Mitsubishi A5M Part 2 Decals

Published: June 14th, 2018     
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Reviewed by: David Wrinkle - IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/48
Company: Lifelike Decals
Price: $16.30
Product / Stock #: 48-054

The A5M "Claude" known internally to Mitsubishi as the KA-14 and formally as the Navy Type 96 Navy Carrier-based Fighter was the first all metal monoplane to enter service as carrier-based aircraft. The Claude is the direct predecessor to the A6M "Zero" and did see combat through the beginning of the Second World War but had been pretty much removed from combat by 1942. Late in the war a few were even used as kamikaze aircraft.

There are a few 1/48 A5M Claude kits on the market in 1/48 scale with the most prominent player at the moment being the new tool Fine Molds kits. Other Claude kits in 1/48 scale include the Wingsy, an old tool Fine Molds A5M, Eagles Talon (vacuform) and an Classic Airframes kit. Thankfully Lifelike has come to the rescue with a timely re-release of their A5M Part 2 Decal set that will make a nice addition to your Claude no matter which kit you build. I should mention that Lifelike recommends the Fine Molds or Wingsy kits as they are still in production. Note: Decals are for either the A5M4 or A5M2b variants of the Claude.

It seems to be the norm that the Claude is built as a NMF "Natural Metal Finish" shiny aluminum but thankfully one of the 13 options included in this decal pack is for a dark green version used in China. So for those of you who dislike painting NMF you should look no further.

As part of this decal set you have 13 options for the A5M and they are as follows:

  • A5M2b late, 3-108 Houkoku-212 Anqing AB China end of 1938
  • A5M2b late, Houkoku-218 / Sanzao Dao Dec 1938
  • A5M2b late, 3-162 Anqing AB China August 1938
  • A5M4, W-121 Houkoku-307, Japanese Mainland November 1939
  • A5M4, Houkoku-317, Haikou AB China Late 1939
  • A5M4, Houkoku-317, Nanning or Hankou AB China first half of 1940
  • A5M4, S-160 Houkoku 367 Chitose Kokutai, Roik Island late 1941
  • A5M4, S-153, Houkoku 373 Chitose Kokutai, Roi Island late 1941
  • A5M2b Late, 9-176 Nanning AB China December 1939
  • A5M4, Ri-114 Houkoku-170 Hyakurihara AB 1940-41
  • A5M*, Su-151, Suzuka AB 1940-41
  • A5M4, G-102 probably Woosan AB North Korea late 1941
  • A5M4, OTA-163 Oita AB 1943

Taking a close look at the decals themselves, they look nice and thin and in great register. The carrier film does extend past the edge of the decals but not by very much at all. The opacity appears to be good and it shouldn't present any problems at all. The decals are printed here in the USA by Mircoscale.

I've very happy with this set and I want to thank Lifelike Decals for this fantastic set of decals to spiff up my Fine Molds Claude kit. I want to also thank the IPMS USA review corps for allowing me the honor of reviewing this fine set of decals.

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