Recommendations for a Good Aircraft Modeling 'How to' book?


I’m a scale modeler with a few decades of experience, however I’m about to start working on a couple of my first aircraft kits in over 20 years (a 1/72 Tiger Moth and a 1/48 Mustang). I feel as if I’m more than a little rusty on the latest building, painting and weathering techniques as they relate to aircraft.

I was hoping to hear of a few recommendations for ‘How To’ books regarding finishing aircraft and detailing bi-plane kits. Most of my experience in the last few years has been with armor kits and figures.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You!

Biggest difference between when I was modeling as a kid and returning recently is the emergence of YouTube as a force in the hobby.

IMO, books are obsolete for learning techniques. Nothing beats getting the descriptions AND seeing a master actually do it.

Start with PLASMO.


Videos are a great leap forward, but I still enjoy and find useful to have at least a couple of books…

On a basic level I would suggest this one, although it says preorder I think it has been already published:

And this one, for more advanced modellers:


Yes, YouTube has a lot wonderful videos to help you learn many tricks. However, I don’t think books are obsolete. They have their place as well. There are plenty of good books and magazines that have well written articles with step-by-step photos.

I use to subscribe to Tamiya magazines, Meng Air & AFV modellers magazines, and Fine Scale Modelers magazine. I kept the one had articles I like others I gave away or sold and used copies.

In the last few years I have seen an up rise in new publishers or publications of books and magazines. So, the sky’s the limit.

Few examples…


The real trick is to move from “The what is possible” to the “How I did it”. Much of the what is possible I haven’t moved to the how I did it yet. 1/ 48th is becoming too small due to my dexterity. The only thing I have in 1/72nd is a ship model. Something to keep in mind as you plan on a scale to work with. For props I am in 1/32nd and for jets I am still in 1/48th.


Thank you for the outstanding recommendations.
I think that the Mig ‘Encyclopedia of Aircraft’ set is exactly what I am looking for. I like the airplane modeling magazines, however these are nearly impossible to obtain on a regular basis in the remote area where I live. This is an issue for me (pardon the pun) since I like to examine magazines prior to purchase.


Yuri, I hear ya! I too like to glance through the magazines whenever it’s possible but sometimes if it covers the subject I am after then I’ll buy it.

1 Like