In addition to the recent revised sheets, Lifelike Decals has produced an all-new sheet for the Ki-61 Hien. This one has four aircraft and they are all 'short nose' versions. For this, most modelers will gravitate to the Hasegawa kit, though some might want to use the old Arii/Otaki version. The new Tamiya kit is a long nose variant so not appropriate for this sheet.
There are four options, all from 1945 and all based in the home islands.
First up is a -I Hei flown by 2nd Lt Takeo Adachi with the 55th Sentai. This olane is overall unpainted metal with a black anti-glare panel. It has his victory markings just forward of the fuselage insignia.
Next, in a bare metal plane overpainted in green mottling is the Ki-61-I Otsu flown by Sgt. Shuichi Kaihou of the 39th Fighter Training Regiment. This one has the fuselage guns removed, though the troughs were still intact.
The Ki-61-I Hei with the upper surface green is another 55 sentai plane and flown by 2nd Lt. Tomiho Tohda. Note that the area around the cockpit is still unpainted.
Finally another unpainted Ki-61-I Hei flown by 2nd Lt Takeshi Nakamura with the 18th Sentai in early 1945.
Instructions are superb, having been well researched with copious notes on each marking option. The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale so no worries on application or use of setting solutions. There are enough data markings and wing ID sections for one plane. A full data placement guilde is also provided.
Several Lifelike decals have been known to sell out quickly, their WWII Japanese subjects among them, so pick yours up soon.
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My thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review set. Check you local hobby shop for availability.
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