Mitsubishi A6M Decal Sets

Published on
January 7, 2024
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
#48061; -OR- #48062 $19.99 each.
Base Kit
48061 contains markings for 14 aircraft: 5 Type 21s; 2 Type 22s; 4 Type 32s; 2 Type 52s and 1 A6M2-N Ru-fe.

48062 contains markings for 13 aircraft: 8 Type 21s; 2 Type 22s; 2 A6M2-N Rufes and 1 A6M2-K two-seat trainer.
Company: Lifelike Decals - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Lifelike Decals - Website: Visit Site

These two new A6M decal sets from Lifelike represent a bonanza of marking options for the Zero builder. Part 1 (48061) contains markings for 14 aircraft: 5 Type 21s; 2 Type 22s; 4 Type 32s; 2 Type 52s and 1 A6M2-N Rufe. The specific aircraft include:

  • Type 21 Akagi Air Group AI-159, Lt. Com. Shiguru Itaya, Dec. 1941
  • Type 21 Kanoya Air Group K-108 Kavieng, Nov. 1942
  • Type 21 Oita Training Group 1182, Oita, Japan, April 1943
  • Type 21 Soryu Air Group BI-151, Lt. Fusata Iida, Dec. 1941
  • Type 21 Zuikaku Air Group EII-102 PO 1/C Tetsuzo Iwamoto, Dec. 1941
  • Type 22 253rd Air Group 53-102 WO Tetsuzo Iwamoto Rabaul, Jan. 1944
  • Type 22 201st Air Group 6-171 Rabaul, Aug. 1943
  • Type 32 582nd Air Group 2181, Lae, New Guinea, Spring 1943
  • Type 32 Tainan Air Group V-190 Lt. Kikuichi Inano, Buna, New Guinea, Jan. 1943
  • Type 32 2nd Air Group Q-102 WO Kazuo Tsunoda, Buna, New Guinea, Aug. 1942
  • Type 32 Tainan (Training) Group CPO Takeo Tinimizu, Sep. 1943
  • Type 52 203rd Air Group 03-09 CPO Takeo Tinimizu, Kagoshima, Japan, June. 1945
  • Type 52 243rd Air Group 53-104, Tetsuzo Iwamoto, Rabaul, Feb. 1944
  • A6M2-N 802nd Air Group NI-118, Lt(.jg) Keizo Yamasaki, Shortland Is., Feb. 1943
  • Part 2 (48062) contains markings for 13 aircraft: 8 Type 21s; 2 Type 22s; 2 A6M2-N Rufes and 1 A6M2-K two-seat trainer. The specific aircraft include:
  • Type 21 3rd Air Group X-183, PO 2/C Yoshiro Hashiguchi, Kendari, Celebes, Feb. 1942
  • Type 21 Tainan Air Group V-117, Lt. Masuzu Seto, Balikpapan, Indonesia, Jan.-Feb. 1942
  • Type 21 381st Air Group 81-1146 Ehman Is., May 1944
  • Type 21 Shokaku Air Group EI-111, Lt. Hideki Shingo, Oct. 1942
  • Type 21 261st Air Group 143, Kagoshima, Japan, late 1943/early 1944
  • Type 21 265th Air Group 134, Taiwan, early 1944
  • Type 21 381st Air Group 81-1138, Ehman Is., May 1944
  • Type 21 Hiryu Air Group BII-124, NAP 1/C Hajime Toyoshima, Feb. 1942
  • Type 22 #173, Lt. Com. Saburo Shindo, Buin, New Guinea, June 1944 (captured aircraft)
  • Type 22 582nd Air Group #191, Lt. (jg) Usaburo Sazuki, Buin, New Guinea, April 1944 (captured aircraft)
  • A6M2-N 934th Air Group 34-116, Ambon Is., March 1943
  • A6M2-N 934th Air Group 934-116, PO 1/C Hidenori,Matsunaga, Ambon Is., March 1943/April 1944
  • A6M2-K Tsukuba Air Group #415, Misawa AB, Japan, Sep. 1944

In edition to aircraft markings, both sets contain the Hinomaru decal sheet 48-SP-01, with enough Hinomarus for a half dozen different aircraft, including some with white surround (wide and thin), no surround, and some with green overpainted surround.

One important NOTE - from the Lifelike website, the manufacturer states:

We released two Zero decals (48-061/062) and one Hinomaru decal (48-SP-01) in October 2023, but we found that mark I and K (dark green outlined Hinomaru) are missing in the common Hinomaru sheet. They are to be used for one item each of 48-061 and 062.

We are now asking same printer (so that same red color and hue is used) to print small sheet of mark I and K, but they are very busy now and printing will take more than 8 weeks from order confirmation. This indicates that we will receive small sheet in February 2024 at earliest. When we receive it, we will announce its receipt in this NEWS column, and will send small sheet to every distributors worldwide. WE ARE VERY SORRY FOR THIS SILLY AND CARELESS MISTAKE.

I used the decals on a testbed Hasegawa A6M3. They are thin, with minimal carry-over of the carrier film (approx. 1mm). They come off the paper quickly, were easy to adjust into place, and reacted well to Solvaset decal softener to conform to surface bumps and panel lines. Printed by Microscale, all markings and Hinomarus were in perfect register.

Each set includes a left side color placement profile for each aircraft (some with a landing gear cover and/or a top wing view for specific painting reference), as well as a stencil placement guide. Also included is a wealth of detailed descriptive information for individual aircraft markings, pilot histories, plus overall aircraft color information for camouflage colors, Hinomaru colors and sizes, cowl colors, cockpit interior and canopy colors, landing gear, covers, wheels and wheel wells, propellers, trainer colors, as well as differences in Mitsubishi and Nakajima built aircraft, and much more. Last but not least, a set of 4 color swatches is included to represent the shade of Zero grey color J3 at various stages of an aircraft’s operational lifetime, from roll-out until after a few years exposure to the elements. Keep in mind that these are high resolution 4-color offset printed swatches, not actual paint samples, so they’re only indications. However, they do give you a good idea that Zeros were never simply painted “light grey”, but the colors started out as one tint, only to change and vary over time .

With all the information contained in these sets, there were only a couple of minor nits to pick: The stencil diagram, with a top, bottom and side view, is only 5 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches and its particularly hard to see how some of the smallest markings are oriented. Also, the white horizontal tail stripe markings I used on my A6M3 were 1-2 mm too short to completely cover the width of the tail if placed as indicated on the profile. A bit of white touch up painting was required to complete the wrap around effect. Other than these very minor issues, these decals were a dream to work with, and I look forward to using the Lifelike A5M decals on my Fine Molds Claude in the near future.

I gratefully thank Lifelike Decals and IPMS for the opportunity to use and review these decals.


Add new comment

All comments are moderated to prevent spam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.