Lifelike 72-035: Type 97 Fighter Part 2
Units: See review


I paid $12.95 plus shipping


Scott Van Aken

I was in search of some Ki-27 decals for an upcoming project and found this set on the 'net. I've used Lifelike Decals before. I found their early sheets were a bit too transparent, while the later ones seem to have gotten over that issue. I'm not sure just how these will turn out, but since most of the markings are one light, single color backgrounds, a lack of total opaqueness should not be an issue.

This sheet has six markings options, five of them being overall IJAAF green-grey with the sixth one having a dark green upper surface with the yellow leading edge bands. This latter option is one that was assigned to an unknown training unit in Manchuria late in the war because it has the green upper surfaces and a fuselage insignia. None of the other options have this feature.

The other five are from operational units, all of them from the 1940 until early 1942 time frame when the type was withdrawn from front-line squadrons and replace by Ki-43s.

The first of these is from the 5th Sentai and flown by Master Sergeant Ito from Kashiwa air base in late 1940

Next is Major Kato's plane from the 64th Sentai based at Kwangtung AB in China during mid 1941.

With the black tail is a plane from the 10th Independent Chutai based at Taiyuan Air base in northern China during 1940. Lifelike has included a mask for the black tail.

From the 50th Sentai is the fifth option. It was based at Clark air base in early 1942.

Finally, Captain T. Sakagawa's 24th Sentai plane from Hailar air base in Mongolia during early 1940.

The decals are very nicely printed and while the reds look too bright to me, I'm willing to admit that perhaps they really were this shade. The instructions are superb with a very nice write-up on each one of the options, showing a lot of research. References are also provided, which is typical with Lifelike.

I'm looking forward to using this set and choosing which one will be a difficult choice!

June 2017

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