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Bandai 1:72 VF-1S (completed + review)


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Completed my 1/72 Bandai VF-1S Hikaru kit.

This kit has been controversial from the beginning and now that I’ve finished this kit, I figured I’d give my own viewpoint. I’ll try to be fair and balanced. J

I built this kit without painting much. The parts I painted were -

- the tailfins

- the foot thrusters

- the gunpod

- some minor details here and there

- the black stripes on the arms, legs, and wings

I had to paint the black stripes because the Bandai decals were terrible and generally a pain to work with. Those areas are also heavily touched during construction. Decals can be easily scratched even with a clear coat on top. Paint is a bit tougher (esp the lacquer & enamels I use). Painting them was also much easier.

A couple of mods were made. The main one being the wheels for the landing gear. The wheels included with the kit were way too small for my liking. I thought about using the wheels from the Hasegawa kit but those are small too. I’ve always felt that Valks should have big meaty tires. So anyway, I cut off the wheel attachment point, drilled a hole, inserted a brass rod, and attached F/A-18 Hornet wheels from an aftermarket resin set. This does however mean that the landing gears no longer goes into the bays. But that’s okay since I don’t plan on swooshing this around like a toy or transforming it to any other mode.

Another mod was to the gunpod attachment. Since the model is staying in fighter mode, I cut the ugly gunpod holding strap and simply glued the gunpod to the attachment point.

The final mod was an attempt to fix the inward slant of the lower legs. Fellow MW member, Budokhan, seemed to have come up with a easy fix and I tried it out. It’s not perfect, but it’s a heck of lot better than it was originally.

In general, the buildup of this kit isn’t that hard. Most of the parts come together decently. There is however, one section that I had trouble with Despite following the instructions, I simply could not figure out a way to firmly attach the shoulder rotation point to the socket. After numerous tries, I gave up and gutted the whole shoulder linkage section. Which is just as well as I had no intention of ever taking it out of fighter mode anyways.

There’s probably a better way to put that shoulder section together but I really don’t care about transforming so I’m not going to bother.

In all honesty, it’s not a bad kit to build into fighter mode. Since I glued many of the moving parts, it’s all nice and tight. Another thing that is nice when it’s all put together is the heft of the model (at least in fighter mode). The quality of plastic Bandai uses and all the mechanisms for transforming gives this model some weight. It’s not important but it feels nice. :lol:

As for the general “look” I find it to be just fine (at least in fighter mode). It’s not my favorite fighter mode model (that belongs to the Wave 1/100) but it’s looks well enough like a VF-1. If I had to complain, I think the tailfins are a bit on the small side. I guess this is the compromise for battroid mode. In the future, I might replace them with Hasegawa fins or something.

That all said, I’m pretty happy with the end result. The mods I made help. Actually, I’m pretty chuffed with the Hornet wheels. :lol:

I took the pics with a phone camera so some things are not correctly in focus.











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Well, I guess sometimes you can polish a turd. Nice work.

I've got this kit sitting in my To Do pile, and it's probably going to stay there until I feel masochistic enough to take it on (also got the Strike parts add-on).

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Nice job overall, but I still can't get why Bandai chose to do some things the way they did. That nose shape has always felt really off for me for some reason, like it's too round.

Sadly, the most prominent one I notice on those pics? Those folding joints for the tails look just plain nasty. I mean.. not only could they not make them hidden in any way, but they had to mold them in a color that belongs to neither the plane, nor the tails. <_< '

Edited by Chronocidal
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  • 1 year later...

Gatsu, it's certainly an interesting option if you already have 7 of the Bandai kits from before the Hasegawa models were released like I do. I just dug them out of my old closet and have been wondering what I should do with them. I think I may build one for practice, but this is an option I hadn't really considered.

I recently tried to order a few more of the Hasegawa VF-1A/J/S kits from HLJ, which were listed as "Backordered," and I just noticed a couple days ago that their status has changed to "Discontinued." I was hoping Hasegawa would keep them as a regular production model.

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Yes i saw HLJ don t sell them anymore, but i doubt hasegawa won t reissue them.

Thanks, I've been wondering how Hasegawa (and other manufacturers) handle these types of models. Do they produce a batch of them and then re-run them later if there's enough demand for them?

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Awesome work Vifam. I just completed the Fokker version and I concur that this one model that should be kept in one mode only. I painted and decayed mine and I'm currently repairing some areas where the decals were scratched off during assembly. Also may go back and apply panel lines. Two coats of clear apparently isn't enough to protect decals from scratching in areas that are prone to rubbing with other parts! I also can't get the back and chest section to completely seal properly when in fighter mode with the legs attached. But that being said it was a fun build nonetheless. The biggest problem with the kit is that a lot of the attachment nubs and tabs are too short. I still have another Fokker and Hikaru, and I'm waiting for the strike parts to come back in stock at HLJ.

Do you know if there is an attachment that will allow the fighter mode to be attached to a Display base?

Edited by Golden Arms
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Do you know if there is an attachment that will allow the fighter mode to be attached to a Display base?

Doesn't the kit come with adapters to fit it to Bandai's Action Base 1? If I remember correctly, there are three separate adapters for the three modes. (The fighter mode one attaches to the gunpod???)

From dalong (doesn't allow hotlinking, so copy-paste EDIT: or not, seems it's fine):






Edited by kajnrig
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Hello Kajnrig, thanks for posting that pic! I'm' such an idiot, I went back to the manual and found it on the same page as the picture for the gunpod attachment (How the hell did I not see that before!!)

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