The TIE Defender was never shown in the movies, though some
sources claim that the ship took a hand in the Battle of Endor in The Return
of the Jedi. I doubt it. The TIE Defender is, according to various EU
sources, the most powerful of the TIE Fighters. It has shields, a hyperdrive,
two ION cannons, four laser cannons, and a payload of warheads. It's more powerful than the
B-Wing, more shielded than the X-Wing, and as fast as the TIE Intercepter or the A-Wing. It can beat any
Rebel ship. It is the ULTIMATE starfighter.
If they had ACTUALLY been at the Battle of Endor... then the Rebels wouldn't
have won. This ship is featured in several books and in video games such
as X-Wing Alliance.
Okay, get ready for a story. A guy in my forums named Xerxes Fett (Scott
McMillan) had been criticizing my customs for some time. One of my worst
customs that he criticized was my TIE Defender. So I decided to re-make
it... and put a lot more time into it than I had planned.
As you can see, my original LEGO TIE Defender didn't turn out very well. In
fact, it stunk. It was just flat-out awful. It was extremely fragile and I was forced to
disassemble my TIE Interceptor to make it. I later remedied that mistake and
built my Interceptor back. Then I tore it up again, and built a new TIE
Defender (below). And later, just to be ironic, I tore that up and built a
TIE Interceptor out of it too. Heheh...
And here is the second version. Ignore the little 2x2 black bricks under the
wings. They're there for support. When I started building this model, I was
determined to make it as detailed as possible. See the laser cannons? Well,
I thought they were really cool and detailed, but Xerxes said they were too
big. And, after going back and looking at another picture of the ship, I
guess I agree with him. Note
that I did use Xerxes Fett's instructions to build the central part of the
ship that all of the wings are attached to. All of the rest of the ship is
original. On the image of the rear end of the Defender, you can just barely see the red poking through
a crack in the side. This is because I only had a limited number of the Technic pieces needed to replicate Xerxes Fett's method of making the
central part of the TIE Defender. The third image shows a technician guy
working on the engine-stuff that can be accessed by removing a panel from
the bottom of the ship. The reason I included this feature is because, on
the set reviews on his website, Xerxes liked to fuss about the hidden
storage compartments that LEGO puts on many of their official sets, because
there should be engines there, not just empty space. So I put one on my
model. ... On the whole, this second edition was still way too fragile,
since Xerxes's design (though his is actually a very smart design; don't get
me wrong) could barely support my thicker and heavier wings. And, according
to Xerxes, the wings weren't big enough. So it was back to the old drawing
board to make the...
The first thing you might notice is that the laser cannons
on the cockpit pod have been replaced with red cones. This is because,
according to the schematics in the Star Wars Essential Guide to Vehicles and
Vessels (EGVV), what are laser cannons on a standard TIE Fighter are
actually missile launchers on the Defender. Speaking of which...
Here are the schematics (from the EGVV), along with a rendered image of the
ship (since it wasn't in any of the movies). The ship has been drawn and
depicted and rendered in a variety of ways, some of which are slightly
different-looking than others. So some LEGO TIE Defenders might look
different than others as well, depending on what image the designer was
basing his model off of. There really is no "official" look for the ship,
since it, well, isn't official.
A side view of the ship. You'll notice that the laser cannons are smaller
and positioned more correctly now. The wings are bigger and cover more of
the ship as well. Yes, I left the cone booster on the back that Xerxes
doesn't like. I think it really improves the overall look of the ship, and I
know I've seen it on a TIE Defender image somewhere out there. I put a red
glow on the back of it even though it isn't supposed to be an engine. So
yeah, you could say I just added my own touches... Hmm... now that I look at
it again, maybe the ship's "neck" should be shorter. But there's no way I'm
going back and changing it again...
A rear view of the TIE Defender. The actual engines of the ship are the
three small red dots. TIE stands for Twin Ion Engines, and standard TIE
Fighters only have two of them... so I guess on this ship it actually stands
for Triple Ion Engines. You're probably wondering why my pilot has dark red
highlights on his suit. That's because he's the commander of the Crimson
Death Squadron, of course! Okay, so I made that up. I actually just didn't
have any solid black TIE pilot minifigs left built. Heh.
To prove that I actually did make my own support system this time instead of
just using Xerxes's again, here is a shot of it. My old central design could
barely support my old wings. Well, they couldn't support my new ones at ALL!
So I had to start all over. I had to tear apart and re-make it about three
more times to get it right. This time all of the wings have two
Technic plus-shaped rods supporting them. this makes the ship much sturdier.
I tried using only one Technic rod per wing, but then they wobbled all
around. The wing supports should actually be a bit thinner than they are I
guess, but this is the best I could do without making the ship really flimsy
and fragile. It took a bit of work to get the Technic stuff all completely
covered up too. I hope you like it.
Here is the Defender with the cockpit hatch opened up. As you can see, both
the hatch and the cockpit pod are rounder than the standard LEGO designs,
and they also don't have a dappled color pattern. The light grey vents on
either side of the cockpit represent the "shield generators" hinted at in
the EGVV schematics, which can be seen above.
This is not a good position from which to view the TIE Defender, especially
if you're flying some wimpy Rebel A-Wing. You're about to die, little
fighter. You'll note the black gun-looking things under the middle part of
each wing. They're the "targeting sensors" also mentioned in the EGVV
This is an interesting shot because you can see the way I made the wings, by
putting the black parts on top of the grey so that there is a thin grey rim
around the edge of the wings, just like there is supposed to be on all TIE
starfighters. I came up with the idea when I was building my second edition
of my TIE Defender, but I thought it would take too long (and use too many
parts) to make every wing using that method. However, after seeing it used
to great effect by another LEGO builder (dang; every time you think you're
the first one to think of something...), I decided to go ahead and do it.
It's not perfect, but...
Here are two images of the cockpit pod's interior. The controls wrap around the pilot for a cramped yet comfortable feel.
Xerxes Fett said I should have put a control stick inside my old model.
Well, I didn't want the ship to look his, so I put this fat grey thing there
instead. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a control panel or a very large
joystick-type thing, but whatever.
A few more basic shots of the Defender. Not much new to see here that the
other images didn't show, but you might want to look at these anyway.
TIE pilot: "GAH! What in the...?!"