Do you find it annoying that Fighter Drive research, which you already have at the beginning of Homeworld's first mission, shows defender schematics in the research manager? Well, I do, so I decided to replace the kushan scout by the light defender (which is more fitting than the scout's model, in my opinion), while trying to keep the same behavior and overall combat performance (it would have the scout's basic armor, movement speed and firepower).
I know the light defender model works if you put it in the defender slot by simply renaming its .shp file to "heavydefender". But it has several issues. First: the zoom range in the build manager is screwed up, the camera is always clipping inside the model. Second: although the animation's sound plays when engaging/disengaging from battle, the gun turrets never retract or extend (they didn't seem to retract or extend in the beta videos either, the kushan light defender just flies around with its guns out all the time). So far, this seems to be the only way it can work without .mex editing.
I'm just a novice modder, but I don't think it's impossible to have a working animation in a normal fighter slot (non-defender). I want to make the light defender's .mad animation work so that the arms extent and retract like they do on the heavy defender. Of course, since the game only allows turrets to work properly on fighters if they are in the defender slot, this would mean losing the defender's turrets. The guns will need to be changed to fixed ones (like the normal scout) and the only thing the arms would do is extend/retract the fixed guns, without the tracking. I would also want it to have the scout's afterburner ability, but I'm guessing it'll cause crashes if I try to shoehorn it in.
As far as I know, that could all be done with HWSE 2.0. Unfortunately, I can't get it to work on my PC yet (3D display initialisation fails, no 3D view available and execution error 91, it can't load anything).
So, what do you guys think, is it possible?
I have read most of the tutorials around, and have modded pretty much everything that can be fiddled with in .shp files, but I have zero 3D editing experience and I have no idea how the changes in a .shp file relate to the .mex file and vice-versa. (Any tips or tricks on how to not screw up would be appreciated. )