I wanted my fighters to match the style, so I searched for some pictures of fish and started doing doodles. Lots and lots of doodles. I used similar motifs: a smooth hull, pod-like weapons, and little thrusters on the ends of sticks. After a while I came up with these:
The assault craft was based loosely on a lamprey, and the interceptor looks a bit like a goldfish. The fighter definitely "squidy" and the other two look more like sea rays or a trilobite. Again the 3D printing went fairly well. I made a few modifications after the first run. The Assault craft was beefed-up to look like the image above; the original was more of a tapered tube.
I was surprised, these fighters were even more popular than the previous "reptilian" designs. I had even more requests for copies of these. Now, if you were following along, you'll know that I made these with mostly myself in mind. I never intended to go into miniature sales. However, the forum comments were very encouraging, and I thought other people might enjoy them as much as I do. What the heck, I'll see if I can distribute them somehow.
The last thing I wanted to do was start mass-producing these things. I knew I wasn't going to get rich selling space fighters, but I sure didn't want to loose money! I didn't really want to open a store with stock and packaging. I already have an architectural model business to run. But how was I going to provide them? I had worked out some pricing for 3D printing these on my machine, but the overall cost/fighter was a bit high, and I needed to run sets of 40-50 to make it worthwhile. One fellow was brave enough to make an order and it shipped without any issues, but there weren't any other takers. If I was going to make these available I needed to make smaller sets for a lower price. Eventually I solved the problem, but I'll explain that in a following post...
You can have some of these 3D printed for yourself from Shapeways. You'll find them listed as the "Aquatic" fighters in my shop.