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Type 97 Fighters

Part 2


1/48 scale


Lifelike Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Lifelike Decals 48-021 - Type 97 Fighters Part 2
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 1 x A5 sized decal sheet; 1 x full colour double-sided A-4 instruction sheet
Price: USD$12.50 from model retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Colourful and interesting subjects; well printed and in register; detailed stencil data supplied; excellent colour reference; very high quality presentation.
Recommendation: Recommended.


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Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


F i r s t   L o o k


Lifelike Decals 48-021 is Part 2 of their trilogy of sheets covering the Ki-27 (Army Type 97) fighter or, as it was known under the Allied code name system for Japanese aircraft, the Nate that equipped the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force prior to the commencement of the Pacific War. 

Another busy sheet, it provides markings for a further six machines in overall grey/green camouflage finish and a single one with dark green upper surfaces over light grey undersides. The individual options are: 

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu of an unnamed training unit at an unknown location in Manchuria.  This is the only camouflaged machine on the sheet with its upper surfaces finished in an (unnamed) dark green and itís under sides in grey green.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu, flown by Sergeant Totaro Ho of the 5th Sentaiís 3rd Chutai from Kashiwa Air Base, Chiba Prefecture in December of 1940.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu, flown by a Major Kato, the commander of the 64th Sentai from Kwantung Air Base, China in May 1941.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu, assigned to the 10th Independent Chutai based at Taiyuan Air Base in northern China, 1929-30.  No pilotís name is offered.  This machine sports a black empennage and Lifelike have provided a separate paper mask to assist you in the painting of this option.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu, of the 3rd Chutai, 50th Sentai at the Clark Air Base in the Philippines in the January of 1942.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu, of the 3rd Chutai, 24th Sentai, as flown by Captain Toshio Sakagawa from Hailar Air Base, Mongolia in January 1940.  This option is lacking the lower portion of its wing spats and should you wish to model it you might want to seek out the resin spat less undercarriage offered by True details.

The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale Industries and are well up to the high standard set by this pioneering decal producer. 

The placement guide is an A-4 sized sheet in landscape format and it shows left hand side profiles and appropriate upper and lower surface views to illustrate both the placement of decals and the camouflage scheme on the sixth option. 

Full and comprehensive notes are also provided for each option with justifications provided for why Life Like chose to portray those options which have some controversy attached to them.  The information sheet is rounded out with the inclusion of a list of six different references. 

Again, the only nit pick I have with this (and the other two sheets in the trilogy) is the fact that there is very little assistance provided as to what the camouflage colours are.  If you are new to WWII Japanese aviation, a quick trip to the J-Aviation website at http://j-aircraft.com/index.htm will be of benefit to you. 

The placement guide, information sheet and the decal sheet come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. The recommended kit is the Hasegawa one.  This kit has been around for many, many years being originally released by Mania.  It is a good kit but starting to show its age.  It still builds up into a nice little replica of the real machine but it can be greatly enhanced by using the True Details resin interior and a Falcon Vac-formed canopy.


Thanks to Keishiro Nagao of Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Lifelike Decals are available by email at lifelike@eos.ocn.ne.jp or from

2-8-7-202, Kameari, Katsushika, Tokyo 125-0061, Japan
fax: +81-3-5680-6733

Text Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 28 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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