Starship Modeler's 1998 Starfury Contest

The One Who Was      Contest Winner

By Laura M. Appelbaum

In the Earth year 1260, Valen, the Minbari Not of Minbari, the greatest prophet and war leader that planet has ever known, appeared from out of nowhere. He presented to the Minbari a vast, technologically advanced space station six miles long and capable of interstellar flight. Aboard this base was a sizeable array of extremely ugly (but well hung) one-person fighter ships Valen called "Starfuries."

Although they needed these aesthetically displeasing vessels, the Minbari insisted upon decorating them according to Warrior Caste traditions before they would consent to fly them. The Starfury depicted here is Valen's own craft, seen after such alteration. The sacred Triluminary is emblazoned upon the top wing, its pure, bright light cutting through the gloom of space. It was in this Starfury that Entil'Zha Valen led the Anla'shok to victory against the Forces of Darkness, creating a peace that lasted a thousand years.

This model was constructed, modified and entirely hand-painted by Laura Marlene Appelbaum of Silver Spring, Maryland. The paints used were Model Master Enamels (the blue is GM Engine Blue and is a metallic turquoise). Separate LEDs were fitted inside the model to light not only the cockpit, but each and every one of the thrusters and engines (16 in all). Wiring was run down the legs of the stand and into the base, where individual three-way toggle switches allow each set of thrusters to be lit in sequence. The original model's gun barrels were drilled out for greater accuracy.

LMA says "Look carefully -- the EA logo is still on the Fury. As I see it, the Minbari don't know what the hell it is, but the shape is all over Babylon 4, so they figure it must be of SOME mystical importance. So while they DO give it their own traditional touch when they paint it up for Valen, they also are careful to leave the insignia in place. Yes, I DO lay awake at night thinking about these things ...."

Valen's Fighter by Laura M. Appelbaum

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