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.
Media: Injection Plastic
First introduced in 2008, the VF-1 was developed for the UN Spacy using Overtechnology obtained from the Macross alien spaceship. It would remain as the mainstay fighter throughout what would be called Space War 1. The VF-1 is capable of space flight and is able to have FAST packs attached to it to increase performance and ordinance.
The VF-1 is designed to be able to transform into a bipedal humanoid ‘Battroid’ mode and a hybrid â€˜Gerwalk’ mode where the VF-1 takes on the look of a fighter jet with a pair of arms and legs. In Gerwalk mode, the VF-1 has the additional capability of VTOL operations and is able to skim the surface like a hovercraft. In Battroid mode, the VF-1 is pretty much capable of replicating human movements and most importantly, go into hand-to-hand combat with enemies.
The VF-1A is the most common variant of the VF-1 with a single laser turret on its head unit in Battroid mode and serves as the standard fighter for the enlisted ranks.
This is my second VF-1 build although it’s been more than 10 years since I finished the last one. Unlike the previous one, I decided to do a straight OOB build with the brown and white grunt color scheme from the TV series which strangely was never kitted by Hasegawa.
The kit is designed to be built in sub-assemblies that are different from typical aircraft kits. The major components are: nose and front fuselage, tail section, the main engines and the arms. One annoying thing is you pretty much have to paint and mask off the exhausts before assembling the engines. Otherwise though this was a pretty straightforward build. Being a Hasegawa kit, it’s not a shake and bake kit but I wouldn’t call it challenging either. It’s just that at 1/72 scale, there are a lot of very tiny clear parts that require a lot of concentration to get right.
For this build, I decided to try using black primer as a base instead of my usual gray or white. One nice result is that the base now acts like a preshade for the other colors. What surprised me however was how hard it was to cover the black base with white color: it kept looking like a gray, no matter how many layers I sprayed on. This is especially evident in the main engines. Also, some of the smaller parts didn’t get the black primer treatment and the colors look slightly different. So this is something to keep in mind for me for future builds.
The colors I used for this build were:
The whole kit is basically brown and white with Dark Seagreen for the gun. So while the color scheme is straight forward, there was quite a bit of masking to be done especially on the engines which required masking over compound curves.
Markings-wise, I referred to how it appears in the anime, meaning it doesn’t have the black stripes and almost all the other warning markings. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of use of the Samueldecal sheet. Even stacking the decals wasn’t as PITA as I thought it would be. A slight problem was that I found some of the decals had gone out of position after it has dried. Oh well. If you looked carefully, I actually used both Prometheus and SDF-1 markings on the tailfins. I’ll just explain by saying this particular VF-1A (unit 013) serves on both carriers. 😀
The kit was then given a thorough panel line wash with Vallejo Dark Gray Model Wash with no additional weathering given. As usual with my aircraft models, this build had a few disasters that I had to fix. Nothing major happened but it’s still annoying.
So there you have it, another queen off my long list of shelf queens. I’m happy to finally complete it although I think I would do some things differently to speed up the build the next time I tackle another VF-1 kit.
Number 2 of 2016
To fix the gloss issue, I decided to try out Lifecolor Gloss Clear instead. I thinned it with water (by guesstimate) and went ahead to spray 2-3 layers. It’s really a lot easier to use than Future. So much so that I’m considering just using Future for other things instead of glossing.
So anyway then it was time for panel washing again. And this time there weren’t any major issues at all.
Then I noticed that I have lost the port vent for the inlet. Crap. Luckily for me I have a spare that I found recently from an abandoned VF-1S project. So I quickly painted it up with Gunmetal Gray and attached with superglue.
The MLG and nosegear were then attached along with their doors with superglue.
I then carefully attached all the clear parts onto the kit with cement. Having coated them with Future they didn’t fog at all. I also handpainted Transparent Red and Blue on the tip of the tailfins at this point.
I then gave everything a few thin coats of Vallejo Polyurethane Satin Gloss to seal everything up. I managed to turn the clear parts semi-gloss which I went back with a swipe of Future to shine them back up again.
Lastly was the moment of truth which was to remove the masking tape over the canopy. And lucky for me it turned out very well apart from the port side where I overmasked and there was some missing ‘frame’. I carefully handpainted with Black Gray to fix it.
Right before I finished the port MLG wheel broke off with the male part of the joint attached. I used superglue and ran some Tamiya thin cement on the joint hoping it will hold together.
The wings were then attached without cement and then placed in the swept position and I’m happy to say this project is finished!
Proper studio pics soon.
So I was expecting to finish this build by this weekend… but it was not to be…
I decided to assemble the major assemblies together before doing the panel line wash, so first up, the gun was clamped in between the two part bottom fuselage.
Then the head assembly was cemented into position.
Next the engines and intakes are glued in place.
The gun and bottom fuselage are then attached and I’m primarily done. The rest would be panel washed separately before a final assembling together.
So I first did a wash on the port wing with Vallejo Model Wash Black Gray and it turns out that the Future coat I did was not thick enough and I had to really go in and scrub the wash to get rid of it. And even after doing that, there are still stains all around the wing. I’ll need to do another gloss coat over the whole kit to get it smoother.
So the kit is now shelved for another round of gloss coating. In the meantime, I panel washed the landing gear with no issue with Vallejo Model Wash Gray which gave them some subtle depth. I then painted the clear bits Transparent Red or Blue and brushpainted Future over them to prepare for final installation.
So, a delay then. But luckily not too much of one.