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David Plunkett, designer of the Plunkett-class Heavy Artillery Cruiser seen several days ago, was kind enough to post the story behind the ship and its FMV-quality counterpart to the forums:
Origin of Plunkett
For the origin of Plunkett Class, I was hired on to do WC Online which I thought would be the coolest thing ever until it was cancelled. While I was waiting for WC Online to start up I was put on Secret Ops and asked to a do a cruiser. It was my first WC ship and I was really intimidated. The ship designs for WC are fantastic.

So I concepted a ship based on WWII Destroyers and after a couple of revisions with Mark Vearrier came up with this final design. I have always been a big Battle of the Planets fan and so I though a Space Cruiser needed big triple gun turrets with lots of little "AA" Turrets, to give it the WWII Yamato feel (I think the Plunkett has more turrets than any other ship in the game).

Anyway I went way way over budget on the polygons putting those turrets on. Originally the Plunkett had more Point Defense Turrets on it, but I had to trim them off to get it down to only way over budget. But when the Designers saw the ship they wouldn't let me take any more turrets off, so it shipped considerably over budget.

The designers loved it so much that they named it the Plunkett, and then put two or three of them in almost every mission that they could, which at the time was really pushing the hardware.

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The story behind the renders is sadder

When Origin/EA cancelled the Wing Commander series there was a period of about two months where I had no work, so I worked on my Demo Reel and made the screenshots and AVI's that you found on my website. When the layoffs came I was the only person left out of the entire team and was sitting in my office in a dark hallway working on the screenshots that you see. Later that week I was moved upstairs to work on A-10 with Andy Hollis which was another failed title that offered a lot of promise.

I may or may not have the source art for the ship since it was done in a period of transition from Unix on SGI's to Windows on PC's. But I think they are all in Power Animator and so are essentially lost.

This is exactly the kind of story Wing Commander fans find fascinating -- anyone with a similar 'behind the screens' experience should let us know!

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