Review: Lifelike Decals 48-058 Type 97 Fighters Pt6


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 decal sheet approx 15 cm x 21 cm
  • 1 decal sheet approx 15 cm x 6 cm
  • Cowling masking template for options #5 & #7.

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

  1. Ki-27 Otsu flown by 4th Sentai Commander, Lt. Col. Saburo Hayashi, Kikuchi AB/Kumamoto Pref., September 1940.
  2. Ki-27 Kou flown by Major Tateo Kato, Commander of 64th Sentai, Kwangtung AB/China, April 1941.
  3. Ki-27 Otsu flown by the leader of 1st Chutai, 50th Sentai, Moulmein/Burma, January 1942.
  4. Ki-27 Otsu of 14th Fighter Training Unit, Nanyuan AB/near Beijing, November 1943.
  5. Ki-27 Otsu (probably) of some unknown Special Attack unit, location unknown, soon after the war.
  6. Ki-27 Otsu of 4th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Tachiarai AB/Fukuoka Pref., end of 1941.
  7. Ki-27 Otsu flown by Capt. Hyoe Yonaga of 24th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Nagilian AB/Philippines, December 1941.
  8. Ki-27 Kou flown by 1st Lt. lwori Sakai, leader of 64th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Nomonhan/China, fall of 1939.

There are no stencils so you will have to use those from your kit. You have enough Hinomaru for 3 options. 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 8 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 23 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.

There is a good description of each aircraft as well as describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 23 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 the Ki-27. 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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