If I didn't need the timing bit visible I could have oriented it through 90 degrees and eliminated five fittings, but the strainer mesh would no longer have been correctly oriented.
My preferred solution would have been to anchor the drain valve to a wall, and connect it to the drain port on the tank by nylon flexible tubing. But the drain valve doesn't lend itself to wall mounting. Also when the compressor moves around the floor, which it sometimes does a bit, there is a danger of the tube being ripped out with a big whooosh !
A more elegant 'direct plumbing' job would have been to hard solder (*) a male and female fitting to either end of a bit of 15 mm tube, but as the fittings were there they got used !
(* ordinary plumbers solder would fail rapidly with the vibration of the compressor)