The Imperial Navy TIE Interceptor has always been one of my favorite Star Wars ships, which I think is long overdue of a LEGO makeover. The older encarnations of the LEGO TIE Interceptor didn’t quite do it justice. The ship itself has inspired countless other ships such as the Jedi Interceptor and the TIE Striker. But alas, it’s yet to be seen in newer films so LEGO has not released a new version in ages. I adapted a few sets and built my own.
For scale, that little dot you see in front is a minifig TIE pilot. The wings are HUGE.
I know, it’s hardly a MOC and somehow it is. It’s actually a hybrid merge of three sets. One is the LEGO New Order TIE Fighter (for the cockpit and “arms”) and the other is the TIE Striker, bought TWICE so I have both wings. That’s a lot of SHIP to pay but I wanted the extra long elegant wings. The first time I saw those in the Striker, my mind screamed: “Give those back!” Therefore, I committed to use them for my own version of the TIE/In.
Initially I wanted to use the variable configuration mechanism native to the Striker, but I found that it makes the wings extremely heavy and the whole craft tends to fall apart. It was cool to have the wings open outwards thus giving the TIE/In a whole X-Wing look. The cost was way too high. The build needed to lose weight.
But then there was another cost. As I lightened up the wings close to bare minimum, the TIE/In almost became a square with the wings enveloping it as a cocoon. It lost the figure. The wings were too close to the cockpit. The TIE/In should always be longer in wingspan that it is in height.
And so I redesigned the central joint in the middle of each wing. It needed to keep the grip of the arm-brace coming from the cockpit (a mechanism stolen from the New Order TIE) and at the same time fix the wings in place making it stable (at the cost of losing the transformation). The arms also have been extended by exactly one LEGO brick to each side, something that is barely perceivable but adds to the overall extension. The idea was not only to resemble the silhouette of the TIE much closer, but add something new. You can only see it from the back: the wings have gained boosters (therefore justifying the open hollow end with red, perhaps that needs a retouch).
But I did got creative on the side by adding extra maneuverability using small stabilizer wings on the sides which can move. The fixed wings added stability (notice it can stand without help) and that gave the TIE/In something it didn’t have until now: it makes the build swooshable.
Of course, it’s not really swooshable – not from a kid-safe point of view. The wings are way too big which means you gotta look out for a) furniture and b) other people’s eyes, these wings are pointy! Plus the fact that the wings are designed to un-fasten the same way that the New TIE, doesn’t allow for hard swooshing. Both hands on both wings are the best way to go, but once you know what it takes to disconnect the wings it’s very solid to handle as long as you don’t make any twisting motions.
The effect of the super long wings increments the aggressive look of the craft by several Sith levels. It’s not that heavy to pick up, but it looks as cool as a collector’s edition version which never existed.
Each wingtip has a separate laser-launcher since the TIE/In has four cannons – plus I’ve kept the two chin-mounted launchers on the cockpit rising the firepower to six. I don’t really load them all up because those things go flying everywhere way too easily.
Is it worth it? For 99.99% of people, it’s definitely no. That is, unless you’ve always thought the TIE Interceptor really deserved one more aggressive reincarnation. I’m just thrilled anytime I look at it, so I regret nothing. I will keep modifying it in any case, since at this point you can still guess out the boxes it came from.
That will do for now.