After a few stages of gap filling, I’m ready for painting! I’ll be painting the kit in subassemblies which will make everything easier to handle.
Color scheme-wise, I’ll be going for the one below. It’s not Milia’s usual color scheme except for the red highlights.
Time for the colors. For the VF-1 first, a black base.
Then the usual marble coat with white.
All the paints for the main colors are all acrylic paints cut with thinner and given a few drops of Vallejo Glaze Medium to reduce the opacity. The marble coat will show through and give a more interesting look to the finish.
I first went with Vallejo Mecha Color Grey White as the main color, but I think the result was too gray.
So I re-sprayed everything with Vallejo Game Color Dead White. I think the results are better.
Once the main colors are on, it’s time for (a lot of) masking tape for the additional colors.
I decided to paint the vernier housings on the FAST packs a different color, so I first used 2.5mm masking tape to ring around the housings then filled the rest with wider masking tape.
For the splinter pattern on the VF-1, 2 shades of red will be used.
After the first shade of red has cured, the splinter camouflage is carefully done with (a lot) more masking tape.
To darken the Vallejo Model Air Red, I added a few drops of Vallejo Model Color Burnt Umber.
I checked the splinter camouflage before removing the rest of the masking tape.
I then masked some more and painted the vents on the top of the fuselage. Once I feel that it looks alright, I carefully removed all the masking tape.
All in all, the masking turned out well enough. There were only some minor bleeding.
The FAST packs were given the same treatment as the VF-1: a base coat of black.
Then a marble coat of white.
The main color is Vallejo Model Air USN Sea Grey. Checking the color chits online, it’s supposed to be bluer than the result I got. However, I took a look at the vintage Bandai VF-1S Strike Valkyrie toy, the colors of the FAST Packs are quite similar and looked good so I’m going ahead with it. The missiles were also quickly painted up in white while the underbelly gun was Vallejo Model Color Dark Seagreen.
There are some black bands all over the kit that Hasegawa provides as decals. I decided to just mask and spray these.
This includes the black bands on the missiles and FAST packs.
I am quite happy with the results. Mistakes like bleeding were thankfully minor. These will be cleaned up and I can move on to decaling then finishing this kit.
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.