Nakajima Ki-43 Part 1
LifeLike Decals, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Rodger Kelly
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Two new sheets from the Tokyo, Japan based producer Lifelike Decals. Both sheets are for the Imperial Japanese’s Army Air Forces’ Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon), or Oscar as it was dubbed by the United States Army Air Force code name system.
The sheet carries markings for five different machines, the details of which are as follows:
- Type I, flown by Major Kinshiro Takeda, the Commander of the 1st Sentai from Hanoi Air Base in Indochina (now Vietnam) in the October of 1943. The machine is finished in dark green upper surfaces with natural metal finish undersides and sports extensive individual markings.
- Type II Otsu from the 2nd Chutai, 23rd Sentai at the Inaba Air Base in 1945. The machine is in overall natural metal finish with random dark green “splotches”. It also sports white homeland defence markings around the wings and fuselage. These white bands or “bandages” as they are dubbed are provided as decals.
- Type I flown by Major Tadashi Ishikawa the commander of the 50th Sentai from Toungoo South Air Base, Burma in the January of 1943. Camouflage is dark green upper surfaces over natural metal undersides.
- Type I flown by Sergeant Satoshi Anabuki of the 3rd Chutai, 50th Sentai from Toungoo South Air Base, Burma in the January of 1943. A well known aircraft, it is finished in dark green upper surfaces over natural metal undersides.
- Type II Ko flown by M/Sergeant Akira Sugimoto of the 3rd Chutai, 54th Sentai from Kitanodai Air Base Paramushiru Island in Northern Chisima at the end of 1943. The machine is in overall natural metal finish with a random “blotching” of dark green.
There is no indication as what company has printed the decals but they look first rate indeed. They are thin, have an absolute minimum of film surrounding each subject and are in perfect register. A smattering of stencil data is included on the sheets (there are two of them) including the thin propeller warning stripes. Also included is a set of yellow multi-part decals for the yellow leading edges of the wings, identification markings.
The recommended kits are the Hasegawa Ki-43 Type 1 and II ones as well as the ancient Arri/OtakiKi-43 II.
The placement guide comes in the form of two A-4 sized sheets. One sheet shows full colour left hand side profiles of the fuselage for each option as well as upper and lower plan views for each option. The other page has very comprehensive notes for each option which not only gives a potted history of the machine and the pilot but also a full explanation the colour scheme.
The decal sheets (there is a large main one as well as a smaller one that carries the “bandages” and other white unit markings and the placement guide come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.
Lifelike Decals produce first-rate sheets with their ones covering Japanese subjects being the best around. This sheet is no exception. It combines superb decals with some outstanding research that will allow you to an accurate model of the depicted machine.
Thanks to Lifelike Decals for these samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2013 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 11 March, 2013
11 March, 2013
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