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Soaring Falcons

Nakajima Army Type 1 Fighter
Ki-43 Hayabusa


1/48 scale


Arawasi Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Arawasi Decals AR48002 - Soaring Falcons
Scale: 1/48 (also available in 1/72)
Contents and Media: Decals and instructions
Price: USD$7.00 plus postage from Arawasi Decals in Japan
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Interesting subjects, well printed with good register.
Disadvantages: No plan view or right hand side illustrations for camouflage patterns; minimal information regarding colours.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by
Rodger Kelly

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AR48002 is the second sheet issued by the Japan based decal company Arawasi.  In keeping with its already established theme of concentrating on markings for World War Two Japanese fighter aircraft, this sheet provides markings for four Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) or "Oscar" as it was code named by the Allies. 

The individual aircraft are: 

        Ki-43 Model II Otsu in overall natural metal finish with white home defence "bandages" on the upper and lower surfaces of its wings.  The machine was flown by 2nd Lieutenant Komatsu Tsuyoshi of the 1st Hikotai (Air Unit), Hitatchi Air Training Division. 

        Ki-43 Model II Ko of the 104th Sentai.  This machine appears to be have been originally in overall natural metal finish and has its upper surfaces subsequently painted in what Arawasi have termed "olive green" which is heavily weathered and chipped.  Interestingly, it has yellow wing tips and fin tip.  It also sports a yellow combat stripe around the rear of the fuselage which is unusual in itself as combat stripes are normally white. 

        Ki-43 Model II Otsu of the Akeno Air Training Division based at Takamatsu airfield in the Kagawa Prefecture in December 1944.  The machine is finished as the option above (minus the "bandages") but it is far more heavily weathered with very little of the "olive green" remaining on the fuselage at all. 

        Ki-43 Model II Kai of the 3rd Chutai, 64th Sentai at Mingaloon airfield, Rangoon in October 1943.  In "olive green" over grey-green finish, the machine was one of three presented to the 64th Sentai by the Burmese Government.  It sports a yellow spinner and cowl as well as a distinctive peacock emblem on the vertical stabiliser

The decals themselves are printed by the Czech Republic based Aviprint company (this company also provide the decals for Eduard, MPM, Sword Models and Accurate Miniatures to list a few).  The decals are very, very thin, in perfect register and have an absolute minimum of film surrounding each subject.  Aviprint Decals are good. They settle down beautifully even without the use of any settling solution.  Use plenty of water to float them into position and you treat them gently given their thiness.  A single set of hinomarus are provided.  Stencil data is confined to two sets of what I take to be maintenance markings for setting the pitch of the propeller. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Support information comes via an A-4 sized placement guide that shows full colour left-hand side views of each machine and upper surface plan views of an overall natural metal machine as well as the "olive green" and grey-green machine.  The sheet provides a list of references to help with research as well as scrap views to show stencil data placement and the wing "bandages".  Colour reference is listed merely as olive green, grey-green, green, ID yellow and hinomaru red so you will have to do some research on these colours from other sources if you are not familiar with the colours used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force.  

The recommended kits are Hasegawa and Fine Molds in 1/48 scale. 

The decals and the placement guide come packed in a cellophane bag that has a gummed edge on the flap and what a pain it is!  When you try and insert the placement guide back inside the bag you must fold the flap back out of the way and try to hold it there so that it does not touch the guide or the decal sheet as if it does, you will pull bits off them!  I discarded the cellophane bag and replaced it with a plastic zip-lock one!

Apart from the minor gripes concerning the support information and the cellophane bag, this is another excellent sheet from Arawasi.  It provides decals for four diversely marked machines which as far as I know, have not produced in decal format before and I am sure that it will be welcomed by fans of World War Two Japanese aviation. 

The sheet is also available in 1/72 scale. 

Definitely recommended.

Thanks to Arawasi Decals for the review samples

Arawasi Decals are available online from their website

Review Copyright 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 01 April, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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