Brand: Hasegawa 65776
Markings: Bits and pieces from Eagle Strike and no brand stencils
The SV-51 is a variable fighter jointly developed with Overtechnology by Sukhoi, Israel Aircraft Industries and Dornier. Like the VF-0, it is an advance trial production model equipped with conventional engines, developed before the implementation of thermonuclear turbine engines. The SV-51γ (‘γ’ is Latin for Gamma) is a specially tuned variant assigned to Aces.
Compared to the VF-0, it was developed earlier and was considered combat ready by the time it was deployed by the Anti-UN forces. It features a high air combat maneuverability, a better active stealth system and VTOL capability but a shorter cruising range than the VF-0. To compensate for the short cruising range, it is often transported to the area of operation and launched underwater by a specially modified submarine aircraft carrier. To further increase speed and maneuverability, a pair of jet booster pods with variable nozzles and thrust deflection panels can be attached on over-wing hard points. This necessitates the carriage of additional micro-missile launcher/auxiliary tanks for additional fuel.
The SV-51 is first deployed by the Anti-UN Forces over the South Pacific Ocean in 2008 (a year before Space War 1), during the events at Mayan Island.
The subject of this build is an SV-51y with Twin Boosters in a custom color and marking scheme.
Info adapted from Macross Compendium
Release in 2005, this is the version with the additional Twin Boosters and external fuel tanks. Other than these parts, they are they same kit. Like the other Hasegawa Macross releases, this kit is very well done with very finely done recessed panel lines. Options include:
- designed to be built in subassemblies
- pilot figure included
- canopy has a fine moldiing line running down the middle of it
- open or closed canopy
- open of closed ventral lift fan door
- wheels down option only
- a pair of overwing engine pods
- additional pair of underwing missile launcher/auxiliary tanks
- main exhaust petals fit loosely to the housing although they are not positionable
- decal options for Ivanov or Nora’s SV-51y. The yellow stripes on Nora’s SV-51y are provided as decals
So all in all, nothing surprising really. Should build up fast (snicker…).
Straightforward. But this is quite on par for the course for all of Hasegawa’s Macross kits. Since the kit is broken down into subassemblies, the real challenge is aligning all of them together.
So I’m building this kit in flight so some modifications are needed to get the gear doors to close properly and it’s quite obvious they aren’t meant to fit closed at all with wider than expected gaps on the joins. These were fixed using Vallejo Plastic Putty which shrinks once dried thereby giving you a ‘natural’ panel line. The ventral fan door also doesn’t quite fit flush but it’s nothing that some careful sanding won’t fix.
My current method of doing an inflight kit is to slot the rod permanently into the kit and the base. I have a lot of spare polycaps from various Gunpla builds and I thought maybe I could put one inside the kit and have the display rod slot into it. So the rod will be permanently attached to the base but can be detached from the kit as needed. The result looks to be quite workable although my endless detaching loosened the grip of the polycap somewhat by the end of the build.
I had in mind a custom splinter color scheme so it’s not practical to paint in subassemblies so I put everything together up front which in hindsight is probably the best approach. There’s just too many assemblies to have to align properly after painting.
Colors & Markings
I’d originally wanted to do my SV-51 up in a similar color scheme to the Su-33 from Ace Combat but then I saw a Zoukei-mura’s theoretical splinter color scheme for their Ho-229 kit. The color scheme is one that the Luftwaffe used early in WWII: RLM61/62/62 in a splinter scheme up top over an RLM76 bottom. With the usual Russian-style white nose, I thought it’d look very distinctive. Sold!
First to be painted are the engine sections over a glossy black base. Once done these areas were all masked off. Then comes the white marbling. Besides the usual white marbling, I decided to add random blue and yellow ones to see if they affect the main colors. I then went ahead to spray the bottom RLM76. This was the most straightforward color.
With my Vallejo paints ready, I got to work with the topside color scheme. But as usual, nothing was straightforward. Vallejo’s RLM61 came out too dark and green. It was even more obviously wrong after I sprayed RLM62 on. So I mixed up a custom batch of RLM61 by adding gray, white and brown colors onto the base Vallejo RLM61 paint. I think the ressult looks better. But by this point, the marbling had all but disappeared so I decided to lighten the paint and sprayed the middle of each panel to get some tonal variations.
The other colors were straightforward: mask, paint, then add spray a lighter toned color in the middle of the panels. Thankfully I didn’t have to do much fixing of the splinter pattern this time and there was a general lack of overspray that I needed to fix. Next to be painted are the wingtips. I originally used red for the them but somehow the result didn’t look quite right. So I went back in and changed everything to orange. Much better I think.
Markings-wise, the sheet that came with the kit had already yellowed and were unusable. I decided that my SV-51 should be an Eastern Bloc unit, matching its similarity in design to an Su-27 Flanker. So I took out some partially used Russian Flanker decals and went with it. The stencils themselves were a mix of spares from the Hobbyboss Su-30 kit and some no-brand stencils for any mecha-related subject. These went on without drama with Mark Fitter and Mark Softer.
Canonically, the SV-51 would be further improved and be deployed well into the 2030s, but my SV-51 is a still a Macross Zero-era unit and would be quite new at that point in time so I went easy on the weathering with a simple panel wash, light fading and staining on various areas only to show some operational use. Nothing fancy.
And I’m done. This build resulted in a very big kit and even an F-14 is dwarfed by it. To be honest, it looks quite derpy wheels down but is very imposing in flight especially with the addition of the twin boosters. And I really like the color scheme I managed to pull off.
Number 03 of 2021