The Hasegawa Valkyrie is every Macross fan’s dream come true. The plane had been represented by less-than-stellar offerings by Imai and Arii, and it’s up to the famed aircraft manufacturer to make it right! You don’t really appreciate the amount of details on this striker until everything comes into place. I remember staring at the plane for several minutes the first time I put all the subassemblies in place.
Enough subdued explitives 🙂 The version of Valkyrie I’m recreating here is the final flight of Hikaru into Buldoza’s lair in the Macross movie “Ai, Obeteimasuka?” If I may say, that 5-6 minutes of animation is the one of the best, if not *the* best choreographed sequence in anime history. His red VF-1S is armed with 2 UUM-7 missle pods underneath each wing, with the beam cannon ala the “Strike” variant in place of the usually micro missle pod in the Super Valkyrie.
The kit itself cannot be done justice, I think, unless you build it in in-flight mode. Both Super and Strike Valkyries looks strange with landing gears on, because their propeller tanks raises the rear part of the plane, thus the plane nose is pointing to the ground all the time which IMO looks pretty bad. When you level it off in the in-flight configuration however it doesn’t look awkward at all. The other thing I feel people has ignored is that, in order to bring out all the details of the kit, it needs to be built like a real aircraft, i.e. with all the regular aircraft painting and weathering. While it isn’t “wrong” to build the kit like any anime robots, which implies very dark panel lines and blocks of simple colors, you get a very toy-like appearance. This is what I was trying to avoid when I was building this guy, and had to read up a bit on how aircraft modeler did their planes. Can’t say I completely succeeded in my goals, but at least I tried… the amazing box art by Tenjin-san was a real helper too, it gives you as close a depiction to the real thing as possible, and I got some inspirations from studying it.
To get the pilot and the weapons, you need to buy the weapon set which is a separate kit. Yes it’s cheap tactics to milk $, but Hasegawa has been doing it ages on other aircraft models. I also added the photoetch parts which I think adds nice details to the already amazing kit, but it’s very subjective whether this small 1200yen brass plate is worth it.As for the kit itself, everything is almost perfectly aligned. There were some initial concerns with shallow panel lines, but after I did my wash most of them stayed inside the grooves, so I guess they’re deep enough afterall. The clear canopy has a seam running in the middle which is unslightly, but it was explained that this is an artifact from having to create the perfect shape for the plane. Removing it wasn’t difficult (see below) either. One thing I noticed is that there are a number of very small contact areas that bears a lot of stress, such as the weapon hardpoints and the booster packs. You’ll not believe the huge twin boosters are linked to the main plane by 3 small pegs! It really tests your “plastic cement skill”. This is not a beginner’s kit…
|BuildingI wrote a complete article on the build up. It contains some things I feel could ease assembly and thoughts on painting and weathering the kit.|