonal Civil war with some real and some imaginary units. We shall see what develops....