|Character Design||Shoji Kawamori|
Review by VF5SS
The VE-1 Elintseeker is a mysteriously popular VF-1. Seen for roughly five seconds in Macross: Do You Remember Love, it's origins lay within an even more obscure VF-1 variant, the VEFR-1, which has even less screen time than the VE-1. The VE-1 has been rendered in dozens of resin kits, a plastic kit, and even got its own level in the Macross Playstation 2 game. Perhaps it is its status as one of the rarer 1/55th scale VF-1 toys or perhaps it is the style of the design, which calls forth images of real life aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye and E-3 Sentry.
Personally, I think it's about the stuff.
What do I mean by stuff? Well, the VE-1 is notable in that among all VF-1 variants, it comes with a lot of radar equipment, antenna, boosters, and well... stuff. It has a big ol' radar dish over its head, two unique arm attachments, and other little details that make the VE-1 visually distinct and also just darn cool. Yamato's now prolific 1/60 scale VF-1 Valkyrie line has produced what might be the definitive VE-1 toy (of which there are only two others) because out of all the toys, it really gets the stuff right.
The unequipped VE-1 has a very basic color scheme that manages to capture the feeling of early 80's naval aviation. Out of all of the official VF-1 variants, the VE-1 looks like it would be right at home on the deck of the USS Kitty Hawk. In fighter mode, the figure is solid and detailed. You can pick it up and fly it around all you want. The base toy is almost identical to the VT-1 with the differences being the head and the lack of a fill-in piece on the backpack.
The VF-1's designer, Shoji Kawamori, cites the F-14 Tomcat as the basis for the VF-1. Thanks to its aforementioned colors and the two-seat cockpit, the VE-1 is the best realized example of a transformable F-14 style craft.
The VE-1 comes with two pilot figures, both with yellow highlights. The particular two-seat nose section, which the toy shares with the VT-1, is seen present with many of the earliest sketches for the VF-1. The toy features extensive tampo printing as shown here with the "071" numbering and small markings under the cockpit.
The chestplate of the toy features "INTAKE" and "RESCUE" markings.
Around the engine nozzles, you will find "VE-1" and "Beware of Blast" markings. Also the landing gear doors feature additional text.
The stuff is almost perfectly executed. Everything snaps in nice and tight and fits the figure extremely well no matter what mode you choose. All of the extra parts fit in the same manner as the previous VF-1 toys with the only new part being the manner in which the radar arm attaches. The folding tail section of the VE-1 has a cavity where the radar arm snaps in.
"Enemy ship is approaching. Course 107."
The booster section can be partially disassembled to show off its internal mechanisms.
The leg packs also feature a removable cover which reveals a nicely painted radar unit.
Gerwalk mode looks great on its own...
... and with the armor attached.
The fully equipped Battroid is an impressive piece. The radar arm extends to allow the dish to sit over the Battroid's head while the twin booster antenna can rotate to remain parallel to the ground. The toy comes with a set of gun holding hands, but no gunpod or missiles are included.
The armor itself has a couple of cool tricks. Normally the right arm attachment blocks the hand area.
Simply twist the sensor left or right to allow the hand room to flip out.
In fighter mode, the flexible sensor array faces towards the robot's shoulder while it faces towards the hand in Battroid mode. To accomplish this, the whole array can rotate on its mount.
And now for some VE-1 trivia.
The VE-1 normally carries no armament to minimize its threat profile.
VE-1 pilots are encouraged not to engage in close combat unless absolutely necessary.
VE-1 pilots are some of the best in the fleet.
The VE-1 is like a fine champagne. I mean, it costs about as much as a bottle of Dom...
There's not a whole lot I can say about Yamato's VF-1 series that hasn't already been said by the rest of the staff, but the VE-1 stands out from the pack due to its unique set of stuff. A great toy and a fitting addition to the VE-1 legend.
|Posted 26 December, 2009 - 11:44 by VF5SS|