Bandai vs Joons 1/55 Comparison
By Jeremy Housdan 10/10/00

aka Skull Leader on the Macross World Discussion Board


For the most part, when you're going to switch parts from a Joons to a Bandai (and vise versa) you're not going to notice much difference, especially if you have a custom paint job in mind. HOWEVER, there ARE a few differences that need to be brought to light if you want to make a working Valkyrie that functions correctly and does not look awkward when transformed.

Of course, here's the biggie, we all know that if you want an accurate looking Valkyrie, you need a streamlined nose (unless you're making an Elintseeker or Super Ostrich, which have the rounded nose). The end result will leave you with a white valk with a streamlined nose, sadly, the legs will inherit the looseness the legs a Joons valk has. There will also be a considerable gap in the two halves of the nose, this can be solved with any modeling gap-filler. (If anyone knows how to correct this WITHOUT using other sources, I'd LOVE to hear about it) The canopies should be an easy fit. I am told that Taiwanese valks have a problem with this, but I've never worked with one and any input on this matter would be appreciated. At this point, I should inform you that the Joons valks have inferior quality springs at all points, so if the Bandai you are using still has a tight spring for the landing gear, use it instead.

There's a lot more happening here than you might believe. First of all, it's important to note that the head mount must remain with the nose in the transfer. (Joons neck-Joons nose, Bandai neck-Bandai nose) They are actually different sizes and will not fit correctly (one will be too loose, the other will not fold in completely in fighter mode the Joons parts are ever-so-slightly larger than their Bandai counterparts). Now, when transferring the head, you must be very careful while unscrewing them from the mount. There is a spring loaded underneath that will go flying if not properly attended to. When you screw the head back to the new mount (if you're doing such) be extremely careful when tightening, the piece that you screw into tightens the headlasers. (once heard this referred to as a screwboss, so I'll call it that from here on out) The screwboss is EASILY stripped (especially the Joons one) so take care.

There's surprisingly little difference here. The big thing is that the metal inner-legs of the Bandai are desirable, they give it stability. Remember that the Joons ratchet-joints aren't so great, use the Bandai ones where you can, springs also, this applies to the landing gears as well. If you're using Joons legs, you may want to re-set the feet, the usually come crooked (facing down slightly in fighter mode and standing crooked in Battroid mode) this is simple to correct, simply unscrew the leg and re-set the foot correctly.

Not much to say about the arms, just remember that shoulder joints will be tighter with Bandai springs and ratchet joints, use where possible, but beware, resetting the shoulder spring correctly is a pain in the ass, be patient! Joons hands also seem to be looser (don't click like the Bandai's do when extended into place) but this isn't usually a big issue to people, like I said, nothing much here.

Back and tail-fin thruster pack
Only one or two things here, really. First of all (and most important) the tab that connects the back with the nose/torso needs to transfer with the appropriate nose, the Bandai tab has roughly a fat "T" shape, while the Joons has a more "—" shape. The Bandai tab will NOT fit in the nose of a Joons! Likewise, the Joons tab will NOT hold the Bandai body in place. Again, be careful. There's a spring involved that needs to be kept track of. The section that rotates the wings are important, the Joons part won't click very well, and the blockers that keep the wings from over-extending is NOT there (it's not there on the Bandai Elintseeker or Super Ostrich either) The Bandai part WILL click and is generally more desirable to use. In regards to the Thruster pack, disassembling is not so easy when it comes to the Bandai, some are glued together and take a little working to get loose (you can do it, again, just be patient). The Joons thruster pack seems to be overall a little larger and is NOT glued together in the middle, but at the same time, it a lot looser too. The largeness seems to keep it from setting just right in fighter mode. A little filling of the area where it rests can solve that. NOTE: It is too big for the FAST pack booster connector, I cannot get one to fit completely on there without breaking it (anyone who knows how to solve this one, feel free to respond). Do NOT plan on making a Supervalk of any sort if you're using the Joons thruster pack (you'll be in for a painful surprise after all that work.)

Final notes
A little bit of advice, most ALL of the screws used in the body of the valk are identical (with only the occasional exception) so don't be afraid of loosing one if you've got Valkyrie spare parts on hand. When you use Joons parts, the plastic is of a slightly inferior quality, therefore a little more breakable. Be ginger and don't force parts together, these toys took out many bad guys in the cartoons, but they're powerless to the human hands ;)

Good luck on your conversion!!

Jeremy Housdan