Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects


1/72 VF-1 Valkyrie Atmospheric Booster Kit Preview


By Joe "Gundamhead" Belding - images & text © 2004

Scale: 1/72 (for use with the Hasagawa VF-1 Valkyrie Fighters)
Parts: 19 resin, including parts to convert a Hasagawa VF-1 to fit the Booster
Instructions: 2 pages
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 9 - Minor flash, pour stubs, tiny air bubbles. Normal for a good resin kit.
Detail: 10 - Scribe work matches the Hasagawa style. Very nice.
Accuracy: 9 - Minor liberties taken, but excellent overall
MSRP: As of 12/2010: $104.95 USD (~$105.91 CAN/Ä 79.38 EUR ) plus shipping available from the Starship Modeler Store
Overall Rating: 9 - Very nice option for the VF-1 Valkyrie

[Boxart]

The Valkyrie Atmospheric Booster is from the old anime Macross for all of maybe a minute and a half. (Super Dimensional Fortress Macross- episode 30 'Viva Millia').

[Click to enlarge]

^ What you get

[Click to enlarge]

^ Nozzle, business end

[Click to enlarge]

^ Bottom booster half
Image: Top half, nozzle mount point

[Click to enlarge]

^ Engraved detail is the equal of Hasegawa's kit
Image: Detail, bottom booster half

Image: Mold seams are easily cleaned without sacrificing detail

[Click to enlarge]

^ Fit between Hasegawa kit and booster is excellent
Image: A little work in the leg hole will make it perfect

Image: Mating points between the kit and Hasegawa's

Image: Instructions, page 1

Image: Instructions, page 2


It is never shown in any great amount of detail, or shown again. Itís just neat eye candy for the opening sequence. None of which changes the fact that Macross fans, are rabid lunatics when it come to the VF-1. For the first time the Booster has been made available, sculpted by Mr. Moscoto, a professional modeler who happens to also be a rabid fan. I had to have one.

What You Get

I got a nice-sized package with gray resin parts excellently packaged. There are no instructions included, you can get them online and print them yourself. (As an aside, the instructions in Step 2 mention adding a Ďnozzle ringí to each nozzle, but my ring was part of the nozzles) The parts all have fine scribe work, and match the feel of the Hasagawa VF-1. There are a couple of tiny air bubbles to fill, and some seams to sand. Small amount of flash on certain pieces. This is part of any resin kitís characteristic, and is by no means meant as a complaint. It will take very little work to clean up.

There are 4 pieces that must be used on Hasagawaís VF-1 to allow it to mate to the Booster.

The resin is soft and very smooth. Be careful sanding, the detail is fine, and will vanish if you overdo it. Mine really needed a bath to get rid of the release agent, and I will probably use a very fine sandpaper over the whole kit to give the paint more bite. I worry that the surface is too smooth and the paint might want to flake. Iíd rather be safe.

I gave the top and bottom parts a very quick wash to try and highlight the detail better for the pictures.

Assembly

This is a pretty straightforward kit. Test fitting showed a perfect mate to the Hasagawa VF-1. (I used a VF-1 with full flaps and gear that I had already built just to demonstrate the fit, the VF-1 booster sits atop a launch vehicle with gear up and flaps neutral before it is launched) There is no glue used in any of my photos, just good fitting surfaces.

The parts to replace the Hasagawa kit parts are perfect fitting. DONíT FORGET THIS AS YOU START YOURS!

The roughest spot to clean will be where the Valkyrie exhaust nozzles (feet) slide into the bottom half of the booster. Mine were filled. The parts will fit like a glove when it gets cleaned out. There is also the possibility of removing some of the Hasagawa VF-1 nozzles to fit. Iím leaning more to cleaning up the resin personally.

My only other concern is the giant nozzles themselves. They are pretty heavy. I will probably pin mine to the model to add more support. However there is a nice big ball joint to glue them to.

Conclusions

Iím looking forward to digging into mine. Then of course there is the question of paint scheme. I dunno who or how Iím going to do mine as yet. Youíre on your own here. Maybe Onezero will inspire us with some new decals from the Starship Modeler store? Iím anxious to see the launch vehicle for this model. I hope they will create it. Us rabid fans will need to have that too.


Many thanks to Joe's wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
Read other reader's reviews of this kit      Submit your own review of this kit

Go back up | Mecha Index | Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Feedback

This page copyright © 2004 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 28 September 2004. Updated 11 December 2010