One of the mecha franchises I really want to get into, merch-wise, is Macross. However, the figures or model kits we have are either too large or too expensive for my collection — mainly due to the whole transformation aspect. But it seems like that’s about to change as Bandai Spirits is releasing a new kit as part of Macross’ 40th Anniversary.
Yes, after making 1/72 scale kits for oh so long, Bandai Spirits finally decided to dial back on the scale and make smaller HG 1/100 scale kits, starting with the HG YF-19 from Macross Plus. This choice was apparently based on a survey they ran with the YF-19 winning the top pick. And in case you’re confused, while these are 1/100 scale kits, they are as tall as 1/144 scale Gunpla since battroid units are smaller.
The question you’re probably itching to ask is, how are they doing the transformation? Given the smaller scale and focus on stability rather than transformation accuracy, this kit will utilize parts replacement to accomplish this. This isn’t anything new as “parts-formation” is a common thing done with Gunpla.
However, what I like about this implementation is you don’t need to disassemble the whole kit to transform. The kit is basically modular where each mode is comprised of different components, and you just need to swap them or do basic transformation to change from battroid to gerwalk and to fighter. With this, I don’t need to get multiple copies of this kit!
Just on a quick tangent, Wave went with a different approach with the 1/100 Macross kits. Instead of being modular, they released separate battroid and fighter mode kits. To build one in gerwalk mode, you need to combine parts from both. This basically led me to get two copies of the battroid and fighter mode kits.
This approach allows the construction of a kit with great proportions without sacrificing stability because of any transformation mechanism. How about articulation and color separation?
As far as articulation goes, the modular construction allows them to place more points of movement which should increase the range of articulation, particularly on the torso and leg sections as illustrated here. This is very notable in the leg sections as they have different configurations in all three modes. I just hope they don’t get loose over time.
However, the kit takes a dive in color accuracy as most of the markings will be done with stickers. They do point out that these aren’t the foil stickers we typically see in HG kits, they are the sort of decal style stickers which are relatively thin, and they claim to be still vivid even when placed over darker plastic. I’ll probably paint mine, but I can imagine the masking needed for these.
But worry not as they will also release a water slide decal set for this kit so at least we have options.
It took them quite a while but I’m glad we’re finally getting desktop scaled Macross kits that could still transform, or rather, change forms. And while the reliance on stickers is disappointing, at least we can still paint them. So yes, I am getting this guy, and hopefully, it would lead me to also build the Wave 1/100 scale kit. Again, yes, I have that kit, but it’s buried in the backlog. To check out how that one fares, you can read over this painted review.
HG 1/100 YF-19
January 2023 / ¥3,800