Topic Reference Books - Vintage Airfix

Reference Books

A selection of recommened reference books for modellers, enthusiasts and historians, some include a review by Vintage Airfix.

  • Aircraft/Aviation reference books (full list)

    - Aviation is one of the Pen & Sword's largest imprints. By teaming up with some of the worlds leading aviation experts they are able to offer an unrivalled list of aviation publications. Many of the titles include stunning colour photographs and the colour profiles are now world renowned. They cover the first flights of early aviation pioneers right through to modern day conflicts and unmanned aircraft.
    1. Air War Archive Series

      - Frontline's new Air War Archive series, covers the operations of famous aircrafts portrayed and brought to life through the first-hand accounts of the pilots who flew them and those that fought against them.
    2. Air War D-Day Series

      - Air War D-Day series of historical reference books.
    3. Air War Market Garden Series

      - A most impressive tribute and accurate four part work that uniquely presents a complete account of the air operations during 'Market-Garden' in September 1944 when British, US and Polish airborne troops made a gallant attempt to seize and hold bridges across the Lower Rhine in Holland as a springboard for crossing into Germany. 'Market', the airborne part of the operation, was at the time the largest in history.
    4. Aviation Heritage Trail Series

      - Aviation Heritage Trail series of historical reference books.
    5. Aviation in World War 1

      - Aviation in WWI historical reference books.
    6. Aviation in World War 2

      - Aviation in WWII historical reference books.
    7. Bomber Command - Reflections of War Series

      - The "Bomber Command - Reflections War" series gives the reader a comprehensive insight into all aspects of RAF Bomber Command in World War Two.
    8. Civil Aviation Books

      - Civil Aviation reference books.
    9. Cold War 1945-1991 Series

      - Cold War event between 1945 and 1991.
    10. Dambusters

      - The Dambuster Raid is one of the most iconic bombing raids that took place during WW2. A hand picked, international team of specialist low fliers were assembled to execute a daring low level raid which would strike at the heart of Germany's industrial regions.
    11. Flight Craft Series

      - The Flight Craft series of books are a great source of reference material for the aircraft modeller. Modeller's will find that these colourful and informative books offer something to provoke interest and fuel the imagination.
    12. Images of Aviation Series

      - Images of Aviation series of books.
    13. Lancaster Bombers

      - Lancaster Bomber books.
    14. Luftwaffe at War Series

      - This superb illustrated series charts the rise and fall of the German Air Force from 1939 to 1945. Each volume makes use of over a hundred rare and valuable photographs, many of them taken by Luftwaffe personnel, to bring history to life and record both the men and the aircraft they flew.
    15. Post WWII Aviation

      - Post WWII Aviation books
    16. Profiles of Flight Series

      - These books contains the world famous colour profiles created by Dave Windle of the types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiast's reference.
    17. Royal Air Force

      - Royal Air Force books.
    18. Spitfires & Hurricanes

      - Spitfires & Hurricane books.
    19. Voices in Flight Series

      - Voices in Flight series of books
    20. World's Greatest Airliners Series

      - The World's Greatest Airliners.

  • Transport Reference books (full list)

    - The Wharncliffe Transport imprint has been designed to encourage readers to remember the classic days of British transport. Covering all periods of railways, buses, trams, cars, canals and bikes, these books provide a nostalgic look back at classic engines and vehicles. Some titles will be illustration led, whilst others will concentrate on the memories such classic machines evoke. All will inspire anyone with an interest in British transport history.
    1. Canals

      - A sub-category of Transport History, bringing you all the history of those famous Canals.
    2. Cars

      - A sub-category of Transport History for all things cars.
    3. Trains and Railways

      - To inspire anyone with an interest in British transport history.
    4. Trams and Buses

      - A sub category of Transport History. Discover all things Buses!.

  • Maritime books (full list)

    - Maritime history has dominated British history thanks to our island status. The Seaforth and Pen and Sword lists have some exceptional titles which have established themselves as key reference titles in the maritime and modelling worlds from the early years of seafaring, right through to the modern day.
    1. Perkins Identification Albums

      - In collaboration with the Museum, Seaforth is undertaking the first publication of this monumental work in a superbly produced multi-volume edition that captures all the qualities of the original. Every page is reproduced at full size, making the extensive hand-written annotation readable, while the fine-line drawings retain all the colours that Perkins used to denote appearance differences and alterations.
    2. Royal Navy

      - A sub-category of Maritime History, bringing you all the history of the Royal Navy.
    3. Sail

      - Sail ships, a sub-category of Maritime History..
    4. Seafarers' Voices

      - Seafarers' Voices series of books, a sub-category of Maritime History..
    5. Seaforth Books

      - The aim of Seaforth books is to produce the very best maritime books, whether they be narrative histories, definitive reference works, ship monographs or modeling books; and as well as reflecting the very latest research they are also designed and printed to the highest standards. Some have made significant contributions to the field, but we hope that all of them will make worthwhile additions to any collector's bookshelf..
    6. Ship Craft series of reference books

      - 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.
    7. Ship Modelling

      - A sub-category of Maritime History for ship modellers..
    8. Submarines

      - A sub-category of Maritime History, bringing you all the history of the Submarine.

  • Military books (full list)

    - A huge sellection of Military based books.
    1. Ancient History

      - The ancient world is an exciting period for military history. Full of epic battles, desperate sieges and the exploits of great generals whose fame has survived the intervening millennia - men like Alexander the Great, Hannibal and Julius Caesar. Pen & Sword's rapidly expanding Ancient History book range aims to provide well-researched, full-length studies covering the history of warfare from the earliest armies to the fall of Rome and the Rise of Islam. Analysis of armies, narratives of campaigns, battles and sieges and biographies of individual generals - it's all here.
    2. Boer/Zulu War

      - Boer and Zulu war based books, a sub-category of Military History..
    3. Crimean War

      - Memoirs and letters written by soldiers who took part provide graphic first-hand accounts of the campaign, and biographies and reassessments of key battles are essential reading for students of the Crimea and of nineteenth-century warfare in general.
    4. Falklands War Books

      - It began on Friday 2 April 1982 when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands (and, the following day, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had long claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.
    5. Hitler and the Third Reich Books

      - The rise and fall of the Third Reich has been a source of revulsion and fascination since the close of the Second World War. The images of the concentration camps; Hitler's hypnotic oration; and the vast Nuremberg rallies are seared into the collective consciousness. However, it is important that we understand the complex circumstances which allowed this particular branch of fascism to flourish. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
    6. Medieval History Books

      - Pen & Sword has established itself as a leading publisher of medieval military history. Battlefield guides, accounts of decisive battles and sieges, critical biographies of key commanders, and reissues of classic works of the medieval scholarship all feature in our list. And the coverage is not restricted to Britain - important books on the Crusades, the Mongols and warfare in medieval Japan are also part of our publishing programme.
    7. Modern Warfare Books

      - Books based on modern warfare.
    8. Napoleonic War Books

      - The range is wide, from campaign histories, biographies and memoirs to studies of battles and battlefield guides. Reissues of classic works of Napoleonic literature feature in the list, but it also includes outstanding, sometimes controversial new scholarship.
    9. Tanks Reference books

      - A sub-category of Military History, bringing you the history of the Tank.
    10. Tank Craft

      - An innovative series following in the footsteps of the popular Ship Craft and Flight Craft ranges, launching in Autumn 2016, TankCraft aims to provide modelmakers and tank enthusiasts with a new standard of primarily visual reference of both full-size tanks and their scale models.

      Each book will contain detailed technical information imparted through drawings and photographs while the meticulously researched full-colour profiles will provide a complete reference for paint schemes and markings. In addition, every volume of the Tank Craft series will feature summaries of design histories and operational careers, and review of available kits. Each book is devoted to an iconic tank type - chosen for its popularity as a modelling subject - and the series will provide coverage across a range of different criteria, showcasing the best of the world's tank types and providing invaluable insight and guidance for modelmakers.
    11. Vietnam War Books

      - Books based on Vietnam War.

Airfix Build & Convert

- In 2011 SAM Limited, under licence from SAM Publications, started to produce a series of books squarely aimed at building and converting Airfix kits. There are currently 7 books in the Classic Plastic Series.


Airfix Magazine Guides

- These small A5-sized books were hardback, in black/white. First produced in 1974 and were released two at a time, usually four a year. A total of 28 are known, these are listed below with their authors name and the books blurb. They were published by Patrick Stephens Ltd.


Battleground Books: WWI Series

- Pen and Sword's unrivalled Battleground Series not only brings the battlefield alive for visitors but informs and entertains readers at home. Using a distinctive blend of historical narrative and personal accounts supported by copious illustrations, these attractive and affordable books have a huge following. There are over 130 titles covering principally the two World Wars as well as other conflicts


Despatches from the Front

- A new series covering the entire history of the British Army complete with unique insight into what happened from those in command.


Eyewitnesses from The Great War series

- An innovative series following eyewitness accounts of the people who lived through the hard times of The Great War. This thrilling series features books once known as old, rare and out of print titles that were published during or shortly after The First World War. We bring you the original books that have been unseen for years.


FACT Files Series

- The Fact File series of pocket guides are packed full of information, facts and figures.


Images of War Series

- The success of our Images of War series is due to the copious use of collectors’ graphic and rare contemporary images, supported by authoritative captions and lively text. The majority of titles in this fast growing series focus on campaigns and formations of the Second World War.


Modelling History

- Books documenting the history of the plastic scale modelling hobby.


Tracing Your Ancestors Series

- Tracing Your Ancestors series of books.


Wargames and figures reference

- Miniature wargames have been around since bebore plastic. This selection of books are aimed at wargames and figure modellers.


World War One reference books

- Pen & Sword Books have an unrivalled list of Great War titles covering the tragic yet often glorious events of 'the war to end all wars'. These describe, often in the words of participants, combat on the ground, in the trenches, as well as in the air and at sea. We have a superb range battlefield guide books, memoirs and descriptive historical accounts by expert authors. Our comprehensive list of Great War titles provide an excellent insight into this most complex, and affecting, of conflicts.


World War Two reference books

- Pen and Sword Books have an impressive and comprehensive range of World War Two books. Far from waning, interest in the global land, sea and air conflict grows with every successive generation. Our list has something for everyone, whether it be from memoirs, biographies, pictorial histories, studies of campaigns and a superb selection of guidebooks, covering many of the Battlefields of the Second World War.


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