Like most people, I have little of experience with SuperDimensional Fortresses made out of paper. There is of course the one in my collection I call Fort Cardboardimus Maximus-the super big five foot long cardboard toybox from Play Make that is long out of print. But that one is hardly a true hardcore Japanese papercraft experience. However, if you do a search on eBay right now for 'SDF-1 Papercraft' you will find the book 'SDF-1 Macross Thorough Dissection' which is a collection of SDF-1 related art and concept designs, plus an interview with Macross visual designer Kazutaka Miyatake. What makes this book extraordinary in the world of origami space fortresses is that the last roughly 19 pages contain multiple templates on cardstock you can cut out to build an authentic Japanese papercraft model of the SDF-1! Yes, you can build your own TV version transformable SDF-1 that stands 50 centimeters (about 20 inches) tall and do it for about 40 bucks. I was very excited about it after seeing how great the finished product looks, but then I bought the book and holy hell is this thing an insanely complex undertaking!
I thought assembling this would be only slightly more complex than constructing the giant cardboard one I had, but then I saw what I was up against. By my estimation there are 19 pages filled with dozens upon dozens of paper patterns that have to be cut out (there are no perforations) and then folded and assembled. It doesn't sound too bad until you realize how intricate and tiny many of the pieces are. Some of them have tabs that are barely over 2 millimeters wide. Yes, MILLIMETERS. There's easily hundreds of part patterns with over a thousand tiny little tabs you have to cut out, fold, and glue together make this thing. I estimate it'd take 48 hours of work, several exacto knives, and all the sight I have left in my failing eyeballs to put one of these together. This isn't just a Cubie or simple origami swan-this thing is a master class in spacepapercraft. It would almost be easier and less time consuming to wait for an actual derelict alien spaceship to crash in my backyard and rebuild that than put this thing together.
'PROTOCULTURE' IS ZENTRAEDI FOR 'PAPERCRAFT'
I am so intimidated by it right now that I don't know if I am going to put mine together. I don't even know if I'm mentally and physically capable of doing it. And of course since I project my shortcomings upon the entirety of mankind, I figure there can't be many of these actually getting assembled on planet earth. Or at least the lazy part where I live. It's just too overwhelming. At 1/2400 scale it's actually bigger than most SDF-1 toys toys and model kits produced over the years! It's the Mount Everest of papercraft spaceships. So far the only pictures I've seen of an assembled one are the promo photos on retailer websites and the pictures in the book. Could there be only two in the world? Seeing how complicated it is I am surprised that many exist. I'm surprised ANY exist. Right now I feel like Supreme Commander Bodolza seeing humans kiss for the first time. What magic powers do people in Japan possess that allow them to design and assemble such incredible masterpieces, such amazing feats of paper engineering? Is it hard for them, too, or is their culture so used to this that second graders in Japan put together stuff like this in their sleep? AND WHAT THE HELL DOES DECULTURE MEAN ANYWAYS?