Krystovian Task Force

The Krystovian Naval Command is the spacegoing military force of the independent Stellar Republic of Krysto. Comprising the three systems of Krysto proper, Zycon and Coldstream, the Stellar Republic is one of a number of neutral buffer states between the Federation and the Blacktron Alliance. Krysto in particular is famed as the so-called “ice planet”, but all of the Republic’s worlds are cold planets that skirt the edges of habitability.

Battlecruiser Task Force of the Krystovian Naval Command

The KNC is a surprisingly large and well-equipped fighting force for a mere three-system polity, and though its fleet lacks the dreadnought-class battleships of the major powers, its battlecruiser-led task forces, such as the one pictured here, are capable fighting formations.

KNS Sword of Winter

Frostblade-class battlecruiser

KNS Sword of Winter

The Krystovian Naval Command’s newest starship and largest domestically-built vessel, the Sword of Winter is only the second starship of battlecruiser class to be built in Krystovian yards. KNS Sword of Winter is 10m longer than her sister KNS Frostblade, the extra space being utilised to make the forward power monitoring rooms more ergonomic.

The Stellar Republic’s Vertex Shipyards in Zycon-IV orbit have only recently been upgraded to a size capable of building large cruiser- and battlecruiser-class vessels, and the Frostblades are the firstfruits of the increase in capacity. Before that, all vessels larger than destroyer-class, and some of the KNC’s smaller vessels also, were purchased from other star nations.

KNS Ice Maiden

Refitted Blacktron Werewolf-class light carrier

KNS Ice Maiden

Originally the Blacktron Fleet vessel Nightmare, the Ice Maiden is the oldest ship in the entire Krystovian Naval Command, having already had a substantial service life within the Blacktron Alliance before being sold off to the Stellar Republic and refitted to Krystovian specifications. It is designated a “light carrier” because it is built on a light cruiser-sized hull rather than the battlecruiser- and dreadnought-sized carriers favoured by the major powers.

Ice Maiden is due to be retired once the domestically-produced twin carriers Partridge and Peartree come online, but for now it provides an operational base for 20 domestic Polaris-class space fighters.

KNS Ymir

Jotun-class destroyer

KNS Ymir

Venerable lead ship of the Stellar Republic’s Jotun-class of fleet destroyers, KNS Ymir is considered a “lucky” ship in the Krystovian Naval Command. The Jotuns have been mainstays of the small Krystovian fleet, and until recent expansions were the largest vessels produced in the Vertex yards. However, they are beginning to be replaced by the newer Kalevala-class.

KNS Nordica

Federation Sapphire-class destroyer

KNS Nordica

An ex-Federation Sapphire-class named after the largest continental landmass emerging from Krysto’s iced-over seas, Nordica was built under contract for the KNC by the Futura system’s Futuron Naval Yards. A little smaller than the Jotun-class, several Sapphires were constructed for the Republic while Krysto’s own shipyards were being extended and upgraded. The ships supplement the Jotun and Kodiak-classes.

KNS Snowbird

Icefire-class frigate

KNS Snowbird

The Icefires are the Stellar Republic’s most advanced frigate class, and KNS Snowbird is one of the most recent exemplars of the class. It shares the same vertical orientation as most newer Krystovian ship classes, such as the large Frostblade-class battlecruisers. KNS Snowbird is, of course, much smaller, but can sustain a much higher acceleration than a larger vessel.

KNS Caribou
KNS Narwhale

Mammal-class corvettes

KNS Narwhale (left) and KNS Caribou (right)

The Mammal-class corvettes are another older design. The entire corvette class is being phased out of most space navies as too small to be effective, given that construction of a frigate takes only 125% as long and yields a larger, better protected and longer-ranged ship. Krysto’s corvettes are mostly extensively refitted and less visually alike than their common class designation might suggest.

KNS Caribou is named after the Old Earth creature. KNS Narwhale is named after a native Krystovian species which slides over the ice of that planet’s seas.


I semi-promised more Ice Planet a week or so ago, and what better way to keep that promise than with a whole fleet?

Building a battle squadron for the civilian Iceplaneteers might seem like a bit of a non-sequitur, but people produce M:Tron space fighters and Futuron tanks all the time, so I feel like I’m on safe ground.

Besides, who’s to say the Classic Space theme’s widely-theorised Federation even actually exists? Those early Space themes are, after all, from the age before TV shows and named characters and back-stories for the sets. And I have to say I rather like the idea of Krysto as a sort of neutral Switzerland between the Blacktron and the Federation.

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Green X

Fellow LEGO blogger Vaderfan2187 has been recently posting pics of Star Wars hardware recoloured for the

Ninjago ninja (the three posts covering the six main ninja can be seen here, here and here).

Excited about this awesomely original crossover concept, I decided to crash the party by building my own.

Lloyd’s X-Wing

Kai’s my favourite of the Ninja, and I was mostly expecting to build a vehicle for him, but then that stickered green curve element caught my eye.

So pretty-boy Lloyd is the one who gets the X-Wing, despite him being my least favourite.

Where Vaderfan2187’s creations were mostly simple recolours hewing much more closely to their far-far-away galactic originals, I’ve taken a slightly different route and more thoroughly Ninjified (Ninjagified? Ninjated?) the Original Trilogy X-Wing I selected as the base vehicle.

This is a full-on custom build, obviously, rather than a rebuild or modification of a set. The height of the rear section relative to the cockpit is slightly off compared to the movie X-Wing, but it was the only way I could get those gold Ninjago-set Technic wheel hubs to work as the engine intakes.

For extra Ninja coolness, I replaced the X-Wing’s wingtip cannons with gold blade elements, and added the hooked Bionicle sword blades alongside the forward section.

All too many of my interesting black elements are still in use on the Blacktron Thunderbolt, which remains standing after nearly two weeks, which is closing in on a record where my MOCmaking is concerned. Be that as it may, it meant I had to use some dark grey as well as black for a base structural colour palette, and eke out the scheme with a little dark red, recalling the saddle on the Green NRG Dragon. The yellow cockpit was the only realistic choice, and I think it works well. I think trans yellow would work with Kai or Jay too, though probably not Cole, Zane or Nya.

It seemed especially appropriate to use one of the Green NRG Dragon’s massive feet as a stand. It’s a little delicate, but I’ll put up with delicate for a stand so in keeping with the nature of the model.

Anyway, here’s Lloyd’s Green Ninja X-Wing. I’m not sure how (or if) it fires, given that I removed the turbolasers and put blades in their place. Maybe it meshes with Lloyd’s green ninja energy somehow and can shoot out bolts of power from the hull itself the way Lloyd himself can from his body.

Beowulf’s Bane

Grendel-class Interceptor

A strangely-shaped little space fighter needs a strangely-shaped name, and the monster from the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf seemed to fit the bill. Best of all, with that name it can then be based off a space carrier mothership called Grendel’s Mother.

I’ve been concentrating on microscale ships like the Thunderbolt and the Zycon-IX recently, and it seems like I haven’t built a minifigure-scale space fighter for some time.

The Grendel-class interceptor came about almost accidentally as I played around with a triangular cockpit design. I liked the emerging result enough to put some engines and descending wings on it, and the final ship is as you see.

Though it has a Classic Space astronaut for a pilot, it’s obviously not a Classic Space creation, but that’s ok.

I envisage this as a fast orbital-based interceptor, able to dip down into the atmospheres of planets but designed to dock rather than land. With those big engines out at the craft’s extremities, I imagine it’s quite agile, but it gives the impression of not being a very forgiving craft for rookie pilots trying to manoeuvre.

I don’t have much else to say about this, but I find its unusual shape and verticality quite pleasing.

Ice Cruiser Zycon-IX

I have to confess to an abiding love for the Ice Planet 2002 theme.

You’d think this wouldn’t be something you have to “confess” to, but if you delve around on the Internet, several of the articles written about the 1993/4 theme have seemed to suggest it was somehow unpopular or controversial.

I don’t know about that, but it’s always seemed fine to me. I honestly don’t see what the supposed problem is, and I marvel that what seems like a great theme with a lot of potential only got a single year of run time.

The big set of the theme rejoices in two different English language names depending on which side of the Atlantic you are. In the US, it’s the weirdly-named “Deep Freeze Defender”, a name which always brings to mind the freezer section at Wal-Mart; in my native UK it’s the far more interesting “Ice Cruiser Zycon-IV”.

Old Space theme sets have a long history of transatlantically differing names: the Space Cruiser and Moonbase (UK) was the Galaxy Explorer (US), while the Cosmic Fleet Voyager (US) was known in Britain as the Taurean Ore Carrier.

Ice Cruiser Zycon-IX

Building an update of set 6973, then, I’m blowed if I’m going to name it after frozen vegetables, so this is the Ice Cruiser Zycon-IX.

Peter Reid and Tim Goddard already used “Zycon-V” for their microscale update of the main Ice Planet vessel from LEGO Space: Building the Future, so that was out. And anyway, this one’s bigger, so should have a bigger number.

I picked “Zycon-IX” as the next I-something Roman numeral after IV.

Unlike Reid and Goddard’s Zycon-V (I’m not sure which of them created which of the models in their collaborative book), the Zycon-IX is designed to be able to make planetary landings. This may mean that the Zycon-V is actually bigger than my -IX in “real life”, or it may simply mean that I use a higher tech base in my interpretation of classic LEGO Space themes, and my people can deal better with hull stresses for take-off and landing.

Like them, though, and unlike the original theme, I’ve used trans regular orange rather than its neon version for transparent elements. In my case, this is mostly an issue of element availability. Even with its use in Nexo Knights, there still isn’t all that much available in trans neon orange, and we don’t have very much from the Nexo Knights theme in this household. But I actually like the look of the trans orange, particularly over white.

In sharp contrast to my recent space battlecruisers and dreadnoughts, the Ice Cruiser Zycon-IX is actually entirely unarmed, at least visually. The Ice Planet crew always seemed like a tougher, more rugged bunch than the Futuron astronauts, but even as an original theme they didn’t have a lot of prominent weaponry. They work in an incredibly hostile environment; they don’t exactly need to be shooting at people on top of that. Besides, in the three-way factional split common to most classic Space themes, Ice Planet represented the neutral or “civilian” faction protected from the dastardly Blacktron II faction (and the Spyrius) by the second-generation Space Police. It’s the Space Police that probably have the guns. It might have made sense to give it a couple of anti-asteroid space blasters or something, though, but by the time I realised it was completely unarmed I was 95% done with the construction and there weren’t too many good places left to fit a pulse laser.

Talking about the generation-2 Space Police, it occurs to me that I dislike the Space Police II colours and I dislike the Blacktron II colours. Maybe the LEGO Group were just having a bad time with their Space theme colour palettes. Ice Planet’s the only one from that season that I actually approve of.

Anyway, I’ve chosen to dispense with the original Zycon-IV’s complex modularity; the ship split into four sections and could be rearranged into two smaller vessels. I felt that with the kind of upsized microscale transorbital ship I was building, the modular approach was not going to work as well. If the ship were expected to stay in orbit, it might make sense for it to have at least a couple of dockable landing shuttles, for instance, but given that I intended the whole thing to be able to make planetary landings, I decided to eschew modularity in favour of a more unified construction.

Zycon-IX: Close-up side detail

I think my favourite part is the use of the ice dozer blade element as a radar scanner. I’ve used all three of my Ice Planet logo-bearing elements on this one creation, which may be overkill, but I wouldn’t want to get rid of the scanner. Looking at it, I’m struck by how much the logo resembles a traditional British Christmas pudding, but it’s not outside the bounds of possibility that the Ice Planet organisation did that deliberately, is it? People have all sorts of slightly hokey or humorous logos and mascots; look at the Geico gecko or Ronald McDonald.

I’m also quite pleased with that stand that lets it be displayed flying at an angle. Easy and basic perhaps, but I like the nontypical flight pose.

Presumably there’s some sort of main cargo hatch in the lower hull allowing the various Ice Planet surface vehicles and VX-122 fliers (“Blizzard Barons”, if you insist on the slightly lame American names) to be unloaded onto the surface. It would actually be interesting to see if I could build any of them at an appropriate scale, but I’m pretty sure they’d all be too small by comparison.

Still, maybe I might.

Bolt from the Black

Thunderbolt-class cruiser of the Blacktron Alliance

The Thunderbolt-class Strike Cruiser is a Blacktron Alliance fleet battlecruiser based on the Fury-class Heavy Cruiser but armed with a supermassive hyperrelativistic railgun.

The Fury-class is considered by many observers to be one of the most versatile of Blacktron warships due to the several variants it has spawned, including not only the Thunderbolt-class but also a Marine assault variant (the Nemesis-class) and an extensively modified hospital ship (the Hippocrates-class).

The base Fury-class are armed with a pair of triple-mounted 50cm high X-ray laser turrets dorsally and three ventrally, plus six side-mounted sponsons with three 25cm lasers apiece, with frequencies in the low X-ray/high UV range.

For close assault, the baseline Fury utilises a trio of heavy 60cm plasma accelerators mounted forward, plus various lighter 10cm point defence laser clusters.

Bow end of the Thunderbolt, showing the supermassive railgun and twin dorsal plasma accelerators.

The Thunderbolt-class modifies the baseline Fury by dispensing with all three ventral 50cm X-ray laser turrets plus one of the plasma accelerators and rerouting power to the hyperrelativistic railgun. The 10cm laser point defence clusters are upgraded to 12cm mounts with a faster cooling cycle between shots, given how Thunderbolts draw enemy fire.

Triple quantum gravity drives

The three quantum-gravitic antimatter engines are unchanged from the baseline Fury-class. The Galactic Federation believe that quantum gravity engines are too dangerous and unstable for normal use, so they utilise the slower linear induction drives for normal-space manoeuvring and hyperspace jump engines for interstellar transit. Quantum gravity engines generate a wormhole-like gravitational singularity which at lower power settings acts to propel the ship forwards sliding down an inclined plane of spacetime, and at higher power settings creates a full-scale directed temporary wormhole allowing point-to-point space jumps. The technology releases a certain amount of dangerous cosmic radiation, however, especially at the high-power spatial jump settings.

The Federation considers the Thunderbolt-class to be a terror weapon because of the destructive power of its EL-3(T) railgun. Nicknamed the “Elephant Gun”, it fires a 12.5-tonne nickel-iron-banded titanium cylinder to velocities approaching 85% of lightspeed. At that velocity, the kinetic energy of the projectile is well into the dinosaur-kilker range, and unconfirmed rumours exist of 2000km diameter planetoids actually being broken apart by Elephant Gun strikes.

Central hull, showing dorsal heavy laser turrets and triple-mount side sponsons

The Blacktron Alliance consider the Thunderbolt-class a deterrent against ongoing Federation encroachment on its sphere of influence as agreed in the 2247 Treaty of Achernar. The politics of Federation-Blacktron interstellar relations are murky at best, and the Treaty of Achernar is only one of a string of “binding treaties” broken or abrogated by one side or the other.

~~~

At 28 inches long (71cm, or 75 studs), this is my largest Blacktron construction to date.

I was actually shocked that it ended up so much longer than my spacewhale, but that’s what the tape measure says. It’s a smaller volume ship, obviously, but yes, it’s a full 11 studs longer than the Cetus.

It’s also a lot more conventional in construction, without the internal Technic framing, multidirectional structural (rather than decorative) SNOTwork and clever technique. I rather like it anyway, but it’s just a lot less clever.

Mechs and Violence

Deliberately tryimg to build better mechs and use more advanced building techniques than my endless balljoint limbs and fancified-box cockpits, I put together this little Blacktron mech.

In that pose, it looks rather gangsta-esque, so I’m calling it the Black Panther mech. It’s probably fitting if the Blacktron are the galaxy’s criminal element, and makes sense if they’re more like a hostile nation, too.

As far as scale goes, either this is an actual humanoid combat robot, in which case it ought to be roughly man-sized or no more than 8ft tall, or there’s a pilot sitting behind that trans yellow stud on the head, in which case it’s monstrously huge and wields a gun bigger than an ICBM. I’m personally not sure which it is.

With so many of my T-pieces in use on the spacewhale, I had to adapt some of the common advanced joint techniques, and it’s not quite as fully poseable as I’d like. But it works, even if it’s rather bland and meh alongside any really good LEGO mech.