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Yet another LEGO TIE Fighter.

How far can this classic design be pushed? How many ways are there to build an eye sandwitched by hexagonal solar panels? Is there a perfect design already? 

This is where beauty of LEGO as form of modelling strikes with full power, as answers to these questions are: Very far, infinite ways, and no, there is no perfect design available and never will be.

 

In 2014 I have built this:

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It worked, and I think for 2014 and what was available back then, it was pretty good. It had obvious flaw though: no space for a minifigure, and it was also a little too small in scale. I was limited mostly by the fact there were no proper cockpit pieces, and my attempt with literally the only other one was... not spectacular, not to mention it needed painting with A LOT patience required.

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The new model takes advantage of this cockpit piece, which allowed me to push that original 2014 design further. I know, I am late to the party, years - literally - behind other designers of great TIE models, like Bricks Feeder or Rebel Builder, yet I hope I can bring something new into the T/F building scene.

Originally I thought I would just stretch the build here and there but no, heheh, no way. Literally the only unchanged parts are the eight quarter (or one-eighter?) dome pieces, which are to me still the only way to have smooth and roughly spherical design without holes all around. Unfortunately when we look at a closeup of a real movie-filming model of the T/F we see how far are we from true modelling but I say we're collectively inching towards it pretty nicely. 

I have said this plenty of times but original designers of TIE Fighters really did all they could to make them unbuildable properly, naturally unknowingly - who would think adult guys 30 years in the future would try to recreate the design using perhaps the weirdest medium available?. The T/F is just a sphere, two struts and two flat hexes. Except: 6-diameter central cokcpit piece would require a 9-diameter ball, minifig-scaled TIE would require an 8-diameter ball and don't even get me started on sources for TIEs dimensions. If you think that Illustrated Guide To Star Wars vehicles is helpful, well, not much. I dare to say this book did awfully lot of harm to LEGO Star Wars MOCing scene.

So is my TIE perfect? No, not yet. I promise though, I did all I could to make it as good as possible, with no compromises made. And this time it houses a minifig! 

The design is super sturdy to my standards, nicely swooshable - for a reason, but I will get to that later.

 

Naturally having a T/F built opens a way towards the Interceptor, which for me is among the best looking spaceship designs in any sci-fi. While the core design is similar, the ball has some differences, mostly to accomodate longer struts. This is because LEGO curiously didn't develop 2x9 plates and for once I was in a situation where I can't really replace 2x9 plate with anything without compromising structural integrity. Having that solved I went onto the wing design and OH GOD INTERNET WHAT HAVE YOU DONE. 

If anyone knows angle on the panels and can prove it, gets a free beer. With shipping.

Because the wings are angled in all dimensions, good luck guessing proper values from photos.

Because of the IGTSWV book, half of the models (and I don't even mean LEGO models) existing are wrong.

And then because of SW animated series, the other half of the models are also wrong...

...so my source of reference was this:

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Then after having all that done, I experienced another unexpected problem: The ship is top-heavy and won't stand straight. I added tiny legs on the bottom edges of wings which help a bit, and because the design is quite sturdy, the T/I requires no stand.

 

There you have it. Yet another T/F and T/I. I hope you like the designs and I hope I managed to introduce something new to the very competitive scene. Enjoy!

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...but wait, there is more!
I would not build these models if not a commission request from BrickVault:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrhb3SP2lZBgguLHIWWuHOQ

Originally it was meant to be just a few TIE models based on the 2014 design I had, just LDD files, but over time we developed a much more interesting designs and... instructions for each of them! The instructions are paid and please understand, it took weeks to develop them, error-proof, make the experience enjoyable and builds sturdy enough to be handled easily. Normally I do not make instructions, as I prefer to build with real bricks than to do electronic designs. The instructions are designed to have dozens of simple to follow steps with just few pieces per step, have submodels where needed, parts list for each step and a total bill of parts at the beginning. Additionally, in few places, there are notes to watch out for some particular details. I can fully understand now what LEGO designers go through and I can imagine amount of effort required for making instructions for larger and more complicated designs. I am pretty sure it took more time to design instructions for the recent UCS Millennium Falcon than to design the model itself.

 

Thanks for watching and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

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I bow all the way to the ground to this. Spectacular models. I usually try to depict my favourite aspects and comment on them (I don't even know why, perhaps trying to make my comment more valuable :D) but here I just love the models entirely! Oh and btw your photography is just as excellent as your design.

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Awesome job...both fighters look brilliant!

1 hour ago, Jerac said:

Any wish list for the next TIE variant?

Vader's tie advanced please!

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Are there any instructions for the new Tie Fighter and/or interceptor? How sturdy are they?

They're absolutely gorgeous. Some of the best i've ever seen in Lego form.

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52 minutes ago, Forresto said:

Are there any instructions for the new Tie Fighter and/or interceptor? How sturdy are they?

They're absolutely gorgeous. Some of the best i've ever seen in Lego form.

I generally do not make instructions. This roughly triples the amount of effort to make something and I prefer to use that time just for building.

That said... this case is special. There actually are instructions available, just not freely. These two are commissioned builds for BrickVault: https://www.brickvault.toys/collections/all

As such, they are much sturdier than my usual models. I'll just leave this here... :D
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Obviously you won't do it with the Interceptor due to its geometry, but they are both as sturdy as reasonably possible and perfectly swooshable. 

 

Thanks for appreciation!

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Really like that interceptor.

If you're gonna make another TIE... as suggested above, it would be nice to see what you would make of Vader's TIE.

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Other TIEs are in progress. I won't ruin the surprise by saying which ones will be first but your input is very valuable and will cause some... shifting on the list, perhaps! 

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Awesome snot on the "wing"panels. I just wish there was a way to create the light blueish grey outline besides using the hinge plates. I have been trying to make a sith fury (very similar) but I cannot seem to figure out a better option for the outline. 

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2 hours ago, Bender222 said:

Awesome snot on the "wing"panels. I just wish there was a way to create the light blueish grey outline besides using the hinge plates. I have been trying to make a sith fury (very similar) but I cannot seem to figure out a better option for the outline. 

Well, but there are plenty of ways? Hinged plates are just good because they nicely join pieces of panels at best possible points (at corners), which is great for durability. They are also looking reasonably well. What exactly do you have a problem with? I might help?

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Hey Jerac, I think you have done an amazing job with your TIE fighter and TIE interceptor, they both look absolutely great, they use very nice techniques, and it's good to hear it is very stable as well. At first I thought the price for the instructions ($16) is quite steep, but now that I'm reading more into it I think you did indeed put a lot of work into it to make it for the people, and you do deserve it. Especially reading your Star Destroyer debacle on reddit made me quite sympathetic.

However, one thing I really don't like is how the people at Brickvault handle your MOC. For example, on Rebrickable they've listed this text:

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You will not find a better Lego TIE fighter anywhere else. This is the most authentically detailed TIE fighter, modeled directly from the original trilogy movie models. This TIE (twin ion engine) Fighter features a perfect minifig scale design and perfectly shaped hull. Jerac has outdone himself this time around topping his previous iteration of this model with a more accurate and durable design that can also seat a fighter pilot. Download the instructions and build a whole fleet!

Also watching their youtube video on it is total sales crap. They want to sell the model too badly and try to trick people in buying the instructions by posting false information. They try to make all other TIE fighter MOCs look bad and say this is better than anything. They praise your model so much and try to force the viewers of their video to believe other MOCs are crap, why this one is perfect and objectively better, and such.

It looks like they don't even really care for the MOC itself, they just care to sell as much as instructions as possible to naive people and those who are new to the hobby. There is a lot of other TIE MOCs, and any of them could be better in someone else's opinion, and some may even be more accurate in some parts than your model. To me, it's a matter of personal preference which MOC is the best. And I think you share this opinion. You state you like the incarnations of other builders and that there is no perfect design. While I think your model is IMHO very good indeed, I don't think it's the best out there, mainly because of the scale. But I can understand some people prefer this, as this is better in other areas in what that one lacks.

I think people should decide for themselves which model they like best, and Brickvault should at least start with "I think that..../ in my opinion". It would be nice if you maybe could address this to Brickvault.

I do hope the people at Brickvault give you a fair cut though for their sales.

 

Note: I did first send this message to Jerac in private, and he was okay with me posting this here in the topic too. He replied positive to my request, agreed on points made, and will adress this with Brickvault. Thanks again Jerac!

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Your feedback is the most valuable kind: critical yet helpful, as it precisely points what is wrong and how can it be improved.

As such, it actually caused some stir at BrickVault, which is good, giving us a way to improve. We have talked about it and will do it better next time. 

Don't worry about my cut, it is fair and I am happy, enough to build many many more ships. 

 

Edited by Jerac

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I have bought the pieces and the instructions and cannot wait to build one of your Tie Fighters. :classic:

I was waiting to see what Lego would show us with their Tie Fighter in the Han Solo line up and while there's is alright for a commercial ship i'd rather spend more to get an aesthetically pleasing model. 

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