Yamato: Tomahawk Destroid (weathering ver.)

When I first started the reviews section of the site, I had intended to do all sorts of reviews, but so far it seems like all my focus has been on figures. Well, that’s going to change today because this will be my first non-figure review – I present to you the iconic Tomahawk Destroid from Macross by Yamato in 1/60 scale!

Macross has been out for more than two decades, and it was my favourite anime as a kid. Heck, it’s still my favourite anime of all time, North American viewers may be more familiar with the name Robotech, which was based off Macross with a few plot changes. I still prefer the original Macross saga, however, and think it’s still the best of all the subsequent series.

I was never into collecting mechs from other series, such as Gundam, and have been strictly collecting Macross Valkyries and mechs. So when I decided to create this review section, I was actually thinking about my Valkyries and how I wanted to do photo shoots and write about them. Then came Macross Frontier and that got me hooked on Sheryl Nome, which led to my collecting a couple of her figures. It all became downhill from there, her figures created a catalyst which have been draining my wallet ever since. The Valkyries I’ve been collecting from Yamato have already been an expensive hobby, but now to add on top of that, unending anime figures!

The figures just kept coming in and I don’t think I can stop myself. I tried to keep up with the figures and putting out reviews since they’re easier to take pictures of and write about than transforming mechas. Before I knew it, I had pushed back the reviews of my beloved Macross Valkyries, which I had initially created this section for.

Well, I guess I’m just ranting now, this should be going in to my blog section, really. But I thought it would be nice for the readers to know where I’m coming from before I start this small review.

The Tomahawk Destroid is probably the most common mech in Macross, at least it was on the SDF-1. That said, like the VF-1A, it is also commonly known as the cannon fodder mech. Now, you might be thinking to yourself why this mech looks so familiar? Well, if you were into Battletech / Mechwarrior, you might recall the name Warhammer. Yup, the Tomahawk was one of the mechs that was “loaned” to Battletech and dubbed the Warhammer in their mech universe. =P Just look at the below image, even the decals on the mech is the same – hell, they even left the UN Spacy logo on the Warhammer! ^^ This was one reason why I loved using the Warhammer in the old MechWarrior games – by the way, F-U Harmony Gold USA for taking that pleasure away… so petty with your Robotech license, how about respecting your roots and where you got “Robotech” from? Stop making Macross and Battletech fans miserable with your pettiness!

Anyway, on with the actual toy… for those of that are familiar with Yamato Valks, you’d probably already know there’s always some sort of QC issue or design that’s out of place. I don’t really mind those as much since I think Yamato is constantly improving and coming out with beautiful Valk toys that are better than Bandai, even though I started out with the Bandai “chunky monkies” back in the 80′s. The Tomahawk, however, is an exception from Yamato, it comes solidly built, no loose/floppy joints and so far no cracks, stress marks, broken parts, etc. Then again, it’s a non-transforming mech, so perhaps that’s why it was easier to engineer.

There are three different versions of the Tomahawk produced by Yamato, a tan version, OD version and an exclusive weathered tan version. Being a sucker for exclusives, collector’s and special editions, I opted for the weathered version. Some people complained that the weathering is too heavy handed – I actually don’t mind it at all, I prefer this dirtier look. I could’ve opted for the regular version and did the weathering myself, but I didn’t want to deal with the hassle nor do I have the time now-a-days. I might pick up an OD version later on to match my OD Defender Destroid though.

Edit: Yamato later released a weathered OD version as well (which I now have as well).

Yamato did right by using a transparent plastic for the red visor, there’s a circle on the inside of the visor, which may be just a plastic stub to attach the visor to the head. I don’t recall seeing this circle in the original artwork, but even if it’s just a stub, it looks pretty cool and as if it actually belongs there. Looks like an eye or a sensor if you ask me – I wish Yamato had put an LED behind the visor or at least the flood light on the shoulder though, that would’ve been icing on the cake! They did the flashing light on the Ingram (Patlabor), why couldn’t they have done it here? Then again, the Ingram was close to $300 so I think I’ll just take what I can get.

I’m not one of those technical experts on anime mecha, but the Tomahawk armament is pretty accurate as far as I can tell, 2 x 12.7mm MG on the head, 2 x PBG-11 Particle Cannons on the arms, two gun clusters on the chest (1 x laser, 1 x 25mm MG, 1 x 180mm grenade launcher, 1 x flame thrower), 2 x rocket launchers on the chest and a missile launcher pack on the shoulder.

The waist can be rotated 90 degrees either way and can be separated, since the Destroids were mass production products with limited resources, the Tomahawk can interchange its legs with the Defender Destroid. Well, at least that’s my logic behind the interchangeable legs of the Defender and Tomahawk by Yamato. And when Yamato releases the Phalanx (oh I so hope they do), I think that’ll probably be interchangeable as well. The upper torso rotates left and right fairly easily (and smoothly) with some up and down motions to boot. The torso isn’t flimsy so there’s no worry of it flopping around on you.

The legs are thick and sturdy as well with a generous degree of rotation, they can spread out as well as twist outwards 90 degrees. It can also raise up, front and back (like a walking motion), and the legs will stay in position the way you want it! The feet can articulate up and down, side to side, the heels are independent from the “toes” so that provides more support on uneven surfaces. This flexibility makes the Tomahawk great for posing on rocky / uneven surfaces. =)

The Tomahawk’s head is able to tilt forward and fold down to reveal the cockpit. Like the usual Yamato Macross mechas, a pilot is included. There are three screens in the cockpit which are painted blue, some throttle knobs on the seat and that’s about it. There are barely any details, and the details that are there are quite simplistic. Would’ve been nice if the cockpit mold had more details or a sticker of an actual screen, but since you won’t see this cockpit most of the time I guess it doesn’t really matter. In fact, if you don’t tell anyone that the head can fold down, they’ll be none the wiser (unless they’re familiar with this mech).

The rear of the Tomahawk is pretty straightforward, I really can’t say what all the bumps and grooves are for. Though the exhaust ports on the back and hips may be for thrusters? Even with the weathered look, it does look a little plain without the decals applied. I think the back definitely could’ve accommodated some sort of battery compartment and switch for an LED for the searchlight on the shoulder, if I was handy enough, perhaps I could retrofit one myself but I’m not so oh well! I know I sound like a broken record, but sometimes these are the little details that really put a product above the rest.

The shoulder launcher opens up which yields the Tomahawk’s standard 6 missile armament. It looks pretty cool and intimidating but after awhile I start to wonder how that’s even remotely close to being enough firepower to take on the countless waves of enemies seen in the series. Maybe that’s why these Destroids are fodder, you spend your ammunition and then you go ka-boom! =P

The shoulders open up to reveal the rockets, 12 on each side, they look pretty intimidating but also a little plain at the same time due to the white warheads. The rockets aren’t removable, I think it may have been interesting if the rockets came with an interchangeable part that has rockets firing out of the launchers like the ones on the armored VF-1J.

The shoulder/arms can slide out from the center torso, which is pretty cool if you’re doing some sort of diorama, especially of a hanger bay. I’m pretty tempted to pick up a couple more destroids and create a hanger bay – but then again, if I was too lazy to do some simple weathering, do I really have time to create a hanger bay? LOL Unfortunately, I forgot to take some pictures of the Tomahawk dissected, but they’re a number of them on the Internet. :)

The Tomahawk comes with two maintenance crew figures which would go great with the diorama I mentioned. The weathered version comes with water slide decals rather than a sticker sheet. I had totally forgotten about this until I started writing this review – the decal is much better than the usual sticker from Yamato, particularly the edges. Unless you trim the stickers closely to the image, it usually has a really ugly thick border around it. The decal reduces this flaw greatly but it isn’t perfect either – the decal is much more flimsy and I had it rub off a few times / stick to my hands as I handled the Tomahawk. The good thing is I could soak it in water and re-apply it again (if it doesn’t tangle) – the decal also had some trouble applying over round surfaces (such as the torso area and the back). I had to trim into the decal so the edges don’t rise up due to the surface curvature (see the M5). Unlike a model, I don’t think I’ll be spraying any coating over the Tomahawk, so I’ll need to be careful with the decal rubbing off when handling it.

Yamato definitely did an excellent job with the Tomahawk which they carried on to the Defender (that I’ll review later) and I’m definitely hoping for the Phalanx. I’m not sure why Yamato, or other companies, don’t make more of these destroids and Zentradi battlepods such as the Glaug and Regults. To be fair, Yamato may be releasing a Regult in the near future as seen from some leaked pics. I’m pretty sure they’ll sell well, and they are definitely easier to design and manufacture than transforming mechas. I think we have enough VF-1 on the market already, we can use a little variation right now.

Throughout this review, you may have noticed some pictures are missing the decals – I actually took these pictures over a couple of weeks and I didn’t think of applying the decals till afterwards. Anyway, the Tomahawk is really fun to pose and take pictures of. I don’t have any Zentradi battlepods to face-off against it though (hint hint, Yamato) but even alone, it is very photogenic. =) I did a lot of post processing with some of the images which I thought suit the Tomahawk quite a bit. Atmospheric smoke and haze effect, like the Canaan shoot, was done with the help of my trusty humidifier.