SDF-1 Macross

SDF-1 Macross

The Super Dimension Fortress One (SDF-1) Macross in Cruiser mode.
Original Designer Kazutaka Miyatake
Preproduction name Megaroad / Megaload[1]
Length 1210 m[1]
Operational Mass 18,000,000 t[1]
Main Machinery Overtechnology Macross heat pile system cluster, Overtechnology Macross gravity control system, Overtechnology Macross fold system cluster (lost during maiden voyage)[1]
Main Thruster Overtechnology Macross nozzle cluster[1]
Vertical Thruster Overtechnology main nozzle cluster[1]
Vernier Thruster Overtechnology vernier thrusters[1]
Complement 20000; 76000 civilians (reduced to 56000 and then 40000 by attrition)[1]
Main Cannons Overtechnology Macross bow-firing super-dimension-energy cannon with beam polarizing converging system.[1]
Auxiliary Cannons 8 Overtechnology guided converging beam cannon systems, 4 high speed 178-cm-diameter electromagnetic rail cannons.[1]
Missiles Main: large automatic anti-ship missile launchers. Auxiliary: various missile emplacements.[1]
Variable Vehicles and Other Mecha 212 VF-1 Valkyrie (2009 February 7, 120 VF-1A, 12 VF-1D, 50 VF-1J, 30 VF-1S). 300+ VF-1 Super Valkyrie (2010 February 11). Destroids: 587 Destroids initially stationed on docked SLV-111 Daedalus, including 2 HWR-00-Mk. II Monster, 85 MBR-07-Mk. II Spartan, and approximately 500 MBR-04-Mk. VI Tomahawk (reduced to 440 subsequently). A third HWR-00-Mk. II Monster, 40 ADR-04-Mk. X Defender and over 20 MBR-04-Mk. XII Phalanx built in onboard factory.[1]

The SDF-1 Macross /məˈkrɒs/ is a fictional interstellar transforming spacecraft from The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, a science fiction anime series that aired in Japan between 1982–1983. It was later edited and amalgamated into the American animation series Robotech (1985).[2][3] Mechanical designer Kazutaka Miyatake of Studio Nue created the original SDF-1 design for the first Macross anime series.[4]


SDF (Super Dimension Fortress) refers to the titular space battleship being like a space fortress capable of space-folding, a means of travelling faster-than-light in subspace.

Due to the popularity of the series, Macross has also appeared in many video games set in the Macross universe.[5][6]

In February 2009, a special event, Macross: The Super Dimension Space Launching Ceremony, was held in Akihabara to commemorate the fictional launch of the SDF-1 Macross in the original anime series.[7] During the event, toy manufacturer, Yamato, displayed the prototype for a 1/2000 scale replica toy of the SDF-1.[8]

Fictional History

In the fictional Macross anime universe, a massive alien spaceship totaling 1210 meters (3,970 feet), had crashed on the unsuspecting Earth in 1999. It crash landed on South Ataria, a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean.[7][9] The island is located at the extreme end of the "Ogasawara Island chain".[10] Upon detailed inspection of the wreckage by an international team of experts, it was revealed that the spaceship was manned by giant aliens many times larger than humans and that their technology was far beyond that of Earth at that point in time.[7]

The alien spaceship was revealed to be a war vessel.[11] As a result, humanity realized that there was a real threat beyond Earth. Many believed an international government should be established to unite the world against any potentially hostile aliens. The unification led to a new world war, called the U.N. Wars. Those nations that resisted fought but ultimately lost the battle to remain independent.[9][12]

The crashed ship was rebuilt to be operated by humans. As workers and their families required accommodation near the work site, a settlement called Macross City flourished around it.[9] During the reconstruction, the gigantic spaceship was given the hull number SDF-1, for "first ship of the Super Dimension Fortress type" and the name "Macross".[1][13]

In 2009, as the ship, now manned entirely by humans, was preparing for its maiden voyage to seek out alien cultures and promote peace (the initial goal was never to start a fight), giant alien humanoids called the Zentradi suddenly arrived in the Solar System with a force of several hundred ships. They were tasked with the mission of seeking out and destroying the spacecraft. When the SDF-1 Macross detected the Zentradi, its pre-programmed response was to fire its main cannon at the alien fleet, catching the humans completely off their guards.[9][14] Unable to stop the cannon from firing, the humans were forced into a war with the aliens. During the failed attempt to take off with its original (alien) gravity control system, the anti-gravity generators tore through the ship's upper deck, leaving it to fall. Eventually the SDF-1 Macross had to take off using its Earth-made rocket thrusters.

During the first battle with the Zentradi, the SDF-1 attempted to draw the enemy away from the island, and its civilian population, by using its space-fold capability to travel to the far side of the Moon. There they could rendezvous with U.N. Space orbital fleet. However, the space-folding not only transported the ship but also the entire Macross Island and its surrounding sea to the orbit of Pluto. As with the anti-gravity system, the space-fold system was lost after initial use. After rescuing the civilians from the island, the ship underwent a refit from February to March 2009. It was at this point that a civilian and business sector was built into the aft section hull. The CVS-101 Prometheus and the SLV-111 Daedalus submersible sea carriers which were in the surrounding sea, also docked with SDF-1 Macross. Due to the loss of the Fold system, the crew was forced to implement a modular transformation to the ship each time the main gun was to be used. The resulting transformation changes the external appearance of the ship to that of the "Storm Attacker" mode, a giant robot.[3][9][15][16][17] According to series creator Shoji Kawamori, the entire transformation process would take approximately 15 minutes to complete.[18]

In Macross

In the original Macross series, the SDF-1 Macross is the flagship of the United Nations Spacy.[19][20] Gunsight One is the tactical call-sign for the bridge of the SDF-1.[21] The bridge crew includes Captain Bruno J. Global (Henry Gloval in Robotech), Chief Tactical Officer Misa Hayase (Lisa Hayes, who is promoted to executive officer in Robotech) and Chief Weaponry Officer Claudia LaSalle (Claudia Grant in Robotech).[9][22] The final three members of the bridge crew are Kim Kabirov, Shammy Milliome, and Vanessa Laird (Kim Young, Sammy Porter, and Vanessa Leeds in Robotech, also referred to as the "Bridge Bunnies").[9][23]

The ship was originally a gun destroyer that belonged to a group of aliens called The Supervision Army. After being damaged in a battle against their longtime enemies, The Zentradi, the Supervision Army abandoned the gun destroyer. It wandered through space for some time before crashing on Earth. The alien ship was codenamed Alien Star Ship 1 (ASS-1) upon discovery.[11] The arrival of the ASS-1 provokes the "U.N. Wars", since it motivates a movement to unite Earth under a U.N. controlled military government. This war is bloody and lasts throughout most of the first decade of the new millennium. In the course of that decade, the ASS-1 is rebuilt on the island where it crashed and renamed SDF-1 Macross

In the final episode of the series, the Macross is the target of a kamikaze run by rogue Zentradi Captain Quamzin Kravshera (Khyron in Robotech). His assault does not completely destroy the Macross, but results in severe damage to the ship - including the loss of its main cannon and the Daedalus landing craft. The ship is repaired and refitted. returning to service as UN Spacy's headquarters. The missing Daedalus and remaining Prometheus carrier are replaced by a pair of ARMD-class carriers. The bridge crew also survive almost unscathed (in the Robotech storyline, the crew perish at the end of Khyron's attack, with Lisa Hayes being the sole survivor) and Macross City is evacuated, due to radiation contamination from the attack.

In The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (the 1984 animated film adaptation of the original series), the SDF-1 was a female Zentradi (Meltlandi) gun destroyer that crashes on Earth after being chased by the male Zentradi. Since the Zentradi and the Meltlandi have already been at war for hundreds of thousands of years, its presence on Earth after being rebuilt cause the Zentradi fleet to destroy the world's surface as soon as it is discovered, some time before the beginning of the film. The SDF-1 Macross folds away from Earth just as the Zentradi attack and begins its journey back to the planet to investigate what happened. The events prior to the film are shown in new footage created for a videogame based on the film adaptation released in Japan in the late 1990s.[24][25] The movie version SDF-1 ship also had ARMD-class space carriers attached to the main ship at the time it was built, as opposed to the TV series where the space carriers are supposed to join the ship in Earth's orbit.

In 2040 (Macross Plus), the virtual idol AI Sharon Apple attains sentience, and during festivities marking the 30th anniversary the treaty between Earth and the Zentradi that ended Space War I, hacks into the systems of the entire Earth defense network, which included the original SDF-1 Macross. During this incident, Sharon Apple causes Macross to briefly launch from the artificial lake that it has rested in since 2010. Furthermore, Sharon Apple uses its abilities and the SDF-1 Macross' communications facilities to attempt to control the minds of nearly everyone on Earth. However, UN Spacy pilots Isamu Alva Dyson and Guld Goa Bowman and civilian Myung Fang Lone are able to defuse the incident, destroying Sharon Apple in the process.

In 2059 (Macross Frontier), during a flight across the skies of Galia 4, Alto Saotome and Ranka Lee make an emergency landing and discovered the wreckage of a first-generation Macross-class ship designated as SDFN-04 Global, which belonged to the New U.N. Spacy 117th Large Scale Research Fleet. This ship closely resembles the Macross as it appeared in 2040 during the events of Macross Plus. This suggests the original Macross design was put into production at least 20 years previous of the Macross Frontier fleet's launch (as seen in episode 13, "Memory of Global"). In the final episode of Macross Frontier, a glimpse of Earth's Macross City appears, showing that the original SDF-1 Macross ship still sits in its center and continues to fulfill its assigned task of planetary defense.

In 2067 (Macross Delta), Macross Elysion, a Macross-class ship stationed on planet Ragna serves as the headquarters of Walküre and the Delta Squadron. Its design shares several similarities with the first-generation models, albeit with some adaptations, including the capacity of detaching its arms to serve as independent transport ships.

In Macross II (a parallel-universe sequel that takes place in 2092),[26] the Macross is a relic that released a powerful energy discharge upon the arrival of an alien race known as the "Marduk". Upon being exposed to Earth culture, an "Emulator" (female Marduk singer used to motivate their enslaved Zentran and Meltran warriors) named Ishtar believes the Macross to be the Ship of the Alus, an entity prophesied to bring peace to the Marduk. With the help of news reporter Hibiki Kanzaki and ace pilot Silvie Gena, Ishtar has the Macross launched in an attempt to stop the Marduk supreme leader Ingues from exterminating all life on Earth. In response, Ingues destroys the Macross, but its main bridge ejects in time. Performing a new song of peace, Ishtar motivates all Marduk ships to turn around and destroy Ingues' ship, ending the war between Earth and the Marduk.

Origin Of Name 'Macross'

'Macross' was a term coined for the series from 'Macro' to imply its massive size, and 'Cross' to imply the long journey home it was to embark on in the series.[1] The original working title was "Megarodo" which in Japanese is a pun on megaload / megaroad, implying size and distance, in a similar sense to Macross and macro / cross, and Megaroad-class colony fleets were the successors to the Macross-class ships (see Macross Flashback 2012). English-speaking fans have extrapolated that the "-ss" suffix stands for space ship, but this is not an official explanation from the Japanese creators. The "-ss" actually originated from "-su" in the Japanese pronunciation ("makurosu"), which in turn was derived from the Japanese pronunciation of Macbeth ("makubesu"), a pre-production name that one of the show's producers, an admirer of Shakespeare, initially suggested. The name "Macross" was settled upon as a compromise.[18]

In Robotech

In the American Robotech adaptation, the fictional spacecraft was originally the flagship of an alien scientist named Zor, who was killed as he sent the spacecraft to Earth. A race of aliens called the "Robotech Masters" wants Zor's battle fortress because it holds the Protoculture generator (a fuel source Zor cultivated from the Invid flower that led to further development of the Robotech Masters and Zentraedi technologies that were fundamental to interstellar domination which, in order to maintain them, all depended on the Protoculture fuel source). The Robotech Masters sends the Zentraedi, their army of cloned warriors, to find Zor's ship.

On Earth, there has already been a massive and bloody "global civil war" going on throughout the 1990s when "the visitor" first arrives in 1999. "The Visitor" motivates several of the warring factions to put their differences aside to create the "United Earth Defense Council", which serves as the head of a global military government. After the creation of the UEDC, there are a few minor skirmishes with dissenting nations, but it is not on the scale of the "global civil war" that came before it, nor is it on the scale of the U.N. Wars in the Macross version. After dealing with those minor skirmishes, work proceeds to rebuild "the visitor" which is eventually renamed SDF-1. In Robotech, Macross is the name of the island in the South Pacific that the spaceship crashes on. Hence, in Robotech, Macross City is named after the island it is originally founded on.

The ensuing war between the Earth forces and the Zentradi is retrospectively labeled the First Robotech War (Space War I in Macross).

In February 2014, Khyron (Quamzin Kravshera in Macross) the leader of the Zentraedi rebellions, attacks Macross City with the intent of destroying the SDF-1. However, the SDF-1 manages to fire a single shot from its main cannon using all of its remaining power and severely damaging Khyron's battle cruiser. Khyron - determined to have his revenge even at the cost of his own life, pilots his ship into a collision course with the SDF-1. The SDF-1, drained of power and unable to move, is damaged beyond repair in the subsequent collision and explosion. The SDF-2, the SDF-1's sister ship which is to be under Commander Lisa Hayes's (Misa Hayase in Macross) command, is also destroyed. (The SDF-2 did not exist in the original Macross storyline of this episode.) Admiral Henry J. Gloval (Bruno J. Global in Macross), Commander Claudia Grant (Claudia LaSalle in Macross), bridge operators Vanessa Leeds, Kim Young, and Sammy Porter (Vanessa Laird, Kim Kabirov Shammy Milliome in Macross) and the rest of the SDF-1's crew are killed in the attack - the only survivor being Commander Hayes, who is ejected by the Admiral himself in the only operational escape pod at the last possible moment. New Macross City became too radioactive to be habitable, and is abandoned. Portions of the SDF-1's radioactive hulk are buried under three gigantic mounds and the city surrounding it is completely leveled, although not before everything that can be salvaged from the wreckage of the three ships is recovered for further use in the rebuilding of Earth and the construction of the SDF-3 Pioneer.

Unknown at the time, a Protoculture matrix is buried within the wreckage of the SDF-1. When the Robotech Masters realize that the Zentraedi have failed to retrieve it, they begin a 15-year journey in their motherships to find it themselves. When they arrive in Earth orbit in 2029, it marks the beginning of the Second Robotech War.



The first toy replica of the SDF-1 Macross was made by Takatoku Toys during the original series' run. It completely resembled its anime counterpart, but with the addition of landing gear on the underside of its ship mode. This toy was imported into the U.S. by Matchbox in 1985 as part of the Robotech line. A smaller version of the SDF-1 Macross toy was imported to the Convertors toy line in the 1980s as a Maladroid character.

In 2007, Wave released a new Macross toy replica under the W.H.A.M.! (Wave High Advanced Model) banner. The 1/5000 scale SDF-1 Macross stood at 9 inches tall in Storm Attacker mode and was designed after its appearance in Macross: Do You Remember Love?.[27] In late-2010, Yamato Toys released a 1/3000 scale replica. Originally, they previewed a larger 1/2000 scale prototype, but due to production costs, the company opted for the smaller size. The 1/3000 toy is the first to feature a miniature replica of Macross City, which is located in the Storm Attacker mode's left leg.

Model kits

Model kits of the SDF-1 Macross were first manufactured by Arii and Imai between 1982 and 1983. When Imai went bankrupt, the molds of their Macross kits were acquired by Bandai and subsequently re-released throughout the 1990s. These kits required paint and glue (except for the Special Coating versions, which were painted in chrome silver) and were non-transformable; they were available in ship or Storm Attacker modes.

Yamato made a 1/3000 scale PVC model Kit around 2010 to commemorate the fictional departure of the spaceship.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Mecha Data". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  2. Patten, Fred (2004). Watching Anime, Reading Manga. Stone Bridge Press. p. 254. ISBN 1-880656-92-2.
  3. 1 2 Mechanic of Macross: SDF-1 Macross. Pages 135-147. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  4. Miyatake, Kazutaka (2005-06-01). Macross and Orguss Design Works (in Japanese). Japan: Mobic. pp. 03–07. ISBN 4-89601-629-7.
  5. "Software". Macross Compendium. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  6. NEC PC-Engine Compatible CD-ROM2/Super CD-ROM2 Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2036. NSCD-2007. Nihon Computer System/Masaya. Japan. Y7400. 1992, April 3
  7. 1 2 3 Official Macross Chronology. Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  8. "Yamato Toymaker Reveals 1/2000 SDF-1 Macross Toy (Updated) - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sony PlayStation 2 Compatible DVD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross. SLPM-65405. Sega-AM2/Bandai. Japan. Y6800. 2003, October 23
  10. "Translation & Cultural Notes". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-24. In real life, the southern tip of those islands is Minami Ioo Jima, otherwise known as South Iwo-jima. Though the island is a good several hundred kilometers from the center of Tokyo, it's considered part of the city and under the Tokyo/Japanese government's jurisdiction.
  11. 1 2 Official Macross Chronology: Alien Star Ship 1 (ASS-1). Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  12. Official Macross Chronology: The U.N. Wars. Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  13. Official Macross Chronology: SDF-1 "Macross". Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  14. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Visual Story: Booby Trap. Pages 10 and 11. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  15. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Visual Story: Trans Formation. Page 17. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  16. Mechanic of Macross: SLV-111. Page 148. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  17. Mechanic of Macross: CVS-101. Pages 148 and 149. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  18. 1 2 "Translation & Cultural Notes". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
  19. "Mecha Data". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-28. After a mysterious alien spaceship crash-landed on Earth in 1999, a worldwide consortium of researchers began to study and reverse-engineer it. The effort led to the ten-year reconstruction of the ship into the flagship of the new United Nations Spacy.
  20. "Character Notes". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-05-19. Bruno J. Global rose through the ranks of the United Nations Forces thanks to his exploits during the Unification Wars. He helmed ships ranging from a naval submarine and space destroyer to the flagship of the infant Spacy: the Macross fortress.
  21. "Translation & Cultural Notes". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-20. According to the liner notes of the AnimEigo DVD release of the Macross TV series Gunsight One was also the fanzine title of the Gundam fan club that creator Shoji Kawamori, character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, and writer Hiroshi Oonogi (members number 1, 2, and 3 of said club) founded while they were students at Keio University in Japan...
  22. Character of Macross: SDF-1 "Macross" Crew. Pages 106-109 and 120. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  23. Character of Macross: SDF-1 "Macross" Crew. Page 121. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
  24. Sega Saturn Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross:Do You Remember Love?. T-23403G. Sega/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1997, June 6.
  25. Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross:Do You Remember Love?. SLPS-02005~7. Sega/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1999, May 27.
  26. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 CD booklet, 1992, p. 3, Victor, VICL-365
  27. HobbyLink Japan - 1/5000 W.H.A.M.! SDF-1 Macross (Transformable)



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