Thursday, 13 February 2014

A NEWLY RAISED REGIMENT

The Margrave and Margravina, accompanied by the Margrave's advisor Topfglanz (and Nibbins the cat) are reviewing the newly raised Regiment Peinwik (on the left) and the existing Margraviate Regiment Stoorkopf (on the right) on parade in the parkland.



The proud new Regiment


The new colours depicting the green cross of Trompenburg, some myrtle boughs and a syrinx.

Detail of the command group

Regiment are HAT 54mm Prussians. The older Regiment Stoorkopf is currently varnished with Klear floor polish, but this looks rather dull next to the glistening yacht varnish of the new chaps, so a revarnishing is in order. 

During painting one of the new regiment went missing, no doubt stolen by a small podgy 3 year old hand. He has yet to appear, so numbers are down to a 20 man unit (including command) instead of the planned 21.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

AN UNWELCOME VISITOR

The Margrave is having a bad day as he has just heard that Trompenburg's neighbour, The Prince Bishopric of Arnheim has despatched a new ambassador to Trompenburg. None other than the infamous Comte de Chocé-Topin, a man whose name is a byword for cruelty and depravity.

Feigning illness to allow time to compose himself, he sends his faithful councillor Topfglanz to meet the count at the newly erected Gothic Temple.


Comte de CT (in lavender coat) - "I am sorry to hear of your master's ...indisposition Topfglanz, I trust he will be fully recovered by this evening?"

Topfglanz (in green) - "His excellency the Margrave sends his apologies for not receiving you in person Comte, and begs you amuse yourself in his garden until it is time to dine at the palace."

Comte de CT - "Garden? I see no order or geometry about me. All is wild and uneven and in disarray as if nature has run riot. Do you have no canals or parterres such as we value in Arnheim? Where are your pleached avenues and patte d'oie. ? "

Topfglanz - " We do have such conceits my lord, but it is the Margrave's intention to grub them all up, sell his topiary and follow the English into a new Arcadia."

Comte de CT - " Tcha! Arcadia? That will result in many of your gardeners being dismissed will it not, with no miles of box and privet to trim or gravel paths to rake?"

Topfglanz - " I trust not my lord, and the odour of the box hedges disagrees with the Margravina, she keeps blaming her cat Nibbins for the smell."

Comte de CT - "Nevertheless, should your gardeners hear of these plans, there might be unpleasantness as there are many of them."

Topfglanz - "I pray not. Now Comte, what think you of the Margrave's new edifice in the Gothic style?. His new English designer Percival Longprong has been hard at work."

Comte de CT - " It is true that I find the Gothic style agreeable, reminding me as it does of sepulchres and tombs, but this building sets me in mind of another English architect, Sanderson Miller who has recently escaped from an English madhouse. Come Topfglanz, show me the prospect the temple commands."

As the pair walk to the temple, Old Hodge the gardener hobbles as fast as he is able towards the gardeners bothy.

Figures- Topfglanz by Eureka, Comte de CT and Hodge by Front Rank.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

A LITTLE LIGHT MUSIC FOR THE MARGRAVE

I have had these fellows on the workbench for a long while, but finally finished them off. Currently I am leaving my 54mm figures matt (apart from the military types) and gloss varnishing the 28mm. Any preferences from readers as I am unsure if that is the best thing to do?

Figures from Phoenix


The Margrave's favourite piece
Vivaldi concerto in D major for 2 violins and 2 cellos

Thursday, 16 January 2014

THE GENIUS OF THE PLACE



The two English Garden designers, Galahad Green and Percival Longprong have arrived in Trompenburg as Guests of the Margrave and Margravina. They are met in the park by their hosts and Nibbins, the palace cat.

Margrave- "My Dear Sirs, it is so good of you to travel to Trompenburg to help me in my design"

Green-"It was good of your Excellencies to invite us"

Margravina- "I trust and pray Master Longprong that you have brought some designs of temples to grace our garden?"

Longprong- "Indeed, I have drawn several designs of temples and grottoes which await your approval."

Margrave-"Splendid, I know you are ingenious in such designs, which is why I asked you here. I am determined that Trompenburg will follow the English and lead the rest of Europe away from such conceits as they still fancy over the border in Arnheim. There the trees still rise in cones , globes and pyramids and we see the mark of the scissors upon every plant and bush. I do not know whether I am singular in my opinion, but for my own part I would rather look upon a tree in all it's luxuriancy and diffusion of boughs and branches, than when it is cut and trimmed into a mathematical figure. (Joseph Addison)

Longprong- "I agree your excellency, there is nothing more shocking than a stiff regular garden." (Batty Langley)

Margravina- "I for one would prefer the loose tresses of a tree or plant that is easily fanned by every gentle breeze or air." (Stephen Switzer)

Green- "Madam, in your garden when we come to copy or imitate nature, we shall trace her steps with the greatest accuracy." (Batty Langley)

Margrave- "Come gentlemen, let us to the park and consult the Genius of the Place." (Alexander Pope)

Nibbins the cat- "Miaow." (Nibbins)

Figures- Green (in green) Phoenix, Longprong (in blue) Dolp, Margrave and Margravina are by Mokarex, Nibbins the cat Rose miniatures I think. Statue of Pan from Green Man and Gatekeeper.

Bracketed names after a speech are of the gardeners of the time who spouted the words originally.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

DAM HARD WORK

Work has commenced on the building of the dams needed to form a lake in the Margrave's garden. The gardeners have been issued their orders and commence digging, as they toil the conversation goes thus...

Laxton- "'Tis beyond me why anyone would want to flood this 'ere valley"

Old Hodge- "Arrr"



Ellison- "Oye reckon this 'ere dam will upset the miller down the way if it mucks up the flow of the brooks"

Old Hodge- "Arrr"



Grieve- "'Bain't be no use saying anything. What if this dam should fail when the lake is full? The village will be washed away"

Old Hodge- "Arrr"



Clod- "Best we build it decent then, lest we all be drownded in our beds"

Old Hodge- "Arrr"

Meanwhile Herr Knecht the head-gardener looks on and sups his ale.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

ALL GARDENING IS LANDSCAPE PAINTING

Two nobles from the Margrave of Trompenburg's court are walking in the palace parkland.



Noble 1- "It is indeed a pleasing vista is it not? A sweeping valley surrounded by wooded hills"

Noble 2- "I believe the Margrave is planning to dam some of the smaller valleys leading into this basin, and form a lake as part of his grand design."

Noble 1- "It is true he has an artist's eye, and I have often heard him say "" All gardening is but landscape painting"".

Noble 2- "I believe an English designer said something similar (William Kent) and his excellency is keen to follow the latest gardening ideas from England. He was a guest of Viscount Cobham of Stowe, whose garden is second to none, and I hear he has invited two English designers to Trompenburg to stay and advise the construction of his own Arcadia".


2 evenings of frantic painting and snarling at my sons to stay out of the attic has paid off. I have finally made and painted a backdrop for my wargames table, and in particular my Imagi-nation. Visitors of 18c gardens may (or may not) recognise that the skyline is based on that of Stourhead , Wiltshire, the most perfect (and over visited) English Arcadia. A Happy New Year to all readers.






Monday, 23 December 2013