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2003 Star Wars 'Uglies' Challenge

The Star Wars 'Uglies' challenge arose from discussions on the Discussion Forums. The rules, as presented by the elected judge, Alfred Wong, were simple. Since by definition, Star Wars uglies are cobbled together from salvaged starfighter parts, at least 50% of the model must be made of recognizable Star Wars ship parts. The scale of the parts must be close to matching; so while you can use the 1/42 scale ERTL X-Wing parts with other 1/48ish scale parts, no 1/72 scale parts used with 1/48 parts and so forth. Finally, only logical Star Wars designs; so no federation warp nacelles or wacky out-in-left-field types of kitbashes.

The results of the challenge are provided below.


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Image: Front view.

Image: Rear view showing the stripped and customised X-Wing drive units. You can also clearly make out the TIE collector panels which are used for basic flight systems, life support etc.

Image: Remnants of the colour scheme of an X-Wing from Red squadron can just be made out under the welded-on patches.

Image: Upgraded and augmented shields from two X-Wings made this one heck of a tough little ship, able to withstand a lot of pounding.

Image: Watercolour painting of the lady herself.

Bodgerite UG-L1 'Composite' Fighter by Paul Mather

Not far from the Endor system lies the Scarappus-Hepe System. Scarappus IV is home to a race of tinkerers known as the Bodgerites. With the fall of the Empire and the resultant spread of lawlessness in outlying regions the Bodgerite world came under attacks from pirate raiders. In particular a Hutt named Maggra moved into the sector and attempted to bring the Bodgerite world under his rule.

Seeking a means to defend their home world the Bodgerites plundered the debris fields around Endor salvaging what they could. From the assorted remains the Bodgerites used their amazing skills at recycling and mending things to assemble a fleet of ships. Each ship was unique and each ship was a miracle of invention and salvage

The Ship

One of the most famous fighters of the Bodgerite Defence Force was UG-L1 piloted by Trinia Adaire. This ship, comprising parts from salvaged X-Wings and imperial fighters was the most prolific ship of what became known as the Raider Wars. UG-L1 survived the war intact and she, and Trinia Adaire, were heralded as heroes having successfully shot down 15 enemy vessels.

The UG-L1 was powered by an X-Wing reactor tied to two X-Wing drive units. The faulty hyperdrive was stripped out of the fuselage to provide extra power. The wing surfaces were built from scrap and two long range lasers were fitted, one on each wing. This resulted in a much lower demand on the reactor. The surplus energy was diverted to twin shield generators making the UG-L1 able to stay in a fire fight for an extended duration. The fuselage was shortened and a single torpedo launcher installed beneath the pilot.

Solar gather panels salvaged from Imperial fighters provide life support and basic power for avionics and control systems.

The Model

This is my attempt to make a model of the UG-L1, I collected all available source data and the Bodgerites were kind enough to provide a holoprojection of the famous fighter. I have recreated the cockpit as used at the time of Trinia Adaire. I have placed a pilot in her cockpit dressed in her familiar sky blue flight suit.

Using parts from a 1/72nd scale X-Wing model, plasticard and a few bits and bobs from the spares box The UG-L1 started to take shape. The X-wing drive units were heavily modified by the Bodgerites and all Hyperspace components were removed.

After some discussion on Starshipmodeler about the physiology of the Bodgerites, Alfred Wong suggested I ought to add.. well...augment... kind of..enhance...the ummmm... boob region. So just for Alfred Trinia now has additional...... ballast.

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Image: Right/rear view

Image: Top/rear view

Grey Death by Scott Murphy

This Ugly was designated "Grey Death" by the Imperials that survived an encounter with her. It was owned and built by a former A-wing pilot named Darienne Swann who resigned her commision some time after the battle of Endor. Swann was a survivor of Alderaan and joined the rebellion out of a need for vengence. An expert pilot already she became one of the first A-wing pilots and the blistering fast craft suited her style to a 'T'. After Endor she became disillusioned by the shift in focus the Rebellion went through, no longer attacking Imperial forces and embarking on good will tours to sway more systems to their cause. Her need for vengence led her resign and fight Imperials her way.

She built this vessel for speed and firepower, scavaging parts from junk dealers across the galaxy. With an Interceptor's solar panels providing power to its 4 blasters and power to a shield generator, Swann was able to install a dedicated reactor to power the engines. This made for the speeds she was accustomed to flying an A-wing. It also boasted 2 ion blasters and an extra concussion missle launcher. However the ship was terribly difficult to manuver.

All-in-all a deadly package as Imperial convoys were soon to find out as Swann fought her battle her way. Attacking convoys and outposts with hit-and-fade tactics, Grey Death was a concern for Imperial loyalists for years. About the time of Grand Admiral Thrawn's bid for power, reports of Grey Death ceased. Was she destroyed or did Swann give up her need for vengeance and retire? That remains a mystery.

An old ERTL snap kit and the foils fron an Action Fleet inteceptor provide the parts as they are both approximatly in 1/60 scale.

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Image: Front view

Image: Rear view

Image: Underneath

Image: Climbing

Image: Starboard side

Image: Top view

Ugly by Dennis Dilmore

My name is Sinned. Everyone says that I'm the unluckiest man alive. But, I'm still alive!

Once, I was an engineering student, studying at the Technological University on Ptimaas. Then Grand Admiral Thrawn returned, and I was conscripted into the Imperial Navy as a T.I.E. pilot. But hey, I lasted longer than Thrawn did!

Then, I got shot down. Okay, my fighter was shot up and I was left behind when the Merciless jumped system. Of course, the New Republic didn't let her get far. She was destroyed a few hours later. But I had no way of knowing that. I was tumbling out of control in a crippled fighter, no one to call for help, in an uncharted system in the Unknown Regions and my life support was almost dead.

But, just because the system was uncharted, didn't mean no one knew about it, as I came to find out. Smugglers had set up operations on the fourth planet of the system. One of their freighters detected my fighter's energy signature on their inbound run and swung by to check it out. Always looking for spare parts, they brought my fighter aboard.

Of course, they thought I was already dead. But you don't survive conscription into the Imperial Service if you're not tough. I managed to make a deal with them. They let me fix up my shot up T.I.E. and work for them, they don't space me.

Unlucky, right. That planet served as a junk yard by Koensayr before being abandoned during the Rebellion. Of course, it had been picked bare of all the Y-wing components , I was still able to cobble together enough parts to build a new engine, add a hyper drive and shield generators, upgrade the power couplings and augment the weapons. I couldn't find any strike foils or lifting surfaces to replace the solar panels, so I had to make do with the one I had left. Putting all that together in one package wasn't easy, or very practical, but I did it. After all I started out as an engineering student.

Not sure what to call my re-built fighter, other than Ugly.

Okay, stating the obvious, I used ERTL's T.I.E. fighter for this little beastie. I scrounged my parts bin and pulled out a few goodies to slap on her. The long fuselage started life as a jet fighter, don't remember what type. The canon looking thing underneath started out as a gun from 12” figures. I cut the cockpit off the fighter, just behind were the seat was, cut off everything, filled in the gaps. Gutted the electronics from the gun and glued it under the fuselage. The T.I.E. ball went together pretty much OOTB, I just left out the “glass” and back hatch. Then I slapped it onto the front of the fuselage, were the cockpit was. Next I split a solar panel in two, diagonally. I stuck them were it made the most sense. I added brass and aluminum tubing to the spaces were the solar panels would have been, and some coming out of the T.I.E. itself.

To give it final touch of ugliness, I painted it red, yellow, blue and black. That is Ugly!

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Image: Side view

Image: Rear view

Ugly by Erik Wantland

This is my first attempt at a kit bash. I limited myself to only using the Interceptor and AT-ST snap kits. Due to the AT-ST cockpit this would most likely only work as a low altitude fighter. But hey, waste not - want not.

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Image: Top view

Image: Underneath

Image: Right/rear

Image: Top/rear

Image: Underneath, again

Starfighter by Brent Richter

Chief Engineer's Report

To: Admiral Ackbar

From: Chief Starfighter Engineer, Pinnacle Base

Purpose: Initial Evaluation of starfighter developed at Opfeb III Base (high level, semi-formal report)

Overview: A new type of starfighter ( if one can really classify it as such) was recently delivered here to Pinnacle Base from the base on Opfeb III, where it was designed and constructed. An engineering evaluation/assessment of this fighter was ordered by your office. The engineering evaluation/assessment is underway and a detailed, formal report will be delivered to your office shortly after completion. It is my understanding this report will aid in the deciding if full production of this type of fighter will be made (rumor has it that twenty ships would initially be built).

Background Information (compiled from various reports that you may have already been briefed on): This starfighter (no formal designation established yet) was designed by one of our fighter pilots (name omitted for security purposes) assigned to the Opfeb III base. The pilot was recovering from injuries sustained in an engagement with Imperial forces. The pilot noticed some battle damaged fighter craft, some awaiting parts for repairs and others damaged beyond repair, that had been set aside by the Engineering/Maintenance personnel at the base. A short time later, the pilot approached the Engineering/Maintenance team with holograms for an 'unusual' starfighter design (most thought it was ridiculous). The design was a unique combination of components from other existing fighter craft - most obvious were Y-wing and B-wing components. Computer modeling and simulation were performed to determine the feasibility of the design. Construction of the fighter began after the computer analysis successfully confirmed the feasibility and practicality of the design. Post construction flight testing was uneventful and performance was better than expected. Once final testing and evaluation were successfully completed, the ship was assigned to combat missions and performed exceptionally well.

Apparently, the Opfeb III installation commander had doubts regarding the long term performance of a fighter pieced together with 'spare parts' and decided not to inform his superiors of the ship's existence. The 'higher ups' eventually learned about this ship from two sources: supply ship crews that made runs to the Opfeb III base and intelligence obtained by Imperial communications surveillance. Shortly after existence of the ship was revealed, it's designer, design spec holos, and the ship were delivered to Pinnacle Base. Interviews were conducted with personnel on Opfeb III that were involved with any aspect of the ship (design, construction, testing, piloting, maintenance, etc.).

Construction: In-depth details will be provided in the formal report - high level details follow. As mentioned above, the most obvious components used for this starfighter are Y-wing and B-wing parts. The forward cockpit module from a Y-wing was utilized as well as the central spar/frame. The cross wing/struts were removed, as well as the Y-wing sub-light engines, from the central spar/frame. The central spar/frame was shortened, by removal of the 'neck' section that contains the droid socket, and attached to the cockpit module. The stock power generator, hyper drive, and shield generators were removed. A modified B-wing sub-light engine assembly was installed at the rear of the Y-wing central spar/frame. New (ie; not as old as stock) power generator, hyper drive, and shield generator systems were installed in the space between the sub-light engine and the cockpit module. Two B-wing s-foil assemblies were connected to the central spar/frame in approximately the same locations where the cross wing/struts were. The sensor arrays located at the base of each airfoil were redundant to the sensor array located in the cockpit module and were removed. The Primary airfoils were shortened and re-attached to the s-foil assembly. Physical landing is handled by a repulsor system (smaller and lighter than landing gear strut assemblies).

Performance: At sub-light, this starfighter almost matches the maneuverability and speed of an X-wing fighter. Remarkable considering it's origins. Hyperspace performance is average. The real claim to fame for this ship is it's offensive capabilities. It has almost twice the torpedoes of a B-wing and twice the firepower. Further evaluation is in progress. More details in the formal report.

Other Comments:

  • - No additional training of ground crew/maintenance personnel will be required since most are already familiar with the components used on this new ship.
  • - I had read reports that stated this ship had incapacitated capital ships, and in a couple of incidents inflicting severe damage. I thought these were exaggerations at first, but now realize that by firing a combination of the ion cannons, laser cannons, and torpedoes so that they all hit the target at approximately the same time would be lethal. Sounds like what we need against those World Devastators.

The Chief

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Image: Above

Image: Below

Striker/Gatherer by Brent Richter

The design for this ship was originally proposed by the Chief Engineer and his senior engineers aboard Home One. This design was proposed after it was determined that it was impractical to install new intel gathering hardware aboard existing fighter craft. The intel equipment required a full time operator when in operation, thus requiring installation in a two person fighter. At the time, no existing two person fighter in the Rebel Alliance inventory was suitable for the required modifications. Extensive computer modeling was used to validate the proposed ship design. The intelligence people were not enthusiastic about the physical appearance of the design, but did agree it would suit their purposes. Two battle damaged B-wings, that were awaiting parts for repairs, were used for the construction of the prototype. The torpedo launching mechanisms were removed and the intel hardware was installed in their place. The shielding, and 'chin-blasters' were enhanced. The cockpit rotating gyro-stabilization systems were also enhanced so that both cockpit pods would be able to rotate together or independently. Once testing and evaluation of the prototype was successfully completed, five more ships were ordered to be built.

The prototype was sent on six short-term intelligence gathering missions before being recalled for a configuration change. The prototype was 'modified' from the originally intended 'intel' configuration to a 'heavy assault' configuration for further testing and evaluation. The prototype was modified to test possible combat applications for the design against capital ships and fortified planetary targets. The 'heavy assault' prototype had the intel hardware removed and the torpedo launching mechanisms reinstalled - thus increasing the number of torpedoes carried verses that of a B-wing by 50%. However, there was no external visible difference between the 'intel' and 'heavy assault' versions. Two pilots were required for the 'heavy assault' prototype - one to fly the ship and the other to function as a weapons/targeting and ECM officer. Redundant functionality was incorporated into both cockpit pods to allow the pilots to switch jobs if desired. The poor maneuverability of the prototype in planetary atmosphere was rectified by the addition of four 'rudders' at the rear of each cockpit pod.

Upon successful completion of testing and evaluation of the 'heavy assault' prototype, orders were issued for the construction of 30 ships of this type. The 'heavy assault' prototype (pictured) had it's prototype status removed and was integrated into 1st tactical squadron aboard Home One and was utilized in several hit-and-run missions against planetary and space based targets.

No formal designation has been established for either version of the ship; but informal names exist: “Striker” for the 'heavy assault' version and “Gatherer” for the 'intel' version. When asked about his inspiration for the initial design, the Chief replied, “You ever hear about those Twin Pod Cloud Cars ...?”

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Image: Starboard side

Image: Underneath

Image: Rear view

X-ceptor Ugly by Jason Smith

Scale: Approximately 1/72

The Empire drove many kinds of people to become pirates. Among them were the occasional engineer or designer. The 'Asylum Raiders' were one of the lucky pirate groups to take in such an engineer/designer. When it came to piecing together an Ugly from the heaps pirate’s scavenged wrecks, he was almost booted out airlock for taking twice as long as the other mechanics. But then he unveiled his creation. Suddenly the leader of the pirate’s had found himself a new fighter. Apparently this design has become quite popular, as this ship has been stolen and recovered 7 times. In order to create more of these unique fighters, plunder bonuses are the bounty for any of the pirate’s star jockeys that can blow out an Interceptors cockpit and leave the wings, more or less, intact.

The Ugly sports six laser cannons; four from the Interceptors, and two from the X-wing. A third X-wing cannon, converted to and ion cannon, is slung beneath the cockpit. This fighter boasts a personal trophy from one of the leader’s kills, a solar panel from one of the Empire’s elite 181st squadron.

I designed this ship back in September, but due to waiting on the kits I needed to build it, I actually didn't start cutting on it until 12/26/03. The kit was created from the Ertl snap X-wing and Interceptor kit. All of the added detail was from bits of styrene. The entire kit was painted with Tamiya and Testors paints and weathered using a variety of washes and pastels.

Image: Top/right view

Image: Rear view

Jedi X-Tie by Chuck22689

Built during the last few years of the Vong invasion by a team of Jedi at the secret maw base, this unique vehicle blends new and old technology. Working with the remaining parts from a decimated star fighter wing, the builder decided to use proven technology. Unfortunately during the salvage effort the Vong returned to finish off the remains of the fleet, leaving the builder with only two Xwings and a single hulled TIE fighter. Taking the solar wing arrays off the now defunct tie fighter and building them into the X-wing's hull he was able keep the X-wing's shields while also incorporating the TIE's maneuvering ability. For speed and power the builder was able to salvage 4 working engines from the X-wings, which were incorporated into the solar wing arrays to provide power and propulsion. The real surprise in this little ship was the additional defenses incorporated using bioengineering - the builder was able to incorporate Vong dovial bassals into the ship. For the weapons, the builder used two laser cannons from the x-wing. A third cannon was modified by a Wookie technician to fire solid rounds which can elude the defenses of most Vong ships. The torpedo launcher was removed to hold the new shells for the third cannon. The droid was patched together with new biotechnology which allows it to communicate with the dovial basal.

Image: Another look

Fast and Ugly by Clyde Jones

Lots of parts. Paranoid pilot. Need for Speed. What to do?

Four engines and a solid hull with virtual reality cockpit buried within the hull. Yup.

"Moves like lightning, steers like a duck" about covers this one - the 4 engines over propel the vehicle, while the 4 wings do nothing to stabilize the design. Maybe the builder should have left on the steering vanes at the back of the engines? But it's fast. VERY fast.... It just can't seem to hit anything.

I like "retro" designs, so this was a natural. heh

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