Lifelike Decals 1/48  Ki61 Pt1

This new decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for Hasegawa’s Hien kit, although I think they will probably work with any good quality Hien kit. The set consists of:

  • 2 A4 sheets of single-sided colour instructions
  • 1 decal sheet 17.5cm x 13cm
  • 1 decal sheet 7 cm x 1 cm

The decals arrived in a padded envelope from the manufacturer. Your supplier may package differently. The set is inside a zip-lock style bag and the bag has plenty of space so it is easy to get the sheets in and out.

The sheet covers 4 aircraft:

  1. Hien Type I-Hei 2nd Lt Takeo Adachi, 55th Sentai, Komaki AB, Jan 3 1945
  2. Hien type I Otsu Sgt Shuichi Kaihou, 38th Fighter Training Hikotai, YokoshibaAB, March 1945
  3. Hien Type I-Hei 2nd Lt Tomiho Tohida, 55th Sentai, Komaki AB, Feb 1945
  4. Hien, prob typw I Hei, 2nd Lt Takeshi Nakamura, 18th Sentai, Kasiwa AB, early 1945

You have one complete set of all the small stencils. With everything else it looks like you have enough decals in this set to do aircraft #3 and one of the other 3 aircraft. Obviously you can use stencils and hinomaru from the kit you’re building to fill in the gaps to allow you to use all 4 options if you wish.

The instruction sheets are clear and informative, as you can see in the video. The common markings diagrams show you where the stencils all go. This sheet also lists the 15 reference documents used in making sure this set is accurate. The other sheet gives background and details of each of the 4 aircraft options. I really like the attention to detail and explanation of ow the references were used to get the decals right. They also tell you when things are not 100% clear and give you an option of what something probably is, but also what it might be, although less likely. For example aircraft #1 is probably a type I Hei, but it might be Tei, although the odds are against it. There isn’t enough documentary evidence to be 100% certain one way or the other, but they explain why it is probably a I Hei.

The decals themselves have negligible carrier film visible, except in the places where it makes sense, such as kill markings, where it would be difficult to get things to line up properly. As you can see in the video the register is good and everything lines up as it should. You are supplied with decals for the yellow wing leading edge markings too. Excellent decals as you would expect.

The decals are available from Lifelike Decal’s website for 1500 Yen, which is currently about $13.10.

Overall this is a quality set of Ki-61 decals from Lifelike, well researched and the instructions are clear. You have 4 aircraft to choose from and they cover 3 different paint schemes which is nice. If you have a 1/48 Ki-61 kit then this sheet is well worth considering.

Many thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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