Hasegawa is known for reboxing their old kits with new decals and slapping on a ‘limited edition’ label on them. Just look at how many times they have released their 2nd F-14 mold. Lately though, they have done something new with their existing kits: modify them into what-if UAVs. There has been 3 so far:
The cynic in me says that this is just another way Hasegawa is milking their molds instead of releasing new ones. The A-10 for instance, is from 1982. Also these are totally imaginary designs. However, they look surprisingly striking especially the Mi-24. Hasegawa even went to the trouble of molding resin inserts to replace the cockpits. This reinforces the limited nature of the kits though.
Photos from Hobby Search
First introduced in 2008, the VF-1 was developed for the UN Spacy using Overtechnology obtained from the Macross alien spaceship. It would remain as the mainstay fighter throughout what would be called Space War 1. The VF-1 is capable of space flight and is able to have FAST packs attached to it to increase performance and ordinance.
The VF-1 is designed to be able to transform into a bipedal humanoid ‘Battroid’ mode and a hybrid ‘Gerwalk’ mode where the VF-1 takes on the look of a fighter jet with a pair of arms and legs. In Gerwalk mode, the VF-1 has the additional capability of VTOL operations and is able to skim the surface like a hovercraft. In Battroid mode, the VF-1 is pretty much capable of replicating human movements and most importantly, go into hand-to-hand combat with enemies.
The VF-1S is an uprated variant of the standard VF-1 built by Northrom. It features a modified head with 4 lasers, improved engines and avionics and is assigned to squadron leaders and CAGs.
The VF-1 can be augmented with the Shinnakasu Heavy Industry FAST Pack system with six micro-missiles in two NP-AR-01 micro-missile launcher pods (mounted rearwardly under center ventral section in Fighter mode), and two HMMP-02 micro-missile launcher pods. This configuration is called the Super Valkyrie. The HMMP-02 pod can be replaced by the optional Mauler RO-X2A high-powered double-action beam cannon pod (mounted on dorsal section) which changes the VF-1’s designation to Strike Valkyrie.
The Super Strike Valkyrie* variant is armed with 4 FAST packs (2 overhead, 2 underwing) with 2 HMMP-02 pods and 2 RO-X2A beam cannon pods. It is a further modification of the S-FAST pack / Config ver. 1.1 w variant. It is assigned the first strike role and a secondary space defence role. The mission is to quickly intercept the enemy before they get too close to the fleet.
*The Super Strike Valkyrie is my own variant
The base VF-1 kit was first released in 2000. In 2001, the Super and Strike Valkyrie variants were issued. In 2004, Hasegawa released an all-in-1 boxing where you can build either a Super or Strike Valkyrie. Options were also provided for the A/J or S variants.
Revolutionary at the time, the parts were designed to be able to be built in sub-assemblies so you can paint them separately before finally assembling it together. Now that it’s 2019 though, it is showing its age with most of the components broken down to the very basic left and right halves so there are seamlines everywhere.
With that in mind though, the mold is still holding up with a minimal of flash and very finely done panel lines as per Hasegawa’s usual standards. 4 marking options are provided: all of them are for the ‘Macross: Do You Remember Love?’ color schemes. No pilots or missiles are included (you need the weapons set for these). Out of the box, there’s also no gear up option.
Well, the base kit is the same as the VF-1A I built in 2017 so the same comments apply. I did go with a gear up option so some cutting, trimming and adjusting was required for the gear bay doors to fit properly. The most modifications done were on the Super PACKs which would fit under the wings. The female mounting point needed to be filled up and a slot required for the underwing pylon to fit in. I followed the reference pic of the S-FAST pack / Config ver. 1.1 w and armed my VF-1S with AMM-1 and RMS-1 missiles. First strike role so it needs a lot of missiles to do its job. 🙂
The kit is made up of components from 2 separate boxings. but I replaced those that I didn’t assemble properly with new more carefully done ones. Yes it means I have a ton of spares now which can’t be assembled into another VF-1. Oh well.
I pre-painted quite a lot of parts that I foresee would be hard to reach later on. I should have pre-painted the inside of the FAST packs also but didn’t. These would prove to be hard to reach during the painting stage. Lesson learned.
Colors & Markings
I figured only someone as brave (or reckless) as Milia Jenius would fly this configured VF-1 but I didn’t want to paint the whole kit in her red color. It’s… well… too red. So I decided to go with a white VF-1 with red highlights in a splinter pattern. It took quite a bit of masking but was straightforward enough. For the FAST packs I ended up with a darker color than I originally planned but I think they still work with the main color scheme.
I had 2 sets of decals. 1 is old and yellowed but I needed some of the markings from this sheet for the Super packs. All went well until the last piece which started tearing. I ended up fixing it with some red from unused markings on the new sheet. The shade of red didn’t quite match but you won’t know until you stared at it. It’ll have to do.
The new decals went on without a hitch and as usual, reacted very well with Mark Softer. I gave Milia the nose number of ’03’ figuring Hikaru Ichijyo is ’01′ and Maximilian Jenius is ’02’. Stencils were as usual kept to a minimum.
The kit went through my usual stages of weathering of panel wash, fading and filtering but no chipping this time. For the dark FAST packs I panel washed with a medium gray instead of the dark brown I always use. All the clear parts were installed and painted before the components come together.
Final assembly took quite a bit of patience. Some careful planning was required and the components were attached in a specific sequence to reduce the chance of screwing up on my part.
And I’m done! Killing 2 kits in 1 go might be a waste to some, but for me, it’s well worth it to have such a heavily armed variant.
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.