RomanArmyTalk

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To be honest about artists.

I have worked with three types.

One. You tell him what you think / want. You supply museum images and passage excrepts and he does it. In the end the only argument is you wanted more dark and did the image more luminous but it just a matter of opinion.

Second. You tell him what you think / want. You supply museum images and passage excrepts and he calls you a few times in the middle of the night asking reassurance for his insecurities or asking again what you explained him in the previous call. Plus you got to correct the mistakes he did during "bursts of inspiration" and he thinks you suppress his creativity.

Third. I did not like his style nor his inspiration and his "artistic licence" - too much of it in my opinion. But the boss liked him.
I gave the article under a pen name-I needed the gold!

But RAT is here and at least the majority of artists except viewing it probably belong to type one and type two. Muses be praised!

Artists! What we would do with out them?
Newbie here. I see that the Osprey books run 'hot and cold", with some not worth the paper they are written on. OK, but anyone want to list a couple of quality ospreys?
My interest is Roman Imperial coinage, but I just started the 2 volume "Coinage and History of the Roman Empire" by Vagi, and am getting hooked on the various wars, conflicts, plots, etc. When I get into something, I play "sponge" for a while, so any comments on a few ospreys that are worth the price????

Ross Cowan

Quote:Artists! What we would do with out them?

Indeed!

I always liked the drama and action of Angus McBride's work, but was never keen on his bulked-up, steroid-enhanced figures. However, he did stick fairly closely to my designs (though sometimes he added extras which I didn't like at all). I was told by my first editor at Osprey that he was difficult to deal with and would never make corrections to his work, but he did to one painting - plate A in Roman Legionary, 58 BC - AD 69. However, Osprey printed the uncorrected version! (The corrections were minor - plain belt plates, and small changes to the pilum diagram.)

If I had the chance, I'd make changes to all of the plates in my three Osprey books, the problem being my designs rather than the artists' work. However, I think that plate F of Roman Legionary turned out rather well (Teutoburg scene) - and Angus McBride created that from what was a fairly vague outline. I also like plate F of Imperial Roman Legionary (II Parthica vs. Praetorians in AD 218), though I will concede that I should have specified helmets for the soldiers, the shield blazons are too speculative and I dislike the way Angus McBride put II Parthica's eagle in what looks like an over-sized budgie cage, rather than the type of cage depicted on the tombstone of Felsonius Verus.

Cheers,

R
Ross wrote..
Quote:but any Osprey author will admit that the publisher is more interested in colourful and dramatic plates than the text.

Maybe that is why in Nic Fields' Roman Auxiliary Cavalryman AD 14–193
(Warrior 101) there are colour plates of soldiers wearing third century helmets?!
Adrian wrote:
Quote:Maybe that is why in Nic Fields' Roman Auxiliary Cavalryman AD 14–193
(Warrior 101) there are colour plates of soldiers wearing third century helmets?!
.

I thought there were a lot of plates in that book which related to the army in general rather than the cavalry in particular, such as the recruitment and medical services scenes. Also the training scene showing a cavalry charge revealed little variety in the equipment or troop types etc... overall from an illustration point of view it was disappointing and seemed as if they were short on ideas but played safe perhaps with both author and illustrator!

There was some criticism from Robert that my second volume of Osprey Roman Military Clothing did not have enough late figures shown in any detail. I said at the time that on second thought I should have painted one Plate with three figures that appeared instead as b&w source drawings. Robert will be pleased to know that I have now done them for my latest book.

And yes I spend too much time on RAT but it makes a break now and then from painting and drawing Romans!

However if any RAT authors here want to work with me on any other Osprey titles I would be pleased to do so. The obvious choices are the 'Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan' and 'the Roman Army from Hadrian to Constantine', which need updating! Any takers???

Otherwise I think the other Osprey books by RAT's Duncan and Ross are damned good because they deal with specialist aspects of the Roman army and you would be hard pushed to find any other titles which deal with those same subjects in such a concise and handy format.

Graham.
Quote:Otherwise I think the other Osprey books by RAT's Duncan and Ross are damned good because they deal with specialist aspects of the Roman army and you would be hard pushed to find any other titles which deal with those same subjects in such a concise and handy format.
Thank you, Graham -- very kind of you to say so. Smile
Quote:Maybe that is why in Nic Fields' Roman Auxiliary Cavalryman AD 14–193 (Warrior 101) there are colour plates of soldiers wearing third century helmets?!
I found it reviewed here: antoninuspius.blogspot.com/2007/08/pride-of-roman-cavalry.html

Ross Cowan

Quote:Maybe that is why in Nic Fields' Roman Auxiliary Cavalryman AD 14–193(Warrior 101) there are colour plates of soldiers wearing third century helmets?!

I suspect a rush job. I am amazed at how many titles N. Fields has written for Osprey over the last few years: LOTS! I couldn't work at his rate.

For skinny wee books, you'd think they'd be easy to write, but the plates process takes up most of the time and means the text is always completed in a rush. Hence the errors that creep in. And by the time you complete the text, you realise there are problems with the plate designs, but it's too late!

Quote:Otherwise I think the other Osprey books by RAT's Duncan and Ross are damned good because they deal with specialist aspects of the Roman army and you would be hard pushed to find any other titles which deal with those same subjects in such a concise and handy format.

Many thanks, Graham! I'm looking forward to your forthcoming book on Roman clothing (Tempus).

Cheers,

R
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