Markings: Kit + Custom
The SAFS MK.III Rapoon is a reconnaissance variant of the SAFS MK.III Raptor deployed by the mercenary forces.
Yep. That’s all I know. There’s a general lack of translated information about Ma.K stuff 🙂
This kit was released in 2017. I believe it’s the first time the Rapoon has been issued in injection form. Like all Wave injection kits, the plastic is rather soft although the details are quite sharp. Other details I note:
- The kit comes in 140 or so dark red parts including 2 clear parts
- The joints and the hoses are made from polycap material so there is (limited) poseability
- There is an open cockpit option with 2 types of pilot heads
- The left arm can be a laser or a normal manipulator
- The nose sensor assembly is in a fixed position
- Assembly guide is a booklet type
- The decal sheet offers multiple options as usual and is nicely printed
All in all, the usual Wave Ma.K product. Based on experience, the fit will be so-so and the limbs will be slightly loose even with the use of polycaps.
The kit is advertised as snapfit. As per usual with Wave kits though, cement helps greatly: do not expect Bandai levels of engineering here. It’s also advertised as poseable and comes with polycaps for the joints but these are not stiff like what you get from Bandai. The range of poseability is very limited and loosen quite quickly.
The joint covers are also made from polycap material which do not paint well so in the end I decided on a pose, cemented everything in place, then replaced the joint covers with ones made from epoxy putty.
Colors & Markings
Since the Rapoon is a ground unit I went with ground-based camo. I picked a random green and gray color in my collection and free hand sprayed the colors. I then lost my momentum and left it aside for a few months in that painted state.
After finally deciding to get off my butt and finish this thing, I added the decals then I went ahead with the sponge chipping. Doing this from the beginning will make paint chips look older once other weathering steps are done. I did the panel wash with diluted raw umber oil paint.
Once dried I went ahead to filter with blue and yellow then faded with white oil paint. Smudges and streaks were also added using Starship Filth oil paint from Mig AMMO. The feet were weathered using a light brown color (Dusty Earth from Mig AMMO).
Once pinned to the base, I did final weathering with a pigment mixture on the legs and the base to tie everything together.
And I’m done. What should have been my fifth finished kit is now my last one of the year.
Number 8 of 2019
Time to finish this kit. Seamlines aren’t hidden and need to be addressed.
The areas in shadow were pre-painted in black before assembly.
Black base as usual to begin.
Marble coating with white. Nothing too precise though.
I went with a ground-oriented color scheme with red pauldrons.
The joint covers were handpainted in medium gray.
To replicate older chips, I added chipping at this stage with a sponge.
Decals on after a coat of gloss. These are a mix of the kit markings and a ‘noseart’ girl decal from a Modelkasten sheet.
The panel lines were then given a wash of diluted raw umber oil paint.
Next up is fading and adding streaks using Mig AMMO oil brushers.
I first faded the surface with white. I randomly dotted the surface and using a damp flat paintbrush blended the white into the surface.
I did the same with yellow and blue. This helps to reduce the contrast between the decals and the main kit. It also adds variations to the finish.
Starship Filth was used for smudges and streaks.
I decided to go for more fading on the feet with Dusty Earth.
This also adds a dust looking tint on the legs. More work will need to be done after pinning the kit to the base.
The base is similar to what I’ve done for my Gustav build but I added cork to the base so it’s easier to pin the Rapoon. I added a bit of an incline so it looks like the Rapoon is running upwards.
Besides adding a pin on the sole I also attached the leg to the cork using hot glue.
For the ground surface I used Vallejo Thick Mud – Light Brown.
I then pressed Woodland Scenics pebbles and sand in random spots.
Once dry I painted everything AK Interactive Black Grey, Model Color German Camo Medium Brown, then AK Interactive Dust.
I then added Citadel washes with their odd names but they are basically, red brown, dark brown and black.
I then randomly drybrushed with Game Color Bonewhite and AK Interactive Dust.
I mixed the 2 shades of grass tufts I have and added with PVA glue in random spots.
Then it was time to dust the feet with a 4 shade concoction.
I dusted both the feet and the base itself so the colors will match closer.
And I’m done! As usual, it took longer than usual due to inertia on my part.
This is actually my 4th go at the ‘new’ mold Hasegawa F-14 kit. The less said about the first 3 disasters the better. Anyway I hope to break the cycle with this one. The kit includes all the parts for the various iterations of the F-14 through its 30 years of service so I’ll be basing the configuration of the F-14A+ Kai on what I can see on the screencaps. Here we go…
My copy of the kit has old-ish decals so I decided to go with the PE control panels instead.
These are just a tiny bit too wide and the recesses for the boarding steps on the left fuselage get in the way of the control panels from fitting flush.
I added some plastic plates to raise the angle of the control panels so they clear the recesses.
The boarding steps required a bit of sanding to fit flush. The NACA-style gun vents are… not great.
After carefully trimming the flash, sprue marks and thinning the parts, I managed to get them to fit OK. The corners on both NACA door parts aren’t sharp though so will need to be addressed.
I used plastic plates as guides so the 2 parts align properly.
Like almost all my Macross kits, I will be building this kit gear up. I decided to ‘close’ each of the gear doors before putting both fuselage halves together.
Again, plastic plates are used on the inside to use as alignment guides.
A dryfit shows a gap in between the doors. Something to fix later.
A lot of plate work for alignment.
I dryfit the nose section to the fuselage and like all 3 of my previous failures, there is a small gap right where the 2 parts join. I used to simply slap on a lot of putty and sand everything away. I’ll see if there’s another way to fix this.
I attached the wing glove vanes closed. These will need to be blanked off after both halves of the fuselage come together.
Before the 2 halves can fit together though, parts of the molded on main gear well need to be trimmed off.
The kit comes with the F-14A/B wing glove ECM fairings molded on. These need to be trimmed off.
The screencap shows however that the other fairing is present on both sides so these were attached.
The top and bottom speed brakes were trimmed and fitted into the aft fuselage.
Once fitted together I added the beaver tail. The F-14A+ Kai uses the modern version with the ECM bump and fuel dump pipe.
I decided to drill out the the fuel dump pipe. The hole is wider in real life but I’m afraid my limited dexterity won’t be able to pull it off.
This is proving to be a long build. Yay.
I’ve always wanted to build the F-14 that appeared in the Macross Zero OAV. Based on some research it looks like this particular boxing of the 1988 molds has all the necessary parts to depict an almost 100% replica of the F-14A+ Kai. The Tomcat that appears in the anime is officially designated F-14A+ Kai and is basically an F-14D that has an F-14A cockpit. It’s armed with 2x AIM-9 Sidewinders and 6x AIM-120 AMRAAMs and flew without external tanks during it’s appearance in episode 1.
Hasegawa did release an official F-14A+ Kai kit of their own. But that kit is based on the 1977 molds so it’s simplified and has raised panel lines. Hasegawa also didn’t bother with the details of the F-14A+ Kai as it builds into a bog standard F-14A. I never did manage to get my hands on the Hasegawa Macross Zero F-14 but after I managed to track down an aftermarket set of 1/72 decals off eBay, I decided it was time to build my own more accurate version.
I try to build my Macross kits wheels up so the first thing I tried is to cram 2 pilots into the kit. The pilots come from the Hasegawa US Pilot/Ground Crew Set. I’ll need to modify the pilots to be more ‘accurate’.
I used both epoxy putty and 0.25mm plastic plate to upgrade the helmet. The oversized pauldrons are also replicated with plastic plate.
After some sanding and shaping, I think my mods look OK. They should look fine once painted and under the canopy.
After re-checking references, I realized I got the shape of the pauldrons wrong so I went back to fix them. I also cut the pilot’s lower legs off so it’s be easier to fit the cramped cockpit.
I trimmed the pauldrons, res-primed then re-checked the figure. Good to go!
On a whim, I decided to test-fit the pilots into the cockpit. The RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) fits OK but the pilot didn’t fit correctly: in fact, the instrument coaming touches the pilot. It looks like Hasegawa got the dimensions wrong here and it’s both disappointing and surprising.
So I took it as a challenge and try to open up some space. Looking at the front cockpit, the back panel is very thick.
I replaced this panel with 0.25mm plastic plate.
The coaming requires thinning on the inside before it fit properly.
In the RIO’s cockpit, there’s a big gap between its coaming and the instrument panel. I added plastic plate to cover this up.
The kit includes both GRU-7 and NACES ejection seats. The F-14A+ Kai uses the GRU-7 ejection seat but compared to the NACES, it takes up more space which amplifies the limited space inside the front cockpit.
With the NACES seat, it’s better now but the pilot still seats too low: his view is blocked by the coaming.
I cut off the molded straps and the canopy breakers then added the GRU-7 ejection handles on the NACES seat. At this point, I’m very happy that this F-14 is a fictional variant.
added plastic plates on the seat to raise the pilot. I also sanded the bottom of the coaming to slightly lower its height.
The coaming looks too big and bulky for 1/72 scale.
To make it look more to scale, I thinned the edge of the coaming.
Another test-fit and I think it looks much better now.
I also thinned the pilot’s back slightly so he sits closer to the seat.
It’s a lot of work just to cram 2 pilots into the cockpit but at least it worked out.
It’s actually quite strange that Bandai still hasn’t issued any of the Federation mobile suits in the MSV line but have done so for the much newer Origin MSV. Oh well, if I knew what’s going on, I’d be the product line manager for Bandai. In any case, I sought to modify the Origin MSV GM Cannon Space Assault Type into the original bog standard GM Cannon from MSV.
The kit is a P-Bandai limited release so it comes with a monochrome boxart. Besides the simplified instructions, everything is as it should be: sharply molded parts that snapfit without any issues.
To replicate the original GM Cannon’s legs, I took the legs from the GM Thunderbolt kit. Thankfully they attach without modifications.
I like the overall look but the thighs look ‘off’: too bulky. It also had canvas covered leg joints. I decided to see if I can modify the Space Type’s thighs to fit the GM Thunderbolt lower legs.
I began by keeping the knee sections on the Space Type’s lower legs, then experimented with plastic rod and plates for gribbling.
The ability to bend at the knees is retained but the assembly doesn’t snapfit into the lower legs. Nothing that cement 1.0 won’t fix.
Playing around with other sized rods, I managed to replicate some pistons. I also added a tab with plastic sheet on the bottom.
It now slots into the er… slot I made inside the lower leg. The inside of the lower legs were blanked off using plastic plate.
The pistons aren’t obvious once the leg is assembled but ‘I know it’s there’.
The side of the knee looked empty so I added minus molds from Kotobukiya for more detail.
I think the new leg looks better. Now I just have to replicate it for the other leg.
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction