Saturday, March 21, 2009

1/72 VF-25F Messiah [Review]

Today we review Bandai's 1/72 scale VF-25F Messiah Alto Custom model. The VF-25 is from the most recent entry into the Macross series, Macross Frontier. This particular model belongs to the show's protagonist, Alto. It is a 1/72 scale, but it is pretty much like a master grade. It stands about as tall as a master grade, and has almost enough detail to be categorized as a master grade. It is definitely a worthy rendition of Alto's Valkyrie.

Unlike Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Macross models, this one is fully capable of transformation. It can transform between Battroid, Gerwalk, and Fighter modes. The process is pretty faithful to the anime but its harder than it looks. The transformation involves every single piece of the model, from the side skirts to the leg armor and the chest completely coming out of place. It's very complicated, so you'll have to be careful. You might even smudge or break a few decals so watch your fingers. The pieces have to fit very precisely when its in fighter mode, and it actually has a bit of trouble staying together. It would have been better if it all fit together snug and precisely, but at least it looks good.

The fighter mode requires you to tack on extra parts as landing gear (the wheels) if you want it to sit on a flat surface because you can not slide them into the body as it normally would in the anime. The wheels are also a solid piece so they don't spin. This isn't really a bother because it looks a lot better posed mid-flight with an action base stand anyway. Overall, it looks fantastic. Edit: One important thing to note. There is nothing holding the legs up in fighter mode, so it sort of sags down when its in mid-air. This can be a minor problem.

The Gerwalk mode has always been an interesting aspect of the Macross series and its trademark Valkyrie transformations, but I wouldn't bother posing it in this mode. I just prefer the fighter and battroid modes. Its legs have very firm joints and the body doesn't sag over in the gerwalk mode. Articulation remains the same as if it were in battroid mode, its just the waist thats technically backwards. A very accurate transformation overall.

The battroid mode is definitely where the beauty of this model lies. It's proportions are near perfect (it seemed a bit taller in the anime) and it has all the details you would expect from a gunpla master grade. The poseability of the arms is excellent as the shoulders can move in and out, back and forth, and up and down. The legs, however, are much less poseable. The engine intakes at the top of the legs prevent the legs from really spreading, locking it in a standard standing position. The knees have two joints for some flexibility, but the thighs still prevent any dynamic posing. The ankles can slide in and out of the leg (for transformation), which allows for slightly better turning of the feet so its planted firmly on the ground. The thighs are really the only downfall for this model in terms of articulation.

I've discussed most of the important bits about the articulation in the above paragraph, but I'll fill you in on the details. There are absolutely no polycaps in this model, so joints are firm and will not wear out very quickly. There are separate hand pieces for open hand and closed fist. The closed fist sort of has trouble holding the gun firmly, but it is not terrible. The head can turn 360 and move up and down, back and forth thanks to the transformation mechanism. The antennae on its head can move around for any laser pointing you may want. The wings on its back steadily move in and out.

The colors on the VF-25F are left up to the decal sheets it comes with. Without the decals, it is a plain white with black and gray parts where necessary (as seen above). There are two sets of decals: clear stickers and water-transfer decals. I personally prefer the stickers because water-transfers are a pain in the ass. If you decide to go with the water transfers, you should trim the clear outlines from each marking and cover it with a solution to protect it from scratches and peeling. I'm sure you know how to put water transfer decals on though. There are also shiny green stickers for the visor and the gun, but I hate these stickers cause they peel so I went with a metallic green gundam marker. It worked out a lot better. The model is also abundant in panel lines. They are plentiful and rather deep so you should get to fill the lines in and give it a more lively look.

Theres not much in terms of weaponry. It comes with the usual gatling gun and knife. The knife is a solid dark gray piece so you'll have to paint it for any actual visual effect. The gun is sort of a dull bluish gray color so you should probably paint it to keep it from looking like a phallic piece of gray plastic. The bottom of the gun where the turret is opens and moves down, which is supposed to be some sort of mechanism to allow for more powerful shots (I don't know how that works). Its great for posing though.
Overall, this is a fantastic model and definitely the best Macross Valkyrie kit that's come out so far. The construction, inner workings, articulation, and details rival that of Gundam master grades, which is really great considering we've never had that in a Macross kit before. It is fully transformable and looks great in each mode. I am really happy with my kit, and it should be no different with any other kit. A must buy for any modeler or Macross fan.

Oh, and I also recommend the VF-25S, Ozma's Valkyrie! It is the commander version with a different head design and color scheme, but its definitely worth buying along with the Alto custom. Get it if your budget allows for it!



  1. How are you? I’m George. I believe i had contacted you before regarding a banner exchange. i'm wondering would you be interested in doing a banner exchange. drop me a message if you are okay with it. Cheers!

    my email

  2. This looks awesome. I've always been tempted to buy this VF-25F model kit. Guess I'll try yo acquire it soon.
    Just one question though, for the markings, did you use the sticker sheet or the water decals sheet? Also, how much do they get in the way if you attempt to transform the model? So far I've read nothing but complains about how the water decals fall off from the model if you try to transform it after applying them, reason why they recommend when you apply the special markings either of Ranka or Sheryl to permanently leave the model in one mode.

  3. I used the stickers, which I personally prefer because water transfers are a pain to get on and keep on. The stickers really don't stick out as much as people say, it looks great even up close. Even if you apply a coating over the water decals, you'll probably have your fingers all over the model, and some parts will end up scratching the decals while transforming, so its definitely not recommended after you apply water transfers. Its all about your preference though.

  4. hey nice alto kit..i have one but dint do yet plan to repaint u repaint yurs? is the kit ?now wait for armored VF-25S thnks for yur photo there s more pic of it ..

  5. You did a great job with this. I am probably going to be ordering the VF-25G and I had a few questions, if you don't mind answering them.
    1) This is going to sound odd and possibly idiotic, but is this a snap-together or a model that requires glue?
    2) How difficult is it to assemble, and any tips on construction?
    3) Are the hands capable of holding the knife?

    Thanks if you at least read this.

  6. 1) Its totally snap-on, you won't be needing any glue. Its very much like a typical gundam model from bandai.
    2) It is a relatively simple construction, there are just a lot of small, delicate parts so all I can really tell you in be very careful with it. Also, if you're gonna use the sticker decals, I suggest applying them to the pieces before assembling the model.
    3) Yep, the hands can hold the knife. Just like the gun, the knife has a small groove that a tab on the hand plugs snuggly into. Sturdy grip, its very good.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin