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Bandai 1/72 Scale Macross Frontier Plastic Models

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I notice that a lot of people here (or maybe just a lot of people who post) just don't seem to understand that. Its really bizarre...

Thank you, AcroRay, I have the same feeling.

Here's a good link to read up and perhaps find out why these prototypes look the way they do.

ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereolithography

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I agree with AcroRay as well, people just don't seem to understand we aren't always being shown the final product. I believe it is because they don't have patience and expect the first thing they see to be the finished product so they can decide whether to continue waiting, well not often is there luxury to know how it will turn out in the end until we get to the end.

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Acroray and LeDude

We've already gone over this, some of the models presented are not rapid protoypes. As electric indigo pointed out earlier in this thread some of the models on display have clear surface engravings consistent with a product late in a development phase, and an internal skeleton. Look at the Back of Ozma's model and the leg pegs:

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/images/11.jpg

I might be wrong, but rapid prototypes don't have that. And even if it do, it still suggest that its major features are already fairly set. Sure details might be increased, panels tightened ect; but I can't see how the overall shape or issues highlighted are going to change that much. Most worrying to me is that it seems the've gone with a coloured cockpit. Look through the CA graphic's photos;

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/

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My opinion is about proportions, not about details.

In fact, I prefer the first prototype!! It's looks far better. ^_^

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Acroray and LeDude

We've already gone over this, some of the models presented are not rapid protoypes. As electric indigo pointed out earlier in this thread some of the models on display have clear surface engravings consistent with a product late in a development phase, and an internal skeleton.

I didn't suggest that they were example early rapids (although rapids can still have fine detailing, particularly considering the resources available at Bandai's home division) however they are still prototypes - and still rapids at that. They don't look like injection styrene, so they wouldn't come from final tooling. You can actually see the textures all over the item shown at the CA website that indicate they're rapid prototypes. The presence of an internal skeleton feature doesn't disallow for it to still be a relatively early prototype, since that feature would naturally have to be developed in conjunction with the kit's other elements as well. You're still looking at engineering pieces.

See textures ALL OVER smooth areas of gun pod:

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/07.html

See textures on 'clean' wing areas, shallow uneven inner cavities and hand-carved edges:

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/06.html

...Who could look at those and bark 'Oh, that's pretty close to the final product! See, it has details!' ? Someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, that's who.

Not ABS = developmental prototype, engineering pattern, etc.

ABS = tooling test, product sample, VSP (not applicable here, however), QC sample.

I expect Bandai will show off full sprues of parts, which would indicate the product has reached the steel tooling phase. When you see that in conjunction with a built-up, then you can bet you're looking at finalized engineering. Until then, its not worth getting upset about anything.

Edited by AcroRay

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AcroRay is right. It all still looks prototyped to me too. These were just to get people like us interested. Guess what - it worked!

Is it just me, or have some people been drinkin' Hater-aid? You can't please everyone, and I'm sure that will be the case with this model regardless. I'm still neutral on this model. If it's like the VF-19 series, I will be very disappointed. After all the awesome R&D and equipment upgrades Bandai has had, I kinda doubt it. - MT

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I didn't suggest that they were example early rapids (although rapids can still have fine detailing, particularly considering the resources available at Bandai's home division) however they are still prototypes - and still rapids at that. They don't look like injection styrene, so they wouldn't come from final tooling. You can actually see the textures all over the item shown at the CA website that indicate they're rapid prototypes. The presence of an internal skeleton feature doesn't disallow for it to still be a relatively early prototype, since that feature would naturally have to be developed in conjunction with the kit's other elements as well. You're still looking at engineering pieces.

See textures ALL OVER smooth areas of gun pod:

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/07.html

See textures on 'clean' wing areas, shallow uneven inner cavities and hand-carved edges:

http://ga.sbcr.jp/mreport/009935/06.html

...Who could look at those and bark 'Oh, that's pretty close to the final product! See, it has details!' ? Someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, that's who.

Not ABS = developmental prototype, engineering pattern, etc.

ABS = tooling test, product sample, VSP (not applicable here, however), QC sample.

I expect Bandai will show off full sprues of parts, which would indicate the product has reached the steel tooling phase. When you see that in conjunction with a built-up, then you can bet you're looking at finalized engineering. Until then, its not worth getting upset about anything.

My hero :) , I was noticing all the lines and stuff on that too but I didn't know if it was worth my time bringing it up because I figured no one would listen anyway. It's good to know someone agrees.

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AcroRay:

I take your point, and you're right its maybe earlier in the design process than I had originally thought. I probably should have taken a closer look. My bad.

Yet still I'm cynical about this release, which will only be proven or disproven when it comes out. As (likely) with you I've been building models for most of my life, maybe not professionally, but I'd like to think its one of my main hobbies. It kinda ticks me off when someone goes and says "someone who doesn't know what he's talking about." Moreover I've built quite a few Bandai kits over my time, which makes the label "hater" even more dubious. I like their kits, I collect them and build them too.

I think there are two main points here. While this may be an early prototype, almost 20 years of history suggests that its difficult to make an accurate transformable model. Its always going to be a compromise between modes for shape and the ability to transform. Early photos suggest Bandai will not overcome this. Furthermore the sheer fact that Bandai chose to make a transformable model implicitly suggest they are aiming it more towards gunpla and away from traditional modeling. Thats not surprising since they are attempting to capitalize on Macross Frontier's successes, which is in a younger age group. Reading an interesting study posted on Gunota the other day on the gundam market supports this conclusion. While all this doesn't necessarily mean they will have to be bad models, but I think it makes it harder to make a good display piece, particularly in fighter mode. I've already said its likely going to have a great battroid mode, and will buy one for that reason.

Still, I think its difficult to disagree with either of these two points. If I'm proven wrong I'm proven wrong; so be it. At least I'll have a set of nice models to build while I eat crow.

Edited by Noyhauser

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Regardless of where they are at with the process, the current 'prototype' looks a lot worse that the initial one we saw. The proportions don't look as nice. Regardless, I will be purchasing one, and I will probably be filling gaps with epoxy putty and rescribing. I'm still looking forwards to this release, but it looks like it's going to be a lot of work to get it up to standard I'm happy with.

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Well I thought I'd be picking a few of these up upon their initial release as well - I think I may have even said so ( Yep I did!), But I've since cooled on that idea. As I took a step back from all the whoop-la over the first kit releases of these designs, I realized that there are a lot of other kits out there that I'd rather build ( judging from the prototypes, the fact that it is a transformable model, and my experience with some of Bandai's kits).

I mean if it turns out that these kits are not what I'd hoped they would be - so be it-. I don't have to buy them. Chances are that, unless they are a complete flop - in which case I probably wouldn't want one -, they will be produced in sufficient numbers so as to be readily available should I at some point ( after reading reviews, viewing finished (modified) kits etc.) choose to get one or two of them. Otherwise I am perfectly happy waiting for a kit of the VF-25 that I actually want.

I guess I realized that just because it's the only game in town doesn't mean that I HAVE to buy it. It's still early in the life of Macross F and I'm willing to bet that there will be kits made, at some point that I will passionately want and to tell you the truth I'm o.k. with waiting untill that happens before I buy a kit of the 25. Like I said, there are plenty of other kits out there that I'd rather build (again based on what I've seen so far).

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More pics from Tokyo Toy Show. Looks like it's a wood prototype. Dunno what this means in terms of how far they are in terms of finalizing the sculpt and details.

bda16d52244940b1406407296206a1fc4f4d932d.jpg

60ab54f1235247555f1949eb47c658580884f638.jpg

4c0ce4feecd330f2eebf3000d2e154b19ff85b00.jpg

Edited by Vifam7

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Looks like it's a wood prototype.

SLA Rapid prototype, a fair bit more sophisticated than wood. They can change anything they want in CAD and print up new versions to their heart's content before moving on to final sculpting and casting.

Edited by QuinJester

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What's great about Bandai from a manufacturing perspective is that since the patterning is digital the final injection molding dies are cut directly from their files into alluminum very quickly. They can mess with the design right up to production time.

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Not bad, but I really don't care for the head, looks squished, but then maybe that is the design.

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what I don't like is that crappy plastic on the canopy

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I think the cockpit, too, is an SL print, so expect something different on the kit.

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What's great about Bandai from a manufacturing perspective is that since the patterning is digital the final injection molding dies are cut directly from their files into alluminum very quickly. They can mess with the design right up to production time.

True, except for the aluminum. It would be steel or a steel / berillium mix. Considering the speed & pressure Bandai's production likely requires, I doubt aluminum would stand up to it.

Anyone ever see the "Stomplamo" video included with some of the Gundam MG model kits? It covers Bandai kit development from CAD to tooling all the way to rolling cases of kits onto delivery trucks. Great stuff.

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AcroRay:

I take your point, and you're right its maybe earlier in the design process than I had originally thought. I probably should have taken a closer look. My bad.

Yet still I'm cynical about this release, which will only be proven or disproven when it comes out. As (likely) with you I've been building models for most of my life, maybe not professionally, but I'd like to think its one of my main hobbies. It kinda ticks me off when someone goes and says "someone who doesn't know what he's talking about." Moreover I've built quite a few Bandai kits over my time, which makes the label "hater" even more dubious. I like their kits, I collect them and build them too.

I'm sorry if it seemed as though I was coming down on you in particular, Noyhauser. That wasn't my intent. ^_^

I'm just baffled at how so many people in this thread (again, not necessarily you) seem to be simply burping up assumptions and opinions based on a cursory glance at a prototype without even understanding what that prototype is or - even more baffling - not even making an attempt to really learn what it is they're looking at even though numerous explanations & links have been provided for them to learn more. This site, and the community here, should be a place where you can learn a bit to enhance your hobby, not just toss out cheap opinions.

I do understand your point, however, about the drawbacks of a variable kit offering - and the design inaccuracies required by the variable features - vs the accuracies offered by offerings dedicated to one mode or the other such as have been offered by Hasegawa (or Imai and Arii in the past). With what appears to be an exclusive license, I can understand how many Macross modelers would hope for those from Bandai, rather than only being offered a variable kit.

While Bandai would be my first choice to develop an exceptionally accurate, variable model of the 25, I don't think its completely possible for them to develop something totally accurate. Even though Frontier's mecha were developed realistically and compatible with 3D rendering, there's still a lot of "anime magic" at work in the new Valkyries, including what I would expect to be a huge array of smaller assemblies involved in their transformation that could never be reasonably, accurately translated into a hobby kit in such a small scale. I think their work is looking spectacular nonetheless, also keeping in mind that while their prototypes are complex and advanced, the materials they're made from also behave much differently and scale differently than the plastic that will be used for the final product and I expect the tolerances of the final product and the scaling of some individual assemblies to differ - positively - as well.

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True, except for the aluminum. It would be steel or a steel / berillium mix. Considering the speed & pressure Bandai's production likely requires, I doubt aluminum would stand up to it.

Anyone ever see the "Stomplamo" video included with some of the Gundam MG model kits? It covers Bandai kit development from CAD to tooling all the way to rolling cases of kits onto delivery trucks. Great stuff.

Actually the reason I think they use alluminum is because I watched one of those videos. I thought the mills were plowing through the metal a bit fast for the die to be steel. And coupled with the fact that they retool the same subject over every 5 years suggests that they aren't made to last.

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That horrible torso gap in battroid mode is still there in the latest pics. Oh I do hope they'll fix that.

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Actually the reason I think they use alluminum is because I watched one of those videos. I thought the mills were plowing through the metal a bit fast for the die to be steel. And coupled with the fact that they retool the same subject over every 5 years suggests that they aren't made to last.

Good points! Now I'm all intrigued to find out for sure!

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I'd prefer non-transformable kits (and I'd prefer Hasegawa), but still...

These look yummy.

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Actually the reason I think they use alluminum is because I watched one of those videos. I thought the mills were plowing through the metal a bit fast for the die to be steel. And coupled with the fact that they retool the same subject over every 5 years suggests that they aren't made to last.

I used t work in rapid prototyping (SLA & SLS,) When the patterns came out od the SLA machine we would sand down all those ridges you see on these to a smooth finish and then make silicone moulds and cast them off in polyurethane resin. That way we could get top notch looking prototypes off to the client in less than a week. When they got a prototype that their engineers were happy with, often we would go through two of three modifications in resin, then they would order up some aluminum tools made up. Those cost usually between $30,000 - $50,000 (CAN). A steel 'production' tool started at about $200,000.00 (CAN)

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I suspect that the tooling isn't made from pure aluminium, which is a rather soft metal that certainly won't be able to stand many uses, but rather from dural or some other mix of aluminium with another metal. At least it should have some form of surface treatment to resist wear more...

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The molds get stressed out a lot too. I visited a friend who worked with injection molding equipment. They close the mold, inject and then cool with water running through the mold like water through an engine block. It would take a long time otherwise. Then they open it up when it reaches the right temp and the ejection pins pop out the product. Warped parts come from rushed cooling times. The whole process can be stressful on the molds. Cracks are bound to happen eventually. I wonder if that's what happened to some of our old beloved Imai/Arii kits? - MT

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Yeah and I bet in Ye olde Dayes they didnt use any form of cad to replicate them, a lot of work would have been done by hand.

My Father was a tool maker and the molds he used to make could sometimes take months to produce even with mills and lathes etc. A model kit is way more detailed than some of his work had to be.

Edited by big F

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Yeah and I bet in Ye olde Dayes they didnt use any form of cad to replicate them, a lot of work would have been done by hand.

My Father was a tool maker and the molds he used to make could sometimes take months to produce even with mills and lathes etc. A model kit is way more detailed than some of his work had to be.

Yep, and before he got started on the tool there would have been pattern makers who had to scratch build the original pattern. Before SLA/SLS technology was developed the skills that some of the folks here on the boards have was highly sought after, and remunerated. Things sure have changed since the eighties. Nowadays 3-D printing tech. is starting to make it into homes.

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My employer has some small scale tools for this stuff. They have a small injection molder and a rather small 3D reduction pantograph mill. I'm hoping to try the old school techniques out on some personal projects. I'm probably going to combine the CNC router tech with the old school pantograph though.

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looks awesome! i'd better start clearing out some storage space to splurge on this season's macross goods kekeke :lol:

i wonder if Alto's machine would get an "S" type head eventually... (actually, isn't it assumed?)

I notice that many are hoping that there will be some design changes before the final production - but if you go back and look at all the hobby japans, dengeki hobby etc... in the past few years where bandai has released a painted prototype, you'll see that they tend not to deviate much from the painted prototypes. Technically, they could - but it is very rare that they do. So what you see is going to be at least 90% accurate to what you'll get (assuming all parts are smooth and joints are tight). Nevertheless, the kit looks great as is! All those minor things that people mentioned that they don't like - they'll be remedied by pro-modelers in each magazine :)

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Yep, and before he got started on the tool there would have been pattern makers who had to scratch build the original pattern. Before SLA/SLS technology was developed the skills that some of the folks here on the boards have was highly sought after, and remunerated. Things sure have changed since the eighties. Nowadays 3-D printing tech. is starting to make it into homes.

This is very true. I'm a machinist and a few months ago we had to remake some ancient stuff with NO prints, just samples. I spent the better part of a week just taking measurements alone. Even CAD is being phased out now by Pro/E. I've been working with Pro/E now for a little bit, and it is way nicer than CAD. I've even used it for a few personal projects (fairly simple stuff). Now, when an engineer makes a part, they draw it on Pro/E, send the DXF to AP100 and AP100 writes the CNC program for the machine. what an age we live in. I suspect that's how toys have gotten so advanced and released so quickly over the years. I'm curious about what Bandai uses, as I'm sure it's different from our metalforming and plastics systems where I work.

Edited by Excillon

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In the old days injection molds used to be made of steel because you could EDM the surface of your tooling. They used it also to re-new molds.

The parts for the trees were hand made of copper, graphite or brass.

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Is it me or with more info on some of the features does this model seem to get better and better and outshines the toy even more than before?

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In the old days injection molds used to be made of steel because you could EDM the surface of your tooling. They used it also to re-new molds.

The parts for the trees were hand made of copper, graphite or brass.

EDM is s CNC process now. It's called Wire EDM and is insane in it's precision.

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Off-topic, but just out of curiosity -

If I were to model a Valkyrie in 3-D, would anyone around here have the capability to create a solid model using the STL files? I work with 3-D CAD professionally and have done some pretty advanced stuff with it, and would love a chance to realize a design of my own invention. I know we've got some good recasters around these parts, and it'd be kinda cool to have a MWF-generated Valkyrie design, but I can't use my company's 3-D printers or SLA facilities for personal projects, and getting it done out-of-house would be prohibitively expensive.

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