The VF-22S Sturmvogel II is the mass production version of General Galaxy’s entry in Project Super Nova, the YF-21 ‘Omega One’. The YF-21’s brainwave control system was dropped and replaced with conventional controls. However, the active stealth and payload capabilites were retained. The VF-22S has been deployed by UN Spacy in limited numbers in the special operations force role.
Info from Macross Compendium
This kit was my entry into Plamo’s WOOB 06: Do you remember Macross? groupbuild. I’m actually not eligible to win anything but what I joined to support the forum. As per WOOB rules, the kit was built OOB.
As an aside, the kit markings represent a variable fighter fielded by ‘SVF-124 Moon Shooters’, a squadron in the UN Spacy. It’s, as far as I know, a non-canon unit that Hasegawa has created to sell more kits. Lovely markings though.
Like all of Hasegawa’s Macross kits, this one allows me to build it in subassemblies. Due to the design of the mecha, there isn’t any major seamline that needs to be fixed which is nice. I did deviate from the instructions in some cases which I think worked better to reduce the need for seamline removal. I also decided to build the kit in a wheels up position as I find Macross kits look better this way. Hence, this becomes the first time I have finished a kit in an inflight configuration.
The colors used for this project:
- Alclad II Jet Exhaust
- Lifecolor UA008 Medium Gray
- Model Master Acryl 4757 Neutral Gray
- Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue
- Tamiya X-25 Clear Green
- Tamiya X-27 Clear Red
- Vallejo Model Air 002 Yellow
- Vallejo Model Air 047 US Gray
- Vallejo Model Air 056 Black Gray
- Vallejo Model Color 863 Gunmetal Gray
- Vallejo Model Color 965 Prussian Blue
All in all, it was a pretty straightforward build although it won’t stand up to any competition-style scrutinizing. Some notes for posterity:
- I need to find a more secure way of attaching the kit to the display stand
- I ended up ruining the finishing on the exhaust because I tried both superglue and plastic cement to attach the petals to the housing. I ended up handpainting the parts where the original paint lifted. I should have tried using Gator Glue to attach the petals.
- I originally wanted a clean finish with just straightforward panel lining but I ended up having to use the oil paint as a wash which toned down the finish. Luckily for me, it turned out well, albeit unintentionally. I still need to figure out how to do clean panel lining though.
- This is the first time I used Future for anything else besides for dipping canopies. It’s very versatile, I think I’ll experiment it for other uses. Heh.
- First time using Lifecolor and I like it although I prefer Vallejo’s squeeze bottle.
- First time weathering a near black finish. It turned out OK but it’s always good to find out how to do it better.
- First time not preshading a kit and it turned out quite well. Perhaps unless for special cases, I think I will stop preshading for 1/72 kits as my preshading can sometimes get quite heavy handed.
- I need to be more careful with canopy masking.
End of the day though, it’s not too bad! I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
Last few things to complete. And as usual, a minor disaster…
I sprayed the exhaust in Alclad Jet Exhaust and I found the color abit too dark. Given another go, I think I’d have gone for gun metal color. I attached the exhaust petals with cement and carelessly got the cement onto the Alclad. Sigh… paint got removed.
I can’t handbrush Alclad so in the end, I decided to handpaint gun metal on the exhaust housings and layer on Future over it. It’s not too bad if you don’t look closely. 😀 I do like the contrast between the exhaust housing and the petals though.
Next up is the base which is a 4’x6′ chipboard from Art Friend in Singapore. It’s a simple matter of spraying it flat black from a rattle can and a flat coat over it. Then it’s a brass rod into a hole I drilled through the base.
And I’m done! These are temporary pictures while I take better photos.
Yes it took awhile. But at least it looks decent enough.
The end is in sight!
After leaving the kit to dry for more than 24 hours, I sprayed on a semi gloss coat of Future mixed with some Tamiya flat base (to of course, flatten the finish). Note near the wingtip a somewhat big glob of black oilpaint which I missed out when I was doing the wash. I guess I’ll just explain it away as space debris impact. 😛
Then what remains are the minor details that need to be colored/attached. First up the wingtip and tailfin lights. Red on the left, blue on the right. For this, I painted a base color of silver then brushed on Tamiya clear red and blue. I then topped this off with undiluted Future to shine them up.
The nose is actually bristled with lenses of various shapes and sizes. The instructions call for them to be clear green which I decided to tint them with smoke instead. These are handbrushed with Tamiya smoke and given a coat Future also. To keep track of them I wrote down their part number on a plastic card and used it as a part handler.
The holes where these clear parts go were painted silver and they were attached with PVA glue. The parts fit very tightly in the nose and I actually managed to split the nose open which I had to carefully cement back together.
There are 1 clear lens on each wing.
Then it was time to remove the masking around the canopy. Moment of truth time for most aircraft projects because it tends to make or break the project.
Turns out, I had to use the hobby knife and toothpick to clean up the canopy frame which ended up hazing some of the clear parts. To fix this, I brushed on Future to see if I can shine them up again.
And I’m 95% done! Only the antenna, belly gun barrels, exhausts and base remain! 😀
DAMN! Missed some painting. For lack of a better word, the chevrons on the engine housings need to be painted. The instructions called for a silver color but I chose black gray instead. There are also what looks like gun barrels on each side of the housing that needs to be painted.
The shape of the chevron was pretty complicated so I ended up using masking tape, paper to cover the decals and liquid mask. The it’s a matter of airbrushing black gray.
Next is time for weathering. Having managed to find a bottle of odorless turpentine, I decided to give the kit an oil wash of Paynes Gray on the panels. It also ended up giving the kit an overall filter which blended the camouflage together in my eye. Nice.
For the bottom, the resulting wash was very subtle. It’s only obvious at certain angles, otherwise it’s pretty much invisible. I used a combination of straight Paynes Gray and a lightened version of it. This being the first time I’m trying to ‘wash’ a black surface’, the result is not what I have expected, but it turned out all right.
Time to gloss up the kit to prepare for decals! For the top, I sprayed on Krylon Preserve it!. It however didn’t layer on very smoothly. It’s smooth to the touch, but it doesn’t LOOK smooth… strange…
I decided to try using Future Floor Polish for the bottom. Now I’ve never had good experiences airbrushing Future (it spatters when used straight from the bottle) so I’ve relegated it to glossing up clear parts by dipping. However, I’ve read that you can thin it 50/50 with Isopropynol Alcohol. So what now? Using my 0.2 airbrush, it did go on very well. Being quite thin, it also did not pool at all. Nice.
A total of 48 hours was needed for both layers to cure properly before decaling can commence. Hasegawa decals have a reputation of being thick and this one’s no different. Although I have to say the small warning markings are easier to handle because of that.
I had a choice of 3 different noseart. I picked the babe who’s most naked