Review: Lifelike Decals 48-056 Type 97 Fighters Pt4


This 1/48 decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for the Hasegawa Ki-27 Nate (Type 97) kits. The set consists of:

  • 2 A4 sheets of single-sided colour decal placement instructions
  • 2 A4 sheets of double-sided text with background info on each decal option
  • 1 half sheet giving info about national insignia sizes
  • 1 decal sheet approx 15 cm x 21 cm
  • 1 decal sheet approx 15 cm x 8 cm
  • 1 decal sheet approx 5 cm x 4 cm
  • Masking template for option #5. Decal also provided for this.

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 9 Type 97 Fighters, known in the west as Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate” aircraft:

  1. Ki-27 Otsu flown by 246th Sentai Commander, Major Takeo Miyamoto, Kakogawa AB/Hyo go Pref., December 1942.
  2. Ki-27 Otsu flown by Corporal Susumu Kajinami of 246th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Kakogawa AB/Hyogo Pref., January 1943.
  3. Ki-27 Otsu (probably) of some training units in Manchuria, time and location unknown.
  4. Ki-27 Otsu flown by 2nd Lt. lichi Yamaguchi, leader of the 68th Shinbu-tai, Tenryu AB/Shizuoka Pref., March 30, 1945.
  5. Ki-27 Kou flown by M. Sgt. Katsutaro Takahashi of 59th Sentai 1st Chutai (probably), Hankou AB/China, end of 1939.
  6. Ki-27 Otsu of 13th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Kakogawa AB/Hyogo Pref., May 1940.
  7. Ki-27 of 18th Sentai, Chofu AB/Tokyo, spring of 1944.
  8. Ki-27 Otsu of 85th Sentai 1st Chutai, Manchuria/China, summer of 1942.
  9. Ki-27 Kou of 1st Sentai 2nd Chutai, Kagamihara AB/Gifu Pref., July 1938 to May 1939.

There are no stencils so you will have to use those from your kit. You have enough Hinomaru for up to 2 options if you chose the right ones. If you have stencils and Hinomaru of the right size from the kit box you can easily do all the options in this set.

The 2 A4 sheets are folded in half to make a small booklet. The cover shows a port side view of 4 of the 9 aircraft and the other half of this sheet shows the top and bottom of the aircraft. These views are an adequate size for the few large decals that would be positioned using these views. This page also lists the 20 references that were used in producing the sheets. This is a very good idea and points you in the right direction if you want to find out more for yourself. The double-sided second A4 sheet gives you port side views of the aircraft and part views as needed. Here’s a pdf of those instructions.

There is a good description of each aircraft as well as describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 20 references are used for a particular aircraft.

The extra information will come in really handy in getting your aircraft right and is very informative. They have put a lot of effort into getting their research done. The research they publish is about the best I’ve seen.

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 they post it there and where needed, they offer correction sheets if you contact them.

The carrier film is minimal and the colours are clear and everything seems in register. Overall, the decals seem to be everything you would expect from the likes of Microscale.

This sheet is available for $16.50 at the current exchange rate from Lifelike Decals’ website.

A highly recommended set of decals for B-25. The decals and instructions are excellent and 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 and actively researches their products.

Many thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
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