Friday, 4 August 2017


A visit from the Forbodian ambassador yesterday resulted in my first game of Command and Colours.
A most enjoyable game ensued and I would really like to try C&C again.
I have been re-reading this article again and hope to give it a go with some Lone Star  knights -

Charles Grant suggested 54mm Greenwood and Ball but for me the knights of my youth were either Lone Star or Britains. I have recently bought these toy knights I recall from the 1960s as my own ones have sadly gone. More are ordered including some that once were given away in Kellog's cereal .

Monday, 31 July 2017

Not out!

Firstly many thanks for your kind words and support,it really makes a difference. I am moving forward. I have taken much of your advice- a day visit to St Andrews was great, listening to Test Match Special whilst doing some gardening or painting and enjoying some books and tv. Friday saw me take my Romans across the Firth of Forth by train to try and put down a revolt by Civilis. The game was great but ended in my Romans succumbing to the combined might of Germanic tribesmen allied with revolting roman auxiliaries and cavalry.  A re match is planned. Today I cut the hedge with secateurs ( whilst telling passing neighbours that Jan had sensibly always banned me from an electric hedgetrimmer in case I cut myself) ending with me cutting a finger and going to minor injuries at the local hospital to have the cut glued and a tetanus booster given. This will put my Kingdom of Commagene figure painting on  hold for a few days. We are getting there.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Black Dog

The Black Dog has been sniffing around of late but has decided to launch himself upon me now. I know a number of you are visited by him too. Any suggestions for how to deal with him?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Ambush in the forest,Norway 1200 AD- a game played with the ancient rules from "Developing the Portable Wargame"

A forest in Norway,a patrol of knights are making their way home through the forest-
They encounter some ambushers-
The resulting battle was played using these rules-
They give a most enjoyable ancient game and like the Ronseal advert says they do exactly what it says on the tin,sorry book. Bob develops the portable wargaming rules of his last book  taking them to the ancient period and to the skies with aerial combat not to mention adding depth and interest to his already accessible system. Well worth getting hold of ,they are packed with inspiration and will add much to your gaming.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Breakfast biscuits Little Wars house challenge

A sunny day in Tradgardland today and I set a challenge for my three daughters- paint a house made out of a breakfast biscuit box to be used as wargaming scenery.

 Here are the results-
Please vote for your favourite by leaving a comment below. Watch out for the houses being included in a game very soon.

Saturday, 15 July 2017


With both the kitchen table and dining table commandeered for  ongoing art work or studying I am unable to set up big games. I have therefore set up a game (see yesterday's  post) using the converted garden potting bench I adapted for inside use-
The game can be left up ,out of everyone's way, ready to be played on and off over a couple of  days. The railway background paper helps shut out the real world and adds atmosphere to the look of the thing.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Interwar imaginations revisited- gaming with the Portable Wargame Rules in mind

It is time to revisit my two deadly rivals- The Duchy of Volare-Cantare and The Imperium.
Now the newly painted forces of The Duchy of Volare-Cantare.
Tanks and Alpini go into action...
Next those of The Imperium-
Infantry,Cavalry and Light Armour go into action.
Finally got figures from Eamon and tanks from Tim Gow on the table.More pictures as the game develops tomorrow...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


Better weather today here so took the chance to paint outdoors-

Sunday, 9 July 2017


On holiday now. Yesterday ( with the sunne present for once) I spent much of the day cutting the grass and weeding,redeeming the wilderness but not too much. I was accompanied in this by a radio on an extension cable with Test Match Special.

I am pleased with the result. I also watched an interesting film- "Free state of Jones" which is well worth a watch. Today the weather has returned to a cold wet norm and I have been painting figures, accompanied once more by T.M.S. Nearly two years ago I got these rules-
and have yet to use them. I feel they would be just right for some skirmishes set in the late 17th century in Tradgardland.I will give them a go with the figures currently on the painting table. Anyone used them and what do you think?

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Maneuvers in Tradgardland

The Duke of Tradgardland watches as his gardeners train with muskets.
Amidst smoke and noise, the Duke's Grenadiers assault a statue of   Mercury. The Duke hopes that the damage will only be slight but realises that grenades need to be thrown at times for practise.

Friday, 7 July 2017

T D K part 3 In the Duke of Tradgardland's gardens...

Early morning and the Duke's gardeners make their weary way to the first  job of the day.
Elsewhere in the lee of some topiary Father Lacey-Cotta awaits a confidant...
In another corner of the garden old mother Shippam converses earnestly  to no avail.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Model Topiary

Daughter number one has been making some model topiary out of clay with/for me  today-
It is air drying so I will need to be patient for some days. In the picture is a late 17th century Front Rank figure for scale and inspiration. When dry I will paint and varnish the topiary  not to mention the pond. After that some pictures with figures...

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A plunge taken for better or worse.

I have finally taken the plunge (with some persuasion) and have dived into Facebook. Supported by the technical knowledge of my daughters and others I am live. I hope it will prove a useful tool...

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Defenestrated Kolbold 2

Mr Noyes is escorted to the backroom of coffee house where he is set upon by footpads masquerading as itinerant  castrato singers and their servants. A swift melee ensues. Mr Noyes sees them off and looks for his leather case but to no avail. Questions to a servant reveals that a cloaked figure was seen leaving with the case...

With camera in Dunfermline

Schools hols began yesterday. I took some photos locally.Firstly our new museum/gallery/library-
This is the view from the balcony of the cafe overlooking a newly planted maze and Abbots House which is currently closed.
An interesting exhibit in the museum which is explained in the sign below-
Finally my current reading-
Have a good Saturday!

Monday, 26 June 2017

The Defenestrated Kolbold

Mr Noyes had travelled long and far for his meeting. The coach to Tradgardstadt had been filled with an odour he  prefered not to try and ascertain. A mix of fell beast and papist smoke perchance?
The rather odd leather case in his hand felt heavy with parchment,ink,sand and quills not to mention the outsized egg. At last he turned the corner into a narrow passage even grimmer than the previous one. The sign above the door said "The Defenestrated Kobold"accompanied with a rather dreary painting of such an event. He turned the handle ,breathed in the coffee smell and looked around for his contact...

Monday, 19 June 2017


Two new graduates in the family-
and their undergraduate sister on the right...
My daughters were most generous for Father's Day-
Including this utterly  splendid book-
which was new to me completely.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Northish Westish 1885ish

Last summer my eldest and I painted some 54mm old Britains figures. She added detail and faces on them for me. Of late I have fancied giving them an opponent in the form of Metis and Indians- a vague 1885 North West Rebellion vibe if you like. With this in mind I have undercoated some Armies in Plastic Boers as a first step.Can anyone suggestion plastic Indian figures to use alongside them?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

If H G Wells had known breakfast biscuits, or a work in progress...

Currently working on these buildings here pictured with some 40mm Bavarians. Idea came to me whilst recycling and I hastily saved the packaging!  I will work more on them at the weekend.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Ducal Weekend...

Yesterday was Anna's degree show in Gala. We travelled by train to go to it and spend time with her. Here is the proud ( and rightly so ) Textile Design student with her  final work-
Today I have been enjoying the garden-
and the pea or bean structures built today add height-

Saturday, 20 May 2017

On the march- Mythical Earth Rampant

Wargs,giants and bats on the move to meet the forces of Good...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Some of  my newly based Mythical Earth Elves-
Also got round to painting white bases of the trees with green paint.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Carronade, Falkirk

A most enjoyable day at the show. I was tempted by the Warbases Roman buildings but resisted just.Met some folk and enjoyed seeing the games especially a division level acw game, a 28mm WW2 game set on an imaginary Greek island and a 42 mm SCW game with a slogan drenched train. However, for me the star of the show was the Westerhope chaps 40mm game complete  with visual effects-
Great game and friendly to talk to too ,what more could one ask!
Got the book below for a fiver and was delighted-

Sunday, 7 May 2017

On patrol...

Roman legionaries carefully make their way through the forest in what would later become the Duchy of Tradgardland. A blood curdling scream stops them in their tracks.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Music to report by

I am currently writing reports  (yes,that time of year again) and am really enjoying listening to the above as I think and type.It has certainly helped speed the plough.

When Saturday comes

Weekend at last.Weather is sunny but windy here in the Duchy. I walked today about six miles enjoying the countryside,the green and gold finches and the exercise too. Perhaps this hopefully might become a good habit...
This afternoon I am painting some country folk
 whilst listening to Caravan's "In the land of the grey and pink."

Monday, 1 May 2017

Elves (Aureola Rococo) Minifigs

Anyone got any of these High Elf or Tunnel Elves Minifigs to sell? Are 1-21 is the coding. Thanks.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

We sail the ocean blue...

A friend gave me this splendid miniature some time back.It has come in and out of my mind with what to use it for as it sits on the shelf beside my writing slope. 

I really like it and have been thinking of a back story to use it in a water based Dragon rampant scenario for some time.Yesterday in my local waterstone I saw some toy  ( a make beginning with S) seahorses,octopus etc and was tempted.I wonder if anyone else has suggestions for allies/enemies in term of figure ranges? Finally I think it is Ral Partha,can anyone confirm this and give a title?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Master Classes

Every Friday we have what are called "Master Classes" in the school where I teach. They are to teach the pupils skills such as turn taking,strategy etc. I run a games club which consists of tradition games from around the world such as Well Gonu,Pumpkin Gonu and Surakarta (well worth a go) as well as Chess and Draughts. Today because of this post on Man of Tin's blog -
I tried something different and  it was my first Wargame with the group. Sadly there were no figures available so laminated pirates stood in-
Cards were hastily prepared out of cards and cm cubes  kept track of wounds. It was received with mix enthusiasm but quite a few tried it and enjoyed it. One lad even asked to take a set of cards,chart,laminated pirates etc home at the end of the club.What next?
Thank you Donald Featherstone and Man of Tin for bringing it to my attention. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Just Us - Cloudbusting (Official Video)

A new version of a classic- enjoy!

The Ancient (portable) Wargame etc

Happy St George's Day!
Today I placed Hexon on the potting bench/ gaming table I made up from Aldi's some time ago.
A place to leave up some playtesting games this week. By the way I would quite like to replace the missing spears/javelins on these lovely old school figures I got.Can anyone recommend me where to buy some in terms of quality and price?Thanks!