Military - Vintage Airfix


Military books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service - By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft - By Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor - By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- FV430 Series - By Robert Griffin. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & Variants - By David Doyle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- M7 Priest - By David Doyle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Painting Wargaming Figures: WWII in the Desert - By Andy Singleton. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Panther Tanks: Germany Army and Waffen-SS - By Dennis Oliver. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- T-54/55 - By Robert Jackson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Tank Destroyer - By Dennis Oliver. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945 - By Dennis Oliver. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic Wars - By Tony Harwood. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- 10 Commando - By Ian Dear..
- 1000 Days on the River Kwai - By Colonel Cary Owtram..
- 16 Air Assault Brigade - By Tim Ripley..

 


 

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Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service

By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British ServiceDescription:

The Hawker Hunter is one of Britain’s classic post-war jet aircraft. Initially introduced in 1954 as a swept-wing, transonic, single-seat day interceptor, it rapidly succeeded the first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor (see Flight Craft 13) and the de Havilland Venom. Powered by the then newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, the Hunter’s performance transformed the RAF’s day fighter squadrons from the mid-1950s until the advent of the English Electric Lightning from the early 1960s (see Flight Craft 11).

Even then, as successively improved variants of the type were produced with increasingly more capable engines and expanded fuel capacity, the Hunter successfully transitioned into a strike/ground attack fighter-bomber and fighter reconnaissance platform. Two-seat variants were developed for training and other secondary roles with the RAF and the Royal Navy and a few remained in use until 2001, albeit with specialised MoD Test and Evaluation units – well over forty years after the type’s initial introduction. Hunters were also famously used by two RAF display teams, the ‘Black Arrows’, who looped a record-breaking twenty-two Hunters in formation, and later the ‘Blue Diamonds’ as well as the Royal Navy’s ‘Blue Herons’.

The Hunter saw combat service with the RAF in a range of conflicts including the Suez Crisis as well as various emergencies in the Middle East and Far East. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with many foreign air forces, in which it also saw active service, which unfortunately lies outside the scope of this particular publication. Almost 2,000 Hunters were manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Aviation, as well as being produced under licence overseas and will remain one of the UK’s most iconic aircraft designs of all time.

Vintage Airfix Review:

For any enthusiast and/or modeller of the Hawker Hunter this book will be like catnip, you’ll find yourself drooling over every page. For it is ‘every’ page that has outstanding images of this classic post war aircraft.

As you would expect for a book in the Flight Craft series, there are some kit reviews and colour schemes and markings. There’s also a detailed section of the cockpit which will aid you in your kits cockpit detail.

A beautifully written book arranged in chronological order with a lot of helpful detail for the modeller.

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Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft

By Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation AircraftDescription:

It could be argued that the heyday of British military aircraft flight testing began in the 1940s, and continued throughout the three decades that followed, during the so-called Cold War period, and as such, the authors have purposely chosen the first 30 years, The Golden Years, 1945 to 1975, from the end of World War Two until the mid-1970s, as this was arguably the most exciting period with many wonderful and new types rubbing shoulders with wartime and immediate post-war designs that were utilised for development purposes, making for an eclectic mix of shapes and colour schemes.

Alongside the technical aspects of military testing and development, are the many and varied colour schemes and markings carried by the aircraft themselves – not only by the brand-new experimental designs, but by existing production machines, suitably modified, to greater or lesser degrees, to develop the technical advances in systems and weaponry.

Scores of different aircraft types are covered in British Military Test & Evaluation Aircraft The Golden Years 1945 - 1975, with over 65 rarely seen contemporary photographs from private collections, and, differing slightly from previous Flight Craft book formats, over 50 pages of specially commissioned full colour profiles and plan views, visually chronicling the diverse range of colour schemes and markings applied to these fascinating aeroplanes.

Compiled by Neil Robinson and Martin Derry, who have authored several other Flight Craft books, with informative background text by well known aviation historian Malcolm V Lowe and superbly executed illustrations by Mark Rolfe. As with other books in the Flight Craft series, although published with aircraft modellers in mind, it is hoped that most aviation enthusiasts will find something of interest here too.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are many modellers who like to take a production aircraft kit and modify it to a variant of that aircraft. For those modellers, this book really must be in your library.

It has many interesting, one-off, aircraft from 1945 to 1975, an era when aircraft development was at its height and, in same examples, its wackiest.

The colour illustrations of test aircraft alterations and livery are beautifully aimed at the modeller to help to get that perfect model. This along with the description and photos of what, where and why these aircraft were developed will add to your knowledge and understanding of the golden years of aircraft development.

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Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor

By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle

Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & VictorDescription:

Britain's desire to stay at the leading edge in the design and development of modern jet powered aircraft was born in the later stages of the Second World War. The Royal Air Force sent requests to the leading aircraft manufactures for a variety of specifications, amongst which was one for a long-range heavy bomber. Three designs were accepted and eventually went into production – these became the V-Bomber Force.

The Vickers Valiant, Vulcan and Victor saw prolific and varied service during the course of their careers. This book contains fabulous colour profiles (created by Dave Windle) of all three types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference. This enhanced and revised edition (the book was initially published in 2009) comes complete with model-making content as well as a host of brand new design features, making for a lively new addition to our esteemed Flight Craft series.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are some great images, in this book, of these famous aircraft that can be used to aid and inspire all modellers. I particularly like the pictures of the Victor as a fuel tanker, refuelling a Lightning which will make for an easy but impressive diorama.

This book is an informative overview of the V-Bomber Force aircraft that will benefit all aircraft modellers research of these ground breaking aircraft of the Cold War.

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FV430 Series

By Robert Griffin

FV430 SeriesDescription:

During the Second World War the British infantry found itself lacking suitable transport to cope with the fast moving German Blitzkrieg tactics. Various stop-gap measures were introduced with mixed success but, with the pots-war nuclear biological and chemical threat, it was imperative that a robust solution was found.

The FV300 and FV400 Cambridge carriers paved the way for the introduction of the AFV430 series in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War. Initially a basic armoured personnel carrier, the series grew to cover a multitude of roles; command, recovery, mortar, Swingfire and remote mine clearing to name but a selection. Over 50 years later variants are still in service.

This classic Images of War book not only describes in words and images the AFV430 series but traces the development of infantry carriers for the British Army.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Another well written and informative addition to the Images of War series. The images of the variants are in colour and clear and will be of great use to the modeller. The detailed history of development adds to the appreciation of this armoured vehicle.

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M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & Variants

By David Doyle

M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & VariantsDescription:

Conceived as part of a Top Secret project to disrupt Nazi Germany's atomic bomb program, the hastily developed Studebaker Weasel went on to one of, if not THE most successful of the wartime all-terrain vehicles. Designed with light weight to facilitate both air-dropping and efficient, high-speed operation in the snow, the vehicles were soon found to have excellent performance in the mud. Always amphibious, the later models, the M29C, were equipped with flotation tanks on each end and dual rudders in the rear for even more efficient operation in the water. Weasels were used on numerous fronts during WWII, were once again deployed in Korea, by the French in Vietnam, and numerous outposts during the Cold War. These pages provide an overview of the development, and a detailed look at the deployment and the machines themselves, of these iconic, all-terrain vehicles.

Vintage Airfix Review:

A perfect reference book for an AFV modeler. As part of the Images of War series it has the expected images of the M29 and its variants in action. It also has some close-up, colour images of 2 particular variants showing invaluable detail at various angles.

The historical information on the development of the Weasel is fascinating but unfortunately a little repetitive.

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M7 Priest

By David Doyle

M7 PriestDescription:

The M7 Howitzer Motor Carriage, dubbed the Priest, was the most successful and widely used example of American self-propelled artillery during WWII. Examples continued to be used by the U.S. Army during the Korean war, and beyond, even serving Allied countries into the 1970s. Coined the Priest due to its pulpit-like structure for the gun commander, this armored fighting vehicle would see action in North Africa, Italy, and the D-Day landings in Normandy and all the way to Germany.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This book is nicely laid out in a chronological order with an explanation of each image. Reading this book, you will gain a whole new appreciation for the M7 and its development.

As the M7 Priest is currently not very well covered by model manufacturers, this book will be a great aid the scratch build modeller wishing to build an early variant.

This is a superb reference book for armoured vehicle enthusiasts and historians. And a worthy addition to the Images of War series.

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Painting Wargaming Figures: WWII in the Desert

By Andy Singleton

Painting Wargaming Figures: WWII in the DesertDescription:

Andy Singleton has been modelling and painting most of his life and has been a professional commission figure painter for some years now. Here he shares his experience and tips of the trade with those collecting figures for the North African campaigns in WWII. The four main sections of the book cover British, Italian, German and US troops, as well as tips on assembly and painting camouflage uniforms. Each section is divided into three levels of complexity, ‘conscript’, ‘regular’ and ‘elite’, allowing the reader to build up an array of techniques as they gain confidence and experience. The emphasis is on achievable results and practical advice that is applicable to painting units or whole armies for wargaming purposes in a reasonable time frame, not on spectacular individual display pieces. Most of the figures featured in the numerous illustrations are sized either 28mm or 20mm but the techniques described are easily adaptable to smaller sizes and both plastic and metal figures are covered. Andy’s clear, step-by-step guidance takes the reader through the process from the initial preparation and assembly of the figure, to finishing and basing.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This is one for all figure modellers not just the wargamer. It’s nicely organised into 3 levels of details which can be used as a guide for any scale.

I would have liked to see a few close-up images for reference of the smaller detail. But that is the only down side to this very informative and easy to follow book.

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Panther Tanks: Germany Army and Waffen-SS

By Dennis Oliver

Panther Tanks: Germany Army and Waffen-SSDescription:

In late 1944 and 1945 the Panther tank played an important role in Germany’s desperate efforts to stem the Allied advance on the Western Front. The Panther, perhaps the best armoured vehicle produced by Germany during the Second World War, was a key element in the Wehrmacht’s defensive tactics, in rearguard actions and counter-attacks, and it took a prominent part in the last German offensive of the war, in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.

So it is an ideal subject for Dennis Oliver’s latest volume in the TankCraft series. He uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Panther tanks and units of the German army and Waffen-SS panzer battalions that struggled to resist the Allied onslaught.

A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic tanks.

Vintage Airfix Review:

The Panther Tank has long been a favourite of scale modelers and, with this book in hand, you'll be wanting to build more.

The book has everything we've come to expect from the Tank Craft series, historical facts, camouflage reference, model showcases, and of course, well written and illustrated. All the great kits are covered here including the Airfix 1/76 scale kit (it had to really). Some of the larger scale kit in the showcase are superb.

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T-54/55

By Robert Jackson

T-54/55Description:

During the Cold War, the T-54/55 series of tanks represented the most serious threat to Nato land forces in Europe. Available in huge quantities, it formed the core of the Warsaw Pact armoured warfare doctrine, which envisaged massed tank attacks against the weakest point in Nato’s front-line defences.

Yet the T-54/55 could be stopped by smaller numbers of tanks which had the benefit of better technology and training, as was demonstrated during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when Israeli tanks dealt out appalling punishment to T-55s of the Syrian army. Despite these limitations, the T-54/55 was one of the most successful tanks ever produced, and this volume in the TankCraft series by Robert Jackson is the ideal introduction to it.

As well as tracing the history of the T-54/55, his book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Charting the main variants of the Russian T54 and T55 tanks, of which I was shocked to find out how many where built, this book is a great source of information for the AFV modeller.

The historical sections are in a chronological order, the main variants are explained and the example builds are of a very high standard.

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Tank Destroyer

By Dennis Oliver

Tank DestroyerDescription:

In this heavily illustrated volume in the TankCraft series Dennis Oliver focuses on the Achilles – the British variant of the American M10 – which was one of the most important Allied tank destroyers of the Second World War. It played a key role in the armoured battles fought on the Western Front, in particular in France, the Low Countries, Germany and Italy.

Built on an adapted Sherman chassis, with sloped armour, an open-topped turret and powerful 17-pounder gun, it was designed to counter the threat posed by the formidable panzers deployed by the German army towards the end of the conflict, in particular the Panther and Tiger tanks.

The book covers the design and operational history of the Achilles in close detail, using rare archive photographs and meticulously researched colour illustrations, as well as a detailed, authoritative text.

A key section displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic armoured fighting vehicles.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated, this has some very useful colour schemes and inspiration showcases for modellers.

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Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945

By Dennis Oliver

Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945Description:

Tiger tanks were among the most-feared fighting vehicles of the Second World War and they gained almost legendary status, yet they never fulfilled their potential because they were not produced in sufficient numbers and the tide the war had turned against the German army by the time they were introduced. Often they were deployed in difficult circumstances and in defensive battles, struggling against the odds. Nowhere was this more true than in western Europe during the Allied advance across France and into Germany, and it is the Tigers of this phase of the war that Dennis Oliver portrays in his third volume on the Tiger in the TankCraft series.

He uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Tiger tanks and units of the German Army and Waffen-SS heavy panzer battalions that struggled to resist the onslaught of Allied armour and air attacks during the last days of the conflict.

A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic tanks.

Vintage Airfix Review:

A great reference for enthusiasts and modellers of the Tiger Tank. The historical part of this book covers the final few months on the Western Front, while the modelling sections cover most of the rest.

There is, off cause, a mention of the infamous Airfix Tiger kit even though it is not on the same plain as some of the other kits on offer. The reviews are well written and honest.

This book packs a lot of information from a relatively short time in history.

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Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic Wars

By Tony Harwood

Wargames Terrain and Buildings: The Napoleonic WarsDescription:

Any miniature wargame is greatly enhanced by realistic and evocative scenery and buildings, but commercial ready-made pieces can be expensive. Building your own can be a cost-effective and very rewarding alternative, another hobby in itself, but it can be hard to know where to start. Wargames Terrain and Buildings is a series of books aimed at giving wargamers the skills, techniques and guidance they need to create their own stunning and practical model buildings.

In this volume, master modeller Tony Hardwood shares his years of experience and presents the reader with a wide range of projects for the Napoleonic era. With the aid of step-by-step photographs, he guides the reader through building and finishing each of these models, which are organized in three sections of increasing complexity and encompass a range of scales and different materials. Nine projects are included but the techniques and skills demonstrated along the way, along with valuable advice on tools, construction materials and paints, can be adapted and applied to a much wider range of structures to grace your battlefields.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Having been purely a kit modeller for many years, scratch building has always been a dark art to me. I mean, making something so detailed out of cupboard, glue and pixies dust must be some kind of witchcraft... right!

Well, I am pleased to say that I now understand the art, the techniques, the skill needed and the joy of the build. This is all down to this little masterpiece. Although it’s aimed at building the terrain and buildings for wargamers, all the techniques learnt can be transferred to a unique diorama.

All in all, a superb book that will end up being well used, thank you Tony.

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10 Commando

By Ian Dear

10 CommandoDescription:

It is indeed remarkable, since the archives of the Second World War must have been pillaged, ransacked, burrowed into, and turned over almost as thoroughly as Monte Cassino itself, that no book has been written about one of the strangest units created during that or any other conflict. The unit was called Ten Commando - and the shroud of secrecy that enveloped it at the time has scarcely been un-wrapped by the passge of the years. 

Ten Commando was composed entirely of men who came from Germany and from Nazi-occupied countries such as Holland, Poland, and France. Secrecy was vital, for if an Axis agent infiltrated into Ten Commando he could do untold harm. If a member of Ten Commando were capture and his unit identified, the rules of the Geneva Convention were unlikely to worry the captors. This overwhelming need for absolute secrecy was so well instilled in the men of Ten Commando that, until now, little was known about their daring exploits behind enemy lines, including coordination of resistance fighters and sabotage. 

The result of Ian Dear's painstaking research is a remarkable book indeed and a worthy tribute to an incredibly brave group of cladestine soldiers who belong near the top of the WWII Roll of Honor.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1000 Days on the River Kwai

By Colonel Cary Owtram

1000 Days on the River KwaiDescription:

Memoirs by former prisoners of war of the Japanese invariably make for moving reading but Colonel Owtram's account of his years of captivity has a special significance.

After being captured in Singapore and transported to the infamous Burma railway he was appointed the British Camp Commandant at Chungkai, one of the largest POW camps.

Many ex-prisoners testified to the mental and physical courage that he showed protecting POWs from the worst excesses of their captors. Of course his account does not admit to this but what is clear is that in addition to the deprivation and hardship suffered by all POWs, the author bore heavy responsibility for those under his charge and the daily trauma of dealing with the unpredictable Japanese.

It is not only the prisoners who suffered but their families at home. The postscript written by the author's daughters vividly demonstrates the agonies of doubt and worry that loved ones went through and the effect of the experience on all.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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16 Air Assault Brigade

By Tim Ripley

16 Air Assault BrigadeDescription:

After the SAS, 16 Brigade is the most high profile formation in the British Army but to date there has been no complete history of its operations and activities. The aim of this book is to produce a history of Britain's Elite Rapid Reaction Force 16 Air Assault Brigade. It will provide a historical narrative of 16 Brigade's operations since its formation in 1999. It explain's the innovative tactics and operational procedures used by to move by air into battle. It covers military hardware, the Brigade has some of the UK's most advanced weapon system, including Apache attack helicopters. It will include the elite combat units including the Parachute Regiment and Pathfinders. Key personalities from the Brigade will be examined together with a comprehensive anayisis of how the Brigade has performed and how it is likely to evolve in coming years. The Brigade is due to return to Afghanistan in 2008 so it's public profile will remain high.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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