Lifelike 48-058: Type 97 Fighters Part 6
Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

This next sheet from Lifelike Decals also provides markings for eight different aircraft. These are all in a base color of Grey-Green #1, which the instructions state is very close to RLM 02, but I'd go with Tamiya's shade before I used that. Three of the options have the upper surfaces repainted in Nakajima Dark Green with two of those three adding in a brown. One thing to note. If the aircraft has a fuselage hinomaru, then it generally has yellow wing leading edges. You will also need to paint the cowling red on those planes that have it. For kits, I believe the Hasegawa/Mania kit is it for 1/48. This kit is not difficult to locate and is actually fairly nice considering its age.

First option is the commander's plane from the 4th Sentai  at Kikuchi Air Base in September 1940.

Second is Tateo Kato's plane when he commanded the 64th Sentai at Kwangtung AB in China during April of 1941

The first camouflaged offering is with the 50th Sentai, 1st Chutai at Moulmein, Burma in January 1941.

The fourth option is without the lower landing gear cover and was with the 14th Fighter Training Unit at Nanyuan AB near Beijing in November 1943.

Next is an interestingly camouflaged plane from an unknown special attack unit found at the end of the war.

Sixth aircraft is a 4th Sentai, 2nd Chutai plane based at Tahiarai Air Base at the end of 1941. Note that it is also lacking the lower landing gear covers.

The next option is in three upper surface colors and is  with the 24th Sentai, 2nd Chutai based in the Philippines during December 1941.

Finally we have 64th Sentai, 2nd Chutai aircraft based at Nomohan China during the fall of 1939.

This set also includes some masks for the cowling markings used when synchronizing the guns that you might wish to apply. Note that these are the 'you cut them out' type, though they are on masking material. Lifelike also includes a fairly extensive description of each of the markings options in the instructions. The decals themselves are superbly printed by Microscale. There looks to be enough common markings for at least two options. I should also mention that I darkened the sheet a bit so that the white parts would show. Note also that some of the options on this and the previous two releases were on earlier sheets, which have long since sold out. A most welcome sheet and one that I think you will find most interesting and useful.

April 2021

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