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Update on my progress http://maxharddrive....irgin-road.html Original post The Virgin Road In 1985 I saw Robotech one day after school. It was a cartoon that didn't seem like it was made for kids. It quickly became one of my favorites. It was epic in scale and complex in story and wonderfully animated. The Variable Technology Valkyrie was instantly the coolest thing I had ever seen. A F-14 that turned into a giant frakking robot! The toy was one of my favorite toys of all time. Still is. In the 90's I learned to make 3D Models and CGI animation. First thing I did? a Valkyrie. How cool would it be to have a fully functioning 3D model to play with? I did a free hand model in fighter mode first, good practice. It transformed alright ... into a mess. In order for the model to transform properly I disassembled, measured and scanned a spare toy had and it did. My goal was to make as realistic a plane as I could based on the toy, the cartoon and a F-14, still is. First the model was cleaned up of toy details and some engineering corrections where made. Apparently there is a big debate on the interwebs about the legs transformation sequence. I made a hip transformation method that made sense to me. The landing gear and the gun pod had to be redisigned because the gun pod doesn't fit under the toy landing gear. Also a redesign of the head, that flips back and forth during transformation not spins a around. Mine's is a A type head with S type quad lasers, hence the M. That made for a nice affect with the turret in fighter mode. Other ideas I had, I added LANTIRN like pods for eyes and a FLIR cam for the face. Anyways life happened and I only worked on it a few moments a year ... sometimes less. -earliest rendering- Fast forward (years) and I have cleaned up the model quite a bit. I got a lot of surfacing practice and have all the parts covered. I have made a very detailed cockpit and a weapons rack, missiles and rocket pods. I scaled up from 1/55 until I could fit the cockpit under the canopy. The length I settled on was 64ft to the official 46ft ... not quite sure how that works ... but its got about 2ft on a F-22 so that OK. The weapons package attaches the body not the wings so the wings can fold back in battloid mode. The racks and weapons fold back in this mode for a more logical function. The design was a 1980s toy based on a 70s jet but in the story the design came about in the 1990s, well in to stealth territory. I can't really change much with out messing up the transformation but I did what I could. To make it stealthy I added serrated edges, faceted and smoothed surfaces where I could. My surfacing is based on a F-22 plus the toy and cartoon detail. The color scheme was always going to be Max Sterling's Virgin Road. -In this render the nose was elongated. BAD IDEA! In battloid mode it looked ricockulous. I forgot, the toy transforms perfectly no need for changes - Am I the only one who thinks Spacey sounds dumb? Sure it's Army, Navy but not Airy, Right? It is Air Force, it should be Space Force. The UN can have a Spacey, the US will have a Space Force. I figured the U.S. Space Force was going to need a new logo, cuz the Macross logo sucks bad. I made a shooting star design based on the classic Air Force logo, that had a sense of motion. The sense of motion was also applied the US flags on the stabilizers with the star fields facing forward. This is as close to finished as I am going to get. I would say 95% finished, I will get to 99% but my work is never finished. There are a few details I'd like to get to but I need to move on to transforming this bad boy. This "final build" has the nose returned to toy dimensions. Details have been tightened up, even more toy elements where removed. The vernier thrusters have been redesigned after studying DYRML details. Vernier thrusters have also been added to the wing tips. The cockpit has also received much attention. It is based on the M:SDF1 design and my own ideas. I will have close ups of the cock pit after is add some effects; glowing buttons, display UI and textures.. The next step is gerwalk mode! Stand by for more.
From the album: Zenkaikon 2013Picture of us with Robotech's Ben Dixon voice actor Richard Epcar at Zenkaikon 2013. During our Macross/Robotech panel at Zenkaikon we showed a special tribute to Ben Dixon. It's posted on vimeo now: https://vimeo.com/62740839 It depicts the fun loving & jovial Ben Dixon and hints at the aviation origins of his Robotech name, the character was originally Hayao Kakizaki in Macross.