gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Ok breath deep and slow....wait for the next update...deep and slow....resist the F5 key.....gosh damn it still no new images, teasers?! ^_^

Klavs you are doing a wonderfull job. I like the art, the details and the fiction you are putting up here. Just keep them comming. I definitly enjoy watching them.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
"The Hellcat line was not particularly flashy (or sexy), but they had absolutely no vices and were extremely forgiving in combat. They were also very easy on their maintainers; damage could be patched in a few hours that would have put a Rapier in the repair bay for days. They could not only dish out, but also absorb an incredible amount of punishment and still bring their driver home safely. The 'Ironworks' built some wonderful ships that brought a lot of new kids home safe from some of the nastiest combat in the war.

I was just completing the final flight workups for service entry on the F-86 when 'Mona' McDaniels sauntered into my office. She gave me her smirkiest smirk and dropped a design proposal into my lap that was at least 40 cm thick. Scowling at her over the giant pile of paper, I glanced at the cover. "What the hell is Project Morningstar?'"

-Maniac

Well, slight detour into WC3 territory here, but I hope you guys will forgive me. Again thanks to Saga I had a great start on my own Hellcat, remodeled and re-textured!

I tend to think of the F-42 Hellcat IV as a contemporary of the Rapier, maybe they even had a flyoff and the F-44 was selected and the Cat IV was kept as a backup (going for the obvious historical parallels between the F6F and the F4U here). The F-86 Hellcat V was entering service right around Vukar Tag.

And yes, there will paperwork in the future. Every time someone tells you how we're becoming a paperless society, expect three more forms to fill out.

-Klavs
 

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Red Baron

Rear Admiral
I'd really like to see a Hellcat with the markings and gun arrangement from WC4!
Awesome nonetheless. The Hellcat is one of my favourite Wing Commander Fighters, i always think it was born out of the necessity to design "blocky" ships for WC3's 3D engine, but the result is so unique and burly-looking. You can't help but think this baby can take you into any mission and back.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
I'd really like to see a Hellcat with the markings and gun arrangement from WC4!
Awesome nonetheless. The Hellcat is one of my favourite Wing Commander Fighters, i always think it was born out of the necessity to design "blocky" ships for WC3's 3D engine, but the result is so unique and burly-looking. You can't help but think this baby can take you into any mission and back.

The idea that the WC3 ships had to be blocky for the engine is a common misconception. The real reason for the change was to simply bring about a fresh and distinct art style from WC1 and WC2. Several years ago, someone created models of all of the WC1 and WC2 ships under the poly count limit for the RealSpace engine (which WC3 and WC4 used), so it was certainly possible to have used those ships if they wanted. It was a conscious design change, not a technical limitation.
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
The idea that the WC3 ships had to be blocky for the engine is a common misconception. The real reason for the change was to simply bring about a fresh and distinct art style from WC1 and WC2. Several years ago, someone created models of all of the WC1 and WC2 ships under the poly count limit for the RealSpace engine (which WC3 and WC4 used), so it was certainly possible to have used those ships if they wanted. It was a conscious design change, not a technical limitation.

Here you go, busting the whole "we made do with what little we had, and still it was awesome"-myth for me. I always thought it was a great irony that the WC3 ships had this "function dictates form"-look because, well, the engine limitations (which really sounds like the wrong word here) dictated that design philosophy. The Victory looks like someone thought "What does a carrier really need? A flight deck and a command tower and not much more. What's a space-borne bomber supposed to do with wings? Away they go! These WC1 and 2 destroyers' silhouettes have huge contact areas - this brick with some antennas is way more feasible!"
And i really like this utilitarian look, that's also the reason i like Klavs' re-designs of the WC1 ships. They all keep their unique design elements that make them distinctive, but have all their unnecessary bits and pieces clipped.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
I prefer the look of the WC4 Hellcat as well. It seemed sleeker and more purposeful, somehow.

That said though, gorgeous model as always Klavs.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
"I knew old Maverick would never agree to come with me if all I had to offer was forced reactivation papers and a shuttle ride, so I ditched that heap at the Orlando depot and pulled rank to borrow a pair of Hellcats. A really cute little JG jumped at the chance to fly with me down to Nephele. 'Hey," I thought, "This isn't going to be so bad after all!'

I needn't have bothered. She only jumped at the chance since it meant she could visit her partner planetside. Once we landed, she had pulled chocks before I even had the cockpit unsealed. As it turned out, I saved her life."

-Maniac

Thanks guys! You all all read my mind. Just doing things chronologically, is all. :)
 

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Whistler

Commodore
That's my favorite Hellcat. Fitting Maniac persona. Completely believable too, the lucky gal didn't get her ticket punched for a favor.

I would purposely never fly a Longbow even when specified because there was nothing that little bird couldn't take on. Mark nailed that gleam in his eye perfectly when he was told he could fly a fighter again.

Epic Fail: "He will never fly a fighter again." Prince Thrakhath.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
The Gratha gave Confed procurement a heart attack when they first arrived on the scene. They thought the Cats had developed a counter to the Rapier before it even entered service. And, if you squinted, they did kind of have the same silhouette, but the similarities stopped there.

We learned quickly that the Grath was actually more of a big fighter-bomber, more on par with the Raptor. But whether it was inter-clan rivalry among the spacecraft developers, prejudice against a quasi-human looking design, or just plain bureaucracy, the experienced pilots didn't seem to fly them much. They would be a decent enough fighter in the right paws, I guess, but the systems management was way more complex than the average Kilrathi fighter and the training and maintenance never really caught up with them. A wet-behind-the-ears fourth fang was typically in way over his head, with only a few exceptions. Later variants added a second pilot to handle the workload, and they found a niche as a halfway decent strike craft. That big nose could carry a lot of hurt, and they could run in fast and hit hard.

I called them 'Schnozzles' at first, but nobody else seemed to get it, so I quit.

-Maniac
 

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-danr-

Vice Admiral
They thought the Cats had developed a counter to the Rapier before it even entered service. And, if you squinted, they did kind of have the same silhouette, but the similarities stopped there.

That's always been my biggest problem with the Gratha, it looks too...human. I guess by the time of its release, the Cats would have had plenty of time to study Terran fighter design. Nice model, though.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
"

Thanks guys! You all all read my mind. Just doing things chronologically, is all. :)

Klavs, do you perhaps have some WC4 Hellcat artwork besides what is available on the CIC? What did you use as the base for your model?

Great work as always.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
I just grabbed screenshots from WC Saga and built on that. However, the WC4 version incorporates some stuff from this pic:

https://cdn.wcnews.com/wcpedia/images/WC4-Hellcat.png

The Saga hellcat isn't exactly accurate to the WC3 version, but they took the design and really ran with it, adding a lot of details that make sense. It's really a terrific version, and easily accessible for high res screen captures.
 
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Whiplash

Commodore
I just grabbed screenshots from WC Saga and built on that. However, the WC4 version incorporates some stuff from this pic:

https://cdn.wcnews.com/wcpedia/images/WC4-Hellcat.png

The Saga hellcat isn't exactly accurate to the WC3 version, but they took the design and really ran with it, adding a lot of details that make sense. It's really a terrific version, and easily accessible for high res screen captures.

Thanks, I already have both the pic you attached and Saga screenshots. Just wanted to confirm. :)
 
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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Does this help at all? I squared off the cannons in my versions considerably, mostly due to laziness, but you can see which panels from the Saga version I modified to get the guns to fit.

I also added a bit more airfoil-ness to the wings and fins.
 

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Whiplash

Commodore
Does this help at all? I squared off the cannons in my versions considerably, mostly due to laziness, but you can see which panels from the Saga version I modified to get the guns to fit.

I also added a bit more airfoil-ness to the wings and fins.
Thanks, it will be great for a bit of detail reference. In terms of overall dimensions, I'm trying to stick as close as possible to the detail shots from the model shown in the WC4 cutscenes; I find that there are significant differences compared to the WC3 version. I would desperately love to get hold of the original cinematic model, but Ben says all of those are either lost or locked up in a vault at EA somewhere. Pity that...
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
Don't want to clutter this excellent thread with off-topic pictures, but here are some screengrabs that show the gun arrangement. Don't know who took them, found them in my WC folder. Another good source would probably be the rotating image in the weapon customization screen in WC4.
 

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