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Taken a couple of months ago with my wonderful ND 10 filter as a test. I love the beautiful sunset clouds and the tiny moon over the harbor.

 

But this tranquil shot belies what REALLY happened that night: when I got there, there were two drunk guys, listening to classic rock on a crappy radio out of a shopping cart and quietly slurring back and forth to each other.

 

As I stood there with my camera, tripod and entire kit, a foot away from the water, they suddenly got in a fight over one of the guy's cell phone, and started rolling around on the cobblestones three feet behind me, shouting obscenities and punching each other! I thought, "it's only a matter of time before they knock me right into the water, along with all my gear!" and I got mad, because I couldn't even walk by them because they were rolling around so much.

 

For some stupid reason, I just yelled at them in my sternest "Mom voice": "Both of you STOP IT RIGHT NOW! I am trying to take a picture and you're fighting over a cell phone behind me? GET UP!" And they both looked really shocked and shame-faced, believe it or not, instead of whipping out a knife or a gun to kill me, and said they were sorry!

 

I suddenly realized what I had done, grabbed my stuff, and marched off towards Harbor Fish Market, where a guy who was having a smoke out there, complimented me with a, "Way to GO, Mama!" lol!

 

When I went back afterwards, hoping it would all be okay, one of the guys had run off, and the other one apologized profusely to me! Too funny. . . But I WAS lucky that I got the right two drunks, who just happened to be scared by "Principal Cindy."

 

If you're interested in purchasing this image, you can do so at fine art america.

 

You can also see this image and all of my latest work on my blog

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

A picture of a Role play I did while I was at E.K's house. This picture has Lucio, Prisoner 2, and Aldric. Aldric's freaking out or well, having a Mini Break down because the prisoner person was telling him he was an Orphan and he really hates that. A kid with the power to summon swords isn't too good. He summoned swords... He wanted to stop or silence what was making him have a mini break down.

 

THE RP

   

Aaren:...? Hi!

 

Mioun: Oh, hello! Your name was... Umm... Alex right? No, That wasn't it... Sorry I forgot your name.

 

Aaren: Dx I'm Aaren! Uhm, Hi Uhm.. I'm sorry, I don't know your name I think... Uhm, Mioun...?

 

Mioun: Yes, that's my name. Sorry I forgot your name Aaren.

 

Aaren: It's okay! How'r---

 

Aldric: AAREN! Dx *Tackle hugs Aaren* A Weirdo guy with Whips was being mean to me and called me naughty! He was soo weird and then he whipped me and he said it brought him pleasure.. So I ran away! Dx>

 

Aaren: D:> Are you okay...?

 

Mioun: Huh? Who would do that to a kid...? I hope you're not injured too much...

 

Aldric: This Weirdo with Silver hair, Pink Eyes And Electric Whips! It really hurt! Specially when he used his electric whips and it hit my armor!

 

Aaren: *Looks at Aldric and gets out his First Aid kit and puts a bandage on one of Aldrics whip marks on his face*

 

Mioun: I don't know who that was, but you should try to stay away from him now since he injured you badly.

 

Aldric: I didn't even know he was there! Dx I just felt Something Wrap around my Leg and I got dragged off into a dark Area! I was soo scared!

 

Aaren: It's a okay now....

 

Mioun: Yeah... Just be careful if that happens again.

 

Aldric: Okay..! *Runs off*

 

Aaren:...? B-Be carefull!!

 

Mioun: ?! He ran off fast...

 

Aaren: He probably went to go play.....

 

Mioun: Yeah...

 

Dasmin: *runs up behind Aaren and hugs him tightly* Aaren! :3

 

Aaren:...!? Dx Too tight! Too tight...! Uhm... Dersike..? No, Dasmin..!

 

Dasmin: I'm sorry! Dx *continues to hug him, but not tightly* Yes! I'm Dasmin.

 

Mioun: Huh? Are you two best friends or something?

 

Dasmin: Umm... I don't know..

 

Mioun: How don't you know? Dx

 

Dasmin: I don't know.. Dx>

 

Aaren: I don't know Either.... He just started liking me for almost no reason at all I think...

 

Mioun: That's weird...

 

Dasmin: No reason? But there is a reason! You're SO nice!... And I don't find it weird.

 

Aaren: You just keep hugging me randomly though.... And it sometimes hurts though because you hug me too tightly....

 

Dasmin: I'm sorry Aaren! I'll stop hugging you tightly.

 

Aaren: It's okay...

 

Meep: *Runs by And puts one of Mioun's whole arm in his mouth* :3

 

Mioun: *starts trying to wave his arms* Aahhhhhh! Dx> He's trying to eat me! It feels gross and this doesn't make sense!

 

Dasmin: ...?

 

Kazumi: *walks over to Meep and pulls on his ear hard* Stop trying to eat the weak man..

 

Mioun: ...I'm not weak.. Dx

 

Kazumi: You're letting this sheep thing eat you.

 

Mioun: I don't want to hurt him...

 

Meep: *Whines loudly* Dx> No! Scary booger foot face lady!! *Stops trying to eat Mioun's hand* You weirdo lady!

 

Aaren:...? Eh..?

 

Kazumi: Shut up before I hurt you again.

 

Mioun: Don't hurt him...

 

Kazumi: I can do whatever I want to do to him.

 

Mioun: No. You can't.

 

Meep: *Whines and tries to punch Kazumi*

 

Aaren:....?

 

Kazumi: *dodges and pulls on his ear harder* .......*sighs and walks off with Meep while pulling his ear*

 

Meep: Dx> Help me!

 

Aaren: *Whines*..... I should go help him.....

 

Dasmin: B-But she'll hurt you too! Dx *hugs Aaren tighter* You don't need to be whipped by her! *tears up* You'll get injured enough!

 

Mioun: If you're worried so much about his safety I'll go after them instead. *runs after Kazumi and Meep*

 

Aaren: Ow... Dx B-But I want to help him!

 

Dasmin: No! *hugs him tighter and starts crying* You get injured enough!

 

Aaren: Ow! You're hurting me! Dx *Tries to get away from Dasmin* I WILL go help him!

 

Dasmin: No! Dx You can't! *pushes Aaren to the ground but continues to hug him tightly*

 

Aaren: DASMIN! Dx You're hurting me you meanie! *Keeps trying to get him off as well as getting up*

 

Dasmin: I'm sorry! But that lady will hurt you more than I am right now!

 

Aaren: Dasmin! Dx * Tries to Elbow him in the stomach, If he succeeds, Then he tries to get away again*

 

Dasmin: Ow! *hugs Aaren tighter* No! You can't get hurt!

 

Aaren: You're hurting me anyways, Why does it matter?? *Keeps trying to get away*

 

Dasmin: But she'll hurt you worse! And she puts her whip around around your neck and pull on you hard!

 

Aaren: But, Still! Let GO!

 

Dasmin: No!

 

Aaren: Dassammmiinnn! Dx * Tries to hit Dasmin hard*

 

Dasmin: Ow!... You can hit me as hard as you can but I don't let go! Dx

 

Aaren: Dasmin, I don't want to hurt you, Let go! This is your last warning! Dx

 

Dasmin: I'll let you go if you don't go after that lady!

 

Aaren: Fine! Dx

 

Dasmin: *lets go of Aaren and stands up* Dx

 

Aaren: *Stands up*......

 

Dasmin: *walks in front of the direction Kazumi went with Meep* You better not go after them! Dx

 

Aaren:...?? Dx *Runs at Dasmin and pushes him out of the way and runs off towards them*

 

Dasmin: Aaren! *gets up and runs after Aaren*

 

Aaren: *Summons his wings and starts to fly off quickly*

 

Dasmin: No! Dx Aaren! *tries to run after Aaren as fast as he can buts ends up falling down* Ow...

 

Aaren: *Flies off to Where Meep, Kazumi, and Mioun are* ...?

 

-Kazumi is nowhere to be found, she ran off or something-

 

Mioun: Hi Aaren! The lady left. She said fighting for Meep wasn't worth it and fighting him would be better to cause him more pain...

 

Aaren: Oh... Okay... I'll go check on Dasmin now.... *Flies over to Dasmin*.....?

 

Dasmin: Hi Aaren... I fell over when I was running after you.

 

Aaren: Hi. Are you okay? *Lands next to Dasmin*

 

Dasmin: Yeah I'm fine.

 

Aaren:...? You hug too tight....

 

Dasmin: I'n sorry Aaren... I didn't mean to hurt you..

 

Aaren: It's okay.

 

Dasmin: I promise I won't do that again or I'll try not to..

 

Aaren: Okay.... Just not too tight, You'll hug the breath out of me next time....

 

Dasmin: I know.. Dx I was just hugging you so tightly because I didn't want you to get hurt..

 

Aaren: Okay... But you hug really tight...

 

Dasmin: Sorry...

 

Aaren:... So... Uhm.... Uhhh....

 

Dasmin: ...?

 

Aaren:...... I don't know....

 

Dasmin: But you said "So." Dx It seemed like you were going to say something..

 

Aaren: No.... I'm not sure what I was gonna say anyways.....

 

Dasmin: You weren't?! Dx Do we need to take you to the doctor than?

 

Aaren: No..... I'm not hurt.....

 

Dasmin: No, not because you're injured.. You just shouldn't have short term memory loss at such a young age..

 

Aaren: I don't....

 

Dasmin: Umm.... Okay. Are you sure?

 

Aaren: Yes.

 

Dasmin: Okay...

 

Aaren:.... *Sighs*

 

Aldric: *Runs back crying to Aaren, Some of his armor is missing and his Clothing is ripped up* Aaren! Aaren! *Hugs Aaren tightly* That Weirdo got me again and tried to undress meee! *Starts crying more* It was SCARY!

 

Aaren: W-Wha?? Are you okay? Please stay with me now....

 

Aldric: I don't wanna see that weirdo anymore! His grin was soo creepy!

 

Dasmin: Dx> Why is that weirdo even here?

 

Aaren: I don't know...

 

Aldric: *Continues to cry* Dx

 

Aaren: No, No... It's okay... Dx

 

Dasmin: Dx> Don't worry Aldric... He won't get you or he'll have a harder time if you're around Aaren.

 

Aldric: Okay... Dx>

 

Aaren: Please stop crying....

 

Dasmin: D: .....

 

Aaren: There, There..... You'll be fine........

 

Aldric:..... Okaay... *Stops crying* Dx>

 

Aaren:...... Uhm.... I wonder what's taking Mioun and the sheep soo long....

 

Dasmin: I don't know. Maybe the sheep is trying to eat his arm again... It seems more of a goat than a sheep.

 

Aaren: *Shrugs* I'll go check. Aldric, Stay with Dasmin.

 

Aldric: B-But...!

 

Aaren: You' be fine..... Trust me. *Flies off to where Mioun and Meep are*

 

Mioun: *trying to push Meep off* his arm* Stop trying to eat me! Dx

 

Aaren:....!? Bad Sheep! Bad! *Smacks Meep over the head*

 

Meep: *Whines and lets go* Dx Why wont anyone let me do what I want??

 

Mioun: I don't want to be eaten! Dx And it's weird and gross that most of my arm in your mouth...

 

Meep: I'm a black hole. :3

 

Aaren: *Makes Vergil's face*

 

Mioun: D: ...? Umm... Okay?

 

Meep: HEY! Bad Aaren! You can't make Vergil's face! What's wrong with you!? Dx﹏

 

Meep: YES! Now, Let go! Dx

 

Mioun: No!

 

Meep: * Whines VERY loudly*

 

Mioun: Stop that! Dx

 

Meep: * Starts whining alot and VERY VERY loudly*

 

Mioun: Dx Just spit out Aaren!

 

Meep: *Keeps on whining Extremely loudly*

 

Lucio: *tackles Mioun so he's holding on Meep* Stop hurting the poor innocent sheep! Dx

 

Mioun: B-but!

 

Lucio: No buts! Run off little sheep guy! Dx Hurry before the meanie gets back up!

 

Mioun: M-meanie? D:

 

Meep: *Turns in to a sheep, Bleats and then runs off * >﹏

 

Dasmin: No!

 

Lucio: LIES! *points at Dasmin*

 

Aldric: You're lying! You wanna marry Aaren! Dx>

 

Dasmin: I'm not lying! Dx You're saying I'm a pedophile and you're saying I want to marry Aaren, which one is it?! Because I can't be both!

 

Lucio: Yeah you can!

 

Aldric: Adults are weirdos! Dx You probably will marry Aaren!

 

Dasmin: WILL?! What's THAT suppose to mean?!

 

Aldric: UHM! it means what it means! Dx

 

Dasmin: How do you know if I will or will not?! And why do you say I probably will?

 

Aldric: You always hug him soo much! And you like him too much too! It's weird! Dx>

 

Dasmin: It's not weird!

 

Lucio: Yes! That's weird! Dx You weirdo pedophile!

 

Dasmin: This is hopeless! Talking to you guys is like talking to a tree! Dx

 

Aldric: I'm not a tree!.. Dx .... Am I?

 

Lucifer:.. *Gets up* No. You're a kid.

 

Lucio: We're not trees! Dx

 

Dasmin: *sighs* Well I'm not a pedophile, but no one seems to listen or tell the truth! *glares at Lucifer* So I don't care if you guys are trees or not!

 

Lucifer:..? -.-

 

Aldric: Dx B-But You're a Pedophile!

 

Dasmin: No I'm not!

 

Lucifer: You are. So shush up. *Wraps his tail around Dasmin*

 

Aldric:..? Dx

 

Dasmin: But I'm not and you know I'm not!

 

Lucifer: It's been fun... But... Bye! *Flies off with Dasmin*

 

Aldric:..!? Dx> He took the PedoPhile!

 

Lucio: Why would he do that?! Dx *picks up Aldric and flies off after Lucifer*

 

Dasmin: Where are you taking me?!

 

Aldric: I don't know! Dx

 

Lucifer: Away from them idiot... Unless you wanna go to jail.

 

Dasmin: I don't want to go jail, but there's no evidence to even say I'm a pedophile anyways.

 

Lucio: *starts to fly faster* Dx

 

Lucifer: Sh, I'm a witness. *Laughs and then flies off really fast*

 

Aldric:.. Dx

 

Dasmin: Grr...

 

Lucio: Hey! *tries to fly faster after Lucifer*

 

Lucifer: You're soo ungratefull....*Flies really fast*.

 

Aldric:...!? Dx This is scary!

 

Dasmin: You were the one who made the situation worse.

 

Lucio: Dx It is? *lands on the ground and pus Aldric down*

 

Lucifer: Oh? Say one more ungrateful thing and I'll hurt you. Remember, I'm in control of your fate right now.

 

Aldric:...? D:>

 

Dasmin: .......

 

Lucio: I didn't want you to get too scared. Dx

 

Aldric:... T.T okay, But My friends missing and I can't find him... Dx have you seen people with... *Describes Mioun and Aaren*

 

Lucifer: *Lands on a really tall building and lets go of Dasmin* Should I untie you...?

 

Lucio: Yeah... The one with orange hair was hurting this sheep person. D:

 

Dasmin: Yes...

 

Aldric: What? Dx I don't believe that! He's nice...

 

Lucifer: No.... I don't feel like it.

 

Lucio: But he has so much battle wounds.... And an eye patch... Eye patches are scary..Dx And the poor sheep was whining and whining... It seemed sad and scared.

 

Dasmin: Why don't you feel like it?

 

Aldric: But he helps others... D:> What if the sheep did something bad first?

 

Lucifer: I'm tired.

 

Lucio: But that sheep is very innocent.. D:

 

Dasmin: That's a terrible excuse...

 

Aldric: Is it really innocent though..?

 

Lucifer:... But I am....

 

Lucio: Yes... And it makes such cute faces.

 

Dasmin: I don't care, just untie me.

 

Aldric: It does?

 

Lucifer: No.

 

Lucio: Yes and it seems so happy... Until the mean lady comes.

 

Dasmin: Grr.... You're so annoying...

 

Aldric:...? Huh?

 

Lucifer: As are you.

 

Lucio: She's a mean lady that likes to hurt the sheep person. Dx

 

Dasmin: How am I annoying? You're the one that agreed that I was a pedophile.

 

Aldric: Dx Why!?

 

Lucifer: *Shrugs*

 

Lucio: I dunno... Dx

 

Dasmin: *kicks Lucifer in the shin hard*

 

Aldric:.. D:

 

Lucifer: OW! *Picks up Dasmin with his tail and slams him on the ground hard*

 

Lucio: Dx

 

Dasmin: Ugh!

 

Aldric:...? Dx

 

Lucifer: *Growls Deeply* Ingrate. Just stay there.....

 

Lucio: Oh! Yeah! The orange haired person!

 

Dasmin: Grr.... Just untie me!

 

Aldric: Oh, Where is he? :o

 

Lucifer: NO.

 

Lucio: I don't really know... D: I gave him to the soldiers and they took care of him.

 

Dasmin: *stands back up and kicks Lucifer hard again*

 

Aldric: Lets go get him! He probably knows where Aaren is! Dx

 

Lucifer: OW! *Wraps his Tail around Dasmin and slams him in the ground multiple times* Just sleep.....

 

Lucio: But I don't know where he is... D:

 

Dasmin: Guh! No! I'm not tired!

 

Aldric: Dx B-But why??

 

Lucifer: Too bad!

 

Lucio: I told you... Dx I gave him to the soldiers.

 

Dasmin: Too bad?! You can't force me to go to sleep anyways and I won't go to sleep!

 

Aldric: Lets go ask them then!

 

Lucifer: I CAN If I knock you out idiot. *Takes out his Axe and slashes at Dasmin*

 

Lucio: Okay! *grabs Aldric and runs off*

 

Dasmin: Ugh! Dx Why would you slash at me with your axe?!

 

Aldric: ....?

 

Lucifer: You're annoying! *Slashes at Dasmin again*

 

Lucio: ...? *looks around for the soldiers*

 

Dasmin: ?! That's so unfair!

 

Aldric:...?

 

Lucifer: I don't care! *Slashes at him again*

 

Lucio: *runs over to two soldiers* Hi! :3 What did you two do with the eyepatch orange haired person?

 

Soldier 1: Oh, he's in a prison cell.

 

Soldier 2: Yeah! We didn't question him or anything and we didn't even listen to him!

 

Soldier 1: We told him to shut up and we threw him in the cell, then we were done. :3 We just took your word.

 

Lucio: You're not suppose to do that! Dx

 

Dasmin: *barely dodges*

 

Aldric: Can we get him back..? D:

 

Lucifer:... Hmm.. This is boring... Maybe I should untie you so I can beat you up more amusingly....

 

Soldier 1: I don't think so....

 

Soldier 2: Yeah... He's crime gave him a ten year sentence.

 

Lucio: 10 years?! That's too long! Dx What did you say he did?!

 

Soldier 2: Attempted murder...? :3

 

Lucio: Dx

 

Dasmin: Then hurry up and untie me!

 

Aldric: But he only hugged a sheep! Dx

 

Lucifer: *Unties Dasmin*.....

 

Soldier 2: Lies! Dx

 

Lucifer: *Dodges and slashes at Dasmin*

 

Solider 2: Sorry, but you can talk to him. Just be careful, he's dangerous...

 

Dasmin: Ugh! *slashes at Lucifer*

 

Aldric: Okay!

 

Lucifer: *Dodges*... *Hits Dasmin with his tail*

 

Soldier 1: Just follow us! *walks off with Soldier 2*

 

Lucio: ...? *follows*

 

Dasmin: *dodges and kicks Lucifer's stomach hard*

 

Aldric:.....? *Follows*

 

Lucifer: Ugh! *Slashes at Dasmin*

 

Soldier 1: *walks to the prison place* Here we are! :3

 

Dasmin: ?! *dodges and stabs at Lucifer's stomach*

 

Aldric:....?

 

Lucifer: Guh! *Tries to cut off Dasmin's arm*

 

Lucio: ?

 

Soldiers: *walks inside and walk down a staircase*

 

Lucio: *follows*

 

Dasmin: *dodges* Why were you trying to cut off my arm?!

 

Aldric:...? *Stays near Lucio*

 

Lucifer: I felt like it. *Slashes at Dasmin*

 

Soldiers: *walk down a hallway and there are cells on both sides*

 

Prisoner: Hey kid! I'm going to skin you alive and saw off the angel's wings! *chuckles* Then I'll hang it on my cell wall to show my greatness!

 

Lucio: Dx>

 

Dasmin: Guh! *kicks at Lucifer's legs*

 

Aldric:..!? *Takes out his sword but stays really close to Lucio and Whines*

 

Lucifer:..!? *Falls down, But then gets up with a rising slash*

 

Prisoner: Oh goodie a sword! I'd love to skin you with that and chop off your-!

 

Lucio: Shut up! It's okay Aldric... He can't hurt you... Why did you put him around these people?!

 

Soldier 2: Because he seemed like he was one of them.

 

Lucio: Dx

 

Dasmin: Ugh!

 

Aldric: *Whines*... Dx>

 

Lucifer: *Slashes at Dasmin's legs* Just sleep already....

 

Soldier 1: *walks over to a cell that has Mioun in it*

 

Mioun: Dx ...? Aldric! They told be I was crazy like these people and that I was charged with attempted murder... I don't like it here....

 

Dasmin: Guh! No!

 

Aldric: But you didn't attempt to murder anyone! You're innocent! Dx

 

Lucifer: I thought you said you could beat me and cause me pain. You're a big bluffer.

 

Mioun: That's what I told them! Dx They didn't listen to me though! They just smacked me across the face and told to shush...

 

Lucio: Dx

 

Dasmin: You started to attack me when my hands were tied up!

 

Aldric: B-But you're innocent!

 

Lucifer: So what?

 

Mioun: I know I am... But they wouldn't listen... Dx

 

Dasmin: It's unfair!

 

Aldric: Then I'm taking you out of there!

 

Lucifer: You think I care?

 

Mioun: No, don't do that Aldric. D:> You don't need to get in trouble as well... You can't be in here with these... Umm... Psychopaths. Because if you are they'll injure you badly.

 

Dasmin: No.

 

Aldric: But...! Dx

 

Lucifer: -.-

 

Mioun: No buts Aldric. I don't want you to be in here.

 

Prisoner 2: Hey you! We're not psychopaths! Do you want to get yourself killed on the first day?

 

Mioun: Dx No....

 

Prisoner 2: Then keep your mouth shut before I decide to slice you in half!

 

Mioun: *whines* ... D:

 

Dasmin: -.- ......

 

Aldric: Dx No! You better leave him alone!

 

Lucifer: Are you gonna sleep yet? I'm tired.

 

Lucio: Aldric... Please be quiet..

 

Prisoner 2: Oh and what if I don't? You're going to get your Mommy to spank me?

 

Dasmin: No!

 

Aldric:... Dx I don't have a mommy... You should feel lucky if you have one!

 

Lucifer: *Sighs*

 

Prisoner 2: Oh I killed my Mom! Do you want to know how I did it? *grins* I bet you do!

 

Lucio: Hush! Dx You're going to scar him!

 

Prisoner 2: A mental one, but your's will appear after you've die again! So come in here so I can kill you!

 

Dasmin: ......

 

Aldric: You killed your mommy!? Dx

 

Lucifer: Come over here so I can heal you...

 

Prisoner 2: Yeah! She was SO annoying! I killed her in such a painful away too!

 

Dasmin: *walks over to Lucifer*

 

Aldric: Dx> Wh-What!!?? You're REALLY bad! Just shut up!

 

Lucifer:... *Starts to heal Dasmin, It's really slow though and it stings.*

 

Prisoner 2: I don't need to shut up! You're not the boss of me! You're just a pathetic little orphan! One day you'll be in here too and then if you're like your nice friend over there TERRIBLE things will happen!

 

Dasmin: ...?!

 

Aldric: No, No, No! Shut up, Shut up, SHUT UP! *Makes Crystal swords Appear and they go towards the Prisoner*..!? *The swords disenagrate before they hit the prisoner*... *Whines*

 

Lucifer; It may hurt.....

 

Prisoner 2: *sticks his tongue* So weak...

 

Mioun: Umm... Lucio please get Aldric out of here.. D:>

 

Lucio: Okay... *grabs Aldric and walks towards the staircase* D:

 

Dasmin: I noticed...

 

Aldric: *Whines* B-But Mioun!

 

Lucifer:....

 

Lucio: He'll be fine.. D:> You shouldn't be in here anyways.

 

Dasmin: .........

 

Aldric: B-But...! What if he knows where Aaren is?? And he needs to be free.....

 

Lucifer: .......

 

Lucio: I'll ask him later, but for right now you shouldn't be in here. *walks up the stairs*

 

Dasmin: Can you put me on the ground now?

 

Aldric: B-But...! Dx

 

Lucifer: No.

 

Lucio: No buts. Dx>

 

Dasmin: Why not? I don't want to spend a lovely night with you. -.-

 

Aldric: *Starts to cry*

 

Lucifer: Too bad...

 

Lucio: It's going to okay Aldric. D: I'm going to talk with someone to see if they can get him out.

 

Dasmin: Then you better of planned a romantic dinner then. -.- Because I'm going to nag later when I'm hungry.

 

Aldric:.... O-Okay.... Dx

 

Lucifer: *Laughs* You'll survive until I wake up.

 

Lucio: D:

 

Dasmin: No I won't so I will hug you like how I hug Aaren! *hugs Lucifer super tightly* And then I'll tell people we're getting married and that we're going to have 2 children. *squeals* We'll be great parents with a lovely house! :3 We'll be the talk of the town!

 

Aldric: Dx

 

Lucifer: Ow! You're Going to make me stop breathing you dunce! We ARE NOT getting married and What, Do you expect me to have kids?? I'm not going to have kids with you, you weirdo Pedophile! No! I'm not living in a house!

 

Lucio: ...... D:

 

Dasmin: Oh honeybuns stop being in denial! And we don't have to live in a house we can live on this wonderful roof! And yes I'm expecting you to have kids with me! I'll make myself a women if I have to!

 

Aldric: Well, Go ask! Dx

 

Lucifer: UGH! * Tries to get away from Dasmin* NO! Get away you weirdo mortal!

 

Lucio: Dx Okay! Okay! Wait here for a couple of minutes! *runs into a room*

 

Dasmin: NEVER! We will have a happy ending!

 

Lucifer: NO! Get away you freak!

 

Dasmin: NO! I'm not a freak! I gave you a nice nickname, why don't you give me one?! Dx

 

Lucifer: You don't deserve one! *Starts using his tail as a Whip to hit Dasmin with* Get AWAY!

 

Dasmin: NEVER! *hugs him tighter* Take me out to dinner right now honeybunns!

 

Lucifer: Ugh! You're going to obstruct my breathing and crush my wings! Dx

 

Dasmin: I'll stop if you take me out to dinner!

 

Lucifer: I'm NOT taking you to dinner!

 

Dasmin: It doesn't have to be fancy! Oh! Oh! Then take me out for a nice walk by the moonlight honeybuns! :3

 

Lucifer: No! Let go! *Tries to get away*

 

Dasmin: No! You're not getting away honeybuns! If you keep struggling I'll kiss you!

 

Lucifer: WHAT!? Then, Pucker up to this! *Hits Dasmin in the face with his horns and continues trying to get away*

 

Dasmin: Guh!..... Oh honeybuns stop showing your affection with violence! You're just asking for the kiss now!

 

Lucifer: What!? Let go!! Dx *Keeps trying to get away and hits him with his horns again* Why wont you knock out!?

 

Dasmin: Guh! .... Because your love keeps me going! *kisses Lucifer in the cheek fast* (Thinking: Ugh! So gross! So gross!)

 

Lucifer:...!? UGH! You freak... Sexual harassment! Dx LET GO! *Whines* FINE! I' take you to go eat!

 

Dasmin: Yay! :3 *lets go of Lucifer but holds onto his hand tightly*

 

Lucifer: Dx Ugh! *Wraps his tail around Dasmin and flies off* Dx Where do you want to eat you Weirdo Sexual predator? Dx

 

Dasmin: It doesn't matter as long as it's not a gross junky place honeybuns. :3

 

Lucifer: *Whines*.... *Flies off to a food place and lands*.....

 

Dasmin: *holds onto Lucifer's hand tightly and walks inside the building* :3 Look everyone! I have a new boyfriend! Isn't he wonderful?!

 

Lucifer:...!? I'M NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND YOU FREAK! Let go of my hand! Dx

 

Dasmin: No! Dx I don't want to lose you honeybuns! I just lost my last lover, I can't lose you too! My last lover just went missing today!

 

Lucifer:..!? *Bites Dasmin's hand hard* Let go of me!

 

Nero: *Snickers*

 

Lilith: More weirdos...

 

Dasmin: Ow! Honeybuns stop showing your love or I'm going to have to kiss you again!

 

Lucifer: *Bites hard so he's trying to break the bone* NO!

 

Lilith: Soo naughty...

 

Nero:.. -.- I'm gone. *Walks out*

 

Lilith: *Snickers and then walks out*

 

Dasmin: *whines a bit* This most show that you REALLY love me, you really do want the two children! :D

 

Lucifer: NO! *Keeps biting his hand really hard* This is your last warning! I WILL break your hand!

 

Dasmin: *lets go of Lucifer's hand* But you LOVE me honeybuns! :3 *giggles*

 

Lucifer:... *Shudders* S-Stay away from ME! *Lets go flys off really quickly*

 

Dasmin: *runs out the building* HONEYBUNS!!!!! Dx Not you too!!.*cries until Lucifer gets far away enough* -.- *wipes the last tear, cleans his glasses, and walks off casually*

 

Aldric: *Goes down the Stairs to Mioun's cell again* Hey! Do you know where Aaren is...? D:

 

Mioun: The sheep person ate him.. Dx>

 

Aldric: W-What?! Dx

 

Mioun: Yeah. The sheep person ate him...

 

Aldric: *Whines* Why?? I-Is he D-Dead then?? *Starts crying loudly* Dx

 

Mioun: No... Dx Don't cry Aldric... Shh... I don't think he's dead..

 

Aldric: B-But he's lost! And got eaten! I-I don't wanna be alone anymore! *Starts to cry more* I can't find my twin... And now Aaren got eaten!? WAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Dx>

   

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

Methods of transport through the cell membrane model. I made this for my AP Biology students. It took some time and money but I'll have the kits forever. I used puff balls for oxygen and glucose, and craft punches to make the lipid bilayer and sodium/potassium pump.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

this is the bag i take to work with me, wherever that might be.

 

Steve and i are both Timbuk2 freaks. i have 7 of them. in fact, our first bonding moment was when he saw my old Timbuk2 bag sitting on my desk at Medic 60 and said, "who's Timbuk2 bag is that?" when i said, "it's mine" he smiled hard. now that's love.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

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By Douglas Ringer 2009

Amex Vignettes

 

Amex vignettes? Well yes, these are for the enormous cauldron that still is bubbling away in the campfire of my mind, filled with an alphabet soup of unforgettable fragments culled from those so many Amex personalities and those so many jobs. Multi-coloured fragments, or mosaic like shards that I know that my memory collected and put carefully wrapped in my treasure chest of experiences, because it seemed my memory found so much to treasure in that moment… but the totality of that particular job has gone on a long walk about. These bits and pieces though still remain and cover what I found to be profoundly funny, full of the rollicking silly, the hopefully not to serious, the mind-bogglingly stupidity and, naturally, the totally incomprehensible.

 

Amex was a universe unto itself and, like our infinite homes, possessed all the wonderful complexity that nature and humans could conjure up and… speaking for myself… these delightful vignettes must have had that very special something because at 62 they are still firmly embedded and I am still chortling. Over this time they may be chronologically misplaced, burnished up a little but the essence remains.

  

That sinking feeling

 

This first one still brings a big smile to my face. This is somewhere in the Highland Valley, Logan Lake area in that busy time of summer, 1969. It’s a grid and I’m working with Gary Lyall and we are doing some exemplary lines in which we both were taking great pride in. They were not just “lines” they were masterpieces of well placed flagging, pickets that you would want to take home to and show your girlfriend, blazes that were like stars on a dark night, compassed lines so straight that plumb bobs became redundant and so well cut out that even the most disparaging geologist would have given them the nod.

 

It’s a really hot day and on one of our lines we come to a small lake and have to naturally stop although, in theory, the mapped end of the line would have ended up on the far side of the lake. We sit down and do the cig thing and Gary starts giggling. He has a vision that has tickled his funny bone. “Hey Doug, lets run out and put as many pickets as we can out into the lake. That will really blow the geologist mind.” I thought that great fun too. After all it was a hot, hot day and we would dry off quick enough and I had become totally inured and indifferent to walking in wet-soaked-damp, work boots.

 

So off we go and cut 3 very long pickets, spruce them up and write the line numbers down on them. Slowly Gary starts wading into the lake. It was, so Gary reported, not too gooey on the bottom and it didn’t seem to have a surprising drop off, as yet. He gets out about 25 feet. The water is about thigh level and I call chain. Gary sticks in our extra long picket and I wade out to the picket while Gary continues out.

 

The water is now slowly climbing up over his waist when he begins to gradually sink. The bottom seems to have developed a quick-sand effect and he quickly realizes he’s losing it. He knows he has a few decisions to make quickly. As the water creeps up, he thinks first of the cigarettes in his front shirt pocket…pulls them out…and holds them high in the air. Cigs in one hand, axe and picket in the other, he looks like a torpedoed ship, continuing to leisurely sink. He does manage to extract himself , but in doing so, had to reluctantly admit that he would have to use both hands and that something precious would have to be sacrificed.

 

Moon landing

 

On this particular day I know exactly the date and where I was. Millions of others know it too.

It was the 20th of July, 1969. For some reason in that busy summer working for Amex I found myself back in Kamloops on some days off which were needed to replenish your bush wardrobe, doing the socials and trying to be as unproductive as possible. You were tanking up for your next 12 rounder with the bush.

 

These few days off must have been planned in heaven because on one of those days the Americans were going to land on the moon. I had been sitting in Mum’s living room watching the TV since the morning to witness this stunning, historical event and could not believe how long it was taking and was getting a little antsy. It was a beautiful Kamloops summer day out side and I was hoping, not only to witness this historic sight but to meet up with a few friends…have the chats and quaff a few. As it was now the late afternoon it seemed that the Eagle was getting close to landing.

 

Just as the Eagle seems to be getting close to landing on the moon the phone rings. It’s Ab! “I guess you are watching the moon landing, eh? Sorry to bother you but I got a bit of a panic thing here. Can you grab a taxi and head over here? Pick up a truck, drive to Ashcroft-Wallichin and pick Frosty up and he’ll take it from there.” I was naturally shocked and more than surprised to find out that Ab, himself, was not ensconced in his living room sofa, surrounded by Ella and the kids, engrossed in this incredible event. Did the exigencies of that busy summer not leave him with time to witness this historical happening? Now telling the Eagle to hold up a bit…I got a taxi and headed over to Ab’s place.

 

Ab was quite apologetic and all…but I’m trying to hurry things up a bit and get back home and plus, I must confess, as well, that a little shot of anticipation was dancing through me…as this would be the first time that I had ever driven a 4 by 4! I felt I had graduated from being a mere passenger, who had to experience the oft scary-whimsical driving skills of others and now , potentially in some future, perhaps, had the power to get in a little pay-back and scare the day-lights out of those kind lads who had played havoc with my fear factors.

 

Scenarios like, “Going a little too fast for you…am I? Gee, please don’t put any deep, finger indentations in the dash, Ab won’t be pleased. Or, perhaps: Oh, sorry about that. I didn’t really see that heavily loaded logging truck coming around that ever so dangerously, narrow, 90 degree, wash-board, boulder-strewn bend. I was just gazing out the rear view mirror and admiring our dust plume. I think there is a creek up ahead where I can stop and you can tidy up a bit. Did you bring a change of underwear?”

 

I saddled up that 4 by 4, mounted, and headed off home. I ran into the house but they didn’t wait for me! The Eagle had already landed! Neil Armstrong had walked on the moon and voiced those big steps for humankind. Edwin Aldrin had also bounced around. I was probably crossing The Overlander’s Bridge when Armstrong’s foot first touched the moon’s surface. Of course, there were ceaseless replays…but was it the same?

 

Have to add this short offering. I could not really remember some crucial facts about Colin Macdonald’s 1969 summer job with Laura Mines and other later details so, I sent off my queries. He was kind enough to send me the asked for details and I was more than surprised to find out that Colin was not stuck deep into the green charms of the Highland Valley when the Eagle landed… but watched it in the cosy comfort of a Cache Creek motel.

 

Gil

 

This event still sticks in my mind and, can to this day, raise within me a little discomfort. A little discomfort, because it brought to the surface those rather ugly emotions that we all have deep within us…laying in wait for just that right moment to come bubbling up like an artesian well. These emotions are tied very closely to the ever strong survival instinct and we have in reality read about them and truly know they can happen. Most have seen the old movie “The Goldrush,” with a starving Charlie Chaplin up in Alaska boiling a shoe for dinner and his much bigger partner wanting badly to eat him.

 

It has happened where a group of people have been stranded way out in the middle of no where, with out food, and after a week or two your companions begin to look like a large platter of Big Macs with copious loads of greasy fries.

 

We know of some of these stories and probably have played the game of…”What would I do?” and, I think way, way back in that emotional cauldron you have probably realized that in a dire situation, that, your companion’s well turned thigh, might, just perhaps, look delicious on your mind’s menu. Terrible thoughts and they do, indeed, make me to this day feel uncomfortable.

 

On this day in question when these frightening emotions arose in me they had nothing at all to do with food but “water.” Normally, in the Highland Valley, water wasn’t a big problem. There were creeks of all sizes, lakes or swamps where one could quench one’s thirst. Normally, I say, because surprisingly there were one or two days… and I was not prepared for them…when it was hot and no water was to be found. It was a treed desert! I noticed, that emotionally, this was very, very upsetting to me because to drink the blood of my compass man seemed uncivilized.

 

Realizing, that I tended to sweat, and lose water in litres while carving out those lines, water, was my prime thought most of the time.”Beverage,” is such a beautiful word! Before the Amex experience, a friend, had noticed my almost obsessive need for water when the day waxed hot. He suggested, that when I was reincarnated, that I really should ask to come back as a water buffalo.

 

I remedied that whole problem, and eased my mind a lot, by investing in a canteen. Until that fateful day, I thought all was hunky-dory. It was another hot, hot day and I was now compassing and was given a long, long line which, with the time needed to walk in, would no doubt, take the whole day. I’m guessing here but I think it was around 6000 or 7000 feet and I had no idea what kind gifts the line was to give me.

 

My partner was a French Canadian lad called, Gil, who I had never worked with before. He was new blood and I think, he had only worked a couple of days for Ab and his English skills were similar, to my French skills.

 

We started off and did the big walk in and got located at our base line origin. I took my first shot and plunged downward into a deep creek crevasse and at about 400 feet down I came to a lovely, bubbling brook. We had a smoke break. Drank deep from its soothing waters and I naturally replenished my canteen. Then we headed off and it was another 400 feet, panting upwards until I crested and found myself standing on a rock outcrop with a commanding view that was absolutely stunning!

 

Jesus! I was on a promontory where I could look way down on the highway between Merritt and Spence’s Bridge. I could see tiny cars wending their way up and down the highway and an occasional blue tinkle of the Nicola River running merrily away to Spence’s Bridge. Another one of those… it doesn’t come any better views.

 

I took another compass shot to get some idea of what we were up against and it looked liked for some distance that we would be walking pretty much along these exposed bluffs. Not much vegetation and finding material for pickets was going to be fun. Up above us, you could see where the woods started to thicken up a bit and, I thought, that maybe it could be nicer up there, shadier and maybe a tad cooler.

 

From what I could see of the first bit of this line there would not be much blazing but we would need lots of flagging and hoped that we had brought enough. It was starting to get real hot and I was beginning to get that egg, frying on a Kamloops’ sidewalk feeling. Thought about having a drink but decided not to…brave it out a few feet. I thought, as well, that there must be some cascade , cooling creek up ahead lying in wait for us. Who knew?

 

So starting off the first 500 feet of terrain was quite reasonable… a little of this, and a little of that. I noticed, as well, that Gil was having a hard time keeping up and I had to make a pause or two to compensate for that. Plus, in this rather bare area, he was not so imaginative about what would do for a picket. He did lots of Gallic shrugs and many,” Tabernacs!.” They are so special!

 

It did not take so long before within the next 3000 feet or so and that we began to be really mentally and physically challenged .The line of bluffs that kept on running were getting quite dramatic and my rock climbing skills, dreadfully basic due to a fear of heights were really slowing me down.

 

The sun was now eliminating any resemblance to B.C. and I was now somewhere trapped out in the Khalahari. Mirages with palms swaying and deep pools of cold water began to cloud my senses. Amazingly, I could hear water running everywhere except where I was. The Nicola River, far below, was so tantalizing. It was so, so tempting to launch off those bluffs into a half gainer of joy and plunge into its beckoning sweetness.

 

The terrain became steeper in places and was harder to find ways to get up and off the bluffs…then plunging into a gully and crawling back up on your hands and knees. This was now pretty thirsty, slow going and I knew that the straightness of this line was not going to win any compassing awards. Today, I still hope that no one ever looked for that line.

 

Fast forwarding here…We are now at the end of the line. The canteen has been empty for many a foot now and Gil and I are not the same two lads who optimistically left that bubbling, clear brook way, way back there. Gil would rather be anywhere else but here... and I have been thinking about and wanting for quite some time now, to do insanely, dreadful things to him.

 

As we humped up and down those bluffs, Gil must have known he was missing something. As the sun beat down hard on us and the meaning of the English word, “parched,” was being etched on his and my mind. Gil couldn’t reach back and pull out a canteen. Gil didn’t have a canteen!!! I did, and like a good Christian shared it with him because your intrepid compass man was still dreaming of this illusive, bloody, cascading, ever so cool creek up ahead. My canteen was empty before we had done half the line. Gil, had gone from human being, to albatross, in 3000 feet.

 

I was more than really out of sorts. Internally, I was a mess of ugly emotions all of them focused sharply on Gil. I had never felt so much animosity flowing out of myself! Every time Gil took a drink from my canteen...I watched to see how many times his Adams apple, bobbed up and down. I counted every water molecule that entered his system! Every molecule that I was deprived of!

 

I was now in a Hollywood movie…force marching across the Sahara… where the sadistic, French Foreign Legion Sergeant...me... with all the water…in the middle of the hottest part of the Sahara…turns to his totally, dehydrated companion, Private Gil…and... just to piss him off…lifts up a canteen…takes a long, long draught… burps a very satisfying, water burp…then pours half a canteen of water into the sand…and with cruel merriment... watches as Private Gil collapses... and the Sergeant... gleefully, glancing upward…into a burning, blue sky… is marvelled by the wing span as vultures circle, high above.

 

The return journey back across the Kalahari-Sahara was oven-like. This time, I knew there was no water, except at that long ago, bubbling brook…way, way, way, back there! Looking down at the Nicola River had gone from pleasant scene to knowing how unreachable its blessed succour was. Tongue, wrenching, torture itself! In fact, my tongue, is now glued to the roof of my mouth and my inability to spit, intriguing.

 

Atacama dry! Moisture free winds played havoc with my drought-racked senses! My hearing was all over the place. Water sounds flowing everywhere! I even thought I could hear... from those wee cars down on the highway…way down there... imaginary sounds that might quench. I could clearly hear the liquid, swishing, swaying sounds that the designated bottle opener made while reaching into the cooler. The cooler, strategically set, with much thought, in the back seat... while eyes feasted on scenary.

 

The holy, perfect, cubes of melting ice, crashing together like ice bergs. His fingers seeking out the coolest! The “holy” designated, pulling out a fresh, cold-cold- beer! His, well sung, ritual prayer upon opening the bottle: “Here is to you and here is to me,” type of thing! How gracefully he opened the bottle! Well tended finger nails! How he so enjoyed, the so, so very cool, so cool, pop-sizzle sounds on bottle opening and the following... vocal,” Cheers” to life!”

 

Worse for me, was the fascinating picture of the, “chug, chug,” as a tidal wave of cooled, liquid went down his throat! A mind wrenching vision while the sun pelted down!

 

We scrabbled over those bluffs and made it back to that bubbling brook, half demented from thirst. I wanted to tell Gil not to drink too fast because being so dehydrated... his body might find it difficult dealing with multi litres of water in such a rapid succession. You see it in the movies. But then, I thought the better of it. We must have spent about a half a hour pouring that bubbling brook into ourselves. I never worked with Gil again.

 

I learned that if it was hot out and I was working with a new guy…I never, at first, asked him to entertain me with the interesting details about his drugs, sex life or latest book read... but asked, politely, if he had a canteen?

 

MY FIRST BONUS...1969.

 

My first summer with Amex is over. It is late August, and I’m looking forward to a two week trip with Joe and Don, more than friends, to Mexico. We would travel in Joe’s 1955 Chev station wagon. We would sleep and drive a mammoth distance through the complex nature of our large part of the world in that beautiful car. What did we know of the enormity of North America?

 

So job over... and Ab said, I could pick up my last check at his place. I made my way over to Ab’s place. I think Ross Rd, before Ella and Ab had moved to Brocklehurst. They’ll have to check it out.

  

So, I walked over there to North Kamloops from normal, Kamloops. Having no car at the time I liked to walk and hitch-hike. Hitch –hiking... what a learning experience and how noble the good people who picked you up were.

 

I saw that Ab was in the small front yard they had. Ab was leaning over the fence, as I remember it. Perhaps chatting to a neighbour. We, greeted each other...and he went inside... and then brought out my check. I said how much I liked this bushy, scary experience. He said: “Come back next year.”

 

With check in hand, I walked about 20 feet down the road, when I heard Ab say: ” Whoa Doug, whoa!. Shit! I forgot your bonus.”

 

At this point in my life, I must confess, I had never heard of the word “bonus” before. I stopped and turned around and walked back to Ab. He had opened his wallet and fished out fifty dollars and gave it to me. Well shit!

 

It gets a little difficult here to describe my emotions at that perfect time. I was so elated and so full of good wishes to all. So, blown away, that my body grew wings and I flew home! 50 bucks! 50 bucks! Fifty dollars! A very, awesome, spending power in 1969. You could bet your bottom dollar that I was coming back!

   

LEAVE THIS OFF YOUR RESUME

 

It is now 1970 and I have rejoined Amex for the summer and my first Job is up at East Barrier Lake. We are not camped on the lake but high above it on one of the many logging roads found in the area. It is a big job for Noranda and the geologist on site is Laurie Rhynerson.

Laurie, fantastic man and a guy you really want in a camp with you, in fact, later on other jobs… it was hard to know if he was working for Noranda or for Amex. As well, I met Colin MacDonald and John Watters for the first time.

 

In fact, John drove me up to the camp from Kamloops so we had some initial contact there. The lads from my 1969 summer who were also there…as I remember…Bruce Bried, Gary Lyall, Gordy Seimens, Dennis Siemens and I think, Frosty. And maybe there were others who I can’t remember.

 

!970 was to be for me, a most incredible time with Amex. We covered areas in B.C. that I had never imagined seeing. Plus the lads were probably the best you could ever find to spend the rest of your life with.

 

At East Barrier Lake, I had an inkling that it was going to be a super summer when John Watters on his way to our out house, passed me just leaving and kindly asked…..”Clean break, Doug?” That stopped me in my tracks. “Clean break? Clean break?” Suddenly the lights came on and I brightened up immensely. Now knowing that our days and evenings in camp would not only be conversationally filled with, infinitely interesting topics such as films ,literature, oral sagas, myths, music, science astrology, psychology, entomology, biology, genecology, axe and power saw sharpening seminars but rollicking takes on faecal matter.

 

One unforgettable story that is still firmly intact from the East Barrier Lake job concerns a lad from Edmonton. One day in the morning there appeared in our camp a few men, who were accompanied by Ab. One of the men also had his son with him. The man, as I remember, was a higher up manager with the construction company ,Mannix. Why they were there…I don’t know. As it transpired, Gordy and I had drawn an all day line. I believe it was 10 or12 thousand feet long. It would run from the baseline all the way down to the edge of East Barrier Lake and due to its length we were given a third person… who happened to be the inexperienced son of the man from, Mannix.

 

The son was about seventeen years old and wore a high school football jacket from his Edmonton school. He was husky built and looked pretty fit. He followed us down the baseline to our starting point. He was to cut out behind us as we made the run to the lake edge. Gordy showed him the basics of cutting, blazing and flagging. We had the smoke and chats and off we headed....I think around 10 o’clock.. Unlike my first day, I could keep up to Gordy, make those pickets, throw those blazes , tie that flagging. and even do some limbing on the way. The vegetation was pretty bushy so it would mean a quite a bit of limbing on the way out.

  

We took a couple of breaks along the way and reached the lake at around 2 in the afternoon. We had lunch, admired the view, and naturally wondered how much line the lad would manage to cut. Much speculation here, but, .I thought if he could do half the line that would be pretty good. The line didn’t have to be perfection because we could tidy it up on the way out. Gordy hoped he could do more because he looked pretty tough. Around 5:30 or so, it would be time for supper and that was becoming a bigger factor in our lives.

 

We headed back about 2:30 banging and hacking away and I think at about 3000 feet up the line we stopped for a smoke and listened to hear if we could hear the lad’s axe. We could only hear ourselves breathing.

 

At 6000 feet…the half way point, we still couldn’t hear his axe .I personally was a bit surprised because I thought he could do 6000 feet and began to think that he had hurt himself somehow. So off we went and at about 3000 feet from the baseline we were becoming more than surprised that we had not met up with the lad. Not a sound to be heard from his swinging axe.

 

Gordy was now starting to get a little testy…yelling loudly up the line, but getting no response. Now I really thought something must have happened to him and I imagined gruesome axe cuts to bear problems. Or maybe he had wandered off the line and was hopelessly lost.

 

.We, chopped on…stopping occasionally to listen for his axe sound, and hooting and hollering hoping that we would get some response from him. Gordy was beginning to really spice up our hooting and hollering with some rather coarse references to his work abilities. We were starting to get really hungry and knew we had missed the serving of supper. On we hacked away and at 1000 feet from the baseline I knew something had happened to him but not knowing is what made it a little scary.

 

At 500 feet from the baseline an amazing thing happened. We could hear an axe chipping away…slowly coming towards us. In astonishment, Gordy and I looked at each other and Gordy immediately started up an incredibly, large barrage of profanity aimed in the direction of that chipping axe. Gordy was pissed. I was totally stunned. When we met the lad he had only cut 300 feet! Gordy was not verbally gently all over the lad. That remarkable English was marching up one side and down the other. The lad didn’t say a word and meekly followed us back to camp where he disappeared. Where, I don’t know.

 

We got back to camp at close to 8 o clock. Ate our late supper and, of course, the lad was the main topic of conversation. We still didn’t know why he only managed to cut 300 feet. During the story, Laurie popped into the tent and heard a little of what we were saying. Laurie realized immediately who we were talking about... and told us that about six o clock he was making his way back to camp when he almost step on the lad who was curled up in a ball sleeping. Laurie actually woke him up and inquired as to his health. He was okay.

 

Even today, I often wonder what became of him and if he achieved what he most desired. Sure hope so.

 

KENNY KILLS A BEAR.

 

Kenny was a great guy from Barrirer. I think 18 years old at this time, His father, a bulldozer artist, who had been hired by Laurie to punch in some roads and potential drill sites on the East Barrier Lake project. Amex, in need of more lads, had hired his son, Kenny. Coming from Barrier, Kenny was used to the bush and all that lies therein and suffered no adaptation problems.

 

This was all pretty much the norm for him. I believe he was in love at this time, and preferred to be at home and do a hug or two. More preferable than the camp. He enjoyed our company, but, in the past, had seen camp life up close and knew the smell. But, under duress, but would dine and sleep a few days in our camp…Barrier was not, after all, that far away.

 

The camp was set up beside one of the many logging roads that crisscrossed the area. There was a cook tent…I think two sleeping tents and the necessary outdoor biffy smelling, hopefully, lemon fresh.

 

Gordy’s Dad was cooking for us at that time and slept in the cook tent. One night he was awoken by a bear enjoying the delights of the of cook- tent food. I think he was pretty calm about this visitation but those in the know…knew the bear would come back.

 

Kenny said I’ll just run on down to Barrier and get my gun. Of course, we knew that he was going to get more than his gun and wished we could be there too. I think one or two days passed.

 

During these couple of days…Kenny slept beside his gun…when we were awoken by a clanging,falling of tin sounds from the kitchen. Kenny, reluctantly groans, half-asleep rolls out of a comfortable bed in his “Stanfields”…grabs his rifle, yawning, leaves the tent…then you hear “BANG!” Kenny comes back…flops back onto his foamy-cot,falls quickly asleep. After the shot, with Kenny definitely sound a sleep…I…, but it seemed nobody else...,, was still wide-eyed awake wondering about it all.

 

In the morning we had to drag the dead bear out of the kitchen before Gordy’s Dad would cook breakfast.

  

FEAR OF FLYING

 

Gordy …like so many…enjoyed having the gas pedal pressed very close to the floor and, as well, enjoyed seeing your finger nails dig deeply into the dash-board and seeing the margarine, smear of fear spreading across your face. This would be the first time that I would drive with Gordy and, unknown at the time, I would enjoy more times while Gordy drove. I did survive all the fear and somehow, overcame it all.

 

In this case, I think, Gordy and Dennis had an important appointment to make and were quite wired to their own world and scaring the be-Jesus out of you was secondary. His brother, Dennis, was accustomed to his brother’s love of motion on high octane and proved to be more than an able navigator. Cautioning and urging on in appropriate breaks when the dust gave a slight inkling to what might be manifesting itself around the next corner.

 

The East Barrier Lake job is over and we are decamping and heading back to our various haunts for reconnection time and hopefully, an interesting beer or two. In that way, as it goes, the dice were rolled…and one other guy and myself ended up been driven to Kamloops with Gordy and Dennis. The drive to Barrier…I think…is about 30- 40 miles. At this time it’s mostly a dirt road with lots of … look out...I’m coming around curves and other surprising potholes and gravelled tid-bits that faithfully followed the terrain downward into the North Thompson valley.

 

Being a dirt road, for most of the way, it is blessed in the summer time, with heaving humps of spitting gravel and surprising dips where you raise your hands high trying to wrestle your stomach back in place. A rodeo for those in the back seat…sort of. Lots of rattling, quick like snare drum cattle crossings and fearsome, loaded and unload logging trucks coming up and down the road claiming right of way… and, in hot weather…lots of dust plumes that could hide surprising closure.

 

So we left the East Barrier camp in the blast of a deeply depressed gas peddle that must have left a vast spray of every mineral-molecule found on that park place hanging from the greenery.

 

My first thought was… this is what astronauts must feel like…the forceful thrust of your body thrown deep into the back seat upholstery unable to lean yourself forward…. your body trapped in the force. Your face strangely distorted.. In the first, very frightening few miles, I knew this was going to be a very taxing emotionally... hang on for your dear life ride. I had no idea what hell or tidal waves of the scary that I was to experience on this run. The Robert Mitchum movie...“Thunder Road”…ran continuously through my colourful imagination. He died in the end. Robert, playing a southern moonshiner who left the road at only 90 mph, chased relentless by the tax people. Revenoures!

 

So the guy, seated with me in the back-seat, who , as well, had drew a short straw, we both were to be treated to a virtuoso performance of nervy driving that had you either wishing you were totally somewhere else or thinking about safety features that were still on the drawing boards…thanks to Nader.

 

No fire extinguishers, no seatbelts, no cell phones to call emergency services, no parachutes: No! If you hit something solid or found yourself kissing the inside of the roof… none of that how the auto would kindly fold in on itself… cuddling occupants in a warm hug of security until responsible people arrived to cut you out. No! It was just a basic early sixties model that did not give a shit about you.

 

So, there we were roaring down that East Barrier road with a dust plume miles long. The car doing a lot of roller-coaster ups and downs...doing dips and leaps like some circus acrobat…zipping into the air and crunching down on a frame that you bloody well hoped wasn’t built on Monday. You try…though helpless… to sketch imaginary survival strategies. I quickly realized, that looking between the shoulders of Gordy and Dennis, straight at the road, was simply too horrendous. Every real and imaginary, micro and macro horror, could happen at any second.

 

I chose to pretend that I was a tourist in these parts and that by, looking out the side, car window, I could admire the beauties that nature had so gallantly laid on the areas plate. As they very quickly passed by...it provided only seconds of relief…not really relief, as I was scared–shitless... but I was not going to let on! But, as I looked at my partner, sharing the back seat… I realized his eyes were just as fixated on the road ahead, and, he, no doubt, was thinking quite seriously about his future.

 

The future he may not experience. He would never experience the alarmingly, fullness of the sexual thing. Thinking a lot about the potential, miserable way in which his young life could end. All a-tangled- up in the metal and plastic bits of a failed rocket, ship-car...without bandages or sutures...and all of this could happen in the most immediate of seconds of the right now. Who could even conjure up the obit?

 

We did get to Barrier unscathed… and we pulled in to tank up. Gordy and Dennis were still pretty keyed up about this appointment and were hurrying it up a bit. I was enjoying the feel of cement under the soles of my boots. That very alive feeling and the smell that gas has as it wafts through the air. I was still alive!

 

In this small repose...amazingly...I saw my back seat partner lifting his kit out of the car and with all of that in hand... he walked over to me and said. “Fuck this! I’m taking the Greyhound into Kamloops.” I was astounded! Wordless! Who was I going to hold hands with when we had to face the uncertain road histories embedded in the curves of the infamous, Louis Creek Canyon? All alone in the back seat!

 

I think Dennis said..”Chickenshit.” Deep down I admired my former back seat partners love of life...as we rocketed out of the Barrier gas station.

 

I like to think, I remember a few details of that last phase of the trip to Kamloops. I remember passing cars where you would glimpse looks out the windows from the people in the cars we passed. Nobody was passing us! Did I see a mouthed...”Holy Fuck!,” here and there? See lips, silently moving, uttering a prayer or two for our safety, in passing?

 

Was that a small boy, in the back seat of one passed auto, with enormous round, blue eyes...waving a friendly greeting or a, I hope you make it? It all went by so fast. With my eyes faking allergies...tightly closed... Gordy mastered the Louis Creek highway maze with frightening élan.

 

I knew I would survive when I saw the Red Bridge up ahead. You simply had to slow down for it. Gargantuan waves of relief bathed my nervous system. All we had to do now was navigate Lorne Street. Whip up eighth Ave, turn on Battle Street and I was to see another day.

 

This did indeed happen. I can’t remember how I lied about the pleasures of the ride. Riding high on survival, I think I said we should do this more often. But I can tell you a ride like that makes you know how great it is just to breath Kamloops air with a shot of Pulp Mill air in it.

 

Later on, I was to learn that the young man, who shared that back seat with me to Barrier, was not the only one to decline a ride with Gordy.

  

Percy: The ongoing search for love. The Art of Compliments. 1972 or 1973:

 

So there we were. The crew was composed of Colin MacDonald, John Watters, Percy and myself. We found ourselves way North of Fort St. James on a long staking job. On finishing the job we crossed over to McKenzie...a real, new town of no history. We were hungry and went into the local supermarket.

 

A few days out in the bush can cause a strange, overwhelming taste for the opposite sex. Every female looks so delicious, tempting and so desirous regardless of form or shape. So, when we had collected our goods in the McKenzie supermarket, and standing in line to pay, Percy strikes up a conversation with the nice looking cashier. And in the hormone fever that erupted... Percy can only say to her...” Gee, that’s a beautiful apron you have on.”

I think we made Prince George that night.

  

Randy and “The Chain.”1971 Merritt-Princeton area.

 

This is a “short-chain like story that still makes me laugh. An Amex, really true,inspired, priceless pearl. Truth be told, there are no “pearls,” out in the bush. You may find that some interesting antlers lay upon the surface, scattered bones of prey, great, growth mushrooms singing and hanging from rotting trees. Perhaps an interesting-shaped rock or two may lay upon the surface, awaiting your eager hands...I took all I could find...but no nuggets will wink at you. It was a dream time to, expect so.

 

The pearl in Randy’s story, which I write, has nothing to do with the geological creations of long ago but a 100 foot, nylon chain.”The Chain,” was our master! It determined speed and footage and complexities of life when tangled in vegetation. Knots and a long-time slow-voiced...”Chain”...” meant bad bush. A fast- quick-voiced...“Chain”....meant good going. Repeated over time.

 

If you worked side by side on different lines but not that far apart...”Chain!” indicated how well your partners were progressing. 100 foot space between Amexers’ could mean hell or heaven. In B.C. nature spreads its difficulties pell-mell in the bush. 10 feet can mean heaven or hell! In B.C. vegetation is complex in its emotional distribution of forgiveness and punishments.

  

Now, in The Princeton- Merritt, area we find ourselves doing a property 20 kilometres north of Princeton. It is a mountain. We park cars on the side of the highway...facing Princeton way. Where, later,survivors Cheese burgers and milk will nurishbekon.

 

We climbed up this mountain following the before cut out base line. The mountain has many dips and doodles...it has wrinkles where water has pooled to create alder swamps and being a mountain... many trees have fallen in the direction that gravity dictates. It was the alder swamps that were difficult. My partner and I were doing a few lines to the south of Randy but we confirmed that we would meet up for lunch.

 

Shared tinfoil wrapped sandwiches... where the tinfoil drove your cavities crazy.

 

So we had done our bit and located Randy’s start point. Some Dante expert had written on a nicely blazed –start point branch...”Abandon all hope ye who enter here.”

I remember starting off...and...as my boots filled with water realized the intricate horrors of this complex alder swamp. A Darwinian night-mare!

  

We followed the cut, flagged and blazed line both feeling like a python on the slither. Soon in the distance I could hear...”Chain!” We were going up, down, under, over, above and, on stomachs under the warp and weave of the Alder’s life's watery-carpet. But I knew that we were closing. I heard “Chain!” again!

 

In fact... I heard ...”Chain!” Getting faster than I thought possible in this Alder swamp. When, On my belly...I looked up and found a 10 foot strand of nylon-chain hanging forlornly off an alder branch. I knew now the twist. The tail chainer was setting new standards of the cut.

 

This can easily happen when bush is too entwined...tail chainers can cut-chain and not notice their transgressions In that run before meeting up with Randy at the base line...the tail chainer had cut that nylon chain four times. Randy was probably pulling, at this time, sixty feet.

 

As we closed in on Randy all I could hear was a singular, vibrant-well-vocalize word through the dense, bushy, air...”Chain! Chain! Chain! Chain!" Which meant that they had stumbled upon Ab’s famed...”Park-Land.”

 

When we finally met at the base-line and I presented Randy with four pieces of the cut chain. He did not laugh.

 

Even now in his prime...Randy can be quite prickly when I sound out with..."Chain! Chain! Chain! Chain!"

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

(The complete story, thus far, of 007, the Fat Man and the Thin Man, is in a set by almost the same name. If you want to read it, here's the link to the set:

 

www.flickr.com/photos/billstrain/sets/72157622380429840/

 

...007 has promised Control at M6 he will have an arrest by March 1, 2010, which is only weeks away. At this point there is no reason for a warrant of any kind for the arrest of anyone, much less the CEO of the evil entity, New World Inc.

 

... 007 had just crawled out of the jeep, tired and sore and dirty, hastening into his tent where he hoped to catch a short nap, then a shower and then back to the Haitian refugee center and more work distributing supplies and food to the homeless Haitian families. His cell phone chimed.

 

Control spoke quickly, "Get a copy of the American magazine, Esquire, then call me back after you've read anything of interest. We have work to do."

 

007 thought, "Does that idiot think there's a magazine stand behind each palm tree, here?" He walked slowly to the large administration tent and luckily found an idle desktop already connected to the internet. He began a Yahoo search and finally found the Esquire website, registered as a new account and then got the surprise of his life.

 

The magazine popped up and he saw a portrait of himself on the cover. He thought, "Well, so much for having a job in the spy business." He could imagine all the people, this very instant, picking up the magazine and beginning to read what was written about the now visually famous 007 of M6 in London. A voice in his brain suggested he just might want to check out what they were reading.

 

As he read the article, a photograph of 007 would have looked like an open mouthed goldfish staring out of his fishbowl. The article had been generated by New World Inc. and some magazine writer they had massaged with money to put the story of the perfect future of the world offered by New World Inc. and the stupidity of the authorities, seeminly led by 007 to thwart all their efforts.k

 

There were suggestions that 007 and the joint coalition of governments had some ulterior motive in opposing New World Inc.which would be generously beneficial to the coalition. The article sounded like a sweet young woman, sighing and saying, "Why would anyone want to stand in the way of food for the hungry people around the world?"

 

Finally, feeling the dryness, 007 closed his mouth and thought, "Well, at least now we know the avenue New World Inc. will take to continue their plot, whatever that plot may be. Maybe they'll even be easier to investigate now that they've come out into the open."

 

007 walked back to his tent, picked up a towel and his toilet kit and headed for the shower tent.

 

Fifteen minutes later, with the towel wrapped around himself, he stepped into his own tent, put on a clean T shirt and jeans, lay down on his cot and closed his eyes just for a second, then popped them open and thought, "Just one last thing to do before some delicious sleep."

 

He picked up his cell phone and punched the long secure number of M6 and Control.

 

Later, as he drifted into a deep sleep, he could still hear Control's voice, "Time to come home, Jamie boy, make the arrangements and catch the first available flight. See if you can get a stopover in New York City and try to find out who generated the Esquire article and ....." ...and then sleep, sweet sleep.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as possible. Doing some legwork, I settled for a heavy fighter – bigger than the TIE Interceptor and the TIE/D fighter, a two-seater.

Working out the basic concept and layout took some time and evolved gradually. The creative spark for the TIE/E eventually came through a Revell “Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter” snap fit kit in my pile – actually a prize from a former GB participation at phoxim.de (Thanks a lot, Wolfgang!), and rather a toy than a true model kit.

 

The Jedi Fighter was in so far handy as it carries some TIE Fighter design traits, like the pilot capsule and the characteristic spider web windscreen. Anyway, it’s 1:32, much bigger than the TIE Interceptor’s roundabout 1:50 scale – but knowing that I’d never build the Jedi Starfighter OOB I used it as a donor bank, and from this starting point things started to evolve gradually.

 

Work started with the cockpit section, taken from the Jedi Starfighter kit. The two TIE Interceptor cockpit tubs were then mounted inside, staggered, and the gaps to the walls filled with putty. A pretty messy task, and once the shapes had been carved out some triangular tiles were added to the surfaces – a detail I found depicted in SW screenshots and some TIE Fighter models.

 

Another issue became the crew – even though I had two MPC TIE Interceptors and, theorectically, two pilot figures, only one of them could be found and the second crewman had to be improvised. I normally do not build 1:48 scale things, but I was lucky (and happy) to find an SF driver figure, left over from a small Dougram hoovercraft kit (from Takara, as a Revell “Robotech” reboxing). This driver is a tad bigger than the 1:50 TIE pilot, but I went with it because I did not want to invest money and time in alternatives. In order to justify the size difference I decided to paint the Dougram driver as a Chiss, based on the expanded SW universe (with blue skin and hair, and glowing red eyes). Not certain if this makes sense during the Battle of Endor timeframe, but it adds some color to the project – and the cockpit would not be visible in much detail since it would be finished fully closed.

 

Reason behind the closed canopy is basically the poor fit of the clear part. OOB, this is intended as an action toy – but also the canopy’s considerable size in 1:50 would prevent its original opening mechanism.

Additional braces on the rel. large window panels were created with self-adhesive tape and later painted over.

 

The rear fuselage section and the solar panel pylons were scratched. The reactor behind the cockpit section is actually a plastic adapter for water hoses, found in a local DIY market. It was slightly modified, attached to the cockpit “egg” and both parts blended with putty. The tail opening was closed with a hatch from the OOB TIE Interceptor – an incidental but perfect match in size and style.

 

The three pylons are also lucky finds: actually, these are SF wargaming/tabletop props and would normally be low walls or barriers, made from resin. For my build, they were more or less halved and trimmed. Tilted by 90°, they are attached to the hull with iron wire stabilizers, and later blended to the hull with putty, too.

 

Once the cockpit was done, things moved more swiftly. The surface of the hull was decorated with many small bits and pieces, including thin styrene sheet and profiles, steel and iron wire in various strengths, and there are even 1:72 tank tracks hidden somewhere, as well as protective caps from syringes (main guns and under the rear fuselage). It’s amazing how much stuff you can add to such a model – but IMHO it’s vital in order to create some structure and to emulate the (early) Star Wars look.

  

Painting and markings:

The less spectacular part of the project, even though still a lot of work because of the sheer size of the model’s surface. Since the whole thing is fictional, I tried to stay true to the Imperial designs from Episode IV-VI and gave the TIE/E a simple, all-light grey livery. All basic painting was done with rattle cans.

Work started with a basic coat of grey primer. On top of that, an initial coat of RAL 7036 Platingrau was added, esp. to the lower surfaces and recesses, for a rough shading effect. Then, the actual overall tone, RAL 7047, called “Telegrau 4”, one of Deutsche Telekom’s corporate tones, was added - mostly sprayed from abone and the sides onto the model. Fuselage and panels were painted separately, overall assembly was one of the final steps.

 

The solar panels were to stand out from the grey rest of the model, and I painted them with Revell Acrylic “Iron Metallic” (91) first, and later applied a rather rich wash with black ink , making sure the color settled well into the many small cells. The effect is pretty good, and the contrast was slightly enhanced through a dry-brushing treatment.

 

Only a few legible stencils were added all around the hull (most from the scrap box or from mecha sheets), the Galactic Empire Seal were inkjet-printed at home, as well as some tactical markings on the flanks, puzzled together from single digits in "Aurebash", one of the Imperial SW languages/fonts.

For some variety and color highlights, dozens of small, round and colorful markings were die-punched from silver, yellow, orange, red and blue decal sheet and were placed all over the hull - together with the large panels they blur into the the overall appearance, though. The hatches received thin red linings, also made from generic decals strips.

 

The cockpit interior was a bit challenging, though. Good TIE Fighter cockpit interior pictures are hard to find, but they suggest a dark grey tone. More confusingly, the MPC instructions call for a “Dark Green” cockpit? Well, I did not like the all-grey option, since the spaceship is already monochrome grey on the outside.

 

As a compromise I eventually used Tamiya XF-65 "Field Grey". The interior recieved a black ink in and dry-brushing treatment, and some instruments ansd screens were created with black decal material and glossy black paint; some neon paint was used for sci-fi-esque conmtraol lamps everywhere - I did not pay too much intention on the interior, since the cockpit would stay closed, and the thick clear material blurs everything inside.

Following this rationale, the crew was also painted in arather minimal fashion - both wear a dark grey uniform, only the Chiss pilot stands aout with his light blue skin and the flourescent red eyes.

 

After an overall black ink wash the model received a dry brusing treatment with FS 36492 and FS 36495, for a weathered and battle-worn look. After all, the "Vehement" would not survive the Ballte of Endor, but who knows what became of TIE/E "801"'s mixed crew...?

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish, and some final cosmetic corrections made.

 

The display is a DIY creation, too, made from a 6x6" piece of wood, it's edges covered with edgebonder, a steel wire as holder, and finally the display was paited with semi-matt black acrylic paint from the rattle can.

  

A complex build, and the TIE/E more or less evolved along the way, with only the overall layout in mind. Work took a month, but I think it was worth the effort. This fantasy creation looks pretty plausible and blends well into the vast canonical TIE Fighter family - and I am happy that I finally could finish this mummy project, including the surplus Jedi Starfighter kit which now also find a very good use!

 

An epic one, and far outside my standard comfort zone. But a wothwhile build!

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The TIE/LN starfighter, or TIE/line starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter or T/F, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

The TIE Fighter was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems and led to several upgraded TIE models such as TIE/sa bomber, TIE/IN interceptor, TIE/D Defender, TIE/D automated starfighter, and many more.

 

The original TIEs were designed to attack in large numbers, overwhelming the enemy craft. The Imperials used so many that they came to be considered symbols of the Empire and its might. They were also very cheap to produce, reflecting the Imperial philosophy of quantity over quality.

 

However, a disadvantage of the fighter was its lack of deflector shields. In combat, pilots had to rely on the TIE/LN's maneuverability to avoid damage. The cockpit did incorporate crash webbing, a repulsorlift antigravity field, and a high-g shock seat to help protect the pilot, however these did next to nothing to help protect against enemy blaster fire.

 

Due to the lack of life-support systems, each TIE pilot had a fully sealed flight suit superior to their Rebel counterparts. The absence of a hyperdrive also rendered the light fighter totally dependent on carrier ships when deployed in enemy systems. TIE/LNs also lacked landing gear, another mass-reducing measure. While the ships were structurally capable of "sitting" on their wings, they were not designed to land or disembark their pilots without special support. On Imperial ships, TIEs were launched from racks in the hangar bays.

 

The high success rate of more advanced Rebel starfighters against standard Imperial TIE Fighters resulted in a mounting cost of replacing destroyed fighters and their pilots. That, combined with the realization that the inclusion of a hyperdrive would allow the fleet to be more flexible, caused the Imperial Navy to rethink its doctrine of using swarms of cheap craft instead of fewer high-quality ones, leading to the introduction of the TIE Advanced x1 and its successor, the TIE Avenger. The following TIE/D Defender as well as the heavy TIE Escort Fighter (or TIE/E) were touted as the next "logical advance" of the TIE Series—representing a shift in starfighter design from previous, expendable TIE models towards fast, well armed and protected designs, capable of hyperspace travel and long-term crew teams which gained experience and capabilities over time.

 

The TIE/E Escort, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems and it was introduced into service shortly before the Battle of Endor. It was a much heavier counterpart to the agile and TIE/D fighter, and more of an attack ship or even a light bomber than a true dogfighter. Its role were independent long range operations, and in order to reduce the work load and boost morale a crew of two was introduced (a pilot and a dedicated weapon systems officer/WSO). The primary duty profile included attack and escort task, but also reconnoiter missions. The TIE/E shared the general layout with the contemporary TIE/D fighter, but the cockpit section as well as the central power unit were much bigger, and the ship was considerably heavier.

 

The crew enjoyed – compared with previous TIE fighter designs – a spacious and now fully pressurized cockpit, so that no pressurized suits had to be worn anymore. The crew members sat in tandem under a large, clear canopy. The pilot in front had a very good field of view, while the WSO sat behind him, in a higher, staggered position with only a limited field of view. Both work stations had separate entries, though, and places could not be switched in flight: the pilot mounted the cockpit through a hatch on port side, while the WSO entered the rear compartment through a roof hatch.

 

In a departure from the design of previous TIE models, instead of two parallel wings to either side of the pilot module, the TIE Escort had three quadanium steel solar array wings mounted symmetrically around an aft section, which contained an I-s4d solar ionization reactor to store and convert solar energy collected from the wing panels. The inclusion of a third wing provided additional solar power to increase the ship's range and the ship's energy management system was designed to allow weapons and shields to be charged with minimum loss of power to the propulsion system.

 

Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, the TIE/E’s propulsion system was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.8 triple ion engine. This allowed the TIE/E a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT, or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere — almost 40 percent faster than a former standard TIE Fighter. With tractor beam recharge power (see below) redirected to the engines, the top speed could be increased to 180 MGLT in a dash.

In addition to the main thrusters located in the aft section, the TIE Escort's triple wing design allowed for three arrays of maneuvering jets and it featured an advanced F-s5x flight avionics system to process the pilot's instructions. Production models received a class 2, ND9 hyperdrive motivator, modified from the version developed for the TIE Avenger. The TIE/E also carried a Sienar N-s6 Navcon navigation computer with a ten-jump memory.

 

Special equipment included a small tractor beam projector, originally developed for the TIE Avenger, which could be easily fitted to the voluminous TIE Escort. Models produced by Ysanne Isard's production facility regularly carried such tractor beams and the technology found other uses, such as towing other damaged starfighters until they could achieve the required velocity to enter hyperspace. The tractor beam had limited range and could only be used for a short time before stopping to recharge, but it added new tactics, too. For instance, the beam allowed the TIE/E crews to temporarily inhibit the mobility of enemy fighters, making it easier to target them with the ship's other weapon systems, or prevent enemies from clear shots.

 

The TIE Escort’s weapons systems were primarily designed to engage bigger ships and armored or shielded targets, like armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. Thanks to its complex weapon and sensor suite, it could also engage multiple enemy fighters at once. The sensors also allowed an effective attack of ground targets, so that atmospheric bombing was a potential mission for the TIE/E, too.

.

The TIE Escort Fighter carried a formidable array of weaponry in two modular weapon bays that were mounted alongside the lower cabin. In standard configuration, the TIE/E had two L-s9.3 laser cannons and two NK-3 ion cannons. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or as a quartet.

The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of three proton torpedoes or four concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads.

Additionally, external stores could be carried under the fuselage, which included a conformal sensor pallet for reconnaissance missions or a cargo bay with a capacity for 500 kg (1.100 lb).

 

The ship's defenses were provided by a pair of forward and rear projecting Novaldex deflector shield generators—another advantage over former standard TIE models. The shields were designed to recharge more rapidly than in previous Imperial fighters and were nearly as powerful as those found on capital ships, so that the TIE/E could engage other ships head-on with a very high survivability. The fighters were not equipped with particle shields, though, relying on the reinforced titanium hull to absorb impacts from matter. Its hull and wings were among the strongest of any TIE series Starfighter yet.

 

The advanced starfighter attracted the attention of several other factions, and the Empire struggled to prevent the spread of the technology. The ship's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire, though, and units were assigned only to the most elite crews.

 

The TIE/E played a central role in the Empire's campaign against rogue Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, and mixed Defender and Escort units participated in several other battles, including the Battle of Endor. The TIE Escort continued to see limited use by the Imperial Remnant up to at least 44 ABY, and was involved in numerous conflicts, including the Yuuzhan Vong War..

  

The kit and its assembly:

Another group build contribution, this time to the Science Fiction GB at whatifmodelers.com during summer 2017. Originally, this one started as an attempt to build a vintage MPC TIE Interceptor kit which I had bought and half-heartedly started to build probably 20 years ago. But I did not have the right mojo (probably, The Force was not strong enough…?), so the kit ended up in a dark corner and some parts were donated to other projects.

 

The sun collectors were still intact, though, and in the meantime I had the idea of reviving the kit’s remains, and convert it into (what I thought was) a fictional TIE Fighter variant with three solar panels. For this plan I got myself another TIE Interceptor kit, and stashed it away, too. Mojo was still missing, though.

 

Well, then came the SF GB and I took it as an occasion to finally tackle the build. But when I prepared for the build I found out that my intended design (over the years) more or less actually existed in the Star Wars universe: the TIE/D Defender! I could have built it with the parts and hand and some improvisation, but the design similarity bugged me. Well, instead of a poor copy of something that was more or less clearly defined, I rather decided to create something more individual, yet plausible, from the parts at hand.

 

The model was to stay a TIE design, though, in order to use as much donor material from the MPC kits as