All has been rather quiet on the binding front lately... Well, no it hasn't, I'm just afraid none of it has filtered back onto the blog for a number of reasons, one being work picking up again and another being that I promised an in-depth step-by-step blog post showing going from separate booklets to the lovely, leather-bound compiled volume. That is forthcoming (honest) but is still a WIP in terms of blog post.
In the meantime though... exciting news! Well, for me anyhow. The first volume (ironically Volume 3!) is now finished!
On Sunday I took another trip to the studio of the very excellent Stephen Glendenning in Frome who guided me expertly through the final stages of this volume of much-loved 3rd Edition rules.
This volume was the start of this project, a falling-apart relic from my youth which I wanted to salvage and give the binding it deserved for having nurtured me through such a long period of collecting, painting and gaming. When i first met Stephen he took a good look at it and, thanks to the lousy quality of GW's binding back in the day, indicated that for him to rebind the rulebook would be a very costly piece of work. However, for about half the cost I could spend 15 hours working alongside him and learning how to bind it myself. Of course, that meant I could then do the same on other volumes... the idea for the Encyclopaedia Warhammica was born! At the same time GW blew up the Old World and began their glorious new Age of Sigmar, so this seemed a fitting tribute to the 'official' passing of the Warhammer world and system as we knew it.
15 hours turned into a somewhat longer period. Probably about 25 hours in total were spent on this beauty, but Stephen was very good and didn't rush me or charge extra for the additional hours taking up half his beautiful studio-come-study. Even if an attempt to soak the covers off the original bookends did leave the studio smelling of fish! Not sure what glue they were using back then....
The endpapers of this book are hand-marbled (not by me!) and very beautiful. Not sure every book will get this treatment but for this special volume, well worth the extra cost.
I didn't just want to rebind the rulebook as it was, so there are a few extras in here. One being a print of my favourite Blanche artwork- the Amazonia Gothique. I managed to get Tony Ackland and Tony Yates to fill in some of the Arcane Armorials from the Citadel Journals for the second volume, I wonder if John Blanche himself could be persuaded to do me a little sketch to adorn this one?
Which has had some pages from White Dwarf added to expand the available army lists, Norse...
...and of course the Fimir! I've learnt a huge amount about the construction of books in this process. And it's been very interesting comparing GW's binding through the ages. The booklets of 1st and 2nd needed dismantling and putting into gathers, the books of 3rd were individual pages that needed gathering and the books of 4th and 5th were really quick to sew into larger volumes since they were already in sewn gathers. Then at the end of 6th the army books began to be cheaper 'loose pages and glue' construction again and this continued throughout 7th. The 8th edition hardbacks are, naturally, in gathers as far as I can tell. But even that progression isn't totally consistent, since Slaves to Darkness has nice, sewn gathers and The Lost and the Damned has cheap 'loose pages and glue' binding... maybe why it's rare- it tends to fall apart! Also, the General's Compendium is different to the other 6th Edition volumes in being cheap loose page binding whilst almost everything else is in gathers. Maybe because it's an American printing? Appendix 1 (Advanced Heroquest, Warhammer Quest and Mordheim) has all these types of binding so I'm using that as the subject of the 'how I did it' post so as to be pretty comprehensive.
The back endpapers are also pretty!
And on the back cover a handy reference table.
Looking good on the shelf alongside volumes 1, 2, 4 and 4a (leather bound and waiting for labels), 4b (gathered and sewn and awaiting covers) and volume 6-to-be. 5 is in the process of being gathered right now. Hopefully before Christmas the set will be complete! Thanks for lookin' and I look forward to playing as many of you as possible using my mighty tomes of reference!