The second of two racing versions of my Rapier Assault Ship
About this creation
The racing variant of the Rapier Star Fighter.
The original Rapier is a very successful fighter/attack craft with respectable speed and endurance. It it these qualities that attracted the racing community. Race pilots scoured star systems for crashed or abandoned Rapiers to convert to a racing format but given the ships outstanding endurance and durability, even if they were damaged, they could always be repaired. Some have returned back to base with half a wing missing or a nose side panel blown off. After a few years of fruitless searches, the racers and racing organizations began petitioning Heath & Cauldwell, the developer of the Rapier, to make a version available to the public. H&C agreed to produce only four Rapier-R models in the fear that pirates or other hostile factions would purchase or steal the ships and refurbish them to be used as operational fighters. These modified ships were stripped of all weapons systems, fitted with a much smaller reactor, additional wing surfaces for enhanced atmospheric capabilities, and a modified shield generator. The four ships were sold off to the highest bidders after they had each passed extensive background checks by the USCMF (United States Consolidated Military Force) and signed a waiver granting random and periodic tracking and inspection to ensure that the ships were solely being used for racing purposes. Violation of these terms are viewed as acts of treason and were punishable by death and immediate seizure and destruction of the ships themselves. Modification was permitted under the condition that all unused parts from the original were returned to H&C, often in return for credits.
One owners space dock was raided by pirates and the Rapier stolen. The USCMF acted quickly and destroyed the ship before it could leave the star system. No survivors were allowed to escape and were easily overtaken by two military Rapiers. The owner of the racer was interrogated to see if he had sold the ship to the pirate clan and was cleared after several months. He was given a large compensation payment and enrolled in the piracy protection program but was not offered a replacement craft. The amount of the compensation has not been disclosed.
Another pilot tried to take the ship to a hostile star system to sell it after entering in a race. The pilot was allowed to run for a week as his flightpath took him straight into the middle of a full USCMF battle group complete with two capital ships (a rare meeting) in transit where he and his ship were promptly vaporized by a high power antimatter particle beam.
The remaining two Rapier-R's, Bloodshot and The Ugly Duckling, are still racing in FASCRAF circuits across the USCMF galactic safe zones and regularly make place highly.
F A S C R A F
Federal Association for Space Craft Racing And Flying
The pilots Rapier-R's are both registered in the FASCRAF racing circuit. FASCRAF is a federally regulated race circuit club wherein different classes of space craft compete in endurance races beginning from land based airstrips. After exiting the atmosphere, the ships set off to a pre-determined series of planets. Upon reaching each of these planets, the pilots must descend into the atmosphere to pass through high altitude checkpoints along the planets equator. These checkpoints trigger a beacon on each ship and award checkpoint credits. A planetary checkpoint credit (or PC2) can not be gained without the previous checkpoint credit so a pilot can not 'skip' a planet. Maintenance blimps can be found at the checkpoints and can refuel and recharge flight systems. After passing through the checkpoint and refueling, pilots must complete one equatorial orbit within the planets atmosphere before continuing on to the next planet. If the ship leaves the atmosphere (a pre-set altitude specific to each planet) at any time during this orbit, the pilot must return to the checkpoint and start the orbit over. Races can last only a few days and consist of as little as three planets or can go on for months and have as many as 80 checkpoints. The longer races, ones containing at least 19 checkpoints, have docking stations on the moons of planets. After reaching that planet's checkpoint, the pilot then flies to the lunar docking station and their race timer stops. After a 36 hour rest, the pilot then completes the atmospheric equatorial orbit or AEO, starting their race timer again and continues to the next planet. Rest stations are usually placed 5-7 planets apart. Races have 3 classes of ships categorized by top speed, the highest class being Grand Formula, followed by Formula, then Standard. Each race allows a maximum of six entrants per class for a total of 18 racers. Most races contain only 10-12 entrants and will not be run if there are fewer than 7 racers. In the event that there are fewer than 7 pilots the race will be delayed for up to one week. If a full week passes and there are still not enough pilots, the race is canceled indefinitly. All pilots must sign waivers releasing FASCRAF from any liability before being granted membership to FASCRAF. They must also pay an entrance fee to each race. Level 3 races (3-18 planetary checkpoints) have an entrance fee of 250,000 standard credits and have a winning purse of 450,000 per class. All other finishers do not receive awards. Level 2 races (19-34 planetary checkpoints) have and entrance fee of 2,000,000 credits and a winning purse of 3,250,000 per class. Level 1 races (35-55 planetary checkpoints) have an entrance fee of 7,500,000 credits and a purse of 9,000,000 credits and a free place in the championship race known as The Crucible. The Crucible is the only race to have no entrant limit, though there has never been more than 16 pilots sign up. It is the ultimate endurance race - 80 planetary checkpoints spanning 12 star systems in two separate galaxies. the last leg of the race takes about two weeks to complete. The fastest time ever in the 23 years FASCRAF has been running that The Crucible has been completed is 6 months, 2 weeks, 1 day and 11 hours. For entrants who did not receive a free pass by winning a level 1 race or in the lottery, a fee of 38,000,000 credits must be paid. The winner receives a purse of 100,000,000 credits and is usually offered a position as captain of a USCMF capital ship or presidential cruiser.
Alright, enough technical junk. On to the ship... sorry for the terrible pictures, they are a little old and I have since learned a bit more about photo editing and basic photography tricks. Further apologies for a lack of pictures of this particular ship. I wish I had taken some side and overhead shots before I took it apart. As always, thank you for looking!
Very nice ship man! great work on the color combo, the little white bits were a great touch, I like the techniques on the wings... all in all beautiful work as usual, keep it up pal >>> peace.. Fofo :)