Review: VF-25S 1/72 Model from Macross Frontier by Bandai

img_4347

I must thank May’n for making an appearance at AFA08. If it wasn’t for her, I doubt I would have watched Macross Frontier. This is indeed an awesome show that any Macross and non-Macross fan alike must watch. So, like all other series I’ve seen and enjoyed, purchasing of related merchandise is sure to follow. This time, it’s Bandai’s VF-25S 1/72 Model.

This post will be detailed, as I love to be detailed, and will contain a ton of pictures. I go through my method of building, the figure’s transformation, features and accessories and lots of other fun things you need to see.


The main reason I got the VF-25S model kit and not the VF-25F is because I plan to get the DX Chogokin version of the VF-25F. Since the DX Chogokin figures were not released at that point in time yet (yes, I’m writing this much, much later), I got the model to satisfy my collector urges.

You need the tools of the trade! (^o^)

You need the tools of the trade! (^o^)

As seen above, I decided to make this VF-25S model the first ‘real’ model project I undertake. Along with this model, I got:

– Hobby Knife
– Gundam Cutter
– Cutting Board
– Sand paper

I got these stuff at a Model Shop called HOBBY ART GALLERY at Sunshine Plaza. Highly recommended store with great service. Model itself was bought at La Tendo at Kallang Leisure Center.

———

Contents

Smell that new model smell!

Smell that new model smell!

Opening the box, we are greeted with the usual runners, sticker sheet and a gorgeous looking Instruction Manual. Let’s take a look at the manual first.

img_4329

Cover.

img_4335

Back of the manual with all the instructions for decal placement. Then, in the book itself, we have three distinct sections:

1. Building Guide

img_4332

2. 2 Colored Information Pages

img_4330

img_4331

3. Transformation Guide

img_4333

This Instruction Manual is unlike other model booklets that I have come across and reminds me more of a Lego Instruction Manual for some reason… Ah, Bionicle memories flooding back…

img_4614

Sticker Sheet. Now, this is effort and consideration! Not only did they include a regular sticker sheet, they included another separate sheet of water decals as well! How kind.

———

Building

img_4071

Once all the model frames are laid out, only then will you realise the daunting task ahead of you. Just imagine, all the pieces will come together to form a complete, perfect figure.

Here are the following steps I took when I was building the model.

img_4076

First, I would cut a piece from the runner with the Gundam Clipper. As you can see, I didn’t cut all the way and left a bit of extra plastic sticking out of the piece.

img_4077

The next step would be to use a Hobby Knife and to cut the piece off.

img_4081

Even after using the Hobby Knife, sometimes, some marks or protrusions will remain.

img_4082

Thus, the last step would be to use the sandpaper to sand down the surface until the piece looks like this:

img_4080

…with a very smooth surface. (^o^)

I did mention before that I wanted to treat this as my first ‘real model’ so I was exceedingly careful with each and every piece. It took ages, in my opinion to complete the build. Let’s take a look at the process.

img_4084

On my first night after starting the build, this is 2-3 hours into it.

img_4168

I used the base of the box as a ‘work area’ as it makes cleaning up a real breeze.

img_4085

Day 1 – Main Body – Total Build Time: 6 Hours

img_4165

Day 2 – Added Arms – Total Build Time: 7.5 Hours

img_4170

Day 3 – Legs Added, ALL COMPLETE! – Total Build Time 11.5 Hours

YAY! Dekimashta! It took 11.5 hours to build and my sweat and blood went into making it. Literally. I actually cut myself accidentally once. Yeah.

———

Accessories

img_4172

Alright, here are the accessories the model comes with:

– 3 Pairs of Hands, one open, one grasping and one flat palmed.
– 1 Gunpod
– 1 Knife
– 3 Landing Gears
– 2 Open Landing Gear Hatches
– 5 different attachment parts

Gunpod

img_4241

img_4240

Like in the Anime, the Gunpod has a feature where the barrel can extend to fire a more powerful blast.

The other accessories such as the landing gear, will be covered in greater detail in the Transformation section.

———

The Model

I can haz cheeze fries?

I can haz cheeze fries?

Er, yeah. With the model complete, let’s take a look at it in detail before I show you the transformation process. Since the model is of a Macross Variable Fighter, it has all its three modes represented as well with great accuracy. We have:

img_4308

Fighter Mode

img_4214

Gerwalk Mode

I Is UnPaInTeD. Lolz.

Battloid Mode

Simply gorgeous looking in all three modes.

img_4220

I absolutely love the clear green plastic that is used for the eyes. For some strange reason, a metalic green sticker is supposed to go over the eyes, but I think I prefer the unadulterated translucent green version.

Closeup Pics:

img_4187

img_4180

img_4194

img_4178

Some pics of the VF-25S with the Gunpod:

img_4234

img_4238

img_4230

…and here are some more pictures of the VF-25S in various poses.

img_4193

img_4192

'Shield and Sword!'... Well, knife at least.

'Shield and Sword!'... Well, knife at least.

Man, there are so many pictures I took. It’s really hard for me to pick and choose which to put up, but putting them all up would be overkill. :)

———

Articulation

img_4237

How am I going to explain articulation? Let’s just say that you have full articulation in the arms, legs head. There’s even waist articulation, but only to a small extent. The only problem is that the top of the legs cannot be raised due to the fans on the top of the thighs and the sides of the waist.

———

Transformation!

Now, we come to the bulk of the post. The Transformation. In this section, I shall attempt to describe the entire transformation process form Battloid Mode to Fighter Mode. This took a LONG time to put together in terms of photography and writing. Hope you enjoy! (^o^)

Start – Battloid Mode

img_4261

1. Remove the hands

img_4263

2. Work on the Legs

img_4266

img_4268

Start by pushing together the thigh and the bottom section of the leg.

img_4269

Flip open the panel on the side of the leg.

img_4270

Flip out the fin and undo the lock inside which allows you to push in the foot.

img_4271

Close the foot, push it into the leg, replace the lock, close the panel and do the same to the other leg.

3. Work on the Main Body

img_4272

Fold out the waist.

img_4273

Lift the chest and fold out the front of the plane.

img_4274

Fold up the nose cone and close the front landing gear hatch.

img_4275

Collapse the face into the head by pushing up on the chin.

img_4276

Lower the head into the body.

img_4277

Rotate the shoulders down so that it is flush with the head and the rest of the body.

4. Work on the Arms

img_4284

First, remove the shield from the VF’s left arm. It is connected via a simple peg.

img_4285

Remove the connecting piece.

img_4288

Then, store the knife in the Anime-accurate compartment in the shield. We’ll come back to this later on.

img_4278

Straighten the arms and make them parallel to the body.

img_4279

From the back, you can see that the shoulder pad aligns with the forearm.

img_4280

Rotate the entire arm so that it fits below the site. The piece that connects the shoulder with the body fits snugly directly in front of the wing hinge.

img_4281

Here’s the back view.

5. Final Step

img_4283

Flip the waist section up and align the entire nose and cockpit section with the chest of the Battloid. Now, the plane’s coming together!

img_4295

Press the two thigh pieces closer into the waist.

img_4297

Collapse the waist piece below the front of the plane. Also, note that at this point, the two thigh pieces become the fans of the plane and align with the rest of the body.

img_4298

Last but not least, flip the two pieces that were at the sides of the thigh up to fit into the gaps at the sides of the plane’s body.

img_4301

So that everything fits nicely like so!

img_4304

We are almost there, first, ensure everything fits nicely and is in place. Notice how the contours of the legs fit with the contours of the wing pieces.

img_4306

Use the combined open palmed hands to stabilize the two arms. Place this palm up.

img_4307

Slide the shield piece over the hands, flip up the tail fins and extend the wings.

img_43081

COMPLETE!!! YEAH!!! The VF-25S is now in fighter mode.

6. Accessories and Miscellaneous Stuff

img_4313

To make the plane look more plane like, we add the landing gears and the Gunpod.

img_4316

Open the front landing gear hatch and plug the front landing gear into the hole.

img_4318

img_4321

Remove the two rear landing gear hatches and replace them with the open versions and insert the rear landing gears.

img_4322

Now, for the Gunpod. Attatch the connecting pieces like so.

img_4323

And connect the Gunpod to the base of the plane by placing the handle + connecting piece between the arms. The front piece is not needed and looks far too awkward.

FINALLY:

img_4324

We are well and truly done!

img_43251

img_4328

———

Top Coat and Panel Lines

img_4615

Along with the hobby supplies I bought from HOBBY ART GALLERY, I also got a can of Top Coat after acesan’s recommendation from the Vincent model review. What this does is to remove the gloss from the model and make it look ‘painted’ and somewhat ‘professional’. :)

As for panel lines, I don’t think I would be doing that. I have to use a black Gundam Marker, which I bought as well and highlight all the panel lines.

———

Conclusion

Strike a pose in celebration!

Strike a pose in celebration!

Wow, this took a long time to put together. :) But it was well worth it and I hope that you have enjoyed this review.

Now, what can I say about this model? It is absolutely fantastic. I can say with certainty that it is indeed an enjoyable model to build all the way from beginning to end. Once the model was complete, it looked simply outstanding and extremely accurate to the show. Articulation is absolutely phenomenal. The transformation is near flawless and pieces have not fallen off the model while transforming it. As can be seen from the pictures above, all the pieces fit very nicely and don’t have any noticeable gaps.

The only complaint I have, and this goes for every model is the STICKERS/DECALS. As this is a transforming figure/model, once the stickers are placed, transformation becomes extremely risky as moving parts would most likely cause the stickers to rub off/peel.

So, what the lady at the HOBBY ART GALLERY suggested, is to not touch the model after placing stickers on it and spraying the top coat. Since I will still want to play around with my model for some time, I don’t see that happening soon.

That is until I get my DX Chogokin VF-25F (which should be arriving any time this week).

I give this model 4.5/5: (^o^) (^o^) (^o^) (^o^) (^c

———

My absolute favourite VF. Period.

My absolute favourite VF. Period.

P.S. Where’s my VF-27 Model/Figure?

19 Responses to Review: VF-25S 1/72 Model from Macross Frontier by Bandai

  1. Awsome !!i see why it took so long amzing detail you put in you should see my vincent commander it seems so easy to this and that 1 has pices of glue and tape all over it and my vincent gold ver is completly recked

    what tools would you recomend to make somthinglike this other than the 1s u have already

  2. acesan says:

    Great!!! This as an excellent model, and it’s definitely a lot more work, but rewardingthan simply purchasing a completed figure. Looks like you have done well, and your modelling technique has evolved since your earlier ones!

    In terms of decals, I do believe that if you spray top coat over it, the decals are less likely to be damaged by transforming it, same with panel lines.

    I haven’t seen that brand of top coat before – I do suggest you test it on a few spare pieces of plastic (or another model you don’t care about), before you spray it on your pride and joy. I have seen a few modelers make mistakes before (wrong brand, wrong weather) where teh top coat could turn out snowy and ruin your model.

    If this happens it is a LOT of work to remove, and you would probably have to use paint to cover it, and it is very hard to find exact shades of colors that this model comes in, unless you mix it up and airbrush it.

  3. Alan says:

    Fantastic Work, you flashed the model really good! I highly recommend if you do intend to paint it, to paint the kit with your own colors:) maybe make some custom decals..

    VF-25S Actars Custom anyone?

  4. Shin says:

    Never bothered with gunpla since it’s such a pain and requires too much dedication on my part.

  5. ld2062 says:

    Thanks for the post. I’m planing on getting some of this series’s models myself and its great to see what they’re actually like. I love that they give a full set of water decals and stickers.

  6. Tiny Red Man says:

    wow, it looks absolutely coool!! hmm, how about an actar’s review on the transformation part? it would be awesome.

    and good job there ^_^

  7. Actar says:

    @ Tiny Red Man: Ooh! Your wish shall be fulfilled either today or within the week. :)

  8. eyeshield30 says:

    Hei! What an awesome review you have here! Thanks to your review, i didn’t have any doubt again on this model and purchase it yesterday. Now, i’m waiting this guy to come anytime ^^

  9. glenn lee says:

    Hey Actar.Did’nt you detail the model kit.Big deal you finished assembling the kit in 11 hours.You did’nt black out the lines of the canopy,you did’nt stick the decal on to the model and most of all ,you did’nt paint anything.What’s the point of making model kits if you are not going into details.You may as well buy the toy .Next time ,when you say you’re into details, please do mean it!!!!!

  10. Actar says:

    @ glenn lee: Considering that I’m a noob at modeling, I’d be glad that I already know terms like panel lining, decals and top coat.

    Do be nicer when putting forth your points as I’m not doing this for your sake. I’m making a review for my own enjoyment and out of love for the Macross series and the model.

    When I meant details, how was I supposed to know that people like you would expect everything to be finished? I meant details in the building, sculpt and transformation.

    Please be polite and understand the position I’m in. Also, please have proper punctuation.

  11. eyeshield30 says:

    Hi, are you already applying the decals. They sure just pain in ass ^^;
    i dunno why but, mine is almost always got peeled off and got torn apart. Sob. Do you have any suggestion? Maybe need some Top Coat?

  12. jediwalker says:

    Hi, thanks for putting such a good and detailed review. I am considering if I should get this model or the ready made one, especially since my first experiment at building models turn out poorly (esp the decals, how on earth to get them properly attached??). Hopefully, you’ll put up a post where you can show the process. Thanks again and have a nice day;)

  13. Paliodor says:

    Great review. Right now I’m thinking about buying one of the Valkyrie unit from Macross Frontier and probably will get Alto unit. But Ozma’s also nice looking.

  14. This has been great, you are very talented!

  15. Mohan says:

    Hi there,

    Actar me being from India, i m really glad to see these reviews about these wonderful creations because Macross Frontier has never been shown here nor any collectibles are available or for that matter Bandai has no presence here,so the only source for us Macross Fans from India is The Web,HLJ,e-bay and reviews by collectors like you,and might i add you have done an excellent passionate job,and since you have lots off kits done and have had such a good and long experience,i would really like your opinion on something,My Bandai 1/72 Vf-25g model kit’s wing just broke off once the super pack was put on.One fine day it just broke off and fell from the hinges,the broken piece was like clean cut…please can you tell me if it has happened earlier to you or to any other collectors,because i have another set of 1/72 vf-25s Ozma model kit and i was planning to put the super pack on him too.So i would really appreciate if you could let me know.

    thank you

  16. otakunick89 says:

    Im thinking on geting the havvy armor vertion of this kit and was wondering if you cude do a vidio review of the bace kit so I can see in acton what i mite be abol to espect

  17. […] Review: VF-25S 1/72 Model from Macross Frontier by Bandai …Size of about 150mm. NON Scale plastic model kit. サイズ約150mm NONスケール プラスチックモデルキット. Additional Information may be provided by the … […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: