The next novella I’ll write is called K’nat Trap and it takes place between Starstrikers and XiniX. It’s about a Starstriker mission, led by Kiloe, to secure a new Votainion starfighter that has the NexGen stardrive.
There are currently only two drawings of this fighter in the Star Saga vault. They are shown below. These fighters are mentioned briefly in Starstrikers but were not described in any detail.
Tiny ships, like black winged gnats, wound in and around the mother ship picking off escape modules with deadly accuracy. After further reducing the ruins, the gnats returned to the safe belly of the dark beast. Perhaps relieved at having been given the chance to exercise their agility.
It didn’t have a name, other than the annoying but harmless gnat insect reference. At this time, I’m pretty sure the K’nat designation is either an Alliance code word or a Votainion nick name. I still have to figure out the proper lineage of the fighter. It is an evolutionary iteration of the basic Votainion starfighters of the Second Generation or Starstrikers Era.
Looking at these pretty old drawings I did of it you can see the basic shape is not quite correct. I’ll have to do some more drawings and perhaps build a cardboard version to finalize the design. Eventually, I’ll be building a 1/32 scale plastic model for use on the novella’s cover. It will be quite a challenge to paint it black and photograph it well enough to actually be seen.
This weekend I started building yet another model. I’m standardizing on 1/32 scale for my single seat starfighters and starting by building a Vickers Swift Starfighter. Technically, this is the V-28P variant of the Vickers Victory fighter. Known as the Klau by the Votainions and nicknamed Swift by the Alliance. The V-28P was the primary surface based pursuit fighter of the Alliance Fleet. Units stationed on planets or moons with an atmosphere were given this variant. There were some deep space carrier wings that flew the fighter as a support fighter but it usually was found attached to surface units.
This fighter will be featured prominently in the gap novel between book’s One and Two of the Star Saga, called Devon’s Blade. It will be needed for the cover of that book. It’s the first model of my starfighter series in 1/32 scale and using my new mounting system. All future models in this scale will feature this mounting system and I’ve decided that the 1/32 scale is best suited for models destined to be photographed for covers. I was previously using 1/48 scale but only using cardboard as my medium. None of those models were intended for studio shooting, only as displays, so they lack a decent mounting system.
I started this build by doing a side view blueprint of the fuselage. It’s basically a cylinder with wings and a snub nose. I originally designed it to be similar to the Bell X-1 that broke the sound barrier with Chuck Yeager at the controls. Primarily the windscreen design was what I took from the X-1. Time passed and I continued to develop the design, completely forgetting where I got the canopy design from. I stopped by the hobby shop on the way home and found a Bell X-1 in 1/32 by Revell and picked it because it had a pilot figure. When I got the kit home and examined it, I realized the cockpit details could work too, so that’s where I started.
My first attempt at the engine exhaust is the cap to laundry detergent. I may change this later, but for now it looks pretty great. I put a stock piece of plastic that I had on hand inside to be the actual nozzle. I will put a yellow or clear high intensity LED in there for engine lights.
I started the cockpit with the seat and floor of the X-1 model. Check Yeager looked on.
The seat braces with a bulkhead.
Chuck takes a seat to see how the scale looks.
Some of the framing necessary to form the shape of the starfighter’s nose.
A top view shows the Bell cockpit pretty much as is. I’ll be modding the cockpit up to make it look more futuristic.
I’ve been playing around with a 1/72 scale KIV-1 starfighter model for a few weeks now. Thought I’d show it off here. It’s portraying a fighter from the Votainion Empire planet, Con One. The planet is of course a predominately desert one and so the tan and green splotches not unlike German North African fighter planes.
I’ve yet to weather it, so it still looks pretty clean. I put some Estes model rocket decals on it to spice it up a bit. I didn’t have anything too interesting to use for unit symbols or numerals. I also left out the wires in the wings. I might insert some clear plastic to simulate a clear skin of some sort, to make them more agile in atmospheric flight, considering these are land based fighters.
This will be a fun addition to my cube toys. Aside from that, not much use. It might find its way onto a book cover but not likely as it’s so small. I might use this scale to do a twin body design. But then I’m done with modeling the KIV variants.
Below are some angle views before the camo was added.
Perhaps the best Space Opera starfighter cockpit ever created in a real jet fighter. This interior shot of the F-106 jet is straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. Duel handle control stick, glowing scanner window, radar screen and lots of gauges and knobs.
This is another, pilot’s eye view of the dashboard. I’m telling you, Starbuck could jump right in this and start battling Cylons.
Doesn’t that look like some kind of Viper cockpit from Battlestar Galactica? I’ve seen many fighter cockpits, including currently flying military ones and none hold a candle to the awesomeness of this old jet.
Here’s the left side of the cockpit wall showing the throttle, I believe.
This is the F-106 Delta Dart in flight. A beautiful bird then and now. Once a defender of the Free World, now used primarily as a target drone.
The P-44 Spieron Starfighter from Trestar Aerospace.
The Spieron was the largest mass produced starfighter during the middle of the Great War. It served in every theater of the war and was used by the Surface Army and the Stellar Fleet. After a rocky period of instability when it was first released to front line units, the Spieron quickly smoothed out and became the most popular allied starfighter in history. Pilots loved the speed and maneuverability of the fighter in nearly any environment it was deployed too. Compared to the other starfighters in the Alliance stable, the Spieron was clearly the most elegant design.
The Spieron seemed to get more adoration than the Tache and Arcon starfighters. It was sleeker and sexier than the other fighters and pilots just seemed to develop closer a bond with it. Perhaps it was the tiny wings of the Spieron that reminded pilots of aerofighters from the past. The stablemate of the Spieron was the Tieron fighter. Heavier and slower, despite having increased power from larger engines, the Tieron was a respected attack fighter, but not as well loved by the pilots. Both starfighters were built by Trestar Aerospace and were often deployed alongside each other as a complete pursuit and attack package.
The primary opponent of the Spieron was the Votainion Triak starfighter. Alliance pilots often referred to the menacing fighter as the Tri-Death, because there were three ways the fighter could beat you in combat. It could out turn you, out run you and usually, out shoot you. Pitted against the Spieron though, given equal pilot skill, more often than not the Spieron pilot would prevail.
The secondary threat that Spieron pilots faced was the Votainion KIV-9, Terror Diver. Not as fast as the venerable Triak, the KIV-9 was deployed nearly as much and was well respected by Spieron pilots. The huge, twin barreled canons that extended from the engine nacelles of the KIV-9 gave it an aggressive appearance. Many of the best Votainion pilots preferred the KIV-9 for its agility and firepower.
“Never lets you down!”