Wednesday 5 May 2021

Colourful Nate Fest Trio from Lifelike Decals

Aviation of Japan Texas correspondent Mark Smith has very kindly provided this review of Lifelike Decals new trio of sheets for the Type 97 fighter, Ki-27 'Nate' offering no less than 25 subjects in 1/48 scale.

'Some of this blog’s readers may have been lucky enough to have picked up Lifelike Decals 1/48 Ki-27 'Nate' decals several years ago (sheets 48-020, 021 and 023).  I was too late, as they were Sold Out quite a while ago. Now Lifelike has given us another crack at these colourful birds through this newly released trio that is even better, featuring more recent research as well as additional subjects not available on the earlier sheets.  Due to this the original trio remain as Parts 1, 2 and 3 with these latest sheets labeled as Parts 4, 5 and 6. They are printed by Microscale, and on my samples the colours, registration, and detail are up to Lifelike’s typically high standards; the accompanying detailed information sheets also offer much information about the units, pilots, and in certain cases, colours of these aircraft which is often not generally available in English.  But on to particulars…

48-056 Type 97 Fighters Part 4

  • A/C # 1 Ki-27 Otsu of 246th Sentai , flown by its Commander, Major Takeo Miyamoto, Kakogawa AB / Hyogo Prefecture, December 1942.
  • AC # 2 Ki-27 Otsu of 246th Sentai 2nd Chutai, flown by Corporal Susumu Kajinami, Kakogawa AB / Hyogo Pref., January 1943.
  • A/C # 3 Ki-27 Otsu (probably) of some training unit in Manchuria, time and location unknown.
  • A/C # 4 Ki-27 Otsu flown by 2nd Lt. Iichi Yamaguchi, leader of the 68th Shinbu-tai, Tenryu AB / Shizuoka Pref., March 30, 1945.
  • A/C # 5 Ki-27 Kou flown by M. Sgt Katsutaro Takahashi of 59th Sentail 1st Chutai (probably) Hankou AB / China, end of 1939. The unit lightning flash is printed black but Lifelike acknowledge uncertainty about the colour and helpfully provide a masking template to permit modelers to apply their preferred colour.
  • A/C # 6 Ki-27 Otsu of 13th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Kakogawa AB / Hyogo Pref., May 1940.
  • A/C # 7 Ki-27 of 18th Sentai, Chofu AB / Tokyo, Spring of 1944.
  • A/C # 8 Ki-27 Otsu of 85th Sentai 1st Chutai. 
  • A/C # 9 Ki-27 Kou of 1st Sentai 2nd Chutai, Kagamihara AB / Gifu Pref., July 1938 to May 1939.
Individual notes for each of these aircraft are helpfully keyed to 20 references on the instruction sheet. Masking templates are also provided for the synchronisation calibration markings on the forward cowling for those aircraft with over-painted cowlings. This attention to detail, typical for Lifelike, is highly commendable. 

48-057 Type 97 Fighters Part 5
  • A/C # 1 Ki-27 Otsu flown by Capt. Shigetoshi Inoue, leader of 1st Sentai, 1st Chutai, Nomonhan/China, September 1939. 
  • A/C # 2 Ki-27 Otsu (s/n 5362) flown by M. Sgt. Totaro Ito, 5th Sentai 3rd Chutai, Kashiwa AB/Chiba Pref., end of 1940. 
  • A/C # 3 Ki-27 Otsu flown by Capt. Kenji Shimada, leader of 11th Sentai 1st Chutai, Nomonhan/China, May ~ June 1939.
  • A/C # 4 Ki-27 Otsu of 50th Sentai 3rd Chutai (Hoshi Hikoutai), Clark AB/Philippines, January 1942.
  • A/C # 5 Ki-27 Otsu (probably) of 76th Shinbu-tai, Chiran AB/Kagoshima, April 1945. 
  • A/C # 6 Ki-27 Kou, #30 of 84th Independent Chutai, Kwantung/China, October 1939. 
  • A/C # 7 Ki-27 Otsu flown by Capt. Yoshiro Kuwabara, 77th Sentai 3rd Chutai, Mingaladon AB/Burma, December 1941.
  • A/C # 8 Ki-27 Otsu of 111th Fighter Training Group, Ryompo AB/Korea, March 1943. 
Again individual notes for each of these aircraft are helpfully keyed to the 23 listed references. 

48-058 Type 97 Fighters Part 6
  • A/C # 1 Ki-27 Otsu flown by 4th Sentai Commander, Lt. Col. Saburo Hayashi, Kikuchi AB/Kumamoto Pref. September 1940.
  • A/C # 2 Ki-27 Kou flown by Major Tateo Kato, Commander of 64th Sentai, Kwangtung AB/China, April 1941. 
  • A/C # 3 Ki-27 Otsu flown by the leader of 1st Chutai, 50th Sentai, Moulmein/Burma, January 1942. 
  • A/C # 4 Ki-27 Otsu of 14th Fighter Training Unit, Nanyuan AB/near Beijing, November 1943. 
  • A/C # 5 Ki-27 Otsu (probably) of some unknown Special Attack unit, location unknown, soon after the war. 
  • A/C # 6 Ki-27 Otsu of 4th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Tachiarai AB/Fukuoka Pref., end of 1941. 
  • A/C # 7 Ki-27 Otsu flown by Capt. Hyoe Yonaga of 24th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Nagilian AB/Philippines, December 1941.
  • A/C # 8 Ki-27 Kou flown by 1st Lt. Iwori Sakai, leader of 64th Sentai 2nd Chutai, Nomonhan/China, fall of 1939. 
Individual notes for each of these aircraft are also helpfully keyed to 23 listed references.     

'Each of the three decal sheets has appropriate hinomaru markings and the small adhesive paint masks that will save much time for undertaking the cowling markings on certain aircraft – very thoughtful.  If you purchased the original Nate Trio, now Sold Out (Parts 1,2 and 3) note that there are ‘new’ options on Parts 4, 5, and 6. Lifelike Decals are as good as any I’ve used, and like their recent Tony and Claude trios, these comprehensive and exacting sheets should set the standard for a long time.'  – Mark Smith

With very special thanks to Mark Smith for providing this review and to Keishiro Nagao of Lifelike Decals for very kindly providing the review sheets. I can vouch for Mark's observation that these sheets are superbly printed. They are designed for the excellent Hasegawa (ex-Mania) kit, offering some strikingly colourful and well chosen subjects which will no doubt inspire many a stash rummaging.

Image credit: All © 2021 Lifelike Decals


Ken Glass said...

Thanks, MarK & Nick, for this notice & info.

WD said...

What a wonderful set of decals!

Jim Anderson said...

Yes indeed, nice! I had a chance to look at them on the big boy computer to do them justice. Thank you Mark and Nick for a good look.

Baronvonrob said...

Super Cool decals !,..hopefully, to appear in 1/72 someday?

Kevin Bade said...

Really impressive decals. If they'd make it in 1/72 I would be obliged to build a bevy of nifty Nates.

Dan Salamone said...

Great review, Mark. I had actually forgotten that I had one of these sheets!


WK said...

Really nice decals. I wonder, with more and more modellers painting their markings, will decal companies start offering options for paint masks alongside their decals?

Ronnie Olsthoorn said...

Nice selection! Some VERY familiar subjects there.

Fred Boucher said...

No. 5 & 7 are calling for me to build them!

Thanks to Nick and Mark for posting this.