Jump to content

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

wm cheng

Recommended Posts

Wow! I saw the pics of the instrument panel and thought, "yeah, that looks alright." But after printing them on our work colour laser here and seeing just how tiny these are, I'm in awe! What on earth are you printing these on? My prints are on plain paper so that could be my problem but I can see switches on yours! On mine, they're just fuzzy grey lines.

Your F is looking amazing! Just when I think the inspiration factor has reached sufficient levels to get me moving, you raise the bar again! And that's a good thing, by the way. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'm printing it on a 10yr old Epson Photo Stylus 1200 - on best quality mode 1440dpi onto photo quality gloss film. I think its the film that does the trick, the film is like a thin sheet of plastic mylar, so the ink just sits on top and doesn't soak into the paper and spread. Once its printed, you need to let it dry for at least 15mins before handling it, and be really careful when cutting - I suppose you could spray a light clear coat over it, but I was lazy!

I started to weather it, starting with some ground graphite on a smudge stick to get some tight post shading and streaking going on, will post pictures later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow just wow. Mine looks like it was assembled by a blind monkey compared to yours. :lol:

Man, I wish I had that screencap earlier for the instrument display. I used a scan of the instrument panel decal from my Hasegawa 1/72 YF-19 for the cockpit display. Looks decent, but I think I'd rather have the real VF-25 display. :wacko:


EDIT: Whoops! Meant to ask: where did you purchase that ink from? It seems to give a good result too.

Edited by Lolicon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lolicon, that looks fantastic! That was my plan too until David got me that perfect screenshot of the console. Pretty great for a blind monkey!! Could I borrow him sometime...

David, thanks so much for the references. I'm sure its fine, show us your build, I'm dying to see!

Well, my canopy is awaiting masking and spraying for the frame.

I got a few hours in to play with the smudge stick with some graphite to do a preliminary light weathering over the clear-coat protected decals. Ahh, its starting to look like a plane! I sealed in this graphite rubbing with another cloat of semi-gloss clear-coat to prevent further smudging with my fingers once I had it the way I liked. Its a bit on the light side, but I build up in layers, this is the first step. I will then take it apart again to get at the legs and arms so that that I don't get this brand new naked Battroid mode. Then I'll re-assemble it back in plane mode and do a light post-shading with a very thinned light grey to tone down some of the white hotspots and bring up some of the black decalled areas to overall blend it all together a bit more (currently the black stands out too much) - then I might do another layer of graphite weathering on top of that to get it to a point that I like. I don't want to over do this like the VF-0, I think this bird is a bit cleaner since we really didn't see any weathering in the anime. Just enough to tie all the high-viz black and red stripes together and blend the various white/grey panels a bit.

(p.s. I should have waited to do the nav lights and hud green lens, all the movement and handling has caused me to chip some some of the wingtip nav lights and the subsequent clear-coat semi-gloss has dulled the light finish, I will have to touch them up and brush a bit of future over them in the end to get back the lens effect (I painted Tamiya marker silver underneath and Tamiya clear blue and red over top to get bit more depth an refection to them - next time wait till the very end before doing up the lights!)












Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I finally finished my Alto with super packs (sold seperate version)

This was my first model in roughly twenty years. Contained some of the worst decals ever, and chip at the slightest touch.

The missile covers I had to paint red because the decal provided was horrible (I also omited some of the more crappy decals because they were too big/short) 1mil sellophane type stuff.

Unfortunately due to my sausage like fingers I broke the shoulder joint during assembly and was side lined building for a week while I constructed a new one. This fix however prevents any transformation so it is stuck in fighter mode only. It is hard to see because of the light, but I was able to tint the cockpit a nice light shade of purple using Tamiya purple in Future and dipping it.

I got a lot of tips and hints as I built, so my next model (armored Ozma) I believe will be much smoother and have less mistakes.






Edited by Cowpeeler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wm, your finish looks flawless! :blink: No glue seams! No matter how much I work at it, I can never completely remove all of the seams on my kits. :angry:

It always amazes me how people can get such a smooth finish with lots of subtle color variations.

Masterful work for sure! (as always)

Cowpeeler, that is an excellent job for your first kit after such a long break! Welcome back to the modelling madness. I'm sure you won't be able to stop now! Good for you and us, but painful for your wallet!:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kudos! I still haven't managed to get to the light white filter yet, it should tie the contrasty black and red stripes in a bit more to the white paint finish. I've got to take the who thing apart again! to weather the arms and inside legs so it doesn't look weirdly clean when its in the Battroid mode (maybe a few data/stencil decals too in that mode). We'll see how long this "flawless" paint finish holds up after a few transformations ;-)

Jardann, the great thing about this kit is that there are so few seams. Its only really the nosecone (but that was my personal preference as the anime art does show a panel line running down where the parts separate, its the crack that separates that bugs me, plus usually real aircraft nosecones are seamless) and a knee internals that need the joint filling - everything else is just "snapped" together, no real gluing. Oh I forgot the forearms are glued and puttied and sanded to remove the seam - but its pretty minimal.

Great work Cowpeeler! I love the super look especially in the plane mode, I have considered many times to glue it all together in the aircraft mode.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice, Cowpeeler. The modeling force is strong with this one.

Mine's mostly snapped together too, as I (foolishly) thought that I would transform it a couple times at least, but that'll never happen considering I've already experienced some minor decal chipping just from handling it! Not that there's much to glue anyway. Plus, I'm lazy and don't have all that much time to work on modeling.

Gonna have to increase the number of clearcoat layers for Armored Ozma. Maybe 9 or 10 layers... :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I find the decals really poor quality. They just flake off or is really brittle, even after application and it had the chance to dry. You really need the clear-coats to protect the decals just from handling, let along the scraping due to transformations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, another few hours and several clear coats later... I've lost count of the number of coats now.

My first time to transform this puppy, I need to get it into the Battroid mode to see if there are any unpainted or un-clear coated gaps and weather all the bits that I couldn't access while in fighter mode. Believe me, I don't want to do it more often than I need too! The initial transformation seemed to have gone well. I love seeing the metal bits poke out through the skin like a motorcycle.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far so good... I can see areas that were in pressure while in the aircraft mode now. Mostly the top of the shoulders, inside of the arms (forearms) as slight rubbing on the clear coat. There's nothing that can be done, I just hand-brushed another coat (much thicker than airbrush) over these problematic areas. That too will eventually damage, but the idea is to not transform it that often. Now I'll selectively add a few more data/stencil decals that are exposed while in the Battroid mode so that it doesn't look too bare.

The main purpose is to weather it to look in place with the top of the aircraft weathering job done previously.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've lost count! :blink::wacko: AND it still scratches too, I guess the airbrush coats are too thin, but nothing can really withstand the scraping abuse. I've hand brushed the clear coat (much thicker application) where I think are the most problematic areas. I've learnt a lot from this build though and I would try to streamline my other builds (for one thing, I'd paint more parts before assembly and I would only do a final assembly instead of constantly assembling and disassembling all the time to see where the parts go and where they rub!).

Finally finished the light weathering, I weathered it very lightly since it mostly looks new in the anime. I mostly did the weathering on the legs and forearms (to cover up parts where there was tiny damage from the rubbing of the arms folded together, but after the weathering, it just kind of blends in together. I think I'll leave this in the aircraft mode for the majority of the time, it looks too skinny without the fast packs.

Hand painted the white covers to the fingers in the hands - I think it makes a huge difference to the hands. I wished continued the black stripe on the underside of the lerx (?) forward wing roots. I missed it before and now its too much disassembling and masking to do it.

Unfortunately the forearm pieces started to crack along the seam after all this handling. The parts were too thin and didn't have enough surface area for the glue to hold, plus the parts flex a lot during tweaking to get the aircraft mode all fitted together properly. I'm not sure what to do differently next time, but I am not going to repair it now since it would mean completely stripping the arm down and re-gluing, puttying and re-sanding and then all the subsequent coats of paint and weathering.

Yes, I'd love to do the Ozma Armoured one next! that deserves to be in the Battroid mode most of the time. I'm thinking it shoud be easier without all the subtle panel shading since its almost all hidden under the armour! I love the designs and the look of the finished models, but building is pretty laborious. I can't say that I "enjoy" these Bandai kits. The plan is to have the Michael's with the super pack in Battroid, Ozma with the Armour in Battroid, Luca naked in aircraft mode and Alto naked in aircraft mode.

I still have the shoulder lights (which I save till the end, a dab of Tamiya silver marker, then Tamiya clear red over top, it gives more depth and reflection than the decals). I have the gunpod, which I will spray with Alclad metalizers first, then clear-coat with purple future to get the outer casing a metallic purple sheen. I am not even going to attempt the landing gears (this is what happens when a fantasy robot company tries to interpret wheels! :lol: ) - they are a lost cause! :unsure: If I was going to do one of these VFs with the landing gears down, I'd have to deepen all the gear wells (they are a shallow joke at the moment) and completely scratch build the gears probably from the Hasegawa VF-0s as a base, but they would not be removeable and it would be a huge undertaking in itself. I still need to mask and spray those yellow/orangy thingys on the side of the wingroots - now that really should of been a decal! I don't know if I might try to hand-paint them.

Lastly its back in the plane mode again awaiting final light shading/wash spray of thinned white to tone down the panel shadings, off-grey panels and tie in the contrasty black and red markings to generally tone down the markings to look more "painted" on. It survived the transformation rather well with only 2 or 3 chips or scrapes (even with the clear coating). Warning, the black top area to the forward nose cone seemed to be rubbed the most in the Battroid mode - unfortunately its a prominent part when in the aircraft mode - I handbrushed more clear coat, but you should all watch out for this area.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are nuts. The VF-25 is one Valk where the B-mode and F-mode don't even compare, IMO. I'm a huge fan of the B-mode, even without armor. F-mode....hmmm....still on the fence.

And further more, this 1/72 model is the only incarnation of the VF-25 that actually has the B-mode proportions correct. The hips on every other version are wrong. Conversely, the proportions of the 1/72 pilot figure are off. That's why I think this baby was born to be in Battroid mode.

PS. Great work as always. It looks amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the VF-25 battroid mode for my own reasons. The mass of the VF-1 is a lie. Where's this extra mass coming from? The area directly below the chestplate (in fighter mode) is the air intake/upper leg. There's really nothing between the front and back plates.

Yes I know in the TV series these magical side covers appear from the VF-1's hidden Tartus section to fill in the gaps but even that just puts a lid over the space, it doesn't really give the VF-1 more mass. Even Yamato didn't bother giving side cover inserts, much less actually build it into the toy. The VF-1 is just as skinny as the VF-25, it just hides it better. :p

Anyway back to the VF-25.

I wish I had read about your silver + clear paint method earlier. I was already almost done with mine and I was only able to apply it to the gunpod sensors. Ah well I'm working on Alto's battroid now, but I'll probably set it aside when my Armored VF-25S arrives. I've already scraped off part of the SMS logo on the sides of the cockpit just from test fitting the battroid. Luckily that part isn't seen in battroid mode. :unsure:

Early on I made the mistake of using the instruction booklet's model for reference. Talk about inaccurate! Since then I've been using the CG model and this one for reference:


(It was posted way back in the original VF-25 model thread.)

I thought you were going to paint the underside of the lerx later. :( That's something that people usually look; I almost overlooked it myself if I hadn't noticed it on the model in the above link.

I also threw out the landing gear and just got an SMS stand. ;)

This kit was definitely designed more for snapping together and playing with it rather than as an intricate display piece (which makes me wonder why they didn't just mold the visor green instead of including a hideous foil sticker). If it wasn't so expensive I'd get another one just to stick together quickly and transform around with at my desk.

I look forward to the finished model!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just going to call the plane finished when I realized that I forgot those yellow/orange sensor thingys on the wing roots (again!) - oh well, I see if I can try to hand paint those later when I work on the gunpod.

Ok, so the canopy is finally on!! YAY! Here's some shots after the white shading and subsequent clear coats. Its 90% there! Argh, this has been a long haul.










Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is some fantastic work! If you lived just a little bit closer, I'd buy you a beer for all your effort.

I love the subtle differences in the panel colors. Your weathering is never overdone, just right. And the canopy, it looks great with just a slight hue of purple, also not overdone. All around great work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he lived a little bit closer, I'd consider stealing that model! :lol:

That is by far the best VF-25F I have ever seen. Even the "pro" built models are fairly lacking and inaccurate by comparison. Good job putting them all to shame! ^_^

I'm afraid I'm going to have to steal your tinting method too. Maybe you can hand paint the underside of the lerx? It's a fairly easy section to paint. Just one long straight line, really. B))

I've wondered when and who decided that the canopy and sensors are supposed to be tinted purple? The CG model has those sections darkened merely from lack of internal light in exterior shots, and in closeups the canopy is clearly transparent (or has a slight bluish haze).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, beautiful work. I know its been a long haul, but patience has paid off big time. The best Messiah I've seen yet. All the masking work really contributes to a very realistic finish. Pity about those seams but that's inherent in the model. I really love how you have the metallics peeking out here and there, as you said, it's almost like a motorcycle. Anyway, well done - this makes me want to finish mine!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! I can't wait to see yours.

Ok, a little bit more... the gunpod. Again, Bandai bones us again with a stupid assembly staging that isn't friendly to painting. You have to glue the two rear halves together to fill and sand the separation seam, however you have to insert the gun barrel part, handle and bottom hinge when you glue the two haves together. Argh, they should have allowed the gun barrel portion to slip in afterwards, then you could paint all the purple parts in one shot, and all the metallic parts like the barrel in another shot without un-necessary masking. But Bandai wasn't thinking of modellers... actually, I find that in general, Bandai doesn't think about the actually process of assembly and finishing. Oh well, I should have gotten used to it by now with this kit!

So I wanted to do a metallic purple sheen to the gunpod. I saved the purple ink mixed with future that I used to tint the canopy and used that as a clear-coat over the metallic Alcad paints. I did the base reflective coat in AlcladII Dark Aluminum. Unfortunately, the Bandai plastic isn't that smooth and that there are swirls in the plastic which I thought would dissappear once I painted - I was wrong, the slight swirls telegraph through a bit. With all Alclad metallizers the key is surface prep, it needs to be absolutely smooth, the smoother the more metallic it appears. On hindsight, I will prime these parts next time and go over them with some micromesh cloth for my next few VF-25s. My main reason to paint these models is to get rid of the slight swirls present in just bare plastic, even if you clear-coat the bare plastic you still see the imperfections in the plastic.

Anyways, I let the future/clear-coat purple dry for a few days on top of the dark aluminum. To make sure the future is hardened and won't take fingerprints. You can see the high-gloss sheen left behind by the future. I will tone this down with a coat of semi-gloss clear-coat afterwards, its shouldn't look like a showroom car! Now on to masking the purple for the darker Alclad Steel colour to be applied to the gun barrel. Once sprayed, I let dry and hand painted a dark grey section just to break up the long steel barrel to add a bit of interest to the internal mechanism. I will let it dry and spray a clear-coat of ModelMaster semi-gloss before I do a black oil wash to pick out the dark recesses, details and vents. Then I plan on another clear coat to protect the oil wash and lastly to hand paint some silver to the lights and sight and paint Tamiya clear red and green over the top of the silver. Such a lengthy process for just the gunpod, I wished there were clear parts supplied for those. Then I might be able to finally finish!

My only complaint is that the purple is just too "purply" to strong... I would have preferred a little more blue and maybe a lighter coat so that it wasn't as strong, it looks a little too "candy" and anime like, I'd like it more realistic with just a hint of purple. Oh well, learn with this one, I'll try to do better on the next one.













Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks amazing! How many coats of purple future did you use? I'm planning to make my sniper gun on the VF-25G look as realistic as possible so will metalise with something. There are 3 dark metallic colours on the gun, not counting the strange green and purple markings, according to the instructions. I guess I'll have some fun figuring out what works.

I love seeing how your stuff comes up. Once again, inspires the rest of us to try new things!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a oil wash on the hands too, to separate the fingers and details more from the white fingertip caps. I think painting the hands was a really important part that makes the overall Battroid mode much better, its one of those small effort things that make a big contribution in the end (I love those items, little work... big bang! - lazy me coming out :rolleyes: ) The metallic Alclad gives a nice glint in between the joints (more robot/machine like) and the dark/black oil wash defines the features and gives definition to the joints.

Luckily the semi-gloss clear-coat did wonders to tone down the "toyish" quality of the purple gunpod - it lightened the overall tone and soften the sheen. Its still a little too purple, a little more blue and grey will be in the books for the others (but I like it enough to not fiddle with it further - that's the hardest call that comes from experience I find in model making, knowing when to make the call to STOP fiddling... at some point it just makes it worst, without having to totally re-strip and re-paint - since there are flaws in everything I do, if I didn't know when to quit, I'd never finish any models!!) Anyways, I'm pretty happy with it, its just got the silver basecoat under the red & green lenses left and it's done! I do love the sheen and depth I get from doing the metallic undercoat, its got an almost iridescent quality that's hard to capture on film (I wish my car had that!). Woohoo.

It almost wants me to do Luca's blue like this (but I'm not that crazy, if it wasn't transformable I might consider it, but the rubbing and scraping would be prohibitive).

I hope I get the Ozma Armoured soon - I'm iching to get started on that as my next build (mostly left in Battroid mode, but I will still build it transformable, maybe without the magnet modifications to speed things up). Those new HJ scans are inspirational! I just wished they weathered it a bit. It doesn't seem that the Japanese like the metallic joints, they grey all those parts out - I personally feel that you can't really do a real metallic or chrome in anime, so they chose grey, but the metallic parts really add that glint I love from machinery (I guess its just me). Hey how about a joint/group build on MacrossWorld, we can all post our progress together?







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another great build-up W! Your step-by-step work inspires not only me but others here.

Too bad, Bandai made the kit like HG Gundams. Its more on mask, paint, assemble and mask some more painting job.

If they have made it more like MG Kits, its more painting friendly. But it will add more price to the kit thus making it more "unfriendly".

The only good news about the kit is you have both the colored stick-ons and the decals. The colored stick-ons can be used as masking seals during painting while the decals are for detailing.

A group build is a great idea. We can build a whole series of macross kits from every timeline / episode.

One can choose a particular model to build to complete a the series of mechs / models and contribute his work for the group.

Kit availability maybe a problem though, since hasegawa re-issues a kit every two or three years. Just my two-cents.

Happy Modeling!


Edited by nickster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It almost wants me to do Luca's blue like this (but I'm not that crazy, if it wasn't transformable I might consider it, but the rubbing and scraping would be prohibitive).

Did you mean Mikhail's? Or are you referring to Luca's green as blue? I guess it's more "mint" coloured which could be a type of blue :)

Hey how about a joint/group build on MacrossWorld, we can all post our progress together?

What did you have in mind? I've already started my Mikhail and posted up my build (and would love your feedback;)). I've also got a Hasegawa VF-1D I'll start on when the 25G is completed.

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.

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.

  • Create New...