by Tommy H. Thomason

Friday, July 21, 2017

F-111B Monograph: Buyer Beware

Steve Ginter was my first and still favorite publisher. See

I prefer to write about the also-ran, unappreciated, much-maligned aircraft that were not flown by operational squadrons. Few publishers would consider even a paperback monograph on one of those little-known (in most cases for pretty good reasons) programs. Steve has been willing to front the printing of a monograph on whatever esoteric loser I am interested in writing about, which has sometimes been a loser from his standpoint as well. (You would do us both a favor if you'd order my excellent—don't just take my word for it; see the review on Amazon—monograph on the XFL-1 Airabonita, from him. He has plenty.)

He did finally sell all of my F-111B monographs that he printed, mainly because that was almost 20 years ago. You'll see that he doesn't include it on his website.

However, it is for sale on Amazon. Unfortunately, some of what is being sold is not one of the originals but a "print-on-demand" version. I haven't seen one but I've been told that that at least some are not very good reproductions, indifferently reproduced on low-quality paper. There is now a review on Amazon to that effect. A known purveyor of them has graciously agreed to stop at my request, but I'm not sure that was the only supplier and of course there are the extant copies.

What to do? I have no control over what's out there and legal action would be a waste of time and money. I can only suggest that you ensure that what you're buying is an original, unless of course you don't need good quality pictures.

For a limited time, you can also buy the monograph directly from me, which will include a multi-page errata document that corrects and augments information in it. For a quote, email me at


  1. I got a couple of those "reprints" from Amazon a while back. I was filling in gaps in my Ginter collection, and was after some that Steve had sold out of. I got what looked Photo-copies of the FJ-1 and FJ-2 books.

    I was not happy, but, as you say, there isn't much a person can do about it. When I see "real" FJ-1 and FJ-2 books at a show, I will buy them, and bin these copies.

  2. Any simple way to tell the difference between them. I have a copy and now I'm looking at it suspiciously. The print quality is somewhat "granular" but seemed clear to me. If I read the information correctly it says it was printed on June 26, 2016. I bought it on Amazon but is it an unauthorized copy?

    1. That's presumably an "authorized" print-on-demand copy. The original does not have a "printed on" date listed. Some POD copies may be better than others.

  3. POD is very hit-or-miss Lulu can do a great job but the Mighty River Seller seems to use a rather less able printer, at least in the UK. I've had Ospreys that look as if the colour plates were soaked in coffee! Not good.
    I've got quite a few of the Ginter books which says something about my taste I suppose. An F-111B is on my bucket list. Just thinking about the Airabonita so I must buy a copy.

  4. I bought my copy (F-111B) many years ago so it has the original type paper, glossy with good photos. I bought a copy of the Skywarrior Part One from Amazon and it was the lower quality print on the cheaper paper. I was really disappointed as I have the regular Part Two copy and it is the higher quality print. Amazon should let people know they are buying an inferior copy. They charge the regular price for it and that is a ripoff. I have about 24 Ginter books and this is the only one that is a lower quality copy.

  5. For anyone not in the USA who may be deterred by the postage on Tommy's kind offer, I can confirm that Hannant's in the UK have the genuine, well printed, glossy paper version (as of July 2017 at least). While stocks last, as they say.

    It's a great read and a great help in identifying some of those badly or un-captioned photos on the internet where the serial isn't visible.