By Robert Merrill - images & text © 2006
The QF-3000 E appeared briefly in the original Macross series Super Dimension Fortress Macross. The Ghost is an unmanned combat drone, carrying missile and canon. It's an impressive little beast.
Image: Nose gear bay detail
Image: Main intake
Image: Main sensor
Image: Missile bays - covers and opened
Image: Side pods (the cutout is for the missile bays)
Image: Small doors
Image: Detail on the top of the 'fuselage'
Image: More topside detail
What You Get
Personally, I was stunned when I opened the box and pulled the parts out. This does not happen very often for me. Last time was when I cracked open the box on the Ultimate Detail 1/48 Strike Valkyrie... and that's a huge kit. This is a little gem of a kit. Molded in tan resin with some parts cast in a sturdier gray/green stuff.
The body is very cleanly cast with minor seam lines in easily removable areas. Mine had some small excess resin in two of the canon bays, popped out easily with an Exacto blade. The fine panels lines all look clean and straight and I see no evidence of surface bubbles or pin-holes. There is a plethora of detail, from vents to panels to the detail in the speed brake and landing gear bays. Could it really be this good?
Next, the missile pods on the side. Some flash, and that pour stub on the front, but again it's in a easy to remove area. Detail is excellent with some mesh texture deep in the little intake area. There are pars for positioning the missile ports open or closed and fit into their respective openings very nicely. Again there's flash on the parts and pour stubs but hey, it's resin kit.
The main intake that goes on the top fits like a glove. Which is good considering how difficult it would be to remove that forward seam. This piece has fine detail and pour stubs in easy to carve off areas.
Now onto the bagged parts.
Bag number 1 has the thrusters and back plate in it. The main thruster is micro thin, has nice detail and no seam lines. The 4 smaller thrusters have some flash and look good. The back plate... Again Thorsen shows his love of detail with all sorts of little venty things, access plates and just cool stuff.
Bag 2 is all fins and stabilizers. Well, and the rear stabilizer booms. The two front canards are thin enough to see through and if you look closely are tapered. The canards and trailing edges of all the fins show flash but in this case I feel it's a good thing as it helps protect those razor sharp edges from premature chipping. The two vertical stabilizers are keyed for their respective booms. Speaking of booms, my left boom suffered from some excessive resin, but looks to be easily enough cleaned up. I really am struggling to find some flaws here.
Bag 3 is speed brakes. Really cool thin speed brakes with detail on both sides. Again you have open or closed versions, though why you'd want to cover up all that spiffy detail is beyond me. I thought the flash helping support the air brake actuators might be a problem but my Exacto knife easily carved off the excess. These are tiny, thin parts and a pill to handle but look great. I suppose if one was to lose them you could find replacements in any 1:72 scale modern fighter jet.
Bag 4 has a lot of parts. The landing gear, bay doors, actuators and forward sensor are all in here. The landing gear is cast in a gray/green resin that seem a might bit stiffer than the tan stuff. Some flash and the detail is, well, simple. Nothing some ultra fine wire wouldn't fix. I'm not saying the landing gear is stumps with wheels attatched, just that with all the detail dripping off the rest of the model, they seem a bit plain is all. The gear bay doors have detail in and out, something that is often times left off in commercial models. Now, some of the few flaws I've found are on a few of the smaller bay doors. A few holes is all. These are easily fixable.
Conclusions? Heck of a nice kit. Wish the main sensor on top was a clear part (the line art looks like it might have been), but that's fixable. The lack of decals might put some folk off, but all you have to do is buy a VF1A/J/S kit to get all the decals you'd ever need. Perhaps in the future the kit might come with them. Price is a bit high but it's in Euros [Editor's Note: Robb bought his directly from Honneamise before it was available here. His cost was : 83 euro ($104.57 USD)) ] so what are you going to do. Is it worth it? In my book, yes, but your pocketbook might be a touch tighter than mine has been recently.
Many thanks to Robb's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2006 Starship Modeler. First posted on 1 September 2006.