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1/72 Resin Launch Arm kit w/ Max VF-1A Super

wm cheng

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This is a excellent example of the right way.

Neat tricky joint (glad that the joint isn't just a straight line, but the angle and the fact that a smaller solid brass rod goes into a hollow brass rod helps so much!)  However there is a bit of clean up work here.


I'd take a rough file to do this work first, since you don't care so much about the inside finished surface (in fact you'd want to rough it up a bit for the epoxy to bite) additionally, the rough file is to file down the hollow brass rod (I don't want to wreck a nice fine file on the brass).


I'd just carefully draw it in one direction (towards you) on the file to work down the hollow tube.


Keep test fitting the pieces all the time.



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Nice fix. Mine was actually a bit thin too, but I did the CA + baby powder thing for my fix. Yours might be easier.

Now I'm looking at the wrist a little more closely - hmm, the first potential problem surfaces.  On my copy, the other side of the wrist is molded very thinly towards the pivot end.  This will cause a problem since this is a very visible part of the arm (it will be right above the Valkyrie) and there is the other side to compare too.  This must be corrected.


First, I dry fit the two halves together, and holding the two halves in my hands, I lightly sand the edges by putting a sanding film on the table and running the part over it - this aligns both edges so that they are parallel with each other.


Then I have some extra styrene strips (you can get them at any local hobby/train store) and I'd thought I'd use these strips to create an even visible edge on both sides.


So I laid down a thin film of crazy glue on the edges and ran the pre-cut thin styrene strips along each edge.  (You can also just cut thin strips from a sheet of styrene too - I just happened to have some of the right width laying around).


Now on the thin side, I used the styrene edge as a fence to fill some Tamiya putty up to.  I will put aside and work on something else as the putty dries.



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I did that too, :rolleyes: but on the plus side, it makes a strong joint. B))

I thought I'd look at the wrist joint again.  I carefully lined up the hole by pressing the end of the brass rod into the resin to make an indentation - then I used a dremel to drill the hole.  Of course I drilled too far and it went out the other end - but not to worry, I'll plug it with some piece of gak later.  Its wise to not use any power tools on this kit, and just use your hands, but I didn't have a pin-vise that accepted any bits as large as a 3/32" bit.


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Jesse did it. Don't ask me how the heck he did that. That was actualy supposed to be glued down on the master... :blink:

I've got to show this amazing cast!  Whoever (Gundamhead or Jesse) cast this portion - its amazing!! there is a fine coruggated hose on the surface of the upper arm that is casted so that its actually free of the arm! WOW! way to go!  I just had to mention it since I realize how hard this must of been.  :D


The rest of these shots just show boring old sanding.  Like any other kit, I just started to sand any seams I can see.  Plus there was an area with some small divits that will be filled in with some Tamiya putty.


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If you're looking to keep the top edge, you could sand down the top of the thick part just a tiny bit.

This is another problematic area - the outside finger plates are molded with an inconsistent thickness again.  Its especially worst at the top of the plate.  I'm not sure what to do at this point, I may re-build them out like the wrist with the styrene edged strips - but it may interfer with the claw arms later on.  I wait till I get more of the arm together first in a dry fit before I determine what is the easiest way to correct this edge.


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Great reference pics. B)) I really didn't know what to say about a paint scheme, so I hoped people would try and figure it out on their own. I figure the tiny decals ARMD-01, SDF-1, could get stuck someplace on the base to give the idea that it's a hangar on one of those ships.

I'll try to get a couple pics of mine partially assembled later for you people.

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Thanks for all the comments - please keep em coming! What about posting some of your own pictures here too! :)

Well, I found out my 5min epoxy dried out - so I had to go out and get a new set. Even in the capped syringes they still dried out - hmm, and I never used very much to begin with. Oh, well, at least its not that expensive.

Below are some of the sanded pieces with the Tamiya putty (this stuff sands beautifully - like butta!) As you can see, the middle piece - you only really have to concentrate on the leading edge, and feathering it back to the resin - because once its attached in place, you really don't see much of the puttied area (reduce sanding wherever possible is my motto! :p )



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Here's the 5min epoxy - I assume most of you know how this works; you mix up equal parts resin and binder/hardner and mix for 1 min. I usually mix on a scrap of cardboard - and I cut a piece sprue out of the Hasegawa kit (using the numbering tabs as a spatula). Once you mix for 1 min, you have about 4-5 mins to play with applying it and setting up arm in the correct position.


I think its quite important to get it straight in plan (top looking down on it) - but in elevation (side view) it can deviate a bit since there are angles throughout the length of the arm when viewed from the side. I first found a way of supporting the arm still with piling up various stuff from around the table. The steel straight-edge ruler is a visual guide to make sure the arm is straight when viewed from above, the four paint bottles makes sure the arm doesn't twist around the joint. The black bottle cap below supports the joint so that its attached at the right horizontal angle.


Lastly, I fitted the arm piston in place (not glued) to get the right angle to the wrist piece when attached to the arm.


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I thought I'd tackle the problem of the claw finger plate edge. I decided to sand down the top and two diagonal sides right down to the bulkhead.


Then I'd use the same thin styrene strips and crazy glue them to the edges. I started with the two diagonal sides first, leaving them long so I can have something to hold onto. Trimming them down afterwards.


I then sanded the edge with the sanding film flat on the table surface. I works easier to always sand in the direction of the glued piece - so you're not prying it away from the glued surface.


I sanded the top flat so that I could glue a continuous top piece.


I found it easier to have a vise hold the piece, then you could have both hands holding either end of the strip of styrene.




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Here are the pieces finished - not too bad eh? :p A pretty quick fix... it only took like 20mins from start to this end point. I also sanded the front edge to make sure that the resin ended in line with the styrene strips


However, if you dry fit these plates to the other half of the plates, you'd see that the solid portion of the bulkhead (near the top) actually extends beyond the inner finger plates (assuming you keep the bottom edge parallel and in line with each other). This is unfortunate - but I tried sanding the bulkhead at an angle in towards the other plate so that there will be a slight lip when attached. Its not ideal, but its the easiest fix and as long as both sides are identical, then who is to say that these bulkheads don't taper in?! :p


I thought I'd apply a thick coat of Mr. Surfacer 500 on the front edge just to be safe and I'll sand that down tomorrow when dry.


Of course, I did a test fit of the entire assembly - very cool that it all stays together on its own - snap tight! The pistons are just placed in there to get the right angles (not glued in yet).


Edited by wm cheng
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Next, I moved onto the four claw fingers - I thought I'd skip ahead in the instructions and concentrate on the making the necessary modifications to attach the Valkyrie onto the claw with rare-earth magnets.

The four claw fingers have excess resin on the top side which is easy enough to sand away along with some flash on the top edge/corners. The end tip is supposed to have a squared notch in it to accept the finger tips that "hold" the fast packs - and requires a little cleaning out with a square profiled file.


Upon sanding away some of the excess resin, some bubbles appeared that were below the surface. I thought it might be neat to add some detail to the top instead of just filling them and sanding them flat. So I added some strips of thin styrene again (my good friend on this kit!) and ended up adding a square plate of styrene on one of the fingers that hid a bubble beneath - so I had to make all the other 3 the same as well. :D Oh, I thought I'd add some shallow circular impressions at the ends done with a pin-vise - but not drilling all the way through the resin (I've done it to all four (not shown - only one was shown at the time I took the photo).


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Well, that's it for tonight (its Alias night!) and the wife is home! :p

I thought I'd do a dry fit to see how all the parts come together. I thought I'd put the magnets on the underside of the fingers and underneath inside the fast packs - well, thats the plan anyways, we'll see if it will hold.





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A Macross model building book by WM Cheng would be great thing to have on the shelf.  What do you guys think?


That's a great idea, I'd throw in Thorsten's scratch build ups as well though.

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Just a thought, but I thought that this would be a good place to insert neodymium rare earth magnets to hold the valk (see pic, of course underneath the plastic). This way it wouldn't be permanent and you could just put magnets on different valks and use the arm as temporary display.

Of course, I don't expect WM to destroy his completed valk and show us an example.

Looking forward to see what you come up with.



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Yep - that's exactly where I want to put them. A set permanently mounted inside the top portion of the fastpacks (I built it so the fast packs do come off the Valkyrie - Hasegawa's fit is so perfect that its just friction fitted all these years to the Valkyrie) Now I just have to back out the large rear engine bells without distroying them to get access inside (wish me luck :blink: ) And another set mounted to the bottom of the claw finger section as shown in red in your sketch. My hope is that the two magnets is strong enough to attact each other through that layer of styrene plastic about 1mm thick - but not strong enough that I can't ever use the arm for anything else!

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Well, magnet to magnet will give you the strongest pull force. If this is too much, you could do magnet to metal. I definately think that the magnets will hold the weight of the valk. (Here's a pull force table for others that are thinking of doing the same and need to buy magnets http://www.kjmagnetics.com/pullforce.asp )

I'm more concerned about the booster to valk hold and what solutions you can come up for that. I personally, don't like to glue these down, like you said, friction fitting is the best option, but that won't hold the weight of the valk. I hope your trick of inserting the magnets through the engine bells works.

Here's a suggestion, (see pic, yeah I know but I'm at work, on break of course)using plastic tweezers, initially glue with crazy glue (for positioning and since it will dry fast) and then overlay with epoxy glue (the 25 min stuff has the highest strength) over the interior of the booster (for strength and long holding power) using a syringe. This may seem like over kill but neither crazy glue or epoxy form a permanent bond, especially with plastic, and the magnets are strong enough to pull themselves out of the glue overtime. (maybe someone can make you a small decal saying, Warning keep away from electrical equipment).

Let the fun begin. Good luck.


(disclaimer, this is a technique for those of you that have already built your valk, if you're doing this from scratch you'll have more options)


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The only problem I can see in your magnet plans guys is the VF itself. The tail pack to VF connection is very weak. A small shallow oval peg and two tiny hinges would be all that supports the VF. It's pretty fragile on the Hasagawa. I'd be afraid of one day looking to see only the booster and tail attached to the arm while the rest of the VF was in ruin on the floor.

That's why I recomend the pin. It lances the VF, tail pack, umbilical, and the claw.

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You could still have the best of both worlds. I don't have a supplier on the internet (yet), but your best bet is to use some micro (1mm) brass screws and nuts. I've used these on access panels and and micro R/C model assembly. All the hold, almost invisible!

I would also recommend magnet to magnet too by the way. I use the same technique for uniform items - no pin marks in the cloth that way, and you can slide it around on the clothing. Also, magnet to magnet lines up perfect every time! Let the laws of physics do all the work! Just watch your polarity in the final assembly.

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Thanks fernaris - good tip about the polarities. The boosters to Valk - I will probably end up glueing this area - I only left the friction fit because I knew I was going to need to get at these boosters individually in the near future.

Gundamhead & MechTech, I realize this is a small area with only three contact points, but with epoxy on the 3 points, I think it will be enough - the Hasegawa model is really light - and I'll keep it away from small kids or high traffic areas (I don't think there would be any solutions to small kids! :D ) I'll see when I get it all together then - but I'm leaning away from lancing the entire thing together, however I do agree that it would be the safest way of mounting the Valkyrie.

This shot below shows a better view of the placements of the claw fingers in relation to the claw assembly - I had them incorrectly placed at the bottom of the claw in the earlier pictures.


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Well - the dreaded time has come to take apart my built Valkyrie. For those of you that have yet to build your Valkyrie for this arm - don't worry about these following steps, sit back, relax and laugh (thank god that you don't have to go through this!)

I've wanted to use this Valkyrie for the arm for a while - in fact I was hoping for an arm kit like this to come along when I built this Valk a few years ago (worst case I was going to make my own arm - but thanks to Jesse & Gundamhead, we don't have to do that! :p ) So I made a few provisions to make as much of the fast packs removeable. I always like to have options.


I don't know if you remember, for those of you that did follow along with my original step-by-step build up for this Valkyrie (on the old boards... I wish someday that they could be retrieved :unsure: ) the rear large engine bells were one of the last things to be placed. I modified the interior mounts by cutting away a section of plastic so that I could mount the engine bells at the end which eased the painting process. Well that provision will/should allow me to extract the engine bell assembly without cracking the fast packs in half.

Well, just pulling them out by hand didn't work too well - I ended up separating the engine bell from the pivoted engine itself. Probably better this way anyways, so I don't damage the very visible bell.


I thought I'd wrap up a pair or needle nosed pliers and pull on the engine...


There, not too much damage - the engine did split a little due to the force of the pliers, but it was only the bottom area and could easily be mended. Here you can see the cuts I made to those horizontal cylindrical pieces that grab onto and pivot the engines.


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I threw in some magnets to see how they'd hold here. They were so strong that I don't think I'd use four of them (one per claw finger). I think I will only use 2 sets of them for the rear claw finger (one on the claw finger and one inside the fast packs) - otherwise I don't think I'd be able to pry them apart again without either damaging the claw fingers or the fast packs. As fernaris said, be mindful of the polarities - I marked the outside of each the magnets with a dot, so I know the side without the dots face each other when it comes to gluing them.




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The magnet set were so strong that only one set was able to pick up the entire Valkyrie quite sucessfully. Also, I found that if I had four sets, they would be too close to each other and tended to either stick together (which would cause the forward claw finger to bend backwards to tough the rear claw fingers) or repel each other. So having the other pack with another set of magnets would be more than enough. I tried using a washer under the fastpacks to reduce the attraction - but then it was too weak - so I decide to have it a little over strong than under. I just have to be very careful when trying to separate the Valkyrie (its strong enough to rip the claw fingers out or the fast pack apart).


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Damn! pulling out the engine bell on the other side was not quite as uneventful or sucessful :( I think I'll be able to piece it together and sand it all down and refinish it in the end. It will be easier than cracking the fast pack halves. No decals on the engine bells! at least.



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I'd also make sure to carefully align up the claw fingers, they are not supposed to be at the same heights or angles if you want the Valkyrie to be attached horizontally when the arm is perpendicular to the direction of the Valkyrie. Carefully line up the Valkyrie and make sure the arm is straight and in the proper orientation to get an idea of where the claw fingers land.






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I traced the area to be removed for the magnet on the claw fingers.


Here's a shot of the placement of the claw fingers with the magnet under it. I think I will be able to run some wires to it and "gak" it up so that it looks like it belongs.


The magnets are marked so that the inner mating surfaces are always identified so that I will glue the right polarities in place.


I then transfered the location of the magnet to the opposite claw finger.


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I've placed a large goop of 5min epoxy inside the fast packs and the magnets on top help keep the magnets inside the fast packs in the proper place as the epoxy glue dries to secure them in position.


This shows the top and bottom of the rear claw fingers with the magnets glued in place with the 5min epoxy glue.


This last shot shows the engine section that got damaged while trying to remove them from the fast packs. I'll just apply some Tamiya putty, re-sand them round again, and re-paint these small parts. Its too bad that it got damaged, but in the end the fix isn't too painfull and should be seamless in the end.


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I was wondering, couldn't you just grind the finger magnets down so that they present a flush, flat surface to the outside? That way, you would not have to figure out a way to hide them with "gak", you could just putty, sand, prime, and paint.

I apologize in advance if this is a stupid notion...as in causing damage to the magnet.

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