by Ian Breheny
Temecula II, in the Borrego star cluster, is a water planet. The native sentients are amphibious crablike hive dwellers, nicknamed the "yabbies" by human explorers. The initial contact was calamitous; the human flagship was destroyed on entering orbit. Yabbies keep standing patrols of interceptors airborne, ready to boost into low orbit and confront any intruder.
Subsequent reports indicate that the interceptors sortie in flights of four. They bear few external markings, but are overpainted on their topsides with solid colors, one color to a flight. Yellow, vermilion and violet flights have been observed.
The interceptor's only known offensive weapon is a fission bomb triggered when the keel/ram nose contacts the target--the crews are prepared for kamikaze attack.
The model is 1/72 scale, and measures 225 mm (9 in) in length. It's a compete scratchbuild; the flat surfaces are sheet styrene, and the curved pieces were made with balsa forms, then cast in polyester resin. It's a variable geometry model--the wings are geared together and swing through about ten degrees. I've ripped the paint up pretty good: a few hypersonic reentries will do quite a number on the finish.