The two volumes of John R Elting\'s Napoleonic Uniforms crashed onto my desk with an impact that tumbled my 28mm Romans and shook the battleship Iowa from the top of my monitor.

Through the smoke and the haze I heard the question. “Do you want to review these?”

“No”, I thought as I flipped open to a random page, “I want to own these!”

And I doubt that I\'m the only one.

The new edition of Napoleonic Uniforms being issued by the combined forces of Casemate Publishing and Greenhill Books is probably one of the most beautiful books of militaria ever produced.

A pair of A4 tomes bound in red cloth and held in a similar slipcase, the books contain over 900 illustrations depicting the uniforms of every regiment within the Grande Armée. Painted by Herbert Knötel in a sketchy watercolour style, the color plates perfectly capture the feel of the era and the figures they contain are imbued with a sense of character and nobility. All of the illustrations are accompanied by a short commentary by John R Elting discussing the regiment and its uniform.

Although the format may sound familiar to Osprey fans, this book is so much more than a king-sized Men-at-Arms. It is a work of art unto itself.

Sadly, I know that most people\'s book buying budget will not extend to the $300 price tag (or even the $250 special for pre-orders), but if you are one of the lucky few I don\'t see how you can go wrong adding this to your collection.