Model-Kit “Valimar”

Actually, after the model kits of ‘Vic Viper’ and ‘Jehuty,’ ‘Anubis’ was supposed to follow, but it had to be put on hold because I lost a few parts. So far, my approach to working on model kits has always been as follows:

  • Remove all individual parts from the grids, clean them, and put them in small bags, which I sort by letters.
  • Assemble the model kit according to the instructions.

This was supposed to ‘save time’ because I would first remove the parts from the grids with the appropriate tools and then assemble them, creating a logical division of work without constantly switching between tasks. Unfortunately, this proved to be inconvenient and did not actually save time for two reasons. Firstly, with many similar-looking pieces, it’s very challenging to find them accurately in the bags. Secondly, in the two long separate processes, pieces can simply get lost – as happened with Anubis. For my future model kit projects, I wanted to approach it in a more ‘traditional’ way, as often shown in videos, by directly removing the parts according to the instructions and assembling them immediately.

Since I’m practically finished with the ‘Zone of the Enders’ series (there’s theoretically still a Jehuty model, but it’s just a ‘lesser’ version with fewer details than the one I’ve already assembled), I’ve been on the lookout for new model kits related to anime and games. I came across three franchises that caught my eye.
The first one that has been on my wishlist for a while is ‘Metal Gear Rex’ from ‘Metal Gear Solid’ (by Konami for PlayStation 1). Since ‘Metal Gear Solid,’ like ‘Zone of the Enders,’ is also directed by Hideo Kojima, I quickly became interested in this model, especially since it’s also from KOTOBUKIYA.
The second one is a relatively new model, also from KOTOBUKIYA but developed for Square Enix: the ‘Fight Unit Ho229 Type-S & 9S’ from ‘Nier: Automata.’ It’s black, but there’s also a white version with ‘2B’ instead of ‘9S.’ Both are quite expensive because they include not only the aircraft but also the pilot android as a Figma figure (a posable figure with joints).
The third and most important model kit for this post is from the ‘Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel’ series. Those who have read my two posts about the chest messages (Part #1 and Part #2) know that I’m currently really into the Trails series and have played all of its parts or am currently playing them. So I decided to check if there are model kits for this series, and yes, there is one for ‘Valimar, the Ashen Knight’ (the mecha of the protagonist Rean Schwarzer) by Moderoid, part of the Good Smile Company, which was released in 2023. So, this will be my next project…
Well, even though each model kit takes its time, and I spend at least 2-3 months on it, I couldn’t resist ordering all three right away. This is mainly because I was able to get all three of them quite cheaply through eBay auctions or certain discount systems. I won’t go into further detail about ‘Metal Gear Rex’ and ‘Fight Unit Ho229 Type-S & 9S’ here, as I will describe them in more detail in separate posts in the future when I’ve completed them.

“Valimar, the Ashen Knight,” is one of the most significant elements of the Trails of Cold Steel story. He is awakened by Rean at the end of the first part and remains with him until the end of the series, at least as far as I have played and know. The katana that Valimar holds is from the second part. This indicates that the most recent sword was not chosen, probably to avoid spoilers.

With the model kit, one immediately notices, especially when comparing it to the previous models from KOTOBUKIYA, that it has much larger parts. It does have some grids, but fewer pieces, and the instructions fit on just five pages (plus some notes). At least the instructions are in color and somewhat more visual. Especially with the sword, you can tell that it was already partially painted and almost in one piece in the grid. All of this worked to my advantage since I was still on standby with ‘Anubis’ and didn’t want to start another big project right away. So it was much quicker to finish Valimar compared to my previous models.

I followed the plan, so I always removed the parts from the grid and assembled them immediately in parallel with the instructions. Of course, it’s a shame that many parts of the mecha were less complex, but it was also nice not to deal with such small parts where there’s always a risk of them falling out of your hand (and then the cats jumping on them!). So, it was a very pleasant build… even though there were some parts here and there where the attachment points to the grid were really poorly placed, and it was difficult to clean them properly. But this problem has also occurred often enough with other model kits. The fact that some parts were already pre-painted, and you didn’t have to paint or glue anything extra, was also quite practical.

After the head, torso, arms, legs, wings, and sword were all finished, everything could be assembled. Valimar behaves like a Figma figure and can be moved freely with joints. This is intended to allow you to recreate the combat poses from the game series. I tried to recreate the sword attack pose, which is also shown on the back of the packaging and in the instructions. The parts and Valimar itself are very light and generally move well, but complex body postures are still difficult to recreate. The wings are somewhat of an exception since they can be easily attached, but they tend to fall off with the slightest touch. The instructions also recommend a stand, which was not included (but included with other model kits that ‘fly’ and therefore need it). Nevertheless, Valimar stands quite stable on its feet.

After ‘Valimar, the Ashen Knight’ was officially released, ‘Ordine, the Azure Knight’ (the mecha of the main character Crow) was announced shortly thereafter. However, it is scheduled to be released on March 31, 2024, almost a year later than the first model. Nevertheless, I have already pre-ordered it and look forward to placing both of them side by side in the display case. In theory, there are more mechas in the ‘Trails of Cold Steel’ series, although Valimar and Ordine are the only two that you see in the first part. It’s also rather unlikely that they will release the other, less well-known mechas from the series as model kits.

On the left “Valimar, the Ashen Knight” and on the right “Ordine, the Azure Knight”.