On the other hand, the test pilots, being X-Wing veterans, loved it. Its speed, rapid acceleration, the ease of handling and computer assisted nav-droid were exceptional. But soon teething problems began. First with the new engines and then with smaller armament capacity began to appear. These delays and the loss of one of the prototypes began to severely hamper the project, which would culminate in the loss of the contract. The fleet admirals and leaders of the Alliance began to see that it would be more economical to go with a much smaller and easier to construct fighter, so the RZ-1 A-Wing won the competition.
But Torvin Drake's dream would not disappear into the annals of “What if”. The Javelin would come back from the ashes and play a pivotal role in saving the future New Republic when…….. oh but wait, that's another story.
The Making of the Javelin
I had originally started out with the idea of making my favorite fighter of all time, the Ranger Interceptor from the Galaxy Rangers animation series. But I couldn't find a kit except a paper one online. But after rummaging through my model collection I came across the X-Wing I never built. I realized that the fuselage was almost identical the the Ranger Interceptor but I could never pass it off as anything else but a beefed up X-Wing . So I figured why not make a new fighter based on the T-65.
I started by modifying the nose cone to be more wedge shaped. I cut R2-D2, since the Javelin didn't require an astromech droid, and glued in a plug made from the back half of one of the Ion-Canons. Next I glued the fuselage together, I removed the bottom half the where the cargo compartment is located and sealed it with sheet styrene. I also did the same with the end-cap/aft sections of the X-Wing. Using sheet styrene I also walled up the large gaps where the wings mechanism would be, filled the gaps around the edges with contour putty and sanded it smooth.
Next came the engines. I glued two side-by-side pieces of Strip Styrene Rectang Tube .250x375. Then cut one end at a rough 45' angle for the intakes and sanded that too. Next I cut small squares of styrene and glued them at an angle inside the intakes. On top of the engines, I placed a piece a thin wedge shaped styrene to act as a stabilizer. The engine bells were a bit tricky and came from a really strange place. I'm diabetic and use an insulin pump so they came from my infusion set or what I like to call my “IV” line. The bells cover the needle while it's in storage and are normally thrown away. I collected six of these, placed them on the ends and glued them with a epoxy glue. After drying, I filled the spaces with putty and smoothed it out. For the smaller intakes, I used the engine intakes of a Northrop F-5A Freedom fighter, which I glued to the front of the engine mounts. To mount the engines I simply cut a smaller piece of Rectang Tubing in half-length wise about half an inch long. Then I glued them to the fuselage and filled in the ends with putty. I held off gluing them to the fuselage was first painted.
The wings were a bit tricky. I cut six triangular pieces of styrene to create the top and bottom of each wing with a winglet on each end. To give the wings a thickness, I glued the top and bottom halves about 2mm apart at the wing root and glued the narrow ends together. These created a small overlap at the bottom half of the wing that I used to glue the winglet on too. After the glue dried I added putty to the leading edge to fill the gap and sanded it smooth. I then applied small square pieces of styrene to ad texture to the wing surface.
Arming the Javelin
Then came the weapons system. I wanted to give the Javelin more firepower but in a smaller package. So I raided my parts box again and found two turrets to a 1/72 scale B-29 form Airfix. These were mounted on the side of the cockpit. Then I took two of the Ion-Cannons form the X-Wing and cut the small back portion off the main housing and shortened the barrel and place them under the wings.
Since the Javelin was a prototype I wasn't going to attempt to weather it. I chose a shark theme. After applying a primer, I pained the underside flat white and the upper half a light navy gray. Sort of like a Great White shark. After drying and apply a coat of semi-gloss, I started on the decals. Found these WWII black and yellow checkerboard decals and thought of Biggs Darklighter, Lukes old friend and wingman in the first movie. I imagined that the test pilot was a relative of his and was honoring him by having his relative's colors on his ship.
I used the base to the display only. I then cut out a piece of sheet styrene to match the bottom of the base and glued it on in order to seal it. I then took a wire hanger and cut off the long bottom half and cut that in half and bent it so that each end of the wires would go into the exhaust bells of the engines. Then I simply pained it flat black.
Although I couldn't make an exact copy of the Ranger Interceptor, I think Luck Skywalker would have wet his flight suit just thinking about jumping into the Javelin. It was a lot of fun and really challenging. It is by far the most scratch building I've done.
Image: Left side
Image: Left/front view, low
Image: Top view