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Everything posted by funaka

  1. Well I'm totally getting one and even if this thing or that thing isn't perfect I'm going to enjoy the EXPERIENCE of building this neat little kit and seeing all the things it can do. I'll snap it together, transform it, pose it, decide how it looks best and then fix or detail what I think needs fixing and detailing (probably nothing more than some panel lines, unless they fix the ones that dead-end on the chest), take it apart and paint it up. I am somewhat on the fence with the super/strike pack but I'll probabaly get it. I'm not going to preorder so I'll get the chance to see the final cut before I send my money off to Japan. I doubt they're gonna run out. Once I've at least done the snapping I can assess what the kit is good for then I'll start to think about if I want more than one. I'll proabbaly have no use for this kit in fighter mode with the Hasegawas I have in the stash (and the one Wave kit I have for it's old-school goodness) and I'm figuring 90% chance my first Bandai will be Gerwalk since that's been neglected and that's probably my favorite mode (I'm weird that way). The real question will be the Battroid mode. The Hasgawa Battroid looks pretty good but there are a brazillion seam lines to fix and parts that clamshell within other parts (IIRC) and the soft relatively simplistic polycap joints... not my fave. I figure the Bandai kit will have the ease-of-building (in the sense of lack of seams and easier paint breakdown) and poseability engineering advantage and the Hasegawa kit will have the looks advantage. It'll be a competition between the two kits to see which becomes my Battroid-mode Minmay Guard. Unless the Bandai kit is fantastic in Battroid and exceeds my expectations and I get so enthusiastic I go Minmay Battroid with my first Bandai kit.
  2. Those bumps on the side of the nose look like AOA (Angle of Attack) Indicators to me. You can see something about the same on real F-16s. http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b281/drhornii/F-16C%20138th%20OK%20ANG/AOA.jpg Look at the bump right in front of the "DO NOT PAINT" stencil. That's about exactly where the bumps are on the Bandai VF-1. Not digging the battroid. The Hasegawa battroids are pretty skinny, too. I know they're not as bad as this prototype but the first time I saw one I was like, Whaaaaaaa??? Hopefully they'll keep refining. It's actually pretty cool of Bandai to make this all public. Most kit manufacturers just put out their product and say "Take it or leave it". You only see a prototype of the final version. Then the modeling forums are full of everybody's reviews and comments. Some manufacturers listen and refine their product, but many (probably most) don't. Anyway, back to the proportions, the problem here is you want it to look something like the anime but anime is a 2D drawing and they totally cheat when they draw. The way mecha gets drawn it's like they're made of spongy NERF material or flesh and blood. Our bodies move fluidly because were covered in mushy muscles and fat and stretchy skin. Things made of metal (or even model plastic) don't do that without being really complicated (see the frame on your modern day Master Grade kit, all 100+ parts of it). It doesn't look like this model will be that partsy. Even if it was, you can't stretch the arms and legs to look good in fighter mode but then make them shorter and fatter for battroid mode like they do in drawings (unless it's a Unicorn Valkyrie ). I think Wave did a pretty good job by making separate fighter and batroid kits and letting each one have its own proportions, then joining the appropriate parts for the gerwalk. I know a lot of people want perfect transformation, but you really can't have that and then have nice proportions in all 3 modes. It defies the laws of physics. People want their Valks to do different things. Some want them to be re-posable and re-transformable so they get a Yamato. Some want the most detailed perfectly realistic looking thing and they build a Hasegawa kit. This kit may fall somewhere in the middle but in my AMS model builder mind you can't really compare a Yamato Valk to a plastic model kit, other than the basic proportions. To me it would be great if the proportions of the Bandai valk pretty much came out like a Yamato, but was a plastic kit with the finer detail I'd want in a plastic kit (Bandai is all over the map on detail, their Gundam 2.0 was a joke, the new MG Nu and the Real Grades have nice detail). There's a tradoff between fine detail and durability between a model kit and an action figure. Each requires sacrifices. I fall on the side of wanting detail. When I'm comparing this model, it's pretty much to the 80's kits (nothing but nostalgia there for me), the Wave kits and the Hasegawa kits. Again, this one looks like it will fall somewhere in the middle. I just hope it isn't as expensive as the Wave kits. Bandai is all over the place in their pricing (see EX kits). You never know what you're gonna pay. I would guess this thing will cost around 3000 yen. It's significantly smaller than a 25 and looks like it will be less complex. Also, sure there are lots of VF-1 kits and lots of RX-78-2 Gundam kits but those are NOTHING compared to how many Bf-109 kits are out there. Or Panzer kits. People have a real hard-on for WWII German hardware. Even a relatively new plane like the F-22 probably has about a dozen kits of it out there. Anyway, my $.02. Back to work, Bandai! Get this thing done before my XMAS money is all gone...
  3. I agree but if they don't sell out, you might wait for BLACK FRIDAY. They've had free shipping deals on and off on Black Friday. Man I wish they had done the F-2B instead of the A since it would make it stand out even more from the F-16. I really like the two-tone blue maritime scheme they wear IRL.
  4. I'm a little confused by "Acadegawa"??? I REALLY like your method of uneven gloss, that really does replicate real aircraft finishes. I'm guessing you spray extra flat on the panel lines like with post-shading, right?
  5. Come on down for as long as you can. You can check out the models on display, catch a presentation and enter the raffle. You don't have to be present to win for the raffle so if you win we can hold your prize for you.
  6. Next weekend Those Gundam Guys are hosting our second annual Gundam Model Competition. So yeah, the emphasis is on Gundam but myself and seevral others are Macross fans. There were about 8 of us at MW Con and I'd like to invite anyone interested in Mecha and modeling and especially the Customs builders to come on down. We do have a category for non-Gundam mecha. I'll be entering the VF-1D Super Valk I brought to Macross World Con. http://funakatown.co...d-minmay-guard/ It's Saturday November 17 at the Holiday Inn in Fullerton, CA. It goes from 9am until 4pm. There will be a raffle full of model kits and model-building paraphenalia and awards in different categories for best model. Here's more info: http://gamerabaenre.com/?p=2661 and here's our facebook page with any last-minute updates: http://www.facebook....198858890163908 Hope to see some of you there!
  7. I'm not a regular on the MW Forums and as a model builder I kind of trip out on people taking "toys" like the Yamato Valks and treating them like models by modding and repainting them and then doing weathering, etc... There's a whole spectrum of model builders out there and the rivet-counting IPMS-type model builders probabaly wouldn't let the customized Yamato/Bandai/Whatever "toy" Valks into their contests. I'm less concerned with things like that, although I would (strictly in terms of contest judging, not in terms of whether I personally think it is cool or impressive) knock anything that wasn't completely repainted and didn't have all seam lines and screws fixed/hidden. It's the model builder mentality and it's what separates toys from model kits in our minds. A decent model builder should be able to produce something much nicer than an off-the-shelf toy. With that in mind I'd say Bandai model kits are toys only so much as you choose to play with them and do not choose to apply model-building skills to them. I take even my most simple Bandai kits and cut the parts off the tree with a tool made by Tamiya for that purpose and then sand down the remaining nub of plastic. I glue any parts together that have a seam that isn't a natural panel line on the "real thing" and use putty and sanding to hide the seam. I prime and repeat the process until there's no trace of the seam left. I then restore any panel lines that were lost under the putty. I fully paint every square mm of the model. I apply a gloss clearcoat and then decals (aftermarket waterslide ones, never the crappy stickers in the kit) and then another gloss coat and then a panel line wash and then maybe another gloss coat and some weathering and then a flat coat and then maybe even some more weathering. I treat Bandai models the same way as I do my Tamiya real-world airplane kits or my Hasegawa Valkyries. I'll freely admit that serious model builders are in the minority of those that buy Bandai kits, but the fact that people use them like toys doesn't make them toys. Does Bandai's really thoughtful engineering that tends to eliminate seam lines and break parts down so that they can be painted with minimal masking make building them easier? Absolutley. Does Tamiya try to do the same thing. Yes, although it's harder for them since real-world subjects often don't lend themselves to such feats of engineering. Also, even though a Bandai kit may be poseable and even transformable, I ony repose it minimally after building it and I probably build it with one mode in mind and never transform it. There's one place I think Hasegawa has the advantage, although their VF-1 fighters suffer from compartmentalization since the parts breakdown has to accomodate both normal and super/strike fighters. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to Bandai's Valkyries, although whether I buy any will have to do with their proportions (and Bandai proportions in their Gundam mainstay has varied wildly over the last 10 years) and their engineering. If the Valks aren't any easier to build than the Hasegawa Valks or really look significantly worse than them or are too "floppy" due to transformation then I'll stay away.
  8. I went with the grey roundels because I thought the red would be too harsh against the relatively pale blue of the color scheme. Unfortunately they do get kind of lost. I used pieces from both the PE that comes with the VF-1D and the separate Hasegawa aftermarket set. Both sets are different and have parts that the other one doesn't have. In the middle of the build I picked up a Jasmine set but I'm saving that for a future build. Thanks for the feedback!
  9. I started posting my work in progress here in 2011 but I can't even find it any more... I'm going to bring it Macross World Con and hopefully get it signed! I finally finished it after 2 years of on and off work: Follow the link to a bunch of pictures... http://funakatown.co...d-minmay-guard/ At the bottom of that page is a link to the full WIP.
  10. Sweet! I begged the Macross guy at Bandai for a 1/32 scale PG Super Valk at Anime Expo but I'll take 1/72. Having just finished a Hasegawa Valk and picked up the Wave Valk I'll be very interested to see what Bandai does. I figure it will be like HGUC-quality (not sure if anybody here build Gundam ???) Now if I can just get somebody to IMPORT them so I don't have to pay the @$%!# yen conversion and shipping...
  11. Well, I swore I had a thread going here but now I don't see it... Anyway, here's the latest: I added some detail to the main thrusters as well as the reactor missile thrusters, which were just a flat plate: Then I went to work painting the cockpit. It's like a kit in and of itself. You have to paint it, then clearcoat it. Then decal it. The clearcoat it. Then do a wash. Then clearcoat it. Then drybrush it. Did it all in a weekend of short spurts of work followed by waiting for clearcoats to dry. Those hasegawa decals are THICK it took a lot of MicroSol just to get them to stay in place, let alone conform to the shapes in the cockpit. Here's a series of pics showing the progression: Starting last weekend I decided this kit needs more decals so I started rendering this. It will go in the circles on the side of the Super Booster Packs. I'm going to make a few more things like numbers and stuff and also some decals for my VF-25 while I'm at it. In the meantime the kit is primed and I'm doing round two of fixing seam lines.
  12. Well, I kind of disappeared with this project... A big part of that is just life getting in the way. In the last few weeks I've had to fight with my insurance company and the body shop that didn't fix my car right to get them to fix it right. I've also battled a colony ants that moved into my bedroom wall. I've had to study for a promotional job interview (I got the job!). I've had to do online traffic school. I took a test in the class I’m taking and I made an "Intro to Mecha Modeling" presentation to the local IPMS club. But also, I'm just to the point of fixing the 20-odd seam lines on this kit and it's not something I look forward to all day at work. I am almost ready to prime, however. Anyway... I thought I’d be painting the cockpit soon since it needs to be painted before I close up the fuselage, but I started assembling some sub-assemblies and as I began to test fit some parts, I found a lot of small issues that needed attention. Some of these fixes are still in-progress, and I bounced around quite a bit from one small task to another but I’ll try to present it in an orderly fashion. I test-fit the VF-1D head that tucks into the bottom of the cockpit and found that the head sits too low so that rim of the gun turrets on the side of the head stick out above the actual head. A lot! To fix this I added some plates on the bottom of the head to shim it upwards (technically downwards since it’s on the bottom of the plane, but...) and now the guns sit flush with the top of the head. Next was the Super booster packs. The very first thing I did was cut the tabs off the main thrusters so that they could be painted separately and slid into place afterwards. The booster packs had some fit issues as the main thrusters didn’t fit inside them well without splitting the packs apart at the seams. If you look in the picture above, you can see the bulges on the inside on the right side that house the small maneuvering thrusters on the sides of the packs. These interfere with the fit of the main thrusters so I sanded them upper bulge down a bit and the side of the booster as well. Next I looked at the way the packs mount to the backpack. The mounts have a really small contact point that doesn’t allow much glue to hold these relatively large structures to the plane. Even worse, there isn’t a positive fit that keeps them aligned, so you could mount them really crooked. I’ve seen Valks with this problem, even some of Hasegawa’s own prototype models can be spotted with crooked booster packs. To fit this I used a 1.5mm brass rod and CAREFULLY drilled matching holes into the mounts for the booster packs. This rod will go through a plastic rod, which will be securely glued inside the backpack, which should give a secure and straight fit. The downside is that this will all have to be glued in place and aligned after painting is done. Had to break this up... too many pictures, lol. The next fix for the boosters was the gaping hollow spaces visible behind the main thrusters when viewed from behind: To remedy this I added some small strips of plastic as brackets to mount some plastic plate: Once these brackets were in place I used trial and error to make a set of upper and lower formers to block off the hollow space and glued them in. I’ll add some detailing greebles to them before painting. I’m also going to add some plaplate or strips around the inside backs of the booster pack because there’s a lot of blank space visible around the main thrusters. I test-fit the arms and discovered a big hole in the hollow “elbows” that will be visible once the plane is all assembled. It’s not horrible since you would only see it from certain angles, but still, it’s an easy fix so I blocked it off with some thin plaplate. With the legs glued together, I went ahead and installed the landing gear doors. They still required a bit of filing but I got a pretty good fit. I’ll probably still need some filler here and there but I’m pretty happy with the results so far. The question is how much putty I’ll have to use to smooth them out and how much I’ll have to rescribe the door outlines. That’s it for now. I hope to post pictures of a primed model with a painted cockpit in the near future. I’ll probably have a decent bit of work to do rescribing the panel lines that were lost in the seam-fixing process, but after that I can get to painting and hopefully the work will go faster.
  13. I think the decals really make it. Not sure which version I like the most. However I'll wait and see if I can get it cheap or at a con or something as I just don't want to pay the full price with shipping for such a small/simple kit. Though I do like the idea of the simplicity of the build where you can focus your effort on the paint/decals. BTW... do we know if these are stickers or waterslide decals? I've been assuming they were waterslides but now I'm not so sure.
  14. I decided to switch over to the full pictorial mode and put the whole update here... So, one of the last things I have to do before I start priming is to retract the rear wheels. To do this I had to modify the "legs" is to add a plastic shim inside the wheel well to support the rearmost gear door otherwise it just falls into the wheel well. Up front, I had to cut out the support from the landing light mount. The landing light is like a third landing gear door that opens forward so that the landing light can shine forward. Unlike the actual landing gear doors that fit pretty good in the well, the landing light "doors" were too long, too wide and too thick. I had to file down the landing light door to the right dimensions and also file the edges so that it could sit flush on top of the "rails" that were left when I cut out the center of the door mount. Now the doors fit pretty well. Like the nose gear door, I can't do the final fit until I glue the halves of the legs together. Next was the foot exhausts. The way the kit is made the feet are sandwiched between the legs and have to be masked off. That also means you have to paint them and everything inside before you glue the legs together. I didn't want to do this so I shaved the circular shapes off the sides of the feet that hold them in place. I thought I would have to make some kind of mounts for the feet but it turned out that when I test fit them they fit pretty snugly and touched the plate with the molded in exhaust detail inside the leg well enough that I decided I could just glue them in place after the model was done. They sit slightly deeper than intended, but you can't really tell. Here's the comparison to the stock mounting: I love it when mods just kind of work themselves out. That's why test-fitting is so important. It's amazing how many things fit that aren't even necessarily meant to fit together. The last thing was to glue the photoetched deteail inside the feet: Now I'm ready to wash all the parts I've worked on for priming. The next thing I did was to get back on the computer and work out my color scheme. I wanted to go with a stripes and sunburst pattern. It's a real classic with airplanes. But it's too classic. It looks right on a Super Cub, or Decathalon. These are fabric-covered airplanes from the middle of the 20th century so I wanted something to modernize the look of the color scheme. I first thought of fading them out with the airbrush but thought that would be kind of lame since the pattern would just kind of disappear. But I liked the idea of the pattern starting strong towards the center of the plane and then breaking up as it got out towards the extremities. I don't know when I made the connection, but I decided to do it with little white strips like the pattern was being cut to ribbons. I think the idea comes from what Gamerabaenre did with the patterns of blue and pink in his Gouf Cstom and Zaku II (http://gamerabaenre.com/gouf_conv.htm) but the pattern is applied in a gradient from one end to another. Here's the mock-up: The UN Spacy is upside down on the gunpod because it just bugs the heck out of me to see it upside down when carried in battroid mode, especially when that makes it rightside up in fighter mode WHEN IT'S RIGHT NEXT TO THE UN SPACY LOGO ON THE LEG!!! Why have it all rightside up in one mode and all upside down in the other??? It's like the Zaku shield, it should really be on the left shoulder for right-handed pilots since that way it would deploy forward in the typical two-handed firing stance.
  15. Hello! My name is Dan I go by Funaka online. I posted about this build on the Hobby Fanatics forums and member PetarB suggested I visit this forum and post my work here as well. I mostly build Gundam kits, but that's because there are more Gundam kits and they're generally easier to build compared to Macross kits. But I LOVE Valkyries and I'm finally getting over the lazies and building one. I'm combining Hasegawa'a VF-1D and Super VF-1A kits to create a Super VF-1D. I'm going to use the Hasegawa Minmay Guard decal set on it and come up with a custom paint scheme for it. Here's what I have so far, more or less: Here's the page from my website with a lot more detail of the work I have done: Super VF-1D Progress Click the link above to see the progress so far.
  16. My "home forum" (http://gamerabaenre.com/forums/index.php) put up a topic recently of "Amazing Kits Found Online". I'm posting this build there. And hanging my head in shame at my little 1/72 scale Hasegawa Valk. Nice work!
  17. I don't know about this product specifically, but I know Tamiya went through a lot of issues in the last year or two with having to re-label their products with the proper warning labels for use in the US and perhaps even had to have some of their products tested(along with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Hobby/Mr. Color line of products). I know a lot of model-building friends of mine had a hard time finding Tamiya's 2-part epoxy putty anywhere in the US and had to order it from sources in Japan (I did as well). But then in some cases, like with Mr. Color paints and thinners, online Japanese stores like HLJ and Rainbow Ten stopped even shipping them to the USA. This issue seems to apply to more dangerous products, like primers and lacquer paints. I've heard a mixture of speculation on both of these brands and their products. I'm sure there's at least some truth to it. I live in Southern California and I've just started to see Tamiya putty and Mr. Color thinner show up in stores again. I use Mr. Surfacer 1000 mixed with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner and a few drops of Mr. Retarder Mild to prime my models. I've just seen the primer back in stores, but not the leveling thinner (but they did have regular Mr. Color Lacquer thinner). Good luck!
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