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1/72 Hasegawa VF-25F Tornado Messiah


Rock
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Decided to make a wip since I'm updating more often than I had expected to do so.

Deciding to do the project...

 

Goal is to create a beautiful looking VF-25F equipped with the tornado pack as it appeared in the Macross F movie, Itsuwari no Utahime/The False Songstress. As many may agree the Hasegawa kit is much better looking in fighter form than the older Bandai counterpart. Sadly it seems Hase is silent on the Frontier line and went without releasing the Armored and Tornado packs. :/

Originally I had planned to build up the entire SMS linup using Bandai kits in different forms. Alto-Tornado Pack, Ozama-Armored Pack, Michael-Super Pack and that traitors bastard Luca in the base form with the ghosts. The project went dead years ago and I didn't think anything of it until Macross Delta brought me back to deculture! After years of sitting a drunken night YJA (Yahoo Japan Auctions) allowed me to score an original 1/72 YF-29 resin kit... however I would need another ugly Bandai kit to accomplish this. That is when the idea sparked to try to merge a hase kit of the VF-25 with the add-on's bandai had made. The end result being I hopefully have a better looking fighter and a base naked Bandai VF-25 kit leftover to eventually build the resin YF-29 Durandal conversion kit. Win-win!

I didn't even build the bandai kit, I robbed the tonado pack parts out of it's box, snapped it and started on the Hase kit. To be honest the tornado pack VF-25F feels like a major after-thought in terms of the armor parts next to the base kit. I'm sure it was a quick cash-in too.

I know some don't like the Tornado pack but, for me it calls back to the VF-2SS SAP with the long barrels hanging past the cockpit. Sure the armored pack got the better memory but the tornado has uniqueness... It also looked a hell of a lot easier than trying to fit on the armored pack! :D I didn't hurt that another member, Jefuemon had also done the conversion to give me the motivation to pull the trigger.

Starting the project I got the base of the hase kit assembled in sections. It has been a long time since I'm had to glue a seam line or deal with super shallow panel lines. Resin and gunpla have me much spoiled. It didn't take any time to throw out the landing gears and begin glueing the bay doors shut. I used some Aves epoxy, stuffed the holes and glued the hatches shut. The epoxy behind it strengthens the doors and supports them to pevent them from falling into the opening during positioning. Following Jefuemon I decided to grab the Super VF-25F parts to make the conversion easier. Sadly, I've found some things that bother me and as a result I probably could have gotten away with the regular VF-25F from Hase.

No stranger to kitbashing (gunpla addition anyone) I already had a good Idea on what to think and where to remove material to get parts to fit nicely. I had no intention of sanding this the slow way so, I busted out the dremel and sanding barrels and destroyed my new kits :)

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While studing the parts I realized Jefuemon's finished build uitilized more of the Super part than I wanted. He had them painted to match the Tornado scheme and it looked fantastic as is but, the designs were different and this bothered me... so more work it is. This meant I needed to start fitting the Bandai leg armor onto the Hase Superpack legs... to the grinder again!

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No ammount of grinding along would bridge the gaps so some Tamiya quick type poxy was used and basic shaping began.
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Fitting the Tornado pack mean the upper portion of th leg (the fighter's intake) also needed to utilize the base VF-25... where the super pack leg has additional armor. Luckly the super pack leg includes both version so you can hack them up and splice them together to make the correct design. Sadly again, the fitment is way off to the Super pack's legs being in a different position than the fully flat position thebase VF-25's legs had.

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I filled the gap with a bit of pla-plate and once again Tamiya epoxy to the rescue to take the rest of the shape. I also used a Micron pen to prematurely plan a bit of panel lining for fun. Before apply the epoxy I rubbed the back part of the leg in some cherry lip balm/chapstick, this prevent the epoxy from sticking to it. The result being I can remove the lower part of the leg. I plan to leave it like this until mid-painitng, which I will paint those areas, attach and remove the seamline in the epoxy and then paint the front portion of the leg. This way I shouldn't have too much of a masking nightmare. I originally planned on having the entire legs removable until after painting but, the gaps around the intake were driving me crazy so... plan B!
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After trimming the wing I needed to expend the backside so that in the swept position it would fill up the hole gap in the bandai tornado parts due to the difference in shape and sizing between the two kits. I glued on some plastic plate which I'll shape later.
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Result is the swept wings filling the entire gap.
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Now it's starting to look like something!
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Edited by Rock
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Hope to get some more work in over the holiday break, also picked up the Jasmine Model's PE and decal set for the bandai VF-25F kits. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to use on the hase kit but, I hope to detail up the intakes ,cockpit and feet a bit with them. Already doing a quick look it doesn't look like I'll need a lot of it as the hase kit isn't as lacking in details as it's bandai counterpart. I'm sure whatever I don't use can be used on some other kit though :)

A bit hard to see but I used some Aves epoxy to fill in the area where the feet go so it isn't an ugly hollow hole. I'm hoping the aves properlly cure as I've had the tubs of the stuff for almost 10years now!!! Best bang for buck, but I never liked the final surface as much as other epoxy putties such as Tamiya quick type. If it cures, I can sand smother and then detail with some plaptate and scribing so it isn't a blank surface. Also have had a hell of a time on the intakes. I've resulted to just glueing them solid as I cannot for the life of me to get them to fit correctly without ugly gaps. It seems the outside halves are underpressure. A lot of trimming and a coat of plastic cement was used to get them to fit this well and putty will still be required.

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Basic colors on Alto marked in, another round of detail painting, grey accents and a wash and he should be ready. Managed to get the canopy tinted. Hopefully it doesn't look too purple as I don't want it too look like a toy when all done. Did a tutorial on how I tined it too.

https://rokkustudio.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/how-to-tint-clear-parts/

Using Acladd II Magnesium for the base and Tamiya Smoke around the edges of the canopy for shading. I then used a bit of Testors enamel (dull alluminum) and drybrushed the edges bringing out the details. Gaia Notes Neutral Grey III and Dark Gunship Grey were used for accents. All that is left is a light black enamel wash to fill in some of the engraved detail and I'll have the cockpit taken care of.

 

Edited by Rock
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First clear cast turned out alright, it turned out a bit rubbery though, may be the mix being such low in quantity though.

Also hacked up the back of the legs and blended together my own armor design variant. This way it doesnt look so 'toonish' as the straight tornado parts did. In primer, now to painfull rescribe everything... :(

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coming along nicely!

thanks for the canopy-tint tutorial... That'll come in very handy!

does your "dip" mixture keep for very long? or does it dry out in a hurry?

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A tiny, tiny bit more cleanup, some additional panel lines, (for my sculpted bits) and the top-side is ready for paint! :o

 

On 7/7/2016 at 10:18 PM, slide said:

coming along nicely!

thanks for the canopy-tint tutorial... That'll come in very handy!

does your "dip" mixture keep for very long? or does it dry out in a hurry?

As long as it is in an sealed, air-tight plastic container in a cool enviroment it will last more than a year. I've never had it dry up and usually pitch it after a kit is done. You'll use so little future and acrylic ink it isn't a big hassel.

Edited by Rock
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I got nowhere last week as life disaster flew in. But carrying on...

Started describing and adding more panel lines. Mostly adding them to the tornado parts to make them match Hase's level of detail. I'm also trying to rescribe everything deeply so that they will make it through preshading, base, highlighting, topcoat, decals, topcoat, weathering topcoat... plan on lots of paint hitting this bird!

Using dymo tape and a the backside of a no11 blade. A while back I sold off an amazing set of chisels/scribes and kind of regret it... since then I've really found I can do more than plenty with a good old hobby knife. Though I really want to get some of the tri-saws for the round bits.

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Not much of an update but I *had* started painting. Sadly panel lines are dropping like flies and I need to find something to retard (slow down) the dry time of my lacquer paints in this 105F days. It doesn't take much to start shooting cobwebss out the airbrush. I'm looking for something generic I can add to my thinners to make is slower, worst case I'll just pick up some Mr. Leveling Thinner from Gunze though. Back to re-re-re scribing the panel lines.

Here it was with a blue and black base coat + the first couple rounds of preshading. I would like to have thrown a lot more paint on it via some drop coats to make the shading contrast less stark but, need to rescribe before I can continue.

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Edited by Rock
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  • 3 years later...

FFFFFFF that took too much effort.

[deep breath]
Previous mods/work undone, kit fully disassembled and then stripped during a 4+month soak in diluted purple power with a bit of easy-off (oven cleaner.) Then sanded, re-scribed, sanded, packed up for 2 cross-country moves, survived a hurricane, and then cleaned with 70% isopropyl alcohol, stored, resanded, lightly polished with tamiya's compound, recleaned and finally dusted with Mr. Surfacer 1500! to today. :)

Finally got to put in some time while the other project is stalled for a bit. Got her out and managed to go through with a final prep for paintwork on the main body today tonight. After cleaning up the surface and re-reading my thread, (this one) I decided on a new approach to painting less repeat the same mistake.

FWIW a jumbo popcicle stick wedged in between the gap behind the wings is a perfect way to hold the VF-25F during painting. Solid as a rock without any glue required!

Round 2 see's me using more of a traditional post shading style with an overcoat similar to how real life aircraft might be done. First I applied an off-white base, a mix left over from my recent MG Perfect Strike Gundam I built earlier this year. IIRC it was a mix of Gaia's ultimate white and a bit of tan. I reduced and sprayed it at around a 70:30 (thinner:paint) mixture and only applied enough to hide the majority of the primer.  Next up I over reduced some gloss black base and traced all the panel lines, part edges and details. After that was done a bit more black was added to make a stronger mixture and a few key areas (the shadows) were given a 2nd pass. At this point I intended to grab Gaia's Grey IV and Mr. Color's Deep Sea Gray and do a bit of dot filtering and surface modelling however I got a nice surprise in discovering I somehow bent the needle in my fine detail micron airbrush putting that on hold. So instead I mixed up some bright pure white and highlighted a few panels with pre-shading giving the model's surface more variation. I'm using a super bright white now which will be toned down next. One thing I've learned over the years is to always avoid pure white never is something in real life a pure white and doing so creates an undesirable high-contrast effect that can ruin the scale effect of any finish.

Lastly I needed the final color. For this I mad a custom mix using Gaia Notes Pure White, Ultimate White, Primary Color Cyan and my favorite paint Flourescent Pink, such a handy addition to breath vibrancy into any dull color. The end result is a violet looking shade of white. I hope this will help tie everything together with a cool tone. It should really help with the purple cockpit hatch and tornado armor pack bits. This custom "Alto Mix" is was sprayed around a super thin 20:80 mix ratio blending everything together in long sweeping front-to-back passes, always making sure to start and stop spraying in front of and behind the model (an not directly on the surface) to not have the paint build up and edge pooling. At this point everything is blending together and Model Master's gloss clear lacquer was lightly airbrushed onto the surface.

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Before doing any additional surfacing, I've got to get them pesky panel line filled in. 4 year later.

edit: also uploaded some older cockpit pictures since the old links expired.

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