Gaijin Gunpla

The 1/72 VF-25F Tornado Messiah Valkyrie Alto Custom (phew!) has been sitting in the pile in the work room since November.  I have mentioned how I wanted to start on it before the end of 2010 but things never go according to plan, it seems.

I’ve completed a few projects this month and now have some free time so now is the time!

If you have happened upon this site chances are you have a great interest in Gunpla. Or Girls Generation.  I get more people coming to this site by typing Girls Generation into a search engine than I do those who type gaijin gunpla.  And I can completely understand this.. but before I get too sidetracked.. (I’ll just put my girls generation youtube playlist on loop while I write this post).   Where was I?  Oh ya, chances are, like me, you’ve built quite a bit of Gunpla.  Because of this you can open any Gunpla kit box and look inside and pretty much know exactly how it will assemble together.  Well, that is not what I experienced when I opened the Macross kit.  

Sure there are things that look like wings which, in all likelihood, will turn out to be wings, but when it comes to the meat of the project, the frame and such, I had no idea what I was looking at.  So I opened up the instruction book and was prepared to learn on the fly.

To start, I’m going to be building it in its fighter mode. First the fighter then transform? Isn’t that the opposite of Gundam kits?

One thing that leaped out at me, even though I was somewhat prepared is the amount of decals.

and that’s not all! Just turn that package over…

What’s first in this daunting kit?

There. I did it. This isn’t so bad. The first couple of steps are no problem.

But early on we start getting into the assemblies that are part of the transformation.
The bottom piece actually has some play allowing it to slide up or down slightly.

Assemble the opposite side in the same way and attach them together and you get your first idea of what this kit will be able to do.

Open:

Close:

Leaving that section to the side we start to work on another assembly that will enable this guy to transform between its three modes.

Interestingly, the manual is very specific about how even the tiny parts should go.



This sub-assembly finishes up by putting on some large pieces. At this point I was wondering whether what I was working on was frame or armor. And then I wondered if there were any frame pieces on this kit.

Here’s some dark colored pieces. Are these frame?

I now had something that looked like this.

From here, I got out the foil stickers.

It’s worth noting that some of the stickers are on the foil sheet upside down. You peel them off then have to turn them over to apply them to the kit.

They fit really well (these ones anyway.) Attach that to the assembly you just finished and…

Now the manual has you follow a specific set of actions.
1) attach the first sub-assembly you built.

2) close the flaps

3) rotate it 180 degrees

The next part I found amusing. Here is the pilot figure, or rather, half a pilot figure.

But the larger piece is molded so that when you place the pilot figure in…

He now has legs!

The watcher also found it amusing

Now comes some dark armor pieces. Wait. Does that mean I was assembling frame?

And my first encounter with the clear parts.

Then the foil stickers to cover up the clear parts. These stickers were also upside down on the sheet, and didn’t cover the part entirely.

But at least I know what I’m dealing with now.

A nose!

Here’s the little guy in his cockpit ready to fly off or hit the button and transform into Gerwalk or Robot mode. (Don’t hit that button yet, though. There’s nothing that will transform.)

Already it looks kind of cool.

Next…

This is the head. That little piece is not a poly-cap. I don’t think there are poly-caps in this kit at all.

For the visor you use the shiny green foil sticker placed over a clear part.

But it looks terrible! I promptly removed the sticker and ran outside and sprayed some clear paint on it.

And that wrapped up the first part of the Tornado. Although quite different from a Gundam it wasn’t overwhelming. Well, this part was not overwhelming. I just started so let’s see what the rest of the build brings.

10 Responses so far.

  1. CKai Cydek says:

    It may be complex, but the VF-25 is a great kit – actually, all the Macross F kits are great! You got to hand it to Bandai for engineering a triple-change kit that involves almost no part-swapping save for some kibble.

    Though, I have to say, don’t you think this kit is a little bit overpriced? I know none of the Macross F kits are particularly cheap, but the Tornado Messiah kit costs almost as much as the Armored Valkyrie! And that kit is LOADED with tons more weapons and equipment than the Tornado is.

  2. Priza says:

    I usually only saw the box art of a macross kit and go back finding a gundam model kit,but I have to say,it looks good. How big is a 1/72 macross model kit compared to a gundam kit?is it equivalent to a 1/100 gundam model kit?
    It’s the watcher (Syd-senpai’s cat) again,sooner or later the watcher is going to be gaijin-gunpla mascot

  3. Tom says:

    The decals that came with this kit are clear stickers right?

    • syd says:

      Hi Tom,

      The decals are actually water-slides. A little bit daunting looking at the size of some of them. A good test of my decal skills for sure.

  4. Busterbeam says:

    nice to see you starting on this. its quite a bit different from gundam! just wait until you get to the transforming section! and yeah macross is different from gundam suits in the fact that macross are vehicles first that transform into suits. gundams are designed the opposite way.

    i, personally, am looking forward to the decal section!

  5. Dennis says:

    I always liked the anime when I was a boy. More recently I’ve seen these kits and wanted to try one for myself, but the cost of the kit is prohibitive. Plus the shipping is alot to get it and that’s been another thing for me to consider. It does look like very fun and a challenging build. From the photos I’ve seen of the completed model and the parts breakdown it looks as though it’s about the same type of build as an MG Gunpla kit. Has that been your experience with it so far?

    • syd says:

      My first thought was that it was comparable to an MG such as the ReZEL or Zeta. As I’m building the PG Strike Freedom at the same time I will be able to assess how it measures up to a PG.

  6. Sei says:

    ooohh.. NICE !!! give me goosebumps already… 😀
    i had five of those Macross Frontier’s kits (four VF-25 kits and a VF-27 Brera) sitting in the corner of my workroom, waiting for a chance to be built… and i’m buying the VF-29… 😀

    btw, don’t forget to post the painted visor’s image.. i’d love to see how it turned out 🙂

    • Shaomu/Nyanerius says:

      About that 1/100 VF-29. Not sure if you’ve noticed but that kit doesn’t transform. Just hoping you haven’t bought it thinking it’d be like the 1/72 line-up.
      ‘Cause that’s what I did.

  7. TacoBeard says:

    I built the normal version of this kit, Not the tornado version.
    First inpression was : man i need some paints…
    To bad i put to much blue on the cockpit so its not as transparent as i wanted it T_T and the other clear part is pretty much black now T_T live and learn.
    My second impression: LINE IT BEFORE YOU CUT THEM. DO IT QUCKLY OR YOU WILL NEVER GET THEM ALL DONE CORRECTLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on a serious not it is really hard ot get some of those lines correctly off the tree. and i spend like 1 hours just trying to get the lining correctly. Also the original looked best in fighter mode bu the way the tornado looks it might look best in Battroid mode. I just kept mine in fighter mode cause i though it looked good. I feel like ive been typing walls ov text everywhere i go T_T

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