Yes! here we again with another MACROSS DELTA model the 'VF-31A KAIROS' i build for Phoenix R/C simulator add-on, actually i should be over and done with it after building the VF-1S and move on with DURAFLY models that i have inside my hangar but my curiosity caught me in the loop after stumble this plane that is variant version of the VF-31J. The VF-31A plane doesn't get much spotlight in Macross Delta series but actually its a common grade military plane much like the popular version of old skool VF-1A standard model...a rookie plane, still the outlook of VF-31A still way cool in design and size than the VF-1A although their theme color almost 'similarly' looks the same. Since VF-31A KAIROSS share the base model as VF-31J SIEGFRIED with minor differences with its 30% of its main wing design sweep, front canard wing and few spot of the texture panel i think why not i just build this plane by recycling previous ones since it involve with minor work load to fill my boredom and free time especially during this hot tropical season where my laziness caught the best of me with cold iced drinks on top my desk to keep me awake in front of my powerful notebook....yeah i hate under utilized my notebook so i had to make sure its CPU power worth every money i invest on by building more model to fill in my inventory of awesomeness...hehehe.
Building the 3d meshes is very easy it involve recycling my previous VF-31J project into VF-31A because originally both planes share the same 'base' design and the only differences is the outer main wing and more wider front canard. VF-31J most outer main wing have negative wing sweep design like real SU-47 BERKUT while VF-31A have more standard delta like sweep wing design commonly used by today modern jets like seen on F-22 and F-35 so all i have to do is just 5 minutes of detaching and modifying the 3d meshes of the outer wing shape without implicating the total amount of poly-count. Although there are no visual reference or real model of VF-31A include part of 'Super Pack' missile/rocket armament under its wing i decided to create my own custom payload which reference the 'Super Pack' used by VF-1S payload parts minus those included booster pack and etc... so that's the extra 3d modeling work added into VF-31A projects. With the included "Collision" meshes required for the simulator thee total worth of 3d meshes are; Vertices: 11138 and Faces: 10856 which is slightly more than VF-31J build because of extra poly-ies made for the armaments parts under its wing. Overall meshes modification and build too me only 2 hours to build thanks to recycling/re-use meshes work.
Despite those easy task on the 3d meshes the works is far from being easy because the next stage which is texturing and UV mapping is slightly hard and tricky to accomplish because the problem i encounter trying to acquire sample of direct 'Orthographic' view of the plane visual surface texture is almost non-existence for this plane online because the VF-31A KAIROS doesn't get enough spot light in MACROSS series nor as popular because it was not center of attention for anime audience just like the old MACROSS VF-4 where a few knew about it. Plus the photograph of VF-31A actual plastic model kits is so rare its releases is pretty much on 'Limited Edition' basis or special releases to the public. The one i acquired is official photograph from some news and fan blogs and thats it...so i got only 45 degree angle view from above top snapshots of the models and there's nothing for the shots at the bottom angle for this models. So i have to figure out myself by visualizing how the bottom and hidden corner of the plane look like and get some cue from Gerwalk and Battroid mode....usually i just wanted to know the scheme color for the lower parts of the plane and panel under the outer wing since VF-31J and VF-31A share almost same panel (texture) surfaces with exception on some part of the nose cone, behind the fuselage near intake and the outer wing (which is surprise the were just blank bottom after much findings.). At the end of the day it was the texturing and UV Mapping work took most of the time in this project to create the right VF-31A texture which took me about 2 days to piece it together thanks to my Photopaint tools...as hint in attached video you might notice the lower part of the plane coloring slightly darker than originally intended,lol.
After texturing work the UV mapping stage is the final task to complete the raw model of VF-31A and this is the part where the method of UV mapping is far different that applied on my previous VF-31J SEIGFRIED but actually using the same method applied during building of VF-1S. Texture for UV mapping the top part for VF-31A is skewed almost 45 degree than traditional mapping style just like as seen on my VF-1S build so this is a bit challenging which took me some time and effort to get the UV mapping 'wrapped' around the 3d meshes vertices/faces at this angle. Only about 45% of the recycled model doesn't need to UV mapping mostly from the bottom part of the aircraft since the texture from VF-31J perfectly match or reusable for VF-31A so this save me some effort rebuilding everything.
After the 3d model completely build with proper texture next stage is to compile into Phoenix R/C simulator via its own building tools where i have to applied surface control, parts pivots, codes/parameter and proper airfoil assignment and this time is far easier to work on because i simply re-used back the same setup from VF-31A with exception with the outer wing setup/parameter/sweep style and additional weight parameter since it carry some payload under its wing.....yeah i've settled it under 40 minutes complete with test flight hehehehe. Overall the total duration i've worked on this plane till the end was about 3 days.....not bad plus i think its worth it because the plane itself looks pretty stunning in design pretty much reminds me of what i said before or sometimes it reminds me of Russian SUKHOI SU-57 PAK FA matted with super sonic LOCKHEED SR-71 BLACKBIRD.
Fictional/model MACROSS VF-31A kairos:
Texturing works and decaling:
Applying control surface and parameters:
Final production in R/C Phoenix:
Below are the virtual stock attributes value on VF-31A that influence a lot on how it flies in Phoenix R/C, i setup slightly advance flyer type handling specifications so would not be easy for new R/C learner in simulator:
- Wingspan: 2000mm (variant 1) and 3000mm (variant 2)
- Flying weight: 8.49kg (variant 1) and 16.29kg (variant2)
- Turbine unit: 2x Fuel turbine
- Outer main wing (negative sweep) airfoil type (flaps + elevon): MH32
- Side fuselage airfoil type: NACA 0015
- Front static Canard airfoil type: Flat profile
- Vertical stabilizer airfoil type (rudder): Flat profile
- 2x Turbine idle rpm: 40000
- 2x Turbine max rpm: 1020000
- 2x Turbine thrust power (N): 500
- 3x wheeled landing gear: functional retracts + front guided + gear bay doors + suspension struts
Just like my previous build the VF-31A KAIROS perform and handle almost the same as VF-31J SIEGFRIED with slight differences in weight which means the VF-31A is a slightly heavier, different CG (Center Gravity) and carry extra 'inertial' momentum in all direction. The plane maintain the same flight control method which is flight via Elevon control and Rudder to move the plane around so i flies normal just like its previous sibling however i do notice that during flight it just 'barely' can do 'Knife Edge-ing' tricks flying on its side by using rudder to keep linear forward flight while VF-31J can still pull more like elevator on rudder. Overall the VF-31A is still fun to fly as like normal stock planes, very docile and not as aggressive as VF-31J or as nimble and aerobatic as VF-1S...i place the KAIROSS as borderline which means at R/C flying level it still remain at 'Advance' level in Phoenix R/C sim inventory. Other than that the appearance of VF-31A looks very elegant, aerodynamic and pretty much reminds me as sleep as the real life F-14 TOMCAT in sweep wing configuration giving the same outline expression as this plane plus the armament under its wing give it a serious competitor ready for dog fighting. Definitely this plane is a keeper for all MACROSS enthusiast.
* Note - Variants
Do take note that for this model i've created two variant of VF-31A for Phoenix R/C simulator: 2 meter wing span + 8.49kg flying weight and 3 meter wing span + 16.29kg 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_vf31a_kairos_2m.pkg)and if you like the feeling of big and loud presence in the skies install the 3 meter wing span variant (xl_vf31a_kairos_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 series
- Macross Wikia: Macross Delta
- Macross Wikia: VF-31 variants
General info | model: MACROSS DELTA VF-31A Kairos | 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: 11.7MB | date released: 25-Jul-2018 | 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 DELTA' and ''VF-31A Kairos" are trademarks & copyrights of the following company © Big West, Nue, Tatsunoko (www.macross.jp). All Rights Reserved