Hasegawa 1/72 Macross Plus YF-21
|PRICE:||2400 yen SRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The YF-21 was built with several technologies common to itself and the competing YF-19 from Shinsei Industries ; notably an active stealth system, an optional fold booster for interstellar travel and arm-mounted anti-projectile shields (doubling as tail stabilizers in fighter mode). Both variable fighters also employed a new fighter-scale pin-point barrier system, which produced movable spheres of super dimension energy upon the exterior hull of the craft for repelling incoming fire. Zentradi technology was also implemented in the YF-21 Battroid mode by adopting an enhanced version of the Quimeliquola Queadluun-Rau special inertia vector control system (the YF-21 shares a similar silhouette to that Zentradi mecha). The offensive weaponry of the YF-21 includes a rearward firing super-miniature anti-aircraft laser turret, two forward/rearward laser beam guns, four internal all-environ rapid-fire micro-missile launchers and lastly two Howard/General GV-17L cartridge-less Gatling gun pods featuring retractable grips and stealth covers. In test sorties the YF-21 achieved performance results far beyond last generation variable fighters and the BDS/BDI system was clearly a recognizable improvement over conventional control systems. The YF-21 made use of variable wing cant for incredible speed and, like the YF-19, could achieve satellite orbit unassisted. While most VFs have traditionally situated the main engines within the legs of the Battroid, the YF-21 arranged the engine block in the main body with independent legs. By discarding the mostly dead weight of the arms and legs, the limiter-release mode can attain performance reaching the fuselage design limits and attain high manueverability combat performance exceeding other VFs. However, the pilot operating the limit-release mode bears the effect of dangerous G-forces which exceed the limits of the human body. While the YF-21 was a groundbreaking fighter, development of the craft was hindered by several misfortunes and technologies of questionable practical worth that were either unreliable (BDI/BDS) or too expensive for mass production (composite material wing).
This one is designed a bit differently from some of the other Macross fighters I've seen. There is a nicely done cockpit tub, the contents of which will be pretty well invisible unless you pose the canopy open. A pilot figure is also included. The bottom of the tub is the roof of the nose gear well. The instructions would have you attach the nose gear to the well and then trap this between the forward fuselage halves. There seems to be room to install the gear after painting so that is what I'd do.
The broad rear fuselage is split horizontally and there are the usual baffles to install prior to assembling the halves. There are intake trunks, though they are not very deep. Exhaust are not movable as they were on the Sv-262 I built a while back. Interestingly, there is a another lower fuselage piece that appears to cover some lower engine exhaust doors. Wings are an upper and lower half and those who want clear tip lights will need to cut the molded in ones to install them.
As with the nose gear, it looks like you can install the F-15 style main gear legs after the model is nearly complete. There are two boosters/guns on the lower fuselage and the usual number of clear sensors for the nose as well as antennas and such. No stand is provided, but Hasegawa does make one that is designed for the Macross line of fighters. This means you can build the kit gear up if you so wish.
Since these kits are for the home market, there is very little English in the instructions, but that isn't an issue. Gunze paint references as usual. The airframe is an overall blue (Cobalt blue with a touch of black) and so Hasegawa has molded the kit in a blue plastic. Interestingly, the decals are not as extensive as on some other kits and there are no metallics so there shouldn't be any issues using these. It might be worth while to paint the inside and outside of the intakes which are listed as light gull grey with a touch of cobalt blue, but I wouldn't bother painting much else that is supplied as a decal. The sheet is nicely printed and provides some serial number options if you are so inclined.
So there you have it. Another neat fighter from the Macross universe. I found the Sv-262 to be a pretty nice build, ruined only by the $*?@ cracking metallic decals. Well worth picking up if looking for something different as they are not expensive, even in the US.
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