StarTalon Fighter/Walker


My StarTalon Fighter/Walker was built as an entry in the B-Wing Alternate model contest at a Star Wars LEGO website in March of 2006. There were a ton of entries (I forget how many), but I managed to make it in the top five winners.


Built by talented aerospace engineers working for the New Republic, the StarTalon Fighter-Walker is one of the most advanced and versatile vehicles currently in existence. It is extremely useful for ground battle situations because it can both fly and walk, thus making walkers that must be carried by a transport vehicle outdated. Here it is in fighter mode.


And of course, here it is in walker mode. This is the first set-alternate that I've ever tried to make. It was hard to bring myself to tear up by B-Wing, one of my favorite sets in years, but I did it.


It was actually rather fun working with a limited part selection for once. At first I didn't think the legs were going to be sturdy at all, but they actually are. It can even stand in a variety of poses.


The belly. I thought the grille plates made great "air intakes" so I was determined to use them as such, even if it meant leaving a few gaps around the edges. As you can see, the main part of the ship just rotates up through the belly, like so...


... and into fighter mode.


Of course, this is hard to accomplish if you think of this as a real vehicle, but I thought of that too. Here's my excuse: the body leans back, using its powerful engines to lift off the ground.


The red slit on the back is the "powerful engine" by the way.


Here it is again. I love slit-shaped engines. The engines on the end of each "claw" are actually used mostly for maneuvering.


Liftoff!


Here's what it looks like just after takeoff, when the legs are rotating up.


Fighter mode, coming at you. Armed with four powerful laser cannons and two smaller cannons on the front, the agile StarTalon is a great anti-fighter fighter. Unfortunately it has no missiles.


As usual, this is never the best position from which to view a starfighter.


From the side. The middle piece actually looks a little like a shark, so I thought about calling it something like StarShark or something. But nah, Talon sounds cooler.


You can position the wings into some odd poses. Here's one now. I can imagine the fighters hanging like this in racks on the ceiling of a hanger.


Another bizarre position. I was just playing around. I thought about saying it could skim along the water like this, but that might be taking the versatility a bit too far.


The rear again. I tried to make this fighter/walker as unique as possible. It's amazing what people can come up with using only a single set, isn't it? (and no, I'm not just talking about my own creation)


Folded up. Another possible landing position. It looks like a dead spider if you fold up the legs like this in walker mode and turn it over.


The only thing you see in these images that was not included in the B-Wing set is the head and helmet of the pilot. Yet even this was enough to get me in trouble with the people running the contest, who apparently took it all way too seriously. When the leader of the contest mentioned that he planned to disqualify all entries with a non-standard minifig at the last minute without warning, I was forced to take these very last-minute pictures with the original pilot: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=176215 Needless to say, I was more than a little pissed. In fact, that was the last contest I entered there.


Walker mode again. Intimidating, isn't it? From a minifig point of view anyway.


I'm runnning out of things to say.


Yes, it can stand on just three legs! This is useful if it wants to fire its main laser cannons while in walker mode.


Aiming at you. In order for the "head" to stay put in walker mode instead of sagging down, an additional support plate has to be added under the bottom. But it's easily removable.


The air intakes. The yellow cones around the edges are micro-thrusters used for ensuring a soft landing and for helping the vehicle take off again.


Splayed out. Maybe it got stepped on by an AT-AT or something.