Author Topic: 2012-09-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper  (Read 14479 times)

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Online Ace

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2012-09-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
By Starslayer:
The MK VIIE Strike Viper was a concept that I created quite a while ago and have steadily polished into the final form you see presented here.  The core design came into being around the time I was originally auditioning for a position on the Beyond the Red Line team. 

As the name suggests the initial inspiration was the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle.  For those of you unfamiliar with the “Mud Hen” it is basically the F-15 air superiority fighter that was heavily redesigned in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft.   It also happens to be one of my favorite flying things in ever ever.  I wanted to do something similar for the Colonials, specifically based off the MK VII.  Cylon air defense doctrine is predicated on the use of Raider swarms to intercept any hostile strikecraft.  As such any successful Colonial attack craft was going to need to be able to dogfight its way into a launch position.  Therefore a fighter bomber like the Strike Eagle seemed much more desirable than a large slow heavy bomber platform like a B-52.

The first draft was done without the benefit of any VII orthos or much reference material other than memory of the show.  While crude it did however cement the core design principles of the craft.  First it would be a two seater, the back seater acting as a Weapons System Officer (WSO pronounced 'wizzo').  Second it would have a pair of conformal fuel tanks or CFTs, increasing its range and endurance; allowing it to penetrate deep into enemy territory or loiter over the combat zone.  Third it would need a powerful targeting package to defeat Cylon active and passive countermeasures and guide its ordinance on target.  Finally it would need to carry enough payload to accomplish its mission.  In short the same basic changes the design team at McDonnell Douglas made to the F-15 platform, I would make to the Viper MK VII.

So as you can see below the cockpit was extended for the WSO, CFTs where added to the nose, ordinance was applied to the wings and the upper gun mount/vertical stabilizer was replaced with a LANTIRN esq target pod:



Time passed and as I honed my skills at designing equipment for BTRL I eventually decided I wanted to revisit the VIIE.  I made two primary additions to the core design when I went through the second revision.  The first was an increase to the ordinance and secondly I wanted to add an additional targeting pod under the nose for more ‘look down’ capability.   The extra target pod was modeled after the camera system mounted on F-14Ds.  As for the ordinance increases I realized in addition to the antiship weapons I really wanted the VIIE to have some air defense capability for clearing a path when it was making its attack run.  If you ever seen an F-16 with AMRAAMs on the wing rails, you know it looks like unadulterated awesome.  Therefore I added a pair of wingtip rails and designed a new Sparrow/AMRAAM style long range air defense missile which would eventually become the HD-51 Arbalest.  I also figured I should get serious about the other ordinance and designed two additional pieces.  One is the CBU-47 Sledgehammer Self Forging Cluster munitions which unfortunately will not be making an appearance in R1.  Second is featured in R1; the AGM-41 Whiplash antiship missile, visually inspired by the Harpoon and Maverick missiles and will be your primary Colonial subsystem killer.  In addition to the four under wing hard points I also added a pair of station pylons to the rear fuselage.  The rest of the redesign was dedicated to polishing the general design and applying a snazzy dark gray scheme.  This choice was also made in reference to the F-15E which sports a gunship gray scheme which is much darker compared to the regular F-15C.  I produced the following two sketches for the second revision in concert known to me as “Stop! Hanger Time!” and “Baseship Hunting Team.”




This second revision of the MK VIIE eventually was built by Wildcard who did a very good job at modeling the concept material.  Not too long afterwards I took about a year long hiatus from the project and by chance stumbled upon the fact that BTRL had split and found Diaspora ascendant.  I threw my lot in with Diaspora and went about designing a whole slew of stuff with reinvigorated purpose.  While Wildcard’s original model was a faithful rendition of the second VIIE version, the model was starting to show its age compared to the new assets and more importantly I was no longer particularly happy with the design.  It’s often the case with my work that I revisit a concept I am fond of and revitalize it to a new standard and the VIIE is a concept I’m very fond of.
Therefore I started pouring over F-15E references, especially from the http://www.f-15e.info site (I believe it was www.strikeeagles.com at the time) which had plethora of photos and info on my muse.  I also had found a great set of Zoic edition Viper MK VII orthos which I used as my starting point. 

Armed with my newfound F-15E knowledge and refs I set about converting a VII into a Strike Viper.  The “Block 30” started with a side ortho and was carefully labeled with actual Strike Eagle nomenclature to delineate the modifications that make this bird a VIIE.  Enthused with the results I swiftly followed up with a top and bottom orthos. The bottom orthos also featured a display of the various ordinance a VIIE can use to “Shoot down what’s up” and “Blow up what’s down.”  While some pieces like the Dazzler jammer pods, Sledgehammer cluster munitions and Razorback rockets pods will be added in later releases, the R1 VIIE will still come loaded for bear.





With the final version blueprints completed the design waited, while I fidgeted, till one of our very talented modeling resources became available to make her in 3D.  In this case it was newman who was responsible for the Viper VIIE made manifest.  I will turn it over to him to discuss the modeling, texturing and cockpit in a future post.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 08:10:33 pm by karajorma »
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Offline CKid

Re: 12-9-04 MKVIIE Strike Viper
Looks like one very bad-ass space craft. Nice  :yes:
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Offline MR_T3D

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Re: 12-9-04 MKVIIE Strike Viper
When do we get to play with it?

EDIT: whoa. wait, realized R1 is out now :lol:

 

Online Ace

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Re: 12-9-04 MKVIIE Strike Viper
Right now, it's in R1.
Ace
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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
so we'll definitely see more of the StrikeViper in R2?

How are you guys going to retcon the fact that we never saw anything like this in the show?

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
None of them made it to Ragnar. Only a small number of MK VIIs made it and they're much more common than the VIIe.

Pegasus' complement were probably off getting polished up real nice, or something. :p Hell, maybe they were getting the CNP upgrade.
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Online Ace

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
so we'll definitely see more of the StrikeViper in R2?

How are you guys going to retcon the fact that we never saw anything like this in the show?

File that under "Not your problem" pilot ;)
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Offline Swifty

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
The Pegasus was in dock undergoing maintenance when the Cylons hit anyway. She probably was only outfitted with the bare complement of fighters suited for defense and not offense.

 

Offline newman

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
The Galactica was near retirement and never got strike wings. Hell her viper complement was probably down to half capacity to make room for the mark 2 squadrons and to prepare her for decommissioning. The Pegasus, on the other hand, had on-board viper manufacturing facilities. They were probably good enough to assemble a basic viper, but they couldn't produce the more sophisticated instrumentation the strike viper has. That leaves us several options;

1) The Pegasus was never equipped with strike vipers, being unable to replenish them in the field. Instead it relies on it's superior firepower to bring down the big stuff.

2) The Pegasus was equipped with a limited number of strike vipers. These were either used very sparingly since it couldn't rebuild them, or they were all gone by the time we see it in the show.

So, there's some wriggle room when it comes to plot devices there :)
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Offline crizza

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
Tyrrel build a stealth Viper from scratch...
I mean, hey, I like the Strike Viper, but since I hit a damn with anti bomber and anti fighter missiles, I would only miss the abilty to carry anti subsystem weapons...
But guess an Assault Raptor could do the job as well.
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Offline newman

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
Tyrrel build a stealth Viper from scratch...

Chief Tyrol cobbled together a ship from parts found on deck. Carbon plating.. uhhh... made it stealthy. Yea, sure, whatever. But it's still a far cry from having the specialized targeting instrumentation and sensors for a strike fighter. Unless you have spare FLIR/sensors/whatever complex electronic equipment lying around on deck, good luck making it up from nothing.

..but the point isn't in arguing about plot devices, the point is it's possible to come up with one to explain why we didn't see them in the show :)
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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
2) The Pegasus was equipped with a limited number of strike vipers. These were either used very sparingly since it couldn't rebuild them, or they were all gone by the time we see it in the show.

I don't have a problem with there being a handful of strike vipers just off-screen. There's enough precedent in the show for it. Galactica's Mark VIIs disappeared between "You Can't Go Home Again" and "Flight of the Phoenix." Assault Raptors popped up half a season after the Pegasus showed up, at which point they started using them almost as much as they used vanilla Raptors (so there goes the excuse that there just wasn't an applicable mission in season 2 to show them off). The in-flight refueling tanker was never actually seen. No one said what happened to the bulk of the Pegasus's Vipers, though logic suggests that her compliment combined with Galactica's would be more than Galactica could carry so they had to put the rest somewhere.

There's enough stuff that was introduced late, retconned, forgotten, or left to the tender mercies of fanwank that I can certainly get behind the idea that the Pegasus carried a handful of oddball Vipers. Heck, sometimes I'd even go so far as to argue the Defender-style ship actually was a military vessel, and even though they never counted it as an asset, its the reason they never really worried about leaving the Fleet totally vulnerable while going off to attack the Cylons. I do not have an issue with this level of gap-filling, especially if it leads to more fun missions down the line.

 

Offline newman

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
I do not have an issue with this level of gap-filling, especially if it leads to more fun missions down the line.

That's exactly our philosophy on this :)
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline crizza

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
I do not have an issue with this level of gap-filling, especially if it leads to more fun missions down the line.

That's exactly our philosophy on this :)
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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
well, in any case, I would pay good money for a conversion kit to make this out of the Mobius Mk VII

 

Offline newman

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
well, in any case, I would pay good money for a conversion kit to make this out of the Mobius Mk VII

A conversion kit wouldn't cut it - trust me, I modeled her :) She's similar to the Mk.VII, but different enough you'd need to rebuild her completely. This would need to be a separate kit.
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
I was wondering about that a few days ago, actually. Usually variants represent modifications of an existing design, but virtually every part of the VIIE is new-build. There's less commonality between the Strike Viper and the current VII than the retconned VII (post-Maelstrom)!
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
The VIIE orthos should match up somewhat with the zoic VII especially around the fuselage and engines.  As for not being considered a VII the F-18E/F/G are essentially a completely different aircraft from the first generation F-18.
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
That's actually a very good counter-point.
"trolls are clearly social rejects and therefore should be isolated from society, or perhaps impaled."

-Nuke



"Look on the bright side, how many release dates have been given for Doomsday, and it still isn't out yet.

It's the Duke Nukem Forever of prophecies..."


"Jesus saves.

Everyone else takes normal damage.
"

-Flipside

"pirating software is a lesser evil than stealing but its still evil. but since i pride myself for being evil, almost anything is fair game."


"i never understood why women get the creeps so ****ing easily. i mean most serial killers act perfectly normal, until they kill you."


-Nuke

 

Offline newman

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Re: 12-9-04 - MKVIIE Strike Viper
Yep. There's no way you could modify a regular Hornet into a Super Hornet, it's a brand new aircraft - sure it's based on the old design, but built from the ground up with improvements. If I recall correctly even the dimensions don't match, as the Super Hornet is a bit larger.
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