Manufacturer: Morr Models
Price: USD 104.95
The atmospheric booster was an optional attachment to send VF-1 Valkyries into space orbit. The booster is discarded once the Valkyrie reaches space. Advances in technology will eventually enable future variable fighters to reach orbit unassisted and render this equipment obselete.
I’ve had this kit for awhile now and have only gotten to previewing it now. I purchased this online from the Starship Modeler Store. It’s sculpted by John Moscato, who goes by the nick ‘Captain America’ in the Macrossworld Forums.
If the booster doesn’t look familiar to you, it’s because it appeared in the Macross TV series for less than 20 seconds onscreen. I vaguely remember the scene where a couple of these are launched into space. I don’t even remember if any of the protagonists were actually piloting them.
The kit comes in 39 pieces. It also comes with 2 small decal sheets and a letter-sized double-sided instruction sheet. First impression of the kit is that it is BIG. Parts are also in both white and tan resin for whatever reason.
The thruster bells are all one piece affairs with the smaller rockets all molded within them. You will need to attach the booster rings and the vanes separately. One very nice feature is the kit comes with 2 extra pieces of the rings and the vanes each. Just in case you screw up.
Casting details are not as crisp as those from the established resin companies (NeoGrade, SMS etc) but considering its source as a home-casted product, I’m perfectly fine with it. Nothing that some finesse, putty and sandpaper can’t fix. The rivets are abit too shallow for me so I might just fill them up with epoxy and rescribe.
The VF-1 kit will need to have some parts replaced with resin pieces. These are mainly the intake/leg section as they need to fold a specific way before they can be fitted on the booster.
I dry-fitted the intake to the Hasegawa part and the fit is very good even without clean-up.
The instruction sheet is very clearly done by a fellow named ‘Tyranus’. There’s also a handy guide on which parts you need to leave out on the Hasegawa VF-1. 2 things I noticed from perusing the instructions:
- You can probably build the Valkyrie separately and keep it in subassemblies before attaching the booster around it. Nice.
- My copy of the kit seems to be at least the 2nd production run as the sheet indicates that the thruster bells are separated differently from my copy. In the sheet, the thruster bell has the vanes attached already while the connecting point to the booster is separate. Chance of the vanes breaking while in transit in my copy is lower.
The decals look to be ALPS printed although the backing is thicker than what I’ve seen. The colors are also washed out, especially the red on the UN Spacy chevron. I’ll see if I can replace them.
By now you’ll realize that this is NOT a complete kit as you will need to add a Hasegawa VF-1 Valkyrie kit as the command vehicle. It also doesn’t come with a stand so you’ll need to figure out a way to display this. John Moscato actually has 2 additional options for this: the Launch Pylon and the humongous Launch Vehicle (which doesn’t come with the Launch Pylon). Some might not like this but I’m fine with it as it allows me the option to totally splurge or just get the booster and find another way to mount it by itself.
I’d like to end this preview by quoting Tyranus’ last sentence in the instructions: