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.
Price: 2,720 JPY at Hobby Search
The VF-25 Messiah is one of the latest variable fighters used by humans in 2059. It was developed as a replacement for the VF-171, the standard variable fighter in the New UN Spacy. Production prototypes were fielded by SMS in 2059, during Macross Frontier fleet’s voyage into the center of the Milky Way.
Like previous variable fighters, the VF-25 can transform between 3 forms. Unique to other models though, is the EX-Gear power armor integrated into the cockpit which reduces the burden on the pilot during extreme maneuvers. With the addition of various modules, the VF-25 can be configured for multiple missions. The VF-25 is also the first variable fighter to be able to transform without having to eject its armored pack (unlike the VF-1).
Info adapted from Macross Wiki.
Unlike Bandai’s release a few years ago, this kit is only modeled in fighter mode. Consequently, I think captures it the look of the Messiah better. The kit comes in the bigger sized box in the vein of the VF-0 kits. As usual with Hasegawa, the box is way bigger than what’s needed and also as usual with Hasegawa, everything but the clear parts are shoved into one big plastic bag which probably caused 2 parts to have fallen off the sprue straight out of the box.
Features of the kit:
I like this: separate parts for open or closed canopy. This means less fiddling around to make the open parts fit closed. A lot of itty bitty clear parts are also included to stick onto various parts of the kit.
I find that the panel lines are finer and the parts are more detailed than previous releases. The molding also looks crisper although this may be due to my kit being from the first run. We’ll see how it goes as Hasegawa invariably milks the mold for the other VF-25 versions.
I like how a co-pilot seat is included as an option but it sure will be great if a passenger figure was too. Looks odd empty if you used the included pilot upfront. Plus, where are you going to find another Macross Frontier era figure besides buying a new VF-25 kit?
Hasegawa has finally given the modeler the option of modeling the kit in flight or on the ground in the form of separate parts. So you don’t have to wrestle to close the gear doors that are meant to be in the open position. Nice.
While the main body is molded in white, quite a few parts are molded in gray for some reason.Â These tend to be the parts that are very detailed although I’m not sure that has do with the color used.
The exhausts are thankfully designed to be able to be assembled and painted separately before being installed.
Interestingly, the VF-25’s hands aren’t retracted in fighter mode.
The armament includes the underbelly GU-17 gatling gun pod which oddly includes the hand grip. The kit is capable of being modeled carrying 3 triple missile racks on each wing for a total of 18 missiles to kick Vajra ass. Seriously overkill but seriously bad ass.
Markings-wise, you are given 2 options:
What can I say? It’s a Hasegawa. It’s very nicely molded although with the many parts, there will probably be some fiddly parts fitting like most of the brand’s latest releases. I really like the inclusion of the missiles and I hope Hasegawa will keep doing this from now on. The inclusion of co-pilot seat is nice although it’ll be better if it came with a co-pilot figure.
Still, it’s a welcome entry into the 1/72 Macross model kits as I find the Bandai kit seriously over-engineered: so much so I threw it back into its box and stored it away after I was done snap-fitting it.
I’m sure many more variants will be released in no time: Michel’s VF-25G, Luca’s RVF-25, VF-25 with Super Pack, VF-25 with Armored Pack and VF-25 with Tornado Pack. Can’t wait.
Preview courtesy of my wallet