I think this is a much better mech than last time’s SPARTVS design, but interestingly enough I have far less to say about it. It’s weird how that works sometimes. I was perfectly satisfied with the SPARTVS until I built this Sagittarius mech, but now that I have this to compare it with the SPARTVS seems a bit clumsy and clunky.
To me, this looks like a sort of light aerospace defence mech, which
makes the name “Sagittarius” (“Archer”) very appropriate.
Interestingly, though, that wasn’t the origin of the name.
With those long legs and splay-toed feet, I thought it had a rather
ratite look. For the uninitiated, “Ratites” are a bird family,
including all the extant large flightless birds (ostriches, emus,
rheas, cassowaries and kiwis) plus the non-flightless tinamou and a
number of extinct birds including the moa of New Zealand and the
elephant bird of Madagascar. Anyway, it was nearly the Ratite-class,
but that didn’t seem right for what was obviously a military
design, so I cast my mind around for something similar but a bit more
Secretary-class works even less well than Ratite-class,
but the scientific binomial name of the Secretary Bird is Sagittarius
serpentarius. And Sagittarius being a constellation as
well as a genus, and meaning “Archer” to boot, that worked doubly
well for a space defence walker.
The SPARTVS (“Spartus”; “Synergistic Piloted Assault Robot
Tactical Victory Suit”) mech is a twin-crewed close-quarters combat
mech developed by Cyberus Industries of Titan, a subsidiary of
TransOctan. TransOctan is one of the oldest transcorporate entities
in the System, and though its power has fluctuated relative to the
other feudal-capitalist giants like Bencom and Lagrange-Lunacorp, it
remains one of the major powers, and one known for a certain
Twin-crewed bipedal mechs are not common even in the System, but
Cyberus Industries of Titan seem to specialise in them; the SPARTVS
is not the first such mech to come out of the Cyberus manufactories
beside the Vid Flumina.
The SPARTVS was designed as an enforcement mech for quelling labour riots, so its first factory-default standard model featured neural stun batons to be used in the lower pair of hands, and sleepgas dispensers fitted to the upper arms. However, TransOctan corporate security forces requested a change to monomolecular-edged cutting blades in order to deal with unrest in the volatile Mercury solar farms, where rioting workers had access to Mercurian-environment power armours like the so-called Hellsuit.
The Mark 2 SPARTVS mech incorporated the requested changeout of stun
batons for monomolecular cutting blades, and also replaced the upper
sleepgas dispensers with hydraulic claws. Smaller sleepgas
dispensers can still be fitted to the four upper arms, but the
SPARTVS is mostly deployed against exo-suited rioters or spacesuited
Blacktron agitators where sleepgas is ineffective.
And so we return to Classic Space, and the inverted-moral-polarity
world of the System, in which the Blacktrons are the good guys and
the Classic astronauts represent various corporate factions of the
ruling Dark Side Ayn Randian hypercapitalist dystopia.
It’s been a while since I generated a proper backstory for one of
my NCS creations, and with something as unusual as a twin-crewed NCS
combat mechsuit it seemed like a good opportunity to rectify that
oversight, as well as to return to my favourite dystopian take on the
Neoclassic Space shared universe. And I got to come up with a new
acronym for its name, which is always fun.
You really don’t see a lot of mechs with multiple crew; the whole
point of giant humanoid walkers is that they’re supposed to be
intuitive to control by a single pilot. If you’re going to build a
walker with more than one crewmember, it’s usually going to be more
like an AT-AT or a chicken walker and less like a humanoid. “Legged
vehicle” rather than actual mechsuit.
However, if you can separate out your crew control roles, or possibly link both pilots together (perhaps with control cables plugged directly into their brains), there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t. Besides, it lets you do things like four-armed mechs that actually might have a hope of being controllable without AI running half of it.
Also, unusual design concepts are like crack for me. I’m hopelessly addicted.
I suspect that the “Synergistic” part of the name acronym means
that the pilots are hardwired into the control systems, but
it’s possible there’s some sort of holographic control interface
instead. It’s the future; maybe people have implanted
nanocomputers that interface directly with the brain for information
networking, hard-drive memory support and control of personal
peripherals. That would also explain the absence of any kind of
visible controls for a lot of NCS hardware; they’re controlling it
Who’d have thought that I’d be happily building MCU stuff related
to Iron Man?
For a whole complex of reasons (mostly amounting to “I find Tony
Stark difficult to relate to”) Iron Man’s one of my least
favourite Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes. I never read the comics
he was in, not his own book nor the West Coast Avengers that he led
when I was reading Marvel comics in the ‘90s, and so I have little
background knowledge and nostalgia for the character. All I can draw
from is the modern big-screen incarnation, and not all of that
because I skipped over Iron Man 3.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t dislike the character. I
enjoy watching him interact with the other heroes in most of the
ensemble movies, and even in Civil War I get where he’s
coming from despite the fact that I think I agree more with Captain
America. It’s just that a solo Iron Man film is usually
just a bit too much unleavened Tony Stark for me.
That being the case, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking I’d be
slow to gravitate towards Iron Man builds. However, I don’t
especially like most of the grimdark incarnations of Batman either,
but that hasn’t slowed me down from building the occasional take on
the Batmobile or other Bat-vehicles. Here I am building an Iron
Obadiah Stane’s Iron Monger suit from the first Iron Man
movie is noticeably bigger than a regular-sized human. Since the
Mark 3 Iron Man armour is represented in LEGO as a minifigure (as are
most of the various Tony Stark armours), the larger size of the Iron
Monger brings it into “something to build” territory rather than
This version is obviously too big. Approxinmately twice the height
even of one of the LEGO big ‘figs like Hulk and Thanos, it’s way
out of proportion to a minifig-sized Iron Man. However, the LEGO
Group themselves bend scale all the time for the sake of their
builds, and in multiple themes. Official LEGO Droidekas are well
known for being drastically larger than they ought to be, whereas
even as large a set as the Death Star is demonstrably too small. I’m
not one of these expert specialist mech architects, and I don’t
know how to build much smaller than this and still have it look like
the beefy, bulky suit of MCU Iron Man’s first villain.
I think my favourite part of this is the shoulder-mounted hydraulic
pistons. A feature of the Iron Monger you really have to include if
you’re building it, they’re not easy to do and tend to restrict
the movement of the arms. I’ve done what I can, but these do have
a tendency to disconnect in certain arm positions.
I’m also rather pleased with the multiposeable fingers. Those
rounded 1×1 plates with the bar allow the fingers to splay, giving a
much more naturalistic range of hand motion. Okay, my Iron Monger
doesn’t have elbows or knees, but it looks reasonable despite that.
The helmet even opens up to reveal Obadiah Stane (approximately)
behind the mask.
It’d be nice if there was a way to reproduce a range of horizontal
movement in the mask, but there’s no way to make the head turn with
this construction technique, and anything else would spoil the look.
If I was building this for the anniversary of the Battle of Britain,
I was a month off. The officially recognised start date for the
Battle of Britain was 10th July 1940, and it’s still
June right now.
I’m not sure quite what made me decide to build a Neoclassic Space take on a classic British warplane, but here it is. More of my subconscious “Space Everything” mindset, I suppose. Anyway, here it is. Technically, it’s closer in shape to the Hawker Typhoon than the Supermarine Spitfire, but the body’s a lot wider than either and much more blended with the wings.
Blended-wing construction was never a feature of 1940s aircraft.
It’s way too expensive and difficult for far too little benefit;
you could probably make two or three less capable non-blended-wing
aircraft in the time it took to build one ultra-streamlined
blended-wing super-aircraft. Still, those rounded wings the classic
Spitfire has are rather iconic, and given the blue-based colour
scheme of Classic Space there wasn’t anything I could call it
except “Ultramarine Spitfire”.
Presumably this is a Classic Space Federation transatmospheric space
fighter based on some planet where they need a lot of low-speed
manoeuvrability. If there’s one thing most World War Two aircraft
excelled in, it’s low-speed manoeuvres.
I’m not sure whether this counts as my first Dieselpunk spaceship
or not, but I suppose it might.
Maybe there’s more to build that’s related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe than I thought there was.
Yes, there’s a microbuild polybag of the Avengers Tower already.
Nonetheless, I decided to build my own.
I’m pretty sure the polybag set is larger, so therefore easier to
get detail into, but I’m quite pleased with how this came off. I
even managed to incorporate the Avengers symbol, courtesy of one of
the printed round 2×2 tiles that came with the Captain America
Outriders Attack set.
I do love microbuilds, and finding something in the MCU that will make a good microbuild is more challenging that you might think. Forget any of the heroes, for a start; it’s just not happening.
Stark Tower/Avengers Tower is iconic enough to be instantly
recogniseable and of a shape that isn’t too difficult to reproduce
at this scale with bricks. And then getting those 2×2 Avengers
symbol printed tiles was the icing on the cake.
Not a lot to say about this, really, but I’m pleased with it. Hope
you like it.
I didn’t even come second, though as it turned out most people had apparently forgotten that it was “MOC the Set” month, and the build that did win wasn’t one that fit the MOC the Set criteria. If they hadn’t decided to extend the contest and include everything, who’s to say who would have won, after all the votes for other builds were retallied?
It still might not have been me, of course. My fellow LUG members are a creative lot and most of them are far better in their areas of expertise than I am in my more general building ability. But who actually knows?
Still, I did pick up a new set from the LEGO store where we meet, but as a purchase not a prize.
Yes, the motorbike build is an oversized, ridiculous piece of junk, on the face of it. Yes, it’s totally movie-inaccurate – Captain America doesn’t ride any sort of motorbike in Endgame, let alone one the size of a largeish FedEx delivery van. Yes, if you have any of the other Endgame sets it’s probably not worth getting this one.
But I figured that between the new Captain America headgear element, and his shield, and the three Outriders, and all the Power Burst elements in trans orange, it was actually a decent investment. I’d end up paying almost as much Bricklinking all that as I spent getting it all together with all the other elements as well.
My 8-year-old son thinks it’s a great set, but then this is his first encounter with Power Burst pieces since we didn’t have any previously. Also, it features stuff that shoots. I think his idea of the ideal LEGO set would be a mass of Power Bursts and every conceivable way to shoot stuff with LEGO elements. 8-year-old boys…!
The motorbike is still hugely oversized and basically ridiculous, and if I’d been getting earlier MCU sets I probably wouldn’t bother with any of the Endgame range except maybe the Iron Man Hall of Armour. But I haven’t, so getting one of my personal favourite Avengers was worthwhile.