For those who have read the inaugural issue of Painting War, the likely question being asked is if this issue is merely a repetition of the first. The easy answer is an emphatic NO – if anything this magazine exceeded my expectations and, as good as the first was, the publishers have found a way to improve on an already awesome magazine. This issue concentrates on the Napoleonic French Army. I was really impressed by what I saw.
The full color magazine, produced in Spain, has been expanded from 74 to 76 pages yet, not including the front/end pages, there are only 4 pages of advertisements inside the pages of the magazine. Rafael Perez “Archiduque” has beautifully painted 23 different figures from companies such as Capitan, Foundry, Front Rank, Perry, Victrix, Westfalia and an exclusive sculpt of General d’Espagne by Mike Broadbent. The figure is really quite impressive – there was no way I could outdo the painting skills of Mr. Perez so chose to scan the photo from the magazine instead. The figures in the magazine are simply stunning. The magazine describes painting techniques for faces, equipment, uniforms and horses, again, using the 3 color technique with Vallejo paints. A major difference between the painting techniques of Mr. Torregrossa (Issue 1) and Mr. Perez (Issue 2) is the latter’s more frequent use of color blends in his 3 step process as well as a frequent 4th (2nd highlight) step.
The magazine begins by going through a step by step description of painting a figure; several pages describe the painting techniques for 15 different colors. These are referenced in the figure pages – this is an excellent use of space as the reader can go back to review these pages without wasting space on the pages devoted to figures – this is an outstanding idea! There are a few filler pages discussing line infantry uniform changes over the era, infantry/cavalry rank insignia and pointed cuff variations. One page demonstrates his preferred method of painting bases – what I found extremely interesting is his technique of placing tufts of grass on the base before he paints it!
As in the inaugural magazine, no advertisements are present in the section devoted to the actual painted figure pages; I personally like the lack of distractions this permits. 46 pages are devoted to actual painted 25/28mm miniatures; this is slightly lower than Issue #1 but does not distract from the entire project. Examples of painted figures include standard and Guard infantry, assorted cavalry, artillery, gunner, officers, musicians and, of course, the obligatory figure of L’Emperor! A striking difference and definite improvement in this magazine is the use of standard colors listed at the bottom of the page that refer back to the 15 colors described earlier in the magazine. This frees up a lot of space, allowing the painter to describe even more color recommendations specific for each figure, something that appears essential for the very colorful Napoleonic era. This was my favorite change and a definite improvement over the first issue. As in the first magazine, extra information related to a wide variety of topics is included: the 1806 uniform, shakos, cuirass, voltigeurs, tirailleurs, weapons, gunners and how to paint leopard skin blanket, to name just a few. With the added information related to the specifics of each figure, the “Did you know” little known facts now add to the enjoyment on each page.
As with Issue #1, the visual information in this book remains striking. While I fully enjoyed reading and looking through the initial issue, I found the presentation of this magazine to be a significant improvement on the original concept and worth the $30 cost. I am looking forward to Issue #3, related to the Pacific War. Painting War is a magazine that should be on everyone’s “gotta have” wish list.