F-103 Excalibur Model

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So... not exactly an update per say, but still connected to the Excalibur project. So I was watching Bandit LOAF's 25th anniversary live stream and seeing the old school game animation got me motivated to look at some of the other fighters from the series. So... not totally sure I'll work on these other fighters, but I did line art interpretations of the Hornet and the Dralthi V from Wing Commander 3 and 4 and have them scaled to the Excalibur. At least... I think I do anyway. The Excalibur, which in game is supposed to be 32 meters long, looks a little small compared to the Hornet which is supposed to be 20 meters long and the Dralthi which is supposed to be 31 meters in length. Now there's a couple notes to that statement. First, the Hornet's length is stated as being 20 meters. I took that to mean the over all length of the body, not the laser canons. So I measured from the tip of the nose to the back of the wing sections that go back beyond the engine compartment. The second note is with the Dralthi. The in-universe information gives the Dralthi and over all length of 31 meters. I'm assuming that refers to the longest point between the wings... because if it's 31 meters for like the engine compartment... then the Dralthi was never a medium fighter and would utterly dwarf the Long Bow bomber. Still, there they are:

 
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st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
Impressive work!

I'm no expert but I think the Hornet's 20m length would include the lasers.

I've seen some WW2 era aircraft in museums and noted how small the cockpits were. They were not much wider than the pilot's shoulder width. Looking specifically at the cockpits of your scale interpretation, it seems to me that Excalibur's is smaller and narrower than the Hornet's. I would expect the opposite to be true.
 

st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
This Hornet eject sequence provides some idea of the scale (maybe some artistic license was taken?)


Artist Vulpes=Sapien http://vulpes-sapien.deviantart.com considered this problem and came up with these:


Vulpes-Sapien's Wing Commander 1 Art:
And here are the starfighters for the Terran Confederation from the first Wing Commander game. They took a while to do, since I wanted to add more detail. I could've posted them looking exactly like the drawings from the manuals and/or blueprints, but you can find those anywhere. I also took some artistic liberties with some elements I found rather confusing (like the forward mini-wings or the bomb on the Raptor).
And yes, much like the WC3 fighters, I resized them. For this, I used the drawing of a chair sized to the scale seen at the top.
http://vulpes-sapien.deviantart.com/art/WC1-Confed-Fighters-466609574

Vulpes-Sapien's Wing Commander 2 Art:
And here I was supposed to be taking the summer off from drawing. Instead I did this.
The idea came about rather gradually. Originally, I started drawing the Jalkehi since it was next to impossible to find any clear pictures of it. The same was true of the Sartha, so I decided to include that as well. Eventually, things progressed until I found myself drawing all the fighters for WC2. At least the ones in the manual, the others in the add-ons and so forth will come at a later date.
Actually, there are some things I will probably need to change in this chart. For one thing, there's the designations of the Kilrathi fighters (I only found one for the Drakhri). I'm also thinking of changing the colors on the Kilrathi fighters, and possibly redrawing their details. All that considered, I'll probably just put the additional ships in an update of this chart.
There's also the chair in the middle. That is the chair I use to measure a more accurate (or realistic) size for the fighters than the ones given. If you try downloading this picture and moving the chair so it's superimposed on top of a cockpit, though, you might find that I gave a bit of extra room to each one. I don't believe in cramming guys into too-small cockpits, like in Star Wars.
That said, look for my Star Wars chart featuring a history of the "Delta-Class" starfighters which should be up soon.
http://vulpes-sapien.deviantart.com/art/Wing-Commander-2-Fighters-477418588

Vulpes-Sapien's Wing Commander 3 Art:
The starfighters of the Terran Confederation from Wing Commander 3. And yes, I did change the sizes, mostly because I found the "official" ones to be ridiculously large. Also, when I compared them with other fighters (both real and otherwise), I found their sizes to be at least a bit smaller.
http://vulpes-sapien.deviantart.com/art/Confed-Fighters-407541875
 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Yeah that looks much more the correct size. So important note, sizes include stuff like the massively long laser cannons. Also, Raptor. Just because.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a316/maverike_prime/Wing%20Commander/dral_excal_hor_raptor_zpsghkxzckh.png
Also as an aside, when I was looking for reference shots I ran across a re-design of the Salthi. Well it's labeled as a redesign but honestly I'm just calling it a re-interpretation of details that couldn't be seen in the original game. I'm somewhat tempted to do a model based on this design. If anyone knows the artist please let me know so I can contact them.
 
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st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
Great!

I like Vulpes-Sapien's idea of trying to standardize off a person seated in a chair. I do think that the seat would be less upright/much more reclined (maybe he went for immersion and used his computer setup?). I think that his assessments are a little on the small side.

Lengths of some "small" military aircraft:
A 4 Skyhawk = 12 meters
F 5 Tiger = 14 meters
F 16 = 15 meters
Saab Gripen = 14 meters​

Lengths of some "large" military aircraft:
F15 = 19 meters
Mig 25 = 20 meters
F111 = 22 meters
Su 34 = 23 meters​

32 meters sounds long for the Excalibur (a B1 is 44.5 meters). Maybe "space meters" are used that are somehow different from today's meters?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Could be that you need bulkier equipment to power an ion engine to give sufficient, practical levels of thrust...

Y'all should also consider that the average Kilrathi is ostensibly quite a good deal larger than the average human being. It'd make sense that their craft would be comparably larger for the roles they were designed to undertake.
That said, when I was doing WCRPG, I did re-interpret most of the given canonical craft lengths for Kilrath ships to mean their wingspan as opposed to their fore-to-aft length, because you're right: given the proportions of those craft, they'd be friggin' huge otherwise. Me, I did that so that I wouldn't have to adjust the system's craft construction rules (again)...
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Could be that you need bulkier equipment to power an ion engine to give sufficient, practical levels of thrust...

Y'all should also consider that the average Kilrathi is ostensibly quite a good deal larger than the average human being. It'd make sense that their craft would be comparably larger for the roles they were designed to undertake.
That said, when I was doing WCRPG, I did re-interpret most of the given canonical craft lengths for Kilrath ships to mean their wingspan as opposed to their fore-to-aft length, because you're right: given the proportions of those craft, they'd be friggin' huge otherwise. Me, I did that so that I wouldn't have to adjust the system's craft construction rules (again)...
I think comparing the cockpit sizes to the pilots is a good fail safe. As an example, I up-scaled the Dralthi image so that the longest part of the main body not counting the wings was 31 meters in length.


First off at that size the Dralthi, what is classified as a medium class fighter and mounting 2 Meson Guns, a Partical gun and 4 missiles, utterly dwarfs the Excalibur (A heavy fighter mounting 3 times the missile load out and twice the fire power) AND the Raptor a heavy fighter that like the Excalibur completely outclasses the Dralthi in terms of fire power. At that size and scale... I would expect the Dralthi to mounting like 16 missiles with 2 Plasma cannons and 4 Neutron Guns or something comparable.

as a further example, look at the sizes of the cockpits.


understand that each of that gray boxes is scaled to be 1 square meter. So that makes the Dralthi cockpit 3.5 meters wide (11 and a half feet). Granted Kilrathi are larger then humans. Assuming that the Emperor, Thrakath, Melek, and Hallas are all typical of Kilrathi physique they are around 8-9 feet tall and weigh in the neighborhood of 400-600 pounds. They are most certainly not 10 feet wide and unless they use some sort of full motion virtual reality mapping system to pilot their ships where they need a spherical area of 6 feet in all directions to permit full motion movement (unlikely since Hobbes was able to adapt to piloting Terran fighters, and in Secret Missions there is that mission where you pilot a Gratha), there is just no way I can imagine the Dralthi's Cockpit space being 11 feet wide. There are some 2 seater transport choppers who's cockpits aren't that wide.
 
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st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
Could be that you need bulkier equipment to power an ion engine to give sufficient, practical levels of thrust...

Y'all should also consider that the average Kilrathi is ostensibly quite a good deal larger than the average human being. It'd make sense that their craft would be comparably larger for the roles they were designed to undertake.
That said, when I was doing WCRPG, I did re-interpret most of the given canonical craft lengths for Kilrath ships to mean their wingspan as opposed to their fore-to-aft length, because you're right: given the proportions of those craft, they'd be friggin' huge otherwise. Me, I did that so that I wouldn't have to adjust the system's craft construction rules (again)...
Yes, and maybe the Excalibur has different equipment in other systems like sensors, avionics, and particularly life support that needs more space.

Here's a size comparison between a 10.75 door (3.3 meter) 660 pound (300 kg) Siberian Tiger and a 6 foot (2 meter) man from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/siberian-tiger/
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Not exactly related to the project in this thread but somewhat connected to it. I'll be doing a live stream session friday the 2nd starting at 7pm EST where I'll be working on a paper-hammer if anyone is interested in joining me.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Hey Wing Commander fans! I know it's been a while since I talked about this project, but now I am. The short version is I am going to be returning to working on it. The longer version is that you can join me as I will be working on it during my next live stream. The live stream will be Sunday March 19th starting at 5pm EST. You can get to the website by going to twitch.tv/resurrectedhobbyist, or simply by clicking on the ad below. Hope to see you all there!
excalibur-video sized.png
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Hey Wing Commander fans! I know it's been a while since I talked about this project, but now I am. The short version is I am going to be returning to working on it. The longer version is that you can join me as I will be working on it during my next live stream. The live stream will be Sunday March 19th starting at 5pm EST. You can get to the website by going to twitch.tv/resurrectedhobbyist, or simply by clicking on the ad below. Hope to see you all there!
View attachment 9030

Yes I know I just quoted myself. I'm preparing to get online for the live stream that quote mentions. If you'd like to join me, just log in with Twitch.tv and go to Resurrected Hobbyist. If you'd rather just the build shown and not talk with me, then just click on this link.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So after 6 hours, here is where the Excalibur mock up version 3.0 stands:


Over all, I'll call this a win. 6 hours of work, starting from nothing physical to this? Yeah.


Using foam board for the main body helped to speed things up a lot.


Previously the mock ups had had sharp apexes at the sides of the cockpit. With foam board in there I could found them out a bit more like how the in-universe images appear. The points will be there after I build the cockpit simply because it's kind of difficult to round out cardboard. Regardless when I get to the styrene version, I'll be able to round out the corners.


I'm recording a lot of measurements directly on the mock up once again.

 
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