garrick lee (
Sun, 6 Aug 2000 08:14:04 -0700 (PDT)

a little off-topic here. hope ya don't mind, being
the mech-heads you people are. :)

i wrote this rambling review of the yf-19 to a local
mailing list and thought some of you might wanna read
it and share your opinions as well.

as i mentioned below, if anyone has a perfectly
transformable yf-19 tell me about it...:P



> i am one happy schmuck! :)
> grabbing the yf-19 (japanese release, under yamato),
> full of flaws as it is, has made my day today. the
> thing comes in battroid form with a simple
> instruction
> sheet for transforming the valk and a sticker sheet.
> impressions of the yf-19 (which i will be comparing
> to
> the macross 7 vf-19 fire valkyrie, since the latter
> effectively descends from the alpha one)
> 1) coloring -- very accurate, but not very clean.
> at
> first glance, the off beige color of the whole mech
> seems wrong (it sure looked weathered...). but
> that's
> for those, like me, who misremember the color as
> pure
> white. :) the black and red blazers and fins are
> done right, as well. color overall 8 out of 10.
> 2) detail -- accurate as well. comparing it to the
> lineart tech specs of the yf-19 reveals overall care
> in placing panel lines and attention to minor
> details.
> heck, even the running lights, wing lights and
> camera
> placements are picked out. detail overall 9 out of
> 10. were it not for the HUGE screws and mould
> lines,
> you could mistake this baby for a model kit. the
> landing gears even have wheels! something the fire
> valk never had (only had crummy plastic shaped
> landing
> gears that didn't really look like landing gears).
> yeah, the canopy opens. big whoopee.
> 2a) panel lines -- this suffers a little and smacks
> of
> a half-cooked job. most everything except the wing
> flaps are lined, and they're not well done. any
> modeller can easily do a better job of inking the
> panel lines. overall score 6.5 out of 10.
> 3) proportions -- surprisingly good, for a toy.
> looks good in all three modes. it almost comes
> close
> to studio half-eye's ubercool but uberexpensive
> garage
> kit and is an *barely adequate* (but not convincing)
> substitute.
> the fire valkyrie looked great in jet and gerwalk
> modes, but sucked badly in battroid. the yf-19
> couldn't really nail the jet mode (more below), but
> gives a more decent battroid in return.
> proportions
> overall 7 out of 10.
> 4) sturdiness -- the darn thing isn't as sturdy as
> it
> should be, considering it's got a generous amount of
> die-cast parts. they serve to compromise the
> stability, actually. the die-cast doesn't pull it's
> weight -- it drags down the fun factor. :(
> overall
> 5 out of 10.
> 5) transformation -- this is where this toy fails
> miserably and brings down the value considerably
> (for
> me, anyway). the damn thing is hard to transform.
> and the weight of the die-cast metal (and this is a
> heavy toy for it's size) made transformation more of
> an ORDEAL (i was sweating, dammit) than a pleasure.
> the sheer weight of the lower leg kept dragging the
> chassis down during delicate moments. at first, i
> thought this was what was hampering transformation.
> but the problem wouldn't prove to be so trivial.
> for a mecha afficionado like me, the whole sequence
> was pretty counter-intuitive in many parts (the
> thing
> has an extra fold out part behind the canopy, which
> the fire valkyrie fortunately doesn't).
> particularly
> moreso since i went at it with a fire valkyrie
> mindset
> (which is only logical, since the fire valk and
> yf-19
> share the exact same transformation design). i
> should
> say the manual wasn't really enlightening. the
> yf-19
> showcases, more than anything else, how shoji
> kawamori's designs look good ONLY on paper, and will
> never make it in the real thing. (it was also this
> case in the original vf-1 toy, that had those huge
> metal bars to swing the leg chassis to and fro --
> metal bars that the original mech design never had,
> and that the model kit couldn't stoop down to
> having,
> thus, part-swapping. @#$%^&!)
> as of this moment i have not been able to lock the
> thing together in jet mode. no matter how i fiddle
> with it, the chest area of battroid (which forms the
> main body in jet mode) can not fit flush behind the
> jet intake hip area (hips, in battroid mode, which
> used to be the distinct W-shaped chest plate of the
> vf-1). this is fine in gerwalk mode, as the chest
> assembly has to float above (un-locked) in order to
> give the shoulders and arms enough room to hang down
> over the wing. this is not fine, in jet mode. the
> chest can never lock down in jet mode.
> i am pretty sure i haven't missed anything in the
> instruction sheet (the damn valkyrie lineart look so
> frikking perfect there, geez). the cause of this
> glaring misfit seems to be the way the entire leg
> assembly is constructed. the hip assembly of the
> yf-19 is a T-bar affair (the arms of the "T" can
> move
> into "Y", leading to more poseable legs, unlike the
> frozen hips of the fire valkyrie). unfortunately,
> the bars of the "T" assembly are simply too THICK
> and
> they block the undercarriage of the chest as the
> chest
> area comes down to fit behind the hip area during
> transformation. the result is that the chest area
> will never be able to come down flush in jet mode,
> and
> will forever be doomed to float (as if it were in
> gerwalk form). and that the wings will never lock
> into the sides -- you get a plane with wings that
> are
> not only swept forward, but swept downard as
> well...!
> eek!)
> looking at it critically, the yf-19 sacrificed an
> important transformation element for a wee bit more
> "full action" poseability that really wouldn't be
> missed. the result is a jet mode that is horribly
> f*cked up.
> other problem areas -- the flap-piece that's
> connected
> to the neck of the head. it comes off easily. and
> doesn't snap flush to complete the profile of a
> sleek
> jet anyway.
> the hands -- they fold into the forearms, but this
> compromises the strength of the forearms (which are
> hollow, therefore) that have to hold up the die-cast
> legs in jet mode.
> overall transformation sequnce and playability
> score:
> -10 out of 10. (and you thought the omega supreme
> toy was hard to transform? hah! :P)
> i hope to the machine gods that this is an oversight
> on my part, and that it's merely a case of ubertight
> joints or sliding mechanisms. if someone has the
> yf-19 and can transform it perfectly to a jet mode,
> please help me. i'm all set on snipping a few parts
> and doing unforeseen modifications on this toy.
> 6) final verdict -- was this thing worth the hype?
> definitely not. was this thing worth the wait?
> maybe, depending on your status as a macross fan.
> was
> this thing worth the money? only for a die-hard
> macross fan -- everybody else stay away. it's worth
> having only because it's a serious attempt by a
> company at a decent macross toy and that no macross
> mech has seen such attention in a long time (the
> last
> being the very good macross 7 toys...i don't
> consider
> the non-transformable 15th anniversary macross
> valkyries respectable in any way, especially the
> rubbery ones in blister packaging).
> the all plastic macross 7 valkyrie has it all over
> the
> yf-19. having die-cast parts means ZILCH when you
> can't transform the fah-reaking thing.
> destiny prognostication for the yf-21 and vf-11 --
> i'm
> still holding my breath for those since they don't
> share the same mech designs and transformation
> sequence as the alpha one. they may yet be worth
> the
> anticipation. however, i must admit that my hopes
> for
> a decent remake/reissue of the vf-1 toy are all but
> flushed down the toilet -- i just can't recommend
> the
> yf-19 to anyone right now. :(
> for those on a budget -- go for the mg sazabi
> instead,
> coz you won't go wrong there. this macross die-hard
> fan grudgingly says so.
> -garr
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