Gryphon Claw -- modified Hammerfin class freighter . The Hammerfin class transport/light freighter was one of several first attempts by Naxos Yards at civilian vessels. Naxos Yards had long been known for its excellent military vessels built exclusively for the Royal House of Naxia. But as government contracts were filled, the company needed some means of income. Naturally, that meant building civilian vessels for Naxos and the other worlds of the Royal Sector. Most of the other first attempts were simple, boxy, and utilitarian cargo vessels. These did not sell well; the reason was that there were already several ship building companies in Known Space that were well practiced at building excellent utilitarian cargo vessels. So, Naxos Yards pursued the more successful avenue of "ships for the common man". There were many wealthy individuals, and noble houses, that could easily afford a personal yacht, or even a fleet of personal yachts. However, Naxos Yards designers were still thinking in the form of cargo transportation at the time they designed the Hammerfin. This class of ship turned out to be mildly successful as it allowed small business owners to afford a cargo vessel to haul their goods and equipment. One growing small business, called Green Space LLC, which focused on floral arrangements, decorative plants for the home, and hobby gardening, was in the process of expanding and purchased five Hammerfin ships for their business. Another small business, Gryphon Couriers LLC, also purchased several of the vessels, and then requested some rather unique modifications that mostly focused around increased armament -- apparently the courier vessels delivered v.i.p. cargo and people through rather dangerous areas of space, and extra weaponry was needed to ensure their safety. .
The modified Hammerfin ships of Gryphon Couriers, LLC, are unique in the fact that the bridge section has been greatly modified. The orginal design allows for a two seat control room, with small crew accomodations to either side of the cockpit. Hammerfin ships were already designed for ease of use, considering that most civilians only have a Class B space pilot license or less. These Hammerfins were simplified so that one pilot could fly the ship, and the crew compartments were removed and replaced with gunner stations with high visibility. Additionally, two additional point-defense turrets were added to the mid-section of the ship. Since there are no regulations -- a gross oversight -- in Naxos law pertaining to the amount of weaponry allowed on a civilian vessel, there was nothing stopping Naxos Yards from making these modifications to these Hammerfins, so long as the customer could afford these expensive modifications.
I built this ship over the course of a three day weekend and had intended to enter it into Goldman's "You control the action 3", as I also created a regular crew of non-yellow minifigs. The problem is, of course, the contest is called "control the action", not "control the back story", and I could not think of anything actioney to do. Also, the inspiration for this ship comes from Star Wars, and it is very close to Star Wars, so I am sure I would get shot down on that. Other than that, it seemed like a good MOC and I had fun being inspired by Goldman's contest to build this and create the crew.
Jamaal Yafeen is not a native to Naxos. He originally comes from Earth, from the massive African city of Lagos. Following his craving for wide open spaces, and green grass and plants and fresh air, he eventually found himself on the paradise planet of Naxos. He instantly fell in love with the planet, and he very much so enjoyed the European-style Monarch government which appealed to the historically romantic side of his education at university (he studied economics at Prague). So Jamaal quickly became a patriot of Naxos, and a small business owner. Freight hauling between the planets and stations of the Royal sector was minimal at best when he arrived. Jamaal did not have the beginning capital to start a large freight business, so he started small as a courier service for more important or lighter deliveries. He also offered greater protection for his deliviries through more heavily armed transport ships. His aptly named business, Gryphon Couriers, has so far proved highly successful and has earned him an impressive fortune. And, the durability of his Hammerfin transport/light freighters has prevented any piracy to his business and has also allowed him to think of expanding his courier services beyond the Royal sector.