Saturday, 21 March 2015

Welcoming an old friend


The cover is a still from the film Waterloo which, despite my enthusiasm for the campaign I did not get to see until came out on Video. I have NEVER seen this film on the big screen! The picture is also of the softback version.

I have often mentioned my fondness for the 1815 Waterloo campaign and how my interest - despite a lull in the early 1980s - has by and large stayed with me since the early 1970s. I have amassed a modest library devoted to various aspects of the campaign and represents a selection of titles both old and new. I will post later about the contents of the library but for now I wanted to share with you the latest arrival to the man cave in the shape of the book you see above.

Back in the early 1970s my Napoleonic interest was fueled by a combination of the 20mm Airfix plastic figures, A Near Run Thing by David Howarth and the Airfix Magazine Guide on the subject by Bruce Quarrie. I should also add in Charge and the two Funcken titles but for 1815 the book above was a godsend. My copy was a paperback version and to my knowledge I have gone through no less than three copies as it was notoriously badly bound and would disintegrate after repeated use. I knew there was a hardback version but my teenage finances would not run to the £4.50 - I would have rather purchased boxes of Airfix figures instead!

Ugo Pericoli was responsible for the uniforms for the film Waterloo and essentially the book is almost a guide to the battle with lots of full page uniform plates. It is rather like a Blandford title although I prefer this to their Uniforms of Waterloo - if only because the full colour plates are so inspiring. I was absolutely delighted to have secured a hardback version of this book and so the early section of my 1815 library is now complete.

16 comments:

Ken Reilly said...

One of my favourite books from my youth, almost had it on permanent loan from the library, don't know how it would stand up to modern research but great for its time.

David Crook said...

Hi Ken,

I am unsure as to how accurate the details would be in the light of more modern research but for sheer nostalgia and as reasonable guide it is hard to beat. I probably would want to delve a little deeper if I was ever going to paint a 54mm figure!

It reminded me of some very happy gaming times though so was worth getting in again.

All the best,

DC

arthur1815 said...

I think the illustrations superior to those in Funcken and the Blandford Waterloo, and the level of detail is more than sufficient to paint wargame figures. I have a sadly tattered paperback copy and would only part with it for a hardback one!
Regards,
Arthur

legatus hedlius said...

I have this too but the paperback version. I loved this book when I was younger, in my Airfix days, and would have been stunned at the time to see how many of the troop types became available in 20mm plastic!

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

David,

I had a feeling that you were going to go down this route, despite your protestations to the contrary.

All the best,

Bob

Jonathan Freitag said...

Still one of my favorites. Mine is in hardback too but the French edition.

Sun of York said...

An excellent book and one I still use. Very good on the British and French but seems to me they ran out of space for the other nationalities.

David Manley said...

This is the book that got me into Napoleonic wargaming (actually it was my brothers and he ad the 2 Funken books but they were expensive so I wasn't allowed to muck about with them). Still have my copy - plus his Funkens now :)

David Crook said...

Hi Arthur,

I have seen paperback versions kicking around but all seemed as though they would be disintegrating in fairly short oredr which was a shame. The hardback version cost me £10 and is certainly money well spent!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Legatus,

That is very true indeed - even Dutch Belgians are available in plastic these days. I can remember fielding a unit of Brunswick Jager fashioned from Airfix slouch hat Confederates - and being very pleased with my ingenuity!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

You may think that....but I couldn't possibily comment....

Seriously though, I cannot see me tackling this using figures although perhaps a small part may feature.

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Jonathan,

It is a really inspirational book - I wonder how popular the French version was though? ;-)

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Son of York,

That is true re the other nations - although some of the plates are pretty good for the Dutch Belgians.

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi David,

Getting copies of the Funckens now would be nice although I doubt they would be cheap. I assume you dont muck around with them now they are yours!

All the best,

DC

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I must have been about 10 or 11 when the film came out and remember seeing it at the cinema.. may be even twice... like you I was very much in Napoleonics back then - oodles of boxes of Airfix French Line infantry...

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

I remember hacking up a box of French Cavalry and turning them into British Heavy Dragoons. Also converting British Infantry into 95th riflemen and also into foot artillery crew.

I did not get to the film until the 80s though, when it came out on VHS.

All the best,

DC