Star Wars MOCcers have this great tradition of building so-called “Uglies”. In-universe, these are ships cobbled together by scavengers and pirates from a variety of parts salvaged from other ships. For MOCcers, it’s mainly an excuse to do something fresh, something fun and something whimsical. The results are often so ludicrous, they’re good. They definitely draw a chuckle from you, but it’s hard to see them as a new and plausible ship instead of just some sets thrown together. But along came .Tromas’ Draygon fighter above. It obviously fits the objective description of the Uglies, with parts from the X-, Y- and B-wing. But it doesn’t feel like most other Uglies. This ship is perfectly believable, and despite having recognizable subcomponents, it has its own identity. Someone who isn’t familiar with the Star Wars galaxy would never guess this is an amalgamate of other ships.
The key is that, while most Uglies are just a copy-paste job of various LEGO sets, the concepts of the other ships are used, instead of their literal components. Those concepts were then translated into new shapes to come together into a coherent whole. The B-wing’s wing is quite thin for example, but that wouldn’t match at all with the bulky cockpit of the Y-wing. So here it was beautifully beefed up and shortened, to form an almost chibi B-wing. Matching components with each other is the key to creating a coherent ship. But that doesn’t give the ship a new identity. This creation is particularly impressive to me, because it started from a concept and adapted all of the parts to it, so that every bit gets this new edge. That concept is that of a strong ship, with a substantial shape, rounded corners, no unnecessary frivolities exposed and a simple color scheme. And then you can use all of those familiar components, change them so that they correspond to the idea of the new ship, and you’ll end up with a new ship, and not a jumble of other ships. The result is far from Ugly or awkward, it’s gorgeous. And the way it is conceived might be a great starting point for anyone wanting to design a ship of his own. So I suggest you learn all about the art of throwing together by taking a closer look at .Tromas’ YB-81 Long Range Fighter-Bomber!