My take on Vader's TIE, at a smaller, more proper size, previously only seen in a few small pics on my oldest Brickshelf folder.
About this creation
As Stated on my Brickshelf page for this custom, most everyone has overestimated the size of Vader's TIE over the years...mostly with the ridiculous "official" size of 7.8 (now the even more ridiculous 9.2) meters to blame. More on that below...
In any event, I made my TIE customs about 5 years ago before I even knew what Brickshelf was. I remember being excited when the Y-wing and (Vader's)TIE fighter set was specially packaged with the original Snowspeeder as a TRU exclusive, and then put on clearance for $25 - I bought 5! Tons of pieces at a great price, but what I really wanted was those unique windscreens to make my own custom of each major TIE variant, starting with an attempt to correct the problems with the official LEGO Vader's TIE. The results, changed just a bit about a year ago, are below. It's a relatively rough project that I never really finished, so I never put the pics online until now. It's time to empty the closet before I finally put some new work up in the next few weeks...
...Well, it is, because the rest of the ship is smaller in proportion to it than LEGO's official version, every custom I've seen, and even every rendition ever sold in any form (except the new Master Replicas version, since they did the sensible thing...modeled it straight off the ILM original, not any other source!
Almost overhead. The Wings on most renditions are both too long and too big overall. They should not extend much further than the front or rear of the main body. Also, the "arms" (wing pylon structures) are too long in most renditions, making the ship too wide.
Rear overhead. Very compact...the official sources list the regular TIE as 6.3m, Interceptor as 6.6m, and both the Bomber AND Vader's TIE as 7.8m...well, just look at the film. Vader's TIE is NO longer than a regular TIE, maybe even a touch shorter! I think even the Bomber may be a bit smaller than 7.8, but I think the delusion that Vader's TIE was the same length may have come from the fact that ILM used actual solar panels from a storebought Vader's TIE model kit to make the Bomber model used in ESB!
Rear view. Back to the ILM Bomber story: first of all, they used Vader's TIE side panels, but they were augmented around the edges to make them bigger on all sides. Most importantly, though, the bomber was NOT built to the same scale as the other TIE craft (or the X- and Y-wings for that matter)! It was just a one-off, yet maybe that's what they're listed as both being 7.8m long, and why every model kit, Hasbro and Micromachines edition have been slightly out of whack
Higher rear angle. I never really reworked this section properly. The rear edge of the saucerlike flat section should taper to a thin edge, and the middle structure was just thrown together, but I kind of like it's look, though it's not accurate.
Great ILM reference shot, showing how compact the whole thing is and how the cockpit dominates the ship's appearance. The only rendition that has ever matched this is, unfortunately, Code 3 Collectibles' new version (I don't have $500 lying around, so it's out of the question)!
Here's the final nail in the coffin for the "official " estimates: TIE fighter, a believable 6.3m (about 21 feet), and Vader's TIE, 7.8m (or the delusional 9.2 now shown in the official database)!?!
Funny how it's apparent from the FILM that Vader's TIE is no longer, and possibly even shorter, than the standard TIE. The Star Wars databank also describes Vader's TIE as having "LARGER, angular wings" compared to the standard TIE...this kind of thing makes my head hurt...
A direct comparison. Mine is far from perfect, but at least it's proportions to itself are close. I may try using 4x wide plates for the middle wing section and getting new 2x6 wedges (if their available in black) to redesign the top and bottom bent wing sections.