Kit review: HG 1/100 YF-19 Excalibur

The VF-19 is a prototype that Shinsei Industries proposed for Project Super Nova a program to select the next Advanced Variable Fighter (AVF). It was developed by enhancing the design of the company’s efficient general-purpose VF-11 Thunderbolt model, and its Fighter Mode adopts forward-swept wings and front canard wings that grant it excellent maneuverability, especially when operating within the atmosphere.

The YF-19 is also equipped with the Howard PBS-03F Fighter Pinpoint Barrier System which can be used in both the Gerwalk and Battroid Modes. Its radical design is based on proven technology, and its demanding abilities resulted in a unit with maneuverability that no ordinary pilot could handle. It achieved technological breakthroughs and became a significant forerunner for AVFs, and its design concept that challenged the limits of manned Variable Fighters was highly praised throughout the ages

– Info: 
HG 1/100 YF-19 Excalibur  
Series: Macross Plus 
Price: 4180 yen
Release date: Jan 28, 2023
Get your own HG YF-19 here.

– Design: The YF-19 is one of Kawamori Shōji’s most famous designs in the Macross series. Unlike previous Bandai 1/72 Macross kits, the HG YF-19 is made with a smaller scale of 1/100. This HG model kit has been properly scaled to the line art of the original anime design, especially in Battroid Mode. This can explain why Bandai has used part-form technology for each mode instead of a complete transformation like the old Macross kit line. 

Its main colors are sail yellow, red, and black giving us a feeling of nostalgia with the design of the 90s. Since the transformation mechanism of YF-19 is still not too complicated, we still have Its parts that can be easily recognized in all 3 modes Fighter, Gerwalk, and Battroid. Another difference of YF-19 compared to other Valkyries is that its wings when in Fighter and Gerwalk form will be mounted on the thighs instead of the back.

– Build quality: The plastic quality of this HG YF-19 model is extremely well made so it is quite easy to handle nubs (especially with the sail yellow parts). It separates the parts quite well, especially the red and black details on the shoulders. The eye sensor at the top and cockpit uses clear parts to help us see the details inside clearly. 

Most especially, this HG model is used by Bandai with a new type of decal that is thinner and more standard than the decals commonly found in HG models. They help these decals can stick more closely to its detailed surface. If you can’t buy it with the YF-19’s own set of water decals, you can use them normally (the illustration of the review we used is all decal stickers). However, you still need to paint the small details and cockpit to make it more complete.

– Articulation: Since it used the “Shortcut Change” (part-form transformation) technology, the articulation of the YF-19 becomes a highlight of this kit especially when in Battroid Mode. Most of its joints have a very large range of motion, allowing it to pose freely without restriction. The waist joint can be folded and rotated quite deeply. 

In particular, the shoulder joint can be moved forward or backward 90 degrees making it easier to pose with a gun pod with two hands and a pinpoint barrier punch (this may be due to the original design allowing it to fully transform). The hip and foot joints can be pushed up to increase the range of motion of the legs. The knee joint can be fully flexed, allowing it to pose when kneeling.

– Gimmicks: If you mention the gimmick of a Valkyrie model kit, you must mention its transformation mechanism. When converting one of the 3 modes we will have to use replacement parts mainly in fighter mode and gerwalk mode. The lower body is the only part that remains the same in all 3 modes and also has the most gimmicks. 

The cockpit can be opened to reveal the pilot and internal details similar to the MG kit. The foot also 2 thrusters that can be opened and folded depending on the mode. When in Fighter Mode, the lower fuselage and the sides of the legs have removable parts to replace them with landing gear parts. The 2 jet engine parts on both sides of the thighs when switching to Battroid Mode will have 2 parts closed just like in the anime. A bad point of this kit model is that the wings when in Fighter Mode cannot be folded

– Accessories:  Since it’s just a basic version of YF-19 like the first eps of Macross Plus (or simulated battle scenes in the movie), it doesn’t have a lot of equipment:
+ X1 GU-15 Gatling Gun Pod: The basic weapon that any Valkyrie has. It is mounted on the bottom of the machine when in Fighter Mode.
+ X1 Anti-projectile Shield: It is mounted on the left-hand side when in Battroid Mode
+ X1 Pinpoint Barrier effect: Pinpoint Barrier Punch is a famous skill of YF-19. It is attached to the right-hand grip. 

It also comes with a pair of open arms and a gun hand grip for replacement. Although quite a bit of equipment, if you look closely, you will see holes in the shoulders, arms, and legs. This suggests that Bandai will make a super pack with more equipment for it in the future (possibly retailing as a P-Bandai).

–> Overall: Although the YF-19 is the first kit model of the new HG 1/100 Macross series, it has shown an extremely high quality. If you are a fan of the Macross series and especially the pilot Isamu Alva Dyson, this is a must-have kit in your collection. Let’s look forward to the next HG Macross model, the YF-29, which will be released in August this year, and possibly the YF-19 Advanced in the future.