Japanese Aircraft in Foreign Service, Volume 1

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Jacek Jackiewicz & Seweryn Fleischer
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 128 pages, over 300 photos and 187 color profiles
Product / Stock #
Company: Kecay

This is the first of a three-volume set being published by Kecam. This first volume covers Japanese aircraft operated by Japan’s allies during World War 2, as well as those captured by opposing forces (other than the US, UK, and Commonwealth countries), and those pressed into service by various countries in the immediate post-war period.

The book is in a softcover format, with thick stock covers and pages finished in a high-quality satin finish. Black and white photos, as well as extremely well-done color profiles, appear on almost every one of the 128 pages. There are even a few rare color photos in some sections.

The authors dive right in to the topic, with the inside front cover having a table of all Japanese aircraft operated by the subject countries. Aircraft purchased, seized, or otherwise obtained by various Chinese forces, Thailand, Kwangsi, Manchuria, Korea (North and South), Nanking, Indonesia, the Soviet Union, and France are all listed.

Each of the above-mentioned countries has its own section. Each of these sections has brief (but extremely descriptive) text, many photos (with in-depth captions), and a great number of color profiles (including many top and bottom views). This book is clearly aimed at the modeler, as the authors do their utmost to describe the colors, insignia, and other markings clearly.

The pages are divided approximately as follows:

  • Soviet Union - 10 pages (including aircraft obtained from China during the Sino-Japanese War, as well as those captured during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria at the very end of WW2).
  • China - approximate 46 pages, covering the Nationalist, Communist, Nanking, and Kwangsi forces. Of particular note here is the discussion on the early-style of Communist Chinese markings, as well as some rare color photos.
  • Manchuria - 16 pages covering aircraft used by this Japanese puppet state, including profiles of all ‘presentation’ Ki-27s and Ki-43s. The authors’ attention to detail is apparent here in a discussion of how exactly the multi-colored roundel of the on the Ki-43s were applied (not symmetrical!).
  • Thailand - 20 pages, showing the different national markings used (roundels, elephant on a red rectangle, and red/white/blue striped rectangle), and including coverage of Royal Thai Navy aircraft – these had an anchor on a yellow disc on the fuselage, with ‘standard’ markings on the wings. An interesting highlight here is a 3-view profile of a Thai Ki-43 used to damage a B-29 (and subsequently was downed itself).
  • Korea - 5 pages, covering aircraft used by North and South Korea immediately after the War.
  • Indonesia - 13 pages including a photo and profiles of a Ki-43 assembled from two different airframes (with completely different camouflage on each section).
  • Netherlands - 1 page, noting that this country used perhaps the smallest number of Japanese aircraft among those listed. Most of these subsequently fell into Indonesian guerilla hands
  • France - the balance of approximately 17 pages is dedicated to France’s use of Japanese aircraft in the immediate post-war time period (particularly in Indochina). Those used by both the French Air Force and Navy are covered, with (again) some very interesting profiles.

If you have any interest in some unique schemes for one of your upcoming Japanese aircraft builds, this book will provide some great guidance. The authors make a definite effort to provide as much information as they can about specific markings, and have photos to back them up. The color profiles are plentiful and extremely well done. I appreciate the fact that top and bottom view are included in many of the profiles, leaving a lot less guesswork for the reader.

Highly recommend!

Thanks to Atelier Kecay for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it.


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