Fighter Escort Frame [Evan Black]
I would like to know if anyone would like to illustrate what I've come to call a "Fighter Escort Frame". This type of proto-vehicle consists of an engine with a hyperdrive, fuel tanks, a single laser turret, an R2 pilot droid and a rack-like structure where six y-wings can dock. It is designed to extend the range of these fighters during longer missions.
In my campaign, this is a rather rare and outdated design (hence its fit for Y-Wings rather than more "modern" fighters). However, it has seen moderate use with the Rebel Alliance as a cheap way to provide fighter escort for their 'ragtag fleet' of smaller vessels during long range or potentially dangerous missions.
I wish I could provide some references, but I don't think this has been conceptualized anywhere else before. The way I envision it, it has a large engine section to the rear (aft if you will) where the pilot droid and the defense turret are also located. Towards the front (fore), it has a sort of coat-rack like structure where the Y-Wings dock in rings of three around a slender central pylon. Although this would mean that one of the pilots is essentially flying "upside down", the weightlessness and three-dimensional nature of space negate this effect.
For some background info, the frame has three piloting modes. It is normally controlled by one of the Y-Wings docked to it (any one of the six) or slaved to the nav. computer of the craft it is escorting. Alternatively, during combat, the droid pilot can fly autonomously to take the frame away from harm, sometimes even performing a small hyperdrive jump, and then reuniting with the fighters at a predetermined rendezvous or flying back when the battle has ended. Often, though, these units end up either lost or destroyed, which is acceptable since they are of limited use and relatively inexpensive.
I would not presume to dictate the style that this illustration receives, but I would much rather see it as a clean diagram or a model in a sort of 'concept art' style rather than a digital "painting". That being said, I know the decision is ultimately in the artist's hands and I will appreciate and respect any attention that this design may get.
Please reply to this post if you would like to have more information or if you would like to discuss this design.