Jump to content

1/72 Bandai VF-25F Messiah build-up step-by-step (sort of)


wm cheng
 Share

Recommended Posts

Next is masking mayhem! There's a lot of little details I wanted the Alclad metalizer on. I find the occasional glints of metal really goes a long wall to make a model feel like a piece of machinery that's been clad in a shell to hide complex internal mechanisms. Of course, Murphy's law means that this is an extremely tedious step!

I masked areas that will be hit with Aclad's Steel and Dark Aluminum. Whenever possible I try to place these two metals next to each other to give a contrasting yet subtle sheen difference as though the mechanisms are made up of multiple alloys

Unfortunately, the arm pieces weren't glued as well as I thought (they're quite thin) and that when I was pushing the forward arm collars in place, the pressure of my fingers gripping the part caused a slight crack to form where the parts were glued together - ARGH! - after I filled and sanded this seam! At this point, I think the repairs would be more obtrusive than just leaving the hairline cracks - fortunately the off-white tint panel details I invented on the upper elbow arm part kind of hides this breakage (which was what I wanted the off-white panels to do was delineate any flaws or imperfections in surface sanding). And I'm lazy (ok, thats the real answer! ;-) and I just want to get this done!!

Did I mention I love Tamiya masking tape!! I should have bought stock in this miracle stuff. Yeah, the nose cone is a bit much eh?, but the little tiny diamond shapes turned out great!

post-244-1232429464_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429528_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429540_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429553_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429562_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429569_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429577_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429587_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429594_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429634_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429643_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429651_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429662_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232429669_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my favourite steps... removing the masking! Right up there with decaling and oil washes.

The nose cone turned out pretty well - for me, the most important part of any plane is the nose cone and I will go to any lengths to get it absolutely flawless. To me its the first part I look at on any plane model and its usually jutting out in front, so any flaws will be magnified!

I then got to do another favourite step, the oil wash! I usually do a black oil wash first to pick out the moveable surfaces (such as flaps, slats, airbrakes and such) and any grillage or vents. Then I follow up with a light grey oil wash to pick out the finer panel line details so there's a variation to the panel detailing.

post-244-1232430034_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232430042_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232430051_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232430060_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232430071_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next I thought I try my hand at some wing swept marks I first tried with the VF-0 that I ended up liking the results quite a bit. I wasn't sure at first since I wasn't going to weather this bird anywhere as much as the VF-0, but I thought it would add a bit of aircraft character and realism to a otherwise very "robotic" kit.

First I included some real-world F-14 references...

I first loosely assemble the wing-glove pieces to get a profile line to where the sweep marks should end. Here I took artistic license since the wings sweep back really far in Battroid mode, so much of the wing would be dirtied by the sweep, I picked an arbitrary point to stop it so that it only exposes some sweep marks without over-powering the entire wing surface. I then just used post-it notes (nice low tack) to "trace" the wing-glove edge and removed the wing from the wing-glove pieces to work on it. I then used some graphite (mechanical pencil) shavings I collected from a mechanical pencil sharpener and an artist smudge stick (its basically a pencil like stick made up of tightly wound paper that you can shave down with a knife to sharpen - they're really cheap at a local arts and crafts store) to "draw" the sweep arcs. They initially lay on a bit too dark, but I then just use a Kleenex to rub the excess out and keep rubbing until I get a level of lightness that I wanted. I repeated the procedure for the underside of the wing sweep area, except much lighter since not as much dirt gets trapped underneath as on top.

Of course once you're satisfied with it, you have to seal it in with a clear coat, its only pencil smudges, so it will rub off if you're not careful.

(hmm, for some reason... it doesn't display the images in the order in which I uploaded them - well you guys can make out the steps of the smudging right?)

post-244-1232431088_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431093_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431105_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431112_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431120_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431126_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431133_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431140_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431146_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431153_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431161_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232431170_thumb.jpg

Edited by wm cheng
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lastly I started to re-assemble some of the leg pieces back together again to gauge the overall effect. The metallic steel on the leg split doesn't appear so dark in person, I think its the camera trying to adjust for the stark white panels so I took two exposures, one for the metal insert details, but the white details got blown out and another shot for the white panel details with all the subtle white panelization, but the darker metal insert details went too dark to see anything. There might be a bit too much contrast between the two, as the anime has it as just a medium grey (although anime has never really been able to portray a good metallic sheen yet) so I don't know if I'll do anything about it yet.

I just enjoy seeing the pieces together for now, I'm liking how the arm is coming together. And I thought the wing swept areas were a bit dark, but I was counting on the stark high-contrast black decal stripes to offset the dirtied sweep areas. I think with the heavy bold black stripes next to the weathered sweep areas are just about right in terms of intensity. So I sealed it all in within a rather heavy clear coat again (to help protect the weather and the paint beneath from chipping - I think I've lost count of how many clear coats I sprayed on thsi plane, I'm obsessed with not wanting this model to chip! but I think it will be a lost cause!!).

That's it for now... next steps are to mask the black areas and spray those as well as tint the canopy and sensors purple so I can start to assemble the fuselage together. And of course finally assemble the two wing glove areas to glue them in place and fill and sand the seam there so I can paint those as well. Its so awkward to assemble it this way, but its the only way Bandai has forced us to completely paint the wing and stripes and decals before the inner wings gets hidden away inside the wing glove slot.

post-244-1232432376_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232432385_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232432395_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232432404_thumb.jpg

post-244-1232432411_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, those legs look damn sexy! Normally I am not a fan of metallics, but this two color combination really adds depth to the mechanics. I like the grey panelization as well. It would be almost a shame to add decals on top of it.

Why would that be? I'd have thought that it would be even more awesome with all the decals on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does he even NEED to use the decals in the first place?? with such masking and airbrushing skills...it's not so hard to just spray-on those red/black lines and forget about the decals (but I guess the "lazy" factor plays a part here :D )

wm cheng, what are you planning to do with the cannon vents and the auxiliary intakes that are...just too shallow to look like intakes at all?

Back to the point: it's looking amazing, and so far you're the only person who has considered the wing-sweep weathering, none of the builds shown in japanese magazines have done that! maybe those guys are more robotic modellers than aircraft modellers?

Looking forward to the next steps, and feeling ever more dissatisfied with my lame amateur attempt that does not do justice to this kit at all!

Edited by regult
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does he even NEED to use the decals in the first place?? with such masking and airbrushing skills...it's not so hard to just spray-on those red/black lines and forget about the decals (but I guess the "lazy" factor plays a part here :D )

wm cheng, what are you planning to do with the cannon vents and the auxiliary intakes that are...just too shallow to look like intakes at all?

Back to the point: it's looking amazing, and so far you're the only person who has considered the wing-sweep weathering, none of the builds shown in japanese magazines have done that! maybe those guys are more robotic modellers than aircraft modellers?

Looking forward to the next steps, and feeling ever more dissatisfied with my lame amateur attempt that does not do justice to this kit at all!

There's still a need for the smaller decals like the SMS logo, the aircraft number etc. But yes, I think painting in the red/black piping would be excellent, especially if done all round the part so the edges are not white!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks amazingly beautiful, but the thought of transforming it even once really hurts my modeler's heat.

Did you prime the metallic parts with gloss black or do you apply the Alclad directly on the plastic? The subltle shades work great.

Regarding the canopy: I really think the locator pins to snap the parts onto the fuselage must be removed. They make the kit look like a toy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks amazingly beautiful, but the thought of transforming it even once really hurts my modeler's heat.

Did you prime the metallic parts with gloss black or do you apply the Alclad directly on the plastic? The subltle shades work great.

Regarding the canopy: I really think the locator pins to snap the parts onto the fuselage must be removed. They make the kit look like a toy.

Nope, I didn't prime the parts with gloss black, however, they do look a lot better if you did that. Not even onto primer (which is recommended too) - I was in too much of a rush, it still turned out okay. With the Chrome or Polished Aluminum you must prime with gloss black first, but these darker colours (Steel & Dark Alumn.) you can get away with it if you're as lazy as me ;-)

Yeah, I was thinking of the canopy and going that route, but it will be so much more sanding (I hate sanding more than anything else!) and polishing, I haven't decided yet.

I originally planned to open up the cannon exhaust ports, but I got cold feet, I wanted to see if it would affect transformation first, then I got lazy... The biggest deal breaker for me is that I would have to thin the plastic down around the port openings so it would look like an aircraft skin in scale, the holes is easy, its thinning the surrounding openings evenly that is the trick to making it look "real". Its whenever you can see the thickness of the plastic that throws you out of the illusion of scale. Its not out of the question yet.

Thanks for the vote of confidence on the decals, my painting skills aren't THAT good - plus I'm just not into self torture! ;-) I LOVE decals, and I would use decals for everything if I could (I used decals for the Hasegawa VF-1's tailfins, that's how lazy I am!). I wished we had decals for the canopy frames - Hasegawa spoiled me!

Lastly, I don't think it's a vent in the picture, just some panel detail that I wanted to make silver (personal preference license). With all the metallic details hidden in the aircraft mode, I thought this was a good opportunity to liven the upper surface up a bit.

Sorry, no update this weekend... Happy Chinese New Year!!

Edited by wm cheng
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope, I didn't prime the parts with gloss black, however, they do look a lot better if you did that. Not even onto primer (which is recommended too) - I was in too much of a rush, it still turned out okay. With the Chrome or Polished Aluminum you must prime with gloss black first, but these darker colours (Steel & Dark Alumn.) you can get away with it if you're as lazy as me ;-)

Thanks for your detailed explanations, and Happy CNY to you too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope, I didn't prime the parts with gloss black, however, they do look a lot better if you did that. Not even onto primer (which is recommended too) - I was in too much of a rush, it still turned out okay. With the Chrome or Polished Aluminum you must prime with gloss black first, but these darker colours (Steel & Dark Alumn.) you can get away with it if you're as lazy as me ;-)

Yeah, I was thinking of the canopy and going that route, but it will be so much more sanding (I hate sanding more than anything else!) and polishing, I haven't decided yet.

I originally planned to open up the cannon exhaust ports, but I got cold feet, I wanted to see if it would affect transformation first, then I got lazy... The biggest deal breaker for me is that I would have to thin the plastic down around the port openings so it would look like an aircraft skin in scale, the holes is easy, its thinning the surrounding openings evenly that is the trick to making it look "real". Its whenever you can see the thickness of the plastic that throws you out of the illusion of scale. Its not out of the question yet.

Thanks for the vote of confidence on the decals, my painting skills aren't THAT good - plus I'm just not into self torture! ;-) I LOVE decals, and I would use decals for everything if I could (I used decals for the Hasegawa VF-1's tailfins, that's how lazy I am!). I wished we had decals for the canopy frames - Hasegawa spoiled me!

Lastly, I don't think it's a vent in the picture, just some panel detail that I wanted to make silver (personal preference license). With all the metallic details hidden in the aircraft mode, I thought this was a good opportunity to liven the upper surface up a bit.

Sorry, no update this weekend... Happy Chinese New Year!!

Yay! Happy New Year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Are you still there Master Cheng? I want to see when you apply the decals and how you will protect them...since you already said you'd not mask and paint the red/black stripes!

I am not sure how the stickers will look on the model but my first attempt with decals+setter looks good at first, but renders the decals so flimsy they come off when anything comes in contact.

I am not sure how to clear coat the model without an expensive airbrush and neither how the decals would turn out without setter/softener on such curvy contours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Ok... another long awaited update! Believe me it pains me to see this beautiful kit lay in pieces for so long. The short of it; great design, beautiful lines but a bitch of a kit to build properly!! argh...

Okay, I finally asked for a "golf day" from my wife (all the other dad's get to go away for golfing - so I figure since I don't play golf, I'll ask for a day too to build my model!) So many pieces all with so much masking!

Firstly I masked the black or dark grey strips on the chin piece (I don't get why Bandai chose to decal some stripes and not others - sloppy if you asked me!). I also masked the nosecone, its really a horrible process of assembly whereby if you intend to glue the nose together to get rid of that nasty seam line, Bandai forces you assemble all the parts for the nosecone to be glued in first, then you have to jump through hoops to mask the interior detail. I masked for the metalized interior with Alclad first, then the black nose piece. (do you get the impression I'm not so happy with Bandai right about now?) - don't get me started on having to paint and decal the wings first, then glue together the wing root and masking the entire wing to paint the back/chestplate piece.

I also hand painted some details of the head, the chin grey stripes and cheek intakes and the "mouth". My hand painting skills are somewhat lacking, that's why I mask and spray everything (I honestly don't know what I'd do with an airbrush!)

Hearing that the Bandai decals are too small or don't cover the black fins well, I decided to also mask them and paint the edges white (especially where there are odd antenna bumps and stuff, nothing adheres to weird shapes as paint!). Plus I wanted a white background to paint the red stripes onto - it would take too many coats of red to get a true red on a black background, so I painted the areas underneath the red white first.

I masked the wing roots / back plate area in a lighter off-white to vary up the white a bit so I get some shades of grey happening to add interest to an otherwise white plane. It stands a bit strong now, but when I add the very high contrast black decal markings and do a bit of weathering over top of it and some light post shading, it should all tie itself together a little more naturally.

post-244-1241039211_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039226_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039234_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039241_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039253_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039263_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039274_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039281_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039290_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039304_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now here's another little annoying detail that is the fault of Bandai's dumb assembly process. The black stripes on either side of the forward fuselage do not go all the way back to the break point. Instead, they end at angles just behind the cockpit. But since I had to disassemble the forward fuselage I could glue the these black pieces in either side to putty and fill that seam, so I decided to just paint that part white and allow the seam to run though as a panel line.

post-244-1241039564_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039587_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yay! I finally get to install the hinged back/wing roots - this is the first time I see what the result of all those varying shades of grey... neat... a little strong for now, but as I mentioned I can tone it down later once I get the decals on and do a little weathering. I was much more subtle when I did my VF-0 and after the weathering, I lost all the panel variations, so I'm more obvious this time around.

Masking... masking and more masking... some progress shots of the red markings on the black fins. Now if they just left the part white and provided decals it would have been soo much easier (ala Hasegawa!) I also decided to mask the fin intakes to spray them Alclad dark aluminum. I also clear-coated the Alclad steel feet thrusters with Tamiya clear yellow (mixed with some clear red and smoke to get a brown) and I dusted the tips with Alclad exhaust to give it a burnt edge look.

Finally I took off all the various bits of mask and assembled the legs together!

post-244-1241039846_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039856_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039870_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039881_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039896_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241039942_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally get to put this bird together, all those many pieces lying around for so long - it was just begging for something to happen ;-(

I also took this opportunity to apply an oil wash to pick out all the low lying areas and recessed panel lines and details. Similar to all my other models, I use a light grey for most of the panels, and going darker grey to a black for the moveable surfaces and vents. I used a light grey for the black parts. Its important to use a varying shades of grey oil washes to give the model some depth.

I hand brushed some extra Model Master semi-gloss clear coat at all the areas where there are corners that come into contact with other pieces during movement and transformation - in vain hopes that this will delay any chipping that will eventually occur. I plan on doing this on top of the decals as well as spraying the entire model in several layers of clear-coat. The loaded brush lays on so much more/thicker clear coat than the airbrush. (at least thats my hopes).

I hope to get a few more hours this weekend - my favourite part! DECALLING!!

Oh, count me in as one of the many that is having one heck of a time trying to tint the canopy! Argh, I must of spent a mint trying different things out... here's a list of things that DON'T work;

1/ Humbro Purple Polycarbonate clear - remember that picture I posted at the beginning of the thread of that spray bottle ($12 worth!) - well it doesn't work, luckly I tried it on the clear sprue first, the laquer is too "hot" and actually etched into the styrene causing it to create a fine pebbly surface which would have ruined any clear un-distorted translucency.

2/ Food colouring dyes - remember that picture I posted at the beginning of the thread of that box ($5 worth!) - well it to doesn't work, I can't make a strong enough purple out of it, any tries at making the purple stronger resulted in a brown/black mixture - argh!

3/ Citadel purple wash - they no longer make the purple ink that HWR MKII used, its been replaced by the "Purple Wash" ($5 again!) and its not the same thing, its got a flattening matte agent in it now - although it worked better than the previous tries (I tried 3 times) it still wasn't satisfactory in my books - it kept leaving streaks as it dried and a matte frosted finish that ruined the translucency of the canopy.

4/ Yep, Tamiya red and blue do not combine to make a purple - it makes a muddy brown/black again... confirmed...

5/ I checked at 3 local hobby shops, there is no clear purple made for styrene plastics available!

About $30 on various purple solutions and still none have worked yet...

6/ Lastly I went out to buy purple ink ($7 acylic for airbrush) which I will try to dilute and use in a Future dunk - wish me luck this weekend when I try!

Hey, I just noticed the decidedly negative tone of this update... (I apologize, its just frustrating sometimes) I must say I'm not enjoying this build up as much as I have others in the past. It maybe because I have absolutely no time now with a toddler in tow and I am constantly exhausted. Or it could be that this Bandai kit is not orientated to the serious modeller - don't get me wrong, I applaud them for such ingenious engineering and the ability to get so many non-modellers building (which is always a good thing) - its just that I keep getting "boned" by Bandai everywhere I turn! I love this design! I just loathed to think I have to go through these hoops again three more times to get the full squadron (maybe by the next decade at my pace!). I may just bite the bullet and glue all others in a permanent mode!

Keep your fingers crossed that I can sneak away some decalling time this weekend! ;-)

post-244-1241040879_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040885_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040893_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040900_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040909_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040917_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040926_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040944_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040952_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040964_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040978_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040988_thumb.jpg

post-244-1241040996_thumb.jpg

Edited by wm cheng
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jaw-dropping is pretty much all I have to say. :o

I like how the colors you chosen give the VF a more "retro" feel. Not to mention, absolutely love the thrusters. Are they more lighter in real life than the pictures show though?

Also, is it the magnets' doing that the shoulder parts closest to the head are able stay flush in fighter mode?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

after a long hiatus, good things come to those who wait!

:wub:

really beautiful, I see the magnets are doing a great job, and the different shades also make the actual gaps for transformation blend better with simulated panel lines!

would hate to see scratches and decal peeling on such a beautiful work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is awesome, it looks very clean and nice.

I like the metallic parts you did too.

Magnets, hhmm, I don't have skill level or tools to attach these things ^^;

Awesome job, can't wait to see the final photo shoots :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the kudos!

Yes, I'm not looking forward to transforming it, but I'm trying to take every precaution such as applying more layers of clear-coat to the areas that rub (which I will do the same after the decals are on it too). I don't intend to transform it often (after all it IS a model) I might just do it a few times in total (for the photoshoot of course) and will probably leave it in the plane mode afterwards.

With all this work on the off-white panelling (which will be hidden by fast packs) and the fact that I glued and filled some seams that were required for disassembly for the fast packs (again... Bandai bones me! - seriously dumb design for the fast-packs attachment) I may just leave this one naked. Unless I can figure out a way of attaching the those fast packs without taking apart the whole model again.

The vertical seam around the nose cone still bugs me, the gap is so big, I don't know what to do about it (If I glue it, then I can't transform it).

Sorry penray, can anyone translate the Chinese... I'm ashamed to admit that I can't read Chinese even though I'm Chinese - argh! I assume its nice anyways...

Unfortunately its not the magnets holding the shoulder parts together, its just a little massaging and tweaking to get all the little shoulder plates and pieces to properly align - however it is possible to do so, its just playing with the angles of the shoulder hinges and arms to lock underneath that will affect how the should plates lock on top of the plane. The magnets merely help tuck the leg pieces up to they sit higher (so the back of the chin tucks itself higher on the back of the plane) and brings/pulls down the dihedral of the wings so they are more horizontal with the ground (I think it looks weird to have the wings tilt up front head view). Although I suspect I wouldn't need these magnets for the fastpack version since the wing packs will probably droop the wings down a bit and I would guess the legs will have a different attachment point with the leg packs on.

Right now its factory clean (and hopefully with the decals this weekend too!). With the exception of the wing swing sweep weathering (which I didn't think I could do after the back/wing roots are glued together). I will weather it slightly after all the decals are on to tie them in to the paint.

Thanks for tuning in! Keep you're fingers crossed for me this weekend...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vertical seam around the nose cone still bugs me, the gap is so big, I don't know what to do about it (If I glue it, then I can't transform it).

I always wondered if magnets between the nosecose and the main fuselage will do any good...

Unfortunately its not the magnets holding the shoulder parts together, its just a little massaging and tweaking to get all the little shoulder plates and pieces to properly align - however it is possible to do so, its just playing with the angles of the shoulder hinges and arms to lock underneath that will affect how the should plates lock on top of the plane.

Aww bummer. I was hoping it wasn't just that.

But anyway, keeping my fingers crossed for ya :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...