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
Comments6 comments posted
I just built a Hasegawa VF-1D and the cockpit area is totally different from the standard VF-1. I don't know whether that's Hasegawa fictionalizing, though. The Hase kit eliminates the speed-brake and makes the whole cockpit section longer to accomodate the second seat; from the looks of things, this Arii kit keeps everything the same and just uses a different cockpit "tray" with the second seat crammed in the back.
I'd like to get a closer look at that head. It actually looks more interesting than the actual version which looks more like a VF-1J retread.
I just couldn't get a good focused shot of the head with all that chrome. I know many of these early Arii Macross kits from 82-83 rushed into production and perhaps it was a early drawing that made it into production.
I'm not sure if even the VF-1D had a speed break, but it seems according to your view of the Hasagawa kit that they actually changed the body of the kit and stretched out the nose to fit both seats. I would like to see a review of that kit! I just bought the VF-1A strike Valkyries in 1/72 and I should have a review of the Imai VF-1D transforming kit up in the next few weeks. I most likely will not build the VF-1D kit you have as it seems I've been building VF-1D kits my entire life! ha ha.
I think Arii created a separate tube so they just need to replace the mold for just the head and nose and have a one kit fits all body for the aircrafts.
We'll fight them on the Beaches!
You're probably right about Arii's plan; when you're making small toys for the low-end market, you take any cost savings you can get.
Actually, the Arii head almost looks like a VF-1A head with two lasers stuck on it. I think for my next kit I'll try to bash that; call it a "VF-1A Plus".
The Hase VF-1D does not have a speed brake, and the two "spine" blade antenna are arranged side-by-side instead of in line. The overall fighter is the same length, but the cockpit extends further back into the main body.
I think you'll like the Hase 1/72 kits; they're very easy to build. And painting couldn't be simpler--all of the trim decorations are decals! Almost all you have to paint is the base color.
The Hase VF-1D includes an entire VF-1 (non-Super) kit, and you wind up not using big chunks of it (cockpit+nose, and body.) That's probably why it's only ever a limited-production item.
You nailed it about the head on this kit, I was going to describe it as VF-1A with two laser pointers instead of one, next time I photograph I'll try to get a close-up of the head for you.
I'm very close to finishing the Imai VF-1D and I'll get started on the Strike Valkyrie, I'm going to build Hikaru's from DYRL. I'm not only going to review the kit but the photoetche set, missle set and Valkyrie stands for a full review of putting these Hasagawa kits together. I love Hasagawa kits as I've been building 1/72 scale aircraft kits for years and very much Hasa is a world leader in that scale, so I know it's going to be a good and fun build.
Hasagawa is known for their limited edition kits...I don't know why they do it, but if you spend all that money on a mold wouldn't you want to keep it in production as long as you can?
But when it comes down to it it's time for a 1/48 scale Valkyrie!!!!
We'll fight them on the Beaches!
I've used all that stuff; the photoetch set adds some detail to the "vertical" sides that couldn't be detailed because of the mold geometry. Also, there are a couple of places where some raised detail would go over a seam, and filling the seam is tricky without obliterating the detail; the photoetch has pieces to replace those details, so you can sand it all flat without worrying. And there's also a little vent grill assembly for the tail unit that DRIVES ME CRAZY whenever I build it.
The weapons set is pretty straightforward; good detail, no real surprises in what you see. It's the same level of quality as the Valkyries themselves.
The detail stand is actually not so great--back when it came out it was neat because there wasn't really anything like it, but now there are plenty of "display stand" products on the market and the Hase stand doesn't look as good. It's too detailed to be plain and understated, but the detail isn't good enough to compete with the "Mechanical Chain Base" and things of that ilk.
I'm definitely hoping for a 1/48 VF-1, but I think that Yamato pretty much has that market covered.
Thanks for the headsup on the photoetch parts. I figured most of the details were for the intakes or flaps. I particularly don't like the stands as there is nothing really similiar to the stands in Macross. It would of been great if they made it like the DYRL ARMD-1 and connect to the boosters, not only that they particularly look oversized when you put a non strike/super valkyrie on one of the stands.....but hey that's what DX reviews are for!
You should write up a review for DX I would love to see some of your work!
We'll fight them on the Beaches!