Uniforms and Weapons
by Philip Smith and Joseph A. McCullough
Illustrated by: Mark Stacey
Find out more about this book and author:
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Genre: Art, Reference, Steampunk
Hardback: 156 pages
Steampunk Soldiers series:
Uniforms & Weapons from the Age of Steam
The American Frontier
In this modern world of personal cmputrs, cybernetic prosthetics, and supersonic train travel, where wars are as often fought in cyberspace as in the real world, it can often be hard to imagine a past where machines were loud, clunky, and inefficient.
Between 1887 and 1895, the British art student Miles Vandercroft travelled around the world, sketching and painting the soldiers of the countries through which he passed. In this age of dramatic technological advancement, Vandercroft was fascinated by how the rise of steam technology at the start of the American Civil War had transformed warfare and the role of the fighting man.
This volume collects all of Vandercroft's surviving paintings, along with his associated commentary on the specific military units he encountered. It is a unique pictorial guide to the last great era of bright and colourful uniforms, as well as an important historical study of the variety of steam-powered weaponry and equipment that abounded in the days before the Great War of the Worlds.
As steampunk is a genre that is popular due to its aesthetics, books such as this one that emphasize illustrations and visuals is perfect.
This book is a wonderful guide and reference to uniforms and weapons of soldiers from this genre representing several countries. Colorful images with brief descriptions of mostly the garb and guns run through this book.
I was amused with the description for a Highlander Battlesuit - "the suit also includes a built-in set of automatic bagpipes."
The illustrations were of frontal view of soldiers. In some instances, I would have liked to see more than one image. Different angles, back views and close-ups on the gear would enhance the guide - even if they were not Vandercroft originals.
* review copy courtesy of publisher