「毎日楽しいの為に」 Flawless Passion
革命機ヴァルヴレイヴ, or Valvrave the Liberator, was a series that I was very interested and had high expectations for during 2013. Browsing through the usual website I utilize for the latest hobby news, I saw the prototype for this “Valvrave”. It looked amazing. That very moment I knew I had to watch the show. After all, Bandai was making plastic models for a series that was neither Gundam or Macross. The highly anticipated first episode aired, and it did not disappoint. In fact, the entire first season did not disappoint. It is no exaggeration to say that it was on my list of favorites. …However, the second season… somehow failed to answer any of the mysteries that the first season set up and instead introduced confusion. Not only that, but what was most unacceptable for me was the slaughter fest throughout the second season.
Regardless of the anime, the mecha itself, the Valvrave, is an awesome design. For this post, let’s take a look at my build of the 1/144 Valvrave I Hito model from Bandai.
In May of 2013, I started putting together this model kit as soon as it had arrived on my doorsteps. I always challenge myself to out do my previous works. With every new model kit I build, I experiment with new techniques and put in ever greater efforts. When I took on the project of fully painting this model, it was the hardest and most complicated yet. This build of the 1/144 Valvrave I Hito represents my highest level of modeling skills as of 2014. While I am proud of what I was able to accomplish, this model also represents the limit of my painting abilities without an airbrush.
This photoshoot was originally taken for my entry for the 3rd Official Modelers’ Gallery Competition. Of course, I had no expectations of winning any awards (plus I likely cannot accept any prizes due to being overseas). The purpose was not to win, but to simply get my best prideful work out there into the world for people to see (in fact, Kawaguchi Meijin was one of the judges!). Out of 146 entries that makes up 5 pages (30 on each page), in order of points, my entry earned 52 votes, landing it on the second page. You can see all of the entries on this page at Modelers’ Gallery.
At the time, what I actually wanted to submit for the competition was either my HMM Blade Liger or my MG Gundam Exia. However, both of them were still a work-in-progress and in the end, I could not complete them in time for the competition. The next best completed model I had was this 1/144 Valvrave I Hito. Up until then, I have yet to take a photoshoot for it, with the reason being that the model kit was not 100% done. The gun never got finished. More on that later.
Front and back of the Valvrave I Hito. This model is fully painted (with the exception of the clear parts) with some small modifications.
Close up on the upper body. Out of all of the challenges I encountered while building this model, painting all of the white lines was by far the most tedious. In fact, you can probably see that some of the white didn’t go on very neatly. Personally, I think that the Valvraves’ design fit best with a glossy finish, so another challenge I took on was polishing all of the red and black parts, which simply took hours upon hours upon hours.
The clear green parts in this model kit are reactive to UV light. The clear pink parts on the wrists and feet are also reactive to black light but glows with more of an orange tint than pink. Location-wise, they are harder to see as well being covered by the shield and being on the sole of the feet.
To me, the weapons of the Valvraves are another unique characteristic of their design. The Valvrave I Hito possess 4 katana (Z Edge), 2 sickles (Fold Sickle), and a shield (Strike Brace), all of which contains clear transparent blades. There is also the gun, but once again, more on that later. This model kit originally only came with 2 katana, long and short. However, since I bought every Valvrave model, I ended up with enough spare parts to make the other set of katana. Each of the sheaths had large gaps that I had to fill in while still letting the katana slide into them.
One of the small modifications on this model is that I changed the connecting points of the katana sheaths into magnets. This way, the width of the hip area is more compact when the weapons are equipped, meaning that they don’t get in the way of the arms. On the Valvrave’s armor are circular details which are supposed to be hardpoints. I added some metal detail molds onto them, which happened to be magnetic, and thus the katana with the magnets can be equipped onto those hardpoints. Just a bonus thing.
Alright, let’s move onto the photos of action poses!
By design, the Valvraves look best in aerial poses. Thankfully, all of the Valvrave model kits come with a display stand, though limited in articulation with only one revolvable axis.
One amazing thing this model kit comes with are the 硬質残光 effect parts, one for the arm and another for the foot. Originally, those parts were colorless clear plastic, so I painted them over with a florescent pink color, which is also reactive to UV light.
Various other angles.
The Fold Sickles are a default equipment shared among the other Valvrave units. On the model kits, the sickles are unfortunately non-articulated and cannot be fold down stored in the sheaths. In fact, the sheaths have the non-removable handles on them. Nevertheless, I like the sickle’s design.
Another scene of the Valvrave glowing in the dark. It is very well worth buying a black light just to light up the Valvrave models.
The Valvrave’s design has a lot of small details and color separations that were truly an effort to paint, but nevertheless an awesome design. Everything from the weapons, to the armor, to the eye-catching glowing green parts are incredibly iconic and unique. I am particularly happy about the effect parts and wish that more model kits would include more effect parts.
Here are some snapshots of the work progress. You can see the circular metal detail parts and the polishing compund I used. Now, the gun (Volc Arm) does not exist by itself as the gun proper. Instead, it is permanently combined with the weapons Meteor Plate (a shuriken) and Bladed Baiken (a chained scythe) in the form of ヴルトガ, a giant weapon created by combining all of Valvrave I Hito’s weapons. I wanted to split off the shuriken and scythe parts to have the gun by itself, which I successfully done. However, repairing the cut sections and then painting the gun to have the same glossy finish as the Valvrave itself posed to be an impossible task that I still could not complete to this day.
Lastly, the before & after comparison.