"But the Killie-cats aren’t supposed to like the water" Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This is a charming but unusual bit of fan art. Grandweasel has painted the epic Excalibur escape from Wing Commander 3 in water color. It's not a medium that you often see digitally represented on the internet, but his take on this scene is very recognizable and nails the intent. He's got a few self-critiques, but given the limitations of the format, I'd say this was a job well done!
A watercolour representation of a scene from Wing Commander 3, specifically the final strike on the Kilrathi homeworld. The background didn't come out as well as I'd hoped and the Excalibur looks a bit funny in places, but it still works. Somehow.

Kilrathi Comcon Ready to Command & Control Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a nicely detailed model of an underappreciated Kilrathi ship. Kharcov put together this representation of the Comcon surveillance craft from the Wing Commander Movie. We only see a few dedicated designs like these over the years, so highly specialized support vessels are an exotic treat. You can see the piece of concept art below that Kharcov based his model off of, and his creation is highly accurate to that original work.
Kilrather Comm ship based on concept art for Wing Commander, medium poly game level asset. Made with 3DS Max

Finishing Touches Added to Wing Leader Barracks Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got an updated look at the shipboard rooms for Wing Leader. Since we last took a peek, Howard Day has put a lot of nice extra decoration around the barracks area. The overall lighting has been enhanced, including red illumination for the save berths. There are also a variety of extras around the room, including a computer terminal based on WC1&2 computer designs. Two more exciting rooms will be in the works soon!
Barracks update - a bunch of lighting and tweaks to the layout and scale. I tried to mash up the interface from WC2 and the computers from the science lab from WC1 to add a communication / shipviewer / lore computer. Thanks to LOAF for the idea! Also threw out a CRT filter just for nostalgia purposes. :p

Done with the Barracks for now, added the atmospheric lighting to the briefing ready room as well. Either the Officers Lounge or Debriefing area next!

Enjoy!

Wing Commander Academy to Remain on Free Peacock for Now Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's good news on the streaming front! Last week we reported that a countdown ticker had appeared next to the Wing Commander Academy episodes on the Peacock streaming service. The Peacock support account suggested that this meant the show was moving from a free to a paid tier. However, Zeether noticed that the countdown has vanished and the show appears as it originally did. While it's possible the CIC's considerable clout and influence swayed some executives at NBCUniversal, it's far more likely that this was some kind of mistake or glitch. Note the two comparison shots below of the Exosquad lineup. Random episodes were briefly showing the clock icon, although they've since all gone back to normal. While it's great that everyone will continue to have access for the foreseeable future, it's also still not a bad idea to grab the show on DVD for a more permanent copy.

Fantastic 'Fest Fighter Found Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

elend came across a nice WC model from last weekend's WonderFest in Louisville, Kentucky. It's a modified version of the somewhat pricey unlicensed Fantastic Plastic Arrow model with a variety of custom modifications. This one's complete with a pilot and even a little lightning bolt squadron logo in the corner. I've stumbled across a few items like this over the years, and it's always a treat to run into a passionate Wing Commander fan in the wild that's dedicated to craft like this. If this is yours and you've got more photos, let us know!
Wing Commander Arrow Light Fighter

The Arrow Light Fighter is a highly modified 1/72nd scale resin kit from Fantastic Plastic. Major modifications to the model include new vacuum formed canopy to replace the sub-standard kit part, new vacuum formed engine recesses and engines, and new detail throughout. The model was finished in automotive lacquers and weather with acrylic washes and pastels. The display base was machined and polished Corian.

Fan Hack Adds Invisible Cockpits to Privateer Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a fantastic new fan mod for Wing Commander Privateer! realqbok has managed to figure out how to make the cockpits invisible with the help of the WC Toolbox. Of course, the original Priv used cockpit visibility as a type of feature/reward for upgrading to higher end ships, but this is still a clever proof of concept and sounds like a lot of fun to try out. The process outlined below requires a bunch of manual unpacking, but realqbok has provided some templates (185 k zip) to provide a transparent outline for each of the four ships. A fifth test screenshot below depicts a full invisible cockpit with the VDUs pushed to the edges, but his experimentation showed it was more natural to keep a little bit of carryover from the original designs. Instructions are below, and check out the CIC Forums if you have any follow up questions!
Thank you for the positive feedback, but actually this took zero coding, only Priv1ToolsCmd and graphic editing! I probably won't have the time to write full scripts/instructions on how to incorporate those modified cockpits, but it's actually very easy: you just unpack priv.pak, replace cockpit .iff files inside, repack priv.pak and enjoy... all this can be accomplished with the .iff files provided at the link.

After playing Priv for several hours with those cockpits, I must say that it's a very pleasant experience! Along with everything loading immediately (ah, those days quarter of a century ago when landing at a base took 30 seconds and taking off 2 minutes :D ) - such a wonderful time to play Privateer again. :)

Unfortunately, modding Privateer, especially in its GOG incarnation, is quite a bit of a hassle, especially on 64-bit systems (where some of the old tools need to be run in dosbox themselves, instead of just off the usual system CLI), so let me dump some of my notes; "all" you need is some tools off the CIC, and I will try to link to some of my scripts and Excel files that made my modding a bit easier; and in case I figure out an easier way to share this, I will.

In order to get easy access to (and reintegration of modified version of) priv.tre, unpack the game.gog (whis is actually an .iso image), copy contents to some directory and mount that directory (instead of game.gog, as is done by default installation) as D: drive in dosbox (you will need to fiddle with dosbox config files). Then get yourself priv1toolscmd off the CIC, and:

priv1toolscmd untree priv.tre
priv1toolscmd unmake cockpits\clunkck.iff /template:Interchange
priv1toolscmd untemplate clunk001.tpl

Clunk001.tpl.png: in a graphics editor (I am using PaintShop Pro 7, an ancient but dependable one) that respects 256-color palettes etc. resize the image to 320x200, fill completely with color that's "transparent" part of the original (has palette index 255, is completely black), save; this makes entirety of the front cockpit transparent
In order to have HUD brackets visible over whole screen (not only in the part of the screen that used to be Tarsus' windshield):
in clunkck.xmf, change (note that e.g. the " 6, 1," part you are changing is 16bit=two-byte value of right border of the original visibility area for the brackets; 262, as in 6+256*1):

CHUNK "HINF"
{
char 59, 0, 0, 57, 0, 63, 1,144, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

to

CHUNK "HINF"
{
char 59, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 1, 199, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

clunkck.xmf also let's you move parts of the HUD around (that's what I did in the original screenshot); the coordinates are pretty easy to find (just look for "// start xy" and "// end xy" values), but remember that e.g. "ENER" meter (your energy supply level) also has additional information in the "DATA" part (again, coordinates saved as two-byte values) that tells game which part of the bitmap to hide in order to indicate unavailable energy, so if you move the "start xy" and "end xy" part, you need to modify the "DATA" part as well, because otherwise you will not see your energy running out :) , etc.

Now reverse the priv1toolscmd commands above

retemplate (priv1toolscmd template clunk001.tpl.scr),
remake (that's the unfortunate part, since you need to use that ancient xmiff through dosbox, if you're running 64-bit windows)
retree (again via priv1toolscmd)
remember to use correct paths during all of the above operations, so that you are repackaging new modified versions of the files ;)

enjoy :)

Pro tips: it seems that game might be saving some of the above data in the .sav files; so to best test any modifications you might have made, you need to start your career from scratch (makes testing non-Tarsus cockpits a bit of a hassle).

Revisit Brazil Circa 1995 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD found a couple of nifty vintage mid '90s magazine scans from a Portuguese publication, Super GamePower. The topics are slightly different than your usual fare: this time they cover WC1 on Sega CD as well as the 3DO edition of Super Wing Commander, which are both lovely games with some unique features compared to your typical Wing Commander. Both articles are also heavy with screenshots, so you can enjoy them regardless of whether you speak the language!

L'héritage De Wing Commander Parts 1 & 2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

French YouTuber Steve has put together a two-part series on the history of WC: L'héritage De Wing Commander. We obviously post primarily English WC news, but we have an amazingly diverse community across the globe, so it's nice to highlight that from time to time. Both Germany and France have a strong affinity for the franchise, and we can see that in videos like these. The first clip covers WC1/2/expansions and does a brief overview of some of the peripheral elements. There's also a follow up that primarily highlights Wing Commander 3. As we've mentioned before, now that YouTube supports real time automatic translations, you can turn that feature on and follow along no matter which language you speak!

Wing Commander Academy Moving to Paid Peacock Tier Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The news continues in the world of Wing Commander streaming. Zeether noticed that the Academy television show has a little clock icon next to it on the Peacock service. After some further investigation, it seems that this means the show will be moving from the free to the paid version of Peacock in July. Note that Comcast Xfinity Flex and X1 customers can get the $5/month Peacock Premium plan for free, so that's one way to continue getting your Wing Commander fix. Alternately, the series is available on DVD for $16.49 currently. Owning the DVD is great, but the streaming version has better quality audio.

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