Type-99 Cosmo Falcon - Shinohara
Review by Rob
The Type-99 “Cosmo Falcon” is one of the new model kits produced by Bandai from “Space Battleship Yamato 2199,” the 2012 remake of the Leiji Matsumoto classic television and film series, known in the United States as “Star Blazers.”
The Type-99 Space Fighter Attack Craft “Cosmo Falcon” is one of the few aircrafts deployed aboard the United Nations Cosmo Navy vessel, the titular Space Battleship Yamato and one of the modern inventions for “2199” along with a number of additions to the Yamato’s crew manifest.
Since I’m not as familiar with “Yamato” as I am “Gundam,” I asked CollectionDX’s Yamato veteran, JoshB and our site’s resident aircraft expert, VFS5 about the design.
According to Josh, the Type-99 fighter is an updated replacement for the Yamato’s “Cosmo Tigers” squadron and the successor to the Type-0 Model 52 “Cosmo Zero.”
Despite being something almost entirely new, the Cosmo Falcon keeps with the retro style to match the original series.
As such from what I learned through VFS5, the Cosmo Falcon bears a resemblance to a classic supersonic jet; the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger for its wing and tailfin design.
At the same time, some of its design elements are lifted from modern aircrafts such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor for its wide fuselage, vectoring nozzles and opening panels.
Overall, the fighter retains a classic look and is built with the most up-to-date representation of aerodynamic engineering.
Produced by Bandai, the 1:72 scale Cosmo Falcon comes molded in full color plastic and is designed to the same level of quality as their Gundam model kits.
Even though the series has not fully made it over to the United States, the models brought overseas by Bluefin Distribution have decals on their boxes covering the “Yamato” title with its domestic name ”Star Blazers 2199.”
On the other hand, the Cosmo Falcon’s construction manual remains unchanged from its original language and series title.
Out of the box, the Cosmo Falcon is comprised of six multicolor PS plastic runners. The “A” Runner is done in Bandai’s patented ‘multi-gate system injection’ process with multiple colors on one parts tree.
The kit comes with a seventh runner containing the parts to build a variation of Bandai’s “Action Base 2” with a different display base and mounting cradle for the completed model kit.
Instead of making just one model kit and requiring builders to fill in the proper colors with paint and decals, each of the Cosmo Falcons are colored according to their individual pilots.
To recreate each pilot’s customized markings, the models come packaged with a sheet of waterslide decals which are to some extent optional, but still add some dimension of character to the plastic plane.
This model is meant to be piloted by the Yamato Air Force vice-leader Hiroki Shinohara, but the colors of the Type-99 represent the entire Yamato Squadron.
Molded in dark blue, black, dull gray, white, and yellow colored plastic, the Cosmo Falcon’s color pattern is reminiscent of the Blue Angels acrobatic team.
The model is mostly a snap-together kit but there are several small parts that require being glued together such as the missiles, ejector racks, and lights on the nosecone. It is at this point that the model begins to show itself as a project for seasoned builders.
Although Bandai’s multicolored injection process removes the need to dramatically alter the appearance of the aircraft, it has many details that need to be painted.
For this model, like most of my Gundams, I used my traditional Testors Model Master Acryl paints before airbrushing it with an acrylic semi-gloss clear coat.
The 1/72 scale figures of its pilot were molded in white plastic that I repainted with “Flat Black,” “Insignia Yellow” and “Clear Green,” with a mix of pale skin tones and “Leather” for Shinohara’s face and hair.
The undersides of the Cosmo Falcon’s wings are meant to be colored in the same light gray as the rest of the fighter’s underbelly, but the parts are so flatly molded in the blue plastic.
To paint them, I started with a light coat of “Gray Primer” followed by a mixture of “Light Gray” and “Dark Gray F-15.”
I also used this mix to correct the color of the intake and exhaust vents on the plane’s belly as well as the two plates that sandwich the vectoring nozzles.
Instead of using the decals that came with the model, I decided to use some black paint across the back of the wings from the ailerons to the wing tips.
The canopy and the two forward running lights on the nosecone are molded in colorless clear plastic. While I painted the running lights with “Clear Green” acryl, I left the canopy uncolored and painted its framing to match the fighter’s body with a mix of “Dark Gray F-15” and “Cobalt Blue” that I also used on the exhaust vents on the back of the plane as well.
For other points on the aircraft such as the air intakes on its back, the maneuvering thrusters on its sides and underbelly, I opted to paint with “Gunship Gray” and used this same paint on the inside of the cockpit, which is molded in the model’s black plastic.
Thanks to Bandai’s precision color molding, the completed model hides its parts’ seams along its paneling that blend together with each change in plastic color.
While the model’s use of multicolored plastic parts is impressive it can also be a little intimidating with some of the finer details.
Inside the cockpit are the model’s smallest parts with the individually molded flight stick and dashboard heads up display.
The extremely fine molded parts on the fuselage around the intake vents on its back are delicately thin compared to the injection sprue on the same point.
One of the drawbacks to the precision of its molding was the excess skin that was hanging from the needle point tips that needed to be shaved down.
When fully built, the Cosmo Falcon measures eight inches long from its nosecone to tailfin.
For a model from a company that almost produces exclusively robots, the Cosmo Falcon has many details as though it were an actual aircraft instead of a fictional space fighter.
The Cosmo Falcon’s shape is very smooth and slim, with aerodynamic curves that make it stand out from other space age aircrafts.
The completed kit has no major moving parts save for its vectoring nozzles which are hinged to open and close in order to mimic thruster output.
Assembling the vectoring nozzles was one of the obnoxious points about building the Cosmo Falcon, as the two plates that hold the parts together kept shifting whenever I tried pressing them together.
One of the main assemblies of the Cosmo Falcon I found interesting were the wings.
Due to how thin the parts are, the yellow trim fits directly to the plane body without connecting to the wings.
When finished, the parts just float against each other and make contact along their edges.
While they fit firmly enough, applying a little glue between the seams will help keep the parts from shifting apart.
Instead of opening bays doors, the model comes with alternate parts for the landing gear and payload rather than having articulated assemblies.
Before I could test out swapping the parts, I discovered the hard way that the closed bay doors would not come out once I had fit them into place.
Although I could chalk this up as my own error, this seems almost intentional to me.
From the way the closed bay part fit, the Cosmo Falcon was designed as a “build it one way or the other” kind of model with regards to having either open missile bays or deployed landing gear.
This same concept extends to the Cosmo Falcon’s artillery.
The Cosmo Falcon is armed with two types of missiles. There are a total of twelve; six of each that are molded into twenty four split halves that need to be glued together.
The model cannot carry all of the missiles at one time and their number serves more as an assortment for the Cosmo Falcon rather than a bloated payload.
If the model had come with four ejector racks instead of two, then it could carry all twelve.
Instead, the Cosmo Falcon can only carry up to eight missiles at once; with two missiles in the open bays on the belly of the aircraft and six on the ejector racks on the under the wings.
The interconnecting points between the missiles and the ejector racks are shallow and the parts need to be glued together before they can be glued with the Cosmo Falcon’s wings.
I started to work on repainting the missiles after I made a mistake while gluing them together and detailing them, but for right now chose to skip on them for the review.
Personally, I like the look of the Cosmo Falcon without them.
To display the Cosmo Falcon, the model comes with a set of detachable landing gear parts and a display base.
Using the landing gear is exactly the same as the using open missile bays. The model comes with alternate parts of the landing gear fixed in the open position that replace the closed panels for when the Cosmo Falcon is airborne.
The display base is built with the same crane arm from Bandai’s Action Base 2 made for their 1:144 scale Gunpla, and the assembly works perfectly well with the 1:72 scale Space Fighter.
The main base plate is molded with a raised plaque for applying the decal of the Type-99’s mechanical specs and there is surface space above it for the Cosmo Falcon’s squadron badge.
The Cosmo Falcon mounts onto the display base using a peg port that is hidden behind a key plate on the belly of the plane.
The mounting point on the display stanchion is articulated, and has a locking extension arm to allow even more dynamic angles for showing off the completed model.
“I’m so used to building things with legs…”
Overall, the Type-99 Cosmo Falcon is a superb aircraft model kit and was a lot of fun to build. However I found myself with a number of issues from the model’s design and my own limited experience with models like this.
The model’s waterslide decals gave me some trouble, as the ‘shark face’ decal for the nose completely ripped apart as I was applying it and a number of the other markings just peeled and flaked away.
This was mostly my error because I did not let the decals soak long enough, or so I thought. On the other hand, the way the ‘shark face’ ripped was out of my control despite how gently I tried to handle it.
What I found most annoying with this model were the parts that need to be glued together.
While I have no problems with using glue on snap-together model kits, the lights on the Cosmo Falcon’s nosecone have no interlocking point with the model.
This left me spending more time on getting the parts to line up with the contours of the plane as the glue dried.
A novice builder could easily work on the Cosmo Falcon right out of the box and have it finished between a few minutes to a couple hours. However, I feel that this kit is really designed for more experienced builders who can spend more effort and time in its construction.
Regardless of how I handled this model, the Cosmo Falcon is an exceptionally well crafted model kit for a much celebrated series!
This Sample was provided by Bluefin Distributors and is now available at Amazon and other domestic retailers!
|Posted 23 April, 2014 - 14:26 by Rob|