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On Thursday January 9th, I was lucky enough to receive a pre-production test sample of the upcoming Focker type 1/48 scale VF-1S toy. This is the 2nd variation in the 1/48 lineup.
The toy came with the following accessories:
1 x GU-11 gunpod with strap.
4 x UMM-7 micro-missile pods.
4 x AMM-1 triple missile clusters.
1 x instruction manual.
1 x sticker sheet.
1 x Roy Focker pilot figure.
2 x removable air intake covers.
All of the above-mentioned accessories were identical to those supplied with the earlier VF-1A Hikaru toy, except for the pilot figure, which obviously had a different paint scheme and the instruction manual, which had a new cover and a few of the pages different.
I didn't receive any box, as it wasn't ready yet.
As mentioned previously, this VF-1S was a pre-production test sample made specifically for the purpose of finding any bugs before the toy goes into production. The sample did feature a few small flaws, which should hopefully (touch wood) be fixed by the time of the release. The problems I found were generally minor and are noted below:
1. The cockpit canopy hinge was too loose and the canopy would not stay up by itself.
2. The diagonal seam that runs below the cockpit had too wide a gap when the landing front landing gear was in the open position. However, when the front landing gear was closed, the gap automatically tightened up. Yamato promised this would be fixed.
3. The 'Skull' emblem on the left tail fin was not printed on straight.
4. The left arm of the pilot figure was not glued on in the correct position.
On the positive side, the wrists on this sample seemed tighter than on the VF-1A and the wing flaps have not fallen off once yet. Both the front and rear landing gears did also seem a little easier to open as well compared with the VF-1A, although this may just have been because of my increased familiarity with the toy.
Paint Job The paint job was very crisp and sharp with no overspray or bleeding
on this sample.
The 1/48 VF-1S head is the subject of some controversy among Macrossworld members. While many people, myself included consider the 1/48 VF-1S head to be the most accurate 'S' type head ever sculpted, there is an equally vocal contingent that is very disappointed with the vertical seam that runs down the centre of the face. Personally, I think the seam is not very noticable at all and does not spoil my enjoyment of the toy.
Fans will be happy to know that the VF-1S head is capable of about 20 degrees of backward and forward tilt. However, on the downside, the VF-1S head cannot sit as high up in the fuselage in fighter mode when compared with the VF-1A head. This is due in part to the larger size and shape of the 'S' head and its 4 lasers and also because the neck articulation prohibits a telescoping neck piece.
The VF-1S transforms exactly the same as the VF-1A, although care must be taken with the 4 x head lasers, which do seem fairly fragile. When moving the head lasers, I have found the best method is hold the ear piece and rotate that using your fingertips. Note, I STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND pulling, pushing or holding onto the laser barrels to rotate them, as this is an invitation to snap them. You have been warned!
Getting the four head lasers past the back-plate when transforming from Battroid mode to Fighter mode or vice-versa is quite challenging. I have found the best way seems to be to rotate the lasers so that they are in the horizontal position pointing forward, then rotate the lasers on one side of the head only downwards another 30 degrees or so, then clear those lasers past the back-plate, then do the same for the lasers on the opposite side.
There is not much more to report on the actual toy, since besides the head and the color scheme it is pretty much identical to the earlier VF-1A. I can't wait for the toy to be released and I plan to by two, one of which I will convert into a Hikaru VF-1S.