I recently built Shunichi Makino's TIE Fighter for a friend, and decided I needed my own copy of it as well. I quickly decided to build an Interceptor as well, and at that point, of course, I took it way too far, as always. I'm a big fan of Shunichi's designs, he has a knack for finding the best shapes to represent something in paper, without lots of complicated tiny pieces. Maybe its the subjects he chooses, maybe its just good design ethic. Here you can see my TIE/In Starfighter and TIE/In Interceptor. One great thing about his designs is the ease with which they can be adapted into other things, as I have continuously demonstrated with many of my Star Trek releases, based on his Enterprise model. Well the TIEs are also easy to adapt, and that I did. First was one of my favorite designs, that I have for the longest time wished I had a model of: the TIE/D Defender. Unfortunately, it wasn't a simple matter of slapping three Interceptor wings on a cockpit; the Defender has its own unique solar panels, and has an extended rear section, from which the pylons extend. This required designing brand new wings, as well as extending the exhaust. I also had to redesign the cockpit to cover the holes in the sides where the pylons would usually be inserted for other TIEs. I then altered the pylons themselves, to be easily attached to the extended exhaust. The next design I made is one you may be unfamiliar with; the TIE Phantom. The Phantom made its debut in the old computer game "Rebel Assault II", and in 2006 was also included in another game that I don't remember the name of. In the first game, these fighters were equipped with cloaking devices. As you can see, this model doesn't use the standard TIE cockpit. In fact, the TIE Phantom has a crew of two, so the extended cockpit is pretty necessary. One guess where I got the cockpit from. Thats right, Shunichi's Millenium Falcon model. I did modify it to fit the Phantom, which included extension and changing the angles a bit, but you can still obviously see its origins. My final design was, of course, something of my own. On Wookiepedia, there's mention of a "Super TIE Fighter", that apparently never saw production. I liked that idea, so I decided to design what I'm calling the Super TIE/In Starfighter. Note that when I say "super", I mean it in the same sense that the United States military uses it for fighter aircraft. For example, where the F-86 was the Saber, the F-100 was the Super Saber, the F-18 is the Hornet, the F/A-18 is the Super Hornet, and so on. So for this design, I decided it would be fitting to make a fighter that resembled the original TIE/In Starfighter a great deal, but was still an obvious improvement over it. I like to think I succeeded. As you can see, the Super TIE has wings very reminiscent of the original TIE's, retaining roughly the same hexagonal shape, however they are taller, and not flat like the original, reflecting some of the advances in the TIE line of fighters since the TIE/In. The inspiration for the shape was taken from the Scimitar Assault Bomber, another in the TIE line. It may not be readily apparent in the photos, but I also decided I wanted the solar panels themselves to be more advanced. The TIE/In has mostly parallel lines on its panels, while more advanced ships like the Interceptor have grids of squares. I decided to go a step further, and gave the Super TIE honeycomb collectors, the idea being that these are more efficient than any so far, and can even absorb some energy from laser hits during battle (thought the hits will still cause damage). Another very obvious change is the cockpit. While it retains the same shape, I decided to remove most of the reinforcing struts on the canopy, and added additional panes around the cockpit, the idea being the pilot would have better visibility. You can also see four lasers protruding from the bottom of the cockpit. Again, I wanted them more advanced. Not only does it have four of them, but the lasers are close together, for better accuracy, and the extended design gives them a better rate of fire than the typical lasers mounted on TIE designs. The result is the ability to spit out fire as though the lasers were machine guns. While the stock model carries no secondary weapons, a concussion missile launcher with a magazine of six missiles can be attached to the fighter when desired. Finally, the backside. Here we see an extended exhaust, that houses a small hyperdrive, capable of making short jumps independent of motherships. It still doesn't grant the fighter the autonomy of the TIE/D Defender, but does allow different patterns of deployment that give commanders more options. You can also see the extended twin ion engines in the back, that offer better speed and acceleration. In addition, the engines include a feature not before seen on TIE Fighters: an afterburner capable of delivering short bursts of increased acceleration, which can be very useful when pursuing faster craft, or when being pursued. In all, the engines on the Super TIE/In give it better speed than even the TIE/In Interceptor, while it still has the incredible maneuvering of the TIE/In Starfighter. While the fighter doesn't include shielding, like most TIEs, it does have a new armor capable of withstanding more than three times the damage of traditional TIE fighters. While still fragile compared to the TIE/D Defender, or Rebel fighters like the X-wing, the combination of armor and agility make these fighters much more formidable opponents than their predecessors.