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Type 97 Fighters

Part 3


1/48 scale


Lifelike Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Lifelike Decals 48-022 - Type 97 Fighters Part 3
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 2 x A5 sized decal sheets plus one small supplemtary 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


48-022 is the third and final sheet of Lifelike Decalsí epic coverage of the Nakajima Ki-27 (Army Type 97) or Nate as it was known under the Allied code name system for Japanese aircraft, in decal format.

Another chock-a-block sheet it is too, with markings provided for a further seven machines. Six of them are finished in overall grey/green camouflage finish and a single one with dark green upper surfaces over grey green undersides.

The individual options are: 

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu flown by Sergeant Morituga Kanai of the 1st Chutai, 11th Sentai over Nanking, China in 1940.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu flown by 2nd Lieutenant Lichi Yamaguchi, the leader of the 68th Shinbu-tai from the Tenryu Air Base Shizuoka Prefecture in March of 1945.  This is the camouflaged option as mentioned above.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu assigned to the 3rd Chutai, 13th Sentai at Taisho Air Base in the Osaka Prefecture in the summer of 1942.  Its pilotís name is not offered.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu of the 47th Sentaiís 2nd Chutai whilst based at the Narimasu Air Base in Tokyo in 1944.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu flown by Captain Kenji Shimada, the leader of the 1st Chutai, 11th Sentai, in Manchuria in May/June of 1939.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu flown by a 2nd Lieutenant Kawabata of the 2nd Chutai, 1st Sentai, in Harbin, China in January of 1941.

  • Ki-27 Type 97 Otsu flown by Captain Shigetoshi Inoue, the leader of the 1st Chutai, 1st Sentai, at Nomonon, China in September of 1939.

The decals themselves are printed by Microscale Industries and are well up to the high standards of this pioneering decal producer.   48-022 comprises three sheets in all; a normal sized one that carries the vast majority of markings, a half sized one that carries all of the hinomarus with the final tiny one carrying the propeller warning stripes. 

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 of the first 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 seven different references. 

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 for the camouflage colours.  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 off benefit. 

The placement guide, information sheet and the two decal sheets come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


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 30 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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