Space warfare had progressed to the point where enemy ships of all classes had more qualities in common than not, so the Harrier was developed to succeed in combatting capital ships and fighters alike. At a time when other fighters had substantial wings to enable aerodynamic operation, the Harrier was compact making it more maneuverable exo-atmosphere. It featured two deployable deflector pods atop the quad-core turret to deform the shields enough to maximize the throughput of rapid-fire anti-fighter guns. It also featured two weapons systems for use against capital ships. The first was the large-bore fixed-mounted nose gun around which the rest of the ship was designed. The second, "This Is The Schräge-Musik" (TITS), were fixed-mounted guns angled below the fuselage. Modeled after similar systems in WWII German night-fighters, they allow strafing fire from weapons too heavy for a turret.
There are advantages to being fairly undisciplined, but you have to either work really hard to fight it or realize it and embrace it. If you embrace it and find yourself out of inspiration for a ship you can put it aside - And pick it up again later. The initial component of this ship was inspired by some designs for a Corvette for Angels Fall First, a fan-version of Homeworld2.
Flash forward five years.
I'm wrapping up the otoniel and looking around for something to work on next, when I pick-up this starter-kit and start handling it, imagining what kind of shape I could add to it to start begin completing it. I could have done another Pig but then I spotted a half-built Hawker Harrier kit. Several minutes of handling (I'm slow, what can I say) and a little sawing and... It begins.
I've used a Harrier as engines where the holes for the engine exhausts kinda worked, but for a fuselage they had to be covered up - By a Mi-28 helicopter body. I wanted the back to be mostly covered by details like on the O'Connor, so I started with some fairly big Sherman tank pieces, unconcerned how much of the original hull would be obscured.
At this point I normally go around the ship with an eye to clean-up some of the rough edges and cover-up some of the holes. Arado 324 wings hide the gap at the top of the Mi-28 fuselage. And the Mi-28 engines blend the ventral fin into the Harrier fuselage, and offer the opportunity for some interesting shapes, such as angled styrene tubes and test-tube tanks. The angeld tubes were going to be radiators but they looked too much like feet on stiff legs. So I cut them off and installed gun barrels as inverted Schräge Musik, fixed-mount angled guns for strafing other craft during high-speed flybys.
And now, with a new paint job, it's the hero fighter in SPACE BATTLES: Space War II.