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Budokhan

Custom BANDAI 1/72 Variable VF-1SX

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Greetings everyone! First time poster here at MW. Been lookin at this site for a while & thought I'd jump in with all you fine folks! :)

So, like many of you guys, I got the new 1/72 BANDAI Variable Valk kit & was, well, a bit dissapointed. But I have to say, coming from a long time modeler's point of view who does it mainly for the love of it, its not that bad of a kit. Sure it has its problems but we as modelers can just do what we do best...improvise, adapt & overcome right? So saying, I'm planning a little something "special" for my kit but first I need to address some of the problems it has...parts fit, looseness, lack of detail in some spots etc etc..all stuff I'm sure you guys have already come across!
The First thing I tackled was the wonky fit of the legs in fighter mode & how they don't fit quite perpendicularly to the fuselage. The main problem is, like I'm sure most of you have figured by now, the grey retention tabs that lock the arms in place in fighter mode. The top edges of these are rubbing the sides of the legs & keeping them from sitting in where they should. Instead of cutting these off entirely tho, I thought if I could shave down one side sufficiently on a diagonal angle it might allow the leg to seat better & have a more perpendicular angle to the fuselage when viewed end-on. Here's what I shaved off:
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Secondly I thought, again, like most of you I'm sure, that the arms are too spindly & need fixed. I plan on beefing up the upper arms, shoulders & forearms. The first thing I started with was the degree of bend to the elbows. With a little tweaking of the lower part of the upper arm where it joins with the elbow joint, I was able to give it a lot more bend, so much so that now the Battroid mode will have the ability for the Gunpod to actually touch the shoulder armor:
IMG_1610_zps05e0ec34.jpg
Next ( because I'm a hopeless scratchbuilder & can't leave anything alone straight out of the box ) I'm gonna lite this guy up with micro LEDs. The first thing I worked on was the optics section on the head. Since this particular build is gonna be a "one-off" style, i wanted something different. He's gonna be a predominantly really dark low-vis Valk & I thought he'd look kick-@ss with a blue Optic sensor:
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A veeeeeery long time ago, when the Hasegawa VF-1 kits came out, the only way you could get a pilot figure was to get the add-on weapons set. So, I got one & and while the figure wasn't bad, it could be remade better. Now, don't get me wrong, the pilot figure the new kit comes with aint bad but I'm anal when it comes to miniatures & detail & I looooooves me some detail work... at that point I remembered my old VF-1 Hase pilot. I dug the little guy outta storage & I think with a little tweaking I can make him fit in the new kit:
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So, thats where I'm at right now. Any ideas or comments are heartily welcomed & appreciated!
Thanks for lookin guys n Cheers!!
~BK

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Thank you for the detailed explanation of your fix/customization of the fighter mode leg fit!

Since my Bandai VF-1 is not yet completed, I just might try your idea.

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I couldn't imagine doing that to a 1/60 pilot never mind a 1/72.

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i cant believe the details you put on the pilot figure :wub:

Thanks for the great compliment! Always loved miniature stuff ever since I was real little & when it comes to sculpting or building , the tinier & more detailed the better!

Thank you for the detailed explanation of your fix/customization of the fighter mode leg fit!

Since my Bandai VF-1 is not yet completed, I just might try your idea.

You're very welcome! I sincerely hope it works out for you as well as it has for me. If you want, I can throw together an ortho view of the mods & dimensions for them? Just a thought!

I couldn't imagine doing that to a 1/60 pilot never mind a 1/72.

Heh....it's not too hard to do as long as you have a steady hand & a good pair of opti-visors! :)

I have some adjustments to make to the figure to get it to fit & also for the clear vac-formed visor ( there'll be a face behind it too!). There are plans on the table also for a standing version of this figure... one with helmet off held under arm & saluting and perhaps one in a pose like he's climbing the access ladder.

Edited by Budokhan

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Looking great so far, Mr Sáenz!

Thanks very much! :D

Currently workin on a replacement part for the afterburner nozzle in the foot that resembles the type seen in DYRL, the one that has like 4 or 5 rectangular nozzles mounted one to another horizontally:

MacrossChronicleVol7pic2a_zps9ebd2f04.jp

Gonna try & make it so that it can be clear cast & lit with super bright white LED!

Edited by Budokhan

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That looks awesome! Nice detail work and modifications! - MT

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Thanks very much! :D

Currently workin on a replacement part for the afterburner nozzle in the foot that resembles the type seen in DYRL, the one that has like 4 or 5 rectangular nozzles mounted one to another horizontally:

MacrossChronicleVol7pic2a_zps9ebd2f04.jp

Gonna try & make it so that it can be clear cast & lit with super bright white LED!

If you can get the light to look right that would be really cool.

Slightly off topic, where does that photo come from?

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So I kinda got the new afterburner parts figured out, just roughly for now tho. Parts are held there with double back tape & blue tack just so I can get a feel for where everything's gonna land. Plus,I figured where to store the batteries. The stabilizer fin on each side will be part of the slide switch for that side's LED liting.

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I hadda remove a fair amount of the inner directional vanes from the back ends & some meat from the walls to accommodate the new setup:

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Originally, I had wanted to come up with a mechanism that would allow the separate ducts to "push" apart slightly when the feet were opened but I think,in retrospect, that mighta been to ambitious. So instead, I'm just gonna hard mount the ducts together but slightly separated & on a slighlty convex surface which will eventually be backfilled to fit the existing piece & have the aperature for the mini LED:

LEDafterburnersetup4_zps3440eaef.jpg

Just a shot to show that everything fits with the feet closed. The 2 smaller ducts are still there, just kinda obscured by the vanes. When its all lit tho, you should be able to see each duct!

LEDafterburnersetup5_zps28214682.jpg

Cheers gang!

~BK

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If you can get the light to look right that would be really cool.

Slightly off topic, where does that photo come from?

Im hopin I can pull it off too, Thanks!!

& that pic came from the "Macross Chronicle Vol.7" magazine. I DL'ed a copy of it from somewhere & then put that page with the pic thru photoshop to clean it up. If ya want, I can send ya the full size file thru PM? lemme know? :D

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Hey gang!

So I was figuring out the proportions I'd need to make the arms look right & here's what I got so far:

Newarmproportionstestshot1_zpsed6a01ae.j

I temporarily beefed up the top & side of the shoulder & all the way round the upper forearm with pieces of 0.027" thickness styrene sheet. Also, the new hands he's getting, "Hobby Base 1/100 square fingered" help to make him look more proportionate too. It def looks better imho & now he doesn't look like he's got hydrocephalus so much !!

Lemme know what you guys think!

Cheers!

~BK

Edited by Budokhan

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Well well well. This is the first build that makes me think that this kit may not be all that bad.

Love the pilot rescuplt btw. Judt awesome work all around.

Cheers,

Brett T

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This is some awesome work!

Just a quick question, what are you using to re-sculpt the pilot figure?

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Everything on this thing is going to look awesome when you're through modifying it... but what about the massive noggin' it's sporting?

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Fantastic work so far!!! I will definitely be following with great interest. I can't believe you've polished this turd so well ;-)

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Well well well. This is the first build that makes me think that this kit may not be all that bad.

Love the pilot rescuplt btw. Judt awesome work all around.

Cheers,

Brett T

Hey Brett! Thanks so much for the great compliment! Its truly not that bad of a kit. Like most kits, it just needs a bit of TLC is all to make it shine! :D

This is some awesome work!

Just a quick question, what are you using to re-sculpt the pilot figure?

Thank you very much for the kind words! The "flesh" colored material you see on the grey primed pilot figure is a form of sculptor's wax that I used to use when I was in the toy industry. Its great stuff! It takes a bit of heat to melt it, can be applied in built up layers to the rough dimensions needed, carves & holds detail really well!

amazing stuff, can't wait to see more.

Thanks! Got more I'm gonna post shortly! :)

Everything on this thing is going to look awesome when you're through modifying it... but what about the massive noggin' it's sporting?

Thank you Thank you! :D

As far as his noodle goes, by the time I'm done with all the proportion corrections, it'll look just fine! Besides, its gettin "remodeled" slightly to look a bit menacing :angry: hehehe

Well, crap. Now I need to buy another VF-1S (Roy's) to try out your leg mod for fighter mode.

Hahaha! my E-ville plan has worked! Seriously tho, give it a shot, this kit aint half bad with a little TLC!

Fantastic work so far!!! I will definitely be following with great interest. I can't believe you've polished this turd so well ;-)

Coming from someone as talented as yourself, thats one helluva great compliment! Thank you very much! :hail:

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Awesome job so far, I wish I had half your skills. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Thanks man, so much! I'm hoping he's worth the wait too! :D

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Ok, so after a bit more carving & gouging & scraping & cutting than I thought I would need to do,I got the cockpit opened up enough to fit the Hasegawa pilot!


The first four shots show the cockpit with the unmodified figure & the last two show the cockpit with the reworked figure. I think he fits in pretty good despite the fact that he's slightly more bulky than the kit supplied figure!


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The big hole in the floor will eventually be replaced by thin sheet styrene & detailed up to look like a cockpit floor.


That's it for now guys!

Cheers!

Edited by Budokhan

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Seeing all the stellar mods you've performed on this kit I'm really looking forward to seeing what you'll come up to mod the hip area which was my biggest gripe against it. That pilot figure looks amazing, specially for this size, hats off to you sir!

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Seeing all the stellar mods you've performed on this kit I'm really looking forward to seeing what you'll come up to mod the hip area which was my biggest gripe against it. That pilot figure looks amazing, specially for this size, hats off to you sir!

Thanks very much for your kind words about the pilot figure! The little guy was fun to work on! :D

I hear ya on the whole hip issue, I was so happy to finally be able to transform it when it was finished into Battroid mode that when the whole hip thing just kept popping open, I nearly lost it! lol I was like..."Okay, maybe I can post pics of him when he's done & label him the world's first schwasted Valkyrie!"

I already fixed the issue with the hinged section under the nose & the waist swivel joint that pulls down but I'm still noodling over the best way to fix the the hip/leg connector peg sexction. Maybe we can all bounce ideas off eachother & come up with a way that'll benefit everyone trying to fix this kit?

Really looking good!

Thanks again man! looks like ya found me over here at MW! :D

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Loving your progress! I've got some ideas now to try on my 1/60 custom that some year I'll finish. That pilot is incredible!

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Holy sh!t, I love this kind of work around! great stuff! The pilot figure mod is perfect.

Would it be possible to add an LED to the cockpit?

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Loving your progress! I've got some ideas now to try on my 1/60 custom that some year I'll finish. That pilot is incredible!

Thanks very much! Go for it dude, if there's anything I can help with, don't hesitate to hit me up! :)

Holy sh!t, I love this kind of work around! great stuff! The pilot figure mod is perfect.

Would it be possible to add an LED to the cockpit?

Thanks very much my friend, glad you like the pilot rework!

Ya know, I actually was thinking about putting an LED into the cockpit to lite the controls! :lol:

I'd have to modify the main console to be almost a solid piece with an aperture in it to accept the LED & then clear-cast the whole shebang. The only place i can see however, to put the batteries & switch would be the tip of the nose but its so tight in there I'd have to get some smaller than usual button batteries & a real tiny slide switch.

Something I was pondering on & maybe you guys would have some better insight into this, I was considering scratchbuilding an HUD for the top of the main console but I'm not sure if the DYRL version Valks had it too or was it mainly just TOS that had them? Also, I'd love to get my hands on one of those "Jasmine Model" photoetch sets as they seem to have a buttload of detail bits!

http://www.jasmodel.com/PRODUCT/272003/272003_E.htm

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The DYRL cockpit doesn't have a HUD combiner above the glareshield, just those two mirrors. Macross Mecha Manual (http://www.macross2.net/m3/m3.html) is a fantastic reference source.

Specifically: http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossdyrl/vf-1a-fastpack/vf-1-dyrl-cockpit1.gif, http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossdyrl/vf-1a-fastpack/vf-1-dyrl-cockpit2.gif show the cockpit quite clearly.

I bow before your detail work on that pilot. Also, shaping the arm retention tabs so that the legs sit square in fighter mode is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity.

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The DYRL cockpit doesn't have a HUD combiner above the glareshield, just those two mirrors. Macross Mecha Manual (http://www.macross2.net/m3/m3.html) is a fantastic reference source.

Specifically: http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossdyrl/vf-1a-fastpack/vf-1-dyrl-cockpit1.gif, http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossdyrl/vf-1a-fastpack/vf-1-dyrl-cockpit2.gif show the cockpit quite clearly.

I bow before your detail work on that pilot. Also, shaping the arm retention tabs so that the legs sit square in fighter mode is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity.

Thanks very much for the info about the HUD & the much appreciated links! & thanks again too for the wonderful compliment on the reworked pilot figure, I'm hoping that eventually I'll have the ability to mold & cast him up & offer him for sale! :D

If you have that Bandai kit, have a go at that mod, its not really hard to do & will help make the kit look loads better! :)

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Hey i hate to ask this because i know you wouldnt want to do it all over again. but you think you could make a Video of this on How to do Leds and Custom Modding to this Model Kit?

i got my VF-1S sitting in my Closet and i had no time to even start. its still new in Packaging for about 2months now. im thinking of making it. But ever since i saw all this LED stuff. im curious on how to do it. i never doin it before and wish to take my time with this kit.

i would love it if you can Youtube a Custom Build Video.

If not i understand Completely Bro. its time Consuming and i know its not worth the Headache to re-do it again,

I was just wondering what size are all the LEDs? and how to get them in the Skulls or Boots. are the LEDs that are inside the Head a 2mm LED? and what size for Feet?

Messege me back bro every tool and Accessories you have been building it with and what mods you added.

because im ganna do the samething as you....maybe better lol

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Likewise, I've got a kit on the way and I'm interested in considering lighting it with LEDs, show us your secrets!

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How's your great work going, Budokhan? I'm looking forward to seeing more of it...

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