VF-1D Metalize Custom 1/100
Review by Showapop
Arii Metalized Custom VF-1D 1/100
(For my review of the building and scale issues with this kit please read my Arii 1/100 VF-1A review, as it is the same kit with a different head detail and without the chrome plating.
There is something about toy and model collectors that when a manufacture reissues a product in chrome or clear, we just lose it. We could be perfectly content with our collection and be about our business but as soon as we glance at a chrome reissue of a toy we already have we are drooling fools.
I do not know what it is; maybe it is a sign of respect of our hobby to show other hobbies. It’s like saying “Hey, we have a respectable hobby as well, look they even mold our toys in chrome!” Maybe its because it looks cool! regardless of what ever reason it is chrome plated toys are usually the rarest, most expensive variations and centerpiece of a collection as usually they are limited issue or mail order exclusives.
Arii picked five model kits from their 1/100 Super Dimensional Space Fortress Macross line and plated them in blue tinted chrome. These included A Battroid VF-1S, Destroids Defender, Destroid Spartan, Gerwalk VF-1J and this Fighter VF-1D. I do not know how limited edition these kits were but I do know the Valkyrie fighter was fairly common back in the 80’s and 90’s but the other four are quite rare as the only other kit I have managed to locate is the Spartan.
When building this kit remember that glue does not stick to plastic chrome plating well, so the main issue when building this kit is making sure you scrape off all the plating with an x-acto blade in the areas about to be glued before building as your model will fall apart if you don’t. Trust me I found out the hard way all those years ago when I originally built this kit when I was a kid in the 80’s and the kit kept falling apart! I am surprised I still have as many pieces of the kit as I do.
I purchased this kit on clearance at a great, but no longer in business, hobby shop called The Hobby Hut in Upland California for $6.00 in the 1980’s. The Hobby Hut stocked a lot of great anime, airplane and military kits at great prices and it was a huge loses when they closed down. Not only that the Hobby Hut has got to be the greatest hobby shop name ever!
I am not particularly fond of the box art of this series as its very boring and the picture of the model could have been framed better.
There are some details with this kit that work and others that do not. For one thing the one of the main themes in building model kits is filling the seems in and with the chrome plating one simply can not fill in and sand the seams as the unique chrome finish can not be duplicated. You could use Testors Metalizer or Alclad metal finish but it would not match the chrome finish of the kit. Metal finishes are the hardest paint finishes to duplicate on model kits and it would be much easier to just buy an unplated kit and spray it with Alclad or Metalizer, which kind of defeats the purpose of a chrome plated kit to begin with. So if you are going to build it understand the seams are going to be part of the kit when it is finished.
The kit is very much built out of the box with the only painting I did is on the window frames, which I laid down with a flat black and sprayed again with Testors Steel Metalizer. I decided to build the model the kit without the missiles attached to the wings for a more streamlined look. I bought and originally build this kit in the 80’s and recently put it all back together for this review. Some of the bluing in the chrome plating has lost its luster over the years but it still looks quite good considering that issue.
One final interesting and never talked about feature of this kit and the regular VF-1D kit. It is NOT the same head as seen in Macross TV show in the first couple of episodes. It is a unique VF-1D head only seen on this kit and not seen anywhere else. It’s rounded in the front with the top portioned of the green lens sitting in the front top corner of he head as opposed to the more familiar VF-1D where the lens are on the front of the head. I can only assume that its bottom lens is on a rounded bottom corner edge but as it is not seen I can only guess. Also the side lasers sit in top of the head as opposed to the side of the head like the normal VF-1D. A very cool feature that I cannot believe has been discussed with Macross fans in more detail.
Other the glaring seams issue this is a nice quick kit to build and display on your Macross shelf. The build time is about three hours, most of the time spent scraping the chrome off the parts in preparation to build the kit. And if you do not paint the window frames it’s even a quicker build. This is a great model to build for the beginner, as there is really nothing to paint although you have to be extremely careful not to get glue on the chrome parts. Keep in mind that this entire series has not been reissued and they are much harder to find unbuilt these days.
And because its chrome I’m sure you’ll get a lot of discussion and remarks from other collectors and casual fans about that shinny Chrome Valkyrie on your shelf.
Leonardo Flores “ModCineaste” Copyright 2008
|Posted 13 July, 2008 - 00:02 by Showapop|