This was a surprise since the VF-4 is one of the more obscure valkryries from the Macross metaverse. It’s also a surprise it’s coming from Wave since as far as I know, only Bandai and Hasegawa has the 1/72 kit licenses for Macross.
In any case, I hope to see more pics soon. Pictures of the prototype can be found on Hobbysearch. It will come in December @ 6,264JPY.
Kotobukiya has announced the EZ-029 Storm Sworder as their next HMM release. The colors out of the box is monotonous but I think it’s a good canvas for some striking color schemes. I hope parts breakdown makes it easier to paint though.
Not sure if the clear base is included but this looks good. This is coming in November for 8,964 JPY. More pictures on Hobby Search.
The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche was an advanced five-blade armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter designed for the United States Army. It was intended to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior as an armed scout helicopter.
Designed with stealth in mind, it incorporated multiple techniques to reduce its radar cross-section (RCS) and other areas of visibility. The RAH-66 was armed with a 20Â mm three-barrel XM301 cannon under its nose and could internally carry 3 AGM-114 Hellfire or 6 AIM-92 Stinger missiles under each retractable weapons pylons. It can also externally carry 4 Hellfire and 8 Stinger missiles on each stub wing.
The RAH-66 program was canceled in 2004, before mass production began, after nearly US$7 billion was spent on the program. Two RAH-66 prototypes were built and conducted flight testing from 1996 to 2004. Since the cancellation the prototypes have been placed on display.
Info adapted from Wikipedia.
The kit was originally released in 1996. The latest boxing still comes in the same side opening box which is still easily crushed. The 2 sprue trees come in one sealed bag with the canopy in a smaller separate bag. Parts breakdown is very basic and are molded in olive drab. It looks to be a simple build. I also think there aren’t any aftermarket parts for this kit.
The panel lines are recessed but are quite thick on the main fuselage. Italeri gives options for open or closed internal pylons and external stub wings. It even looks like one can model both: internal weapons bay open and external stub wings loaded with missiles. The kit comes with 12 Hellfires and 2 Stingers to arm the Comanche.
Cockpit details are OK with raised details and molded on belts on the seats. I’m not sure if the seats are accurate: they look like car seats to me. 😀
There are minor flash around some parts but nothing really major.
The chin cannon is made of only 2 parts and the barrel assembly doesn’t rotate. Details aren’t great either.
The canopy is big and clear which unfortunately will clearly show how bare the cockpit is. It’s also made of one whole piece so you don’t get an open canopy option. On the plus side, no fitting issues if you choose to have the canopy closed.
The markings included are for the 1st prototype only and is very sparse. The whole helicopter is also basically 1 color: olive drab. Lots of what-if options though if you model a production RAH-66.
Revell has a rebox of this kit and a snapfit version. Tamiya also reboxed this kit. And since this helicopter remained only as a prototype, I’m not sure there will be another company that will release a brand new kit.
So for now, this is the only game in town if you want a 1/72 Comanche. I actually like the design of the RAH-66 Comanche very much. It looks both stealthy and deadly when loaded with weapons. I’m glad to finally have this in my collection.
Preview courtesy of my wallet
Brand: Bandai 0191406
Media: Injection Plastic
The X-wing is a starfighter used by the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. It is so-named due to how it resembles an X when its S-foils are locked in attack position. It is armed with a laser cannon on each S-foil and proton torpedoes. X-wings are designed for dogfighting and long range missions and is capable of unassisted hyperspace jumps. Like most of the Rebel Alliance starships, the X-wing has deflector shields that greatly enhance its survivability in combat.
The X-wing starfighter is the backbone of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps and was prominently featured in the Battle of Scarif, Battle of Yavin and Battle of Endor.
Info from Wookieepedia
Bandai’s X-wing starfighter is fully snap fit and features:
Out of the box, the markings only builds into Luke Skywalker’s Red Five from the Battle of Yavin.
Well, it’s a Bandai kit, so it snaps together perfectly with only a few seamlines. The only part that doesn’t fit perfectly is the clear canopy: I had to trim a bit on both parts before they snapped together.
Colors & Markings
At first, I was going to model this as Red Five. Then I watched Rogue One and thought I’d do this up as one of the Blue Squadron X-wings. But in the end, I went with modeling this X-wing as Wedge Antilles’ Red Two instead. Wedge is a fascinating character:
And yet, he barely had 10 lines of dialogue in the whole trilogy. Before Walt Disney bought the Star Wars license, Wedge’s story was expanded greatly (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wedge_Antilles/Legends). Since the take over, he has been retconned as a young Imperial defector (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wedge_Antilles) in the early days of the Rebellion.
So decided, I went ahead to research the markings for his X-wing during the Battle of Yavin. The 2 sources that I relied heavily on were:
I also came across some interesting facts about Red Two and the X-wings in general while researching.
Armed with the reference photos, I went ahead and masked and sprayed all the markings. I also handpainted Wedge’s helmet and his R2-A3 astromech based on the references.
For the base, I only used the Death Star surface plate and this was quickly painted over a black base, washed and drybrushed.
Since trying to replicate all the chips and streaks is an exercise in futility, I decided to go my own way with weathering. I did follow 1 prominent detail of Red Two which is a clean panel on the port upper nacelle. Weathering was handpainted chipping followed by panel wash and streaking with oil paint. I tried to go easier on the chipping and it seems to work out better than my Snowspeeder build.
In actual time spent, this kit didn’t take long to finish, but it was and on and off build between other builds so time-wise, it took a while. As usual with Star Wars kits, this was an immensely fun build with minimal fuss. Highly recommended for any Star Wars or sci-fi fan.
Number 6 of 2017
The following is a general step-by-step on how I finish my model kits. First up is a primer base oF black. I prefer black now over other colors because if I miss some areas later with the main colors, it’s pretty much instant shadowing. The final tones definitely don’t look the same compared to painting over brighter primers but I’m not that hardcore about color accuracy nowadays.
Nowadays I also like to add some tonal variations to the color scheme and have been turning to using white for this purpose.
Then it was a thinned coat of the main color. In this case it was Insignia White which is a very very light gray. I would have stopped here if this was a 1/48 scale kit, but the patchiness look over-scaled for 1/72.
So I went over with an even thinner coat of Insignia White.
I’m modeling Wedge’s Red 2 and based on reference photos, it has beige color accents all around the X-wing. These were all masked and sprayed. Note the chipped paint on the inside of the bottom s-foil. Sure looks natural doesn’t it? 😀
Next are the red markings which I also masked and sprayed. I based the dimensions of the chevrons on the s-foils from the decal sheet, which cames with Red 5 markings only. Why didn’t I just use the decals and cut off 3 bars to make Red 2? It’s because I wanted the red color on the wings and the nose to match. The nose stripes on the decal sheet weren’t unbroken as needed for Red 2. Red 5 also didn’t have red accents on the engine nacelles.
Weathering is next and I begin with chipping. Ever in need of practicing making chipping look random, I went ahead with chipping by handpainting.
I used a 000 brush to do all the chipping.
I ended up using 5 different colors for my chipping do show various ‘ages’ of the paint chips.
Then it was my usual wash with a very diluted raw umber oil paint. I then added some black to the wash and added darker streaks.
One last detail I added was a clean panel on the top port engine nacelle. There are pictures on the Internet that shows the studio model of Red 2 having this particular detail. This was simply masked off and carefully sprayed white. I then added some light chipping with light gray. This replicates a newer replacement panel which I think adds more to the look of a heavily used machine.
Another thing I tried to replicate was the look of ignited thrusters with combinations of red, transparent red and white colors. I’m not sure I pulled it off that well though. Anyway, it’s all a learning experience.
In any case, I’m done.