For this build I wanted to combine the classical Ralph McQuarrie desgin with some dieselpunk aesthetics from the 1930s and 40s, giving it an elegantly curved and streamlined look. Just think of the wind-tunnel designed cars and trains – and of course airplanes – of that era.
It was also pretty clear to me from the beginning that the only possible colour this fighter can have is red. It just works so well with emphasizing its lines and gives the whole build a vibrant dynamic I wouldn’t have gotten in – say white or grey really. Oh, and my affinity for the biplanes of the great war played quite a role too. So see it as the Red Baron in space basically!
While Manfred von Richtofen, (the Red Baron) is most famous for flying a nimble red triplane, he flew most of the time a sturdy Albatros-type biplane with a rather heavy, but powerful engine. This not-so-known fact goes very well with the dieselpunk-look of the fighter with its long nose and rather hefty fuselage, indicating a large power plant and sturdy construction of the “airframe”.
From the technically plausibility point-of-view (which is not my primary concern really^^) the idea is that a powerful reactor (fission/fusion/anti-matter, pick your favourite), located in the fuselage in front of the pilot feeds the rapid-fire blasters and the engines, giving the fighter unrivalled speed, acceleration and – of course – lots of damage output.
With the engines I also wanted to break with the conventional X-Wing layout, so I placed them in the gap between the wings. I didn’t wanted the wings to fold together anyway, so this was just a perfectly suiting place for them. Apart from that, no biplane had folding wings either (at least not intentionally!), so why should this fighter have them? So I needed a way for the ship to touch the ground without breaking its wings off, leading me to add a landing gear as last-minute addition. A display stand or landing module was an option, but would have limited the fighter’s landing capabilities. You just can’t land it on some random planet then, you know 😉
So I went down the route of a sturdy, but visually not terribly exciting landing gear made of Technic-parts. At least it can be partially folded in the gap between fuselage and lower wings without having to worry about losing bits and pieces in the process. I know there are more elegant solutions with non-Technic pieces, but I absolutely don’t have to worry about material fatigue or bending in this one. Though I will try to refine the design further, maybe I find a way to integrate it more into the fuselage.
As for the pilot himself, I didn’t wanted a cool and calculating hunter as the historic Red Baron was. A crazy space-barnstormer seemed much more suiting for such a flashy-coloured fighter really.
Anyway, I think I got the retro hotrodded-starfighter look pretty nicely with this one. I don’t have a terribly worked out backstory for the pilot yet though. Just so much: He is a dashing daredevil and no matter if he encounters imperial Tie Fighters or Blacktron ships – he might be just their biggest nightmare!