Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Posts Tagged ‘Books’

One good turn deserves another

Posted by Martin on January 30, 2012

Peter, Markus and Markus' new Bavarian book.

Peter, Markus and Markus' new Bavarian book.

With all this disharmony over the Eurozone, I’m delighted to report that there’s at least one area in which Anglo-German relations remain on friendly terms: uniformology.

Over the last few months, I’ve been helping Peter Bunde with the English translations for his Brigade Uniform Plates. To be honest, Peter’s English is already very good indeed (far better than my German) but I think he finds it helpful to have a native English-speaker check things over to make the phrasing natural and use the correct English uniform terms. My recent credits include Plate 253: Westphalian Landwehr Cavalry and Plate 255: Elbe Landwehr Cavalry (among others) though all the credit really belongs to Peter for his extensive research.

In return for helping out, Peter has sent me a few plates as gifts but I was unprepared for the generous gift that arrived last week: a signed copy of Peter’s new book which he has co-written with Markus Gartner and Markus Stein. Die Bayerische Armee 1806-1813 is a follow-up to their earlier book about the Saxon Army that I wrote about back in 2010. This new volume is part of the same series and follows a very similar format. It’s packed with highly detailed and thoroughly researched information. Even if you can’t read the German text, there’s plenty to enjoy in the selection of illustrations. The vast majority are in full colour and include ones from noted historical uniformology sources, Peter’s own Brigade Uniform Plates and a couple of illustrations commissioned from Patrice Courcelle, including the front cover of the book itself.

This is probably the most useful 80 pages about the Napoleonic Bavarian army that you could ever hope to find and it compares very favourably against the similarly sized Osprey volume.

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New Saxons book

Posted by Martin on February 3, 2010

New Saxon book by Bunde et al.

New Saxon book by Bunde et al.

I’ve just picked up the news of the publication of a new book about the Saxon army, 1810-13, from a posting on TMP by BfK friend Stephen Summerfield. Despite the minor inconvenience of it in being written in German and published in Germany, I still feel very excited by it, especially since it is co-authored by another of our BfK friends, Peter Bunde.

Die Sächsische Armee 1810-1813 is written by Peter Bunde, Markus Gärtner and Markus Stein and published by Preußische Bücherkabinett in association with Andrea Press as part of their “Heere und Waffen” series. Which means I feel another connection to this book because I’ve visited the publisher’s shop in Berlin myself in the past and I thoroughly recommend it if find yourself in the city. The book runs to 64 pages in paperback with colour illustrations. According to Stephen these are large format reproductions of many contemporary illustrations including those of Baldauf, Sauerweid, Opitz, Schrader, Beyer and the Augsbilder plates as well as additional illustrations by Patrice Courcelle. If you click on the “Vorschau” link in the page, you can see previews of several pages of the book.

For those who struggle with German, here’s my slightly iffy translation of the blurb:

“No army of the German Confederation states was subject to such a fundamental change in organization and uniform as the Saxon forces of the Napoleonic era. Based on the experience of the campaigns of 1806/07 as an ally of Prussia and 1809 as an ally of France, a major reform of the Saxon army was carried out.

Issue 13 of the Heere un Waffen series portrays this new Saxon army in numerous contemporary accounts, in plates by Patrice Courcelle and Edmund Wagner as well as in computer drawings of all the regiments by Dr. Peter Bunde. A description of the war record completes the presentation of this issue and puts a good, comprehensive introduction to the organization, uniforms and history of the Saxon army 1810-1813 in the hands of the reader.”

All in all, at under 20 Euros, this looks like a must-have for me.

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Painting Miniatures by Danilo Cartacci

Posted by Martin on March 18, 2009

Painting Miniatures by Danilo Cartacci

Painting Miniatures by Danilo Cartacci

I don’t paint larger scale miniatures but I do appreciate the artistry of those who work at 54mm and above. I also think that although the tools and techniques for 28mm miniatures are different, there’s often much to learn and admire from those people who create such display case masterpieces.

One of the most celebrated such artists (and I choose that word deliberately) is the Italian painter Danilo Cartacci who, among other things, is the virtual house painter for Pegaso Models. His creations have won shelf-fuls of awards at international shows for many years and I’m delighted to say that he often chooses Napoloenic subjects. In 2007, Auriga Publishing published Danilo’s book Painting Miniatures in English, Italian and (I think) German editions. The print run was limited but that only enhanced the sought-after status of the book and it’s currently out of print. However, I was recently able to acquire a mint condition copy of the English language edition and it now has pride of place as my favourite bedside reading / eye candy.

The book is an A4 softback of over 120 pages and Danilo takes a logical route through how he tackles many of the most demanding aspects of figure painting – flesh, clothing, metallics, uniform markings, chivalry, flags, natural materials like leather and fur and horses. Each section is generously illustrated with step by step colour photographs and precise details of the paints, brushes and other materials or tools used. No secrets are held back. Choices of paints, brushes, tools, putties. lighting are all discussed in detail and the last 20-odd pages are given over to a breathtaking gallery of completed works.

Throughout, the production values, design and photography in the book put other hobby titles to shame. If I have one criticism, it’s that some of the translation from Italian to English gets me scratching my head. But it doesn’t take too long to work out that “veils” should have ben translated as “washes” and so on.

Hopefully a reprint will be on the cards so that more people can enjoy and learn from this Italian master.

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Summerfield free sample extracts

Posted by Martin on January 15, 2009

Following on from my last post, you’ll probably know that Dr. Stephen Summerfield is an occasional commenter here at BfK. After I mentioned the publication of his two new Prussian books, we had some e-mail correspondence which has resulted in what I hope will prove to be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Stephen sent me final drafts of both books and offered to let me choose a short extract from each to make available for people to see here at BfK with his and the publisher’s consent. I’m not going to disguise that this is something of a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back” thing but I’m also hoping that this will also perform a public service for those of you who are considering adding either or both of these two volumes to your bookshelves and would like a sneak preview of them before deciding to part with hard earned cash. I know there’s a fair degree of curiosity already because questions about both books have already started to appear over at TMP.

If things go as intended, you’ll get an advance view of what the books are like, Stephen and his publisher will pick up some publicity / sales and I’ll get a boost to BfK’s traffic and reputation.

So the only remaining difficulty was to choose which extracts to ask Stephen to let me have. I’ve spent the last couple of evenings mulling this over rather like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop and it’s been a tough choice so forgive me if I haven’t picked extracts of direct interest to you. I confess that in the end I allowed my own selfish motiviations to drive my choice. As regular readers will know, I’m gradually trying to paint up the units of Borstell’s 5th brigade so I’ve chosen extracts relevant to that:

These extracts are PDF files and also include the Tables of Contents for each volume.

Both books are published by and available from Partizan Press which is a part of Caliver Books. So all that remains to say is “thank you” to Stephen and to Dave Ryan at the publishers for giving permission for these extracts to be made available here.

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