Berna Decals 7238 Ki-43-I Hayabusa

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

I bought a nice early Oscar and was underwhelmed by its lone markings option. This led me to a search to see if I could find anything from the aftermarket crowd. A lot of searching turned up very little that was actually available. One was this Berna sheet. Now I've had a less than sterling opinion of this company, but was pretty well down to no real options. 1/72 -I  Oscars simply do not have a bevy of sheets out there. This one has markings for six aircraft. All are in dark green over grey green. Most have the yellow leading edge wing markings. Careful choice of insignia will allow two options as long as it doesn't have a plain white fuselage band, of which only one is provided. Thankfully, Kato's plane is not included.

First up is a 64 Sentai plane from the 2nd Chutai as shown by the red arrow on the fin. Next to it is one from the 3rd Chutai, both from early 1942 in Burma or Malaya.

The 50th Sentai covers the next two with the white flash being the 3rd Chutai and the red one being the 1st. There are two optional sized fuselage hinomarus for the second Both are from Burma in late 1942 or early 1943 .

Bottom left is from the 47th Dokoritsu Hiko-Chutai based at home in Tokyo in mid 1943.This one has the white rectangles surrounding the insignia.

Finally, the tail only illustration is from the 11th Sentai and flown by the ace Katsuji Sugiuro in October 1942 from bases in Burma.

The instructions are fairly well done, but not complete in regards to the sectional drawings. One has to assume they either did or did not have the wing ID markings, though there are notes as to the color of the spinner and the insignia to use. As a note, the order to install the yellow bands is dated 11 September 1942, but I doubt all the planes had them the next day. I don't think there will be any issues with translucency as the decals are actually a bit thick and you feel that by running your finger over them. There are enough data markings (such as they are) for one aircraft.

January 2018

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