Review: Lifelike Decals 1/48 244th Sentai Pt 1


This new decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for Hasegawa’s Hien and Tamiya’s Hien I-Tei kits, although I think they will work with any Hien kits.  The set consists of:

  • 2 A4 sheets of single-sided colour instructions
  • 3 pages of background information about the references and the 8 decal options.
  • 1 decal sheet 21.5cm x 14.5cm
  • 1 decal sheet 14.5cm x 11.5cm
  • 1 decal sheet 14.5cm x 2cm

The decals arrived in a padded envelope from the manufacturer. Your supplier may package differently. The set is inside a zip-lock style bag and the bag has plenty of space so it is easy to get the sheets in and out.

The sheet covers 8 aircraft:

  1. Hien Type I-Hei 295 Capt Kobayashi
  2. Hien Type I-Tei 24 Capt Kobayashi
  3. Hien Type I-Tei 24 Lt Takashima
  4. Hien Type I-Hei 43 Cpl Ishioka
  5. Hien Type I-Hei Cpl Suzuki
  6. Hien Type I-Hei 57 1st Lt Shinomiya
  7. Hien Type I-Tei 57  pilot unknown
  8. Hien Type I-Hei 45 Cpl Ando

There’s one complete set of stencils, although you may well have some left over depending on what options you choose to do. If you use roundels from another kit you can make more than one of the options on this sheet. Whatever way you do it you will have plenty of scope to do more than one aircraft from this sheet.

The 2 A4 sheets with the placement instructions are folded in half to make a small booklet. The cover shows a port side view of each of the aircraft wiht decal placement guides. The other sheet shows undercarriage doors and part views to show the placement of decals on other parts of the aircraft, such as wing tops. There’s also a separate view showing where the stencils are placed. This page also lists some standard notes on colours used on these aircraft and corrects a few common misconceptions.

The first of the 3 pages of notes lists the 19 references that were used in producing the sheets. I really like that LifeLike give you their list of references. This is a very good idea and points you in the right direction if you want to find out more for yourself. This sheet also gives some notes on a clover marked Hien, which I mention in the video.

The last sheet of paper is printed on both sides and contains their notes and which references were used for each option and ow they came to the conclusions for colours they did. It also mentions background details for the aircraft too. There is a lot of detail in these notes!

Another thing I like is that Lifelike Decals have updates to sheets on their website. If further information is found out about a particular aircraft the post it here and where needed, offer correction sheets if you contact them.

The decals are printed by Microscale. The carrier film is minimal and the colours are clear and everything seems in register. The decals with text are all readable apart from the smallest ones – if your eyes are good enough!

This sheet will cost roughly $13.30, depending where you live.

A highly recommended set of decals for a Ki-61 Hien. The instructions are excellent with very in depth information to help you get the colours right on your aircraft. Lifelike Decals backs up their products on their website and encourages you to let them know what you think. It’s nice to see a manufacturer who is trying to engage with the modelling community.

Many thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


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