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.
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.
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.
Back of the manual with all the instructions for decal placement. Then, in the book itself, we have three distinct sections:
1. Building Guide
2. 2 Colored Information Pages
3. Transformation Guide
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…
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.
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.
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.
The next step would be to use a Hobby Knife and to cut the piece off.
Even after using the Hobby Knife, sometimes, some marks or protrusions will remain.
Thus, the last step would be to use the sandpaper to sand down the surface until the piece looks like this:
…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.
On my first night after starting the build, this is 2-3 hours into it.
I used the base of the box as a ‘work area’ as it makes cleaning up a real breeze.
Day 1 – Main Body – Total Build Time: 6 Hours
Day 2 – Added Arms – Total Build Time: 7.5 Hours
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.
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
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.
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:
Simply gorgeous looking in all three modes.
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.
Some pics of the VF-25S with the Gunpod:
…and here are some more pictures of the VF-25S in various poses.
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. :)
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.
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
1. Remove the hands
2. Work on the Legs
Start by pushing together the thigh and the bottom section of the leg.
Flip open the panel on the side of the leg.
Flip out the fin and undo the lock inside which allows you to push in the foot.
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
Fold out the waist.
Lift the chest and fold out the front of the plane.
Fold up the nose cone and close the front landing gear hatch.
Collapse the face into the head by pushing up on the chin.
Lower the head into the body.
Rotate the shoulders down so that it is flush with the head and the rest of the body.
4. Work on the Arms
First, remove the shield from the VF’s left arm. It is connected via a simple peg.
Remove the connecting piece.
Then, store the knife in the Anime-accurate compartment in the shield. We’ll come back to this later on.
Straighten the arms and make them parallel to the body.
From the back, you can see that the shoulder pad aligns with the forearm.
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.
Here’s the back view.
5. Final Step
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!
Press the two thigh pieces closer into the waist.
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.
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.
So that everything fits nicely like so!
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.
Use the combined open palmed hands to stabilize the two arms. Place this palm up.
Slide the shield piece over the hands, flip up the tail fins and extend the wings.
COMPLETE!!! YEAH!!! The VF-25S is now in fighter mode.
6. Accessories and Miscellaneous Stuff
To make the plane look more plane like, we add the landing gears and the Gunpod.
Open the front landing gear hatch and plug the front landing gear into the hole.
Remove the two rear landing gear hatches and replace them with the open versions and insert the rear landing gears.
Now, for the Gunpod. Attatch the connecting pieces like so.
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.
We are well and truly done!
Top Coat and Panel Lines
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.
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
P.S. Where’s my VF-27 Model/Figure?