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Super Macross Mecha Fun Time Discussion Thread!

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On 1/25/2020 at 6:32 PM, Bolt said:

It's interesting to note, the original idea for Macross WAS just bipedal fighter jets- Gerwalk only. Toy sponsors wanted robots to sell (they knew they could sell those..).  Hence the Batroid.  And those toy makers were right!

Gencidas was one of two early concepts that evolved into the designs in Macross, the other was actually a powered suit that turned into a fighter.

 

7 hours ago, Mazinger said:

Alright, I'm probably gonna get shot down in flames here, but I'm of the opinion that battroid modes with heads are superfluous.

There's a use for a place to stick a high-gain camera cluster and a gun turret that can rotate independently of the direction of motion of the mecha.

 

5 hours ago, Bolt said:

The NUNS 31-A has a slight edge , doesn't it?

Depends on how you want to define "a slight edge"... the VF-25 should have slightly higher flight performance on account of having a marginally higher thrust-to-weight ratio, while the VF-31 has a more passively stealthy profile that tries to compensate for a loss of payload versatility with the ordnance container.

 

2 hours ago, Bolt said:

Yes. I was thinking performance wise. I like the multi role container. But considering the many variants of the VF-25 super parts, I'm not sure that's a clear cut advantage. 4C87A84E-96C4-4B3D-8254-BFD5CA4A15E6.jpeg.811963e263ee3aa7565748207b6b0f2a.jpeg

Er... 2, 3, and 4 there are all the same thing actually.

 

All told, I'd say the VF-31 is probably the better aircraft for cost performance whereas the VF-25 is probably a better overall performer due to being able to specialize at the expense of greater cost.

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Got an odd question from a project I'm working on.

What was the earliest fighter to use a barrier system (pin-point or otherwise) and did it have a heavy armour version? (like the OWL or tornado armour)

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I think the miniature PPB was new for Project Supernova, so the VF-19 & -22 should be it for production models.

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1 hour ago, Focslain said:

What was the earliest fighter to use a barrier system (pin-point or otherwise) and did it have a heavy armour version? (like the OWL or tornado armour)

Miniaturized pinpoint barrier systems were developed for Project Super Nova as one of the major requirements for a 4th Generation Main VF, so the first VFs to get them would be the YF-19 and YF-21 prototypes.  Due to the New UN Forces' dropping the VF-19 and VF-22 from large-scale production, the first mass production VF to mount a pinpoint barrier was the VF-171 Nightmare Plus.

The oldest VF we've seen mount a barrier system after they achieved production status was Mylene's VF-11MAXL Custom, which was built in 2045 (after the technology had reached a production level on the VF-19 and VF-22).

The first VFs with both a pinpoint barrier AND an Armored Pack were the VF-25 and VF-171EX.

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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Ok, so time to look up the VF-171EX. 

Thank you.

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28 minutes ago, Focslain said:

Ok, so time to look up the VF-171EX. 

Thank you.

The VF-25 technically had it first, since the VF-171EX was a mid-war development in the Vajra conflict.

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26 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The VF-25 technically had it first, since the VF-171EX was a mid-war development in the Vajra conflict.

As long as it's close enough. I'll check both but I already have a rep of a 25 in the force. 

Project is my Macross themed Tau army, looking for colour schemes for the riptide.

Edit: Hmm.. Looking at this I think I'll go back to the default idea of a VF-1 armoured. With the strike pack it has the same basic shape of a riptide so the scheme will mesh easier.

Edited by Focslain

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On 1/26/2020 at 11:10 AM, Mazinger said:

Alright, I'm probably gonna get shot down in flames here, but I'm of the opinion that battroid modes with heads are superfluous.

Eh, somewhat? It’s a fairly elegant solution  though, given that the cockpit ends up shielded and located in the torso.
 

On 1/26/2020 at 11:10 AM, Mazinger said:

Sure they looked nice as kids, but when I go into my own fanfic speculation, I just can't justify any "real world" need for heads with eyes and little head lasers.

The “head” is really just a sensor turret with cameras and other imaging sensors. We don’t ever really see any other sensors at work, but I have to Imagine that it has FLIR, Light Amplification, and Thermal built in. Not to mention being a convenient place to put lasers for missile defense.
 

On 1/26/2020 at 11:10 AM, Mazinger said:

I'll go so far as to say that Gerwalk is all I would need in any live action treatment.

And I think GERWALK should see more use. It has a lot of versatility that we never really get to see explored.

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

And I think GERWALK should see more use. It has a lot of versatility that we never really get to see explored.

When the designers start messing with the core concept of VF transformation, one of the most common outcomes is that they end up removing GERWALK mode altogether.  We saw this a couple times in the 90's, like the VF-XX Zentradi Valkyrie from the Macross II: Lovers Again OVA and the VF-X3 Medusa from Macross: Remember Me.  The logic is usually that GERWALK mode doesn't have a lot of utility in space besides deceleration and that Battroid can do that just as easily.

I've often thought that Macross Frontier neglected GERWALK mode too much, and one of the few things Macross Delta did right in the TV series was to make fairly extensive use of GERWALK mode.

There was, of course, that one memorable time that a designer decided to add a fourth mode instead and we got the Metal Siren's Gundroid mode in Macross II, which was explained as a GERWALK-like mode meant for space dogfighting.  That same designer is also responsible for the "poor man's VF" that had JUST a GERWALK mode (the GERWALKroid, also from Macross II).

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Was that the first episode of Frontier when Ozma is wrestling with a heavy Vajra  soldier in his armored VF-25S? I love how he goes to gerwalk mode to avoid a shot and blasts the Vajra . He doesn't kill it though..

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2 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

When the designers start messing with the core concept of VF transformation, one of the most common outcomes is that they end up removing GERWALK mode altogether.  We saw this a couple times in the 90's, like the VF-XX Zentradi Valkyrie from the Macross II: Lovers Again OVA and the VF-X3 Medusa from Macross: Remember Me.  The logic is usually that GERWALK mode doesn't have a lot of utility in space besides deceleration and that Battroid can do that just as easily.

I've often thought that Macross Frontier neglected GERWALK mode too much, and one of the few things Macross Delta did right in the TV series was to make fairly extensive use of GERWALK mode.

There was, of course, that one memorable time that a designer decided to add a fourth mode instead and we got the Metal Siren's Gundroid mode in Macross II, which was explained as a GERWALK-like mode meant for space dogfighting.  That same designer is also responsible for the "poor man's VF" that had JUST a GERWALK mode (the GERWALKroid, also from Macross II).

One of the disappointing things about Delta is that aside from the first episode, Hayate hardly does any Gerwalk dancing. I thought it would be his gimmick, he would be skilled at Gerwalk/Battroid due to his extensive work experience with civilian destroids.

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4 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

I've often thought that Macross Frontier neglected GERWALK mode too much, and one of the few things Macross Delta did right in the TV series was to make fairly extensive use of GERWALK mode.

Well, that seems to come mainly down to where the battles took place.

Delta used a lot of in-atmostphere scenes, plus some ground-level fights. Frontier was almost entirely space, excepting a couple small ones inside island 1, and the stuff on that planet mid-way through the season.

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11 hours ago, AN/ALQ128 said:

One of the disappointing things about Delta is that aside from the first episode, Hayate hardly does any Gerwalk dancing. I thought it would be his gimmick, he would be skilled at Gerwalk/Battroid due to his extensive work experience with civilian destroids.

Yeah, the so-called "Immelmann Dance" kind of fell by the wayside after just a few episodes... one has to wonder if it was because the maintenance team made him stop doing it, as the series had at least one bit of dialog from Makina acknowledging that the Immelmann Dance was rough as hell on Hayate's VF-31J and, compared to Messer's style, it was coming back all beat-up just from his style of flying.

There was a really nice bit a few episodes on where Hayate and Freyja went for a night flight in his VF-31J and had a whole dancing segment before Messer rained on their parade and threatened them with charges for AWOL.

 

That line from Makina about how Hayate's handling of his VF-31J was so rough that it was incurring extra repair time between sorties was one of the odder things we've had in terms of technical remarks.  How many G's was Hayate putting on that airframe that it needed more repair between sorties than someone aggressively dogfighting like Messer?  VFs are stressed for dozens of G's above and beyond the almost-30G buffering limit of the ISC.  Hayate was either astonishingly rough on his VF-31, or the performance enhancements in the Xaos VF-31 customs already overloaded the airframe in normal operation.

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3 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That line from Makina about how Hayate's handling of his VF-31J was so rough that it was incurring extra repair time between sorties was one of the odder things we've had in terms of technical remarks.  How many G's was Hayate putting on that airframe that it needed more repair between sorties than someone aggressively dogfighting like Messer?  VFs are stressed for dozens of G's above and beyond the almost-30G buffering limit of the ISC.  Hayate was either astonishingly rough on his VF-31, or the performance enhancements in the Xaos VF-31 customs already overloaded the airframe in normal operation.

Column A perpetrated by Column B?

Basically it overloaded and his rough on the machine. Also doesn't Messer mostly fight in fighter mode? Which would be easier on the frame then other modes based on drag alone. 

Plus on the different pressures of the the various modes. In fighter the body and wings would be taking most of the force and it would be spread.

In Gerwalk/battlroid modes most of the pressure now hits the joints, especially with Hayate's dancing. Those moves can't be good on the hip and shoulders joints. Plus with spinning in fighter you have a flat pressure as the plane rolls. While it might be able to pull and twirl, barrel rolls are still semi-wide circles with the center outside the plane.

In Hayate's maneuvers in other modes the spin center is closer to inside the mech meaning his placing pulling pressure on the machine.

If I'm correct, I'm prepared to be schooled by the professional.

Edited by Focslain
added thoughts

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I was checking SKETCHLEY's translations page and something caught my attention: Macross Chronicles says that no giants were found inside ASS-1 wreck. Is that correct? The only evidence of the existence of alien giants come by the equipment and architecture of the ship alone? I always thought they figure out by the dead crew inside, but the ship was already empty when crashed on Earth.

 

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That's mentioned in the first episodes of SDF as well. Focker notes that the battroids were built to fight giants, but they didn't know the giants were so human.

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7 minutes ago, JB0 said:

That's mentioned in the first episodes of SDF as well. Focker notes that the battroids were built to fight giants, but they didn't know the giants were so human.

Wow, so the Giants anatomy where complete unknow for them? 

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2 hours ago, Gerli said:

Wow, so the Giants anatomy where complete unknow for them? 

I would think they could extrapolate to some degree what form the ship's owners took by the equipment present on it. Just looking at the dimensions of doors, hallways, and control placements will carry some implications.

My assumption would be that they knew they were roughly human-shaped(two arms, two legs, similar proportions), but not "just like humans".

 

I'm sure the resident experts will have an astonishingly comprehensive level of detail on this later.

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9 hours ago, Gerli said:

I was checking SKETCHLEY's translations page and something caught my attention: Macross Chronicles says that no giants were found inside ASS-1 wreck. Is that correct? The only evidence of the existence of alien giants come by the equipment and architecture of the ship alone? I always thought they figure out by the dead crew inside, but the ship was already empty when crashed on Earth.

 

Thanks for using my site!

By any chance, you wouldn't remember which page that comes from?

 

Taking it as-is, without context, I would interpret "no giants were found inside the wreck" simply as the crew abandoned the ship when they set it up as a booby trap on Earth.

One thing that is clear (mentioned on pretty much all the pages that I did check) is that the Earthlings immediately started making "anti-giant weapons", and understood that the giants were "5 times taller than a man".  So, they had a clear idea of their opponents (from extrapolation, or more substantial things like pressure suits and body armour).

 

6 hours ago, JB0 said:

My assumption would be that they knew they were roughly human-shaped(two arms, two legs, similar proportions), but not "just like humans".

I think part of that was the way the writers depicted the revelation.  Hikaru (the audience's eyes) didn't know.  But that begs the question: was that a military secret(E.g.: only the higher-ups knew), or was it a genuinely unknown thing for all Earthlings?

As for the big :db:DNA reveal:db: (the "just like humans" part), I think that was a genuine unknown.

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17 hours ago, Focslain said:

Basically it overloaded and his rough on the machine. Also doesn't Messer mostly fight in fighter mode? Which would be easier on the frame then other modes based on drag alone. 

Messer did a lot of Battroid mode and GERWALK mode stuff during the space battles... but from the sound of it, even Hayate's handling in fighter mode was pushing his VF-31J well beyond its normal limits and causing damage.

 

9 hours ago, Gerli said:

I was checking SKETCHLEY's translations page and something caught my attention: Macross Chronicles says that no giants were found inside ASS-1 wreck. Is that correct? The only evidence of the existence of alien giants come by the equipment and architecture of the ship alone? I always thought they figure out by the dead crew inside, but the ship was already empty when crashed on Earth.

Yup, there's no mention of them finding any alien crew aboard the wrecked ship in the Super Dimension Fortress Macross series or Macross: Do You Remember Love? movie, and I don't recall any mention of finding crew in Macross the First either.

 

9 hours ago, Gerli said:

Wow, so the Giants anatomy where complete unknow for them? 

I'd imagine a lot of the ship's fixtures would have kind of given the game away... like the gigantic, completely recognizable-at-a-glance toilets.  

I can just imagine the first work crews exploring the ship... "Golly, I wonder what kind of amazing alien lifeforms inhabited this mysterious ship from beyond the stars?"  "Oh damnit, that's a giant toilet.  We're on some Gulliver's Travels bullsh*t now."  "Don't get so down, at least we're not doing that one TAS episode with the giant Spock and the plant people."

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Haha...oh yeah the toilets! :rofl:

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Would fleets that left Earth with the VF-4 as their primary fighter have continued to upgrade them past the G-model, or would it have been more economical to simply adopt a new fighter?

Was the VF-4G the last official UN Spacy variant, or was it a longevity enhancement for colony fleets?

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Would fleets that left Earth with the VF-4 as their primary fighter have continued to upgrade them past the G-model, or would it have been more economical to simply adopt a new fighter?

It depends on a bunch of factors.  Namely: 1) how long the fleet is cruising through space, and 2) how much combat the fleet is experiencing.

With 1, every airframe has a lifespan.  It's due to things like pressurization cycles and wing stress.  For commercial aircraft, that's generally measured in take-off/landing cycles.  For modern fighter jets from Western countries, that's measured in hours, and is 4,000 to 6,000 hrs on average.

So, the longer the fleet is using the aircraft—even with upgrades to extend their service life—the more likely they're going to change to a new fighter.  Among other things, newer aircraft require less maintenance, and due to that, are generally safer to fly.

With 2, the demand to adopt a new fighter is greater, as the fleet would be experiencing heavier attrition, and the need to introduce more advanced VFs to give them a tactical edge in combat.

 

Quote

Was the VF-4G the last official UN Spacy variant, or was it a longevity enhancement for colony fleets?

Officially, it's the last known enhancement.  But as with all things Macross, there's always a possibility.  For example the VF-1.  We all thought that was taken as far as can be with the VF-1X.  Then a decade and a half later (real world years), we got the VF-1X++ Double Plus Valkyrie.  Again, we thought it was taken as far as it could go.  However, a couple of years after that, we got the VF-1EX...

... and then there's the semi-official publications, like VFMF, which introduced such things as the VF-1P, and VF-1Z!

 

Going back to your question, officially, there's also the VF-4SL, but it's unclear if that was introduced before or after the VF-4G (which made it's appearance at the same time as the VF-1X in Macross Digital Mission VF-X in the late 90's).

The VFMF VF-4 book indicates that the VF-4 continued to be developed after the VF-4G.  However, as neat as some of the alternative designs and concepts are, I have to discount that book as it also claims that the VF-4G is a) the first transforming VF-4 and b) substantially larger than the preceding VF-4 fuselages (like how the F-18 Super Hornet is bigger than the F-18 Legacy Hornet)—both apparently in contradiction to the official setting!

Edited by sketchley

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So it sounds like the VF-4 could have remained in use by some colony fleets for decades. Seeing design revision and updates and continuous production with those incremental improvements.

I was curious because the numbers stated on Macross Mecha Manual have the VF-1X and the VF-4G, both apparently introduced around the same timeframe, but the VF-1X’s performance data seems to totally outclass the VF-4G.

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2 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Would fleets that left Earth with the VF-4 as their primary fighter have continued to upgrade them past the G-model, or would it have been more economical to simply adopt a new fighter?

@sketchley's answer captured the situation with admirable completeness... though I'd add two more factors, the size of the fleet and the state of the fleet economy.

Most, if not all, of the emigrant fleets that were launched with the VF-4 Lightning III as their main fighter were the 1st and 2nd generation emigrant fleets.  Comparatively small fleets of a few dozen ships led by a Megaroad-class ship with ~80,000 emigrants.  Those early fleets weren't economic powerhouses the way the much larger fleets that followed were with their millions-strong populations and dedicated factory ships, so with their more limited manpower and skill sets they'd likely have lacked the resources to develop major updates to the VF-4 themselves.  That'd put more pressure on them to upgrade to newer models if they could afford it.  The governments that couldn't would just soldier on with their VF-4G's until the cost of maintenance got too high.

(Pressures like this did not disappear in the larger fleets, though... 

 

2 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Was the VF-4G the last official UN Spacy variant, or was it a longevity enhancement for colony fleets?

Back then, there wasn't as much of a difference between the main UN Spacy forces and the emigrant fleet forces... so you'd get an answer of "Yes" to both.

The VF-4G was the last (official) variant developed for the VF-4, used by the main UN Spacy and emigrant fleets alike.

 

 

29 minutes ago, sketchley said:

For example the VF-1.  We all thought that was taken as far as can be with the VF-1X.  Then a decade and a half later (real world years), we got the VF-1X++ Double Plus Valkyrie.  Again, we thought it was taken as far as it could go.  However, a couple of years after that, we got the VF-1EX...

To be fair, we should probably draw a distinction between the last general-issue production variant (VF-1X) and aftermarket modifications like the VF-1X++ and VF-1EX.

 

29 minutes ago, sketchley said:

Going back to your question, officially, there's also the VF-4SL, but it's unclear if that was introduced before or after the VF-4G (which made it's appearance at the same time as the VF-1X in Macross Digital Mission VF-X in the late 90's).

All available evidence points to "before".

 

29 minutes ago, sketchley said:

The VFMF VF-4 book indicates that the VF-4 continued to be developed after the VF-4G.  However, as neat as some of the alternative designs and concepts are, I have to discount that book as it also claims that the VF-4G is a) the first transforming VF-4 and b) substantially larger than the preceding VF-4 fuselages (like how the F-18 Super Hornet is bigger than the F-18 Legacy Hornet)—both apparently in contradiction to the official setting!

Like all Master File books, it self-disclaims as not part of or relevant to the official setting, so it can do stuff like that and get away with it because it isn't really trying to line up 100% with the official setting.  The VF-4 book was a bloody train wreck though... critical research failure.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So it sounds like the VF-4 could have remained in use by some colony fleets for decades. Seeing design revision and updates and continuous production with those incremental improvements.

Yes, it's within the realm of possibility.

That said, the way aircraft are phased in and out of service pretty much guarantees that the VF-4 remained in service well after its nominal replacement as main fighter.  It takes years for an aircraft to be gradually phased out of service when its replacement is being phased in, as units retrain on their new aircraft during the transition.  Often, those older aircraft are kept around for training purposes and used for miscellaneous purposes for years or even decades after their replacement.  This bit of "Truth in Television" holds true in Macross too... in Macross 7 Trash, a Macross 7 side story set in 2046, we see that the 37th Long-Distance Emigrant Fleet Macross-7 is still using the VF-4 as a training aircraft and a testbed for some experimental technologies.  (A testing accident in one that leads to the test pilot's death is what kicks off the plot.)

In Macross the Ride, the Macross Frontier fleet is still in the process of decommissioning and disposing of its VF-11s in 2058... by which point they're also in the last stages of picking the VF-11's successor's successor.  (Chelsea Scarlett buys three VF-11Bs in a NUNS disposal sale to build her VF-11B Nothung II custom race plane at the end of the story.)

 

4 minutes ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

I was curious because the numbers stated on Macross Mecha Manual have the VF-1X and the VF-4G, both apparently introduced around the same timeframe, but the VF-1X’s performance data seems to totally outclass the VF-4G.

Part of that is misleading, since (as was recently pointed out to me on another board) the VF-4 article is actually missing the overboost values for the main engines... and on top of that, the VF-4 doesn't have any performance spec for its ramjets or rockets.  

So when you get down to it, the VF-4G on main engine thrust alone should have a peak T/W value of 5.67722 not 2.37, slightly better than the VF-1X's 5.19837, and the VF-4's got four more engines to supplement that advantage with, not to mention more weaponry.

(One other area M3 needs correction is that Overboost on the late block VF-1 and VF-4 is 240% not 200% as seen in the art.)

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

So it sounds like the VF-4 could have remained in use by some colony fleets for decades. Seeing design revision and updates and continuous production with those incremental improvements.

Any VF could be used for decades. It just depends on usage and need.

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Another question about the VF-4, it seems that the design is lacking head lasers, which given how much they’ve been used in the shows, seems like a critical design oversight.

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Just now, Valkyrie Driver said:

Another question about the VF-4, it seems that the design is lacking head lasers, which given how much they’ve been used in the shows, seems like a critical design oversight.

Well, that's probably got a lot to do with the radically different transformation... the VF-4's head is mounted dorsally where the body merges into the wing surface.

The VF-4 compensates for the lack of coaxial laser cannons with a pair of high-powered particle beam cannons mounted on its forearms that fill many of the same roles while offering a lot more stopping power.  We've seen (in the Macross M3 opening cinematic) these beam guns one-shot a power-up Glaug.

Macross: Eternal Love Song - one of the two Macross II: Lovers Again prequel games - was the first title to feature a transformation for the VF-4.  Its VF-4, which was called the VF-4 Siren, had a more VF-1-like transformation, four coaxial lasers on a VF-1SR-like monitor turret, a beam rifle that bears a startling (and probably not coincidental) resemblance to the one made for the Zeta Gundam, and funnels.

Kawamori's VF-4G has a variant head that IIRC has only been seen in model kits (pictured below), which features a rear-facing beam gun similar to those found on later models of VF in addition to its particle beam cannons.

head.jpg

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43 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Well, that's probably got a lot to do with the radically different transformation... the VF-4's head is mounted dorsally where the body merges into the wing surface.

Given that this seems prototypical of later VF designs (like the VF-17/171, VF-25, VF-27, VF-31, and a few others), that seems like it would be a no-brainer upgrade. 

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1 minute ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Given that this seems prototypical of later VF designs (like the VF-17/171, VF-25, VF-27, VF-31, and a few others), that seems like it would be a no-brainer upgrade. 

For what it's worth, the rear-facing laser or beam gun positioned to provide coverage for the aircraft's blind spot was a concept that Shinsei Industry would fully realize on its very next design a few years after the VF-4's introduction: the VF-5000 Star Mirage.  Coaxial gun mounts don't seem to have been considered essential equipment after the First Space War.  The more traditionalist designers at Shinsei Industry kept them on most of their designs, but the more experimentally-minded designers at General Galaxy left them out of their company's flagship 2nd and 3rd Generation VF designs (VF-9 and VF-14) and didn't adopt them until their late 3rd Generation special forces fighter concept (the VF-17).

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Can modern valks in battroid mode sustain altitude in an atmosphere?

(Maybe it's a different universe but it is weird the Gundams with wings can sustain atmospheric flight but cannot escape the earth's gravity. Modern Valks like the VF-19 and onwards were able to go into space, unaided.)

In Macross Zero when Fokker was transforming his valk keeps descending. In Macross when Max and Millias Battle over the ocean has Max transforming into a battroid but only stays on that form for a few seconds (maybe because it is less mobile?)

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18 hours ago, Valkyrie Driver said:

Given that this seems prototypical of later VF designs (like the VF-17/171, VF-25, VF-27, VF-31, and a few others), that seems like it would be a no-brainer upgrade. 

YF-21 doesn't appear to have head lasers either..

 

7 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Can modern valks in battroid mode sustain altitude in an atmosphere?

(Maybe it's a different universe but it is weird the Gundams with wings can sustain atmospheric flight but cannot escape the earth's gravity. Modern Valks like the VF-19 and onwards were able to go into space, unaided.)

In Macross Zero when Fokker was transforming his valk keeps descending. In Macross when Max and Millias Battle over the ocean has Max transforming into a battroid but only stays on that form for a few seconds (maybe because it is less mobile?)

Short answer is definitely. Obviously isn't so aerodynamic . I just think most prefer fighter mode in atmosphere. I don't really know the specs , but Gundams look bigger and heavier.

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4 minutes ago, Bolt said:

YF-21 doesn't appear to have head lasers either..

Oh, it has one... that fin on its head is a semi-fixed, rear-facing, anti-aircraft laser system meant to cover the aircraft's blind spot in fighter mode.

The production version had multiple options for that weapon, including the same model of laser used on the prototype or a more powerful miniature converging beam cannon.

 

 

8 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Can modern valks in battroid mode sustain altitude in an atmosphere?

Even the VF-1 Valkyrie could... it's just a question of "for how long?".  

You see, a VF's thermonuclear reaction turbine engines use the heat produced in the compact thermonuclear reactor for both energy generation and for thrust production.  Fighter mode energy usage is low because the energy conversion armor is either not running (Gen 1-4.5) or running in low power mode (Gen 5+), so most of the reactor's heat output can be reserved for producing thrust.  GERWALK mode requires more electrical power for actuators and to increase the energy conversion armor's durability, so the available heat from the reactor to produce thrust is reduced because more of it is being converted into electricity.  Battroid mode maximizes the energy demands because systems like pinpoint barrier projectors are active and the energy conversion armor is running at maximum power, so comparatively little heat is left available for thrust production.

The limiting factor is going to be how much of a power surplus is available and the cooling state of the engines themselves.

We see instances of practically every major VF being able to hold altitude in Battroid mode for at least a short time... I'd expect that they get better at it as time goes on, but it's all about engine surplus output and cooling.

 

8 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

(Maybe it's a different universe but it is weird the Gundams with wings can sustain atmospheric flight but cannot escape the earth's gravity.

Much like the VF-1, it's an issue of fuel capacity and system efficiency.

Early flight-capable mobile suits like the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam and RGZ-95 ReZEL are using their Minovsky reactors to drive a pair of fairly small and rudimentary thermonuclear jet turbines for atmospheric flight.  They've got a decent thrust-to-weight ratio (4.43607 for Camille's Zeta) but because the aerodynamics of the unit are poor they're basically flying on brute force as much as they are on lift, which is a terribly inefficient way to get around.  Much like the VF-1, once they hit the atmospheric service limitation of those turbines they're stuck switching to rocket thrust to get around... but the Zeta Gundam's at a bit of a disadvantage there because its rockets aren't made for sustained flight and their output power is actually lower than that of the thermonuclear jet engines.  They simply don't have enough fuel to keep going up once they hit the atmospheric service limitation, and once the tanks are dry you're flying a brick.

The VF-1 Valkyrie had it better given that their thermonuclear reactor and generator design is a LOT more efficient and powerful than those of flying Mobile Suits, they've got a more aerodynamic profile, superconducting ram-air precompressors to function better at higher altitudes... but even with all that, they were burning the candle at both ends to even reach the edge of space (100km).

 

8 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

Modern Valks like the VF-19 and onwards were able to go into space, unaided.)

Yeah, the initial generation thermonuclear reaction turbine engines were revolutionary and offered incredible fuel efficiency... but the thermonuclear reaction burst turbines that the 4th Generation VFs introduced and the Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engines the 5th Generation VFs introduced benefitted not just from improvements to fuel efficiency and heat energy conversion efficiency, but also from MUCH larger airframes with significantly more room for onboard fuel storage without having to resort to cheats like externally mounted fuel tanks.  That greater efficiency, output power, and fuel capacity made flying straight to orbit a lot more achievable and efficient.  

 

8 hours ago, Sir Galahad® said:

In Macross Zero when Fokker was transforming his valk keeps descending. In Macross when Max and Millias Battle over the ocean has Max transforming into a battroid but only stays on that form for a few seconds (maybe because it is less mobile?)

The VF-0 Phoenix uses a pair of overtuned conventional turbofan jet engines for thrust and power generation... the output of which is a lot lower than what a thermonuclear reaction turbine engine is capable of.  Even with the reduced energy demands of the much less powerful energy conversion armor, Battroid mode on a VF-0 is monopolizing at least 90% of a VF-0's generator output, leaving the engines generally incapable of sustaining flight by thrust alone.  

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Perhaps this has been discussed elsewhere on MW but I came across this on YouTube. I'm still drooling...

OK, Question. I'm sure its been explained here but i'll ask again: What are those dual dots that are above the nacelle engine cans (feet in G & B mode). are they same thing as the single dots on arms just behind the hand actuators? I always assumed they were sensors or perhaps cameras to which the pilot derived more visual imput… am I wrong?

and like the round thingies (that eventually became both hook points and Vernier thruster ports), why do those items not appear on later VF's (either in media or model kits & toys)?

Edited by TehPW

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3 hours ago, TehPW said:

OK, Question. I'm sure its been explained here but i'll ask again: What are those dual dots that are above the nacelle engine cans (feet in G & B mode).

Verniers.  They're tagged with "Beware of Blast" markings.

 

3 hours ago, TehPW said:

are they same thing as the single dots on arms just behind the hand actuators? I always assumed they were sensors or perhaps cameras to which the pilot derived more visual imput… am I wrong?

Dunno what those are, actually... I don't recall seeing any source explicitly identify them.

 

3 hours ago, TehPW said:

and like the round thingies (that eventually became both hook points and Vernier thruster ports), why do those items not appear on later VF's (either in media or model kits & toys)?

Oh, those thrust-vectoring verniers never went away... they just got harder to model as VFs got bigger relative to the size of those verniers.  If you look at the line art with a careful eye, you'll find they're still present on practically every major model of VF like the VF-11, VF-17, VF-19, VF-25, VF-27, and YF-29.

General Galaxy pioneered an alternative approach on the space-optimized VF-14 Vampire that was the standard for space-use VF designs for a while.  What they came up with was essentially a thrust-vectoring thrust reverser that they called a vernier ring.  The vernier ring is essentially a bunch of small thrust reversers each covering a portion of the circumference of the engine nacelle, all able to be independently turned on or off to produce steerable thrust for maneuvering.  By using this as a replacement for a lot of the high-thrust verniers, fewer verniers were needed elsewhere on the airframe and by using main engine thrust it reduced design complexity a bit by eliminating dedicated vernier systems and propellant tanks.  General Galaxy used it on their VF-14, VF-17, and VF-171, and Shinsei even adopted it for their space-optimized VF-19 2nd mass production type (VF-19F/S).

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