Kit review: Bandai – Macross Plus – HG 1/100 YF-21 (Guld Goa Bowman Unit)

The Top Gun of Macross – Macross Plus – features two prototype Variable Fighters competing for supremacy in terms of performance, and the pilots are also competing on a personal level as well. The prototype aircraft sent out by General Galaxy in the “SuperNova Project” to select the next all-domain fighter (AVF) is the YF-21. This prototype was piloted by Guld Goa Bowman – featuring the BDI brainwave control system – which allows for the pilot to control the fighter with his mind. Whereas its competitor – the YF-19 – is still the usual sticks and pedals.

HG YF-21 was released one year after HG YF-19 on the 40th anniversary of Macross Plus (OVA version). This is also the 4th model in the HG Macross series.

– Info: 
HG 1/100 YF-21
Series: Macross Plus 
Price: 4730 yen
Release date: Jan 27, 2024
Order yours here!

– Design: The YF-21 was designed by Shoji Kawamori with many similarities to the YF-23 Black Widow in real life. However, the difference is aero-elastic wings instead of flat, triangular wings. The main color tone of the machine is navy blue. In Battroid form, unlike the usual VFs, YF-21 has a shape more similar to Zentradi machines with a large body attached to the head and long limbs – similar to the Quaedlunns. Additional change that entails is that the two jet engine thrusters that are usually mounted on the legs in other VF models have been moved to the upper body.

The body proportions of HG YF-21 are adapted accurately from the anime thanks to the same part-forming system as HG YF-19. Since this machine has a “High Maneuver Mode” that removes parts from its Fighter Mode, most parts such as the wings and thrusters will be mounted on the back in Battroid Mode.

 Build quality: The plastic quality of HG YF-21 is very good, easy to handle nubs even though most of the parts are blue. This kit also separates the parts very well so it is not necessary to use all the available decals (or you can use the sold-separately water decals for it). The details inside the Battroid Mode head are completely clear parts, so I recommend not using decals here. The sensor part inside the front of the aircraft in Fighter Mode (chest part for Battroid Mode) is a completely clear part, an improvement compared to the YF-19.

However, a very interesting point is that the decal numbered 21 on the head when pasted will have an outer frame to fix the details that need to be pasted inside. After pasting, it will be removed to ensure the details are placed in the correct position on both sides of its head.

– Articulation: The joints of the HG YF-21 are very solid and have high movability. Although the head has an elongated shape to the back and is attached to the velvet body thanks to the 2-part joint system, it can move left and right quite well. Although the body is small, it is composed of 3 interconnected parts, allowing the body to fold comfortably. One of them is the front chest, which is the front of the plane, also has a bend, although not much. The 2 sides of the chest are also 2 intakes of the machine, which are two separate, independent parts that can move with circular joints to help support shoulder movement. 

The shoulder joints can be raised about 90 degrees and the arm joints can bend all the way and rotate quite comfortably. Although the hip joint does not have a support part to increase leg range, the thigh part can move up and down and rotate instead. The knee joints can bend deeper than 90 degrees. The ankle joint can move freely but the feet and heels cannot fold together like other VF models because it is not designed as thrusters in Fighter Mode.

– Gimmicks:
1. Of course, the most unique gimmick in this kit is that it can switch to 3 modes including Fighter Mode, Gerwalk Mode, and Battroid Mode through the part-form “Shortcut Change” mechanism. Because the transformation mechanism of YF-21 has many differences compared to previous HG Macross kits, there are also many changes in this kit. To illustrate, as in YF-19 and YF-29, the part used in all 3 modes is the legs, while the YF-21 uses the same upper body and 2 arms. The 2 main thrusters of this YF-21 are also mounted in the back, each side has 3 small wings that can move freely. 

2. HG YF-21 has an additional mode compared to other VFs: the “High Maneuver Mode”. In this mode, the parts that act as the legs and arms of Battroid Mode and Gerwalk Mode are removed to reduce the machine’s weight. That also left the underside of the fuselage almost empty.

3. When using the alternate front part in Fighter Mode and Gerwalk Mode, the cockpit can be opened and has a mini pilot figure inside (that’s our Guld). And you can see his arms are pressed together in front of his stomach like he’s meditating – that is because the YF-21 is controlled by his mind instead of the conventional way.

– Accessories: Like the YF-19, the YF-21 also does not have as much diverse equipment as the latest VFs models like the YF-29:
+X2 Stealth Gun Pod: 2 Gunpods for each hand in Battroid Mode and Gerwalk Mode. When not in use, it can be used as a replacement part to attach to the side armor on both sides of the legs and under the aircraft for Fighter Mode.
+X1 Pin-point Barrier Punch effect: a blue effect part that recreates YF-21’s trademark skill in Macross Plus. Like HG YF-19, it attaches to the punching hand in either the left or right hand.

In addition, like other HG Macross models, we also have an additional set of landing gear for Fighter Mode and a set of replacement hands.

–> Overall: HG YF-21 is a kit worth adding to your Macross collection as it can very well recreate the machine from the anime movie Macross Plus. With a unique design and the ability to transform 3 different modes with the “Shortcut Change” mechanism, this will be an HG kit worthy of your experience. Hopefully, Bandai will take advantage of this mold to make more VF-22 Sturmvogel II versions of our Maximilian and Milia couple as they did with Gamlin’s version in Macross 7 (P-Bandai of course). Furthermore, with the YF-19, you can recreate all the iconic scenes from the anime. All we need is a Ghost model kit to make the “Guld’s last stand” moment.