Spoiler – there are no Y-wings in The Force Awakens. We have a renewed X-wing, a spiritual successor to the Imperial Shuttle, new walkers way off in the distance, and a transporter with a definite B-wing style though. The guys over at From Bricks to Bothans were inspired by those vehicles and launched a contest to update others as well. Not surprisingly, the Y-wing was the most popular vehicle to be aged, so it was hard to stand out. But not for space_e, whose stunning creation above effortlessly won the first prize. He succeeded in completely re imagining the fighter while keeping it familiar. He made everything more condensed and smooth – the kind of smooth that still suits the OT aesthetic – with some weird pieces at weird angles, up to using road signs right behind the cockpit to maintain the beautiful flow of the ship. Combine that with extra armor plating, the toughest looking greebles I’ve ever seen and engines that only need a hint to be impressive, and you have a bomber that looks like it can deal out and deal with damage equally, unlike it’s more fragile-looking predecessor. That functional improvement makes it very easy to accept this design in the universe. A model like this blows my mind, and that’s even before we’ve talked about the fact it transforms! That’s when your jaw drops to the floor. It even makes more sense on this fighter than on the Vulture droid, because its heavy firepower make it an excellent mobile ground turret. This model is the perfect blend of nostalgia, futurism, practicality, awesomeness and beauty – it’s almost as if every single brick makes me wow. So you have every reason to check out space_e’s photostream, to witness (or build, since he has been so kind to provide the LDD file!) what the Sequel Trilogy’s Y-wing should look like.
When I say space_e’s creation won FBTB’s contest effortlessly, I’m talking only about the number of votes, because there were some other models that valiantly fought to become your image of what future vehicles should look like. goatman461‘s own Y-wing was one of those models. On his model, he’s been more generous with the greebles, calling back more to the style of the original. It emphasizes that not much has to change during a couple of decades, apart from the favorite colors apparently. That way, the changes he makes to the design really pop and get more meaning, so you automatically focus on those ‘anomalies’, in this case first and foremost the single, enormous engine. The great thing is that these changes that your attention is drawn to, turn out to make a lot of sense, so it helps you understand the model. That single engine, for example, obviously packs a lot more punch than the previous one, so you know this fighter is all about speed. You want to attack quickly and you want to disappear quickly. Therefore it’s important to protect your engine at any cost, but you don’t want extra weight from cannons. And then you see why the engine is able to move around the model: in order to stay out of the direction where the shots are coming from. This design isn’t just exotic and familiar to Star Wars at the same time (already a marvelous feat), but it makes a lot of sense, and the model makes for a fun discovery trip in an extremely interesting concept. goatman461 succeeded in making one of the very first model that makes me look at the greebles not with the “I wonder what special parts he put in” view, but with a desire to understand what they are all for. That ingenuity prevents the model from looking like a Y-wing with a missing piece and more like something special that you keep thinking about. So time to put on your engineering hard hat and study the model up close in the topic.
I hope this has wet your appetite for more makeovers of familiar faces. Check out this gallery of all of the entries in the contest!