Bandai’s Macross/Robotech “VF-1S Variable Valkyrie” Model Kit
In 1985, I fell in love with Robotech. I know it’s a polarizing subject among some anime fans, but I’m still a fan to-this-day. So, fair warning, rather than slash everything like, Valkyrie/Varitech, I’m just going to refer to things by their Robotech names. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was to build models of the Veritech fighter, and the Cyclone motorcycle mecha. Unfortunately, the kits are imported from Japan, and are usually pretty expensive, as models go. Several months ago, I managed to find a good deal on a Bandai kit of Roy Fokker’s and Rick Hunter’s “Skull 1”, the VF-1S. Even better, the thing transforms – kind of.
Bandai has done a wonderful job with the kit. Different pieces are molded in their appropriate colors, so painting the model can be kept to a minimum. The plastic itself is high quality, without that cheap plasticky shine, further minimizing the need for paints. There a lots and lots and lots of decals, many are extremely small – be warned. Most of the decals are also offered as stickers, if you’d rather go that route. To top things off, the pieces are molded so well, you’ll barely need any glue, if any at all. The quality-control, and the fit of the pieces is amazing.
There are hundreds of pieces to the VF-1S Veritech model, and the build is pretty complicated. Many of the pieces require very precise placements, and – again – without glue. Many of the pieces are small, thin, and have the structural-integrity of a hummingbird’s rib. All told, it took me many sessions, over several days, to finish the model. Probably 40% of that time was spent setting the decals.
Many of the decals, especially the top of the wings and the sides of the fuselage, are like little mosaics. The “U.N. Spacy” stripe down the engine is one, long, decal. On the other hand, the stripe with the Robotech Defense Force logo, just below the cockpit, is made up of, at least, 4 or 5 separate decals that have to fit perfectly together. It was not an easy task, to be sure.
While the model is transformable, it is not a transformer. Meaning, you more-or-less have to take some of it apart, and put it back together to represent a different operating mode. The model is also not terribly stable. Those balance issues are really compounded when having the model try to hold onto the rifle. “Fighter” mode is the easiest, and, I think, safest way to display the model. In the photos below, I have it in “Guardian” mode, and that took about 15-20 minutes. I tried getting “Battloid” mode to work, but the things kept falling over, and I gave up after 20 minutes. Sorry. While the model does transform, my advice is to build it in whatever mode you want to display it in, and leave it alone.
Making the Bandai VF-1S Veritech model was a lot of fun, and also occasionally frustrating. While the build can be a challenge, the entire kit just oozes quality – from the pieces, to the decals and the instructions. If you are a Robotech or Macross fan, and a modeler, you should pick one up.
- High quality kit all around.
- Very well molded pieces – you may not need paint, you almost certainly will need little or no glue.
- Results in a very good looking, and highly detailed model.
- Not a build for newbies or the faint-of-heart.
Verdict = Recommended.
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