Friday, 26 October 2012

Two new books in print

Two new books have just been added to the project.

Donald Featherstone's Complete Wargaming.

As with many of Donald Featherstone's books, there is a story behind the book. The first edition of Complete Wargaming in 1988 was an editorial shambles. The publishers wanted another wargaming book on their lists and so they turned to the author in British wargaming, who duly assembled some wargaming material that had not been used for his previous works. The publishers turned over the material to an editor who obviously knew nothing about wargaming and apparently nothing about history. The ideas, scenarios, rules and historical pieces were assembled into a random sequence that was based on efficient use of the page count; such as putting smaller pieces into the margins of the book wherever they fitted. Unfortunately, the lively correspondence between the author and the publisher as a consequence of this editing has not survived the passage of time. At some point, Donald Featherstone decided it was better to get the let the publisher get the book into print, 'wargamers, being a group of above average in intelligence and endeavour, would uncover the pieces of immediacy and use to them'. Upon reflection, this was probably the correct view.

Over twenty years later, the task of bringing order out of chaos and putting the chapters, sections and notes into a logical sequence fell to the editor with the assistance of Arthur Harman. As a result, the book has been completely restructured.

  Section 1: Introduction, Wargames Rules and General Themes/Ideas, Terrain, Forming a Wargame Club.

· Section 2: Scenarios and Period notes thereon in Chronological Order.

· Section 3: Reference, Bibliography, updated lists of wargame magazines, societies &c.

The second book is George Kearton's Guide to Collecting Plastic Soldiers 1947-87. Collecting toy soldiers in 1/32 scale (54mm) is a large hobby, in the UK, USA and other places. This was the book that was largely responsible for launching the hobby. The book is aimed at the collectors of plastic soldiers. 


  1. It was PLASTIC WARRIOR magazine that launched the hobby. The original version was published after PW Magazine was founded.
    In the new edition George says as much.

  2. It is always difficult to peer through the midst of time to work out what started the hobby. Probably a number of causes. Plastic Warrior (the magazine for collecting plastic soldiers) had a subscriber base of 100's and covered different collections of figures each issue. George's book sold several thousand and attempted to cover a wide range of what was out there in one go.