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Super Macross Mecha Fun Time Discussion Thread!


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28 minutes ago, Bolt said:

As @DewPoint asked about gravity propulsion.. are there any examples of the Protoculture having used that method? They revered the Vajra so, one would assume the Protoculture would explore that method of propulsion.

the Sigur Valens [the ex-Protoculture now Windermerian battleship from Delta] comes to mind:

Sigur Valens class by SolGravionMegazord on DeviantArt

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1 hour ago, Bolt said:

As @DewPoint asked about gravity propulsion.. are there any examples of the Protoculture having used that method? They revered the Vajra so, one would assume the Protoculture would explore that method of propulsion.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 112 – The Bird-Human – gubabablog

 

Also, many MANY cases of inexplicable floating rocks e.g. Macross Zero and like... 2/3 of the local geology on Uroboros.  It's also probably how the Protoculture-created insectoid bioweapons known as the Dyaus get around.

 

Dyaus | Wiki | MACROSS 4EVER Amino

Dyaus | Wiki | MACROSS 4EVER Amino

 

Pretty much every ship built using overtechnology is capable of reactionless flight using gravity control too so there's that as well.

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Yup... reactionless flight using gravity manipulation is pretty useful.

So long as the gravity generators don't fly out of the ship lol.

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3 hours ago, Master Dex said:

So long as the gravity generators don't fly out of the ship lol.

Yeah, they do work better when they're inside the ship.

 

It occurred to me that there's one other high-profile case of reactionless drives being used for flight in-series...

http://www.macross2.net/m3/macross2/battlepod/battlepod.gif

The Mardook's version of the Regult battle pod... which on several occasions is shown hovering or flying at very slow speeds without using the thrust from its thrust-vectoring engine pods to do so.

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I dont know how reliable to RPG stats were, but didnt it say that the Battlepod things used an experimental antigravity drive, which didnt strike me as smart on the "Cannon Fodder" mecha of the series.

Twich

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7 hours ago, twich said:

I dont know how reliable to RPG stats were, but didnt it say that the Battlepod things used an experimental antigravity drive, which didnt strike me as smart on the "Cannon Fodder" mecha of the series.

Twich

Are those the Palladium stats you're referring to?

If so, then consider those a load of hot air, because the sheer, mind-boggling scale that those things are mass produced at means that they are anything but experimental!  If anything, the Battlepods have a simple, mass produced "antigravity drive", with the Zentradi Battlesuits having a more advanced drive, and the Marduk Gigamesh Battlesuits having the fully tricked out drives.

If I was being generous, I would say that the Battlepod's drive is "flaky", simply because it's so simple, and the pods themselves are banged around in combat and basically used like toilet paper.

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8 hours ago, twich said:

I dont know how reliable to RPG stats were, but didnt it say that the Battlepod things used an experimental antigravity drive, which didnt strike me as smart on the "Cannon Fodder" mecha of the series.

... "Not at all" would be the politest way to put it.

Palladium Books claimed that they brought in someone to research Macross II: Lovers Again in order to get accurate information for the RPG, but that person either didn't exist or they got conned bad because they somehow managed to get almost every single detail of the OVA's setting and story wrong.  They didn't even list the right year for the events of the OVA.  The list of details they actually got right is painfully short (we're talking single-digits).  

Funny story, the top of the slippery slope that led me to translating was realizing there were inaccurate bits in the RPG and looking to Japanese publications to try and houserule fix 'em.  I didn't realize how deep the rabbit hole of inaccuracy went at the time.

 

58 minutes ago, sketchley said:

If so, then consider those a load of hot air, because the sheer, mind-boggling scale that those things are mass produced at means that they are anything but experimental!  If anything, the Battlepods have a simple, mass produced "antigravity drive", with the Zentradi Battlesuits having a more advanced drive, and the Marduk Gigamesh Battlesuits having the fully tricked out drives.

It may only be "simple" compared to other Mardook-built mecha too, given that the Mardook are indicated by Macross II's creators to have overtechnology superior to that of the Zentradi or Meltrandi.

(I'm undecided as to whether or not the battle suits would have it, since they're not shown to hover without an engine providing thrust the way the battle pods are.)

 

58 minutes ago, sketchley said:

If I was being generous, I would say that the Battlepod's drive is "flaky", simply because it's so simple, and the pods themselves are banged around in combat and basically used like toilet paper.

I wouldn't even say "flaky" given that it's mass-produced for the Mardook's most common mecha... it's probably just basic (by their standards) because it's something intended for use by the rank-and-file Zentradi grunts who've been subjected to mind control.

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I am sure that the RPG stats are a load of horse dung that took at bath in COVID.  I just wish that Macross II got the same love and dedication to the lore and the raw statistics that other Macross series.  Some of the designs and implementations are rather unique and worthy of much more love than it appears to receive.  I wish that the story was a bit more fleshed out with the exact origins of the Mardook.  Are they Protoculture decendants?  The Variable Fighter need to get something akin to the Variable Fighter Master File for the VF-2SS, VF-2JA, VF-XX, VF-1MS and even the Mardook mecha.  

Twich

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2 hours ago, twich said:

I am sure that the RPG stats are a load of horse dung that took at bath in COVID.  I just wish that Macross II got the same love and dedication to the lore and the raw statistics that other Macross series.  Some of the designs and implementations are rather unique and worthy of much more love than it appears to receive.  I wish that the story was a bit more fleshed out with the exact origins of the Mardook.  Are they Protoculture decendants?  The Variable Fighter need to get something akin to the Variable Fighter Master File for the VF-2SS, VF-2JA, VF-XX, VF-1MS and even the Mardook mecha.  

Twich

Alas, there just wasn't that much interest when the series was initially released (in Japan), and decades later interest didn't increase by the time they published Macross Chronicle.  That said, the Macross Chronicle Revised Ed. did increase the exposure with more Tenjin Hidetaka paintings.  However, I suspect the biggest problem is the lack of detailed materials when it was first released.

As for not informing the viewer on the origins of the Mardook: I think that's one of the things the series did absolutely right.  Nothing increases interest like a little bit of mystery.  ;)

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11 hours ago, twich said:

[...] I just wish that Macross II got the same love and dedication to the lore and the raw statistics that other Macross series.  Some of the designs and implementations are rather unique and worthy of much more love than it appears to receive.  I wish that the story was a bit more fleshed out with the exact origins of the Mardook.  Are they Protoculture decendants?  The Variable Fighter need to get something akin to the Variable Fighter Master File for the VF-2SS, VF-2JA, VF-XX, VF-1MS and even the Mardook mecha.  

Macross II: Lovers Again actually did get a fair amount of detail... the problem, from the fan perspective, is that that the bulk of the information was never collected in any one publication after the fact.

Like you'd expect for a sequel to a popular anime series, the Macross II: Lovers Again OVA got a fair amount of attention from the hobby press when it was in development and production.  There were the usual creator interviews, the teased designs for various characters and mecha, the articles talking about various aspects of the story and setting, promotional tie-ins, and all the other odds and ends.  Where that became a problem is that that information was never consolidated the closer they got to release.  It was a series of exclusives for the various hobby magazines like NewtypeAnimage, and B-Club.  If one of those hobby magazines wasn't in your spectrum of interests - like a scale modeling magazine would be to a casual anime hobbyist - then you just missed the one and only publication that talked about subjects X, Y, and Z.  And this was back before the internet, so the only way to know about that was to either be already subscribed or see some kind of advert, and the only way to get it if you missed it was to go do the crawl of your local stores for unsold back issues.

The one that I think really put a dent in Macross II was that the one and only article to give in-depth coverage of Macross II's timeline and the development of its mecha was an exclusive in Bandai's B-Club magazine.

Of course, even then, the level of detail behind Macross II's mecha wasn't as high as the obsessive level of detail Kawamori and Chiba put into Macross's original series.  It was more in line with what was being done in the rest of the industry.

Macross's creators aren't exactly aloof to the series... Haruhiko Mikimoto snuck several nods to Macross II into his later work for the franchise like Macross 7Macross 7 Trash, and Macross the First.  Some would argue Macross Delta was Kawamori borrowing its take on an alien foe who weaponized songs for mind control purposes.  

Macross II: Lovers Again was also ahead of the curve when it came to a number of trends that emerged in later Macross titles and setting materials like:

  • Future generations of Variable Fighter after the VF-4 incorporating Zentradi overtechnology to improve performance and durability.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting starting in This is Animation Special: Macross Plus.)
  • Next Generation main Variable Fighters based on Zentradi battle suit technology reverse-engineered from a captured factory satellite.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting via the YF-21/VF-22 in Macross Plus and Macross 7.)
  • VF designs being optimized for usage in space or atmosphere.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting starting in This is Animation Special: Macross Plus.)
  • VF cockpits with controls incorporated into a g-force resistant armature to help pilots maintain control under high g-loads.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting via Macross Frontier's EX-Gear.)
  • VF designs with four thermonuclear reaction turbine engines.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting in Macross Frontier.)
  • VF designs that leverage high generator outputs to replace conventional guns with railguns.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting in Macross FrontierMacross RMacross Delta.)
  • VF designs with beam gunpods.  (Incorporated into the main Macross setting in Macross Frontier.)

 

As an unrelated point, the Metal Siren didn't have a designation for a very long time.  It was just "Metal Siren".  The "VF-1MS" thing is something that Palladium Books invented, which obviously doesn't work as it implies the Metal Siren is a variant of the VF-1 Valkyrie.  The official Macross website finally gave it a designation of "VA-1SS" around the time production started on Macross Frontier, and that's the one that stuck ever since.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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I agree with you that Macross II was an innovator for subsequent Macross productions. I had never heard the designation for Metal Siren was VA-1SS, but it makes sense, given the nomenclature for the VF-2SS. I know the VF-2SS has 4 thermonuclear reaction engines. We seem to only have statistics for the main leg engines, but no information on the smaller ones, which was always curious for me...are they at least as powerful as the main engines of the VF-1? That would make the VF-2SS quite a leap ahead, not to mention the VF-2JA and Metal Siren.  Thank you for the information on Macross II, I am always eager for more.

Twich

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14 hours ago, twich said:

I had never heard the designation for Metal Siren was VA-1SS, but it makes sense, given the nomenclature for the VF-2SS.

There was no real announcement that they'd officially given it a designation... it just showed up with a designation one day on the old official Macross portal's Flash interface.

 

14 hours ago, twich said:

I know the VF-2SS has 4 thermonuclear reaction engines. We seem to only have statistics for the main leg engines, but no information on the smaller ones, which was always curious for me...are they at least as powerful as the main engines of the VF-1? That would make the VF-2SS quite a leap ahead, not to mention the VF-2JA and Metal Siren.

I'm not aware of any source that gives an explicit statement of the thrust available from the sub-engines... though if the remarks about the VF-2SS having three times the output of the VF-1 apply here, it'd be around 8,900kgf or about 77% of the output of the VF-1's engine.

We know the VF-2JA has lower performance than the VF-2SS as a result of being a lower-cost rear echelon planetary defense aircraft rather than a frontline main VF.  Though it is helpfully noted to be non-trivially faster than previous-generation main fighters and sacrificed unneeded fuel capacity as a dedicated atmospheric fighter for further-increased armor.

Admittedly, the pace of technological development in Macross II's timeline is slower than in the main Macross universe that came along after it.  The Valkyrie II's "fully loaded" thrust-to-weight ratio with the Super Armed Pack is slightly better than the original VF-1 Super Valkyrie but that higher performance is more sustainable since it's not dependent on short-lived rocket motors to make up the difference.  Performance-wise, they're about on par with the 3rd Generation VFs in Kawamori's timeline.

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5 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Admittedly, the pace of technological development in Macross II's timeline is slower than in the main Macross universe that came along after it.  The Valkyrie II's "fully loaded" thrust-to-weight ratio with the Super Armed Pack is slightly better than the original VF-1 Super Valkyrie but that higher performance is more sustainable since it's not dependent on short-lived rocket motors to make up the difference.  Performance-wise, they're about on par with the 3rd Generation VFs in Kawamori's timeline.

Interesting. I really haven't paid enough attention to that. I always thought M2 Valks were still ahead of the current Kawamori valks..

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Just now, Bolt said:

Interesting. I really haven't paid enough attention to that. I always thought M2 Valks were still ahead of the current Kawamori valks..

Well... in some ways, they are.  In others, not so much.

For instance, the progression of things like engine power in Kawamori's timeline is much more rapid with VF thrust-to-weight ratios shooting into the double digits from the 4th Generation onwards where it stays in the single digits in Yatagai's timeline.  The usage of unmanned aircraft as wingmen and the widespread adoption of railguns in lieu of conventional cannons is way more widespread in Yatagai's timeline than Kawamori's.  

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I would be interested to know the power of the rail guns. I know that the rail gun on the SAP is anti-capital ship class, but what about the head lasers/ beam cannons.

twich

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13 hours ago, twich said:

I would be interested to know the power of the rail guns. I know that the rail gun on the SAP is anti-capital ship class, but what about the head lasers/ beam cannons.

As noted previously, Macross II's creators stuck with a more typical mecha anime level of detail when laying out the stats for the OVA's mecha.

That unfortunately means we don't have concrete numbers for things like the firepower of different weapons.  When it comes to the railguns, all we really get are relative statements of power like the VF-2SS's standard/medium railgun gunpod, Nex's custom heavy railgun, and the anti-capital ship railguns mounted on the Super Armed Pack and Defender-EX Destroid.

Energy weapons aren't really commented on in the published stats except to note number and type.  

Both the UN Forces and the Mardook seem to have abandoned laser weaponry in its various forms in favor of more advanced and powerful beam weaponry in Macross II.  The Mardook's improved Nousjaedul-Ger was the odd man out as the only mecha with other types of energy weaponry, having retained the original design's impact cannon and plasma cannon.

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Now that we have had a really good discussion of the VF-2SS from Macross 2, maybe we can talk about another unique Variable Fighter in the VF-4. This is one of the few whose design has the three hull design with the legs and arms stored away from the central body, also we have the fact that it has three types of propulsion systems on board, besides the standard RCS/Vernier thrusters for maneuvers in space.

As far as I know and have read on M3/ Macross Compendium, the VF-4 has 2 thermonuclear reaction engines in legs, thermonuclear rocket type thrusters in the shoulders(behind arms) and finally the 2 ramjets located in the rear in fighter mode/in backpack in battroid.

Does any other variable fighter have so many different propulsion systems as part of the base variable fighter? I know the VB-6 Koenig Monster has some interesting propulsion, but that thing is literally a Monster.

Also, can all of these propulsion systems be used at once? What kind of thrust are we talking about here? I know that the premise for the VF-4 was to replace the need for FAST packs while the variable fighter is in space and to have enough onboard fuel capacity to be able to sortie for extended periods of time in space, but what other purpose does all these different engines serve?

I am curious to hear what people think.

Twich

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3 minutes ago, twich said:

As far as I know and have read on M3/ Macross Compendium, the VF-4 has 2 thermonuclear reaction engines in legs, thermonuclear rocket type thrusters in the shoulders(behind arms) and finally the 2 ramjets located in the rear in fighter mode/in backpack in battroid.

One minor correction... the VF-4's six engines are a pair of thermonuclear reaction turbine engines, a pair of thermonuclear ramjet engines, and a pair of (conventional) hybrid rocket engines.

 

3 minutes ago, twich said:

Does any other variable fighter have so many different propulsion systems as part of the base variable fighter? I know the VB-6 Koenig Monster has some interesting propulsion, but that thing is literally a Monster.

Not really, no... the closest we ever get to that kind of complexity is the König Monster's combination of thermonuclear reaction turbine engines and plasma rockets.

 

3 minutes ago, twich said:

Also, can all of these propulsion systems be used at once?

At the very least, we know that the thermonuclear reaction turbine engines and hybrid rocket engines are designed to operate concurrently.

The VF-4's Master File book, while not official setting material, suggests the answer is a very definite "maybe".  It contends that the thermonuclear ramjet engines in the wings only operate at airspeeds of Mach 3 or above, at which their output is high enough for them to effectively take over for the thermonuclear reaction turbine engines.

 

3 minutes ago, twich said:

What kind of thrust are we talking about here?

So, official materials indicate the VF-4A-0's FF-2011 thermonuclear reaction turbine engines were good for 14,000kgf (137.3kN) at 100% power.

It's worth noting that, on those older specs, 100% was not the actual peak power of the engine... the actual maximum rated output was 200% on the early block VF-1's and 240% on later block VF-1s and later models.  That would make their actual maximum power was 33,600kgf (329.5kN).

No thrust figure is given for the ramjets, AFAIK.

Master File is the only source to list a thrust for the rocket engines, which appropriate to their reduced size is significantly less than the NP-BP-01's 120,000kgf (1176.8kN) at a mere 18,560kgf (182.0kN).

 

3 minutes ago, twich said:

I know that the premise for the VF-4 was to replace the need for FAST packs while the variable fighter is in space and to have enough onboard fuel capacity to be able to sortie for extended periods of time in space, but what other purpose does all these different engines serve?

The ramjet engines were a way to improve high-altitude performance and increase maximum cruising speed.

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Since we have been having such good discussion and information sharing about Variable Fighters, I would argue that the YF-29 Durandal is arguably the most powerful Variable Fighter that we have seen. With raw engine power with 4 engines, armament and defensive capabilities, I think it is the most powerful. Now I know we don’t have access to the stats of the NUN Spacy VF-24 or the NUN Spacy YF-29B Percival, barring those and what we might see in the second Delta movie, who is in agreement?

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1 minute ago, twich said:

Since we have been having such good discussion and information sharing about Variable Fighters, I would argue that the YF-29 Durandal is arguably the most powerful Variable Fighter that we have seen. With raw engine power with 4 engines, armament and defensive capabilities, I think it is the most powerful. Now I know we don’t have access to the stats of the NUN Spacy VF-24 or the NUN Spacy YF-29B Percival, barring those and what we might see in the second Delta movie, who is in agreement?

Hm... "Yes and no", would have to be my answer.

On the one hand, the YF-29 is arguably the strongest Variable Fighter to appear in a Macross story so far in terms of its combination of flight performance and armament.

On the other hand, the YF-29 is Macross's first Gundam-esque Super Prototype that's effectively impossible to mass produce due to its cost, complexity, and the difficulty inherent in obtaining enough fold quartz at the necessary level of purity.  There are other 5th Generation VF designs that rival or even exceed its flight performance, and there are other 5th Generation VF designs that can rival or exceed it for raw firepower.  One of those, the YF-30 Chronos, is a less super Super Prototype that boasts an even higher T/W ratio than the YF-29's (46.676 vs 53.085).  The production Sv-262 can get to 50.948 with its fold reheat, and the production VF-27 Super Lucifer is also noted to be able to rival the YF-29 in flight performance.  Several other 5th Generation VFs can rival the YF-29 for firepower with Option Packs that give them 2-3x the number of missiles to play with.  The Queadluun-Alma, a rogue mecha belonging to the anti-government organization Fasces can put in an unusual claim as it boasts supreme defensive power via its Astral system that can supposedly tank hits from a Macross Cannon.

Essentially, whether or not the YF-29 is the strongest Valkyrie to yet appear depends on what criteria we're considering.

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I can see your argument, I want to see if I am understanding your reasoning with a breakdown of each example you used.

YF/VF-27 Super pack-I guess that I had forgotten that the whole reason for the super pack on this Variable fighter was to try to match the YF-29.  The fuzzy part was whether it was to match the YF-29 without super parts attached, or with super parts. I don’t know which gun has the more power, I think the huge gun for the VF-27 is an earlier model, so therefore is bigger.  I do not know if the YF-29 gun has a rapid fire mode like the gun pod of the VF-27.  Micro Missles are usually spammed, and therefore the number held by the craft is subjective.  The VF-27 has the 25mm beam machine guns in the wing root, and the 35mm large bore beam guns on the wing engines.  The YF-29 has the same (as far as I can see on my toy of the YF-29) 25mm beam machine guns, some weird things that look like large bore guns on the forearms, but haven’t been identified as guns, the Tornado style twin MDE cannon, so I guess they are both very powerful, advantage to the VF-27 for not needing metric tons of fold quartz to operate though (as far as I know), the YF-29 has 2 head lasers, the VF-27 has one

YF-30-another prototype, has the same gun pod, so even-Steven there.  Has head lasers x2, so does the YF-29.  Detachable mission pack that can be swapped out for anything that can be thought out, but we only see the missile pod in the game and in the toy.  Has less weight, so has greater thrust to weight, as you mentioned, and is probably less costly to manufacture.

SV-262-this one is a bit fuzzier for me to put up against the YF-29.  I am sure it is much, much cheaper to manufacture, as the Kingdom of Windemere was able to have so many as the series starts, then supplement with even more in episode 16 or 17, where we see the airfield with at least 2 to 3 squadrons more of the SV-262Ba variant.  Gunpods, probably of similar power, although when the SV-262 takes out that carrier in the first episode of Delta, that has to have some power behind it.  The railguns of the SV-262 are a bit of an unknown.  We don’t know if they are true railguns, or just electrically assisted out of the barrel and utilize regular bullet mechanics.  Also, we don’t know how much of an ammo drum the SV-262 has to carry.  The ammo would have to be stored in the arm, and I believe that would probably limit the number of rounds it could carry, but even if there was a central feed from within the arm or main body, that would take up a lot of room.  I know in the animation that we see both the SV-262 and more so the VF-31 use their railguns during long, sustained bursts and what sounds like a rather high rate of fire, so I am sure that ammo would be used rather quickly.  The YF-29 has double thickness energy conversion armor that has 4 times the electrical power pumped through it(I believe this is right) and the YF-29 can use ECA in all modes.  Does it state that the SV-262 can do this also?  I would think not, since in the animation, a 25mm rail gun round was able to penetrate the cockpit in GERWALK mode and take out the eye of Keith.

You mention option packs, I assume you mean the VF-31 with Full Armor pack? As far as I am aware, the Full Armor has the giant Gatling/rail guns, all those missiles and the sheer thickness that the armor appears to possess.  I don’t know the cost, but i could not be that stupid expensive as the cost of the YF-29, since Xoas was able to field several, the VF-31S, VF-31E, and a few VF-31A’s.

As far as sheer thrust, I think that the YF-29 for the base Variable Fighter is top dog.  The YF-30 has better thrust to weight ratio because it is much lighter, less bulky.  I think that the SV-262 also benefits from this.  The new standard energy-based gun pods gives real power to the base Variable Fighter without getting into super/armor packs.  

I believe that some of the new mecha that we were introduced to in the Macross 30 video game and the Macross Delta series certainly benefitted from the gains made by the YF-29.  I agree, the cost and material needed to produce one would bankrupt most planets.  If these were not factors, and were are talking the base Variable Fighter, I still think that a stock YF-29 is more powerful than any other Variable Fighters that we have seen to date.

Something tells me that the new Variable Fighter for the second Macross Delta Movie is going to give the YF-29 a run for its money and may sway my opinion....but we will have to wait and see.

Sorry for my long rambling post, I just love having a discussion on the details of Variable Fighters.

Twich 

Edited by twich
Fun’s instead of guns
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7 hours ago, twich said:

YF/VF-27 Super pack-I guess that I had forgotten that the whole reason for the super pack on this Variable fighter was to try to match the YF-29.  The fuzzy part was whether it was to match the YF-29 without super parts attached, or with super parts.

As far as we know, the VF-27's Super Pack wasn't intended to match the YF-29... that was more a happy accident.  It was described in Macross Chronicle as being intended to further enhance the VF-27's maneuverability and armor, and the ability to match the YF-29 in combat was attributed more to the Brain Direct Interface's precision control and the high degree of parts commonality between the two aircraft.

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

I don’t know which gun has the more power, I think the huge gun for the VF-27 is an earlier model, so therefore is bigger.  I do not know if the YF-29 gun has a rapid fire mode like the gun pod of the VF-27.  Micro Missles are usually spammed, and therefore the number held by the craft is subjective.  The VF-27 has the 25mm beam machine guns in the wing root, and the 35mm large bore beam guns on the wing engines.  The YF-29 has the same (as far as I can see on my toy of the YF-29) 25mm beam machine guns, some weird things that look like large bore guns on the forearms, but haven’t been identified as guns, the Tornado style twin MDE cannon, so I guess they are both very powerful, advantage to the VF-27 for not needing metric tons of fold quartz to operate though (as far as I know), the YF-29 has 2 head lasers, the VF-27 has one.

I would assume they are roughly comparable in power for most purposes... and the YF-29's beam gunpod was depicted with a rapid fire mode in Macross 30.

It's unclear how many micro-missiles the VF-27 Super Lucifer had.  We know the YF-29 had 100.

There are some oddities in the YF-29 spec.  While it appears to have the wing root gun mounts from the VF-25 and VF-27, no weapon actually listed as being mounted there.  In what is perhaps a stealth nod to plans for the original VF-1, the YF-29 doesn't have beam guns on its head... it has a pair of 25mm machine guns of the same model that can be mounted on the VF-25 and VF-27's wing root.  So, all in all, it has its heavy quantum beam gunpod, its MDE beam cannon turret, 100 internally carried micro-missiles, and the two 25mm machine guns on its head.  (The doodads on its forearms are verniers of the same type mounted on the forearms of the VF-25's Armored Pack.)

The VF-27's armament is less clear, since its micro-missile launcher capacity is not discussed.  It has the head-mounted 20mm beam machine gun, the wing root-mounted 25mm gun mounts, the 35mm beam machine guns in the engine nacelles, and that heavy quantum beam gunpod.  

When you get right down to it, they're pretty comparable in most respects... the VF-27 is even technically a derivative of the YF-29 completed using illicitly obtained YF-29 development data.  It just compensates for its extreme performance by hardening the pilot's body instead of developing a more powerful ISC with higher-purity fold quartz that wasn't available in sufficient quantities for mass production.

The VF-27 has the major advantage that it can be mass produced, where the YF-29 cannot... though mass production carries ethical and legal concerns WRT the cyborg pilots.  (Macross Galaxy having a rather casual attitude towards human rights abuses and what could arguably be called technological necromancy.)

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

YF-30-another prototype, has the same gun pod, so even-Steven there.  Has head lasers x2, so does the YF-29.  Detachable mission pack that can be swapped out for anything that can be thought out, but we only see the missile pod in the game and in the toy.  Has less weight, so has greater thrust to weight, as you mentioned, and is probably less costly to manufacture.

The YF-30 is noteworthy for four main reasons:

  1. It is the only known VF with a higher unboosted thrust-to-weight ratio than the YF-29. (53.085)
  2. Unlike the YF-29, it was not constructed to be used in combat... it was a technology demonstrator.
  3. The technology it was built to demonstrate, the Fold Dimensional Resonance system, is a more powerful version of the YF-29's fold wave system.
  4. It is the only VF to score a documented kill on a YF-29.

All in all, it demonstrated the ability to go toe to toe with the upgraded New UN Forces spec YF-29B Perceval and win due to its greater performance and flexibility even though it was not as heavily armed.

Macross Chronicle, though not official setting material, asserts there was an improved military spec (YF-30B) produced and that a VF-30 was also developed... though likely without the proprietary Fold Dimensional Resonance system and with either derated or different engines.

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

SV-262-this one is a bit fuzzier for me to put up against the YF-29.  I am sure it is much, much cheaper to manufacture, as the Kingdom of Windemere was able to have so many as the series starts, then supplement with even more in episode 16 or 17, where we see the airfield with at least 2 to 3 squadrons more of the SV-262Ba variant.  Gunpods, probably of similar power, although when the SV-262 takes out that carrier in the first episode of Delta, that has to have some power behind it.  The railguns of the SV-262 are a bit of an unknown.  We don’t know if they are true railguns, or just electrically assisted out of the barrel and utilize regular bullet mechanics.  Also, we don’t know how much of an ammo drum the SV-262 has to carry.  The ammo would have to be stored in the arm, and I believe that would probably limit the number of rounds it could carry, but even if there was a central feed from within the arm or main body, that would take up a lot of room.  I know in the animation that we see both the SV-262 and more so the VF-31 use their railguns during long, sustained bursts and what sounds like a rather high rate of fire, so I am sure that ammo would be used rather quickly.  The YF-29 has double thickness energy conversion armor that has 4 times the electrical power pumped through it(I believe this is right) and the YF-29 can use ECA in all modes.  Does it state that the SV-262 can do this also?  I would think not, since in the animation, a 25mm rail gun round was able to penetrate the cockpit in GERWALK mode and take out the eye of Keith.

Yeah... like the VF-27, the Sv-262 can be mass produced.  This is partly due to Windermere IV having large deposits of high purity fold quartz that the Kingdom of the Wind's royal family went to war with the New UN Government over mining regulations of.

There are more than just a few squadrons of them.  The Sv-262 Draken III was the main variable fighter of the Kingdom of the Wind during its 2067 war with the New UN Government.  Most, if not all, of its VF pilots were flying them.  Even if they only have the military strength of a single medium-sized emigrant fleet, that's almost 2,000 of them.

Their heavy quantum beam gunpods seem to have near-identical firepower to those of the VF-27, YF-29, and YF-30.  Its 27mm railguns are comparable to the military spec VF-31's, being the same basic model (LM-27).  Their firepower is unclear, though it's worth noting that it's a stupidly safe bet they're firing similar anti-energy conversion armor rounds to what's used in more traditional machine guns.  As solid ammo weapons, that would put them on similar terms to the YF-29's ES-25A machine guns, but in a higher caliber and possibly with greater muzzle energy as either a railgun-assisted traditional projectile or a true railgun round.  The YF-29's armor is heavier, but if remarks about the Draken III's fold reheat are accurate then it may actually be able to out-perform the YF-29 in a dogfight if they're both boosting.

It may also be to the Sv-262's advantage that it normally sorties with two Lilldraken units that function as additional boosters and drone aircraft.

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

You mention option packs, I assume you mean the VF-31 with Full Armor pack? As far as I am aware, the Full Armor has the giant Gatling/rail guns, all those missiles and the sheer thickness that the armor appears to possess.  I don’t know the cost, but i could not be that stupid expensive as the cost of the YF-29, since Xoas was able to field several, the VF-31S, VF-31E, and a few VF-31A’s.

I was actually thinking more of the VF-25's Super Pack and Armored Pack... but that works too.

In all three cases, we're talking at least twice the number of missiles the YF-29 has to work with, with various other additional weaponry.

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

As far as sheer thrust, I think that the YF-29 for the base Variable Fighter is top dog.  The YF-30 has better thrust to weight ratio because it is much lighter, less bulky.  I think that the SV-262 also benefits from this.  The new standard energy-based gun pods gives real power to the base Variable Fighter without getting into super/armor packs.

Raw thrust is not necessarily a great metric to work from.  Thrust-to-weight ratio is a better indicator of how much engine power will actually affect performance because that accounts for the mass of the aircraft the engines are pushing.

The YF-30's FF-3001/FC2 engines have the highest rated thrust of any thermonuclear reaction turbine engine thus far at 2,110 kN.  The YF-29 is runner up, with its FF-3001/FC1 main engines being rated at 2,105 kN.  The Sv-262 has a lock on third place with its FF-2999/FC2 engines rated for 1,955 kN.

The YF-29 does indeed have the most raw engine power available, a whopping total of 7,150 kN... but it's also far and away the heaviest modern VF at an empty weight of 15,620 kg, almost double that of the typical mass production 5th Generation VF.  The VF-27 is in second with 5,508 kN of total thrust, but it's also the second-heaviest at 12,080 kg making it half-again as heavy as a typical mass production 5th Gen VF.  The YF-30 is in third, with 4,220 kN, though its much lower mass of 8,106 kg means that it boasts the highest thrust-to-weight ratio by a considerable margin.  The Sv-262 Draken III is in fourth, with 3,910 kN and a slightly high airframe mass of 9,782 kg.

In terms of thrust-to-weight ratio, the YF-30 is tops with 53.085.  The YF-29 is in second with 46.676.  The VF-27 is in third with 46.493.  The Sv-262 is in fourth with 40.758.  If you factor in boost systems, at least WRT the VFs equipped with fold wave or fold reheat systems, that potentially takes the YF-29 to 49.554 but puts the Sv-262Ba over it at 50.948 and Sv-262Hs over it at 52.834.  That would leave the unboosted YF-30 in first, the boosted Sv-262 in second, the boosted YF-29 in third, and the VF-27 in fourth.

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

I believe that some of the new mecha that we were introduced to in the Macross 30 video game and the Macross Delta series certainly benefitted from the gains made by the YF-29.  I agree, the cost and material needed to produce one would bankrupt most planets.  If these were not factors, and were are talking the base Variable Fighter, I still think that a stock YF-29 is more powerful than any other Variable Fighters that we have seen to date.

Well, the YF-30 is often described as a descendant of both the YF-24 Evolution design and the YF-29 Durandal design... though what it takes from the Durandal is mainly just the fold wave system that it improved into the fold dimensional resonance system.

The mass-production VF-31, not so much... though several of those were given aftermarket customizations to install a fold wave system into them.

Strictly speaking, I don't think we've actually seen a "stock" YF-29 since the YF-29 was rushed to completion using appropriated VF-25 parts in Macross Frontier.  

 

 

7 hours ago, twich said:

Something tells me that the new Variable Fighter for the second Macross Delta Movie is going to give the YF-29 a run for its money and may sway my opinion....but we will have to wait and see.

Of that, I am not so sure.

Macross Delta was kind of a de-escalation in a lot of ways.  As I've argued in the past, the stock VF-31 Kairos was not really much of an improvement on the nearly ten year old VF-25A-1 Messiah.  The Xaos custom "Siegfried" type wasn't able to sustain the kind of performance the YF-29 or YF-30 enjoyed simply because it wasn't designed for it.  They were customized VF-31As that were designed for much lower engine outputs and Hayate was admonished several times for the damage that simply flying that custom VF-31 without kid gloves was causing to it.  The Sv-262 Draken III was only slightly better in its unboosted state, and while its boost could also take it into similar territory with the YF-29 and YF-30, that was noted to have unpleasant effects on both aircraft AND pilot and the comparatively lower levels of training and practical experience on the part of Windermere IV's armed forces meant that in a level fight even the previous generation VF-171-II was shown to be able to overcome the difference that existed in their base performance thanks to the NUNS pilots having more experience and training.  The Aerial Knights were running mainly on natural talent and luck, rather than skill and experience.

Delta Flight's new VFs were ace customs that were themselves fairly bank-breaking affairs, though not to the same extent as the YF-29 due to their more sparing use of fold quartz... and barely able to withstand that lower level of performance as it was.  I'd expect that if they're the ones to fight this new threat, the new threat will probably not be any more intimidating than the VF-27 or Sv-262 on paper.

The YF-29 was an irreplaceable Super Prototype... a weapon of awesome power that was simply too difficult to complete and too impractical to actually use until there was literally no other option left on the table.

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You make several very valid points. I guess that I had never thought of the YF-30 as a “contender” to the YF-29. The facts that you present lean me away from my original position. Also, looking at the SV-262, I think that it truly is an under appreciated variable fighter. Now, it was my understanding that the SV-262Ba did not have the fold quartz “boost” of 15% more thrust that the fold quartz equipped SV-262Hs did. Does that mean that the SV-262Ba had no fold quartz?

Sadly, I never played Macross 30, just have admired the mecha created for it and admired the toys that Bandai produced from it. You mention the possibility of production models of the YF-30? I knew there was the second prototype of YF-29, the YF-29B Percival, but it remains unclear if anything was changed for these craft.

The VF-27 is just a cool Variable Fighter and I wish we could see more of it, but understand the cyborg pilot necessity as being rather unsavory. Just a cool, all around Variable Fighter with a very large gun pod.

As always, I have enjoyed the information presented here in this thread, let’s keep up the discussion.

Twich

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1 minute ago, twich said:

You make several very valid points. I guess that I had never thought of the YF-30 as a “contender” to the YF-29.

Strictly speaking, it wasn't... the YF-30 was never intended to be a competitor to the YF-29.  It was sheer dumb luck that the gone-rogue VF-X Special Forces unit Havamal decided to locally build a small number of YF-29s on Uroboros at the same time that the YF-30 was under test by SMS on the same remote planet.  (Even dumber luck that Odin-1's pilot and Siegfried-1's pilot happened to be former best friends and wingmen, making their duel as brutally level-handed as possible.)

 

1 minute ago, twich said:

Also, looking at the SV-262, I think that it truly is an under appreciated variable fighter. Now, it was my understanding that the SV-262Ba did not have the fold quartz “boost” of 15% more thrust that the fold quartz equipped SV-262Hs did. Does that mean that the SV-262Ba had no fold quartz?

The Sv-262 Draken III used a different system than the YF-29 and VF-31 Siegfried type called the Fold Reheat.

Both the standard (Ba) and command (Hs) variants have the fold reheat system, but the command variant's fold reheat system is more powerful thanks to using large fold quartz crystals provided by the Windermere royal family.

The fold reheat system used by the Sv-262 could be called a more specialized derivative of the fold wave system.  Instead of providing a modest increase in engine performance and performing other functions like providing additional energy to the VF via fold dimensional energy conversion, the fold reheat has and only one job: MORE THRUST.  Consequently, it produces a greater improvement in maximum thrust than the fold wave system does because all of its output is focused on that one thing.  It gets 25% improvement in maximum thrust (30% on the Hs type) compared to the Siegfried's fold wave system's 15%.

 

1 minute ago, twich said:

Sadly, I never played Macross 30, just have admired the mecha created for it and admired the toys that Bandai produced from it. You mention the possibility of production models of the YF-30? I knew there was the second prototype of YF-29, the YF-29B Percival, but it remains unclear if anything was changed for these craft.

Macross 30 was a trip, and no mistake.

It got me to break the habit of a lifetime and actually buy a DX Chogokin toy.

All we know of the YF-29B Perceval is that it's an improved, military spec version of the YF-29.  Its only evident improvement is higher stats in-game and a bayonet attached to its heavy quantum beam gunpod.

Variable Fighter Master File, the tech manual series, is what mentions a military spec YF-30 designated YF-30B (in a fetching shade of Barbie pink oddly enough) and a VF-30.

Macross Delta's official setting materials make it pretty clear the VF-31 is an economized YF-30 without the proprietary hardware meant for mass production.

 

1 minute ago, twich said:

The VF-27 is just a cool Variable Fighter and I wish we could see more of it, but understand the cyborg pilot necessity as being rather unsavory. Just a cool, all around Variable Fighter with a very large gun pod.

On the list of unsavory things the Macross Galaxy fleet did, creating technically-illegal cyborg soldiers is on the tame end.

The Galaxy Executives went beyond the bounds of what might be called "usual evil" and did some pretty damned inhumane things over the years in their efforts to mass-manufacture cyborg troops.  Ever seen Universal Soldier?  They clearly have.  Ghost in the Shell too...

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8 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It may also be to the Sv-262's advantage that it normally sorties with two Lilldraken units that function as additional boosters and drone aircraft.

You know, I often wonder how many Lilldrakens Windermere actually had since they were used as disposable grunts or shields more then once in the series. Not to mention I wonder what its price happens to be when compared to say a full-on military specced QF-4000 Ghost Fighter.  Also did every Draken carry Lilldrakens or was that only the mainline Aerial Knights?

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1 hour ago, deathzealot said:

You know, I often wonder how many Lilldrakens Windermere actually had since they were used as disposable grunts or shields more then once in the series.

1 hour ago, deathzealot said:

Also did every Draken carry Lilldrakens or was that only the mainline Aerial Knights?

Probably at least twice as many LD-262S Lilldrakens as they had Sv-262 Draken IIIs... likely more than that, given that they would have expected to have a higher loss rate for the unmanned support fighters.

Every Sv-262 Draken III operating in space was outfitted with a pair of LD-262S Lilldrakens to offset the Draken III's comparatively low onboard fuel capacity by serving as a combination of drop tank and booster.

The only times we see Draken IIIs without Lilldrakens is when they're operating on Windermere IV itself.

 

 

1 hour ago, deathzealot said:

Not to mention I wonder what its price happens to be when compared to say a full-on military specced QF-4000 Ghost Fighter. 

Hard to say... matters of cost are almost never discussed except when something is either too expensive, or they're trying to frame something as comparatively inexpensive like the QF-4000/AIF-7 vs. the VF-171.

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9 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Probably at least twice as many LD-262S Lilldrakens as they had Sv-262 Draken IIIs... likely more than that, given that they would have expected to have a higher loss rate for the unmanned support fighters.

Every Sv-262 Draken III operating in space was outfitted with a pair of LD-262S Lilldrakens to offset the Draken III's comparatively low onboard fuel capacity by serving as a combination of drop tank and booster.

The only times we see Draken IIIs without Lilldrakens is when they're operating on Windermere IV itself.

Hmmm... Somewhere around five thousand would be a good number if the Windermere had indeed two thousand Draken IIIs.

9 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Hard to say... matters of cost are almost never discussed except when something is either too expensive, or they're trying to frame something as comparatively inexpensive like the QF-4000/AIF-7 vs. the VF-171.

Wasn't the QF-4000 a third the price of the VF-171? Since the Lilldraken is a bit smaller then Ghost it should be a bit cheaper then it. Or it would be a bit more expensive thanks to the extras it can equip like the jammer it equipped to knock down Walkure's drones.

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3 minutes ago, deathzealot said:

Hmmm... Somewhere around five thousand would be a good number if the Windermere had indeed two thousand Draken IIIs.

Thereabouts, yeah... assuming that Windermere IV's military (the Aerial Knights) had a total strength approximately equal to a 3rd Generation emigrant fleet.

It's not clear how large Windermere IV's military actually was, given that they were able to capture twenty or so inhabited planets in the Brisingr cluster through a combination of surprise attacks and mind control of the defending forces but were apparently ill equipped to deal with an actual coordinated counteroffensive from what remained of the Brisingr Alliance NUNS.  

 

3 minutes ago, deathzealot said:

Wasn't the QF-4000 a third the price of the VF-171? Since the Lilldraken is a bit smaller then Ghost it should be a bit cheaper then it. Or it would be a bit more expensive thanks to the extras it can equip like the jammer it equipped to knock down Walkure's drones.

Yeah, that's one of the few comparisons with respect to cost that is made in later Macross materials.  The AIF-7/QF-4000 Ghost is approximately one-third the cost of a VF-171 and comes without the need to risk the life of a flesh-and-blood pilot, which made it a very attractive option as a first-wave response unit to feel out an attacking enemy's capabilities or, in some fleets, as a wholesale replacement for manned Valkyries.

That the Lilldraken is smaller than the current-gen Ghost is not necessarily a guarantee that it's cheaper... initial cost and cost of operation are a delicate balance of many factors.  The Lilldraken definitely has less weaponry than the Ghost does and appears to be a single-engine unit, which would definitely result in lower cost, but it's also got some features that add cost and complexity like its ability to dock with the Draken III physically and be used as a booster and drop tank or the fact that it's got its own energy conversion armor (which is only active while docked, but still).  

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43 minutes ago, deathzealot said:

Wasn't the QF-4000 a third the price of the VF-171? Since the Lilldraken is a bit smaller then Ghost it should be a bit cheaper then it. Or it would be a bit more expensive thanks to the extras it can equip like the jammer it equipped to knock down Walkure's drones.

The only problem with that figure is that they don't define it.  Is it 1/3 the flyaway cost?  Is it 1/3 the operating costs?  Or is it 1/3 of both flyaway and operating costs?

Nevertheless, it is a good indicator of what kind of vehicle composes the majority of the "lower budget" air forces that populate the Macross universe. ;)

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3 minutes ago, sketchley said:

The only problem with that figure is that they don't define it.  Is it 1/3 the flyaway cost?  Is it 1/3 the operating costs?  Or is it 1/3 of both flyaway and operating costs?

Even if we take the safer assumption that it's the flyaway cost, it's not especially useful in context since we don't know what the VF-171 actually costs.

The closest we've ever come to that was Sky Angels giving an actual flyaway cost for the early block VF-1 Valkyrie of $126 million.  That was an absolutely outrageous sum in 1984 when the doujinshi was written, between five and nine times the cost of a then-current (4th) generation fighter jet.  Reality ensued, and it turned out to be an actually pretty reasonable flyaway cost for a wholly conventional 5th generation fighter jet.

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The VF-4 is still one of my all all time favorites. Most of my other favorites are discussed here. And yes, the SV 262 does seem under appreciated. 
I had once argued that the VF-25 was the best modern production VF. It was pointed out that the VF-31 was more versatile, We're still waiting to witness the glory of the VF-24). This new "VF" being teased looks more like a one off or experimental prototype. I'm not sure we're going to see a new main production Vf yet. And Bandai still needs to work us with those 31 molds. 

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