There is no doubting that Star Wars has been a very influential and driving force since its debut in 1977. So many movies have cashed in on the success and it almost singlehandedly created the notion of the summer blockbuster!
Over the years there have been lots of spin-offs from Star Wars, from toys and games to a thriving book industry and much more. It is the books that I want to take a quick look at here and how now may be the right time to pick up some real bargains if you shop around.
As you can tell from some of my posts and videos I collect and play Star Wars: Legion from Fantasy Flight Games and love the miniatures very much. Some of the miniatures are just simple generic models such as the Stormtroopers or the Rebel Troopers, while others are characters such Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and of course Darth Vader.
On the whole they also tend to paint up very well and even with my poor eyesight I have managed to do not to bad a job on my collection )which stands at two full core sets of rebels, one of the imperials and numerous characters and expansions), but sometimes I find myself watching one of the movies and pausing to make sure I get the details right.
It was by chance that I was in my local WH Smiths book store and came across a discounted copy of Star Wars: Rogue One A Visual Dictionary from Dorner Kindersley, the huge book specialist, and distributor. The book had been knocked down from almost twenty pounds to just seven pounds and I picked it up to just have a quick look through, with no intention of buying it.
I quickly skimmed through the pages of the book, which is extremely well laid out and presented, but aimed at younger readers and the word Star Wars Legion popped into my head. The next thing I knew I was leaving the store to pick my three-year-old son up from my wife so she could go back to work and carrying the book with me (after buying it of course).
Though the book is aimed at young readers and is very dumbed or watered down, it is packed from cover to cover with hundreds of stills from the movie, all in high quality and crisp and clear. This book has perfect details of the uniforms and weapons used in the movie, as well as some of the vehicles such as the TX-225 GAVw Occupier Combat Assault Tank ( a recent release for Legion).
This got me to thinking that if I could find this book cheaply and discounted, perhaps I could be lucky enough to find similar books from the DK Star Wars range of Visual Dictionaries cheaply too.
So far I have found some real bargains which are packed with hundreds of images, from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, too Force Awakens and Last Jedi and the Solo spinoff movie! Each book is hardbound and full colour and an ideal reference for painting guides for Legion or any other Star Wars miniature game, and even for cosplaying ideas too!
I also managed to get a copy of the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia which went up to the release of Force Awakens and covers the majority of characters seen on screen and named.
In total, all nine books, including postage cost me just under £26.00, with four of the books coming in at under a pound each and one at just a penny. The most expensive was the first one I bought in store at £7.00!
As you can see from the video below these are ideal as a reference and maybe something you have not thought of using as they often seen as aimed at young children. While the text presented is clear and concise it is not the real focus of the books which is the images!
Granted not all of them are brand new but all with the exception of one (Last Jedi which the previous owner had written their name over the first few pages) were in excellent condition! The only real downside to buying second hand from an online seller is you don’t really know what condition the book is going to be in when it arrives. On the whole, most are in perfect condition and in the past I have bought books that were listed as good condition only to find that they still had their shrink wrapping on them and were brand new! One book in nine with a few marks isn’t too much of a price to pay if you are going to get a lot of really crisp and clear reference details.
Because the books are old stock or second hand of older movies, they are dirt cheap on Amazon (much cheaper than eBay) and if you do a search for DK Star Wars Visual Dictionaries you will find loads!
You will, of course, need to alter the parameters once you have searched and organise them by lowest price first. Often this will come with a small shout out box that will state something like buy this book from a penny! I have bought many books this way in the past ten years or so from Amazon, mostly photography reference books, and it is a real money saver. Don’t forget to look for the deals that are often in the search description that will tell you the cheapest you can get the book for. Often a book may be as little as a penny but the postage will be around £2.00 which is not much to ask for at all!
Some of these books cost over £20.00 each when released and a few of the larger book stores still have them sitting at full price on their shelves.
As I mentioned earlier, these books are not only good reference for gamers and miniature painters, but if you are a cosplayer they can be a goldmine of reference information. Seeing as each uses high-quality photographs taken during the time of filming (often for test or continuity purposes) then they will be 100% screen accurate, allowing you to match details as closely as is possible!
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