Wing Commander ship design inspirations

Toast

Space Marshal
And in a case of convergent evolution

 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
I've always thought that if you cobble a pair of outboard engines on either side of a Tarsus and squinted a little bit you'd have something that looked an awful lot like a Firefly mid-bulk transport (i.e. Serenity). Just my opinion, of course.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
With regards to the movie Broadsword, the inspiration (or rather, I suppose, the limiting reagent) would be the English Electric Canberra cockpit they built the ship around (and of course the same for the Rapiers, built from Lightning fighters.) The StarLancer bomber would have been designed by the same artists who worked on the movie, so that’s the connection there!


I’d say the likeliest inspiration for the original Dralthi is not the 1989 Batwing (though certainly, right time!) but instead the original circular Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider. The Dralthi wouldn’t really get the more familiar bat wings until the version seen in Armada (and Wing Commander III.) (Another bit of parallel evolution there is the alien fighters in the 1994 Stargate movie, which showed up at the same time as Armada/WC3.)


I would say there’s some Millennium Falcon in the Galaxy, especially the look of the cockpit. If you look at early Privateer storyboards, they actually use sketches of the Falcon as a placeholder in the landing bays, ship stores, etc.!


It would be nice to have an 1980s anime expert look at some of the Wing Commander I ships; I know the developers have said specifically that many of them were anime-influenced… I suspect we’d find some connections as close as the Rapier/Firefox and Raptor/Gunstar!
 

Toast

Space Marshal
With regards to the movie Broadsword, the inspiration (or rather, I suppose, the limiting reagent) would be the English Electric Canberra cockpit they built the ship around (and of course the same for the Rapiers, built from Lightning fighters.) The StarLancer bomber would have been designed by the same artists who worked on the movie, so that’s the connection there!


I’d say the likeliest inspiration for the original Dralthi is not the 1989 Batwing (though certainly, right time!) but instead the original circular Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider. The Dralthi wouldn’t really get the more familiar bat wings until the version seen in Armada (and Wing Commander III.) (Another bit of parallel evolution there is the alien fighters in the 1994 Stargate movie, which showed up at the same time as Armada/WC3.)


I would say there’s some Millennium Falcon in the Galaxy, especially the look of the cockpit. If you look at early Privateer storyboards, they actually use sketches of the Falcon as a placeholder in the landing bays, ship stores, etc.!


It would be nice to have an 1980s anime expert look at some of the Wing Commander I ships; I know the developers have said specifically that many of them were anime-influenced… I suspect we’d find some connections as close as the Rapier/Firefox and Raptor/Gunstar!

The Jalthi looks like it too cues heavily from the original Cylon Raider, including its gun placement, size, and engine location.

And I have always thought the overall layout of the Tiger's Claw very, very strongly resembles Robotech's SDF-1, particularly the line art version in the manual art.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
And I have always thought the overall layout of the Tiger's Claw very, very strongly resembles Robotech's SDF-1, particularly the line art version in the manual art.

I think you're right. I've also seen the Snakeir in one of the earlier Gundams (I don't know enough about the series to track it down, though.) I know Chris has said that in retrospect he thought the early designs were too anime-inspired... someone knowledgeable about late 1980s sci-fi anime could probably identify more!
 
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