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1/72 Hasegawa YF-21 Step-by-step...


wm cheng
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Hi all,

I am back at it again - still no work yet, the film business is really slow in Toronto, so if you guys have any producer friends, convince them to come up to Toronto to film :D

I've finally started on the YF-21 (gotta make room for that VF-0 at Christmas time!) Boy its nice to work on a Hasegawa kit again (they are nice and well engineered). First off, the plastic is so much softer - the Bandai kits seem to have harder more brittle plastic. So it took a little getting used to back in this kit, becareful you don't cut too much plastic away when trimming the pieces off the sprue. What struck me is the fact that this kit has some pretty huge honking pieces - which also translates into a quick easy build. So far it seems as though this YF-21 is the easiest of all the Hasegawa Macross series to build. I think the tough sell here is trying to make the blue paint scheme look convincing - again, its in the final paint stage where this kit comes alive. I think I might vary the blues in the panels a bit, and vary the finish (gloss/matte) on the surfaces like the Yukikaze Mave model to give it some interest. Doing post-shading on dark colours is always difficult to show though - I might experiment with a lighter post shading (an reverse effect maybe). Well see.

On to the first section which is the cockpit area. It all came together pretty easy, there are some really small parts. This picture shows the initial dark grey background that I painted first with a few metallic grey highlights.

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Here we have the cockpit further along with a little oil wash to pick out some of the recesses. I drew in some controls and yellow warning details on the forward control panels and detailed the throttle and joystick. I realize that I probably won't see much of the interior when the canopy is closed - oh well, I think I may of gone a little overboard. :p However, the cockpit will require a ton of extra work if you want to display it with the canopy open (lots of those little tiny ribbon wiring). So I've chosen to close the cockpit behind the canopy on this bird. The pilot is painted in the background, I used the cover to one of the "This is Animation" Macross Plus books as reference. The black lines are drawn in with a gundam marker, the helmut was painted silver, then a dark gun metal and finally a clear blue for the glass pieces. Hasegawa was kind enough to provide decals for the helmut glass sections, but they were black, and I wanted a bluish look to it.

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I noticed that when you glue the large underside fuselage plate in you are left with this huge gap at the rear of the plane. I guess, if I were truely nuts, I would scratch build the bottoms of the foot assembly in this space. I looked through all my line art and animation cells to search for a detail for this area and couldn't find any - they mostly drew this bird from the front or in the animation cells, they conveniently blacked it out. So I decided to add a panel to close in this area. I had some styrene sheets what was corrugated (same stuff I used to close in the Valkyrie tail when I didn't have the photo-etched part) - I think they sell them in model train stores as siding material for scale buildings. I trimed them to fit into the space following the same angles as the tail plane.

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Here's the top side of the rear of the big underside fuselage piece that will cover this leg transformation section. I sanded off the center mold injection circular pin marking (you will see this when the model is completed) and I sanded down the trailing edges of the "doors" or bevelled the edges since it looks odd to have a squared rectangular surface on an aircraft. It kind of looks more like trailing surfaces of a wing now.

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Here's a rear shot showing the lower plate in place with the added styrene "panels" so it prevents you from seeing into the "hollow" of the plane. Note I started to lay in some Mr. Surfacer 500 around the seams awaiting sanding (yah :( not!)

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Here I dabbed some Mr. Sufacer 500 on all the sprue connection points to the pieces. The plastic is so soft (as I mentioned earlier) that its tough to get a clean slice when you are removing the excess sprue - so I thought this willl be safer to sand this portion down again.

I just love how all the pieces are designed so the seams follow the contours or panel lines of the aircraft. Additionally, the side packs, really hide where the top and bottom of the main fuselage comes together.

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Edited by wm cheng
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Here you see the cockpit in place and the top and bottom of the fuselage halves glued together, I used tube cement here whereever large pieces are going to have to be jointed that require strength. Plus I don't really have to worry about the excess oozing out the sides (kind of like filler), since I will sand these edges down. I have applied a line of Mr. Surfacer 500 to this edges in case there are any small cracks to fill when I sand this puppy down.

Well, thats it for now - today is a day of boring sanding. But after today, I would probabily have 90% of the raw construction done. As I mentioned, its a really easy kit, I would guess that it would take my a little over 6 hours to put all the pieces together - not including sanding. Now sanding is another thing all together, it could take a day to 4 days - well see how it goes. Hopefully some shots tonight.

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Awesome work again Wmcheng! Boy i wish i have that amount of time to do models instead of working on them every evening after work. Sometimes im too exhausted to do anything after working, so usually i leave it till the weekend where i can work throughout the night.

Cant wait to see the finish product.

Cheers

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Here's the front section seams sanded, you can see that by the time you're finished sanding, there isn't a lot of Mr. Surfacer left. I needed to re-scribe some of the panel lines that cut across the horizontal seam. I also glued the pilot in at this point.

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Here's the back section sanded too - I had to becareful since the plastic was so soft its easy to sand too much away, especially when the Mr. Surfacer is almost as hard as the plastic. Here in the rear section, its important to keep the curved corner profile where the pieces meet.

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Here's an extreme closeup of a section where the sprue joins - I thought I had made a clean cut and trim here, but after some Mr. Surfacer, and sanding, you can see here the small section of plastic that was taken away has now been filled in with the Mr. Surfacer. I normally wouldn't see this until I primed the model - I'm now glad I dabbed Mr. Surfacer where ever there is a connection to the sprue.

P.S. hey did anyone see what happened to my pointer to this thread in the Models section?? <_<

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Edited by wm cheng
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I wouldn't say Mr. Surfacer is an alternative to putty, it just does a different job. Mr. Surfacer (I am using the bottle - I haven't used any other yet) is good for the small blemishes and to fill in cracks where as putty is better for larger seams or gaps or especially when you have to build up differences in levels.

I will use a liquid mask on the canopy when I get to that stage. Here's a shot of the bird pieced together, its big! Bigger than I expected.

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Here's a closeup of the cockpit area through the canopy. I sealed the cockpit in with a white canopy glue (essentially a white glue like weldbond) I like this glue since it dries crystal clear and stays somewhat elastic. I can always remove the glue and canopy later. With the only small ports visible once I decal the canopy, this might be the last chance I get to admire the cockpit interior. :(

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This view shows the forward screens/display console with the supplied Hasegawa decal for the display - I doubt that once the canopy decal pattern is applied you would see much of this, it would proabably be just a blurr of colours. I wonder if I should paint the interior of the canopy black - I'll wait to see if I need to after the decals.

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Hi Wmcheng,

Did you hand paint the cockpit area or using the mask then spray method? Your guld figurine looks awesome, i was thinking of doing a white base coat first then mask the hands followed by a orange coat, what do you think? As for the entire YF21, you may want to try the post shading method, base coat the valk with a lighter shade of blue, then panel spray it with a darker shade of blue. The difference in semi gloss and flat effect that you used on the bandai kits would be great on this kit i suppose as it brings out the highlights especially on large areas. In regards to the canopy, i think it would be great to paint the interior of it black or german grey as it would block out any light seeping through that the decal fails to cover and also provides a solid feel about it.

Cheers

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The old board had wm cheng's step by step write ups for the VE-1 and YF-19 formattd in PDF. Any chance that we can get this one done as well?

Man these models inspire me to get off my lazy arse and the ones I've got that are still in their boxes.

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Just an observation about Hasegawa's cockpit design. There are supposed to be bars holding Guld in place. Scope out

this picture to see what I mean.

Great work thus far. I love these threads.

That'd be quite the trick to do. You'd have to be pretty careful with the glue, esp what kind you use. I don't think you could use anything strong enough without fogging the clear canopy plastic. It's a neat idea, but since you wouldn't be able to see it anyway, it hardly seems worth the effort involved.

Can't wait to see how this turns out, William. I've also been waiting to see how you'd do this one (I refused to build my VF-22 until you got around to posting a step-by-step! :lol: ). I'm sure you'll amaze us all again.

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I'm sorry, but I might just have to digress a little - I just recieved my waterslide decals from our buddy Anasazi37 and I have to interrupt this model to put those puppies on my naked 1/48 Yamato VF-1S. I'll post some pictures in the Toys sections when I have something to show.

Thanks for tuning in...

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That'd be quite the trick to do. You'd have to be pretty careful with the glue, esp what kind you use. I don't think you could use anything strong enough without fogging the clear canopy plastic. It's a neat idea, but since you wouldn't be able to see it anyway, it hardly seems worth the effort involved.

Fogging wouldn't be a problem since it would be attached to the canopy out of view under the decal. But you are correct in that no one would be able to see it on the completed model.

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Since this seems timely to me, what with Master Cheng's build up, here is another take on building the YF-21:

YF-21 Buildup at Starship Modeler

The fellow who built the model has some good and bad to say about Hasegawa's model.

I think Master Cheng should send some of his completed photos to Starship Modeler to share with that community.

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Since this seems timely to me, what with Master Cheng's build up, here is another take on building the YF-21:

YF-21 Buildup at Starship Modeler

The fellow who built the model has some good and bad to say about Hasegawa's model.

I think Master Cheng should send some of his completed photos to Starship Modeler to share with that community.

William's YF-21 should look way better than that one hands down!

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It seems that the modeller who did YF-21 at Starship Modeller experienced quite a number of problems in regards to joints and decal. Hopefully Wmcheng would be able to provide an easier and alternative solution to that of his. Seems that the YF-21 although seems easier to build but poses a number of complicated issues than its counterpart the YF-19. Hope someone does a PDF of Wmcheng buildup.

Hey Wmcheng, maybe you should consider doing the canopy in the lifted position exposing the details of the cockpit.

Cheers

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