Action Fleet custom (1/52)
This was anther early custom inspired by the vehicle from the Star Wars Galaxies PC game. It is a chopped version of Vader’s TIE with a small turret on the back. I really liked the idea of a TIE that could defend itself from rear attacks, so I made one.
The turret and lower laser cannons were made from scratch plastic and styrene tubes. Wires were used to create the rotating/elevating movements. The wings were chopped, and I used styrene strips to recreate the solar panel walls. Finally, I cut down the ship, and added engines to the back.
This is one vehicle I didn’t do much painting on. The only part I airbrushed was the turret, which I painted in Polly Scale RLM 76 Lichtgrau (Light Grey), which has a blue tint to it. Because I had it on my desk and in the sun for a while, the nose has “yellowed” slightly, so I may go back one day and entirely repaint the craft.
The TIE Aggressor was an experimental model designed as a multi-role superiority fighter. The inclusion of a rear turret gave it the needed protection that normal TIE Fighters never had. However, because the turret needed a gunner, the cockpit became cramped. For added room, the chin-mounted laser cannons were removed and replaced with lighter laser cannons mounted outside the craft. These cannons were less powerful and accurate than the standard TIE compliment. Furthering these frustrations was the reduced maneuverability of the craft due to the energy requirements of the rear turret.
TIE Aggressor pilots would typically fly with a wingmate around the edge of the combat zone luring enemy pilots close enough to be targeted by the rear turret. This tactic relied more on surviving the battle, unlike most TIE pilot training, which was designed to overwhelm an opponent. While Rebel pilots learned quickly that a rear attack was deadly, they also learned that the craft was weak underneath, a weakness they exploited.
Because of the cost and training requirements, the TIE Aggressor never really left the experimental phase, but did see use as an escort fighter for convoys. Furthermore, it was very effective against larger ships that had trouble targeting a small fighter. In this case, the TIE Aggressor needed only to encircle the ship allowing the gunner to pound the cruiser with blasts from the turret.