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Mk 10 Viper 07

I'm a big fan of both Battlestar Galactica series, and a big fan of Vipers, but there was always some little feature about each of the Viper designs that bugged me.  That must be a common in designers.  So when I went to build a Viper in CAD, I decided to design one that combined all of the things that I liked best in Vipers, but also addressed all of my little pet peeves.  Then I threw in a few new twists and features just for fun. 

- The Viper from the original series was actually pretty awesome.  The main thing that bugged me about it was the oddly steep angle of the cockpit.  I always wanted it to be longer and sleeker like an X-Wing or a Y-Wing cockpit.  Plus, it could use some curves.  As I went to make these enhancements to my design, I was reminded of an early concept sketch for a Viper that was drawn and designed by Ralph McQuarrie.  The design was never used in Galactica, but it was later resurrected and saw new life as the main starfighter for the Buck Rogers Series.  So, with that in mind, and as a tip of the hat to the great Ralph McQuarrie, I decided to shape my cockpit in a way that was reminiscent of the cockpit on the Buck Rogers fighter.  It's not exactly the same, but it is reminiscent of that design, and yet I think it still feels very natural and relates well with the lines of the original Viper. 

- I decided to make my Viper "stealthy."  Taking my lead from the stealthy "Laura" in the re-imagined series, it's black with a sharp "chine" (similar to the SR-71 and F-22) at the perimeter of the nose as well as to the engine housings to give it some of that angular stealthy feeling.  (OK, I don't really know if these same stealth contours would apply in space, but this is sci-fi/fantasy, but I think it evokes the right feeling.)  The chine also gives some nice angles and lines to the otherwise boring cylindrical engines.  I also got rid of the exposed engine detail from the Vipers in both series.  The vertical tail fin isn't very stealthy, but it looks really stupid without it.  Besides, I figure Colonial technology has figured out a solution to make vertical fins stealthy to detection systems.  (I know just how I'd do it, but its too complicate to explain here.)  ;)

- The blue striping was just for fun.  Of course the Vipers from the TV series had orange/red stripes, which were supposed to signify the ships as being part of the Colonial fleet, but naturally, I had other ideas.  There was a black and blue Viper that made a brief cameo in the re-imagined series, and it looked great, so I went with that paint scheme.  Besides, bright red isn't too stealthy looking.  Also, I always thought it would be cool if Red squadron had red stripes, blue squadron had blue stripes, etc.  But for the expense and complexity of filming, they might well have done this in the original series.        

- I added exterior-mounted missiles because this area of the ship just needed a little extra something, and "greeblies" from the original series just wasn't cutting it for me.  Besides, fighters should have some missiles. 
- I added a couple of extra tail fins.  This gives the Mk 10 a clear recognizable signature feature, as a point of departure from the other designs, and it harkens to the aggressive-looking tail fins of most modern fighters (F-18, F-22, F-35, etc.)    

- Blending the wing into the nose.  When I pulled the blasters off of the wings, I was able to roll the wing right over, and blend it into the nose, in a way that was at least vaguely reminiscent of the Mk 7.   

- Extras.  If I was going to all the trouble to design my idea of "the ultimate Viper," I figured I might as well give it an FTL drive and some tail guns!  So say we all! 

So there it is.  In my own re-imagining of the BSG tale, the Galactica finally made it to modern day Earth, (maybe around 1980, but let's not mention Galactica 1980 again, OK?)  Then, the first thing they did was to go and start re-building the fleet to help defend poor little defenseless Earth.  Eventually, they built some of these sweet Mk 10 Vipers.  They might be up there, even now, defending Earth from the Cylon tyranny, . . . somewhere beyond the heavens . . .          
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coyote-viper's avatar
Hunter2045's avatar
BigTallDude's avatar
Looks gorgeous. As to the tail-fin/stealthiness thing, since it's just there for atmospheric manoeuverability it probably doesn't need to have anything important in it, so if it was just made from DRADIS-transparent materials it wouldn't really matter.