Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Kagero Topcolors
Fighters Over Japan Part 1

By Tomasz Szlagor and Leszek A. Wieliczko

With colour profiles by Janusz ?wialo?

 

 S u m m a r y

Title and Author, Price and Publisher:

Kagero Topcolors
Fighters Over Japan Part 1
By Tomasz Szlagor and Leszek A. Wieliczko
With colour profiles by Janusz ?wialo?

£18.99 available online from Casemate UK

Media:

Soft Cover; 205 x 275mm; 34 pages; 17 colour profiles; ISBN: 978-83-60445-78-5

Review Type:

First Read

Advantages:

Stunning colour profiles; potted history of the subject; high quality decals and mask sets

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusion:

One for the historian who would like to find about a little more about the final months of the Pacific air war and the aircraft used in it as well as the modeller who would like to reproduce them in the three main scales.

 

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstRead

 

Topcolours is another series produced the prolific Polish Publisher Kagero.

To date, Kagero have 16 titles in the series covering both aircraft and armour subjects.

To be truthful, I am not sure if what you hold in your hands is a book that provides stunning colour profiles with a potted history of the subject as well as decals and mask sets; or a decal sheet and masking set backed up with excellent research and colour profiles.

The subject of this review though is Fighters over Japan Part 1 and from what I have seen of the other books in the Topcolour range it is fairly typical of the series.

Text is minimal with just three pages that provide a brief overview of the markings used by the P-51s of the Very Long Range 15th 21st and 506th Fighter Groups and 5th Air Force’s 35th and 348th Fighter Group as well as the P-47Ns of the 7th and 20th Air Forces – the 314th, 318th, 413th, 414th and 507th respectively and of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force’s Homeland Defence system in general.

 

  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Kagero Fighters Over Japan Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading

 

You are treated to 23 full colour side profiles in all with a further six that show both upper and lower surface plan views.  The artwork of these profiles is really first rate indeed and all exhibit shadowing, weathering and tonal contrasts.  Each profile is accompanied by text (in both the English and Polish languages) that identifies each aircraft depicted, its pilot when known; the squadron it belonged to and where it flew from.

The individual machines illustrated are as follows:

  • The well known Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei Hien, serial number 4424 flown by Teruhiko Kobayashi of the 244th Sentai from early 1945.
  • Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei Hien, serial number 4424 from May of 1945.
  • Kawasaki Ki-61-I Hei Hien, with an unknown serial number and coded 88 of the 244th Sentai from February 1945. You also get upper and lower surface views of this machine.
  • Kawasaki Ki-61-I Hei Hien, coded 83 and flown by Mitso Oyake of the 2nd Chutai, 18th Setai from the November of 1944.
  • Kawasaki Ki-61-I Tei, coded 732 of the 56TH Sentai flown by Haruyosi Furukawa in early 1945.
  • Mitsubishi Ki-46-III Otsu Hei coded 24 of the 16th Dokuritsu Chutai from the summer of 1945.
  • Nakajima Ki-44-II Otsu Shoki serial number 1435.  Coded 35, the machine was assigned to Fuji-Tai, 47th Sentai and (probably) flown by Yasuro Masaki in the December/January of 1944/45.  You also get upper and lower surface views of this machine.
  • Nakajima Ki-44-II Ko Shoki coded 19 and flown by Teiichi Hatano of the 3rd Chutai, 47th Sentai in early 1944.
  • Nakajima Ki-44-II Hei Shoki coded 321 of the 3rd Chutai 246th Sentai.  The machine is coded 321 and was (probably) flown by Kiyonori Sano.
  • Nakajima Ki-84 Ko Hayate coded 69 of the 47th Sentai and flown by Teichi Hatano from January 1944.  Upper and lower surface plan views are also provided for this machine.
  • Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate serial number 84063 and coded 63 flown by Yasuro Masaki of the 47th Sentai in February 1945.
  • Nakajima Ki-84 Ko Hayate serial number 1715 and coded 715 flown by Tadao Ikeda of 51st Sentai.
  • Republic P-47N Thunderbolt “Icky and Me” flown by Lieutenant Jack Payne of the 333rd Fighter Squadron 318th Fighter Group.
  • Republic P-47N-1-RE Thunderbolt serial number 44-88020 “Red –E Ruth” of the 19th Fighter Squadron 318th Fighter Group.
  • Republic P-47N-1-RE Thunderbolt “Sack Happy” flown by Lieutenant Robert Redfield of the 73rd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group.
  • Republic P-47N-5-RE Thunderbolt “Lady Leota” serial number 44-88707 of the 437th Fighter Squadron, 414th Fighter Group.
  • Republic P-47N-2-RE Thunderbolt “Chautauqua” flown by Lieutenant Victor Scmidt of the 463rd Fighter Squadron, 507th Fighter Group.  Upper and lower surface views with this one too.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63483 “Stinger VII” flown by Major Robert W. Moore of the 45th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group.  Upper and lower surface views are provided for this machine and of note, is that the Squadron’s green band identity stripes are shown on the under surface of the wings.  Upper and lower surface plan views here as well.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63984 “Margaret IV” flown by Major James B. Tapp of the 78th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-72607 “Madam Wham Dam” flown by Major Harrison E. Shipman of the 458th Fighter Squadron, 506th Fighter Group.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-72620 “The Shawnee Princess” flown by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Seale of the 462nd Fighter Squadron, 506th Fighter Group.
  • North American P-51K-10-NT Mustang serial number 44-12017 “Mrs Bonnie” flown by Lieutenant Colonel William D. Dunham the Commanding Officer of the 348th Fighter Group from May 1944.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63632 Little “Angel” The 104 of the 46th Fighter Squadron, 21st Fighter Group.
  • North American P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63423 “Squirt” flown by Colonel James O. Beckwith, the Commanding Officer of the 15th Fighter Group from the April of 1945.

As noted above, you are also provided with a decal sheet and big one it is too.  The sheet provides markings for nine aircraft.  The markings are provided in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale and are confined the individual identifying markings worn by each option.  Having said though you also get sets of “0 to 9” black stencil style numbers in black – four sets in 1/72 scale and another four sets in 1/48 scale.  There is no advice as to who the decals have been produced by however, they are thin, in perfect register and have an absolute minimum of film surrounding each subject.

 

 

“Masking foils” are provided for a further four machine, all Japanese.  Again, the markings are limited squadron insignia although there are masks for four hinomarus too.

As if that is not enough, you also get a set of P-47, and Ki-61 canopy masks and a set of K-61 wheel hub masks, all in 1/32 scale.

The book itself is in landscape format, measures 27.5cm x 20.5cm (10?" x 8") and consists of 34 pages of glossy paper between thin cardboard covers.

All up, one for the historian who would like to find about a little more about the final months of the Pacific air war and the aircraft used in it as well as the modeller who would like to reproduce them in the three main scales.


 

Postscript

In case you were wondering why the Imperial Japanese and US Navy does not feature, Kagero covers the two air arms in Fighters over Japan Part 2!

 

Thanks to Bamboo Editions for the samples.


Review Copyright 2010 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 6 April, 2010
Last updated 8 April, 2010

Back to HyperScale Main Page