Next build up is an oldie but goodie (famous last words). Having built one in the mid 1990s in college I remember this kit to fit well in general and with fewer parts than the Hasegawa counterpart, would be a quicker build. I was planning for this kit to be part of a groupbuild with a bunch of local modelers. It’s due at the end of May.
A quick dry fit shows however, that the fit is wonky.
It looks like the fuselage halves have somehow warped (foreboding music).
Plowing on, the ejection seats get some work by way of harness details using 0.7mm masking tape. The seats were quickly painted and weathered and set aside.
I added sidewall details with plastic plate to busy them up. It’s nothing accurate and will not be too visible once closed up.
Painted and given a wash, these look alright.
I found more warped parts. This time if was the cockpit tub, which didn’t sit quite right on the bottom fuselage plate. I added a length of sprue to push the tub up to the correct height.
The fuselage halves included alignment tabs on the bottom but these refused to line up so I trimmed one off. I added spreader bars inside the fuselage to minimize the gap with the wingroots. Note the clamp on the right of the photo. I had to use one to keep the 2 halves together until the cement cures. Only brute force works.
The spreaders work and the wingroot gaps are kept to a minimum.
Fit of the fuselage halves though… is disheartening.
There’s a V-shaped notch going down the whole upper fuselage. Not difficult to fix, but the upper details will be gone by the time it’s fixed.
I seriously didn’t expect the fit to be so bad on this one.
Time to put everything together! First i attached all the vernier nozzles on the FAST packs. I kept these glossy just like the thrusters.
Since I only have 1 clear parts tree I’m stuck with only 1 lens for the beam cannons. I made up a pair of lenses from battery blister pack instead, painted these clear orange and glossed them up with a brush of Future.
The beam cannon FAST packs are then attached to the backpack. They fit canted slightly inwards so I added 0.25mm plates to the attachment points to keep them perpendicular.
The head and the GU-11 gunpod were then attached.
The pilot and canopy were then added. Turns out the black on the canopy is a different shade than the black on the nose. To get them to match better, I handpainted flat black over the nose pattern.
The clear parts are painted accordingly with transparent red and blue and attached with Gator Glue. Future was brushed on to give them a shine.
The stores were added in an inside to outside sequence: FAST pack, RMS-1 missile then AMM-1 missiles. These were attached with CA glue.
The legs/engines were then attached with good dollops of cement.
The base is a piece of round balsa. I drilled a hole and added a short length of metal pipe for reinforcement. The block was sprayed in AK Black Grey and given a coat of gloss.
The rod attached to the kit slots into to the pipe in the base.
Last on is the backpack with the beam cannons.
And I’m done! Quite happy with how this turned out.
The fixes required after painting were thankfully minor. The most obvious being the round plate on the backpack.
Some careful hand painting fixed it.
After a gloss coat, it was time for decals. Since I didn’t have enough of the roundels, I had to use the 2 that were from the old boxing, which is at least a decade old and not in the best shape. Each roundel was made of 2 layers: 1 white and 1 red. Just my luck that the last red piece started breaking as soon as I lifted it out of the water.
To fix it, I cut out sections from the red skull squadron markings on the new sheet and stacked them onto the existing decal. It’s not perfect (the shade of red is slightly different and if you looked carefully 1 corner is not very neat) but it’ll have to do. Sidenote: I also added yellow bands around the Super FAST packs to indicate that these are the HMMP-02 missile pods instead of propellant ones.
Milia gets the ‘003’ nose number since I figured that Hikaru is ‘002’ and Maximilliam is presumably ‘002’.
The decals from the new sheet went on without any problems and worked very well with Mark Softer. I kept the stencils to a minimum.
Once cured and given another gloss coat, it’s time to weather.
First is a panel wash with Miig AMMO Deep Brown Panel Line Wash.
To reduce the contrast between the different colors and markings, I added a filter with blue and white oil paint.
I also blended Mig AMMO Oilbrusher Starship FIlth in random spots.
Ready for weathering.
Filtered and faded with oil paint.
Ready for weathering.
Filtered and faded with oil paint.
The blending of the oil paints add add some visual interest and replicates the look of an operational machine.
Since they are in a darker color, the FAST Packs were given a panel wash of Abteilung Neutral Grey instead. Fading and filter were the same using white and blue oil paints.
/crosses fingers. Final assembly is next!
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…