PLUM 1/144 Vic Viper T301 plastic model review of Gradius V! The definitive edition that is small but powerful

Do you guys make a plastic model? In this article, 2021 from PM Office A, which is a plastic model of the own machine that appears in the side-scrolling STG Gradius V jointly developed by Konami, Treasure, and G.rev. We will review Vic Viper ver. Gradius V released in September.

PM Office A has released game-based plastic models that are close to the STG genre such as Silpheed since 2010, and in the past, R-TYPE FINAL version 1/100 R-9A and Darius Burst 1/60 Legend Silver Hawk etc. have been released. The Gradius V version 1/144 Vic Viper to be reviewed this time is the next kit after the Gradius IV version Vic Viper released in 2020.

As for the plastic model of Vic Viper, the ANUBIS ZONE OF THE ENDERS version was released by Kotobukiya in 2010, and also by Atelier Aya in 2007. PM Office A, which developed this kit, is a company based in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture.

Amazing assembly for fine parts division

It was the first time for me to touch the plastic model of PM Office A, but there were some parts that were purely surprising when assembled. There are 10 runners. When I touched the parts, it seemed that they had a mold release agent, so I cleaned them with detergent before starting assembly. The order of assembly of the composition is from the cockpit of the nose to the outer frame → the front crack of the fuselage → the wings and engine at the rear of the fuselage → the outer frame behind the fuselage → 2 large missiles + stand. Some parts of the kit require glue and are not a perfect snap-fit kit.

What I noticed when assembling was not the method of incorporating the main wings made in another process after making the main fuselage, but the method of adding one after another starting from the first part (). It can also be interpreted as a linear assembly in a plastic model). With this method, it is difficult to create gaps between each part, and it is possible to reach completion while maintaining the density.

I feel that the number of parts and the number of divisions are large from the 1/144 aircraft plastic model. However, this makes the color coding almost perfect. The undergate (jump gate) is often used to make the parts cut out less noticeable. On the other hand, it is difficult to incorporate the smallest parts, and if you do not get hooked when installing the parts, there will be subtle gaps between the parts due to the influence of distortion, so not everything is working well. I was also impressed.

In particular, the missile consists of 16 parts including the red line and moving blades. It’s perfectly color-coded, but it seems complicated because there are too many parts to combine. Assembling itself was a high level of difficulty, but first let’s take a look at the entire 1/144 Vic Viper T301 completed by unassembled.

Small but precise 1/144 Vic Viper T301

While assembling, I thought Isn’t it as small as other 1/144 kits?, But when it was actually completed, the missile at the bottom was also thick, so Unexpectedly the volume is I get the impression that there is. The size is about the same as the 1/144 ADFX-01 of Kotobukiya that I made before.

In addition, the image of Vic Viper T301 seen in the package and opening of Gradius V can be expressed as a three-dimensional object as it is, including the detailed molding with the panel line at the top, and the degree of perfection is high even if it is unassembled. I am surprised.

There were many divisions and it was a little difficult to make, but it is wonderful that there is no need for color coding including the canopy frame division and the main wing and the moving blade of the missile, and there is no need for partial painting or decals / seals. Also, it is an interesting point that the engine part that is not drawn in the game is molded. We have succeeded in producing persuasive power by detaching a part and showing the inside. I was worried that some adhesive was needed, but even with the unassembled parts, I was able to maximize the appeal of this kit.

Painting of Vic Viper T301-Difficulty in accessing setting materials

Next is the painting of Vic Viper T301. As mentioned above, this kit is not blocked and must be disassembled to the end in order to be fully painted. It’s hard to break them apart again, but I’m happy that there is almost no need for seam erasing or masking because the color coding is perfect and the seams do not appear.

I started painting after disassembling, but there was one problem here. That is, there is no setting material for Vic Viper T301. Certainly, Vic Viper may be highlighted to some extent in the opening of Gradius V and the cutscenes in the game. However, since there is no 3D model viewer, the color of the pilot’s clothes, the back of the aircraft, the cockpit area, and the intake part is almost unknown.

In addition, no setting material collection or strategy guide has been published for Gradius V, and there are few official materials on the Internet, so the detailed form is unknown. I don’t even know how far the panel line is or the seam. What failed here was that I had forgotten the existence of the booklet Big Viper Development History that came with the regular version of Gradius V. At that time, I bought the best version without the booklet…

When I noticed, I couldn’t buy the regular package of Gradius V during the later festival and the production period of the short article (the used price has risen compared to the past, and now it is the premier price…). It can’t be helped, so not only the flavor text drawn on the side of the box and the opening of the MSX2 version of Gradius II, but also fan art by various users, the first when I saw the wing tip and vertical stabilizer when I assembled it. I tried to paint by fusing the impression of F-16-like image.

For painting, I chose a color close to each molding color. The gray parts are NP001 Mechasaf His Heavy, the blue parts are VO-34 Bright Royal Blue, the white parts are UG01 MS White, and the black parts are 075 Neutral Gray V.

On the other hand, because I wanted an aircraft-like approach and I also made Tamiya’s 1/32 F-16CJ just before, the inner engine nozzle (including the fin part of the intake) is GS-10 Surfacer Evo Gunmetal., The engine part and the outer engine nozzle are painted with TS-30 Silver Leaf, and the lower part of the engine is painted with AS-12 Silver Metal. The piping is also painted with X-10 Gunmetal in the nose direction and X-31 Titanium Gold in the horizontal direction.

Also, I applied Tamiya’s adhesive to the pin side and reassembled it so that the parts would not be distorted any more and fit well (because the pin part is too tight and may be pushed back).

Finally, attach the remaining clear parts that were not glued due to the painting. Although the overall molding is good, having to use precision tweezers to attach the ultra-small clear parts to the fuselage also felt like it was simply difficult and unnecessarily difficult (). Moreover, it has to be glued to 9 aircraft). As expected, it is difficult to accurately attach small parts of about 2 mm with adhesive.

After painting all the details and adjusting the parts with different saturation by painting, finally inking and wiping the details with enamel paint is completed.

Modeling of Vic Viper T301 which is so powerful that it cannot be thought of as 1/144

Let’s take a look at 1/144 Vic Viper T301 after finishing all the painting. The subtle irregularities and edges are emphasized, and the internal structure overflows with the presence of the paint, which is so powerful that it cannot be thought of as having a total length of about 15 cm.

When you hold it in your hand, it fits in one hand like the other 1/144 kits, but it doesn’t feel very small, probably because it is quite precise. I tried to put it side by side with Kotobukiya’s 1/144 ADFX-01 even when it was unassembled, but here I also added the larger 1/144 ADFX-10F as a comparison target.

The aircraft scale itself is almost the same as the ADFX-01, but the Vic Viper side looks bigger somehow. At that time, I remembered the passage mentioned in the book The Work of the Tamiya Model. In the Tamiya model, even if the car that is the motif of the model is reduced to the scale, it still feels strange, so it was deformed to emphasize the features a little so that it looks like a real car.

Although the manufacturer is different, this kit is also smaller on the T301 side when compared with the pilot as a standard, and I feel that the aircraft is made slightly larger. I don’t know if it’s actually deformed, but it can be interpreted that what looks big somehow is a molding that responds to visual satisfaction.

The definitive edition of Vic Viper T301 in Gradius V although it is difficult to assemble

Vic Viper ver. Gradius V has some parts that are complicated to assemble due to fine parts division and it is extremely difficult to install extremely small parts, but although it is 1/144 scale, it does not feel small, such as molding and precision molding. It is a plastic model that can be said to be the definitive edition of the attractive Vic Viper T301.

The presence when all the parts are attached is the best. I was surprised that the silhouette did not seem to be assimilated into the background when viewed from a distance. On the other hand, the fact that it is not a perfect snap fit and the difficulty of adhering tiny parts cannot be ignored. However, if you ignore some parts, you may not be able to make it, so it depends on the choice of the user who assembles it.

The price of this kit is 4,950 yen (tax included), which is a little high in terms of size and play value, but it can be said that it is within the allowable range considering the presence that is not inferior even if it is small. It is certain that this kit is recommended not only for Gradius series fans but also for shooting game fans.

Overview: ★★★


good point
・ Molding that feels powerful even on 1/144 scale
・ A sense of reality that can be felt by the engine expression under the outer frame
・ Highly stable stand

Bad points
・ Difficulty in installing extremely small parts
・ Assembling / disassembling is difficult because it is not blocked.