“Last Exile” Vanship w/Torpedo
I will not hide the fact I enjoy watching Japanese anime and the original “Last Exile” anime is one of my favorites. (No kidding). It represents a wonderful fusion of Sci-fi and the golden age of flight. The show centers around the orphaned brother & sister pair of Lavie Head and Claus Valcaat and their fathers old Vanship. Claus and Lavie work as commercial pilots who deliver messages, cargo and whatnot up until they are dragged into a war. The series is available to watch for free on Hulu.com and can be viewed in either the original Japanese (with subtitles) or it is also available dubbed in English.
This kit has been released previously with no bonus resin parts and the pilot and co-pilots were molded in polystyrene representing Tatiana and Alister (long story but they are military pilots also starring in the show). This limited release includes an extremely well molded pair of resin pilots (Claus & his antagonist Dio) as well as a resin torpedo that hangs in place of the belly skid. Not to worry, the original polystyrene pilots and skid are included and can be utilized if you choose.
The Vanship shares it’s roots with our Earth aircraft and, oddly enough, construction begins with the cockpit. For a 1/72 aircraft model, the cockpit detail is reasonable and despite the fact I managed to launch the front cockpit instrument cluster into oblivion, the cockpit assembled quickly and cleanly. In fact the overall kit was very well molded and fit was pretty darned good. One great advantage in building this kit is that many of the seams that normally require filling and sanding are hidden by the natural ridges of the Vanship. A couple of notable examples of hidden seams are the wing leading edges and fuselage halves. Please don’t let me kid you; there are still a few seams that require a little bit work so if that is your thing you will not be disappointed.
Overall, assembly was painless and I have less than 10 hours in construction. Decals are supplied for one of four Vanships. Rest assured, the decals went down very well over of a layer of Testors metalic rattle can paint. If you would like to display your Vanship in flight, Hasegawa includes a clear plastic molded stand that does the trick. The bottom line on the Vanship kit... Recommended!!!