Regular readers and followers will of course know of my three self-published books Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers, Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 1 - Building Wargame Terrain, however not everyone will know the stories and inspiration behind these projects.
The original book or as I like to call them guides was produced as a direct result of comments on this Blog asking for more details concerning my scratch-built wargame terrain - examples of which can be found throughout the Blog. In an unashamed vanity project I decided one News Years day that my New Years Resolution was to produce a book detailing new and never before seen models and articles showing how I build my terrain models used in my wargames. Book one or Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 1 - Building Wargame Terrain was the result and all the models and the text was completed in under 12 months. The publishing of the book (using a UK based publisher) was an education one that caused a number of sleepless nights and was not without its problems. But I successfully produced what I thought would be the one and only book.
Sales proved to be a success and a second (and third) run was commissioned and again sold out. At the same time I found that my cottage industry of producing masters for casting in resin and writing magazine articles also flourished. So Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain was planned and produced. The title was a little obvious, but I think it portrays the content well.
Then I was asked, actually commissioned by Pen and Sword to write a series of books on building wargame terrain and structures and this would obviously become my main focus in 2017. However before starting, I set out to complete the trilogy and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers was a spur of the moment decision to both include more tutorials and publish some articles that had been missed when different internet sites had closed down.
I can confirm that the three books have been commercial successes with profits from Guide No. 1 being used to produce Guide No. 2 and the advance from the Pen and Sword book being used to produce Guide No. 3. Yes I have to pay for the complete production runs up-front. (Quite a burden).
The main lessons learnt in planning, writing and producing these books is that there is an awful lot of planning and sitting at the computer writing, re-writing and spell checking and this work would not have been possible without the help and in-put of my daughter Holly who both edited and formatted the electronic layouts for all three books. Similarly my wife, Sue had to put up with me making the models, photographing the steps and then agreeing to allow me to use savings to pay for the production of book one.
As you can see this has been a labour of love and has taken many hours of work.
With the production of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers I feel that I have passed on many of my tips and techniques that I use to model and paint my terrain pieces. I have already stated that the layout of the books owes much to The Airfix Guides that I read as a teenager and still enjoy browsing. Similarly the comments and responses to the books have been well above those that I had expected and as I have written before - thank you to all who have supported these publications and bought copies.
I do not expect a Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 4 but would not be surprised if one was to be squeezed out in the future. For now the Pen and Sword books and regular magazine articles are taking up most of my modelling time, although as regular followers will know the odd - scratch built 'master' does get produced on a regular basis. The first Pen and Sword Book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and should be published in September this year. See the Blog for regular updates.
My future plans have always included digital copies being produced and recent comments have been pushing me in that direction so keep and eye out for news, but not in the short term. Sorry.
I would like to once again thank everyone who has supported these books with comments and most importantly committing to purchasing copies as without this support none of these books would have made it into print. And finally, there are some (limited) copies of More Wargames Terrain and Models For Wargamers still available. For details see the links to the right.