Monthly Archives: January 2017

Elemental Dragon of Classic Space

The completed Space Dragon

The completed Space Dragon

Dragon? Spaceship?

Yes.

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Combining my two favourite things to build into a single MOC, this is my “Elemental Dragon of Classic Space”. Apparently I have access to enough blue now to pull this sort of thing off.

We’ve seen “Elemental Dragons” of all manner of “elements”; I myself have built an Elemental Dragon of Steampunkery. LEGO likes elemental powers, and their list of elements is fairly extensive, with only tenuous connection to the various classical lists. I figure I’m on safe ground.

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Whether it’s a spaceship shaped like a dragon or a dragon with spaceship-like features, I think any Sir Benny would be pleased with the result. It probably doesn’t breathe fire, but it might breathe plasma. By the same token, it doesn’t have any obvious laser cannons (possibly those stubs under the wings?), but a plasmatic breath weapon is almost as good.

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I tried out two different versions of the legs. The first, directly above, here, was a more draconic version, definitely dragon legs rather than anything else, and rather begged the question of how the creature/vessel’s propulsion worked.  It also had a couple of other tweaks, particularly the placement of the horns.

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Then I decided that combination leg/thrusters was the way to go, abandoning the claws and slightly strange back feet for a quartet of engines. The resulting legs are a bit stubbier, and part of me is unsure about completely giving up on the claws, but it works better for being a spaceship and it’s still recogniseably a dragon.

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Besides, as the Elemental Dragon of Classic Space, it should have Classic Space features.

The wings are regrettably studded, but I used all of my available grey tiles to alleviate the problem and this was the best compromise I could manage between wings of an appropriate size and shape and total unwieldiness of weight. I’d have preferred a smoother finish, but you do what you can.

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Likewise, a red or white astronaut would have looked better, but according to some suit classification schemes the green suits are mech drivers, so that does sort of fit. And I still have yet to purchase Classic Space astronauts in those colours, so I’m stuck with green for the moment.

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Rahrr!

Rahrr!

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I Like To Move It Move It

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In the future, we’ll still want to move stuff around. We’ll need not just the spacegoing equivalents of container ships and long-distance haulage trucks, but also loaders, pallet jacks and forklifts.

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Designing a forklift for the Classic Space future allows you all kinds of possibilities. You could make a semiconventional surface-bound one that’s futuristic in that it doesn’t need a driver, but that’s kind of boring. It’s much more fun to build one that flies.

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~~~

The Grubb Corporation’s H19G hoverloader is a versatile, manoeuvrable antigrav vehicle employed by any number of agencies and companies who have a need to lift and stack goods crated in small to medium-sized canisters.

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Utilising three powerful countergravitational motors for lift, stability and manoeuvre, the “G” is the seventh iteration of the successful H19 series, incorporating a number of refinements to its attitudinal sensors and handling controls.

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The magnetic claw arrangement in front is designed to pick single standard-diameter holding canisters, and can also be used to lift old-style crates or larger items such as this fusion engine spool (tall, in the back), and H19s are a common sight in any loading bay or spacecraft maintenance facility.

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Standard holding canisters are, of course, colour-coded according to their contents. Most containers are the yellow of general cargo, but other colours are also employed: white for liquid oxygen, grey with hazard striping for small engine parts (which may be contaminated with high-energy radiation), red for spacecraft fuel, black for oils and lubricants, and so on, just as astronauts in different branches of Federation Space Command wear different coloured spacesuits for easy identification. Green-suited astronauts like the one shown here are Space Command’s logistical support, including environment techs, general service ground support crews not directly involved with the engineering aspects of servicing a spaceship, some mech pilots (if the mechs are general service models and not combat variants) and so on.

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Mr. Damien Thorne’s Counter-Gravitational Steam-Velocipede

The Counter-Gravitational Steam-Velocipede

The Counter-Gravitational Steam-Velocipede

A younger scion of the celebrated Thorne family, Viscounts Bunkervale, Mr. Damien Thorne follows in his father’s footsteps as a card-carrying member of the Royal Society of Engineers. His patented counter-gravitational system utilises magnetokinetic effects to repel the force of gravitation, allowing his personal steam-velocipede to levitate at up to eighteen feet above the surface of the ground.

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The steam engine that powers his invention uses the energised-coal process of steam generation perfected by his father, the invention of which prompted Her Majesty to create him Viscount Bunkervale. The energised-coal process allows far greater efficiency in steam engines, with the result that bunkering requirements have been vastly reduced.

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Her Majesty’s Armed Forces have expressed interest in Mr. Thorne’s counter-gravitational engines for a series of scout vehicles for the Army, but as yet his own steam-velocipede is the sole operating example of the mechanism, which not only provides the levitative force but also serves as a propulsive system. By changing the configuration of the counter-gravitational field, the vehicle can be flown forwards, bank, turn, climb or dive (within the limits of the field’s operation). Flying backwards, while technically possible, is not recommended due to the dangers this poses to both bystanders and the operator.

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This creation, obviously, has a great deal of Star Wars speeder bike in its ancestry. That’s fine; plenty of other people have built steampunk speeder bikes before me.

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But we can do better with the description than “This is a steampunk speeder bike. Isn’t it cool?”. And if that gives it a startlingly different official pedigree than merely being a steampunk version of a Star Wars gadget, well, there’s not much wrong with that, either.

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The leafy green backdrop was actually built before the tumbledown urban one, but then I decided that green and growing was less in keeping with the steampunkery of the subject.  So I built this instead:

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Here Be Dragons

Following on from my Elemental Dragon of Earth and White Dragon builds, I decided to have another go at a proper Eastern-style dragon. My friend Luke Skytrekker is right; there really aren’t many of them out there. But there’s another one now, because I built it.

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Red is a good colour for a Chinese-style dragon, because it has cultural associations of prosperity and good fortune. Also, unlike blue or yellow or some other colours, I have the bricks to put something like this together in a reasonable colour scheme.

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This dragon is not as big and bulky as my white dragon Aghtajal, but the slimmer, serpentine form is much more appropriate to a proper Eastern dragon. He’s also considerably smaller than my first Asian Dragon MOC, but since that one was quite a rainbow warrior (and I loathe building rainbow warriors) I’m ok with that.

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Unlike most of my dragons, this one has no place for a rider. People don’t tend to put riders and saddles on an Asiatic dragon in the way they do on a European one; somehow it’s less common. Fantasists don’t tend to use Eastern dragons as much, and it’s really that genre than pushes the whole dragon-rider thing.

Anyway, this dragon has no rider.

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If I remember right, the three toes make it a Japanese dragon rather than a Chinese dragon, though it might be four toes and five toes. I remember the Chinese dragon has an extra toe relative to the Japanese, but not the precise number. Red would have been nice for the toes, but I don’t have any finger elements in that colour. I couldn’t even do them all in black, and one foot and a toe would look silly.

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I also took the opportunity to make up a Flaming Pearl for the dragon to hold. If I recall correctly, the Pearl is a sort of cosmic thunderbolt or lightning weapon of dragons, associated with their aspect as lords of the sky and weather.

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I had to break up my Cole’s Earth Dragon MOC to build this, but that’s ok. The best MOC is always the next one! And we have enough bricks in the household to keep this, my White Dragon, Jay’s Elemental Dragon and a Lloyd mech made mostly out of Green NRG Dragon all built at the same time! Coolness!

Steam Wars

Microscale Star Wars steampunk. I love LEGO.

Steam AT-ST

Steam AT-ST

Stam AT-AT

Steam AT-AT

                          I started out just seeing if I could build a semidecent steamAT-ST at a scale at which the white ice-cream-ball elements work for steam clouds. This (to the left) was the result.

Ok, the feet are too big and the legs attach in the wrong place. Work with me here; it’s hard to model something that small and still end up with something vaguely realistic.

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Then I decided to build a steamAT-AT at the same sort of scale.

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They aren’t quite at the same scale as each other; the AT-ST would have to be about two thirds its present size for that. But the pairing sort of works.

SteamAT-ST feet would feel like a better visual fit, but the mechanics wouldn’t work with some of the structural decisions I made elsewhere in the model. But the whole looks suitably steampunky while remaining recognisably an AT-AT.

All-in-all, an enjoyable bit of microscale work.

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Party Like It’s 1889

This little cannon-armed aerial skiff is a relatively simple model, but I’m fairly pleased with how it’s turned out.

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I mostly built it to showcase my new redcoat soldier minifigure; an undeniable asset to steampunk modelmaking. Now I just need to acquire a top hat and some more rigging and I’m fairly well set up for steampunkery.

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The White Dragon

With my son having received the wonderful Ninjago Lloyd’s Green NRG Dragon set for Christmas (and the Jay’s Elemental Dragon set, but it’s the NRG dragon that’s impressively huge), I decided to try for a dragon of my own that would rival it in size.  Time off over Christmas and New Year has been good for building. Stand by for several posts over the next few days and weeks.

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Choosing white as a prospective Zane’s Ice Dragon, I was disconcerted upon completion of the MOC to discover that Zane was exercising his Ninja stealth skills and currently missing from the minifigures bucket. Oops.

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So, one of the Castle minifigures. One of my Black Falcons, for nostalgia’s sake, sitting atop a rather nice saddle in dark red.

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I think this may be one of my best dragons yet. It’s a lot more Western in form than my previous Cole’s dragon, and though the wings are a little sparser than I’d really like, they’d be unmanageable if I made them any bigger and heavier.

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The dragon’s neck doesn’t articulate quite as much as I’d really like, particularly in the side-to-side direction, but clickstop joints were the only way to give it the needed structural strength. As it is, the head balances precariously on the next-to-last ball-joint.

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A dragon this cool needs a name, though. I think I’m calling him Aghtajal, a corruption of the Kazakh Turkic words for “white monster”, as well as sounding pleasingly draconic and alien. “White monster” is a little unpleasant for such a noble-looking beast, perhaps, but no-one said dragons – or nobles – were good.  And he’s bigger than pretty-boy Lloyd’s Green NRG Dragon, so take that, Ninjago!

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