Lifelike in Japan have released two new very colourful decal sheets in 1/48th scale for the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa - 48-041 and 48-042 - with five subjects in each set for ¥1,500 (about £11.80/$18.73).
48-041 contains markings for the following subjects:-
- Type I of 1st Sentai, flown by Sentai Commander Maj K Takeda
- Type II Otsu of 23rd Sentai in Homeland Defence markings
- Type I of 50th Sentai, flown by Sentai Commander Maj T Ishikawa
- Type I of 50th Sentai, flown by ace Sgt S Anabuki
- Type II Ko of 54th Sentai, flown by M/Sgt A Sugimoto
48-042 contains markings for the following subjects:-
- Type I of 11th Sentai, flown by Sentai Commander Maj K Sugiura
- Type II Otsu of 204th Sentai, flown by Sentai Commander Maj T Aizawa
- Type I of 64th Sentai, flown by 2nd Chutai acting leader Capt S Nakamura
- Type III of 29th Shinbu-tai (Special Attack Unit)
- Type III of unidentified Special Attack Unit
As is usual with Lifelike decals there are comprehensive notes for each subject with the relevant reference sources cited, making it clear what is and is not known about the markings shown. I really appreciate this approach which is especially useful for modellers who might not have access to the references themselves. In these sheets the notes appear even more extensive than usual and form a mini-reference to the subjects in their own right.
Kits recommended are the Hasegawa Ki-43 Type I and II, the Arii (ex-Otaki) Ki-43 Type II and the Fine Molds Ki-43 Type III. I guess that they might also suit the Nichimo Ki-43 Type I and Fine Molds Ki-43 Type II family although care might need to be taken with the various fuselage stripes.
These are excellent, well-printed decal sets for a perennially popular modelling subject offering a diversity of colourful schemes which have been carefully researched. With special thanks to Mr Keishiro Nagao for the opportunity to examine them first hand.
Image credits: All © 2012 Lifelike Decals