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Plamax 1/20 VF-1 Valkyrie Gerwalk

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Picked up the Plamax 1/20 VF-1 Valkyrie - the star of the anime classic Super Dinensional Fortress Macross (more widely known in the west by another name, use of which is considered bad form by purists) - billed as the largest Macross model kit ever. Though intended to be built as either a Super or Strike variant from the movie, I’m likely to build as a conventional ‘cannon fodder’ VF-1A. 


The parts (that’s a full-size bottle of beer tucked away in the bottom right to give a hint of the size):




and the intended finish:




I’m also considering a technique known as ‘cel shading’, in which a model is painted to look like an coloured anime cel, complete with artificial shadows & highlights. The best I’ve seen is this 1/72 scale model:




Difficult to believe that’s a three dimensional model!

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Thank you @Hunter Rose & @JamesP


Like a lot of renditions of sci-fi/anime subjects from Japanese producers, this kit comes molded in various colours of styrene. 




Couldn’t resist trying the new (& very expensive!) Meng side cutters...




Duly impressed with the cutting ability of the Meng cutters! Then the parts were press-fitted them together..




Looks like the classic Valkyrie nose!

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Ooh, you were quick off the mark with this one! It looks look a cool kit, especially with a one piece nose :)





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@Pete in Lincs I hope not - I already build at the pace of a startled glacier!


Dry fitting & cleaning up sink holes in some of the not-so-little parts....


Forward fuselage:




Press fit with the nose.




Like a lot of anime, with giant robots piloted by angst-ridden teens being the solution to most problems, this kit has a head (the ‘A’ head seen here) - stowed in this mode.




The head would look like this in ‘Battroid’ (i.e. giant robot) mode:





In a broader context, under the fuselage, between the intakes.




The kit also comes with the ‘J’ head (right), and the ever-popular ‘S’ head (left). 




As I’m building the ‘cannon fodder’ VF-1A, these heads are surplus to requirements. 


Thanks for looking. 

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Thanks @Pilgrim_UK for adding context. The box is enormous!




Pulled the cockpit off the sprues/runners to see what’s what. 




I’ll likely modify the kit cockpit from the movie-style (DYRL?) cockpit back to the TV-style (SDFM), but I’m not 100% on that yet. 


This is the movie type:



This is the TV-style:




Then added it to the nose section. 




Pretty happy so far. It’s big, detailed, & easy - the challenge will be the painting. 


ETA: hmm, pics are a little too high contrast will improve in later posts. 

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With sprues/runners being about 10mm in diameter, cleanup of this behemoth is somewhat time consuming. I’ve also being filling sink holes & experimenting with some of the panel lines to confirm what they’ll look like, as the white plastic makes details difficult to see. 




Most of what you see here is press fit together, so that I can understand what molded in defects I can safely ignore & what must be filled. 

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Man, that's a big beast to tackle! Like the idea of backdating the cockpit, and at that size it should make the job easier. And a cell-shading paint job would be spectacular!

Edited by Thom216
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There’s been some discussion regarding how true-to-anime the backpack of this kit it. In-universe, the backpack is what is formed by the vertical stabilisers folding, before the eppenage itself folds. 


Using the proportions of the Hasegawa 1/72 kit as a guide, I mocked up the following (left):




It’s not correct (yet) but the lengths & height work. 






Mock up:








Not there yet, but a lot closer. 

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Work continues in the backpack. I’ve cut off the forward ‘diving board’ and temporarily removed the ECM bulges to work on the ejector pin marks, which are (inconveniently) on the upper surface. Also took the opportunity to narrow the end by 4mm, thereby making the taper more anime-accurate. 




The ejector pins on the folded vertical stabilisers were addressed next. 




I’ve also started on the backpack in styrene, commencing with a 6mm thick hardback that will anchor the remaining structure. 


Thanks for looking. 

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3 minutes ago, Thom216 said:

Boy, someone loves their ejector pin marks!

And they’re not shy about them! Smallest I’ve found is 6mm across. These are ~10mm. 

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More work on the (potential) replacement backpack. Kit on the left, WIP on the right. 




Lots still to do.




Tested both on the fuselage/nose assembly. Kit:








Not yet in a position to make a call, so I’ll continue on the potential replacement. 

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Train smashed some pics together to compare the pieces...




As I see it, the back half of my version (top) is closer to the anime (middle), than the kit. That said, the opening of the kit piece is closer in height. Some thinking to do. 

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Built a new backpack that’s 10% smaller overall - not there yet, but definitely an improvement over the first version. Also took the opportunity to add the legs, just to get a better view overall. 




Compared to the kit backpack. 




This kit isn’t getting any smaller!

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Merry Christmas, all!


Used Boxing Day to make some progress...


Firstly, I needed to build the small ‘dome’ on the backpack. After some attempts using a ping pong ball, some epoxy putty, and a disc of styrene, I got there (bottom, left). 




I lined the three candidates up (kit, version 1, version 2) to see what was what. 




I think making v.2 was a good idea (dome dry fit).




With intake grill added...




Almost done on this freaken backpack!

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Getting closer to paint - and gathering ‘references’ for colours. So, on to YouTube to watch Super Dimensional Fortress Macross to screencap as many Brownie/Cannon Fodder VF-1A:










Plus some colour tips for the CF pilot:





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  • 2 weeks later...

Have made some more progress over the last few weeks, including paint tests using SMS paints. I’ve settled on Pilbara for the tan & CARC Brown for the hinges & ‘feet’. 




Very happy with proportions of the scratchbuilt backpack. 




Still lots of work to go. 

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