Today I picked up these two titles in our excellent local second hand book store. The German uniform guide, which dates from 1973, is packed full of interesting details. In truth a lot of it will be wasted on my painting skills but I predict that some cuff bands will appear on my Germans pretty soon. I'm also tempted to pick up the Warlord general staff set for the bling.
The Blandford title goes back to 1974. The illustrations, all based on contemporary photos, are very pleasing to study. They include some uniforms I have never seen before, such as an Italian Liberation Corps officer, in British uniform with Bersaglieri feathers on his helmet. There is a French mounted officer of Moroccan rifles in Italy, wearing a fabulous striped djellabah (sleeved over-garment). The fact that every figure is based on a real person brings home how much dress differed from the regulations. I doubt I'll ever collect a French colonial force (although never say never, I didn't expect to own a Cossack 17th century army but there they now are in the cupboard!). But the figures for late war Western Europe provide loads of inspiration. In fact, I think figure 166 alone is enough to inspire me to start a German Grenadier platoon.
I spend hours trawling through the Internet for uniform information and scenario ideas and it is a wonderful resource. But turning the pages of a book, especially when it's a charity shop find, is strangely satisfying.