Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to you and yours from all at the Duchy of Tradgardland. Many thanks for your support here in 2013.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas in 18th Century Tradgardland

Through the streets of 18th century Tradgardland the soldiers march towards the Ducal Palace.They carry with them a tree to be presented to the Duke and his family.The musicians of the Court play carols through the frosty air.
Merry Christmas one and all from all of us here in Tradgardland!
 I close with a page from a most treasured book from within the Duke of Tradgardland's Library of rare volumes-

Friday 6 December 2013

Giving in to temptation...

I have been reading Paul's new rules additions and seeing his Altdorf scenario piccies.Just sent off for some AIP chaps in Stahlhelms to use as Freikorps in interwar FLW.What was that thing Oscar Wide said...

Saturday 30 November 2013

Gridded game set up

Pop over to my other blog to see a 40mm game played on gridded terrain.Not our period here but hope you will enjoy!

Saturday 19 October 2013

Army White (Republican)

The beloved old Emperor is dead.The new Emperor has left by train,the new Republic has begun...
Thus Army White is taken from the days prior to glorious summer of '13,through the Great War and beyond into the interwar period...

And so begins my FLW project for autmn and winter -moving into the interwar period with Army white now known as Army White (Republican) for the moment.
Part the first- A rainy day in Fife
This morning saw me uptown on a mission to post a parcel in the Post Office.The rain lashed and I popped into Poundland on the lookout for hobby inspiration and bought the following-
£1.49 a packet!!! each contained the following-
And so with much ingenuity I will attempt to use the basic chassis of the plastic tank to build 3 tanks/tankettes(perhaps a tad too big?) for an interwar army.If anyone wants the army men and turrets/mgs let me know .You are more than welcome to them.I will pop them in the post for you next week.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Matters of taste on the other blog

I wonder if you could pop over to my other blog and help me solve a dilemma of matters of taste and the deployment of toy soldiers -
Many thanks!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Wargaming in Germany

I am interested to know if anyone knows about wargaming taking place in Germany prior to the Great War? Was Little Wars used for example?
I am not interested in finding about the use of kreigspel but rather early figure gaming?

Saturday 5 October 2013

Casting matters

I have an Elastolin compostion chap bought circa 1970 in Switzerland.Here he is-
I have seen these instant reuseable mould compounds of late.Would they work with him or would he be ruined.I would really like to make copies of him. I feel there can be no copyright issues after all these years.
Any suggestions etc welcome.

Pathe news

I have been on Pathe news this morning.Do pop over here for a splendid piece of footage and don't forget to listen to the commentary-
When FLW moves into the 20s and 30s we must commentate upon our games in such a splendid style (:

Thursday 3 October 2013


Back at the doc's today and I was signed off for another three weeks. I thought I would share an image of the painting area I am using on a semi(very)permanent basis at present.Anyone care to guess the identity of the books used for inspiration or the nationality of the figures currently being worked upon?

Monday 30 September 2013

Duchy of Tradgardland,late October 1912 or Do the Strand (with apologies to Roxy Music)

Duke Albert is enjoying brandy and cigars after dinner.Alone at last he flicks through old copies of  The Strand Magazine.His eyes alight upon an article and the accompanying pictures-
As the evening wears, on and the decanter is refilled, Duke Albert has an idea...
The next morning after a splendid breakfast of herring kedgeree and coffee Duke Albert takes a walk round to the Palace Stables and talks to his old friend Col Gustav Adolf Ekdahl.

Dear Reader,by the wonders of the ether and steampowered technology you are invited to read the article Duke Albert read 101 years ago here-
I hope you enjoy it and please leave your comments as to what you think Duke Albert and Col Ekdahl were talking about...

A knock on the door during tea...

Tuesday morning 6.30 am
Tea last night was interrupted in a most pleasant way- a delivery from parcel post.My keenly awaited parcel from Berlin had arrived.I was on the Berlinner Zinnefiguren site last week and clicked onto a bargain-
Great in itself but there was more in the shape of-
A reproduction of the Heyde catalogue from the 19th century.Both books are most interesting- the former being a large format hardback awash with inspirational colour photographs and text in English,French and German.
I am looking forward to reading more today.
My sample figures (not from BZ by the way) arrived the day before and I hope to work on them this morning.I hope that they may be a 54mm step forward but it is early days.Decapitating one and doing half of the same to another when bending limbs was not a good start...

Monday 23 September 2013

Terraforming Tradgardland or the guns of August

Much work has been done over the summer in the Duchy.This is a picture of the work in progress and below is the spoil heap/mess left by the builders.It will have to wait weeks until I can attempt to deal with it-
They covered the path in debris but made a good job of the area extending from the kitchen to the garden room as depicted in the photo below-
The patio/place for garden chairs&table/troughs/alpine pans will also serve excellently as an "all weather" pitch for FLW games. Astro turf for lead armies I guess. The photo was taken on the last day of August with gun/guns hence the post title.
Anyway the other day I drew the layout in my moleskin and mentally batted around some plans.Please click below on the photo to have a better look-
Basically the paved area will be a disputed pass or valley between the countries of Army Red/White and Army White.The steps will be the mountains on either side of the pass/valley.terrain will be added to be lifted between games.A flower border will be planted which will soften the edge of things too.I am most excited by this project and also feel "Winter Quarters" will give a chance to plan and paint in preparation for gaming next summer.
Finally with reference to my last post I may have found  a source of some potentially Spenkuch/Alte Deutsche/Heyde  reproduction/style of type figures in 54mm. More anon when samples arrive and are painted...

Friday 20 September 2013

Morning musings or the Spenkuch look

I rose this morning at five o'clock which left many quiet hours before the House stirred. I cannot post my alfresco pictures as my daughter (I fear) has taken the camera off to Uni.
However this gives me a chance to post about some thoughts I have been having re the FLW hobby of late.I am increasingly drawn to the German old toy soldier look of things.Maybe it is nostalgia for a simpler age or my Germanic genes calling me I don't know.Whatever it is I am being attracted to gaming with such an aesthetic. what would this mean for my gaming.Firstly terrain-
The simple two dimensional trees etc as shown in the above set.
 Two dimensional houses such as the example above from Spenkuch.
As for the figures it goes without saying I cannot afford the originals or even the reproduction sets but I am attracted to the Deutsche Homage figures produced by Irregular Miniatures as shown below in this picture from their webpage-
Much to think about and plan...off to do some chores then a wee seat I think.

Sunday 15 September 2013

still here-update and the terraformation of Tradgardland

Sunday afternoon in a showery Tradgardland.
I'm taking the opportunity when Jan is driving Anna back to university this afternoon ( with her sisters and granny riding shot gun) to post. Anna was 18 yesterday and we all enjoyed celebrating her birthday . We drove her down for freshers week last Saturday ( which went really well) and she came home by bus on 13/09. I had my operation on the 9th and all has gone well.I am signed off work until the 4/10 and need to rest to aid recovery.Jan has her first Chemo this coming Wednesday.
I hope to get some projects up and running ( have started a little ) as I am useless except for light duties in  and around the home. I have started the 6th Sidebottom novel ( set mainly in 3rd century Scandinavia) and am enjoying it.I watched "Papillon" on dvd this morning and it remains an excellent film to watch,I'd not seen it for years.
The building works ( terraforming) externally have added a potential new aspect to FLW gaming here.More will be revealed anon when I can download the photos I took at the end of August. I have received the 2nd volume of the Padre's masterwork and an excellent read it is too.Most inspiring as no doubt many of you will have found out already.Although the weather was so beautiful here yesterday that Jan and I managed to sit out nevertheless I feel Winter Quarters beckoning and some modelling to be done prior to next year's al fresco gaming season.

Friday 30 August 2013


It has been an extremely hectic and stressful time here of late. Jan's cancer has returned after being away for three years. She will begin a cycle of chemo over thirteen weeks starting in around three weeks. I go in for a TURP procedure/op in around 10 days and will be off work for a number of weeks.Work has been hectic ( albeit with a very supportive boss) and I am snowed under with paperwork, planning and new methodologies.
Hobby thoughts/plans/ongoing projects were a helpful distraction when Jan was ill before and they continue to be so (time/energy permitting) therefore I will post again very soon in a hobby related update here I hope.

Friday 2 August 2013

In the news...

Pop over here for an interesting article...

Well worth a read I say!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Interesting Netherlands print...

I have been a tad  quiet these last few days due to coming down with another  bladder infection but thankfully the antibiotics have begun to work and I feel a little better.I found this print online and thought I would share it with you.It is of a Netherlands cyclist in training and I imagine (with no knowledge of Dutch it has to be said)that he is going to pole vault a canal with his cycle on his back.Here is the picture ,what do you think?
I think it would be a great idea for FLW scenarios with a rule which would give a % chance of failing to jump correctly.Splendid modelling opportunity too...

Tuesday 16 July 2013

A question of flow and other matters...

I have spent a couple of days going,or rather not.,with the flow & dealing with District Nurses ( all of whom have been excellent) possibly having to visit A&E and now the Doctor. To cut a long story short I am on antibiotics for a urinary infection and feeling a tad fed up.
My Interwar Norwegian conversions lie abandoned on the table  but are proceeding well. Hopefully I will pick up the challenge soon.
 As energy and enthusiasm allowed I have been reading around the '45 in general , a couple of superb Ospreys arrived - one on Cumberland's Army and one on the Jacobites themselves. As ever I am enchanted by the work of Gerry Embleton and his son (?) Steve especially the illustration of some litttle boys pretending to be Hessian troops whilst a yellow clad hussar looks on with a long pipe. My recent Duffy purchase has re-enchanted my enthusiasm for the 18th Century in all it's Baroque military wonderfulness. To read of Hessian hussars skirmishing around Dunkeld and other places I have visited,marching through towns where I have lived has all added to the fun. Prof Duffy has come up with another blinder of a book-don't miss it! With the new vol of the fLW rules winging their way soon from the U.S I too wonder what new armies will be there to tempt us all in the form of the army lists...The sunne has been a real tonic to morale here.Off for a wee seat and read...

Saturday 13 July 2013

On the road to Forbodia...

Can I confirm that Captain William Widdirington is currently en route to the fabled land of Forbodia, may Almighty God have mercy upon his soul...
His estimated time of arrival  is Monday having left the Duchy of Tradgardland this morning.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Hit by a match stick - sort of...

Plans are a great thing but sometimes they go adrift.Thought I was off to the hosp am for a very quick check-up but ended up unable to pass water at all at it and was there for hours.Have come home with a catheter and an op in 6-8 weeks looming.Have come home and lain prostate (pun intended) reading an Osprey book that the post had delivered and listening the cricket on Radio 4.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Captain Sir William Widdrington's Photo Album...

June 1913- Observing those splendid fellows from Army White on Maneuvers. Popping in to have tea with Franz Joseph afterwards...

Mid June 1913- In the charming town of Thun I stayed at the castle which is the HQ of Army Red/White. In the company of the General I watched a demonstration of communication with homing pigeons. I was invited to write a message home to my regiment which was duly tied to the leg of a pigeon. The pigeon was released and it flew to the home of the Army Red/White Military attache in London who forwarded the message by hand to my Mess. Splendid service I say!

July 1st  1913- In the Duchy of Tradgardland I was lucky enough to meet the Duke himself who kindly showed me the statue of St Hermes in the Palace garden. It is a splendid piece of work and most fitting as the saint is rather popular in these parts. Played afterwards as a guest player in a cricket match against the Guild of St Hermes team. My spin bowling proved a great success.Rather odd tea of pickled Herring and Herring ale taken at half time.

Thursday 20 June 2013

No basing today...

On Father's Day I thought I would do a useful and non-taxing task- the basing of Army Red/White. I had not got round to unpacking them after their journey South then North again by post. So I thought all I had to do was remove the bubble wrap and tissue then get started.Alas I was wrong. I fear I must not have packed them well enough as each figure I unwrapped was arm less, bicycle less etc etc. I stopped after three figures and put the task aside for another day.Too much to do at present .I will restart the job armed with glue when the holidays come...

Sunday 26 May 2013


I have finally had a chance to put some Army White troops onto their bases and into movement trays.They are the same as ones I saw at the FLW Centenary event belonging to Dr Morton. They are made by Warbases .
 Some figures in and out of the movement tray.
Finally the option I will be using for cavalry...

Post Cards etc

This morning in the Duchy of Tradgardland Library I came upon these interesting collection of cigarette,post and meat paste cards.i thought they might inspire a few new modelling projects for visitors to this blog...

Monday 20 May 2013

Loads of ideas but little has happened practically due to continuing tiredness and/or virus.However this arrived at the weekend along with a Britains 25pdr-
Needs some work done but will serve well .
I bought paints and brushes for the bases I bought from Warbases at Carronade Wargames Show but ,much to my annoyance,have done nothing with either yet.
Meanwhile on the workbench (in reality a rather nice biscuit (?) tin used to store paints and hold figures on upturned lid) my Army White mountain troops are waiting where they were at a week ago.Also waiting are some Army White cycle troops and various civilians. Energy/work/real-life permitting I will try to take these and the basing forward over the coming weeks.Finally a wee competition (just for fun) to identify the nationality of the soldiers below-
Off to watch RHS Chelsea coverage on television- viewing doesn't get much better than that...

Saturday 11 May 2013


Awoke around five with my mind filled with things I need to do for work over the next few weeks and beyond .I got up at six to distract myself.I am getting into that "sleeping less and less the more tired I get" cycle again and just feel exhausted all the time. Waking at nights unable to get off again and fretting.Here we go again...
Anyway I had a good time at Carronade yesterday.I met folk from my Edinburgh Uni &Legion Club days and it was good to see them. A number of games particularly caught my eye- A VBCW game with a great terrain and figures, a 54mm AWI battle which looked impressive and an ancients game in 28mm of an attack upon the Antonine Wall.Purchases were limited to bases and movement trays for my 54mm FLW armies ( Warbases came up trumps again) and a copy of the new Osprey steampunk rules for some solo gaming.I have enough bits and bobs lying around in the garage to give them a whirl.

Monday 6 May 2013

May Bank holiday...offensive cyclists

I'm off for a long weekend thankfully .Yesterday saw me clearing areas of ground prior to a house extension being built by moving loads of stone chippings. I did have time to find a couple of images pertaining to my 54mm figures and gaming.Firstly some interesting cyclists-
Not a very good photo but an interesting one.Sabre practice on bikes  it appears to be.Last weekend my Army Red cyclists were going to charge a limbered gatling gun. I wonder what was the offensive capabilities of cyclists and what this photo is saying...
I am not postulating Pax Limpopop style lancers on unicycles or the alike but wonder what might have occurred.
Second phto is an excuse to ask if anyone know of 54mm scale penny farthings,I'd rather not scratchbuild if at all possible.
I imagine the read armbanded figures are umpires maybe staff?

Thursday 2 May 2013

The Little Wars Centenary event...

Pop over to-

for the first of my posting about the great weekend!

Thursday 25 April 2013

Nearly there...

I wrote this (below) as my second blog post here in April 2009.Tomorrow the Centenary Competition takes place.It has been a journey to this point with much still to look forward to in 2014 and beyond.See you chaps soon...

"You can blame Elastolin if you like! I was taken to Switzerland as a ten year old boy- loved the country and the toy soldiers...
I collected the old composition Elastolin figures of the Swiss army of 1970 vintage as well as the historical 40mm hard plastic ones- Romans,Landsknects etc. I still have many to this day ,and countless moves later.
So I built upon this with books about the Swiss army as I grew older . Books which showed fascinating pictures of the Swiss Army in 1912 ( the so called Kaisermanouvers) WW1 and WW2. Thus my appetite grew. Many interests ( as we all do) came and went,were revisited or forgotten. The Swiss remained. All that was needed was a catalyst- in my case FLW being in a toysoldier magazine some time ago. I loved the article and the H G Wellsian pluck of Paul Wright. I emailed him,joined the Yahoo group in time and awaited the rules with enthusiasm. Now I have begun the army and look forward to 2013 and the Centenary competition that is planned. However their are lashings of fun to be had in the world of FLW before them I'll wager..."

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Nearly there chaps...

Well the time has nearly come (as the walrus might say) to talk of many things of army red & and army white, of plastic and of lead...
The chaps from Army Red/White are ready, as can be seen from the above photo, as they take a rest en route to Camberley .
News of the Army's progress will be relayed by this emerging and cutting edge technology.
See you soon!

Friday 19 April 2013

A meeting...

In the grounds of Thun Castle General Really-Constant converses with his chaplain Fr Chantry-Pigg and a recent visitor- Duke Albert of Tradgardland.The General has invited the enthusiastic, yet inexperienced, Duke onto his Staff for the Centenary Battles of next weekend. The Duke hopes to interest Army Red/White in the splendid new folding Pederson bicycle which is all the rage in Tradgardland.
The Army Red/White General is a slightly converted ( in terms of plume) resin figure from the Armchair General,the chaplain is a figure converted for me by Giles @ Dorset Soldiers in terms of the addition of a splendid biretta. Finally Duke Albert is a Tradition of London figure converted by me by the addition of  a balsa pack and folding bicyle made from a bicycle shape paper clip.
It was so warm this afternoon I was able to finish painting my mules in the garden .Spring has sprung I feel...

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Post moved today...

Army Red/White is guesting ove rat my other blog today-
Do pop over for some FLW related stories...

Tuesday 16 April 2013

New arrivals at Army Red/White Headquarters

Still recovering from his severe dose of paint  running ( as a result of varnishing yesterday) General Really-Constant, Commander in Chief of Army Red/White ( wearing the uniform worn by his ancestor in the Sonderbundskreige of 1847) greets new recruits for the forthcoming Centenary Games:
They will form part of the Staff of Really-Constant- the Danish Sailor will be the Signals officer, the representative of the C.S.A (continuing) will be Quartermaster and the splendid motorcycle rider will be a runner/ dispatch rider. The figures were painted splendidly  by and loaned by Al Front of http://alfront-wardiariesofalittleenglander.blogspot.co.uk/ who stout fellows will represent him in the forthcoming battles.
A super blog well worth dropping over to for an eclectic mix of posts which are always worth reading.

Monday 15 April 2013

Army Red/White on the march...

Army Red/White are currently mobilizing for the forthcoming H G Wells Centenary Games at Sandhurst.
                                               A unit of cyclists from the town of Thun
                                           An Infantry Unit also from the town of Thun
                                    A mountain gun and crew accompanied by a maxim gunner

                                             Dismounted Cavalry and accompanying machine gun

                                                 Staff  and signalers to follow...