Monday, November 29, 2010

VF 1S Strike Valkyrie

This is my "Macross: Do You Remember Love?" 1/100 Variable VF-1S Strike Valkyrie Fighter produced by Harmony Gold and Toynami. This is from the Japanese version of the cartoon, not from the American "Robotech" version, although without the box, and unless you're familiar with the sticker differences between the two, there really isn't any way of telling.

I purchased this from Maxicollector in Fort Bonifacio for PhP 1495.

Manufactured by Stonewell/Bellcom a VF-1S Strike Valkyrie is a variant of the VF-1A reserved for Squadron Commanders that differs from the standard VF-1A only through the number of ROV-20 lasers mounted on the sensor pod (head): 4 versus the VF-1A's 1 and in their powerplant - the VF-1A has a Shinnakasu Heavy Industry/P&W/Roice FF-2001 Thermonuclear reaction turbine engine versus the VF-1S's D variant of the engine (We'll talk about the Strike part later).

As you can see, the level of body detail is very high. Originally, this was meant for Hikaru Ichijo (Rick Hunter) but it had the decals for Roy Focker. After applying the decals, I realized that Roy Focker's Valkyrie had a yellowjacket paint scheme versus Hikaru's white and red. So I took a Gundam Pen and changed the paint scheme.

This particular replica comes highly articulated and comes with a ton of attachments to help you relive your favorite Macross poses.

A stand allows you to display the replica in any of its forms: Valkyrie, Gerwalk or Battroid.

The photo to your right depicts the landing gear attachment of the replica (And it can sit cleanly with the landing gear on) and almost all the standard weapons of a VF-1S: The four Mauler ROV-20 anti-aircraft lasers, the standard external 55mm Howard GU-11 three barrel gatling gun-pod, 12 AMM-1 hybrid mutipurpose missiles. If you've played the RPG, then you know that this also comes with an additional two lasers mounted in the nose of the plane for dogfighting. The Valkyrie can land with its landing gear or by lowering its legs (Jet turbines) and landing in Gerwalk mode.

The Gerwalk mode reduces the Valkyrie's flight speed from a maximum of Mach 3.87 to 500 km/hr. The Gerwalk's running speed is only 100 versus the Battroid's 160 km/hr, but it does provide the versatility of having the abilities of a fighter in a low-slung gun platform.

Here's the final Battroid mode of the Valkyrie. A funny note here. The wings cannot swing back while the missiles are still mounted.

While the wings can be spread to accommodate the missiles, this limits the arm movement and you end up with a Battroid whose arms keep banging against explosive ordinance.

This is probably why in the cartoons, most Valkyrie pilots simply empty their missile ordinance at long range so that they may become more flexible in close combat. In fact you rarely see missile pods in the cartoons. When I was still playing the RPG in highschool, I do remember refusing to shift to Battroid mode because of the destructive potential of the missiles. The missiles did 1D6 damage each, which, to those who've never played, gave a 1 in 3 chance of destroying a Zentradi battle pod with 1 missile.

Without the missiles, the wings fold neatly behind the Battroid, giving it greater flexibility.

And as a last resort, the ROV-20 lasers can be brought down to fire.

I actually also have Hikaru Ichijo's VF-1A Valkyrie. Here's the two of them together. Note how the GU-11 can also be slung onto a hard-point in the arm of the Valkyrie.

And this is just something I've always wanted to do. Note that the hands of the Valkyrie can be pulled out and replaced. The replica came with two right hand attachments and three left hand attachments.

Now this is a Strike Valkyrie, which means it comes with the Shinnakasu Heavy Industry FAST (Fuel and Sensor Tactical) Pack augmentative space weapon system.

This is where the replica starts to have trouble.

Fully armed, the Valkyrie is simply too top heavy to be supported by the stand in Valkyrie and Gerwalk modes.

You get lucky sometimes as seen in the picture, but this particular toy fell off more than three times before i got that shot.

The Valkyrie also cannot use its landing gear while it has its FAST Pack on because the additional 6 payload NP-AR-01 micro-missile launcher pods installed in the ventral section (or under the left/right arms in Battroid/Gerwalk mode). Attaching the GU-11 Gunpod (Which is also the primary link to the stand) to this creates the problem, the landing gear is simply not tall enough to support both.

If I remember the cartoons correctly, the Strike Valkyrie were launched from supports that suspended the Valkyrie from above. It did not use its landing gear.

The only other way by which the Strike Valkyrie can launch or land would be via Gerwalk mode.

Variant weapons include:

  • Two 12 payload (The US version has a payload of 20) HMMP-02 micro missile launchers on the port and starboard this is the common armament in the US version of the cartoon and one of the major decal differences between the two cartoons. The US version carries the RDF logo on the side of the launcher, the Japanese version carries the Skull Squadron logo (In this case, with a skull on a black background because it's Roy Foker's craft, Hikaru has a red background). The Japanese version also swaps the starboard launcher for:
  • One Mauler RO-X2A high powered double-action beam cannons .
  • Two different Missile Options:
  • Four UUM-7 Micro missile Pods each carrying a payload of 15 Bifors HMM-01 micro-missiles (Rectangular pods). or
  • Six RMS-1 large anti-ship reaction missiles. (With yellow tips)

And here it is in Battroid mode. Again it has the same problem with the missile launchers, so fire, forget and fight on is the best policy, especially since it has the additional weaponry.

According to the Robotech Role Playing game manual, the FAST Pack grants any of the variant Valkyries the ability to leave the Earth's orbit and a maximum speed of Mach 5. However the pack has to be jettisoned before the Valkyrie can re-enter Earth's orbit. It also provides the Valkyrie with enhanced strength, speed and maneuverability.

I have a lot of fond memories about Robotech. Not just because I loved the cartoon, but because I was one of the few who played the role-playing game back in highschool.

The maximum amount of damage one a Valkyrie could absorb was 250 Structural Damage points (Structural Damage Capacity or SDC was the amount of damage anything could absorb). The first time I entered a sortie, I was green as hell, firing missiles left and right, not dodging and being really unlucky. I downed one Zentradi Battle pod and had to retreat from the field because I had absorbed 249 points of damage. My game-master said that my Valkyrie blew apart as I landed. My second sortie was better, downing three Zentradi fighters - which had shields. I was an ace by my third and gained a reputation of having never being shot down.

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