|We are attempting to collate disparate information sources into a central pool and challenge some dubious 'facts'|
The process of compiling our uniform and unit history guides is one I enjoy very much. I liken it to cold-case detection work or forensic accounting... that doesn't sound hugely exciting but in fact, the activity is absorbing and extremely rewarding.
I do not see myself as an author. In our hobby many people working under that flag pretty much rehash other source work in a slightly different form. This seems to me to be a misuse of the job title as the word author implies originality.
|There must always be some speculation as not everything is available|
Having sent some of our new pdfs out to a friend (and customer) recently, he used a very apposite word to label what he had received. He described it as a great synthesis of research. I liked that.
|Getting lots of source material together is a start but sorting through it is something else|
It sums up well what the compilation work involves. Reading as widely as possible to cross refer as many sources as are available in order to validate a fact or challenge a questionable convention. Being able to see through the propaganda content of many pieces by understanding the author's background, political leanings and the time and context in which the piece or book was written is very helpful. Who was it written for? Why was it written? How objective is the content on a scale of say 1-9?
|There are still hidden gems to be re discovered|
The physical activities involved in producing these guides begins with first acquiring lots of source material. Then you need time, lots and lot of time. A questioning or skeptical attitude, lateral thinking, the ability to stay on task even when you are lured away by the siren calls of numerous internet links, patience and low expectations are also useful. The last point is of particular value as often you can spend a three hour session trawling to come up with the square root of nothing new.
|Simplifying and making things quicker is what it's about|
Clicking on a link which then takes you through up to 10 links which all can expand exponentially thus creating the situation where you can't actually remember where you started, what you were looking for or how to get back happens quite lot.
The response to our pdf guides has been very positive and I have veered a little away from my original criteria which was somewhat Name, Rank, Number! only in the form: Unit, Dress, Flags! Unit histories and associated personalities reveal so much more and create a more complete picture which may influence gamers and collectors to choose to create one unit instead of another.
I will continue with my solitary but very agreeable task as it keeps me out of the public houses and away from dubious foreign locations where men of a certain age find themselves occasionally. I will also continue to describe myself as a synthesiser and not an author. I will leave that claim to those who see themselves in a different light.