Lifelike Decals has been revising some of its older sheets. Often this means adding in new information or upgrading the decal sheet. In this case, it means the removal of the Ki-100 from the earlier sheet and adding in another Ki-61. This time around, Lifelike has used Microscale to print their decals. This has a couple of benefits. One is that they will be more opaque and the other is that they will be a tad bit thicker so easier to apply.
This sheet has markings for eight aircraft of the famed 244th Sentai. The aircraft are either in Kawasaki dark green over unpainted metal or overall unpainted metal, some with green blotching. Most have the white defense bands on the wings and fuselage, though the modeler will need to paint those on. All the other stripes have been provided and this revised sheet also provides a set of wing leading edge markings, though you can paint them on if you wish. The sheet has insignia for one plane, but you can use kit markings for others if you so wish.
The sheets provide the subtype of Ki-61 (long or short nose) along with the pilot. A rather well done instruction sheet provides more aircraft information as well as where the primary reference for the scheme came from. In those cases where the information is unknown, options are provided for the modeler to make their choice. Note that I darkened the sheet a bit so you could see the white parts.
The aircraft are listed vertically from the left and so here are the pilots:
Aircraft 1 and 5 are Kobayashi
Aircraft 2 is the new addition and is Hiranuma
Aircraft 3 is Itakura
Aircraft 4 is pilot unknown Shinbu-tai. Note that this airplane has a replacement lower forward cowling piece.
Aircraft 6 and 7 are Shono
Aircraft 8 is pilot unknown Soyokaze-tai
As Kobayashi's standard plane falls into the 'done to death' category, it is nice to have options. This 1/48 sheet recommends the Tamiya or Hasegawa kits, and most will choose the Hasegawa for the 'short nose' version and the Tamiya for the 'long nose' Tei. I did notice that the last option was listed as a tei but the drawing has the short nose. Another couple of things I spotted is that the green planes had that color in the area behind the cockpt and they also had green prop blades.
In all, another superb sheet and if you like the Ki-61 as much as I, you'll want to pick this and the others up before they sell out.
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My thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review set. Check you local hobby shop for availability.
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