Vf-1 Valkyrie Battroid mode
by Pablo A. Castro © 2003 Modeler Site
No material from Modeler Site any Web site owned, operated, licensed, or controlled by Mario Covalski & Associated may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way, except that you may download one copy of the materials on any single computer for your personal, non-commercial home use only, provided you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices. Modification of the materials or use of the materials for any other purpose is a violation of Mario Covalski & Associated's copyright and other proprietary rights.
Read More here > Legal notice
We are in the Macross Universe. In 1999 a gigantic alien spacecraft crash landed on a Pacific Ocean island (South Ataria). This event not only produced catastrophic tsunamis and earthquakes and the formation of a world government under the United Nations but also a devastating global war.
Advanced technologies and knowledge that allowed the development of never seen before weapons are obtained from the alien vessel. Among these new weapons are the variable fighters (VF). These machines have the ability to transform from a fighter plane to a 12.68 m high humanoid robot called Battroid. The need of these machines would be revealed soon when a race of giant warriors, the Zentradi, came to Earth claiming the fallen spacecraft. But this is just the beginning of the end of life on earth as we are use to know...
It is interesting to note that almost all the model characteristics correspond to the 1984 animation movie Macross: Do you remember love? (DYRL) as the box indicates. The main difference between the movie version and the TV series version are: square fingers (DYRL) vs rounded fingers (TV series), pointier nose in DYRL version, details (exhaust grills) in the backpack, etc. Other parts such as the legs fins are in the shape from the TV version though. Curiously the pictures from the side of the box are all from the TV series.
The first impression after opening the box and reading the instructions is that this is a weekend model project: WRONG. Although there are not major construction problems I found some problems derived from the Hasegawa's decision to make this a snap-fit model (no glue required) A probable explanation to this could be the fact that this is the first attempt from the company to get into the mecha or robot models world (a tradition in Japan) The leader of this mecha modelling world is Bandai and snap-fit and coloured parts are almost a trade mark of this Japanese company, so Hasegawa was looking to compete with Bandai in his own field using their own weapons.
The chest, other problematic area...
As with all the recent Hasegawa models the Battroid is divided in many subassemblies to help in the painting an decaling stages. This means that sections of the model that should be painted in different colours are constructed as separate subassemblies. A good example of this are the feet or exhausts that are build as a separate section and using an ingenuous system it is later attached to the rest of the model. The same happens with the leg intake covers and chest intakes.
As I said before, my intention was to build the model straight from the box but I couldn't resist the temptation of modifying the shoulders. In the linearts from the art books and even in the pictures from the Hasegawa's model box there are some panel lines in the shoulders that are absent in the model. I scribe them using an X-Acto razor saw to make the deepest lines along the edges of the shoulders and a sharp tip tool for the three parallel lines in the sides of them. The razor saw makes a straight, deep and clean line as I wanted and it is easy to control on the soft plastic.
I choose the VF-1J head since I wanted to represent Hikaru Ichijo's Valkyrie (one of the main characters in Superdimension Fortress Macross) This head, as well as the other two, is masterly done by Hasegawa and captures the look from the animation.
I found this later colour appropriate since the brownish tint could match well with the red accents and even is the colour suggested by Hasegawa. I used Humbrol 28 since I had it at home. I airbrushed this paint all over the kit (except for the metallic parts) covering the white plastic. The problems began when I tried to cover the red plastic part on the chest. In my first attempt I couldn't cover the red with the light grey paint without obscuring a lot of the chest details. I was so anger that I decided to remove the paint by dipping the chest part in caustic soda solution overnight (Caution!! It's a dangerous chemical. Always use gloves and goggles when working with it). In my next attempt to paint this part of the model I carefully applied several controlled thin layers of paint that covered the red plastic without loosing any detail. I was very disappointed with this red part since I can't see the reason for molding it as a separate colour part.
This model (as all the recent Macross models from Hasegawa) has a lot of very fine details that worth to be accented. I use an old technique often used by armoured vehicles modellers: oil paint panelling or wash (thanks to wmCheng from Macross World for the inspiration).
These is the procedure I followed:
After a couple of days or less the oil paint was dried. With a clean cotton rag and cotton swabs dumped in the odourless turpentine I removed the excess of oil paint around the panel lines The acrylic coating protects the base paint that otherwise would be dissolved by the strong turpentine. The gloss finishing helps removing the oil paint too. If necessary the process can be repeated in areas were the oil paint could have been removed by the cleaning process.
After that I checked every single detail and retouched some parts with a HB 0.5mm lead pencil and fine tip grey Gundam marker (the excess of both pencil and marker could be removed later with an eraser).
Finally I sealed everything with several Future light coats preparing the surface for decaling.
There are many panelling techniques based on similar principles using acrylic paints, enamels, chalk dust, etc. I found the oil paints easy to handle and since they dry very slowly I have plenty of time to fix mistakes. The very low surface tension of the turpentine deposits the paint even into the most tiny details and crevices. This is why it is recommended to use these techniques before decaling since the diluted paint could also "accent" the edges of the decals film.
The decals are very thin and once applied they conform to the surface easily.
Though the stencils give some realism to the model I decided not to apply the red "no step" markings since they were a too many, difficult to handle and in the end the red letterings are not really good for the aesthetics (I'd prefer them in black)
In the art books TV version Valkyries sports a white VF marking in each leg so I decided to put them on. Hasegawa don't include them so I had to use the ones that come in Wave Macross Option Decals. I had to use the smaller ones because there is a sink or intake in the legs that prevents the bigger ones to be applied.
It is worth to remember that all these markings only appeared in the art books and other graphic references but they were never depicted in the original animation. Nowadays Macross 0 has animated the variable fighters with almost all these markings on due the mighty power of computer graphics.
The finished model can be posed in almost any pose and is very stable. The lack of a waist rotation is not really a problem. It is an excellent product and I'm very happy with it.
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross-1, This Is Animation The Select 3, 5, 7, Tokyo: ed. Shougakukan, Japan 1983.
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, TV series, MBS, Tatsunoko Productions, Japan 1982.
Copyright © 1994-2000 by Big West < http://www.macross.co.jp/ > Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners
Support us ordering our notes in PDF > Here