Quick clip - Hornet blows up a Krant
Got the MFD icon for the Krant in there
Quick clip - Hornet blows up a Krant
Got the MFD icon for the Krant in there
LOAF: The Rapier fighters in the Wing Commander movie were constructed from the cockpits of eight F.53 English Electric Lightning jets. I decided to read up on their history and it turns out they're part of a group of 34 ordered by the Saudi Royal Air Force in 1965!Facebook!: here. The Sabre was the Confederation's heavy attack fighter in Wing Commander II. It's the ship you fly for the final missions of the game. It had a crew of two, with a rear turret gunner (that you could also switch to control.) here. The original Rapier was the 'hero' ship in Wing Commander I. It's the Confederation's brand new badass dogfighter that you finish the game in. The 2D concept art was by Glen Johnson and the 3D model by outsourcer Mary Bellis working on an Amiga. CF-117 Rapier retires and is immediately replaced by the F-44 Rapier. Clunky as heck, but it lets you sleep at night when you're a crazy fanboy (I'm talking about me and no one else.)
How did I mess this up even further? As part of the movie's licensing deal, a series of 'movie books' were written by author Peter Telep (better known today as the co-writer of several Tom Clancey books!) These started with an adaptation of the film.
Mr. Telep is a wonderful man and he does very thorough research, even for a video game movie adaptation. He reached out to me through my fan site at the time and asked if I could provide him with background about the WC universe. I was fifteen or so at the time and thought I'd handed responsibility for the fate of the universe. I sent him copies of the games and he sent me a list of proper nouns. He couldn't share the script, but could I provide background on these things referenced in it? So I happily wrote up every single fact I could think of about RAPIERS, DRALTHI, KRANT, ANGEL, the TIGER'S CLAW and so on. I made him exhaustive lists of ships and Kilrathi language references and maps of how known space was laid out. But all I knew was the game, I had no idea what they were doing with the movie. I didn't know the Rapier was old and neither did Peter... so instead of the CF-117b, the book features the brand new F-44A described just as it is in Wing Commander I (straight from my notes.)
The first sequel novel, Pilgrim Stars, includes an explanation that just adds another layer of trouble: "[Blair] surveyed his instruments, noting a few differences between his present fighter, the CF-117b Rapier, and the old F44-A he had flown only three days prior..." "The new model had increased missile capacity to ten guided or dumbfire missiles and packed a second generation nose-mounted rotary-barrel neutron gun that allowed for longer continuous neutron fire."
If you're still here, thank you very much and I'm very sorry about inadvertently making starfighter lore a little bit more confusing.here (a longtime grail of mine!). here. spreadsheet I made as I was trying to track them all.
I just thought of another kinda silly Rapier story! There was a toy line for the Wing Commander movie, with eight different Star Wars-scale action figures (including the traitor who was fully cut from the film.) The package also advertised Rapier and Dralthi vehicles coming soon.
We had lunch with the guy and he told us his sad story. They followed the Ws up with a series of Saturday Night Live toys that also didn't sell. He talked all about what else he'd wanted to do for Wing Commander! C'est la vie. He also mentioned he was onto the next big thing (tiny skateboards that rolled) and in fact he was about to meet a big name skater about licensing. "Tony Hawk?!" Joe and I said in unison. "No!" he replied angrily, "why does everyone keep asking that?!" Poor X-Toys.
Anyway, here is the prototype of the toy Rapier, which is safely in a box in my office! Joe Garrity kept the Dralthi in his museum.
Kinda shocked it worked so easily - iDOS2 running vintage Wing Commander.This is by no means the first app to enable this kind of activity, but most have been relatively short lived. In the future, there are promising methods in development to run emulators via browser, which would allow virtually seamless play of classic games on any system.
My version of Wing Commander Rapier from the movieprior updates.
The Belgian Chess History website runs a remarkable blog where they analyze and dissect chess games in progress across a variety of film and television. They look at the chess board setups and discuss how the characters (often inexplicably) got into their situation. Wing Commander has been featured, and it got a characteristically brutal scrubbing. Not only do they hate the setup, they're not fond of the characters nor even the chess pieces! You can find the full Belgian Chess History article here.
LOAF actually researched and found the actual chess set used in the WC Movie a while back. He also put together a slightly more accurate placement of the pieces, pictured below.
LOAF: It's just not a situation anyone would reasonably get to. Unless Bishop, a man named after a chess piece with said piece painted on his Rapier, is particularly terrible at chess.
Belgian Chess History: The idiot on the table in the background is, unfortunately, one of our main characters. He is introducing himself and his companion to the crew of the spaceship they just entered. Since he has the brain of a hard-boiled shrimp, it doesn’t go very well. But it seems like the director knew that he should focus as little as possible on Matthew Lillard and show some chess players instead.
Let us follow this very wise piece of advice and look what’s happening on the board. Immediately, I get a hit of nostalgia: the board has been set up wrongly with a1 a white square and, believe it or not, that’s been a while. The next thing we note it that, in the future, people apparently use really inconvenient, stumpy pieces that all look alike. That makes our task a bit harder, but we get good enough camera angles to make a reasonably reliable reconstruction:
Lillard, who is watching the game, suggests: "You want to take his castle with your little horsie."
A brilliant piece of advice, eloquently delivered. He goes on to claim, quite wrongly, that it is checkmate. This claim is immediately accepted, since this is a very stupid flick.
A viewer on my recent #wingcommander video commented about the Tarawa, which reminded me of my efforts to import her into #FreespaceOpen It has no shield impact anims, the bumpmaps are a little weird, and it cant fire. But it looks nice at least. The Tarawa model was from Klav's Wing Commander 3d model pack btw.
Oh ya, one more thing, how the Tarawa deals with itself exploding in FS is....really weird. She's a long way before I can have her ready for prime time.Mac's other big hobby is his YouTube channel dedicated to sci-fi history. He's recently put together a new intro trailer for Mac's Lore below.
I have been picking at it on my free time, which unfortunately has been not much lately. :( I have fixed many issues including memory leaks and lowered the memory usage from over 5gb to a under a few hundred mb which is more in line with what it should be. I managed this in a few ways but most notably instead of loading all audio files off the top they now simply stream them in when needed. I had to re-write, (what's new? :p) but got it all working.
The reason my lack of free time lately is that I've open my own business back in May. I specalize in technical, design and managment for Live Theatre & Film. I had planned to do in early 2020 but with Covid delayed my plans. I was thinking the first few months before and after would a be slow start but I was very wrong and have far exceeded my expectations. So far, I've done a several music live stream, a short TV series, a pilot for a talent show similar to Americas got talent, several profesional Theatre's Lighting and Sound design just to name a few. Honestly it's a good problem to have but it eats up most of my life at the moment. Never fear however, I'm almost complete with all the bar scenes and the general dialog. Next will be the inflight com's which I have to actually edit out from one larger file. :p
I know hearing that lack of free time is not that great of news but honestly this project is close to my heart and come hell or high water I will get it out to you. :p I wish you all the best and I hope your summer is going great. I'll stay active and bring this to you all as soon as I can. Cheers.
Here’s hoping that whoever owns the rights gives it another go because this world has so much potential for juicy conflict and fun.
- Even in the year 2700, there’s product placement. Nokia makes the brand of computers that humans use in their ships. If you remember the Nokia brick phones of that era, this makes total sense.
- If you’re a fan of Star: Trek Voyager, you might do a double-take at Maniac. He could be Tom Paris’ blonder twin. Maniac’s bleach blonde hair is also a fun throwback to the 90s.
Mail Day: #WingCommander Prophecy Special Edition (German Release) complete with Mousepad and Soundtrack CD
F-36 Hornet (Wing Commander)
One of the all-time classic cockpits. Seeing your legs tucked under the console, and your hand wrestling with the flight stick as you fly and fight, gives you a real sense of being squeezed into the pilot's seat of a small, nimble fighter. An old game, but the pixel art oozes charm.
As President of @ExplorersClub I would like to congratulate @richardbranson & @virgingalactic for their historic flight today. The era of suborbital space exploration is finally open! As well as our friends @xprize & @ScaledC who built the foundations of this amazing day!— Richard Garriott (@RichardGarriott) July 11, 2021
Getting real strong Wing Commander vibes from this crew shot of the Virgin Galactic space hop. pic.twitter.com/1i5decB0qz— Richard Hercher (@RichardHercher) July 11, 2021
This is what happens if you play Ace Combat 3, Homeworld, and Wing Commander IV at the same time in the 90s lol.
Some nice pre-release shots from Wing Commander II! (And Strike Commander, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
A dogfighting spaceship inspired by elements from Wing Commander. The red sky was part of a matte painting test.If you'd like to build a papercraft Jrathek, be sure to check out this news post about Pericles' version.
Evening #WingLeader work - making my version of the Kilrathi Krant medium fighter. It's definitely got some modifications - single cockpit, and 2 additional Ion Cannons are the main ones. Still WIP, but good enough to show.
I think you'd be surprised to hear there *aren't* any textures on this guy - the only thing that might qualify is the the screen-mapped dithering pattern. It's all geometry and vertex colors!
At this point two years ago we were looking forward to gathering at in-person CIC events, and while all our future plans are still soft, it certainly seems like we're much closer to getting back together. It's encouraging to see on the Discord that Wingnuts from many different countries are steadily getting vaccinated, and we're eagerly awaiting authorization for younger children to get the shot as well. So wherever you find yourself this weekend, hopefully things are looking up for you too. Above all else, please continue to keep yourself and your family safe!
Hey all you awesome WC fans.
In the Gemini Sector RPG, we may be doing some planetary missions soon. Those missions will be to support some ground forces. I would like some help coming up with the names of the kilrathi land vehicles. Here they are with VDU Images. I leaned in a bit on the Command and Conquer Brotherhood of Nod while making these designs.
If you have any semi serious suggestions for names, I would love to hear them.
- Kilrathi assault tank, the workhorse. Quad treads and dual offset cannon.
- Kilrathi missile tank. Spams IR missiles, also it's a hovertank.
- Kilrathi laser turret. Think of a jalthi fixed to a point... so basically a jalthi
- Kilrathi flak turret. A tank that drills it's rear into the ground for stability and then fills the air with mass driver flak fire. (it can mine for more ammo)
p.s. the Hak'a'loogie is already taken. ;)
Bad, bad day: Things in Gemini Sector could be better. Sure, the Kilrathi jump the border, the Navy's over-stretched...but one normally doesn't find Bloodfang-class fighters this far from Kilrathi space, let alone away from the Imperial house. Yet, here they are, and one under-gunned privateer is unhappily dealing with that fact...
On a Wing Commander kick. Well, a scifi kick in general. So, have a somewhat cartoony Kilrathi pilot gal.
It's always a treasure to see Wing Commander I concept art that didn't wind up in Claw Marks! Unfortunately it's very rare. A couple more from the game's original press kit:
A couple more that surfaced in a CGW supplement promoting The Secret Missions: