Little Armory FA-MAS

November 13, 2019 at 22:35 | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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Little Armory FA-MAS Assault Rifle

If I’m not mistaken, this Little Armory FA-MAS is the first bullpup assault rifle in the lineup. During assembly, you have a choice of a short or a medium length barrel. They’re not easily swappable, so once you’ve made your choice, it’s essentially permanent.
It also comes with a rifle grenade, a spare magazine, and a bipod. The ejection port cover can be placed either on the left or right side. I went with the usual combination of german gray, gunmetal & black for painting. The rocket was painted in Russian Green.

For a bullpup, it’s actually not much shorter than the M4A1.

Closeups and poses:

Final word:
I quite like the look of the Little Armory FA-MAS. It looks more bulky than the typical M4, and it has some interesting gimmicks like the rocket and bipod. The bipod consists of one stand on each side which can be flipped (very carefully) up or down.
The FA-MAS looks quite nice on the Skeleton, but not so much on the GM. The huge buttstock hinders some poses, and because of the bullpup design, only the thin barrel is prominently visible in most poses. Overall, the Little Armory FA-MAS kit is an OK kit; not bad, but not that interesting.

Wave 1/100 VF-1 Battroid

October 26, 2019 at 16:12 | Posted in Other scales | 1 Comment
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This is a non-transforming VF-1 Battroid kit by Wave. It says [Multiplex] on the box, which means that you can choose to build either one of these variants: VF-1A, J, or S. Apparently Wave previously made separate kits of those three variants. The only differences between them are the head and color scheme, shown below:

Wave also makes a non-transforming 1/100 VF-1 Fighter mode kit. There’s no VF-1 Gerwalk mode kit, but you can build one by combining parts from the Fighter and Battroid kits. For this build, I went for the VF-1J variant, the one with the white & red stripe color scheme.

Materials & methods:
This kit is made up of white plastic, with a few grey and clear parts. As alluded to earlier, you can build three types of heads corresponding to the different variants.
Also included in the kit is a sheet of waterslide decals with markings for each variant.
As I was snap-fitting, I was a bit surprised to see some parts were undergated, because they’re usually associated with metallic coated kits.
There were several parts with obvious seam lines, namely the forearms, thighs, knee joints, and the gun. Speaking of which, the gun grip and the trigger hand is molded in one piece of white plastic.

Because of the way the kit was designed, the knee and thighs were required a bit more planning. It went something like this:
Fix seam lines on the knee joints -> paint knee joints -> mask knee joints -> attach to thighs -> fix seam lines on the thighs.
The rest of the parts were less problematic. All parts were sprayed with grey surfacer, and then preshading lines were added using german gray. Colors used were as follows:
Feet, knees, intake vents: Gaianotes gunmetal
White parts: White + a bit of orange yellow
Gun: Mr Color FS36118
Red parts: Red + a bit of orange yellow
Black parts: Gaianotes pure black
I decided against using the included waterslide decals for the red and black parts and instead went for the painting & masking route. There were some parts that needed to be directly paint brushed, like the aforementioned gun grip, and some details at the wing tips. Once painting was done, I applied panel lines using grey enamel, applied decals, and finished with flat topcoat.


The range of motion is quite limited: only 90 degrees for the elbows and knees. But the leg can bend forwards a little bit, which can look slightly awkward.

The gun comes with a strap made of soft rubber-like material. There is a stand included, but no base to attach it to. Also comes with two open palms.

Due to the limited range of movement, there’s not many poses I can make.

In terms of size, it’s about the same with a typical HG 1/144 scale Gunpla.

My overall impression of this 1/100 VF-1 Battroid kit is that it’s akin to a HG kit from 10 years ago. The poses you can make are kind of limited, plenty of obvious seam lines, and painting is definitely required.
In other words, a lot of effort is needed to make it look good. Although articulation is not that great, I think the proportions are better than the fully transforming kits, like Bandai’s 1/72 VF-1. So at the very least it looks good just in a standing pose.
In summary, this kit consumed a lot more effort than I initially anticipated, and the overall quality is lagging behind Hasegawa & Bandai’s offerings. With a price around 3,000 yen, it’s also a bit pricey. The only thing that it’s got going are the nice level of surface details and good body proportions. Not recommended for beginners.

Hasegawa 1/72 VF-25G Messiah

October 2, 2019 at 21:48 | Posted in 1/72 scale | Leave a comment
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This is only my third aircraft model kit and my second Macross kit. This time it’s the VF-25G Messiah by Hasegawa. Unlike my previous Bandai VF-25s, this Hasegawa kit is an aircraft model, meaning it doesn’t transform into Batroid or Gerwalk modes.

The VF-25G is the blue colored Messiah in the Macross Frontier anime, but the whole point of this build is to custom paint it. I wanted to recreate the Ripsnorters color scheme from the VF-25 Variable Fighter Master File book:

Materials & methods:
Like most military plamo, all plastic parts are in the same color; in this case a purplish-blue hue. Unlike most Gunpla kits, some sort of planning is required to sort out the order in which to paint the various parts.
First thing to do was assemble and paint the inner part of the cockpit, including the seats and pilot. There’s an option to make it a two-seater, with Ranka Lee at the back. I opted for the single seater version.
I also decided against attaching the landing gears and instead opted to cover the landing gear bay. The kit comes with some accessories for the wings: 2 pairs of speakers, or 3×3 pairs of missiles. I chose neither and left the wing empty.
Metallic parts (thrusters, intake vents) were painted in gunmetal or burnt iron, and then masked (if necessary).
Then everything was assembled according to the manual. There’s a lot of panel lines on the model, so I made them slightly deeper by scraping them with the tip of a pin. This is to make the panel line washes more visible.
After masking the cockpit, the whole thing was primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 sprayed from an airbrush. Then I painted some preshading lines using black paint.
The order of painting went like this:
1. Paint the nose cone in white. Mask.
2. Paint the underside with Light Gull Grey. Mask.
3. Paint the top surface with Gaianotes Blue Grey.
4. For the black & white stripes, I first airbrushed white paint over the intended surfaces. Then I laid out 2mm strips of masking tape, followed by a spray of black paint.
Other parts were painted as follows:

  • Weapon: German gray
  • Tail rudder: Black
  • Feet: Gray FS36118
  • Cockpit canopy: Smoke gray
  • Wing strobe lights: Silver, then clear red/blue enamel
  • Clear parts near the cockpit: Clear red

After painting is complete, the next steps went like this: gloss topcoat -> decals -> gloss topcoat -> panel lining -> final flat topcoat.


Some closeup shots:

And finally some photos with the Bandai VF-25s:

And a rare scene of Messiahs docking in the wild

It’s a nice change of pace to build an aircraft model once in a while. Most of the effort spent on this kit involved painting and masking, but it was worth it.
The overall experience was less harrowing than my previous VF-25s Bandai kit, since there’s no transformation gimmick to worry about. There still some room for improvement in my detailing skills, but overall I’m pretty happy with the final output.

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