Caterpillar tracks are great for getting around in challenging terrain, but steering them was initially a bit of an engineering challenge for people used to wheeled vehicles. You need independent gearing for each track in order to make it work, and though we’re used to that now, in the inter-War and World War 2 period it made vehicles more difficult and expensive to manufacture.
Enter the half-track.
Wheels at the front for steering with and tracks at the back for traction, many nations produced them, but it’s the German ones that are the most recogniseable, thanks to numerous war films.
Having just bought a few sets of rubber tracks via Bricklink, I wanted to make use of them, and with my son’s recent birthday acquisition of Catwoman’s motorbike (from the LEGO Batman Movie line), the bizarre little German motorcycle half-track (known as “Kettenkrad”) was apparently on my mind.
Classic Space version? You bet!
Taking a break in my building from Wind Horse‘s world and its steampunkery, I return to Classic Space as naturally as a duck returns to water.
There are no major new building techniques on display here, but I just like the concept of a space half-track.
My remaining green Classic Space astronaut from the Exo-Suit set is currently missing (well, so’s the other one. Pete the Robot Turtle Feeder hasn’t been seen for about a year, and we’ve moved house during that time. My assumption is he’s long gone), so I’ve made some modified astronauts by cobbling together pieces of Ice Planeteer and City Spaceport astronauts to make a sort of transitional spacesuit design with elements of both. Hence one of these astronauts has the bulky suit and immobile enclosing helmet of a more primitive age, while the other has a more high-tech slimline suit with greater mobility.
This also probably explains why the vehicle bears the insignia of the Classic Space Federation while the suits bear the mark of the LEGO City Space Service: they’re in transition from one to the other.