Work continues for the engines as I assemble the intakes. The closed vents on the intakes were painted and masked off.
Like the main gear doors, the nose gear doors also needed to be modified to fit closed. I added small steps inside the bay as stoppers and assembled the 3 bay door parts into 1 larger piece.
The fit is OK after some shimming, cursing and swearing.
The Valkyrie is finally taking shape.
The Super Strike parts are next. These are a mix of parts from both boxes.
A drilled out the gun barrels on the Strike cannons.
The Super parts need a bit of work. The booster is flipped and the pylon attaches to the bottom of it so I marked the spot where there should be a slot for the pylon.
Cutting the hole is a matter of first drilling a row of holes for the slot, then cleaning out the remaining plastic with a cutter. The slot is sized just enough to fiction fit with the pylon.
There is also a slot on the booster where it normally connects to a mount on the fuselage. This was filled with plastic plate and shaped.
My Valkyrie will be armed with 6x AMM-1 missiles on 2 TERs (Triple Ejector Racks). I added pins into the missiles so they will attach easier and better to the pylon. The ‘3 6 9’ label is a way for me to remember which missile goes where on the TER.
I’m also adding 1x RMS-1 anti-ship reaction missile under each wing. With everything mounted the VF-1 looks ridiculously overloaded but bad ass!
The VF-1’s canopy comes with a center mold line which needs to be dealt with. After scraping it off and a quick buff I gave it a dip in Future to shine it up. This will be painted separately and installed during final assembly.
There is just enough space on the bottom next to the gunpod for the display rod to be inserted. The inside of the forearm launcher pod was packed with epoxy putty which should be strong enough to hold the whole kit in place.
The rod is at an angle to give the VF-1 a more dynamic look when mounted.
All the sub-assemblies are now done and it’s time for seamline fixing. Shudder…
I found a semi-built VF-1S Strike Valkyrie in my stash and decided I to finish it.
Turns out I’ve made quite a bit of progress with this one. But:
Around this time I chanced upon a configuration of the Strike Valkyrie that mounted 2 Super FAST packs under its wings. This variant comes from the Variable Fighter Master FIle ‘SDF-1 Macross VF-1 Squadrons’ book by SB Media and was referred to as the VF-1 S-FAST pack / Config ver. 1.1 w.
I decided to go crazy and mount 2 Strike and 2 Super packs on a VF-1 ie. a VF-1S Super Strike Valkyrie! This configuration however requires another Strike Valkyrie kit. So out one came from my stash.
I’m pretty much building one kit out of 2 boxes. It’s a waste but hey: plastic only.
So I quickly started with the parts I needed to replace from the first kit. First is the main fuselage. To hide the swing wing mechanism I covered the slots with Evergreen grated plate. I also cemented the swing-wing mechanism in place.
I made a simple mod on the inlet on the back (which is now facing the front when the FAST packs are mounted) with plastic plate. This hides the injection pin marks inside the part.
I couldn’t come up with an easy way to paint these after assembly so the exhausts had to be painted up and installed upfront.
Unlike more modern releases there is no wheels up option so the gear doors need to be modified to fit closed.
Thankfully, the main 2-part doors fitted well. The 3rd part, the one with the indent needed to be modified to fit. The base where the door attaches to when the landing gear is down needed to be removed totally before the gear door can slide in. I also had to cut the corner of the door to get a better fit.
With the gear doors closed, there’s now a gap between the 2 sections of the leg/engines so I added a small plastic plate to cover the gap.
The pilot is from the Hasegawa Macross weapon set. With such a crazy configuration the pilot HAS to be Milia Jenius right? The missiles and pylons will also come from this.
The pilot figure is actually male but I think once under the canopy it should be able to pass for a female. I think only hardcore Macross fans will recognize Milia’s helmet color anyway. 🙂
I added 0.2mm plastic plate spacers on the prongs at the back of the cockpit section for a better fit into the fuselage.
The head is mostly unseen except for the head laser barrels so these were drilled out.
Every gunpla nerd is required to make a pilgrimage to the 1/1 scale Unicorn Gundam statue in Odaiba, Tokyo. It was finally my turn this time. I went in the afternoon and the Unicorn remained in Unicorn mode the whole time. I do believe it only activates Destroy mode every 2 hours starting from 11am with a lightshow in the evening.
Standing at around 18 meters, it is seriously imposing and I love all the little details that were replicated right down to the small warning markings which are now life-sized of course.
I really should have come when it was the more iconic RX-78-2 on display but this is 1 more of my to-do list checked off. On to the next one!
Ahhh Akihabara, otaku central of Tokyo. Games, electronics, maid cafes and of course, anime and manga products can all be found here. If you’re a scale modeler, you have to visit Akihabara if only to be amazed by the size of the selections offered in the shops. But any self-respecting geek would get at least one thing here. 😀
So I brought my toy car geek kid to Akihabara on 2 evenings and we hit 3 shops here.
TamTam Hobby Shop (Google maps)
TamTam Hobby Shop is a bit of a walk from Akihabara Station but we made the walk because it has one of the bigger toy car sections in Akihabara. The scale model section is not large and it doesn’t offer tax refund but I find the prices to be quite competitive.
Yellow Submarine (Google maps)
If you have a bit of time to browse, I think this is the best bet. The kit prices are lower than Yodobashi Camera although I think the prices for the tools are higher. What sets this shop apart from the other 2 are racks and racks of loose parts in ziplock bags. Need some specific part or weapon for your custom gunpla/sci-fi builds? This is it.
The shop is a bit hard to find since there’s no signage outside the building, but you can’t miss it once you find it: it takes up the whole of the 7th floor of the building. Another plus is AmiAmi is on the 5th floor in the same building so you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Yodobashi Camera (Google maps)
Yodobashi Camera is the store you need to go if you have a limited time to spend for hobby shopping. The toy section covers a whole floor and dwarves both Yellow Submarine and TamTam Hobby Shop’s space combined. Looking for Gunpla? I dare say Yodobashi stocks all of them. They also have a big selection of military kits and has a whole wall of tools to gawk at and hoard.
One plus is it also sells regular toys for kids. They also offer in-store tax refund if you spend more than JPY 5,000.
So what did I get? Not as much as expected. I only bought stuff that I felt I wouldn’t be able to easily get here in Jakarta (as per SOP). The price of the airbrush was too hard to resist though. Interesting that the kits are all from 1980s anime licenses. Yeah I’m old.
Brand: Italeri 162
Media: Injection Plastic
Markings: Various (see text)
In 1986, Testors Model Corporation released a conceptual model airplane dubbed the F-19 Ghostrider. Their design was based on Lockheed’s real life ‘HAVE BLUE’ stealth fighter project of the 1970s. This F-19 design became the shape of the stealth fighter in the eyes of the public until the official unveiling of the F-117 Nighthawk in 1990. The MiG-37 was Testor’s concept of the Soviet counterpart for the F-19. Testors surprisingly got the MiG-37’s shape closer to the F-117 Nighthawk than their F-19 design.
The MiG-37 is a more conventional design than the F-19 and as conceptualized, is powered by dual non-afterburning Kumansky turbojets. It is larger than the F-19 and used many components (like the landing gear) from earlier MiG designs. Armaments include tactical nuclear weapons and radar-seeking air-to-ground missiles.
Info adapted from the instruction sheet
The kit comes in the usual Italeri side opening box. There are 3 trees: 2 molded in black and 1 clear. This is a simple kit with only 54 parts. The quality of the plastic is typical of the 1980s: thick and brittle with simple details. What little panel lines there are are the raised type. Some things I’ve noted:
2 color options for the same aircraft, Bort 36, are included. I can’t determine the quality as my copy has yellowed and is already brittle but it looks to be typical Italeri stuff from the 1980s.
All in all, a very simple kit indeed with mold quality of its time.
Construction begins as usual with the cockpit. The details are simple but molded on. I added a harness with masking tape and busied the plain cockpit area with plastic plates. For the color I went with the weird green hue Soviet plane cockpits tend to come in. Perhaps the green is to keep the pilot’s Russuan bear tendencies at bay? Hah!
The kit came together very quickly but the fit is average in some spots while poor in others. I did the best I could and spent some time to eliminate the gaps that were as wide as 2mm wide. Stores-wise, I decided to keep the front bomb bay closed but I lost the aft bay doors so I mounted 1 of the bombs in there.
Colors & Markings
Both color schemes provided by Italeri are boring: 2-tone gray and white or all black. And since this is a Soviet aircraft, it deserves some splinter/digital camoflage. I went with all gray with a digital camo of black, blue and gray on the upper fuselage. Masking was a challenge but with the Aizu 1.5mm masking tape, the only real challenge was the time it took to mask the patterns. I’m glad to say the result was quite good with barely any paint bleeding or overspray.
Markings-wise, I had to trash the kit decals as they have degraded badly. I used markings from the Eagle Strike EP72092 ‘Sukhoi Su-27 641st Guards Fighter Aviation’ sheet. The stencils come from the Trumpeter Su-30MKK Flanker G kit. I also added a WWII-era Russian propaganda (??) marking on the starboard tail fin. This came from an Academy Il-2 Sturmovik kit.
Panel wash was with the usual Mig AMMO Deep Down panel wash. To blend and lower the contrast between the camo colors together I filtered using the oil paint dot method with dark gray, white, yellow and blue oil paints.
I botched a bit of the final assembly and ended with glue stains in some spots that I had to buff out, repaint and weather. Now the bottom looks more patchy which I think adds to the look of an operational machine. The main gear doors also didn’t fit correctly but I made do with them.
All in all, not my best build by any measurement and the age of the kit really shows in the fitting and details. Still, it’s amazing to see how close Testors got with the shape to the F-117. I really should build the F-19 counterpart to this one. /Looks at my to-build pile…