Next month marks the 10 year anniversary of a kick ass model that once rocked the very foundations of MOCpages, back in the mist shrouded before-time, when the site was actually relevant and home to a vibrant cast of builders, malcontents and Euro-trash. I’m talking about the mother fucking C-107 SUPERHAWK! by Chris DeBree. Clocking in at 169 studs long, I think this beast could still hang in there with the upper tier of the 2017 SHIPtember offerings. Sure the photos are blurry, the background is kind of sad and some of the shaping is a little rough by today’s lofty standards, but back in the day I can assure you this was state of the art sci-fi building. The engine technique may seem like boilerplate to the more jaded members of the Manifesto audience but this is one of the first uses I can recall. Still not sold? It also sported a fully realized (if spartan) interior that included accommodations for a crew of 43 carefully chosen minifigs, with room for a beefcake battle tank for good measure. There were also an impressive list of working features including but not limited to: movable rotating Gatling cannons, cargo ramps, hatches, landing gear and flaps. With the possible exception of lighting, which wasn’t really in vogue back then, the SUPERHAWK had everything a scif-fi fan could ask for and the numbers reflected it’s awesomeness: 136,759 views, 821 likes and 361 comments…numbers that would be impressive on Flickr today or any other photo-venue of choice. Sure it’s had 10 years to accumulate those gaudy stats, but the lion’s share were generated the first year and it’s good enough for the 13th spot on MOCpages’ listing of it’s all-time most popular models. Only Kelso’s Invisible Hand, and Garry King’s Battlestar Berserk, two classic SHIPs, are higher on that list. Perhaps just as importantly, the mighty warbird also inspired a legion of imitators, none of which are really worth posting but it motivated a number of people to not only build, but think big and push what they thought of as possible. Believe me when I tell you constant reader, this model was directly responsible for dozens of craptacluar drop-ships and they all worshiped at the temple of SUPERHAWK. Still not convinced I see…how about some 10 year old celebrity endorsements?
El Barto: “This thing is wild! The design has elements of a F-16 in the nose and an F-4 Phantom in the tail, two of my favorite fighters. But this takes it to a whole new level. Unbelievable job!”
Stuart Delahay: “This is a thing of beauty. The sheer scale, the lines and shapes, the fact it actually carries 36 troops and a sizeable crew (I despise ‘dropship’ mocs that are huge then hold three figs). Well done sir, quite rightly one of the most popular mocs on the site.”
Brian Kescenovtiz: “This really is quite an amazing ship. Wonderful details everywhere you look…fantastic job Chris!”
Mark Stafford (current TLG designer): “Beautiful and inspiring. One of the best ships I’ve seen in a long time, the detailing is great and seems to be there for a reason-rather then just for the sake of it. Great stuff.”
Mark Kelso: “MOC’s like these are few and far between. The design is superb, and the execution (which becomes more and more difficult as size increases) is handled masterfully. In contrast to other reviews, I have seen other MOC’s that are larger and even more complex (visit my home page for links to some of those), But this one is absolutely in their league…which is saying A LOT!!!!!! This is one of those MOC’s to be visited again and again. FANTASTIC job!”
And I’m gonna throw in Nannan Zhang’s comment just because aside from being accurate, it also proves what a humorless bore he’s always been: “Great details, but some overall shots would be even better.”
The Chairman was quite right though, it is indeed a shame the photos are so crappy, because although I’m nostalgic for the SUPERHAWK, I had completely blocked out how bad the presentation was. Even allowing for the fact that your average builder didn’t care as much about backgrounds and post-production back then, it’s still objectively terrible and no doubt kept the model off the big blogs of the day. It’s even more of a shame that Chris seems to have completely wandered out of the scene just two short years and two models later (his last posted model was this nifty dune buggy), but with this single epic creation he definitely made his mark on the early days of the hobby and for that, this builder will remain grateful. So won’t you join me and raise a glass to 10 years of SUPERHAWK? If you won’t, you’re probably a communist and you should take a long hard look at yourself.