I’ve been on and off this one for quite awhile (as is usual haha). But finally, some progress. So here it is. Anyway, this kit will pretty much be OOB except for perhaps the decals.
I decided to close the canopy and with it being so small, the lack of safety belts is not a big issue.
I went with Lifecolor Green RLM99 (UA060 ) for the interior. Not sure how accurate it is but based on various sources it should be close enough. The details were then given a wash of black gray.
Yeah, ugly ejector marks. But they can’t be seen when the fuselage is put together.
As per usual for WWII aircraft kits, the Spitfire doesn’t have too many parts. I chose to do the version with the rounded wing tips and had to remove 2 wing fences on each wing (I think this kit recycles the wing from the Mk.1 boxing). Other than that, nothing else needs to be modified. The kit is as close to ‘shake and bake’ as can be and came together with no fuss.
After a few rounds of fixing the seamlines I used spray can Tamiya white primer as a base coat. The 3 part canopy was dipped in Future and masked with tape and liquid mask and cemented on.
Preshading is next. I usually don’t preshade every panel line but I do make sure the canopy frame lines are properly covered. I also preshaded the other major parts (not pictured): nosecone, propeller and landing gear.
In the early 1980s, my older brother who was studying in the US would record me video cassettes worth of cartoons. If I remembered correctly there were 21 cassettes at 8 hours each. Yup. That made for a lot of 30 minute cartoons. Among them was a little gem called Robotech.
Robotech is an 85-episode adaptation of three different anime television series made between 1982-1984 in Japan; the adaptation was aired in 1985. Within the combined and edited story, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions.
Info from Wikipedia
At this point in Singapore, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada, the 3 separate series that made up Robotech were also playing on local TV in their original forms, except they were dubbed in Mandarin. So it was a confusing time for me. But no matter, I enjoyed all the different versions, even more so after I’ve learned about their differences. Robotech itself was never shown in Singapore.
Like most Robotech fans, I preferred The Macross Saga and The New Generation. For one thing, the characters are more interesting and of course, the mecha stood out more. Robotech’s overall plot was far more mature than was out there with its handling of romance and many character deaths. As a kid though, I could have done with less of the icky romance, especially in the Macross Saga.
The toys were released by Matchbox that went with 3 3/4 inch figures (same as G.I.Joe of the time) with the vehicles correspondingly scaled (somewhat) to match. I remember they were only available in a toy shop at the top level of the mall Wisma Atria. I had 3 toys from the series: the Excalibur Mk VI (retconned into the Tomahawk), the Armoured Cyclone and a figure of Rand in civilian clothes.
The holy grail of this line for me was the Veritech Hover Tank from the Robotech Masters portion of the series. The Hover Tank was the main mecha hero Dana Sterling piloted. Incidentally, there was never a Japanese version of this mecha made. I remember drooling over this toy whenever I was at the toy store.
There are a lot of purists who poo-poo Robotech, saying that it’s a travesty of the original material. For me though, it was my entry into anime and in a language that I understood best.
Part 2 of a series
Price: 2,720 JPY at Hobby Search
The VF-25 Messiah is one of the latest variable fighters used by humans in 2059. It was developed as a replacement for the VF-171, the standard variable fighter in the New UN Spacy. Production prototypes were fielded by SMS in 2059, during Macross Frontier fleet’s voyage into the center of the Milky Way.
Like previous variable fighters, the VF-25 can transform between 3 forms. Unique to other models though, is the EX-Gear power armor integrated into the cockpit which reduces the burden on the pilot during extreme maneuvers. With the addition of various modules, the VF-25 can be configured for multiple missions. The VF-25 is also the first variable fighter to be able to transform without having to eject its armored pack (unlike the VF-1).
Info adapted from Macross Wiki.
Unlike Bandai’s release a few years ago, this kit is only modeled in fighter mode. Consequently, I think captures it the look of the Messiah better. The kit comes in the bigger sized box in the vein of the VF-0 kits. As usual with Hasegawa, the box is way bigger than what’s needed and also as usual with Hasegawa, everything but the clear parts are shoved into one big plastic bag which probably caused 2 parts to have fallen off the sprue straight out of the box.
Features of the kit:
I like this: separate parts for open or closed canopy. This means less fiddling around to make the open parts fit closed. A lot of itty bitty clear parts are also included to stick onto various parts of the kit.
I find that the panel lines are finer and the parts are more detailed than previous releases. The molding also looks crisper although this may be due to my kit being from the first run. We’ll see how it goes as Hasegawa invariably milks the mold for the other VF-25 versions.
I like how a co-pilot seat is included as an option but it sure will be great if a passenger figure was too. Looks odd empty if you used the included pilot upfront. Plus, where are you going to find another Macross Frontier era figure besides buying a new VF-25 kit?
Hasegawa has finally given the modeler the option of modeling the kit in flight or on the ground in the form of separate parts. So you don’t have to wrestle to close the gear doors that are meant to be in the open position. Nice.
While the main body is molded in white, quite a few parts are molded in gray for some reason.Â These tend to be the parts that are very detailed although I’m not sure that has do with the color used.
The exhausts are thankfully designed to be able to be assembled and painted separately before being installed.
Interestingly, the VF-25’s hands aren’t retracted in fighter mode.
The armament includes the underbelly GU-17 gatling gun pod which oddly includes the hand grip. The kit is capable of being modeled carrying 3 triple missile racks on each wing for a total of 18 missiles to kick Vajra ass. Seriously overkill but seriously bad ass.
Markings-wise, you are given 2 options:
What can I say? It’s a Hasegawa. It’s very nicely molded although with the many parts, there will probably be some fiddly parts fitting like most of the brand’s latest releases. I really like the inclusion of the missiles and I hope Hasegawa will keep doing this from now on. The inclusion of co-pilot seat is nice although it’ll be better if it came with a co-pilot figure.
Still, it’s a welcome entry into the 1/72 Macross model kits as I find the Bandai kit seriously over-engineered: so much so I threw it back into its box and stored it away after I was done snap-fitting it.
I’m sure many more variants will be released in no time: Michel’s VF-25G, Luca’s RVF-25, VF-25 with Super Pack, VF-25 with Armored Pack and VF-25 with Tornado Pack. Can’t wait.
Preview courtesy of my wallet
Series: Tamiya Craft Tools
Price: 14.99 USD at Luckymodel in 2013
What is it?
Unless you hermetically seal your model kits, dust will tend to cling onto your model kits. With a normal brush, the act of brushing off the dust will tend to generate static electricity which further makes the dust cling to your model. It’s such a PITA. Tamiya has come up with a solution. The description at the back of the backing board says:
This brush can be used to wipe off dust from scale models and for removing shavings during construction. Anti-static brush prevents static buildup which attracts dust. Mini brush effectively removes dust from fine grooves such as panel lines. Brush is also recommended for use with electric appliances in the home and office.
The brush has long bristles so it’s easier to reach into the nooks and crannies. The bristles are also made of 2 different types of fibers: its mainly ‘organic conductive fibers’ and the tips are ‘fine PBT resin hair’. The conductive fibers prevents static buildup while the PBT resin hair cleans without scratching.
On the other end of the brush, under a cap, is the mini brush made of PBT resin for panel line cleaning.
So how does it work?
The following is a quick test. The parts are painted with flat colors from one of my long ignored projects. Yep. Dust galore.
One stroke across and we get this. Not bad.
After a bit of work they are all done.
I have to say that it’s easier to use than the Chinese paintbrush I normally use, which requires multiple passes to get rid of any dust. It’s also easy to hold with the thick handle.
I actually got this brush for cleaning my photography equipment besides model kits. It’s not cheap, but it does seem to work quite well. Besides, hermetically sealing model kits won’t be cheaper.
~ Review courtesy of my wallet
Theme: Classic Space
Price: 17.00 EUR on Bricklink in 2013
Notes: Set number 452 in the US
What is it?
The Mobile Ground Tracking Station is a 6-wheeled vehicle with a compartment for a small command center at the back. It also pulls a 2-wheeled trailer with a satellite dish. It was one of the inaugural sets LEGO launched for their Space line in 1978 that came with a minifigure. In this case, the set comes with a white astronaut. No visor at this time for the astronauts, but yeah they can still breathe in the vacuum of space!
The astronaut is as simple as it can get: all white, basic face, old style helmet without visor, oxygen tank and gold and red colored Space logo.
The vehicle is an overall light gray color with wheels that are in red. Features include:
The Space theme of this time emphasized exploration instead of conflict so there wasn’t any obvious ‘offensive weapons’ in the sets. Not that I didn’t create laser guns and missiles with my imagination though.
The main vehicle is a straightforward bottom up build with the command center being made of various 1×2 and 1×1 bricks building up into 2 essentially open-sided boxes that swing out to reveal the control station inside.
During this time, the decorations on the bricks are printed on and not stickers. I’ve always preferred this although I admit it somewhat makes the printed brick less versatile: you can’t take it off after all. 3 bricks are printed in this set: 2 with the Classic Space logo and 1 slope with a control panel.
LEGO decided to leave the wheels in red for some reason and I decided to swap these out with the more modern light gray wheel with black tire combo. I think it looks better now although it loses the ‘classic’ look somewhat.
Interestingly, the roof-top spinning antenna is made up of 2 transparent round shields which, as it turns out, was only ever available in this set. Rare indeed.
The set I received had some replacement parts (3x 1×1 plates stacked together in lieu of the 1×1 brick) and a missing 4H antenna. I replaced these with the correct parts from my spares.
This set is a classic from my childhood. It’s old fashioned by today’s standard with its boxy shape and plain color. But there’s a certain charm that I like about it: A KISS approach that LEGO doesn’t do much of anymore.
+ Sometimes reality does match what you remember from the past
+ Quite a few playable functions for its time
+ A purposeful and simple design
– The red wheels look off to me
– Being 4 studs wide and panels not existing yet, you can’t fit a minifigure inside the command center with the doors closed
– Spare oxygen tank is not very secure