244th Sentai Part 1
Lifelike Decals, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
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Some of the most colorful aircraft in the Japanese Army Air Forces were flown by the 244th Sentai. They flew both the Ki-27 and the Ki-61. The markings consist of a red tail.
Lifelike produces the most accurate decals that I’ve seen. Even when they aren’t sure they let the modeler know what is known and what is based off of educated information. In the event that they are wrong they release correction decals. I’ve never seen anyone do that before.
These sheets come in a ziplock bag to ensure they are safe from moisture. The instructions are printed in full color on two single sided A4 sheets. The profiles are on the one page and then Notes, Colors and stencils are discussed on the other sheet. There are two other A4 sheets that discuss the information about each aircraft. The references that were used to develop the sheets are included so you can make your own determination if you wish.
The actual decals are printed by Microscale. So you know they work with the Microscale setting solutions. The colors are vibrant, while the decals are still thin with minimal carrier film. The decals are printed on three sheets. The first, and largest, contains all the individual aircraft markings and stencils. It is printed on a 5 ¾ x 8.5 sheet of decal film. The second one has all the red markings on a 6 x 4 ½ sheet. The third one contains all the yellow markings which include the prop tips and identification stripes on a 6 x 1 sheet.
The first aircraft belongs to Capt. Kobayashi, the Commander of the 244th, in January 1945. This is the most colorful aircraft on the sheet and probably the most famous of the 244th. The aircraft is a natural metal airplane with green splotches. What sets this aircraft apart is the horizontal blue and white line. The vertical Chutai band is red. The 244th Sentai red tail and unit marking just adds another splash of color. The kill markings on the side of the aircraft are white and there are markings for two different time periods.
The second aircraft is another aircraft from Capt. Kobayashi in March. This aircraft carried external fuel tanks in grey, not the incorrect yellow tanks. This aircraft carried 10 or 14 kill markings below the cockpit, both options are provided. The red horizontal and vertical stripes. The tail carries the inscription ‘Be sure of Victory’. The prop spinner also carries the green splotches. This particular aircraft has red identification markings on the wing leading edges, not the usual yellow. That makes this aircraft stand out.
Lt. Takashima’s aircraft is the third Tony on the sheet. This plane has blue horizontal and vertical stripes. This aircraft was handed over from Capt. Kobayashi to one of his students and as such the aircraft carries the 14 kill markings. All the armament was removed from this aircraft at this time.
Corporal Ishioka does not feature the common red tail but has the Sentai marking in red instead. Since the rudder is a replacement the Sentai markings don’t quite line up. This is supplied as a unique stepped decal. The spinner has a yellow tip which is uncommon. A lightning bolt is applied to the engine cowling back to the cockpit. The green splotches are smaller in color than the previous three aircraft. The aircraft did carry the Defense of the Homeland white bands around the fuselage and wings, but they are toned down with green splotches on the upper surfaces.
Aircraft five is a natural metal airplane with the Home Defense white bands applied to the fuselage and wings. The red Sentai tail is included as are a lower red horizontal stripe and vertical stripe. The yellow identication markings on the front of the wing adds a splash of color. Five kill markings are included below the cockpit making this a colorful aircraft.
The sixth aircraft is another natural metal airplane. This time the pilot is 1st Lt. Shinomiya in December 1944. This Tony has the Home Defense white bands and red Sentai tail. The red lightning stripe runs from the tail to the nose. This aircraft was used to down a B-29 body attack (read ramming) and landed with half the wing missing.
A Hein Type 1 is the seventh aircraft. This aircraft has green splotches in conjunction with the white Home Defense bands. A red lightning bolt is in front of the Home Defense band. The tail is not the typical red but it has the Sentai markings on the tail in red. The upper wings have green overspray.
The last aircraft on the sheet is of Cpl. Ando in January 1945. A red lightning bolt is on the sides above a very thin white band. The red tail complete the white Sentai marking makes this a very interesting aircraft.
The aircraft on this sheet are quite colorful and that accompanied on a very sleek machine makes this a winning sheet. This is the first of three 244th Sentai markings from Lifelike. They will work great with the Hasegawa and Tamiya kits. They are thoroughly researched by Lifelike and expertly printed by Microscale. This sheet is a great value for the money. You can’t go wrong with this or with the other two sheets in this series.
Thanks to Lifelike Decals for these samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2017 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Page Created 7 August, 2017
8 August, 2017
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