BOOK REVIEWS

First to the Last: 50 Years of MiG-21s with the IAF. Rajkumar & Singh: Society for Aerospace Studies: 2013: 172pp; 2870mm x 2250mms: ISBN No. 978-93-82811-00-8; Hardback.

Written by former serving IAF officers this book gives a great insight into the totality of Indian MiG operations. A great deal of first-hand accounts of engagements, plus training and maintenance. Illustrations could have been better, but a good read.

Defenders of Nippon: F-4 Phantom II. Fearis, Scott & Sands: Kaburaya Books; 2002; 131 pp; 2980mm x 2100mm; Softback.

A truly brilliant book for the modeller of JASDF F-4Js. It aims to cover every finish used and the full colour side views extend to 77 pages: add to this, 27 pages of notes enlarging on each of the views; 3 pages of colour drawings and info on stores carried; and illustrated synopses of all F-4 Hikotai (squadrons). All together a magnificent work, superbly put together by a team that includes Asian Air Arms member Glenn Sands.

Eagles Over Bangladesh: Mohan & Chopra: Harper Collins India: 2013: 413 pp: 2150mm x 1400mm: Softback.

An extremely well-written and comprehensive account of IAF operations against East Pakistan air units during Bangladesh's War of Liberation. Many fascinating accounts of Hunter and Su-7 operations.

Tactical Fighter Training Group T-2 & F-15: Model Art Color Guide "Siries": 2007: 152 pp: 2570mm x 1820mm: Softback.

Produced by Model Art, this book is part of their Color Guide Series and gives full details of each aircraft used by the JASDF aggressor squadron up until approximately 2005. The aircraft types are the Mitsubishi T-2 and McDonnell Douglas (Mitsubishi) F-15J/DJ Eagle.

Although the text is fully in Japanese, the photos, sketches and painting diagrams are extremely self-explanatory and include 4-views of each plane showing the changes to markings during its life.

Printed in full colour, it is the best guide you can get if you want to model a Japanese aggressor squadron in this period of time..

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ModelArt Profiles: This series of books offers a complete walk-around of an aircraft type in Japanese service and at present includes the F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle, T-4 including T-33 and T-1, F-2, F-104 Starfighter and finally T-2/F-1. As an example, the F-4 book has 136 pages, is a softback and was printed in 2008.

Most of the books have fold-out 1/48 plans as well as a selection of very accurate colour profiles and a section showing various model builds. The only down-side is that they are printed in Japanese throughout, but the pictures and photos are easily understood and this is what really matters. The quality of the production is excellent and they are the best all round guides available for specific Japanese service types.

Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia: Gordon & Komissarov; Hikoki; 2014; 416pp; 300mm x 215mm; hardback.This is an excellent, profusely illustrated book of great value to the student of the region. Each entry has lists of serials and most pages have full-colour line drawings. However, the authors' statement that Vietnam operated the MiG-23 has been vigorously challenged by other experts. That aside, this is an invaluable work and is highly recommended.

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