Seaforth Books - Vintage Airfix


Seaforth Books

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

Contents:
- German Battleship Helgoland - By Aidan Dodson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Large Scale Warship Models - By Dr Kerry Jang. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- ShipCraft 25: German Destroyers - By Robert Brown. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- 1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose? - By Peter Marsden..
- A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy - By Alastair Wilson..
- A Century of Carrier Aviation - By David Hobbs..
- A Century of Sea Travel - By Christopher Deakes, Tom Stanley..
- A Great & Glorious Victory - By Richard Harding..
- A Postcard History of the Passenger Liner - By Christopher Deakes..
- A Shipyard at War - By Ian Johnston..
- Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty - By Stephen Roskill..
- After Jutland - By James Goldrick..
- Aircraft Carrier Victorious - By David Hobbs..
- Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume I: Fairmile Designs & US Submarine Chasers - By John Lambert, Albert P Ross..
- Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume II: Vosper MTBs and US Elcos - By John Lambert, Al Ross..

 


 

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German Battleship Helgoland

By Aidan Dodson

German Battleship HelgolandDescription:

Alongside its incomparable archive of British warship plans, the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich also holds a selection of drawings from foreign sources. Among the gems of this collection are a number of German warships dating from the First World War era. These are official plans, acquired by the Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control as part of the peace treaty, and very similar in style, detail and draughtsmanship to Royal Navy ‘as fitted’ general arrangements, including the use of coloured line and washes.

The very best of these, in terms of the completeness of coverage and the visual impact of the drawings, relates to the battleship SMS Helgoland, launched in 1909. The name-ship of the second class of dreadnoughts designed by the Germans, she was a big advance over the earlier Westfalen class, having 12in guns that matched those of her British opponents. She served in the High Seas Fleet throughout the war, fought at Jutland, and was ceded to Britain as part of the peace terms – which is probably why the plans are at Greenwich – and was broken up in 1924.

This book is the latest in a series based entirely on original draughts which depict famous warships in an unprecedented degree of detail. Using the latest scanning technology to make digital copies of the highest quality, it reproduces complete sets in full colour, with many close-ups and enlargements that make every aspect clear and comprehensible. Extensive captions point the reader to important features to be found in the plans, and an introduction covers the background to the design. The result is a novel form of anatomy that will be a revelation to any warship enthusiast.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This book has tonnes of detailed information to go with the beautifully detailed original plans. Recommended reference material for all modellers with an eye for detail.

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Large Scale Warship Models

By Dr Kerry Jang

Large Scale Warship ModelsDescription:

The majority of warship modellers work in smaller scales, most often based on plastic or resin kits. Many of these harbour ambitions to tackle something larger and more demanding, but are daunted by the challenge. The aim of this book is to persuade them that it not as difficult as it may seem, that they already possess the basic skills required, and that they can acquire any necessary new knowledge as they proceed.

The discussion focuses on the journey from conventional plastic kits to questions of deciding on a subject; choosing a kit, semi-kit or build from scratch; what conventional kit building skills transfer – and how these conventional skills such as painting techniques and an eye for detail can be brought to large scale model building so that scale fidelity is not sacrificed but enhanced. Novel requirements like research, obtaining plans and sourcing material or fittings are all covered.

The second part describes building methods, including the latest techniques like casting fittings in resin, and applies to both static and radio-controlled working models. All the colour photos were taken specifically to illustrate the points made in each chapter, so the book demonstrates as well as describes. It concludes with a gallery of superb models intended to inspire the would-be large scale warship modeller to take the plunge.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Informative, helpful, well written and beautifully presented.

If you haven’t built a large-scale warship, either from a kit or scratch built, but would like to, then you need this book. It’ll give you the knowledge you’ll need to get started.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced builder, there is much in here that will aid you also.

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ShipCraft 25: German Destroyers

By Robert Brown

ShipCraft 25: German DestroyersDescription:

The ‘ShipCraft’ series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warship types. Lavishly illustrated, each book takes the modeller through a brief history of the subject class, highlighting differences between sister-ships and changes in their appearance over their careers. This includes paint schemes and camouflage, featuring colour profiles and highly detailed line drawings and scale plans. The modelling section reviews the strengths and weaknesses of available kits, lists commercial accessory sets for super-detailing of the ships, and provides hints on modifying and improving the basic kit. This is followed by an extensive photographic gallery of selected high-quality models in a variety of scales, and the book concludes with a section on research references – books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.

This volume covers the large and powerful German destroyers of the Second World War era. Always popular as modelling subjects, interest in them has been further increased recently by the release of a number of very fine large scale kits.

With its unparalleled level of visual information – paint schemes, models, line drawings and photographs – this book is simply the best reference for any modelmaker setting out to build one of these unusual ships.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This is the 25th in the ShipCraft series, and the first to grace my bookshelf. As it’s along the same lines as the other ‘Craft’ series (FlightCraft, LandCraft and TankCraft) I knew what to expect. There’ll be colour schemes, showcases, model reviews and informative design history… It doesn’t disappoint.

Although German Destroyers aren’t a popular subject for model manufactures, there are still some superb kits available. Pretty much all of them are reviewed in this book. The showcased dioramas are inspirational and extremely well built.

On a whole, German Destroyers is a well edited, beautifully presented book that’s calling out to all warship modellers to be added to their reference library.

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1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?

By Peter Marsden

1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?Description:

The raising of the Mary Rose in 1982 was a remarkable feat of archaeology and her subsequent preservation and display at Portsmouth a triumph of technical skill and imagination. She is more than a relic, however. She has a story to tell, and her sinking in the Solent in 1545, when under attack by the French, and the reasons for it, have intrigued historians for generations. With the benefit of access to her remains, archaeologists have been able to slowly unravel the mystery of her foundering on a calm summer’s day in July 1545.

This new book by one of the country’s leading experts on the Mary Rose contains much that is published for the first time. It has the first full account of the battle in which Henry VIII’s warship was sunk, and tells the stories of the English and French admirals. It examines the design and construction of the ship and how she was used, and develops themes begun when he was earlier commissioned by the Mary Rose Trust to write the multi-volume history of the ship. He shows for the first time conclusively that the French fleet arrived unexpectedly to seize the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth a day later than was once believed, that the many bodies found in the wreck reflect her at action stations, and that the ship had had an extra deck added and was therefore more unstable than was previously thought. Finally, the author makes it clear who was responsible for the loss of the Mary Rose, after describing what happened onboard, deck by deck, in her last moments afloat.

The fascinating revelation will intrigue the general reader as well as the historian and archaeologist and the book is set to become the last word on the career of this most famous of ships.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy

By Alastair Wilson

A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal NavyDescription:

Despite its recent decline in size and influence, for much of the twentieth century the Royal Navy was a major player in world history. Its senior officers carried out – and sometimes made – British policy in peace and war, but with the exception of a few star figures the details of their careers have never been published. This book is the first volume of a major study intended to provide a resumé of the service lives of every flag officer, in the style of the great nineteenth century biographical dictionaries of Marshall and O'Byrne. Every entry is based on primary sources, including the Navy's confidential personnel files, cross-referenced with general historical data and, in the case of living officers, correspondence with the subjects themselves.

The book comes with a CD which contains the service histories and careers of 336 most senior admirals on the Navy List from 1900 onwards. The length of each entry varies with the importance of the officer covered, but each includes both an outline of their careers and significant dates, like promotions and awards. In all, the CD contains more than 600,000 words - a truly epic work. The majority are not even included in the Dictionary of National Biography, and as such, this work will be a boon to historians, and invaluable to genealogists. A monumental and unique naval historical resource.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Century of Carrier Aviation

By David Hobbs

A Century of Carrier AviationDescription:

It is now almost exactly a hundred years since a heavier-than-air craft first took off and landed on a warship, and from the very beginning flying at sea made unique demands on men and machines. As warplanes grew larger, faster and heavier, air operations from ships were only possible at all through constant development in technology, techniques and tactics. 

This book charts the progress and growing effectiveness of naval air power, concentrating on the advances and inventions - most of them British - that allowed shipborne aircraft to match their land-based counterparts, and looking at their contribution to 20th century warfare. 

Written by a retired Fleet Air Arm pilot and and award-winning historian of naval flying, this is a masterly overview of the history of aviation in the world's navies down to the present day. Heavily illustrated from the author's comprehensive collection of photographs, the book will be essential reading to anyone with an interest in navies or air power.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Century of Sea Travel

By Christopher Deakes, Tom Stanley

A Century of Sea TravelDescription:

This book is a voyage through the life of the passenger steamship, a voyage described by travellers who sailed on these vessels, and it carries within it their thoughts and experiences, mirrored here in words and pictures. The pictures are memories of ships and places in times gone by, glimpses of steamship travel through the years. In memoirs and letters home, diaries and journals the writers recorded every aspect of their seagoing experiences: they wrote of their ship, its crew and their fellow passengers, of the food and entertainment on board, of romance, accidents and disasters, and of being dreadfully sick. They noted incidents on board that amused or angered them, described the ports at which their ship called, and the fear and excitement of storms at sea. The writers were emigrants or colonial rulers, men of letters, young men seeking their fortune, wives on their way to new homes abroad; some were rich, many were poor and escaping the hardship of downtrodden lives; all had in common the experience of voyaging at sea. The author has woven their words into a narrative that describes so evocatively a world that has now disappeared, and with the huge range of illustrations brings back to life the golden age of the steamship.

Beautifully designed and printed, this book will delight armchair travellers, ship enthusiasts and all those who still go to sea to seek romance and adventure.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Great & Glorious Victory

By Richard Harding

A Great & Glorious VictoryDescription:

Like the victory over the Armada and the battle of Britain in 1940, Trafalgar has attained the iconic status of a battle that preserved national independence and demonstrated the particular courage and skills of the nation. 'A great and glorious victory' was how Vice Admiral Collingwood described Nelson's defeat of the enemy navies.In October 2005 an international conference was held at Portsmouth and well-known historians and naval officers from around the world gave a series of papers on aspects of the battle. Containing a wealth of new information they are now form the core of this book. Twelve chapters cover every aspect of the battle but also explore important themes such as the the invasion threat, and the British defences against invasion in the years before 1805. Perhaps the most groundbreaking contribution is from the 'Inshore Squadron', a naval war-gaming group, which produced a timeline that is the most accurate yet available and reveals, amongst other things, the precise nature of the ship-on-ship actions. A DVD of the full battle will be available separately. The battle is brought to life in a way which distinguishes it from all the other accounts that have appeared and offers enthusiasts and historians the most up-to-date and important reassessment that is available.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Postcard History of the Passenger Liner

By Christopher Deakes

A Postcard History of the Passenger LinerDescription:

From around 1880 for almost 100 years shipowners commissioned a wealth of paintings that depicted, as well as their magnificent liners, the routes they travelled, their exotic destinations, and life on board. These paintings, rich in imagination and atmosphere, appeared on posters and postcards to advertise the companies and their ships; and so was born a whole genre that produced tens of thousands of images that form a wonderful record of the great era of the passenger liner.

Here, bought vividly to life in more than 500 colourful postcards, are the ships in which so many of our predecessors sailed, as emigrants, soldiers or administrators in distant lands, or simply as tourists. These cards - now highly collectible - show how the ships developed over the years, and are also a fine tribute to the artists who painted them. A glossary of some 170 illustrators forms an important reference section in the book; the author also gives useful advice on collecting.

This new paperback edition will be sought after by postcard collectors as well as liner enthusiasts, and by all those with an interest in the vanished world of elegant travel on the finest ships of their day. 

‘An evocative story of the vanished world of elegant ships and leisurely travel ... sumptuous.’ Western Morning News

This is a really fabulous book.’ Ocean Liner Society

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Shipyard at War

By Ian Johnston

A Shipyard at WarDescription:

Although best known for large liners and capital ships, between 1914 and the completion of the wartime programmes in 1920 the Clydebank shipyard of John Brown & Sons built a vast range of vessels – major warships down to destroyers and submarines, unusual designs like a seaplane carrier and submarine depot ship, and even a batch of war-standard merchant ships. This makes the yard a particularly good exemplar of the wartime shipbuilding effort. Like most shipyards of the time, Clydebank employed professional photographers to record the whole process of construction, using large-plate cameras that produced pictures of stunning clarity and detail; but unlike most shipyard photography, Clydebank's collection has survived, although relatively few of the images have ever been published. For this book some 200 of the most telling were carefully selected, and scanned to the highest standards, depicting in unprecedented detail every aspect of the yard's output, from the liner Aquitania in 1914 to the cruiser Enterprise, completed in 1920.

Although ships are the main focus of the book, the photos also chronicle the impact of the war on working conditions in the yard and, perhaps most noticeable in the introduction of women in large numbers to the workforce. With lengthy and informative captions, and an authoritative introduction by Ian Johnston, this book is a vivid portrait of a lost industry at the height of its success.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty

By Stephen Roskill

Admiral of the Fleet Earl BeattyDescription:

Admiral Beatty was beyond doubt the best known fighting Admiral, perhaps the best known military leader, of the First World War. His conduct at Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank, and later at Jutland, caught the public imagination, while his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet in taking into custody the German High Sea Fleet in November 1918 associated him with perhaps the most tangible symbol of the collapse of Germany’s military might. He is probably remembered by most for his comment at Jutland that ‘there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today’ after two of his battlecruisers were sunk in quick succession.

Stephen Roskill’s magnificent biography of Beatty explains so well why he has come to be seen as Britain’s last naval hero, an admiral in the mould of Nelson who won the unstinting devotion of all those who served with and under him. He came from an Anglo-Irish military family who exhibited the utmost gallantry on the field of battle with a corresponding recklessness in the hunting field, while he himself was extremely handsome and courageous and exuded charisma. His early promise led to fast promotion and he was to become the youngest Admiral since Nelson.

But that is only one part of the story and there are aspects of his character that were not entirely admirable. There were, and still remain, questions over his handling of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron at Jutland at which his highly aggressive approach was contrasted with the prudence of his commander, Sir John Jellicoe, and the later animosities between the Jellicoe and Beatty camps reflect poorly on Beatty himself. His turbulent marriage and his extra-marital liaisons were to be suppressed in his official biography but in some ways these aspects are as significant to our understanding of him as Nelson and Emma Hamilton’s great affair is to our reading of the Napoleonic era at sea.

Roskill deals with all these issues and in doing so brilliantly reassesses Beatty place in history. Access to new material at the time of writing allowed him to write a balanced and wholly credible account of an extraordinary life, and this wonderfully readable and ‘intimate’ biography will appeal to a whole new generation of readers.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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After Jutland

By James Goldrick

After JutlandDescription:

This is the story of the naval war in northern European waters following the critical if inconclusive battle of Jutland. There is a popular misconception that the battle marked the end of the operational career of the German High Sea Fleet. The reality is much more complex. The German battle fleet may have been quiescent in the North Sea, but it supported an ambitious amphibious campaign in the Baltic while an ever more bitter commerce war was waged by U-boats; and smaller warships of both sides fought a gruelling campaign in the waters of the English Channel and the Belgian Coast.

While the book focuses primarily on the Royal Navy as the dominant maritime force, it also analyses the struggles of the beleaguered German Navy as it sought to find ways to break the tightening stranglehold of the Allied blockade. It includes an assessment of the small, but increasingly significant supporting role played by the French Navy from its bases in northern France, while the continuing conflict in the Baltic is explored as the Germans increased pressure on Russian territory and the Russian fleet, despite the descent into revolution, still managed to strike heavy blows at the Imperial German Navy.

This period was one of great change. The Royal Navy improved the way that ships and their crews were organised for battle, and there were great leaps in communications and in command and control; aviation and undersea operations, including mine warfare, developed at breakneck pace. Both Germany and Russia undertook far more naval innovation and technological development in the final years of the War than is often realised, and by 1918 the protagonists were fighting what was, in every way, a multi-dimensional maritime war – the forerunner of the form of naval conflict of the remainder of the twentieth century.

The author deals with the entry into the conflict of the United States and the increasing commitment of the US Navy to operations in Northern European waters. Many of the foundations of success in the next war were laid by the USN at this time, and there are strong links between the performance of all the navies and their experiences in 1939–45. Not only were doctrine and technology shaped by the events of the First War, so were the cultures of the various services and the characters of the individuals who would go on to serve in the highest ranks in the next. All of this makes the 1916-18 period so significant in naval history.

In addition to his huge historical knowledge, the author brings his own extensive personal experience of naval operations and command at sea to this study, and this fusion of history with practical understanding sheds a unique and fascinating perspective on his analysis of the conflict.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Aircraft Carrier Victorious

By David Hobbs

Aircraft Carrier VictoriousDescription:

The technical details of British warships were recorded in a set of plans produced by the builders on completion of every ship. Known as the ‘as fitted’ general arrangements, these drawings represented the exact appearance and fitting of the ship as it entered service. Intended to provide a permanent reference for the Admiralty and the dockyards, these highly detailed plans were drawn with exquisite skill in multi-coloured inks and washes that represent the acme of the draughtsman’s art.

Today they form part of the incomparable collection of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which is using the latest scanning technology to make digital copies of the highest quality. This book is one of a series based entirely on these draughts which depict famous warships in an unprecedented degree of detail – complete sets in full colour, with many close-ups and enlargements that make every aspect clear and comprehensible. Extensive captions point the reader to important features to be found in the plans, and an introduction covers the background to the design.

HMS Victorious was a ship with two almost separate incarnations – as built in 1941 she was one of a new type of armoured carrier which saw strenuous wartime service; post-war the ship underwent a massive reconstruction lasting nearly eight years that saw her recommission in1958 as one of the best equipped carriers in the world, ready for another decade of duty. Both these phases of the ship’s life are fully documented, which allows this novel form of anatomy to cover two generations of carrier design.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume I: Fairmile Designs & US Submarine Chasers

By John Lambert, Albert P Ross

Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume I: Fairmile Designs & US Submarine ChasersDescription:

The major contribution made by Coastal Forces to the Allied war effort has had surprisingly little coverage in the literature of the Second World War. Motor torpedo boats, PT boats, motor gunboats, launches and submarine chasers served with distinction throughout the War, and in every theatre. They performed invaluable service as patrol boats, convoy escorts, minelayers and minesweepers, harbour defence vessels, light landing craft, RAF rescue boats and transports for agents and clandestine missions.

Allied Coastal Forces, now a recognised classic work and first published in 1990, remains the only publication to deal comprehensively – in words, photographs and drawings – with the technical detail of all these boats. Design, construction and subsequent development are all covered, and the builders, construction lists, fates and the technical data are given for each type. Separate sections cover armament and equipment, sea-going qualities and habitability.

This first volume covers all the designs of the Fairmile Marine Company (including those craft built and equipped for Canada), together with the 72ft Harbour Defence Motor Launch and the US Navy 110ft subchaser.

The authors, firmly established as the recognised authorities on small warships, unearthed a remarkable body of information now included in this major work, and their finely detailed drawings, redrawn form original builders’ plans, offer an unparalleled view of all these remarkable designs. The new editions of their work will be welcomed by naval enthusiasts and modellers alike.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume II: Vosper MTBs and US Elcos

By John Lambert, Al Ross

Allied Coastal Forces of World War II - Volume II: Vosper MTBs and US ElcosDescription:

The major contribution made by Coastal Forces to the Allied war effort has had surprisingly little coverage in the literature of the Second World War. Motor torpedo boats, PT boats, motor gunboats, launches and submarine chasers served with distinction throughout the war, and in every theatre. They performed invaluable service as patrol boats, convoy escorts, minelayers and minesweepers, harbour defence vessels, light landing craft, RAF rescue boats and transports for agents and clandestine missions.

Allied Coastal Forces, now a recognised classic work and first published in 1990, remains the only publication to deal comprehensively – in words, photographs and drawings – with the technical detail of all these boats. Design, construction and subsequent development are all covered, and the builders, construction lists, fates and the technical data are given for each type. Separate sections cover armament and equipment, sea-going qualities and habitability.

This second volume covers sixteen Vosper MTB designs and the US 70ft, 77ft and 80ft ELCO designs. US-built Vosper designs supplied under lease-lend are also covered, while weapons systems and machinery are dealt with in detail. Some 700 finely detailed drawings were drawn by the authors for this second volume in their highly acclaimed two-volume work.

The authors, firmly established as the recognised authorities on small warships, unearthed a remarkable body of information now included in this major work, and their finely detailed drawings, redrawn form original builders’ plans, offer an unparalleled view of all these remarkable designs. The new and redesigned editions of their work will be welcomed by naval enthusiasts and modellers alike.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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