Studio Half-Eye YF-21 vs Yamato YF-21
Graham offers some comparison shots and a review of the 1/100 Resin Model kit from Studio Half-Eye and the 1/72 Metal/Plastic toy from Yamato. I singled out my favorite pic-titled 'Crash & Burn'! I had a good laugh when I saw it! Now l hand over the mic to Graham...

Crash & Burn Baby!


Due to popular request (actually only one person asked me!) here's a point by point comparison of the SHE YF-21 vs. the YAMATO YF-21, both of which I own. 
The winner of each category will be scored one point to decided the overall winner.



The SHE YF-21 doesn't have any landing gear, so there's nothing more I can really say!
The YAMATO  YF-21 has folding front and rear landing gear. The front landing gear is housed in the nose section and the rear landing gear in the leg bay cover panels. A neat feature is that each landing gear is covered by a folding door when in the raised position unlike the YAMATO YF-19, where the front landing gear is only semi-recessed  and thus still visible when in the raised position. The wheels on the YF-21's landing gear rotate and have black painted tires with silver hubs. The only negative point in my opinion is that there is not too much detail on the landing gear struts and they are painted in a very thick white paint.
The YAMATO wins outright here, firstly for actually having landing gear and secondly for having fairly well designed landing gear. Score one point to the YAMATO.


The SHE features relatively little detail and many of the panel lines that are shown on the detailed line-art drawings of the YF-21 in the Macross Plus artbooks are missing from the SHE kit.

On the other hand, the YAMATO YF-21 is superbly detailed with the full range of panel lines. The difference between the YAMATO and SHE can clearly be seen in the attached top view fighter mode photos where the additional panel lines of the YAMATO toy are clearly shown.
Again, the YAMATO wins. Score one more point to the YAMATO.


The SHE uses two types of joints. The first is the WAVE plastic ball and socket joints. These are not normally supplied with the SHE kits, and it is necessary to buy them separately. However, if you buy a SHE from Hobby Link Japan then they kindly supply these for you. The problem with the WAVE ball and socket joints is that they do loosen up after a while and there is no way to tighten them. The problem is now so serious with the ball and socket joints that connect the feet to the legs of my SHE YF-21 that the feet fall off at the slightest touch.

 The second type of joint in use in the SHE kit is simply were two pieces of the resin parts are held together by a small hardware screw, for example the elbow and hip joints. The problem with this is that after you have played or posed the toy for a while the screws loosen up and require tightening. This is fine for a while, but not for long term use as metal screws are much harder than the resin and after a while of use, the metal screw cause the screw holes to wear so that they can no longer be re-tightened. After about 3 years of relatively light usage, my SHE YF-21's joints are now so loose that it cannot stand up by itself. For the attached photos I had to lean it against a board and even then it kept falling down all the time.
The YAMATO uses ratcheted joints throughout, making the toy very stable. Even though the YAMATO YF-21 is a new toy and thus it is not known how the joints will stand up to several years of use, the level of quality is very high. From my experience with ratcheted joints in other toys, there should not be any problem with the long term durability of the YAMATO's joints.
This is getting repetitive, but again the SHE crashes and burns compared with the YAMATO. Score one more for the YAMATO.


Even when new and just built, it was a labor of love to get my SHE YF-21 to stand up straight in Battroid mode in even a simple static pose without toppling over. This is partly due to the extreme top-heaviness of the design, partly due to the poorly designed hip joints and partly due to the fact that even when new the joints were not as tight as they could be. Now that my SHE YF-21 is 3 years old, it will only stand in battroid mode if supported and will not stand up at all in Gerwalk mode.

Due to the excellent weight distribution of the die-cast parts (legs and torso) and the secure joints, the YAMATO YF-21 has no problem with balance as long as the pose is fairly static. Any attempts at dramatic action poses can be tricky though.
Score one point for the YAMATO.


The SHE kit does not come with a gunpod, but one is available with the optional FAST pack set which must be purchased separately. However, the gunpod cannot be stowed internally.
The YAMATO has no gunpod, but one is supposed to be in the works for the upcoming FAST Pack version of the YAMATO YF-21.
Score one point for the SHE for actually having a gunpod available.

 (Note: This category will score 3 points, i.e  1 point per mode)
The SHE has less overall detail than the YAMATO, but in fighter mode has a slight edge in accuracy of appearance over the YAMATO due to the fact that the legs fold flat onto their sides inside the leg storage bay so that the bay cover panels sit higher against the belly leaving the legs far less visible when viewed from the side.
In Gerwalk mode, both the SHE and the YAMATO are faithful to Kawamori's design.
In Battroid mode, the SHE has a pair of ugly struts  connecting the back mounted engines to the chest (intakes). These kind of spoil the appearance slightly when viewed from the top and are not accurate to the original design.
YAMATO YF-21 looks great in fighter mode and is very accurate to the original design, except for the fact that the legs do not conceal inside their bay as well as the SHE when viewed from the side.
The Gerwalk and battroid modes are very accurate to the original design.
In Fighter mode, the SHE wins the point..... just for the better appearance from the side, although both Valks look excellent.
In Battroid mode, the YAMATO  wins the point due to the better appearance of the backpack/engine connection.
In Gerwalk mode, both the SHE and YAMATO look very good, but the point goes to the Yamato due to the higher level of detail.


The SHE kit has a non opening cockpit.

The YAMATO has an opening cockpit canopy with three transparent panels, a really neat feature. The cockpit of the YAMATO also features a pilot seat.
Score one point for the YAMATO.


The YAMATO is a clear winner with 7 points to the SHE's 2 points.

For it's time the SHE YF-21 was a great product and a brilliant piece of engineering. For several years, the SHE was the only choice if you wanted a variable YF-21. However, the SHE is now totally outclassed by the YAMATO version in nearly every way. 
Being largely based on the SHE, the YAMATO is in it's way a great tribute to the SHE design, but with an improved level of detail, better balance and stability and stronger joints.
Another advantage of the YAMATO not mentioned above is that it will retain it's good looks with far lower maintenance than the SHE. SHE owners will constantly find the paint rubbing off the resin  every time a transformation is attempted, thus requiring constant touch up. The YAMATO is largely exempt from this problem as the majority of the toy is molded in blue plastic.