Blasts from the past.  Terran Trade Authority

Blasts from the past. Terran Trade Authority

Anyone who grew up in the 70's/80's will remember these.  The Terran Trading Authority was a series of books that covered the starships created and used by the three world conflict "The Proxima War". I've built my own swing scale fleet with a series of the ships inspired by those books in 1270 scale, complete with unique decal sets for my own use.

I love the organic look to the ships and the sense of color and majesty these artist brought into their work. For anyone new to these guys, please look up the collective works of Ian Mckie, Bob Layzell, and Tony Stewart.

The Terran Cutlass.  This model was meant as a atmospheric and high orbit ship, and was converted to a space fighter and home world defense ship during the outbreak of the Proxima War.  The ship was stopgap measure, but performed so well that it continues in production through the war, and was still in use as a system patrol vessel.  This model will have a cowl that can be removed to show the engines. The original painting was by Bob Layzell.  Mr Layzell has generously shared some sketches of this ship to clarify the top side and superstructure details.

The Terran Panther The Panther was primarily an atmospheric fighter that could function in space.  It formed the backbone of the Terran Defense forces during the outbreak of hostilities with Proxima, but was nearing the end of its cycle as a front line fighter.  Less versatile than true space purpose built craft like the Cutlass, it never the less proved its worth in the Battle For Mars.  The Panther again found continued use in the invasion of Proxima.

Terran Hornet.  The hornet represents the Tier II ships designed by Terra after the lessons learned in the defense of Mars.  It's the first ship to effective combat the Proximan Shark.  The Hornet has a crew of 2, and a hard hitting weapons pack of two laser lances and two particle accelerators.  Based on the original painting by Colin Hay. The model isn't perfect yet as I don't have side, bottom or back views to go from, so a lot of artistic license on the detailing.  I'll need to redo the engine housing eventually to make it a bit more organic.

Hornet V2 : Slight changes to the model with increased volume in the rear, reworked winglets, and extended engine intakes and fins.

Hornet V2

Honert V2A with added ion engines for greater maneuverability.

And of course I've started to draw some decals..

The Proxima Shark represents the second generation of advanced proximal fighters, if which they started using their own technological advances instead of captured Alphan technology. A three man fighter that was the top of the line during the early phase of the Proxima War. The original painting was by Ian Mckie. The shark is a big fan favorite, and many versions of the original can be found online.  I still prefer the original colors and profile of Ian's painting.

The Proxima Piranha.  Based on the original painting by Tony Roberts. A single seat fighter more at home in atmospheric flight rather than space, the Piranha was a deal opponent for Terran Forces in the Battle For Mars.

The Alpha Centauri Manta started off as a mining platform cargo carrier.  It's versatility and ability to carry heavy weapons loads for both atmospheric and space flight made it a key heavy strike fighter in the Terran-Alpha Alliance.  Based on another fan favorite painting by Bob Layzell. This one will be tricky to make into a model, with all the underwing stores and weapons. It will also be very, very large since this is a four man ship according to the TTA manual.  I think the Hornet would fit within the inner hull.

My version of the K4.  This one is a bit of a challenge, as the original painting ( I believe Bob Layzel) obviously shows a much larger ship than the TTA books meant to describe.  Thera re also no good plans of it.  Consider this version 1.

Version 2


  • Mike

    I’m itching to get my hands on a K4…is it available?

  • Grant

    Are the Proxima ships available to buy?

  • littlemetalspaceships

    Hey Shana, I’ve been researching back the originals to get the credits posted. It’s actually been challenging to get to the original with so many “other illustrations” but I think I’ve finally found them on this batch. If you can connect me to any of the artists, I’d be more that happy to promote their influence, send them some prints and/or do some collaboration on more designs.

  • Shana Layzell

    Please can you credit these illustrations with the names of the artists that originally created them? I know some of those artists really like what you’re doing and you obviously greatly admire their work so please show them the respect they deserve.

  • little metal spaceships

    I’m looking into getting some licensed rules started. Or at least supplements that let you use the 5150 rules in the TTA universe.

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