3D Printed Excalibur Gets Socially Distanced Enhancements Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Chronocidal Guy has returned with an update on his elaborate 3D printed Excalibur model. He's taken advantage of valuable stay-at-home time over the last year to refine the design into a number of purposeful modules that come together into a highly accurate representation, complete with exquisite panel lines. The guns, engines and other components have also been finely modeled to closely resemble the originals. His finished product looks superb, but there's always room for further tinkering and enhancement in the future!
Hey folks, I figured I'd drop an update on this project after all this time. The pandemic gave me a lot of time to work from home, so it was a big opportunity to let my printer operate in the background. I didn't want to necro any old print threads, or derail someone else's, but if any mods think it's appropriate, feel free to merge this one with another topic. I mostly didn't want to take away from the beautiful Hornet model posted more recently.

I think my first attempt at this model was through Shapeways back in 2012 or so, and at that time, it was about $70 for a 7-inch model. That version can still be found there, but it's a completely blank model, with no panel lines or other details. Also, in the years since I uploaded it, the price has ballooned to over $150 for what is basically their lowest quality print.

After trying to manually engrave panel details into that Shapeways print, I decided it made more sense to embed them in the model. Come 2019, I picked up a larger enclosed printer, and used that model as my first test project. That's where that bright red Excalibur came from. It came out really well, though being in a single piece made sanding it smooth an insane prospect.

So, I set to breaking that model out into a better set of solid parts that could be printed, and then slid together with interlocking tabs. After two years of working on and off on refining the model and details, and roughly 120 hours of printing, I'm happy to finally have a nice display-worthy sized model of this ship.
The original red version was a little under seven inches long, so I scaled this one up 50%, and it comes out to just about ten inches. Game stats say that's about 1/125 scale, but I think that number was inflated, since I think a 1/100 scale cockpit would fit easily in the nose. Maybe the next version will have a full cockpit, if I can get a vacuformed canopy made. I'd love to shoot for a 1/48 version.

Details are all taken as best as I can grab them from the highest resolution images of the Excalibur I could find, either from Victory Streak, or screenshots. One thing that did give me a few fits though.. I cannot for the life of me figure out exactly how the reaper cannons are supposed to be shaped. The tachyons are clearly visible in the CGI renders we have, and I've approximated the shape to make it printable. The reapers actually look like a tri-barreled design in the front schematic view, with a small shield on the inner side, so that's what I went with.

Parts all slide together with a satisfying squeak from the printed ridges rubbing in the plastic. I'm currently starting the process of sanding some of the parts down to remove the print texturing, and hope to have that done sometime in this decade. :)

While I did upload this model at Shapeways as a test, I cannot recommend getting it there in this size, because it looks like the full print would cost somewhere in the range of $300-$600 total, depending on the material used.

I'm currently debating whether to re-engineer the model with deeper recesses in the spots that contain darker detail panels, so I can make some panel inserts there. I might be able to print something to fit in them now, since the printer can go down to 0.1mm, but the insets are only about 1mm deep. I'm just not sure if I want to go through the process of printing another to make any improvements at this point.

All in all, I think the whole thing came out really close to the target. :D

Will try and keep more progress updates coming here, as well as where you can get the actual model for download, once I get it where I like it.

Also, one funny tidbit I discovered while researching this.. the Excalibur CGI model used in the Kilrathi Saga intro cinematic was incomplete. It's entirely missing the reaper cannons, and the door panels over the front pods (what I assume are missile bays).

Prinze Signing Event Fast Approaching Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

GalaxyCon's Freddie Prinze Jr. signing event is happening soon! The cutoff is this weekend for fans who would like to get an autographed Wing Commander poster. It's not cheap, but there aren't very many opportunities to have Wing Commander stars sign things these days. A simple/personalized autograph is $92, and a short quote adds an additional $30. It comes on a cool 11x14" sheet, which is itself nice to have and suitable for framing. Get your order in here by Sunday!

For Those Who Krant Quite Make It Out Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

KRANT! It’s time to answer one of the great universal questions: do they have, y’know... two?

Short answer: yes? There are two cockpits on the VDU and if you look closely at the sprites you can see two distinct cockpits on the 3D model. And here’s what the Claw Marks art looks like mirrored so you just see the top. Head canon: they’re bubble canopies and the Kilrathi pilot and weapons officer (maybe?) can give each other thumbs ups. But nothing twin-cockpit can stay: when the Krant was redesigned for Super Wing Commander it lost its most distinct feature. Designer Sean Murphy, who would go on to create the TCS Midway, said he was asked not to refer to the original. Even the Nintendo Power comic parodying Wing Commander I has only a central cockpit: The Krant shows up in the Wing Commander movie script but I don’t think any serious concept art was developed. It was dropped early to save the overworked FX team time. This placeholder does show up in early storyboards: It’s inclusion in the script did mean that it shows up in the novelization... and the Confederation Handbook, finally giving us the rich Krant lore all souls crave:
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WC1 Text Cleaned Up With Gamedat Tweak Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Thanks in no small part to UnnamedCharacter's WC Toolbox, we've seen lots of fans undertake some pretty amazing WC1 hacks from inserting new ships to whole language conversions. YPersonified has another slick project, which is a straight clean-up of the original game's text and dialogue. WC1 has a handful of typos, misspellings, mixed up grammar and odd formatting. You might not have even ever noticed it, but there's room for improvement, and (after more than 30 years) YPersonified is doing the improving! Some examples are included below. You can try out what he's fixed so far by unzipping the contents of this file (211 k zip) into your gamedat folder. Help share feedback or point out additional items here.
Wing Commander - Improved GAMEDAT Files

The project of fan-edited GAMEDAT files from Wing Commander for better gameplay experience. The work is mostly focused on slightly demanding but basic editings like dialogue/conversation script issues, using features of Wing Commander Toolbox. Editing of fundamental or technical aspects is unfortunately beyond my level. Download and un-zip the files on GAMEDAT folder for application - recommend backing your original files up first. Feedback is always appreciated.

Contents

- BRIEFING files - WC(000), SM(001), SM2(002)
- Dialogue typos or apparent grammar errors fixed, missing punctuation marks added.

- Entry dialogue(gray-colored text) in several missions are now properly spaced for coherence.
- Several misgrouped sets of background image and talking-head fixed for coherence.
- Several missing lipsync phonetics added.
- Miscellaneous minor adjustments done.
Some of the tweaks are a matter of taste, such as the CSS Suffolk tweak. You can read about the debate on that point here.
- All lipsync phonetics in SM and SM2 are now replaced with new ones, properly reflecting written dialogue.
- All dialogue delay time in SM and SM2 scripts are reset and more facial expression codes are added for a natural pace of conversation.

- Several wing designations in conversations set to match with in-flight designations(MODULE files 001 and 002) to avoid discrepancy.

* Note: Unskipped 'Mission Briefing Conversation' may cause the infamous endless music loop - which you must manually skip to continue - depending on your DOSBox CPU cycles. May work on text delays in case you experience this in GOG.com default config of 4000 cycles.

- COMMUNIC files - WC, SM
- Script typos fixed, missing punctuation marks added.

Work In Progress
- BRIEFING.002 - Editing in progress (Lipsync phonetics, Delay time settings, Possible ideas for script improvisation)

There's also a video of a playthrough including these fixes!
While working on these files, I thought it would be nice to try entire playthrough and upload them steadily on Youtube for a showcase. Click on my playlist and check out the gameplay if you're interested.

Spanish Translations of WC1, WC2, SMs and SOs Released Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Inspired by UnnammedCharacter's WC Toolbox and Marty2Life's recent German translation, L@Zar0 has put together a brand new Spanish translation! He's been steadily making progress for the past month, so releases are available for both Wing Commander 1&2, plus both Secret Missions and Special Operations. This is a wonderful surprise for fans trying to play the classics in their native language, and there's even hope that he might tackle Privateer in the future. You can download the WC1/SM package here (4 meg zip) and the WC2/SO package here (5 meg zip). Readmes are included with more instructions or you can learn more at these pages at his site. This should work for either the original DOS or GOG versions. Even if you're not up for playing through the game in another language, check out these juicy images of it in action!
I want to give the thanks to UnnamedCharacter (and the members) that have been made possible WCTools. I'm a former translator of videogames (retro videogames) in www.clandlan.net, in Spanish language. I know what difficult is to do a set of tools that makes the complete possibility of translate a game into another language. So. THANKS A LOT for these tools.
Now I want to translate the last game not sold in Spanish language of this series, Wing Commander: Privateer.

PC Games Magazine Highlights New Wave of Space Sim Games Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're rewinding the clock back a few more years today with a classic article from the December 1991 issue of PC Games. The First and Final Frontier talks about the surge space-themed games hitting the market in the early 1990s, including Wing Commanders 1 & 2. There are a few other promising games of the day mentioned, but there are big throwbacks and comparisons to the WC series. It's also got some really funky early '90s art, which was also typical of the day.

Gaming Press Warms to P2 Over Summer 1996 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got a double feature of articles from Computer Games Strategy Plus. The first one is a brief blurb in the follow-up to E3 that year. There's not much info on the game, but a few elements really date the article. First, in 1996, we were still a ways from E3 being a giant online spectacle. Given standard lead times, it would just be natural that news from the springtime event would be trickling out in the August issue (which would have appeared on shelves 1-2 months afterwards). Also on the game picking up the "Privateer" title, they note gamers have "always wanted an updated version of that classic." That's a funny take from our perspective nearly thirty years after P1's release.

The second article is the big one. It's got a fantastic cover celebrating the game, plus a huge two-page feature with plenty of exotic art. They talk about the interactive movie's story, open world setting, fancy new engine and more.

'Hidden Gem' Wing Commander Celebrated in '90s Rundown Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Marvelous Videos has put together a feature on underappreciated sci-fi films from the 1990s. Yeah, it's a little click-baity and their pronunciation of certain terms is just bizarre, but they lead off with Wing Commander as the first must-see film on the list. I also wholeheartedly agree that "fans will be amazed to see how loyal the story is to the film," but perhaps not in the same manner as they intended it.
Given how extensive the subject matter actually is, there is no other film genre that can match up to the creativeness and originality of science fiction. Thanks to this particular genre, we have been able to witness an exciting array of remarkable, mind-boggling movies. But, while it is true that we fondly remember flicks like The Terminator, Independence Day, Men In Black, The Matrix, Inception, and Avatar amongst many others, there also seems to be an entire range of the sci-fi genre that has simply been brushed aside. So, in today’s video, we are going to take a peek at 11 of these underrated gems from the ’90s that undoubtedly deserve your time.

Raptor's Last Stand Streamed to the World Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD found this spectacularly awesome clip of doctorcdcs playing The Secret Missions 2. We've all been there before: head to head against a Dralthi, guns destroyed, out of missiles, out of afterburner fuel, no more front armor and splash damage erupting all around. But do we call it quits? No! doctorcdcs demonstrates exactly what makes the original Wing Commander such a perfect game. You can just feel the tension right through your screen as if you were there. Watch the one-minute snippet to see how it ends!

Who needs guns and afterburners when all you really need is a ship and a dream?

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