Still thankful that my weekend was wasted

What is supposed to be a good and comfortable weekend turned out to be a total waste and inconvenience for me when the tropical storm “ondoy” directly hit our place.

2 days ago(Saturday, September 26, 2009), I woke up past 10am and the rain is really pouring heavy outside. I went down the stairs and my sleepiness disappeared after seeing the rain water is already entering our house, so I quickly brought to the 2nd floor anything that needs to get lifted away from the incoming flood.

A few hours later, flood water in our 1st floor is already around 4 inches deep and even deeper outside, going out is impossible unless you want to get wet. I felt disappointed because I was really looking forward to my kendo training that day and I knew I could no longer do that. Then around 3pm, the power supply in our neighborhood was ceased and that means no computer and no TV for me to enjoy, I even forgot to recharge my mobile phone and my PSP since I wasn’t really expecting any power interruptions and floods. The rain showed no signs of weakening, the rain kept pouring until the flood got deeper and deeper that it became the deepest flood I can remember that happened in our place.

The next morning, the rain stopped and the flood water slowly disappeared. So we spent most of the time cleaning the floor and returning the things we took upstairs.

My whole weekend was totally wasted and I was really mad because of that, it was like I spent the whole weekend inside our house with no electricity. Around afternoon, the power went back and we all watched TV to know what exactly happened. To my surprise, it was a really powerful storm and I saw some place that was really damaged by the flood. Death reports are high and many people lost their houses and livelihood. That’s when I realize that compared to those unfortunate ones, I can still consider myself lucky since I didn’t really lost anything big so I guess I should still be thankful for that.

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A look at yamato’s 1/60 DYRL? VF-1S Hikaru Ichijo valkyrie

After a long time thinking about it, I finally decided to get one of yamato’s V2 1/60 scale valkyrie. I got the VF-1S Hikaru Ichijo model as it appeared in the macross movie Do You Remember Love?

box

BOX

The box front cover can be lifted to reveal whats inside.

The box front cover can be lifted to reveal what's inside.

Before buying it, I checked out other macross producer brands like toynami and bandai. But yamato seems to be the most recommended brand by collectors and I myself find their products more closer to the anime in terms of looks.

Why V2?

V2 stands for version 2(I think it’s unofficially labeled by collectors). A few years ago, yamato released the V1 which is obviously version 1. Based from my research, the v1 is inferior to the v2 in terms of transformation because the v1 required removal of some parts(like the legs) in order to transform plus, the v1 looks bad compared to the v2. Both are in 1/60 scale so v2 series is the successor to the v1 series.

Background Info

The video below is the opening of the ps1/sega saturn game “macross: do you remember love”(same title as the movie).  The video shows Hikaru launching from a carrier(It is said that the ship is prometheus).

Hikaru flew a VF-1A in the video, I just wanted to share some footage showing his red color scheme.

yamatos 1/60 scale VF-1S with Hikaru color scheme

yamato's 1/60 scale VF-1S with Hikaru color scheme

The VF-1s features Hikaru’s own unique color scheme. This model is only shown in Do You Remember Love? movie which is an alternate version of the series SDF macross and has some minor differences in story and mechas used by the characters.

In the movie, Hikaru initially had a VF-1A(with the same red color) instead of the iconic VF-1J he was more known using. Roy, the leader of the famous elite skull squadron is using a VF-1S with his yellow color scheme, Max and Kakizaki also had a VF-1A(Max was later seen pilotting a blue VF-1S as skull leader fighting Millia). At the middle of the story, Roy sacrificed himself and died to save Hikaru and Misa and soon Hikaru gained the position as leader of the skull squadron after Max, the 2nd skull leader disappeared(became a zentran) and was issued a new VF-1S(in the series, he simply inherited Roy’s yellow VF-1S and he succeeded Roy instead of Max).

The skull squadron logo on Hikarus VF-1S

The skull squadron logo on Hikaru's VF-1S

About the package

The package comes bundled with:

  • 1 VF-1S transformable valkyrie model in 1/60 scale.
  • 4 sets of missiles(3 missiles per set).
  • 4 sets of missile pods.
  • A pair of fixed pose hands(can replace the standard articulated hands).
  • 1 small Hikaru Ichijo model(to be placed inside the cockpit.
  • Some attachment clips(for attaching the cockpit part and attaching the toy to the seperately sold stand).
  • 1 gunpod.
  • Instruction manual(in Japanese) and sticker/decal sheet.

VF-1S with the missile attachments

VF-1S with the missile attachments

Even the Hikaru figure is small, its still surprisingly well painted.

Even the Hikaru figure is small, it's still surprisingly well painted.

The gunpod can be transformed as well

The gunpod can be transformed as well

An optional super and strike parts can be purchased to upgrade the valkyrie as seen in the series and movie. But there is also a complete set that includes both valkyrie and super/strike parts which is slightly cheaper than buying them separately so if you really want the upgrade parts, better buy the complete package. As for me, I’m not that really interested with the super and strike parts so I bought the cheaper standard set but I can still consider buying the upgrade parts later if I feel like it.

A look at the valkyrie

Truly, the toy is very well designed and built. The paint job is really superb so it’s good enough even without applying the decals provided. It’s very solid in all 3 modes, nothing shakes or rattles and very very fun to pose perfect for dioramas featuring some favorite macross scenes. It is fully transformable and one feature I find cool about this is that it has a hidden heatshield that slides to cover the canopy much more like what you see in the anime(so far this is the only valkyrie toy I have seen to be able to do that), toynami robotech masterpiece collection and bandai/takatoku 1/55 can only offer an attachable heatshield.

heat shield slides out to cover the canopy when transforming to battroid mode

heat shield slides out to cover the canopy when transforming to battroid mode

Fighter mode

My favorite mode! The toy features detailed die cast metal landing gears that can be folded to be hidden, a tinted canopy that once opened will reveal a cockpit with instruments finely detailed(where the Hikaru figure can be placed). Standard missiles or missile pods can be placed under the wings while the gundpod can be placed under the plane. There is also a great looking sort of air intake fan that adds more to the realism of this toy.

Front view

Front view

Rear view

Rear view

The tinted canopy and cockpit

The tinted canopy and cockpit

the cockpit view from another angle

the cockpit view from another angle

side view

side view

Air intake fan

Air intake fan

Gerwalk mode

This is my least favorite mode! but still the toy was able to deliver an attractive gerwalk mode so I was able to appreciate it. Surprisingly, complex anime-like poses are possible thanks to it’s very articulated arms, the hand features movable fingers(index finger, thumb and the remaining 3 fingers as one) which securely holds the gun(you can replace it with the fixed pose hands). The knees can be bent forward for gerwalk, the feet can be adjusted to different angles resulting to a more stable stance for the gerwalk mode.

fron view

fron view

semi-side view

semi-side view

other side view

other side view

Battroid mode

The coolest mode because it is the most poseable mode! I think this is the highlight of the toy because according to the anime, After the SDF-1 macross was found, they discovered that the enemies were large aliens so in order to address this issue, they designed a new fighter aircraft that is capable of fighting these alien threats on equal footing both in air and land. It can transform into a large humanoid robot to directly engage the enemy.

In this mode, you can fully maximize the articulations of the arms and legs. The elbow can be bent more than 90 degrees giving it access to more realistic poses.

semi side view

semi side view

semi side view focusing the head

semi side view focusing the head

front view focusing on the head

front view focusing on the head

The hand with movable fingers.

The hand with movable fingers.

showing its poseability

showing it's poseability

You can always think of a better pose for this

You can always think of a better pose for this

Inconveniences

Even with all those nice features, of course there are some cautions and warnings about this toy.

Transformation problems

Transforming this toy is definitely not as easy as it may look. Prior to buying this, I already read a bunch of reviews and youtube videos about transforming this toy so I thought everything will be simple and easy once I got it. But still, I had a hard time transforming it for the first time, some inter-locking joints are very stiff and stubborn to connect/disconnect especially if it’s brand new, they require force that increases the risk of breaking it. Patience and proper focus of force is necessary in transforming this toy for the first time. This toy is pretty expensive so breaking it will really be frustrating, consider these factors first before buying.

Conclusion

Overall, I really liked it. For me, it’s worth the price. The only problem I had with this toy is mostly in transforming other than that, it’s really a great buy and the best valkyrie model you can ever have(as of now). Definitely, the closest to the anime available in the market today!