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Feels like an imperial version of the snow speeder.

CFletch
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CFletch

The more I think about this ship, the more I like it. It is extremely compact, agile, and presents a small profile from almost all angles. Even it’s largest aspect isn’t as big a target as a basic TIE’s panel. If I was a Imperial captain I’d be pretty happy taking these over basic TIE’s as my standard defensive fighter.

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

Suppose it would make for a handy mass-production stopgap ’till the Interceptor/Avenger orders reached one’s sector. And hey, the Rebels/NR get another ‘appropriated’ Incom product to hassle convoys with.

Chris Bradshaw
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Chris Bradshaw

I don’t suppose its too late to resurrect the argument that the old Clone Wars era V-Wing Starfighter should have never been retired in favor of the TIE/ln? Having shields, superior firepower, and greater agility than the default TIE is a heck of a force equalizer against A-Wings and T-65s, almost like a shielded proto-interceptor. Besides, the machine tooling for mass V-wing assembly already existed rather than requiring setting up a whole new production line.

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

I could buy a combination of political rebranding, modular versatility, easy upgrades, drawing-board TIE models’ growth potential, and ‘simple’ mil-industrial grift killing off mass production/support for sundry Clone Wars birds, though you’ve just about sold me on the V edging out /ln 1v1.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Kind of looks like a Buck Rogers fighter on steroids

luiz janiques
Guest

Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nathan Ridgway
Guest

I would love to see you render an A9 Vigilance.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Ah, KDY’s attempt to (retroactively) reenter the ultralight fighter market. That one might not need much tweaking besides a non-2D range of motion for the chin guns.

Sorican
Guest
Sorican

This feels very Elite:Dangerous to me. Which, is even more awesome. (the viper IV, in particular).

PhantomFury
Guest
PhantomFury

Now this is getting somewhere to earn the ship its name! The origin story of how the name came to be is always disappointing when you learn what the fighter turned out to be: low maneuverability damage sponge. If I could say I’d add more to this design, it’d be some large air “intakes” for the engines, maybe the cannon can be the turbine cone or something; all contributing to the vision that the machine will produce a chilling howl when it flies – moreso than the TIEs, that is.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

As I recall from the Essential Guide’s fluff text, this thing was actually fairly nimble-just not heavily armed or boasting bleeding-edge thrust. Basically the EU’s equivalent of an avionics-updated MiG-21.

PhantomFury
Guest
PhantomFury

But it can’t be as nimble as a TIE can it? I think I’ve read somewhere that it’s kinda the Empire’s attempt at make a hyperspace capable/shield equipped snubfighter? The size of its blaster cannons seem to indicate it’s some amount stronger than TIE’s on cannons.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Funny thing is, as discussed further down this comment section Sienar might’ve gotten a real jump on everyone else in the fighter-scale market WRT miniaturization whilst retaining competitive firepower. Plus, A-wings & a number of Clone Wars birds seem to match *most* TIEs’ acceleration (though with no small number of tradeoffs).

countvertex
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countvertex

New designs coming in so fast these days, I can’t even keep up commenting.
The Howlrunner is a good one and the Lancer was magnificent!
Btw. dropped you an email about that fbx the other day. Not sure you received it.

Ragnrok
Guest
Ragnrok

The original howlrunner looked terrible, this however, is quite the improvement!

Nathan Ridgway
Guest

Call me crazy, but this design always reminded me of the Terran Starfighter in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Jose Sanchez
Guest

Funny-I was just thinking the exact same thing!

rodtod
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rodtod

Can see these as detachable mounts on a Tie Demolisher’s main pylons http://fractalsponge.net/?p=3700

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

I-7s as parasite-drone bomber escorts? Neat thought, though I wonder if the saved life-support space would enable a bare-bones hyperdrive installation. Might as well give one’s little buddies some chance to escape losing battles.

Twitcheh
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Twitcheh

Love this redesign!

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Dunno if I’d have cranked the wingtips that far down, but sweet Sithspit is that nose/fuselage blending an upgrade from the old Essential Guide’s ‘spaceborne taser with cockpit’ look. I take it those are targeting sensors in the wingroots?

CRMcNeill
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CRMcNeill

Looking at the mounting hardware for the wings, it looks like they hinge up for landing, maybe even variable geometry in-flight

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

Ooh, good eye. Certainly wouldn’t hurt for planetside work.

Nathan Ridgway
Guest

Great work! I can just imagine this puppy making strafing runs on rebel bases (in conjunction with TIE bombers or Scimitars).

TheEpicDude
Guest
TheEpicDude

another beautiful work of art, truly amazing

Ryadra777
Guest

So what the Howlrunner’s role is?

Steve
Guest
Steve

She’s an interceptor, she’s faster than the TIE and has shields but is still quite fragile, think a slower A-wing or a TIE fighter with shields and you won’t be too far wrong

CRMcNeill
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CRMcNeill

Source?

Daib
Guest
Daib

Not WEG apparently, or Neill here would have committed it to memory.

CRMcNeill
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CRMcNeill

Actually, the I-7 is sufficiently obscure in-game that I had to double-check. But WEG did “get there first” in pretty much everything prior to the prequels.

Chris
Guest
Chris

This was always an issue I had with a lot of starfighters. They were never really a match for the tier 1 fighters like the X-Wing. They always seemed to be just not good enough.

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

Going by a comparison of game stats… Speed / Acceleration: Midway between an X-Wing and TIE fighter Atmosphere: No performance degradation, equal to an A-Wing in straight-line speed Maneuverability: Slightly less than a TIE Interceptor Durability: Equal to an X-Wing, but with slightly tougher shields Sensors: Slightly inferior to TIE Fighter (mostly in maximum range) Weaponry: Equal to a TIE Endurance: Equal to a TIE Hyperdrive: None / Optional Based on that, and when it was introduced (Dark Empire), I’d guess it was an attempt to create a more durable “anti-X-Wing” fighter that would give Imperial pilots very nearly the… Read more »

Daib
Guest
Daib

The heavy fighter niche is much better filled by the TIE Avenger, but in the wholesale destruction that ensued during the true Imperial Civil War, it would be plausible that the various squabbling factions lost access to the Avenger and had to settle by buying whatever they could from the private sector to replenish their fighter wings.

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

Various & sundry neutral/space-mafia/Hutt-affiliated parties (yeah, I know the last two overlap a lot) might also be in the market for a passably-performing compact bird.

Daib
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Daib

I suppose something has to replace the venerable Z-95 in the role of generic 3rd party fighter.

CRMcNeill
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CRMcNeill

Amazing work. Makes me wish the game stats weren’t for a short-range starfighter only. Of course, after the X-Wing fiasco, Incom would most definitely have wanted to play it safe so as to avoid Imperial displeasure.

Chris Bradshaw
Guest
Chris Bradshaw

Well this new cockpit and fuselage certainly is a big leap forwards over the previous art, and probably a substantive enough change that this would be an I-7B variant, or even an I-8.

With all that room for power plant compared to a TIE, I’m surprised that you didn’t also add a couple of more guns.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Those lasers might be substantially punchier than /ln guns, unless Sienar’s TIE weapon-powerplant tech is so ludicrously miniaturized (and patented) other companies need several times the equipment space for comparable yield.

Chris Bradshaw
Guest
Chris Bradshaw

Most interpretations of the TIE/ln don’t portray it as much less well armed than an X-Wing, which has twice the guns, each of which take up much more volume. Sienar must be doing something right, although Kuat’s V-Wing got it right first.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

Compared to TIE, A-, Y- & even B-wing lasers, I’ve been wondering if the X was deliberately over-gunned for shuttle/light freighter/corvette-scale targets. Sienar lasers do strike me as more proportionally efficient, though now I’m pondering what extra juice the wingtip-laser designs (squint/Avenger/Defender) might pack.

OmegaS
Guest
OmegaS

I’ve always had this vague sense of disappointment with the Howlrunner, as if it should somehow be more than it is. There’s simply no sense of excitement to it. Its not a BAD sufighter, it just feels meh. That is extremely appropriate considering its history, and was likely stumbled upon by the original artists.

gorkmalork
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gorkmalork

I will admit the name’s lightyears too cool for that bird.

Daib
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Daib

Welcome to defense procurement after the private sector has unleashed the marketing department.

DanielShenise
Guest

This and the E-wing are probably my least favorite Legends EU ships, but you managed to make it look pretty good. Not going to say I love it, just love that you were able to salvage the design.

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

The biggest thing I disliked about the E-Wing was the engine placement. Putting the engines that far below the center-line of the ship creates off-axis thrust problems in zero-g. If the engines were moved up to the wing roots, ala the ARC-170, it’d make a lot more sense. Maybe moving the laser cannon up to the angle in the wing, too.

Daniel Shenise
Guest

I can hand wave that away. Its the third cannon placement over the cockpit that annoyed me on the E-wing. That was just stupid and instead of maybe sticking with just two cannons or maybe 4 and placing 2 closer to the wing root, the artist said, “I’ll just stick a third on the roof.” It just looked like a lazy design. Its one of the reasons I like Fractal’s originals better because they don’t have that designed on a deadline look to them. There’s craftsmanship to them. Like with this iteration of the Howlrunner, he took a very marginally… Read more »

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

True enough. There are only two positives I’ve seen from starship design in Dark Empire: providing endless opportunities for Fractal to prove that you actually CAN polish a turd, and the Taskforce Modular Cruiser concept (support and logistics never gets taken seriously). Considering how much longevity the X-Wing ended up having, I could almost see the E-Wing ending up as a Y-Wing replacement: engines to the wing roots, dual lasers at the angles in the gull wings, replace the center laser with a nose-mounted ion cannon in front of the cockpit, and maybe stretch the cockpit to make it a… Read more »

DanielShenise
Guest

Yeah, the fact that Fractal would eventually be able to cook up the Secutor from an anonymous blob in the background makes the rest of the dodgy art worth it to me.

Daib
Guest
Daib

The Bellator is the greater prize from those comics. Even now, I routinely see it appear (almost always uncredited) in random parts of the internet. Just today it was on /r/starcitizen, out of all places.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

I’ll confess to liking the World Devastators’ general *concept* as mobile light-craft factories & raw-material processors, though their superweapon status is hilariously overhyped by Comic!Ackbar (‘far more lethal than the Death Star’ my ass). Plus, while I could see those things being shielded & armed well enough to make one or two Impstars break a serious sweat, they still have no business forming the core of a naval battle that isn’t essentially mid-rout (which I suppose the Battle of Calamari basically was-they just skipped the bit where Mon Cala’s home fleet & shield grid were reduced enough to allow WD… Read more »

Chris Bradshaw
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Chris Bradshaw

The World Devastators seem more like terror-inducing Wunderwaffen than something that actually represents a step forwards in planetary assault, or otherwise the CIS would have probably put something like it into production. These World Devastators are (heavy?) cruiser sized, but are forced to devote an enormous proportion of internal volume to factories and warehouses instead of reactors and capacitor banks, which mean they probably have the survivability of light destroyers at best, without the small profile, speed, and maneuverability that light destroyers actually use to stay alive in fleet brawls. I’m sure every major galactic power has some sort of… Read more »

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

There’s lots of things in Star Wars that don’t make much sense once you have time to think about them. It’s the serious fans, though, who tie themselves into knots trying to impose a sense of verisimilitude into them. IMO, a more practical use for World Devastators would be for shortening the supply lines of military operations within a system. Say you have dozens of corps deployed in combat operations on a planet; there’s going to be a lot of logistical demand for spare parts and the like. Something like a World Devastator could park somewhere outsystem, like an asteroid… Read more »

Shaun
Guest
Shaun

They’d make great hyperspace lane sweepers/plows. Clearing out stray asteroids, hydrospanners, R2 units, debris, etc. Especially in the deep core where you’ve got extremely restricted space lanes. Makes sense to have the equipment in place to maintain them!

Chris Bradshaw
Guest
Chris Bradshaw

Is the Empire’s industrial base not already doing this? In order to build things like Death Stars, Ecumenopoli, and the various worldcraft in a reasonable timeframe, I suspect that they probably did have some sort of mobile, self-replicating factory ship fleet somewhere out in the rim, although likely with more manpower attached as supervisors than the Separatists did. Heck, they probably inherited some of the CIS kit, and reactivated it after painting the six-spoked wheel on the sides. I suppose the World Devastators might have been able to produce finished droid fighters at a faster pace if they were eating… Read more »

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

That’d work, too. On a smaller scale, this method would certainly work for the second Death Star; if Endor is a moon orbiting a gas giant, then there will likely be multiple other moons or asteroids nearby for easy resource extraction and manufacturing. It makes a lot more sense than shipping all of the materials out to a remote, top secret worksite.

gorkmalork
Guest
gorkmalork

For no defensible reason I’ve got a soft spot WRT the ‘simpler fixed-wing T-65 cousin’ concept, but agreed on the cockpit cannon being pointless & its general aesthetics needing serious work. I keep visualizing a barely-Avenger/Defender-competitive rehash with the dorsal gun & astromech compartment deleted to fit a third thruster, the wing-engines compacted into smaller conformal pods & moved up to flank the centerline, and slightly forward-swept wings with triple lasers mounted around that bend at the tip. Missile magazine would be roughly chopped in half, but with modular capacity (i.e. 16 CMs for interceptor duty).

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

And quite well, too. I should’ve clarified that support and logistics never get taken seriously /officially/. Only in TLJ did the possibility of ships running low on fuel finally get used, and even then they flubbed it. Considering that hitting supply convoys and other support functions is one of the few viable tactics a guerilla force can use, I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more treatment.

Way easier to stop or delay a multi-corps assault on a planet if you can hit the tankers before they fuel up the Consolidators and their escorts.

Chris
Guest
Chris

That top cannon always rubbed me the wrong way as well…just my $0.02 but would have looked better with just he 2 cannons…eithat at the wingtips like they are or closer to the main body ala the BSG Viper.

CRMcNeill
Guest
CRMcNeill

Agreed. The E-Wing is definitely a broken design,but it has a lot of potential. If Fractal can do this for the I-7, I’d love to see what he can come up with for the E-.

Steve
Guest
Steve

A small, agile, fast and shielded interceptor that looks amaze, what’s not to like. As always, amazing work!

Astro1derboy
Guest
Astro1derboy

This is wicked!! Kinda reminds me of a T-47 Snowspeeder. Love it!!

Spaceman 28
Guest
Spaceman 28

Looks like an Imperial A-Wing, although i doubt that’s what it is.

gejemica
Guest
gejemica

In-universe it’s a design Incom made for the Empire, which is why it *sort of* looks like a snowpeeder.

It always reminded me of Buck Rogers’ ship