Yay! Happy New year everyone! Now its the perfect time for me to introduce the rarest Macross fighter of all time which you won't find anywhere except here; the 'XF-20A SWITCHBLADE' ...and if you're hardcore Macross fan this is the definite moment your brain stop working because its something not from Macross Master File archive. This is not an official valkyrie fighter from Macross production studio, just some new fictional model out from my creative ideas. Yes it something i come out with my own design variant evolved out of YF-19/VF-19 base design into something 'by accident' looks similar to VF-31 series..i guess i've made the missing link between them hence that where number "20" comes in. Actually i wasn't satisfied much how YF-19 wing design and overall thin narrow size fuselage could able aerodynamically airborne in real world because as mentioned previously in my past release build on YF-19 its a bit challenging to get it up in the air if applied real world airfoil design layout when simulated in simulator. Finally i've assigned 'virtually' as slightly rear sweep wing and broader wing surface in the script just to make it flyable in the simulator because the thin forward sweep wing doesn't do the job well (in reality)....as R/C aircraft modeler working with various types of wing i knew what i'm doing. Since i have extra times with my handy 3d tools and curiosity got me me good this time i've decided to rebuild the VF-19 meshes and re-design some part of the fuselage and its wing to make it more aerodynamically sensible for a plane to generate lift and fly especially if it were to operate in real word....btw SU-47 BERKUT have bigger size forward sweep wing if you wanted to keep on pondering about some engineering common sense. FYI the name 'SWITCHBLADE' came from the shape of outline of the elevon and flaps surface control that looks sharp and jagged like pivoting blade that pop-up just out of nowhere hence also homage to my cycling MTB helmet 1996 the GIRO SWITCHBLADE that almost looks like VF-1 series fighter helmet....yeah looks super radical like YF-19 indeed.
Of course there's not much 3d work to do since i just recycled back the YF-19 3d meshes project and just added extra vertices/polys and morph the shape of the polygon to proper outline of the base airframe that i want. The most highly effected part of the airframe that i work to surgery was the 'neck' part of the fuselage where air intake located which i called PART A, the main wings which i called PART B, vertical stabilizer fins PART C and mid fuselage where the Battroid head was as PART D. PART A i decided to make the neck part wider, wedgy, flat and looks more delta arrow profile like as seen on SR-71 or SUKHOI-27 styled wide wedged neck design all the way to its air intake fuselage area so it could get more lift as the air flows around. The air intake also have been narrowed too to make it look spear head like vent since this plane design to go fast. The small front Canard winglets that was originally located behind the top side of the cockpit is now relocated mid section of the fuselage just after the air intake, the Canard winglets also have been resize to compensate more air lift in mid section rather that infront. PART B the wing side have its with size longer and broader to make it more sensible to generate air lift under its wing as the airflow moves about, this also allow to carry more heavy payload under it wing due to its sheer size. The 'Elevon' surface control also have been re-design to capture more airflow on it surface to create more agile movement on all axis thanks to larger surface control as seen on 3D Aerobatics plane.....yeah i love to fly aerobatics in real life (SBACH/YAK). In PART C due to its wider wedged wing surface the rear vertical stabilizer fin which mounts the surface rudder control have been remove from the top side of the turbine case to lower side closest to the main wing root. Instead of the stabilizer fins pointed outwards its now reversed pointed inwards like the VF-31 series airframe. The rear lower fins which looks like anahedral like horizontal stabilizer fins have been enlarge and more sweep back designs like standard aircraft fighter's elevator. Most notable changes on PART D the fuselage top mid section was the 'Battroid' head unit are no longer visible with its protruded weapon turret pointed backward like as seen on YF-19 (not the VF-19 SMS version) where it fully sunk and covered in full clean panel. Despite having a large broad wing the XF-20A can still sweep its wing backwards in delta configuration close to what VF-31A outline would looked like but not fully sweep to sinking back into fuselage sleeve as seen on YF-19 full sweep mode.
The texturing such as panels lines and other details on PART A, PART B and PART C have been re-consructed via image editing tools where i have to recreate lines and all sorts of riveting parts to make it uniquely as VF-20A own identity and at the same time retain its original evolution reference to its origin the YF-19/VF-19 roots. Only the texture on PART C retains its original VF-19 counter parts. Some minor add-on includes mini vectoring nozzle on the front nose cone, double port near the ankle brace panel and portholes for cockpit ventilation. It took me almost 4 hours to 'clean' the YF-19 texture into full blank slate unpainted theme XF-20A with just having normal red round MACROSS U.N SPACY logo on its side fuselage and wings plus 'V' squadron signature, it was a good work though with slight scabby weathering paint work to show how worn out the plane looks like for standard 'A' series fighter.
When compiling functional codes and script to make it XF-20A model flyable in PHOENIX R/C Simulator it uses back the 90% of its original parameters from YF-19 including the aerofoil setup. The performance of flight control surface which contributes its agility remain the same as YF-19 but the power plant which is both its turbine engine have more extra power and thrust ratio than YF-19 or even more than any of my previous MACROSS fighter releases. Now the turbine on idle mode has 48000rpm, 1800000rpm when full thrust and Newton thrust of 580 (N) just to pull its heavy 32.43kg airframe (speaking in R/C model standard). So indeed XF-20A has all those monster torque to take-off and catch up with any of its rival.
Comparison & evolution between VF-19 EXCALIBUR vs XF-20 SWITCHBLADE:
Texturing works and decaling:
Applying control surface and parameters:
Final production in R/C Phoenix:
Below are the virtual stock attributes value on XF-20A 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: 3000mm
- Flying weight: 32.43kg
- 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: 48000
- 2x Turbine max rpm: 1800000
- 2x Turbine thrust power (N): 580
- 3x wheeled landing gear: functional retracts + front guided + gear bay doors + suspension struts
The XF-20A SWITCHBLADE is a fun valkyrie fighter to fly just like the YF-19 and to be honest its top notch agility surpasses any Macross valkyrie that i made period placing YF-19 EXCALIBUR in second place when compare to its sheer size of it airframe, that's because its additional thrust turbine power putting its competitor way behind.....but i do know VF-25 MESSIAH able to catch up well thanks to its narrow airframe. Other than agility and speed the XF-20A sheer large wide body size gave stark contrast among all valkyrie making it looks more attractive, more presence in the skies, muscular compare to YF-19 and forcing VF-31J to its edge. Its the only forward sweep wing that seem to have much bigger size surface that would able to carry more armament under its wing compare to much of the valkyrie in its existence....yeah it almost occupies half of the runway lane just to take off, lol!
Originally i didn't expect re-design the XF-20A to look almost like 'grandparents evolution' of the missing links to VF-31 series but accidentally it does seems to look alike one at the final production phase especially when looks at the overall design profile, mass and composition of the wings, fins and delta like fuselage...however only the front 'spear head' like air intake was odd though. Some hardcore Macross fans may not like the presence of XF-20A into the scene even if its under 'Fan made' genre because it can be 'mentally' stressed to think this unexpected design knocking off the MACROSS mechs timelines, but for me i don't really care or concern much who people might think or criticized because what matter is i have so much fun able to think out of box how to create endless possibilities of designs and stuff that works....oh yeah it flies!! ...hahaha..i guess its my nature to build something different or else this website won't exist or popular due to all the crazy stuff i made, lol. Most important thing that convey message about this mods is if you're able to generate a cool imagination and creativity that indicates health growth of minds of positive thinking into your hobby....don't stop there just grow. A good example...LEGO guys with their MOC build. Let the creativity flourished!
* Note - Variants
Do take note that for this model i've created only one variant in the package instead of two as i normally did in previous projects. So by default you'll get the one unit of XF-20A - 3 meter wingspan version inside the download package below. However as shown in the gallery there are actually many variants of XF-20 series with different livery design have been created as 'Special' models. Some 'Special' models only available on my Blog site at https://www.davidxl.com as 'Exclusive edition'...yes you still can download it for free. So if you see something rare just head to my Blog site for special treats.Enjoy!
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: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
- Wikipedia: Macross series
- Macross Wikia: Macross Plus
- Macross Wikia: VF-11B Thunderbolt
- Macross Wikia: YF-19 Excalibur
General info | model: MACROSS XF-20A Switchblade | 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: 5.58MB | date released: 9-Jan-2020 | 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', 'The Super Dimension Fortress Macross', 'MACROSS PLUS' and ''YF-19 Excalibur" are trademarks and copyright of the following company © Big West, Studio Nue, Tatsunoko (www.macross.jp). All Rights Reserved