To make sure i don't hit high level of boredom and wasting my expensive notebook being too CPU idle this year i've decided to make another Macross aircraft; the VF-25F MESSIAH from MACROSS FRONTIER series which actually comes with love and hate relationship..was. Hate because how the 'Battroid' mode turn out to be surprisingly skinny unlike its buffy and macho predecessor from the classic MACROSS SDF/DYL, PLUS and ZERO. The guys at MACROSS production and their head mecha designer Shoji Kawamori seems to have some kind of huge leap of faith to come out this kind of fighter design which seems to crossed between a SU Flanker and F-14 tomcat aka VF-1S/J. Yes it has the Russian Sukhoi vibe in it especially the front fuselage design. After watch many series up to MACROSS DELTA which seems to have that the front fuselage design almost looks similar to its VF-25 genetics ...well i have to accept the fact VF-25 Messiah do look cool eventually (after many years of fuzzy thoughts of embracing such design) and decided to create models for my favorite R/C simulator from scratch. Among all the Macross aircraft design i saw the VF-25 seems to be the only aircraft that doesn't look as wedge and broad build like its classic counter part except the early fact took its cue design from the SV-51 fighter from MACROSS ZERO series. Overall MACROSS FRONTIER mecha and aircraft design along character and storyline seems to caught me of guard on my expectation due to introduction of newer things, trends and animation story plots which has different vibe rather than walking down path to classic Macross theme where its used to be between humanity vs Zentradies. Well as expected from MACROSS FRONTIER and their recent MACROSS DELTA there are lots of 'Moe' along with 'Bishounen' factor, magical girls, pop culture and most importantly unbelievably fast ricocheting like aircraft maneuverability twice what the X-9 GHOST drone (MACROSS PLUS) can do that defy physics...thankfully in MACROSS DELTA they don't have to fight arthropod space bug and they didn't left out Lyn MinMay as reference. Well that's 'Yack Deculture' for you in the new season of MACROSS storyline....one thing for sure my favorite crush the YF-19 airframe did carry forward making a cameo appearance in both new Macross series. With all the buzz and fuzz on mecha trends yes it'll dig that VF-25F MESSIAH and its now in my wish list task to build me a cool simulator models for my R/C hobby! Let's build it!
I have to admit building the VF-25F MESSIAH from scratch is harder than building previous aircraft because the lower fuselage seems to have more hidden curves and angle not seen from exterior angle which i have to do extra guess work on how both under carriage turbine housing looks like on both side and to make things worse the landing gear designs especially lower hatch panels seem to differ differently from one kit manufacturer to another as i went through researching on the internet. I have to ended up follow the kit layout from HASEGAWA plastic model kit plans since this one have close to realistic undercarriage build and gear retract mechanism like a real jet aircraft than just toy like parts. It took me more work hours to fiddle about building 3d meshes of the lower parts of the aircraft especially around the turbine housed fuselage than the upper part of the aircraft, only the wings and all the surface flight control like vertical stabilizer, side stabs, rudder, flaps and aileron was a walk around the park work load. Despite being lazy try to save up time i've decided to pull old constructed 3d parts like the turbine vector thruster nozzles from my previous model the VF-31A KAIROSS got it recycled and re-mesh it to fit nicely inside VF-25F leg coupling...same goes with the internal pilot cockpit. (..so you know now that's not Mr. Alto Saotome in that cockpit either,lol). With the included "Collision" meshes required for the simulator the total worth of 3d meshes are; Vertices: 6193 and Faces: 6788 which is slightly far less polygonal mesh structure than previous build the MACROSS DELTA VF-31A KAIROS build which is good for CPU utilization when running in the simulator...it means zero lag. Overall 3d meshes build took me 8 hours to build because if extra guess work as mentioned previously.
Texturing work was also a bit hard and more complex then i've anticipated since its hard to find a direct clean photo of undercarriage bottom texture for UV mapping work via 3D tools. Most upper part texture photo came from HASEGAWA model kit photo while the lower part texture photo i believe was CHOGOKIN or something random i found on internet and when both upper and lower texture combined through UV mapping there's a huge mismatch both on the paneling outline alignment, patterns and more critically the color tones. Thanks to my 20 years of graphic editing skills luckily i still have my 'lights and magic' tricks on how to fix the textures to combine both upper and lower texture to make it more naturally blend, visually 3D 'baked' and look a like a true VF-25F Messiah texture without looking too glitchy. After 350MB of memory resources swapping texturein and out of CPU cycle it took 5 hours of texturing work to accomplished the desired templates for perfect VF-25F's UV mapping work.
After the 3d modeled the VF-25F completed both 3D meshes in *.OBJ format and UV textures, its time to compiled for simulator use via PHOENIX R/C builder tools. Since VF-25F share same setup layout/parameter similarity with VF-31A and VF-31J in term of flight control, engine turbine power, airfoil layout and fuselage geometric value i've decided to duplicate the *.MODX file from VF-31A, applied the parameter on VF-25F to save time and just fine tune few critical flight parameters such as angle of airfoil, flight control size, landing gear configuration, turbine setup, CG, weight, inertial, fuselage drag and etc which then create profile ofVF-25F very own flight character. The only struggle i have to setup on VF-25F is finding the right CG (Center Gravity) point along the fuselage/wings since all MACROSS aircraft design i have encounter have 'odd' yet non-standardized aircraft design which makes its more 'technically mental' challenging to test.....myself ended up 2 days to test out the plane before i found closest CG sweet spot. Although the CG sweet spot was not perfect i manage to compensate the imperfection 'out of mass proportion' designed plane by setup the elevator trim in the parameter code adding +35 'clicks' up trim and increase the 'Elevon' control surface by around 20% so that the plane doesn't 'nose heavy' too much during take off consequently when enough thrust applied the plane will straighten itself for linear stable flight. For added bonus; i've added wing tip 'smoke generator' as optional feature for the first time in my MACROSS model builds. The final result of the parameter setup on VF-25F has transformed entirely into a different plane 'characteristic' when compared to my previous build; its setup to be flown as real as possible close to real big scale aircraft than being an R/C model to cater realism of a jet fighter over maneuverability of hobby size aircraft.
Fictional/model MACROSS VF-25F Messiah:
Texturing works and decaling:
Applying control surface and parameters:
Final production in R/C Phoenix:
Below are the virtual stock attributes value on VF-25F that influence a lot on how it flies in Phoenix R/C, i setup the aircraft as 'Advance Level' flyer type handling specifications in simulator:
- Wingspan: 2000mm (variant 1) and 3000mm (variant 2)
- Flying weight: 17.49kg (variant 1) and 29.29kg (variant2)
- Turbine unit: 2x Fuel turbine
- Outer main wing airfoil type (flaps + elevon): MH32
- Side fuselage airfoil type: NACA 0015
- Vertical stabilizer airfoil type (rudder): Flat profile
- 2x Turbine idle rpm: 40000
- 2x Turbine max rpm: 1520000
- 2x Turbine thrust power (N): 500
- 3x wheeled landing gear: functional retracts + front guided + gear bay doors + suspension struts
In term of overall flight performance on VF-25F this plane performed quite different from my previous Macross aircraft build for this R/C simulator, the most obvious feeling when flying this plane in comparison to others is that it felt it has extra 'weight' of 'gravity pull' for realistic jet aircraft feeling when controlling it on stick than having maneuverability of fictional sense like as seen in any of Macross animation series or movie. The weight not only helps to stabilized handling to make it close to realistic flight but also helps to maintain stable forward inertia momentum when flying in heavy windy condition thus not get thrown about by crosswind. So when flying this plane it felt more lively in handling very close to real scale aircraft flying than R/C which is what i intended it to be. Despite the inertia momentum force it has it might be a struggle to make sharp turn on a big heavy plane but the elevator style vector thrust from its thruster nozzle will help to add maneuverability especially when recovering from high level nose dive towards the ground.
To make it more maneuverable at slow speed without stalling the flaps surface on its wing have been improved giving more drag efficiencies and optimization for slow maneuverability especially when preparation for landing. It also helps at tight fast turns due to increase wind resistance surface when flaps deployed....thus since this plane doesn't has any air brake the flaps 'virtually' will compensate it. Previous build on my Macross aircraft doesn't have full drag optimization on its flap but for VF-25F its a blessing which explained its as much easier to do approached landing at slower speed than other models which have to slow down glide and shut down the engine entirely...back then i say.
The characteristic of aerobatic maneuverability on VF-25F remains the same like any of my Macross build; it still can do loop, barrel roll, knife edges and close combat dogfight style aerial control but the rate response is a bit slower since this plane is setup closely to real world aircraft handling than R/C style responsiveness with added 'earth gravity pull' feeling when you flying it. As added bonus i've have added wing tip smoke generator to leave long trail of smokes as it thrust its self into the skies....it looks cool!!, you can turn this feature one through 'Switch smoke' on your controller switch via Phoenix R/C Gui setup screen.
Although this plane rated as 'Advanced' category model which requires experienced piloting skills actually its easy to fly and the model hardly ever going to induced stall condition at slow banking speed which is pretty much true in real world because the bigger the R/C aircraft models the easier for pilot to fly it without too much of a struggle...bigger plane mean less twitchy when handling up in the air. The VF-25F MESSIAH flying characteristic and handling is pretty much similar yet close to how i flown my huge R/C models the World War 2 era (Hobby King) B-17 Flying Fortress, (J-power) P-38 Lightning and the twin 70mm EDF electric (LanXiang/LX) F-22 jet aircraft both seen inside my Gallery hangar and activity page.
Overall the VF-25F MESSIAH is fun aircraft to fly; it looks good in the sky, screaming fast, maneuverable and really shout out for attention especially if you're huge fan of MACROSS animation series. With such model quality every screenshots of VF-25F in action inside the simulator will make a great HD wallpaper too. The plane design itself has the Russian Sukhoi vibe in it with a bit of F-14 tomcat hybrid genetically which make it looks more elegant yet shows familiar dominance in the skies, this makes the plane unique and realistic among all Macross aircraft variants. Well i guess i had made a wrong perception when i first saw the VF-25 variants in MACROSS FRONTIER animation series earlier back then but now i really love the looks and its overall of this aircraft which is why i'm building this plane as part of my R/C Phoenix simulator models collection. So if you're big fan of MACROSS FRONTIER aircraft and love flying RC jet then go ahead download this model for your R/C Phoenix simulator and have fun flying in your very own living space! Well i was thinking building a YF-19 next...what do you think?...hehehehe!
* Note - Variants
Do take note that for this model i've created two variant of VF-25F for Phoenix R/C simulator: 2 meter wing span + 17.49kg flying weight and 3 meter wing span + 29.29kg flying weight model variant all zipped into one download package. I made two type of models to cater various audience because its definitely some people wanted feel large presences of aircraft passes by in front of them especially for MACROSS fan while other like to retain as standard small size R/C models. So if you want a park flier R/C scale models install the 2 meter wing span size (xl_vf25f_messiah_2m.pkg)and if you like the feeling of big and loud presence in the skies install the 3 meter wing span variant (xl_vf25f_messiah_3m.pkg) all available inside the zip file. Obviously there are differences of handling and performance between two available planes, 2m version is very nimble, fast and more forward inertial force while the 3m version feels like flying like real plane so choose your models carefully.
Tools used to create these custom model:
- 3D Modeler program: 3D Zmodeler v1.07 and v2.0 (*.OBJ support)
- Compiler tools: Phoenix Builder v1.0.p
- Texture editing program: Corel Photopaint
Related article & community
Here are list of article and links related to the above model.
- Wikipedia: Mecha designer Shoji Kawamori
- Macross wikia: Shoji Kawamori Macross Design works
- Wikipedia: Macross Frontier
- Wikipedia: Macross series
- Macross Wikia: Macross Frontier
- Macross Wikia: VF-25F Messiah
General info | model: MACROSS FRONTIER VF-25F Messiah | platform: PC | simulator version: Phoenix R/C v5.5 | type: Aircraft | class: Performance | style: Scale | level: Advance | power: Turbine | Manufacturer: Macross | avg ZIP file size: 11.4MB | date released: 18-Sept-2019 | Revision: v1.0
*Installation instruction: How to install custom models in Phoenix R/C
*Note: This models are available for free distribution and for non-commercial purposes.
*'MACROSS', 'MACROSS FRONTIER' and ''VF-25F Messiah" are trademarks & copyrights of the following company © Big West, Studio Nue, Tatsunoko, Satelight (www.macross.jp). All Rights Reserved