DM-089, Type 89 Otsu (early). 1/35th-scale water-slide decals. Contains one 3.75 x 5-inch sheet and one page of instructions.
This latest sheet from Decalcomaniacs! will allow for alternate markings for the Fine Molds Japanese Type 89 medium tank. The manufacturer informs me (it was left off of the products description) that the markings are not suitable for the kit as issued; it will need to be converted with the resin set from Armored Corps Models, to create a Type 89 Otsu (early) version.
So, what do we have? There are markings provided for six specific tanks, with several variations. All are for tanks fighting in China during 1938 and 1939. Two are from the 4th Tank Regiment, two are for the 7th Tank Regiment and two are for the Special Tank Company.
Basically, all markings are in white, with the exception of a set for one of the tanks from the 7th Tank Regiment. The latter features a company marking in red over white. The main markings consist of white, three- or four-digit numbers on the turret or superstructure sides, various white Japanese-language characters, or some combination of the two. Tanks from the 7th Regiment also featured company symbols seen on the turret sides and/or bow plate. These take the form of a star, a chrysanthemum, what Ill call a stylized palm tree, and a rectangle bisected by a cross. This last one also comes as a variation, with red making up the cross.
The designs are all crisply-printed on thin, clear, glossy water-slide decal media. The carrier film covers the entire sheet, so the modeler must cut the designs close to their edges in order to minimize the film. Where the color red is seen, the printing process shows some of what I will describe as screening. At normal viewing distances, this is no problem: the color is less saturated than it might be, which actually gives a fairly subtle scale appearance to the overall marking.
The instructions show placement for a total of six tanks, with variations provided for all of the units for which markings are provided. The placement instructions are too generalized, typically consisting of the markings shown next to the drawing, with an arrow showing the general area. Therefore, references will be essential for proper use. Painting notes, but no patterns are given, while reference sources are also provided. All comes securely sealed inside a clear zip-lock plastic bag.
Those modelers who subscribed to the Fine Molds kit and who want something a bit different, will do well to consider these markings along with the after-market conversion that has been made available. And thats the appeal of this decal setsomething a bit differentfrom that screwball at Decalcomaniacs!
Frank V. De Sisto
Decalcomaniacs! products are available direct from the manufacturer in care of: Georg Eyerman, 315 South Avenue, Garwood, NJ, 07027, USA. Web site: www.decalcomaniacs.net, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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