Detail work begins with the anti glare panel and a black band that surrounds the nose. The Hasegawa decal is a multipart affair the Samueldecal sheet doesn’t even include one so I have to mask and spray it. I also took the opportunity to paint the inlets on the fuselage. It was also at this point when I realized the canopy frame needed to be black also. Note to self: always look at references.
As you can see, the work isn’t very done very cleanly. So I ended up redoing most of it.
After a layer of Future, decaling begins. The Samueldecal require me to cut as close as possible to the markings to reduce the amount of extra decal film. The red Macross logo also came with a white roundel so I had to stack the colored decal over it to make sure the white colored sections are opaque. I then carefully cut the decals wherever they cover panel lines with a sharp knife so when I do the panel line wash it will still flow down the panel line.
The decals are robust and thin but the markings themselves ‘chip’ off quite easily as can be seen on the photo below. Otherwise though, they are surprisingly easy to use and they snuggle down very well with some Mark Softer.
In the photos the decals still look wrinkly which should cure smooth. Once they are all cured I will do touch-ups with paint.
Since I can’t leave it well enough alone, I decided that I needed to fix the brown color. The new color (on the left below) is Model Color 977 Desert Yellow. Much better.
The second main color is white and I realized that I’d forgotten how hard it is to get a very ‘white’ color especially over a dark color. Even after a few passes, it still looks like a light gray.
So besides having to do a ton of masking, I also had to do multiple passes of white over multiple sessions. And of course due to my laziness, there is overspray. Yay! Touch-ups!
Speaking of masking, I really need to improve my method…
I need to do quite a bit of touch-ups, but the VF-1A is finally taking shape!
My kit is very old. I got it when it was first released in 2000 in fact. Consequently, the decal sheet has gone very brittle and yellow. I ended up replacing my decals with a set from Samueldecal, which are ALPS printed. The Samueldecal decal is very soft compared to Hasegawa’s but it works fine.
The way the kit is designed, I’m required to prep and paint the exhausts before enclosing them with the 2 halves of the engine bay. These were given a base color of flat black-gray with Black Metal from the Vallejo Model Air Metal line.
Painting then begins. I’ve decided to depict this VF-1A as a unit from the TV series, hence it’s mostly brown and white. I also decided to try a new method of painting using black color as a primer base instead of gray or white. The primer I used is the A&K Interactive Black Surface Primer thinned slightly with Windex. Coverage was good but I find the surface is rougher compared to Vallejo Urethane Primer. Both do spray easily which is great.
For the brown color, I went with Lifecolor UA097 Middle Stone. Based on what’s seen onscreen, the shade is definitely not accurate. But it’ll do.
I like how the black base primer acts subtly as a preshade for the main color and if I controlled my airbruch better, I’d probably be able to pull off a more obvious preshade look.
Nothing new lately as I’ve been bogged down by the F-14 project: landing gear breaking, kit falling onto the table nose first and endless seamlines and gaps to fix. To distract me a bit, I’ve been plugging slowly on the Hasegawa 1/72 VF-1A kit on the side, and I’ve made some progress:
What I really like about the Hasegawa Macross kits is that they are pretty much made up of sub-assemblies, so the work is more systematic than a typical aircraft kit.
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