Tag: Mecha

WIP : Bandai 1/144 RGC-80 GM Cannon Pt.1 – Construction

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.

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction

WIP : Wave 1/20 Rapoon Pt. 1 – Construction

Next up is (what I hope to be) a more relaxing build than the Fujimi RF-4C. This is another powered suit from Maschinen Krieger. This time, it’s a recon version of the standard SAFS.

Fit as usual is so-so with fairly obvious gaps. I went with the 2-armed option instead of a laser for the left arm.

Unlike the older SF3D/Ma.K Nitto kits, the PC joints are stiff and allows the kit to keep a fixed pose. I decided to go for a more dynamic running pose.

The kit can be broken down into subassmeblies for easier preparation.

To attach to the base, I need to insert a rod through the left foot. To make the rod more secure, I added a 0.5mm plastic plate inside the foot so there are more layers for the rod to go through.

The PC joints are as usual a material that doesn’t take paint well or easily trimmed so they need to be replaced with epoxy putty.

I haven’t found anything to replace the hoses but since they are so thin I will deal with them using weathering and washes instead.

I use a local 2-part epoxy putty called ‘Epoclay’ which is used for sculpting figures by hobbyists. Instead of replacing the PC joints I just wrap epoxy putty around them.

The joint folds were added by randomly pressing the flat end of a Tamiya stirrer into the still soft epoxy putty. Once dried, I’m left with a fixed posed kit.

THe newly wrapped partds fit back into the sockets with some trimming. Checking it with the base, I’m not sure if I want to add a bit of incline to the pose of the Rapoon. Doing so will give a clearer view of the front but I think it might look a bit unnatural.

For detailing, I added hoses from the back of the feet to the lower legs. The wires are from soldering wire and I added housings on the lower legs using Wave U-vernier option parts.

I also added details to the shoulder sensor (?) pod using Kotobukiya MSG option parts.

And I’m more or less done. Next is to fix the gaps (which there are quite obvious ones) and I can start painting.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

Upcoming : Wave 1/20 SAFSR Super Ball

More Maschinen Krieger kits incoming! This was released as a limited edition kit in 2011 but will be a mass release this time. It will also be issued with all new decal options. Yes it looks like every other SAFS-based release. It’s just the small details that are different.

Coming in September @ JPY 3,600. More pictures on Hobby Search

Picture from Hobby Search

Completed : Hasegawa 1/72 Northrom VF-1S Super Strike Valkyrie


Kit Info
Brand: Hasegawa
Scale: 1/72
Media: Injection
Markings: Kit

The Subject
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.

Info based on the anime series The Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, not Robotech
Info from Wikipedia, the Variable Fighter Master File ‘SDF-1 Macross VF-1 Squadrons’ and Macross Compendium

*The Super Strike Valkyrie is my own variant

The Kit
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.

The Build
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.

Finishing
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.

> Part 1: Construction
> Part 2: Construction
> Part 3: Painting
> Part 4: Finishing
> Part 5: Final Assembly

Number 4 of 2019

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 VF-1S Super Strike Valkyrie Pt.5 – Final Assembly

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.

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction | Part 3 – Painting |
Part 4 – Finishing | Part 5 – Final Assembly

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