Rapier Redux

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
The movie and its related materials are odd outliers when it comes to ranks. The structure for pilots is clearly Navy, but Angel's condolence letter to Bossman's family calls him "Space Force", and describes his death as being "in the highest traditions of Space Force honor and valor". Arnold Blair, by contrast, was also Space Force - and a Major.

(Action Stations, which is set around the same time as the Pilgrim War, also uses Navy-style ranks, but then there's nothing to even indicate the existence of a Space Force, not mentioned even once - everyone belongs to the Fleet).

That aside, I'm a big fan of your work and am glad to see you taking up the Rapier again. The nose-cannon is lovely - I drew a sketch of that, years ago.
 
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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Bomber jackets... in... space!

After playing with some other designs, I worked out this sketch to help me think about designing the pilot. After playing some WC1 again, I decided I really like the classic fighter pilot leather jacket look. It's also a callback to the WC3/4/academy brown flight suit

The justification?

The leather jacket is a protective garment that goes over the spacesuit proper (with holes for the suit hardware) to save wear and tear on the suit body (the suit itself is a two-piece soft system) and to provide some additional external pockets.

It can also be worn off duty over a standard coverall or t-shirt to create esprit de corps among the pilots.

The Thermal Regulation Garment contains (a must on long patrols) a waste management system

The less said about this the better, I think. :)

Though, Angel does still look pretty good in her TRG (rowr!)

Also notice the computer kneeboard and suit controls on the left wrist. As well as a sidearm (issued before flights or to alert pilots confined to the ready room only, wouldn't want anybody shooting a hole in anything)
 

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Death Angel

Rear Admiral
Wonderful design! Would have loved to see this baby as Rapier III in WC3 :)

That's truly a 21st century ship now....well, I mean 27th century of course ;)
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
for me, the texturing is almost more exciting that the model itself (or the variant shape.. it really makes it pop out like a real thing instead of a bunch of triangles slapped together.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
That looks awesome!
Now you just need a few Charakter models and some capships, maybe some other fighters and you can do a movie. ^_^
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Cheers guys, thanks for the kind words!

Unlike most of you, SWC on the Mac was the first exposure to Wing Commander I had, so I'm a bit partial to that version of the Tiger's Claw. That said, I respect a lot of the elements of the classic WC1 Claw, and I've tried to incorporate some of them.

Incidentally, I think I've come up with a reason for the "runways" of the WC1-WC2 era;

The catapults are far more powerful than your average 21st century aircraft carrier steam catapult, accelerating the ship to at least 1 KPS, which would equal nearly three times the speed of sound in a sea level atmosphere!

Best to spare your hangar deck crew by doing your SERIOUS accelerating outside the airlock in a vacuum, so you don't deafen them with sonic booms!

The acceleration compensator aboard your fighter will keep your pilot from being reduced to chunky salsa, and the fighter doesn't have to spend its precious propellant accelerating itself to cruise velocity.

This is especially useful for cross system strikes and long patrols where "fuel" is at a premium. (Disregarding the deep-space ramscoop for the moment)

Interceptors and close escorts could launch from the "upstairs" bay without catapults, and it's always handy to have an alternate way to get ships outside in a pinch *cough, Concordia cough*

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy. The Claw has many different variants, but it's always a welcome sight when you come limping home, trailing sparks with scorch marks all over your ship!

The ship is scaled to 700 meters, per the ships database. That makes the hangar deck a mite cramped, but still larger than your average Escort Carrier.

I'm not sure about adding an extra hangar deck, I like my ships to have lots of internal volume for fuel tanks, especially when you're talking about a carrier with lots of thirsty spacecraft!
 

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Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Wow, I really like this rendition of the SWC Tiger's Claw. I'm normally much more partial to the original DOS version of the ship, but this one has been put together quite well. I especially like merging the original's flight deck design with the hull of the SWC ship. Way to go Klavs. As for the flight deck space, I've always thought that the fighters could be held in vertical racks when they aren't in use, to save deck space. The storage areas could even be under zero gravity so it would be easy to move the fighters around.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The catapults are far more powerful than your average 21st century aircraft carrier steam catapult, accelerating the ship to at least 1 KPS, which would equal nearly three times the speed of sound in a sea level atmosphere!

I think you have the reasoning behind the catapults exactly right but that the long runways are a separate thing which have more to do with spacefor recovery than for launch operations. Note that the Tiger's Claw doesn't launch fighters from the big runway in WC1--they shoot out individual tubes in the 'wings' of the ship. Watch the end of the takeoff animation--you're flying through a fighter-sized hexagonal tube that opens directly to space rather than down the runway (your silhouettes also run past a 'Tubes 6-9' direction sign on the way to the launch.)
 
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