Announcing my Upcoming Book – and Art Contest!

I have mentioned this before, but this is the first time I have formally announced it – I am writing a reference book on French military rifles, to be titled “Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles 1866-2016”. The manuscript is nearly complete, and photography is being done next week. We have created a web site for book news and updates –

In addition, between now and October 15th we are running a contest to design the cover art for the book. I am looking for a faux leather, antiquarian sort of theme – there are several example images on the site. If you are an amateur artist who would like to contribute a part of this project, you can find an entry submission for on the web site – and the winner will receiver a Premium copy of the book with some cool extra goodies. Two other entries will also receive signed copies of the book, one for the winner of a popular choice vote, and one for a runner-up chosen by myself and James Rupley (my photographer).

The site also includes a signup for email notifications about the book, including pre-orders, when they are started later on (once the book is closer to publication). So, check it out!


  1. Very happy for you, even if I’m really not a fan of contest to design things a pro would have done… As a freelance myself, we have a motto : never work for free.

      • I understand the sentiment, but an uncle wrote several books, photograph coffee table books of a sort, and did it because he wanted to, not to make money. The income he received for all that work over several years was probably 10 cents an hour.

  2. Not really relevent but all the same.
    We are cleaning the attic in my wifes familly home here in south west france
    One of the things I sorted yesterday was a chest with all the magazines received during the first war by my wifes great grandmother
    These magazines were intended for woman and one was an edition talking about womans contributin to the war effort not only by french woman but the allies belgian serb etc
    What caught my attention was the close up cover photo of a young french woman leaning over an artillery shell in a lath
    It also mentioned that 5000 copies were distributed for free at the front
    Ian you should not forget the naughty postcards that were a feature of that era What is amusing is that although the solders uniforms are correct the rifles are often chassepots not lebals I think my favorit has the women saying I brought my 2 grenades and the solder responding with and I brought my 75 milimetre

  3. I am only an artist in the repair of firearms and most things mechanical, so I can not help you with a cover, but I am stating right now I am chomping at the bit waiting for the email (I already signed up) to pre-order my premium signed first edition!!!

  4. I’ve been watching your videos in a vehement manner for a few months now as a nightcap. A close friend of mine made me aware of this “contest” albeit, I view it much more as giving back. I’ve been commercial, and freelance for around 15 years and will be giving you a submission. By all means, please make me aware of where to send the art.

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