Fine Molds 1/72 X-Wing (Star Wars)

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xwing_0001


Introduction

 

Scale
1/72
Sculptor
Maker

Completed
07/03/08

Parts


 

One of the best rendition of X-Wing by Fine Molds. I mainly build this to accompany the Millennium Falcon. Since I chose to build the Falcon with the second Falcon trip configuration, I built the X-Wing as Luke’s.

xwing_0029 xwing_0028 xwing_0027 xwing_0025 xwing_0018 xwing_0013 xwing_0012 xwing_0002

 

Fine Molds Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

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falcon_0027

 


Introduction

Scale
1/72
Sculptor
Maker

Completed
06/20/08

Parts


The best rendition of Millennium Falcon by Fine Molds.

falcon_0052 falcon_0059 falcon_0055 falcon_0041 falcon_0044 falcon_0022 falcon_0021 falcon_0017 falcon_0032 falcon_0037 falcon_0026

Destiny (Gundam Seed) with MG Freedom Conversion

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destiny_0006


Introduction

Scale
1/100
Sculptor
Maker

Completed
08/30/07

Parts


MG Freedom with VP conversion parts.

Macross Zero VF-0S Valkyrie with Ghost

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IMG_3157

Introduction

Scale
1/72
Maker
Hasegawa
Completed
01/09/07
Retail
3200yen

In the latest OVA series Macross Zero, YF-0 is the predecessor to the famous VF-1 in the original Macross. The design always reminds me of a mix between YF-19 (head area) and VF-1, which makes it look a bit awkward. The body isn’t as streamlined as either also, making it looks a bit clunky. The plane is quite big as well, larger than either of its descendents.

This variant of VF-0S is Roy Fokker’s ride. In the “Tori no Hito” (Birdman) battle over the Mayan island with their nemesis SV-51, the two VFs in the battle, Roy’s and protagonist Shin Kudo’s, were equipped to both augment the flight speed as well as armaments. The unmanned spy plane QF-2200A were stacked on the VFs to give it up to 90% increase in after burner boost, and this is with 4 additional GH-28A 8-tube missle pods, two HAIM-95A launcher pods, and the standard extension micro missles on the legs. I always love heavily armed stuff, so even though the VF-0 design isn’t my fav, I still went for this crazy combo.

Kit-wise it’s standard Hasegawa fair, with great details everywhere and good fit. The only thing that kinda bugs me is that both the Ghost and missle pods are all pretty detail-less, making the whole thing look a bit more plain than other Macross kits in the series. Nothing a bit of weathering wouldn’t fix 🙂

Endless Waltz Gundam Wing Zero Custom (Master Grade MG)

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Capture_01607

Introduction

Scale
1/100
Maker
Bandai
Completed
11/22/06
Retail
2800yen

Before the advent of the Seed line of designs, Wing 0 from Endless Waltz had been one of my favorite. The semi-useless wings are so stylish, they almost distract you from thinking “why the wings?” 🙂 The MG rendition of this cool mech is particularly nice. To be honest, I had the PG so I didn’t really care much for the MG version when it first came out, but over time I couldn’t resist the expandable gimmick in the wings. The expansion makes the wing looks more voluminous and complex, allowing more coolness. Some minor complaints about the kit is that the shoulder’s wouldn’t get vertical movements (which is probably hard to implement since the gatling guns are in the way), and the waist won’t bend backwards. Well it can bend forward for the classic shooting pose, but the pose in the pic above would be cooler if Wing 0 could bend backwards.

This build has relatively little mods – I like the kit as is. Except for the wing’s support. The stupid joints connecting the main wings to the backpack’s “beams” are so ridiculously filmsy, there’s just no way it can support the weight. After some experimentation I replaced them by the excellent polycaps from Volks, which are very sturdy and holds up the wings very well. Also I learned something about V-color when painting this kit. For the very flexible, bendable wing tips, I used V-color since it is very stretchable; but at a certain thickness the thing just cracks. Yikes. So I had to strip and repaint again with a much thinner layer.
One funny thing is that the kit is decal-mad – there’re some insanely verbose decals! I don’t know why people like those but I wish they’d just stop the yucky “race car” trend.

Macross Plus YF-19 – 1:72 Hasegawa kit

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IMG_2998

Introduction

Scale
1/72
Maker
Hasegawa
Completed
05/14/06
Retail
2800yen

YF-19 is Macross Plus’ protagonist Isamu’s ride. The forward wings gives it a unique look, and is one of Kawamori’s best designs. Hasegawa did justice to the design, again came up with the best rendition of this turkey.

This is perhaps one of the easier kits in the line, with parts very well divided subassemblies. This time I used technical pencil to do panel lines, and I like the results a lot. The lines tends to be subtle and not overwhelming, and the application is easier as well. Decaling however turned out again to be my undoing. I saw great remarks about using Future as a “decal solvent” so I thought I’d give it a shot. But I also apply Super Sol on top, and it appears to wrinkle the decals like crazy; took me several hours to fix 🙁 For this kit, I’d advice to do away with the black linings for the legs; they are hard to apply and painting the grooves isn’t really that much work.

Macross Zero SV-51 gamma (Nora)

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sv510022

Introduction

Scale
1/72
Maker
Hasegawa

Completed
05/14/06

Retail
2800yen

Macross Zero is a prequel to my long time favorite Macross, and chronicled the struggle between UN and Anti-UN force. The SV-51 belongs to the Anti-UN force, and this variation with the flamboyant patterns is piloted by ace female pilot Nora Polinsky.

The plane is inspired from Russian Sukhoi-24 line of design. It’s “ugly” when you compare with the more streamlined VF line, but I like its badass-edness! All the spikes and stablizers sticking out, combined with the flame-like yellow stripes makes for a very violent combination. Moreover, the plane is very big. It can easily be larger than the VF-1s by 50%, making it even more imposing.

Anyway, Hasegawa once again did great job on the model, with the typical crisp molding and very good part divisions. The killer task in this kit however, is decaling… many of the yellow stripes are to be applied to very curvvy areas, requiring mucho solvent to make them conform. Then there are bits of touch up necessary on panel lines after the decals are applied. It was just a lot of work, but in the end it was well worth it. I had a few mishaps though, which costed me quite a bit of time. First the spikes that are antennae at the tip of the back stablizers just would not stay on… I managed to break both of them, and had to replace them with metal pins. In retrospect, that may not be a bad thing, since it increases the realism of the model with their sharper tips. My advice: don’t remove the “runners” that are protecting these pins until you’re almost done with the model 🙂
Secondly, I managed to crack the canopy! Stupid me. Fortunately I have another SV-51 with me (D.D.’s variation), so I could replace it immediately. But man…

I also built her without armaments. I think I was influenced by some forum discussions once which said that the plane looks better without them, and I agreed. I think Nora’s flames stripes don’t blend in so well with the uniform grey color of the weapons, and also the bean-shaped missle pods didn’t match the dynamics of the plane. I’ll leave all the weapons to D.D.’s twin booster version.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since I last built a Macross plane!

One WIP that I posted a while ago, while I was decaling the stripes.
IMG_1033.jpg

TIE Fighter

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4901

Introduction

Scale
N/S
Maker
AMT/ERTL
Completed
3/25/99
Retail
$19.95

This is the TIE Fighter featured in the original Star Wars. This is also the first kit I bought after my “modelling revival”.

Kit Review

The mold of AMT is still as bad as it used to be 10 years ago. Fits are poor especially between the top and bottom halves of the the fighter. The kit comes with testors paint (part of the reason I bought it), but the paint is so thin that you can’t brush them on. Painted it with acrylics in the end.
Building

There’s a Darth Vader sitting inside the cockpit but it’s better if you can’t see him properly; it’s like he’s sitting on top of a stool in the middle of the cockpit without any support. The kit also comes with a base but you can’t really support with TIE with that. Ended up creating my own wood+brass rod base. This kit becomes a wedding present to a Star Wars fanatic 🙂

Sword Strike

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Introduction

Scale
1/100
Maker
Bandai
Completed
04/2006
Retail
4200yen

I like the Sword Striker pack a lot, its asymmetry is cool and the concept is just neat. So I modified the original 1/100 Sword Strike’s pack to fit the MG version.

Kit Review
n/a
Building

The mod is relatively straight forward, mainly the armor on the left shoulder needs mod. The width of the original is too wide, so most of hte changes is in thinning it.

VF-1S Valkyrie from Macross DYRL

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P0008356

Introduction

Scale
1/72
Maker
Hasegawa
Completed
05/28/02
Retail
2000+1200+980yen

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.

Kit Review

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.