IJAAF ground crew usually used 3-step ladders to reach to the engines of the single-seat fighters and shorter aircraft but needed taller ladders for aircraft like the "Babs" or bombers like the "Sally". All these ladders were made of wood but "Lilly" bomber crews used a small three-step ladder made of metal for the bombardier to enter the plane from the front hatch.
In the front, any kind of ladder substitutes were used including stools or small tables.
Although cumbersome, more popular than ladders were empty oil drums that presumably provided a more stable platform to work from. And so, an oil drum on its side near the tail of a combat aircraft, as seen in the bottom photo, wouldn't look as if the aircraft was abandoned but simply that it waited maintenance.