My previous RGM-79 was a custom colored work. I decided that since I want to start a GM collection, I’d better have at least one GM in the standard red and white color scheme. So here it is, in all its assembled glory.
For some strange reason, I find that it looks a bit stumpy. It’s actually the same height as the GM Command and Cold Climate Type but it just doesn’t look like it is. Compared to the other GMs, it’s also very retro-looking. So much so that I feel that they end up not looking like they are related MS. So I’m going to do a bit of surgery to hopefully fix that.
I’m going to mod the kit systematically. First up are the feet. I added 1.5mm to the toe area to lengthen them.
Playing around with lineart coloring. As mentioned previously, I’m going to paint this thing in the original red and white color scheme… so I’m limited to just playing around with the color combo. Here’s what I have so far. The first is of course, the default anime-accurate color scheme. Whichever scheme I finally decide on, I’ll probably go for some ‘splinter’ camo with 2 shades of red. Just to break the monotony of the plain-jane color scheme.
Thighs and legs have all been extended by 1.5mm, which now makes the GM look oh-so lithe… which also means compared to the other HGUC GMs, it’s probably much taller :P.
To improve the pose of the GM, I did the same waist mod as I did in my (old) Rick Dias build. Just a simple build up of plastic plates into a slope. I then cut off the male part of the waist on the kit and repositioned it slightly to lean forwards. Then it’s all a matter of slipping on the slope and adding the upper body on top of it.
Next is a holster for the beam spray gun. I didn’t really have idea how it would look like so I just added a plaplate here and there until I got a holster-looking construct. The neat thing about this holster is the beam spray gun is mountable without additional mods needed to be done on the gun itself. It’s also a good fit on the holster. So much so it won’t fall off without aid.
Manufacturer: Moscato Hobby
First introduced in 2006, the MBR-04 series were the first combat-capable destroids. The Mk I Destroid, armed with rocket launchers and 2 arms, served as a basis for the variants. The Mk VI Tomahawk is the heaviest armed variant of the MBR-04 series. Deployed in 2007, there is no less than 7 different weapon systems on the Tomahawk.
The Destroid line quickly became obselete however when variable-technology was introduced. As such, Destroids became second-line units, assigned to garrison duties, riot control and more importantly, as mobile defensive weapons platforms for the SDF-1 Macross.
This is an extremely limited run resin model. I estimate there’s less than 100 in existence. How did I find it? The sculptor John Moscato hangs out in the Macross World forums and once in a while, he’ll do a limited run on his sculpts. I quickly jumped on the Tomahawk since it’s my favorite Destroid design. Old FASA Battletech players will also recognize the Tomahawk as the Warhammer, one of the most popular Battlemech in that universe.
100 bucks isn’t cheap by any means, but after having a look at it, I think it’s well worth it. A peek inside the box are: all the parts in 2 ziplock bags wrapped with a thin foam sheet and a decal sheet. No instructions here. It’s a garage kit so the instructions have to be downloaded from Moscato’s website.
I’m not sure squeezing everything into 2 ziplock bags is a good idea since there are some fine parts in the kit. In fact, those parts that are more fragile are put into a smaller ziplock bag which is itself put inside one of the 2 larger ones.
Anyhow, the parts are on the whole very nicely done. Rivet counters will love the intricate details Moscato did on the sculpt since the whole mecha has finely done rivets all over. I love the small details included: extra threads on the sides of the feet, fine engraved panel lines along some of the parts, removable missiles on the shoulder missile pack and even clear parts for the canopy!
Out of the box, the kit is meant to be a fixed pose model with brass rods as pins but with some polycaps and joints parts, I’m sure some enterprising modeler can turn this into a fairly poseable kit. I plan to keep it fixed pose though. It also builds into a big bulky tank-looking mecha which is a very nice contrast to the more lithe and mobile Battroid Valkyrie.
One of the cooler options for the Tomahawk is the the choice to pose the torso missile covers opened or closed. The missiles themselves are very nicely done and it will be a shame to model the Tomahawk with the covers closed. I haven’t made up my mind either way yet.
This being a garage kit, I was expecting some problem areas. Most online reviews of this kit said that all the parts were excellent. I guess I’m just unlucky as one part in particular will require extensive repair. It has a very nasty gouge in it which will require quite a bit of putty to fill up. Besides that, I’ll need to add back the details the gouge managed to destroy. In addition, the end of the part was molded pretty badly so that needs some fixing too. One of the gun barrels was also slightly warped which should be easily fixed.
Oh well, it ain’t modeling if it ain’t challenging I guess.
[Update] A Carl J. Wampler has kindly emailed me about a mistake I’ve made. His email as follows:
Sir, I would like to point out in your Review of the John F. Moscoto Kit that you have made an Error in your review.
The Kit that you have reviewed is 1 of 2 versions that John had produced.
The kit that you have reviewed was the Battle Damaged version of the Kit. I am Attaching Pictures of the Kit to show you why John did this, It had been Stated on Samari Monkey and on Macross world forums that both kits would be created. You received the 2nd run of the kits that John had created. So in Error to your Review, this is only the 2nd and Battle Damaged Production of the kit.
My bad then! This kit is perfectly fine.
The decal sheet is nicely done by what I think is from an ALPS printer. The markings are generic enough that I’m sure stuff from the spares box can be used on the Tomahawk should that be required.
All in all, I love this kit. It’s the only 1/72 kit of the subject in the market right now. I don’t really see Hasegawa ever doing any of the Destroids frankly (Update: Wave Corporation has since released 1/72 injection plastic Destroid kits, but not the Destroid Spartan). My Tomahawk can then happily stand next to my Hasegawa Valkyries and not look out of scale.
The Mirage 2000D is a variant of the Mirage 2000 tasked with conventional strike missions. It is a modification of the Mirage 2000N, which is tasked with nuclear strike missions. A total of 86 units were built and the first aircraft joined the French Air Force in April 1995.
The Mirage 2000D features an NVG-compatible cockpit, modernized navigation system and updated countermeasures systems. It’s designed to carry all major ‘dumb’ munitions, laser guided weapons from both French/US arsenals, the Exocet anti-ship missile and the ARMAT anti-radar missile. In 2001, the aircraft was further upgraded with improved capabilities.
Italeri kits can be hit or miss but so far, I’ve been lucky. The previous Italeri kit (the A-6E Intruder) I previewed looked to be a good kit. What about this one? The kit comes in the typical Italeri side opening box. There are two main trees of parts and 1 clear canopy tree in a plastic bag. Not much protection I must say, but at least there are no parts that fell off the tree.
58 parts is just right in my opinion so you won’t get bogged down during assembly. The kit comes with a centerline external fuel tank. The typical wing mounted fuel tanks are only available in Italeri’s Rafale release. It also comes with what looks like two air-to-air and two air-to-surface missiles. Not having any knowledge in French weapons, I can’t say much about whether they are accurate. However, they do look a but simplistic in my opinion.
A quick look at the sprues indicate a decently molded kit. It’s a mixed bag of recessed and raised panel lines. The majority of the aircraft has recessed lines while the pylons and the centerline fuel tank all have raised panel lines. The kit is not as detailed as something like the Hasegawa F-14D kit, but the details are more than acceptable for any modeler. I find that compared to a typical Hasegawa kit, this one has deeper recessed lines. The good thing about that is of course it’s harder to obliterate the panel lines during the assembly stage. However, some of the panel lines do look a bit out of scale. I’m not that much of a stickler of that though.
The seats (which I think makes or breaks a cockpit) is decently molded and should be more than adequate. The control surfaces also comes with raised details which is a pleasant surprise. I was expecting the standard decals-for-cockpit-controls things. The landing gear doors are also molded in the open position so doing the Mirage 2000D in-flight will require a bit of modding. The landing gear also has decent details as expected from Italeri.
Decals options aplenty. No less than four! Italeri only gives the major stencils athough that’s not a big problem for me.
Registration is quite OK although my sample has started to yellow somewhat. I just have to get it shined by the Sun abit and the yellow should be easily gone. By all accounts, Italeri decals are good. It’s just a pity they didn’t include an option to do an in-service French AF Mirage.
I bought this kit knowing full well it was released one year BEFORE the actual Mirage 2000D was introduced into French service. Expecting some mistakes in the kit, I surfed around the Internet for some info on the kit. From what I could gather, there were some major mistakes: the real Mirage 2000D doesn’t have a pitot tube and the cockpit is located 5mm too far back on the kit. 5mm doesn’t sound like a lot but in 1/72 scale, that’s big enough to actually somewhat change the shape and look of the Mirage. I’m not sure at this point whether it’s an easy thing to fix to be honest or for that matter, whether I should just ignore the mistake. We’ll see.
This is so far the only game in town for the Mirage 2000D in 72 scale. If you can live with the inaccuracies then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick one up. It looks like a Mirage 2000D from two feet away anyway.
Price: S$17.50 (est. US$10.30)
The GZ-002 Cannon Fort is the Helic Republic’s primary light mobile artillery unit. Designed to look like the American Buffalo, the Cannon Fort sports a wide array of weapons for its mission of providing indirect fire on short notice. Two 120mm guns are mounted on a swivelling turret on the Zoid’s back to provide a wide field of fire, including the ability to elevate 30 degrees. The Cannon Fort is also armed with light weapons for self-defence purposes. To allow the Zoid to be mobile, armor is sacrificed. The light armament and armor of the Cannon Fort means that they are usually paired with other Zoids to form light strike mobile units: able to move from place to place and provide fire support for other Helic forces.
Note: This is my own created Battle Story for my Zoids. I don’t really like the official version. So sue me… 🙂
The Cannon Fort is a re-release of the 1980s original. The main difference between the two versions is the color and the markings: The new Cannon Fort is dark green and black while the old one has the green parts in a medium blue. The old kit also comes with 2 gold coated mind-riders instead of just 1 dark grey one for this release.
Each part of molded in their respective colors as typical of all Zoids kits. One mildly annoying thing is the copyright molded on the front right shoulder of the kit. While that’s easily removed, there are actually a lot of other places for the copyright notice without it being so conspicuous.
The inclusion of only 1 mind-rider is also surprising since the Cannon Fort has two crew compartments: one in the head, the other in a compartment on the main turret. The stickers included are also typical Zoid quality. One word: thick. The Cannon Fort also comes with dull red colored rubber pegs which IMO, doesn’t really complement the overall subdued colored scheme of the machine.
The age of the mold is pretty obvious as the quality of the details are not up to par to the newer Zoid designs. This might also be attributed to the limitation of technology during the 1980s or it could simply be a degradation of the mold through the decades.
Typically of all Zoids kits, there are parts that are hollowed out in the back. These include all the legs and the two main guns. Since Zoids are sold primarily as toys as opposed to models, this is pretty normal. Remedying it is a simple matter of filling the spaces with epoxy putty and sand to shape.
The Cannon Fort comes with a medium-sized wind up motor and when put into action, the Cannon Fort will move forward, the main turret will swivel side to side while the two main guns will alternatively elevate.
The Cannon Fort is actually one of those Zoids that I failed to get in its original run, so it’s nice to see it being re-released. Although I must say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the molding.
Preview courtesy of my wallet
Price: Rp. 285,000 (est. US$31.00)
The Grumman F-14D is the final version of the Tomcat. It is at home in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions and is considered the most versatile platform in the US Navy arsenal. Primary differences between the D and A variants include: more powerful GE engines, upgraded avionics and radar. By the end of 2006, the Tomcat has been retired from US Navy service, having served with distinction for more than 30 years.
VF-101 was the F-14 FRS (Fleet Readiness Squadron) for the Tomcat community. Since the mid-1990s, it was also the only training unit after the west coast training unit (VF-124) was disestablished. VF-101 was tasked with training the crews and ground personnel on the Tomcat. Weapons training was also done by VF-101 which encompasses all the weapon systems the Tomcat could operate. Until it was disestablished in 2005, VF-101 had as many as 130 F-14s of all three Tomcat variants for currency training and range control work.
By all accounts, this is the ultimate Tomcat kit in 1/72 scale and they aren’t kidding. 197 parts of beautifully molded parts greet you when you open the box. As usual with Hasegawa, they have packed all the sprues into one big bag with the decals and clear parts in another smaller one. Once you take the parts out of the bag, you will find that the box won’t close properly. That’s how many parts there are in the box!
The kit features very fine recessed lines and is very detailed. You can tell this is a complex kit just from the parts breakdown. In fact, there has been talk that this is actually a simple (well, not really) scaled down version of the the excellent 1/48 scale F-14. One thing to note though, the 1/72 kit actually has a lot more parts. As with the 1/48 kit, the kit comes with PE parts and IIRC, there’s more PE parts than the bigger brother.
A look at the parts breakdown indicates that it’s the same as the 1/48 kit. The front fuselage is made of 2 left-right halves while the rear is made of top-bottom halves. This is probably the only logical way to split the parts. However, if it’s anything like its bigger brother, then the fitting between the front and rear fuselage will be a bit fiddly. Not anything major though.
Unlike the competition or even its older version of the kit, you can only build this kit with the wings either swung out or swept in. I personally think that being able to swing the wings in and out is simply a gimmick anyways. I certainly won’t be using the feature when I’m done with the kit.
It’s pretty clear based on the instructions that this is a rebox of the B variant so all the parts needed to build one is included. That’s good for the spares box. To build the D variant of the F-14, Hasegawa has included a new sprue of parts for the kit. Included in this sprue are two NACES ejection seats, control panels and the chinpod. Along with the GE F110 engines (which the B variant shares), the parts will make for a pretty accurate F-14D. Hasegawa has also thrown in the LANTIRN pod and rail, and the new-style LAU-138 launchers. Nice. As usual however, Hasegawa has again not included any weapons. You have to buy the weapon sets for those.
Hasegawa has started a trend of reboxing the D variant in various squadrons so you buy the box based on which squadron you want to model. This being the Grim Reapers boxing, both choices of markings are of course, VF-101 birds.
High-viz red-tailed Grim Reaper. Shown on the box cover.
AD 164 (Pic from airliners.net)
Low-viz black-tailed Grim Reaper with sharkmouth on the radome and a sickle-bearing grim reaper for the tails
Registration is as usual, very clear. Hasegawa has a reputation for slightly thick decals but this one seem pretty OK. That’s probably because this sheet was printed by Cartograph, which has a reputation for good quality decals.
This is an excellent kit. Although the many parts will translate to some inevitable fitting problems, it is the most accurate representation of the F-14D Tomcat in the market right now. The choice is pretty obvious actually.
Preview courtesy of my wallet