Q: Who are you and who runs this website?
A: My name is C. Wilson and I am owner/operator of the Macross Mecha Manual. I also post under the name "Mr March" at various anime message boards. I do the vast majority of the work on the website myself but the Macross Mecha Manual has received help from many fans in the past and is currently hosted by a fellow Macross fan. See the "Acknowledgements" section for more details. In order to avoid spam, my e-mail address is available only within the individual vehicle profiles on this site (simply select "E-Mail" at the top or bottom menu bar of any vehicle profile to contact me).
Q: Is the Macross Mecha Manual official, canon and totally accurate?
A: Refining this answer (due to fan inquiries), the M3 utilizes “mostly” accurate and official trivia yet is nonetheless a fan-operated and unofficial English-language website, which should be understood by all visitors. The website is almost entirely built from the official Macross Compendium translations and every effort is made to ensure accuracy. As one of the few Macross fan sites, many fans have reliably referenced the Macross Mecha Manual and are always referred to the Macross Compendium for confirmation. Just keep in mind this site is the work of one person and is still fan-built without official endorsement. This website is for English-speaking fans (who are not the originally intended audience for the Macross animated productions) and is designed for creative presentation, parody, review, reference and analysis of the mecha of the fictional Macross universe.
Q: So what is official on the Macross Mecha Manual and what is not?
A: Virtually all statistics on the Macross Mecha Manual are official and all unmodified line art is official. All the written text (unless color coded otherwise), coloring and created/modified line art are unofficial. The written text contains all the officially known information that has been translated into english but also a limited amount of fan-written observations and maybe some interpretation of the events of the anime productions. The coloring is all fan created and only attempts to create a reasonably accurate interpretation of the original animated art. Unofficial information is color coded green. However, it's not always possible to keep official and unofficial information entirely seperate when writing entertaining, readable english mechanical profiles, particularly for those vehicles that may lack any official information.
Q: Why create a Macross fan site if it's not all 100% accurate and official?
A: A totally accurate and official website is not possible in english (unless Big West created it), but there is demand even for an imperfect Macross fan website. After 25 years, it's obvious there will never be an official english website for the vehicles of the Macross franchise, unless fans create it themselves. It is important that Macross fan sites serve to promote Macross and this site is designed to be user friendly, entertaining, educational, readable and most of all, fun.
Q: What do the yellow colors denote in the Technical Data sections?
A: The yellow colors are a quick reference to visually draw attention to statistics for a given vehicle variant that are different from the standard model. For example, the VF-1J Valkyrie has two laser cannons on the head turret rather than one laser cannon built in the VF-1A Valkyrie standard model. The yellow text is used to help note this difference since most other statistics between the two models are identical. The color code system was added in October 2007 and has since become a standard feature site wide.
Q: What do the green colors denote in the Technical Data sections?
A: The green colors are to note unconfirmed information, derived data or fan made data. Often times information about Macross vehicles are rare and "facts" taken from magazines and other unofficial sources are used to provide some readable description in the absence of official information. Sometimes usable information can be calculated by fans based on official figures, such as converting kilo grams of thrust (kgs) to kilo newtons of thrust (kN) or calculating thrust-to-weight ratios all based on official figures. In the case of the For Fans Only section, the green text is merely a reminder which profiles are fan made.
Q: What do the purple colors denote in the Technical Data sections?
A: The purple colors are to note information taken from the Macross Chronicle, which began publication in 2008. The color code is more for the aid of translators and fans trying to keep a track of what is new information versus what has already been translated and published. If a particular vehicle was created in 2008 or later, it is not necessary to color code the trivia and should be understood that written trivia for nearly all post-2008 vehicles is derived from the Macross Chronicle.
Q: What do the teal colors denote in the Technical Data sections?
A: The teal color is used to note trivia that is from official Macross products but may not be part of the "official continuity". Teal colored text is trivia taken from official Macross publications like the Variable Fighter Master File (2009) book series that are not considered official continuity due to the book disclaimer. The teal colors also denote trivia from the dojinshi book Macross Journal Extra: Sky Angels: VF-1 Valkyrie Special Edition (1984) that - although written by Masahiro Chiba - is nonetheless outside official continuity. This makes such trivia unofficial information from an official Macross published source. Trivia from these sources are a useful guide for the Macross universe but might be excluded if such trivia is directly contradicted by any Macross official continuity source, such as the animated productions, the original Macross art books or the Macross Chronicle. The translated disclaimer from the Variable Fighter Master File: VF-1 Valkyrie Vol.2: "The Variable Fighter Master File: VF-1 Valkyrie "Space Wing" is a technological history and research book about the VF-1 Valkyrie that appears in the Macross series. It is not official setting material and is written based on the book published in the Macross universe in 2030."
Q: How do you create the colors for the pictures?
A: I began by using Adobe Photoshop CS (Version 8.0) and eventually upgraded to Photoshop CS 5 in 2011. Using the multiply feature, it's very easy to work with numerous color layers to achieve tone, light and shadow in a cartoon-like style that reproduces the look of the animated shows and films. Utilizing the PSD file format also allows the user manipulate the finished color layout layers to easily create color variants for customized work.
Q: Why is Macross II: Lovers Again listed as a "parallel world" on the Macross Mecha Manual?
A: Macross II: Lovers Again was produced without input from Shoji Kawamori or Studio Nue, the creative team that made the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross series. Macross II retains status as an official Macross production, but it is not part of the official Macross chronology created by Masahiro Chiba and Shoji Kawamori of Studio Nue. In the Macross chronology, all the Macross projects which Studio Nue created were included together while Macross II was set in a parallel world. Some fans have noted that previous Macross alumni like Haruhiko Mikimoto also worked on Macross II: Lovers Again. While true, Haruhiko Mikimoto was in Studio Nue only briefly until 1980 before moving to Artland prior to completion of the first Macross series. Scriptwriter Sukehiro Tomita worked on the original Macross series and Macross II, but was a freelance writer who was never a member of Studio Nue. A more extensive anaylsis of the Macross II continuity status can be found in the FOOTNOTE page of the Macross II Section
Q: Why is there an apparent contradiction between the VF-4 Lightining III and the VF-5000 Star Mirage for the role of the main variable fighter of the UN Forces?
A: The book This Is Animation Special Macross Plus states the VF-4 Lightning III was intended to be the main variable fighter of all branches of the UN Forces from 2020 onward. However, the VF-5000 Star Mirage was a less expensive option that was more maneuverable in an atmosphere than the VF-4 Lightining III. Thus several branches of the UN Forces complemented or replaced their main fighter with the VF-5000 Star Mirage rather than the VF-4 Lightning III. Technically, the VF-4 Lightning III was never officially replaced as main variable fighter until the UN Spacy began adopting the VF-11 Thunderbolt in 2030. Other branches of the UN Forces likely followed suit after 2030.