I’ve had this kit since June last year, just sitting on my shelf waiting and waiting and waiting…. I’d previously built the VF-1 and had a bad time of it. I’m reliably informed the Macross Frontier kits are better, so I thought it time to give it a go. It’s got a nice big box, a stand, stickers and water slides, and about half the manual is dedicated to the transformation sequence. I started with these nice thrusters, undercoating with Alclad gloss black, with Alclad brass on the inside (and on the feet pieces) and gold on the outside. Here’s a close-up of one of the feet. The plastic was a dark brass-like colour, so once this first layer of paint was dry I did a quick coat of Future Finish, let that dry then masked the edge trim so that the main part could get a layer of Tamiya smoke to darken it down. For the light grey pieces, I just went with the Alcald grey undercoat. Future Finish went on top so that I could panel line and work on the water slide decals. The circular decal in the middle does not sit well, so I used a few drops of Tamiya X20 thinner to soften the decal. That worked well enough, but be careful as too much will melt the decal and any movement of it will tear. I sealed that in with more Future Finish to allow me to safely work on the other side which is what we see above. I’ve just added the drop of X20 and I’m waiting for it to dry. These pieces are a darker grey and as I’m going bold on the colours, I used a grey quite a bit darker than the plastic. I used Tamiya smoke on the detail sections to darken them up and a black oil wash for the panel lines and details. These pieces are in the middle of having their oil was done. You can see where I’ve used the very fine brush to add it to all those indents and I’m waiting for it to dry enough so that I can just rub off the excess with my thumb. These missiles were fun, with small polycaps to allow their rocket motors to pivot. For the gold ends I’m trying out the Vallejo liquid gold paints. They’re quite nice, but have larger metallic particles than what you see in the Alclad gold so go on a smidgen chunky. That said, they look pretty good. The grey sections above are just done with the Alclad grey undercoat and some Tamiya weathering master for the shading. The metal pieces below are done with Vallejo liquid silver. I managed to spill half the bottle due to the stupid child-proof lid. The silver is quite chunky, but produced a nice enough result when dry. A top coat of Future Finish allowed me to do an oil wash for the details. I brought out the Tamiya purple for these pieces. There’s some visible seam lines on the guns, so I pre-assembled, undercoated and sanded before painting. A black oil wash brings out the details. The colour is more vivid than the box-art, and I’m happy with that as I’m going for a bold colour scheme. These red pieces came out absolutely delicious! I used my usual recipe of Createx pearl red with a coat of Tamiya clear red on top. I used a white oil wash for the details on the missiles, and a black oil wash for the other parts. Some detail work with Tamiya smoke completes the painting.Remember I said that I’d masked the feet pieces. Well here they are after the Tamiya smoke had dried and the masking tape removed. I really like this brass look and leaving the trim shiny just sells the effect.
I’ve got some decisions to make on the rest of the armour pieces. The plastic and box art show a very dark grey/blue, but I’m going to go for something bold. I have some Tamiya metallic blue to try and I might go with that, or perhaps Createx pearl blue with Tamiya smoke on top. Either way, I’m going to make them a more obvious blue. The white armour pieces will just be white – nothing special there!
Now here’s where keeping a blog comes in handy – I was able to look at my finished kits and see which dark blue I like, and the wing sections of the RG Strike Freedom still look fantastic, so looking back through my posts I see: ” The darker blue is a rather experimental combination: Tamiya gunmetal, Tamiya clear blue, Tamiya smoke, then Createx clear blue on top because the colour still wasn’t dark enough. The Createx clear blue went on slightly mottled and I love the effect.” which reminds me of exactly how I achieved the effect. I’m wondering if doing the Createx clear blue over the gunmetal will work better though. I guess there’s only one way to find out….