Gaijin Gunpla

It’s been a few weeks now since I built this section of the Macross kit and took pictures. I was intending to write this post on March 12th but, well, I guess everyone knows now what happened. I don’t want to skip any parts of a build so I am making this post now. It will be mostly pics though as I don’t feel I have the time or energy to focus on writing a lot of detailed text.

If you’ve been following along with this build you know I have most of the individual sections completed, and now (or then, rather.. two weeks ago) I was at the stage where I connect everything together.

These sections are pretty important for this kit and its transformation and it seems pretty straightforward when you look at the manual.

Easy right? Sure, it is. Just get out the metal rods and connect everything…

then throw on this large piece


followed by a couple of other pieces

I realize I am not being very descriptive here but there is one thing I feel I need to say. The Macross kits seem to use a lot of pieces made from somewhat flexible plastic. This is both a blessing and a curse. Because they are flexible it allows you to apply a fair bit of force when it comes to moving the parts through the transformation sequence, however, due to this flexibility they often seem to come loose for no reason at all. As I was trying to assemble this section with it seemed I would get one part of the thing together only to have something pop off somewhere else.

But once you do get that part together you move on to the wings and use more metal rod.

And then you have something that looks like this:

And then you add the wings. Sure, no problem.

And the smaller wings.

Problem. When I was assembling this section I questioned why the manual had me do it in this order. Why put this complicated, transformable, easy-to-fall-apart section together and then add these small pieces to it. When I tried it I found it difficult to hold the kit as I put in the tiny metal rod. Why not put the small wings on first, then add it to the main kit? I actually had to go ahead and do that as I couldn’t seem to hold the main kit securely at a good angle which would allow me to insert the metal rods.

Once done though, you have something that looks like something.

Although this is a pretty short post up to this point, I want to point out that because of the difficulties working with this kit this took the better part of an hour. I even took an hour break and relaxed before continuing.

Once back at it the rest of it went by quickly, most likely because I was using bigger pieces that weren’t really involved in the transformation part of the design.

um.. What?

It’s a transforming kit with hundreds of parts but Bandai gives you a sticker for this instead of a separate part? Really? Lame!

The view from above:

Looking at it from the underside you can see arms folded up underneath. There are actually grooves into which a part of the arm will click into place, however getting them to line up properly is another difficult aspect of the build.

Once they are in you can keep them together by snapping in this pair of hands. yes, it’s molded as one piece.

From there you assemble what will be used as a shield when the mecha is in Battroid mode.

But it slides into place on the hands underneath the kit. You can see the groove it slides behind.

Next add the legs.


Just like the arms there are grooves and hollows that should click into place to keep things in position but, just like the arms again, it isn’t easy to do so.

With the mecha mostly done what’s left is to put some small plastic armor pieces which cover up the joint mechanisms.


These seem to fit into place without too much problem.

but..

these ones…

not so much. This is the best I could manage to line them up. If I move them even the slightest in any direction they will pop off. I understand why the design is this way but it still is an eyesore to me. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

But the main kit is essentially done. The next part is to work on the weapons and additions. Hopefully it doesn’t take me another two weeks to get that post up.

10 Responses so far.

  1. glaurung says:

    I tried to finish up with my VF-27 gamma in the weekend and since it has a pretty similar structure for fixing the leg units and the arm units, I thought I’d drop a comment.

    Lining up the leg units wit the grooves and the moving parts below the cockpit is a nightmare. I almost gave up on it during the process, it became even more difficult than jamming the metal rods into the main body joints. The problem with this many separate moving parts is that I cannot adjust them that easily either. Not the best design in my opinion.

  2. Dennis says:

    This kit looks good when it’s done, but what you went through for this kit so far…. It’s starting to take shape and at this point it looks decent. I know your done already (watched Gunpla TV last week), so I’ll ask this: How difficult is the transformation between modes? I’ve heard people say that it varies between kits. This one appears to be one of the more difficult ones judging by the look of the finished model. Also, if you compared this to the various Gunpla kits you made; because of the skill level needed to build it; what grade would this be closest to?

  3. Busterbeam says:

    told you. this thing is no gundam. it’s gonna look great when you’re done though. i also experienced similar difficulties.

  4. glaurung says:

    Dennis: I would say that in terms of frame/armor separation the Macross planes are on the same level as master grade, but you cannot tear off the armor at will. In terms of part details the model is more defined than MG.

    • Dennis says:

      Hey, thanks for the clarification on that. I want one of thesie kits and was hoping it was around Master Grade difficulty.

    • syd says:

      This response perfectly matches how I think about this kit. I was wondering to myself what to compare it to and, while it’s certainly not at the level of a perfect grade, it’s noticeably above a master grade, in my opinion.

  5. Sunny says:

    I build a macross kit myself a couple of years back, the Fire Valkyrie (http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN953441).
    I liked it very much, and i have to agree that they are a bit more difficult to build than a MG, but mainly because the are put together differently than a Gunpla model. Whereas a Gunpla model would have certain fixed points like chest, shoulders, crotch, legs, etc. you know what to expect. With the macross kits it’s not really clear what you are building and where it fits in the whole kit until you finish it. That is also one of the points i like macross kits, they over a welcome variety to the sometime monotone Gunpla’s we all love to build. Having said that, i think the Zeta gundam and the variants of that kit come close to a macross kit in being different from your standard gunpla kit.

  6. jordan says:

    I have built 2 of these macross kits. The tornado messiah and the brera sterne model. They are both great kits. Best transforming kit ever. IMHO, it beats any gundam transforming kit hands down. the down side now is for macross to come up with even greater kits that surpasses what they have done. i am really looking forward to new releases and not just recolours. like the new one that they are coming up with is just a recolor and change of the head mold. I wonder if they will ever come up with a model kit version of the koenig monster. that will be GREAT!

    i also have the chogokin version of the same macross models i have built. but i still prefer the model kit. it is lighter and therefore easier to pose on a stand. btw… you can use the standard gundam 1/100 scale stand for these macross kits.

  7. jordan says:

    and one more thing… from syd’s pictures the kit it really looks plain. but once u slap on those fantastic decals, it looks sweet.

  8. Point Blank Sniper says:

    hi guys, i usually lurk =)
    i’ve been working on my vf-27 and it’s shaping up nicely, but i’ve come across a bunch of really weird problems that driven me insane… prepare for wall of text =D

    first, the large metal rod under the canopy wouldn’t fit with the peices on the either side properly and left a gap. i was pressing so hard on it that it left a stress mark behind the canards on one side. a few steps later, my perfectionist self couldnt stand that insignificant gap and so i dismantled a whole bunch of stuff to remove the canards to see what was wrong. once i looked i, realized the rod wasn’t inserted all the way in the soft part on one side while the other side was sticking out and rammed a crater on the cover, which was the cause of that stress mark =( after hammering the rod in fully and equally on both sides I put the candards and everything back and it was perfect…then i wondered why they didnt make the instructions say to fit the rod before covering it up…
    the second problem was the smaller rods for the main wings. they wouldn’t go in the holes at all, and it took me 3 hours of pressing with no progress(i was watching my bro play black ops though…). in the end, i violently hammered them in with with the butt of my hobby knife =P
    then there was the head. according to my bro, his rvf-25’s head turns 180 before going in,, but the vf-27 goes in forward and has a pointy chin which has to somehow slip below the collar before going down all the way. there are stickers on that chin, but the collar doesnt like them, so now theyve been beaten to a pulp… as syd said, whiy is the kit so detail but then they have these lame stickers for something that obviously should be molded in it’s own peice in the right colours? XD
    and then finally, i had this problem of the huge peice behind the head not being able to fold up all the way. i found out i’m supposed to force it up so that it locks in plack, but the part that extends from the hinge to the back part is already cracking from trying to lift it so many times. i don’t get why they made the locking bulge so big making it so tight, and why the the extension from the hinge is angled so that it can crack when they could have just made it a gradual arch, or just thicker. so in the end i decided to cut the bulges out and risk the tail flopping when the wings are built.
    one last bit i dont i can’t settly with is that there is a gap at the back of the canopy(especially the clear one) so you can see the co-pilot(ranka) through it. i tried to shave the rear fake hinge area thinner, but it didn’t change anything. anyone else have the same problem? or know how to fix?

    i bet everyone tl;dr XD
    just wanted to express my errr…experience with the kit, even though it’s coming together great.
    P.S. i skipped the limbs so this is all i built XD

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