244th Sentai Part 1

Published: March 12th, 2017     
Product Image
Product cover
Reviewed by: 
Timothy Gidcumb, IPMS# 40925
Scale: 1:48
Company: Lifelike Decals
Price: $13.16
Product / Stock #: 48-003 (R)

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien ("flying swallow") is a Japanese World War II fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. The Japanese Army designation was "Army Type 3 Fighter" Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109's and later an Italian aircraft, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department. It was the only mass-produced Japanese fighter of the war to use a liquid-cooled inline V engine. Over 3,000 Ki-61s were produced. Initial prototypes saw action over Yokohama during the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, and continued to fly combat missions throughout the war.

Recently I was given the opportunity by IPMS USA to review one of Lifelike Decal's offering for the Ki-61 Hein (48-003). This set from LifeLike is a revised and re-released set that was originally released in 2003 and covering aircraft of the Japanese 244th Sentai. The majority of these aircraft are Nakajima Ki-61 Heins. There are eight subjects on this decal sheet, four are for the Tei version which should ring a bell since the recent release of the 1/48 version of this kit from Tamiya.

The paint schemes that are called out in the layouts include natural metal and several with different styles of green mottle. Each aircraft besides two of them have an all-red tail.

Aircraft details:

  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Hei 3295. Flown by Teruhiko Kobayashi from Chofu AB in January 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Tei 4424. Also flown by Teruhiko Kobayashi from Chofu AB in March 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Tei 4424. Flown by 2nd Lt Shunzo Takashima of the 159th Shinbu-tai from Chofu AB in early May 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Hei 43. Ki-61 Hien type 1-Hei. Flown by an unknown pilot from Chofu AB in March or September 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Hei. Probably flown by Corporal Seiichi Suzuki from Chofu AB in February 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Tei 57. Flown by 2nd LT Tohru Shinomiya from Chofu AB in December 1944.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1-Tei 57. Flown by an unknown pilot from Chofu AB in March 1945.
  • Ki-61 Hien type 1- Otsu 45. Flown by Corporal Kiyoshi Ando at Narimasu AB in January 1945.

Package includes:

  • Cover and profile page
  • Sheet containing info on each aircraft
  • References with colors, markings, info on stencils and more.

The decals are printed by Microscale and look to be in perfect register. Package includes a full-sized sheet for the unique markings, with a smaller sheet of national markings, red markings and white numbers, and a third, yet smaller decal sheet with yellow wing leading edge, undercarriage and propeller markings. I am well pleased with this offering from Lifelike decals. This is great for the new Tamiya kit and the earlier Hasegawa kits. I would like to thank Lifelike decals for a great product and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this item.

  • Cover sheet showing decal positions
    Cover sheet showing decal positions
  • Profile page showing decal positions
    Profile page showing decal positions
  • Information sheet with details on each aircraft
    Information sheet with details on each aircraft
  • Decal sheet with yellow wing leading edge, undercarriage and propeller markings
    Decal sheet with yellow wing leading edge, undercarriage and propeller markings
  • Full-sized decal sheet with the unique markings for each of the aircraft presented
    Full-sized decal sheet with the unique markings for each of the aircraft presented
  • Decal sheet containing national markings, red markings and white numbers
    Decal sheet containing national markings, red markings and white numbers