1:100 Stonewell/Bellcom VF-1JS Super Valkyrie; "200" of the U.N. Spacy SVF-124 ‘Moon Shooters’ Fighter Squadron; Lunar ‘Apollo’ Base, 2012 (ARII kit conversion) - WiP
Painting and markings:
The paint scheme for this Super Valkyrie was settled upon before I considered the S-FAST Pack addition: U.N. Spacy’s SVF-124 is authentic, as well as its unique camouflage paint scheme.
The latter is a special scheme for the lunar environment where the unit was originally formed and based, with all-black undersides, a high, wavy waterline and a light grey upper surface, plus some medium grey trim and a few colorful US Navy style markings and codes.
My core reference is a ‘naked’ bread-and-butter VF-1A of SVF-124 in Fighter mode, depicted as a profile in a VF-1 source book from SoftBank Publishing. The colors for the FAST Pack elements are guesstimates and personal interpretations, though, since I could not find any reference for their look in this unit.
As a side note, another, later SVF-124 aircraft in a similar design is included as an option in a limited edition 1:72 VF-22S kit from Hasegawa, which is backed by CG pics in a VF-22 source book from Softbank, too.
Furthermore, SVF-124 finds mention in a Japanese modeler magazine, where the aforementioned VF-22S kit was presented in 2008. So there must be something behind the ‘Moon Shooters’ squadron.
According to the Hasegawa VF-22S’s painting instructions, the underside becomes black and the upper surfaces are to be painted with FS36270 (with some darker fields on the VF-22, though, similar to the USAF F-15 counter-shaded air superiority scheme, just a tad darker).
Due to the 1:100 scale tininess of my VF-1, I alternatively went for Revell 75 (RAL 7039), which is lighter and also has a brownish hue, so that the resulting aircraft would not look too cold and murky, and not resemble an USAF aircraft.
All FAST Pack elements were painted in a uniform dark grey (Humbrol 32), while some subtle decorative trim on the upper surfaces, e.g. the canopy frame, an anti-glare panel and a stripe behind the cockpit and decoration trim on the wings’ upper surfaces, was added with Revell 77 (RAL 7012). Overall, colors are rather dull, but IMHO very effective in the “landscape” this machine is supposed to operate, and the few colorful markings stand out even more!
The cockpit interior was painted in a bluish grey, with reddish brown seat cushions (late 70ies style!), and the landing gear became all white. For some added detail I painted the wings’ leading edges in a mustard tone (Humbrol 225, Mid Stone).
The kit received some weathering (black ink wash, drybrushing on panels) and extra treatment of the panel lines – even though the FAST Pack elements hide a lot of surface or obscure view.
More color and individuality came with the markings. The standard decals like stencils or the U.N. Spacy insignia come from the kit’s and some other VF-1s’ OOB sheets.
Based on the SVF-124 VF-1 profile and taking the basic design a bit further, I used dull red USAF 45° digits for the 2nd flight leader’s “200” modex and the Apollo Base’s code “MA” on the dorsal boosters. Some discreet red trim was also applied to the FAST Packs – but only a little.
Since all of SVF-124’s aircraft are rumored to carry personal markings, including nose art and similar decorations, I tried to give this VF-1JS a personal note: the pin-up badges on the dorsal boosters come from a Peddinghouse decal sheet for Allied WWII tanks, placed on a silver roundel base. Unfortunately (and not visible before I applied them) the pin-up decal was not printed on a white basis, so that the contrast on the silver is not very strong, but I left it that way. Additionally, the tagline “You’re a$$ next, Jerry” (which IS printed in opaque white…?) was added next to the artwork – but it’s so tiny that you have to get really close to decipher it at all…
Finally, after some soot stains around the exhausts and some vernier nozzels with graphite, the kit received a coat of matt acrylic varnish.
Building this vintage VF-1 kit took a while and a lot of effort, but I like the result: with the S-FAST Pack, the elegant VF-1 turned into a massive space fighter hulk! The normal Super Valkyries already look very compact and purposeful, but this here is truly menacing. Especially when standing on its own feet/landing gear, with its nose-down stance and the small, original wheels, this thing reminds of a Space Shuttle that had just landed.
Good that I recently built a simple VF-1 fighter as a warm-up session. ARII’s kit #70 is not a pleasant build, rather a fight with the elements and coupled with a lot of compromises – if you want a Super Valkyrie Fighter in 1:100, the much more modern WAVE kit is IMHO the better option (and actually not much more pricey than this vintage collector’s item). But for the vintage feeling, this exotic model kit was just the right ticket, and it turned, despite many weaknesses and rather corny details, into an impressive fighter. Esp. the lunar camouflage scheme looks odd, but very unique and purposeful.