Where is Macross City?

Macross City Views

I want to insert a miniature version of Macross City within the SDF-1 but I have been conflicted as to where to put it. In the movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? the city’s location was shown to be in the right leg and that location was confirmed with the scale SDF-1 model that was released last year:

Yamato DYRL Collectible version.

External view from the legs into Macross City from Macross: Do You Remember Love?

But in the Macross series I have not found any references to the exact location of Macross City within the SDF-1. I always used to think the city was in the white center section of the ship until I viewed DYRL and observed that it was actually contained in the leg of the ship.

Macross City within the leg.

I have scoured the internet for a ‘Macross City Map’, ‘Macross City Location’, etc. and mostly what I get are images and information about the DYRL version, not the series version. As I mentioned when I started this project, there is much more information and pictures available for the DYRL version, it is by far more popular.

I’m almost positive for the creators of the original series details such as the exact location of Macross City within the SDF-1 was not a priority concern.  They could not have predicted that the series would be so popular that 30 years later people would be building the SDF-1 from LEGO and wondering where to place Macross City.

Another point about the lack of information concerning the inside of the SDF-1, if the right leg contains the city then what is the left leg? Is it the barracks? Is it empty? Does it warehouse supplies and/or ammunition? Does it house Valkyries and Destorids? Yes, no? Also what is in the center section? What is in the other outer sections? There is no map (or least I haven’t found one) that details how the inside of SDF-1 is layed out – for either the original Macross series or Macross: Do You Remember Love?

At this point I anticipate my LEGO SDF-1 to have three empty compartments:  the legs and the main center section. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll follow the DYRL template and place Macross City inside the right leg. I also haven’t decided what to place in the other empty compartments, for example should I make it a space for a mini-barracks, should I create mini-Valkyries and store them there, etc.?. At this point I’m not too concerned about it because when I get to that point of the build it would mean I would have successfully accomplished building the legs and the second half of the ship and my LEGO SDF-1 would almost be finished!

The Legs of the SDF-1

I predict building the legs will be diabolically challenging, some of the hardships include:

  • the dimensions: length, width and height
  • the weight
  • how to securely connect them to the rest of the ship
  • ensuring the legs will be able to support the weight of the ship after transformation
  • the elongated slope of the legs

Yep, this will be extremely hard – and a lot of the factors are interrelated: A) The larger I build the legs, B) the heavier they will be, C) and the more support they will need when I connect them to the ship. No factor can be considered without weighing the others.

Another issue is again scale, in most of the SDF-1 line art the legs are drawn shorter in cruiser mode and then longer after transformation. Obviously the line art has not been drawn to scale and unfortunately for me that is primary resource for this build. I would prefer to avoid another scenario where I build a section and discover it is not to scale (too short in this case) and thus forcing me to once again reconstruct. Only time will tell if I’ll be successful on my first attempt.

Also another unfortunate point about using the line art is often details about the ship differ. For example this angle on the lower half of the legs:

Which angle to choose for the build? Also note the differences around the black stripe.

The more I think about building this next section I think the word ‘hard’ is an understatement. The legs will most likely be the most difficult portion of the ship to build; if the legs are not built to the correct scale it will make the SDF-1 look unrealistic either in cruiser mode and/or after transformation. If the legs are too heavy I won’t be able to connect them soundly to the ship. If the leg’s footprint is not large enough after transformation the ship will not be able to stand. Perhaps most critical, the legs extend out from the ship to give it more height, a feature I will need to duplicate. At this time I’m very unsure how I will replicate this critically vital feature in LEGO.

Maybe I should have purchased a SDF-1 model or toy from eBay before I embarked on this ambitious build. Perhaps having a physical SDF-1 could answer some of these questions, but honestly I would rather spend that money on LEGOs for this project.

 

Getting Started!

Since I don’t have a model to use for the build (like an old SDF-1 toy or model kit) I plan to rely totally on images I saved from the internet, such as these favorites:

Most, if not all, Macross/Robotech fans have seen this line art a thousand and one times. I first saw this artwork back in the early 90s when I purchased “Robotech Art 2.” The only downside to using online images is that most of the quality detailed ones are black and white line art which makes it hard to distinguish the exact color scheme (I’ll try to speak more on that later). However I have faith that these images will be just about enough, they have worked perfectly for me in the past.

So far I have I placed 6 orders at various Bricklink stores and 3 have been delivered already. I have also made one trip to the LEGO Store, but I think it will be my last since I need so many specific pieces it would be best just to buy everything on Bricklink. The total cost so far has been around $400, I’m hoping that I have already purchased the majority of the pieces required and that the budget for this project won’t exceed $500 – time will tell.

This is what I have so far, still waiting for more deliveries from Bricklink

How do I know what bricks/plates/tiles/etc. to buy?

I really don’t. Obviously I know I need an abundance of blue and white bricks and plates. So I just went ahead a brought a bunch of those. I also have tub full of a few hundred old miscellaneous pieces that I have been using to build miniature mock-ups of certain parts of the SDF-1. By playing around with those pieces I could tell I would need a number of tiles, slopes, inverted slopes, modified bricks, etc.

However I would say 50% of my brick buying has been based on guesses. I examine the line-art and then browse through Bricklink. If I see pieces that resembles the line art, or pieces that I want to experiment with I buy them. I know at the end of this process I’ll probably end up with buckets of unused brand new pieces that just didn’t work out, but I rather have too many LEGO for this project as opposed to too little.

Which SDF-1 to Build?

My first decision is which SDF-1 to build: should it be the traditional Macross SDF-1 or the Do You Remember Love SDF-1? Decisions, decisions, decisions. The DYRL SDF-1 is by far the more complicated, detailed and complex SDF-1 – and not to mention the most popular version with Macross fans. I still love the original version more so for nostalgia, but even nostalgia can’t trump the shear coolness and complexity of the DYRL version:

My building experience has only been building the original SDF-1 out of LEGO, but after admiring the numerous DYRL SDF-1 pictures available online my interest in constructing that version definitely piqued.  For the DYRL version though I would need a ton and a half of gray and dark gray bricks – as opposed to a ton and a half of blue and white bricks for the original SDF-1. Unfortunately, the economics of it all made the decisions for me. Checking Bricklink I recognized there was significant price difference and availability for gray bricks vs. white and blue bricks. It appears it would be way cheaper for me to build the traditional Macross SDF-1.

The traditional SDF-1 would also be a bit easier for me to build too since I have built that version in the past, but it is a little disappointing to not be taking on DYRL. Maybe if I have the time and extra finances later in the year I might consider taking on the more complex and challenging DYRL version. Above all though, I’ll wait to see how the Macross community reacts to my original SDF-1 version I’m preparing to build now.