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Hasegawa 1/72 Reactive Armored VF-0S Macross Zero Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2007 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Reactive Armored VF-0S Macross Zero Scale 1/72
Kit Number 65721 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons  
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (Yen) ¥4,800 (About $40.00 USD)

First Look

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Back in 1999, the world was at war and every country was embroiled in their own political conflicts. One day, a HUGE object that is caught in Earth's gravity and impacts the Pacific island of Macross. The object turned out to be a massive spacecraft that was heavily damaged with no survivors aboard. The nations of Earth realized the dangers lurking outside our solar system and united to defend the Earth.

Over the next ten years, the technology aboard the spacecraft was reverse engineered and the huge spacecraft was repaired. The technology extracted from this spacecraft was referred to as Robotech, and one of the early developments was a new generation of combat aircraft based upon Robotech.

These aircraft look very similar to the F-14 Tomcat, but they can transform from fighter aircraft mode to a high-speed surface combatant (Guardian) to a large, heavily armed robot-like armored suit (Battloid). It wasn't until 10 years later when an alien fleet arrived in the solar system did the pilots of these Robotech machines understand why the robots were so large. The aliens that manned the crashed spacecraft and the fleet that came looking for it were also very large. The only way to effectively combat a 'Macronian' as they call themselves is to create a combat suit of equivalent size and man it with a 'Micronian' (human) inside.

So begins the saga of the Macross universe that lives in Japanimation, or anime, that started in the 1980s and continues with growing poplularity today.

To be honest, until recently, I had never paid attention to the Macross series. The SciFi Channel started running Japanese anime one night a week and my wife and I became adicted. There are of course numerous series besides Macross, but the first taste of Macross came with Macross Plus. We liked it so much, we bought the DVD set, then bought the beginning Macross Saga from 20 years ago. We've enjoyed that as well, though it is fascinating to see the difference in anime technology as well as the portrayal of women in Japanese anime over 20 years ago versus today.

Hasegawa, as well as other Japanese kit manufacturers, continue to produce the different types of Robotech machines in one of the three different battle modes. This kit, rendered in 1/72 robot mode, will stand a little over nine inches tall when completed.

The kit is rendered in styrene and presented on 22 parts trees, six in off-white, five in medium gray, ten in dark gray, and one in clear.

The kit is designed to be poseable, though not transformable into one of the other two battle modes. This particular battloid is not one of the regular combatants in the Macross series, it had a short-lived existence during the defense of the carrier against the Macronian forces. Nevertheless, the detail and color schemes that are offerred in this kit make this an interesting opportunity to test your painting and subtle weathering skills.

The principal armament of this type is the guided missiles that are housed in two shoulder and two chest packs. The doors on these packs can be posed open or closed.

There is a good sized decal sheet that comes with this kit that provides LOTS of markings to render two different variants. You can also select your service - UN Navy, UN Air Force, or UN Spacy. Yep, UN Spacy. You gotta love it!

Now that I'm enjoying the anime series of Robotech as well as a few others, I will be taking a closer look at some of the other anime kits on the market. I am definitely looking forward to some free time to try my own skills on this beauty of a kit!

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!

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