Author: Giuseppe Picarella
Published by: Stratus (available in UK from Mushroom Model Publications)
Format: Hardback 248 pages A4 size. Illustrated throughout, black and white images plus colour profiles and a few colour images, English text throughout.
Price: £29.99 (February 2012)
Available from: All good bookshops, or direct from the publishers MMP at £33.50 inc. p&p (UK), £35 (Europe). North American distributors: Casemate; Australian distributors: Platypus Publications.
Review by: Geoff Coughlin
Our thanks to Stratus – Mushroom Model Publications for supplying the review sample.
There is very little information in English on Japanese transport aircraft of WW2. This new book from well-known illustrator and author Giuseppe Picarella covers all the experimental transport aircraft of the period (including gliders) and puts them into context, with the overall story of Japanese military transport aircraft operations of the period.
Both the navy and airforce in Japan neglected transport aviation, with disastrous consequences for the logistics in the extended theatres of war. The most important transport aircraft built and used in Japan were copies of the DC-3 and the various Lockheed types.
Japanese designs were mostly converted bombers – but there were some interesting projects and prototypes, all described in detail here.
In addition to many contemporary images, there are colour profiles of representative aircraft from both sides, and many line drawings of the types featured.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge images.
The author is well respected and the coverage is extensive and well-researched.
It’s hard to imagine that this volume originated from the emergence of a single photo of the Tachikawa Ki-92 in the late 1990s and, as it became apparent that little was currently available of Japanese transport aircraft, the author’s journey began and culminated in this excellent title.
It’s an extraordinary feat of work and I congratulate him on such a fine publication.
Useful for scale modellers…
This title is a great mix of text and quality images; it may not, at first glance, seem to offer as much to scale modellers as other publications concerned with more common aircraft types, but this would be to misjudge the content.
The depth and coverage, together with the excellent colour profiles and all-aspect line drawings, will provide plenty of scope for influencing your choice of model.
The period images will certainly give you much to contemplate in terms of finish and weathering, but you should take a long look at the words. The writing gives great insight into all aspects of Japanese military transport aviation in WW2 and you certainly get a strong feel for the subject working through the impressive 248 pages.