Category Archives: Saurian Sector

Federation Hyper-Courier

In terms of actually produced sets, the largest LEGO Classic Space ships are things like the 928 Galaxy Explorer and the 6985 Cosmic Fleet Voyager.

These were large sets, to be sure. If they had had all the greebles and decorative pieces of modern sets, they’d probably be in the 800+ piece range. But in absolute terms, they’re pretty paltry things, and there’s no way that they can be the largest ships the Classic Space Federation possesses.

We know this from the fact that 90% of the ground vehicles sold in Classic Space sets will in no way fit into the cargo bay of an LL928 Galaxy Explorer.

The Federation might build some of their planetary vehicles on-site, but I doubt this is the case for all of them, so they have at least one transport ship that’s bigger than Galaxy Explorer, and they ought to have a whole series of transorbital ships that aren’t designed to be able to land. Big galactic cruisers with crews in the hundreds or thousands of minifigures. Giant carriers with hangar bays for multiple 924- and 928-class ships.

The generic names of these ships are a bit of a puzzle. Sets 928 and 924 both got called “Space Cruiser” in different parts of the world, and that’s about the most non-militaristic-sounding “big ship”-type name I can come up with. Given The LEGO Group’s feelings about warlike toys, it seems improbable that the big ships of the Galactic Federation are “battlecruisers” or “destroyers” or “dreadnoughts”.

I’m proposing a modification of “space cruiser”. Since the “Space Cruiser” is designed for transatmospheric work and planetary landings, a larger ship designed for transorbital operations without landing might perhaps be a “Hyperspace Cruiser”.

I think it works. “Hyper-Cruiser”, “Hyper-Carrier”, “Hyper-Transport”, even perhaps “Hyper-Frigate”.

All this to say “I was in the mood to build a Classic Space ship large enough to have a proper furnished interior”.

Hyper-Courier 2 Hyper-Courier 1

As “big” ships go, this is pretty small; something of a hybrid between the big transorbital ships I’m envisaging and the smaller transatmospheric ships we have sets of. I envisage it as a fast hyperspace transport, able to get small amounts of personnel and material across the galaxy quickly. It has a small crew complement and is able to be handled by a sole crewmember if need be, as well as an interior furnished as something other than solely a flight deck and a smallish cargo hold.

Detail showing the interior

Detail showing the interior

The flight deck is in the forward cockpit; this “Hyper-Courier” is more on a scale at which the lovely big curved windscreen piece makes visual sense as a cockpit than the little mining vehicle where I used it before (though that worked).

Hyper-courier cockpit detail

Hyper-courier cockpit detail

Behind this is a section containing sleep pods, which I’m seeing as a kind of general-purpose device that can function in multiple modes for general sleep or medical stasis, or for personal hygiene as a shower/cleaning chamber. The ship has three, though two more could be fitted further aft.

Sleep pod detail

Sleep pod detail

Behind this is a recreation/mess area with tables and chairs, which can be turned to multiple angles to facilitate conversation. A Space Fleet officer in a red uniform is talking to someone in civilian dress.

Rec area detail

Rec area detail

Behind this is a general-purpose space with a domed roof; this would be configurable for multiple uses depending on the ship’s mission. Currently mostly empty, it might be used to store mission gear, or hold more sleep pods, or whatever.

Hyper-Courier open 2

Directly behind this is the cargo hold. Larger than that of a 928 Galaxy Explorer, it is still not a big cargo volume, and given the ship’s courier role would generally be employed for small amounts of time-sensitive or particularly valuable cargo.

Cargo hold detail

Cargo hold detail

On either side of this, the Hyper-Courier has airlocks. Actual, functioning airlocks that mean that the passengers and crew don’t need to weap spacesuits in the interior. The 24th Century version of OSHA probably requires flight crew to be suited while on duty in a ship of this size, but technically the interior space is pressurised, as it ought to be.

Airlock detail

Airlock detail

Each airlock has a space for astronaut airtanks and a hook upon which to hang a helmet. Because of the vagaries of LDD, I’ve included the airtanks but not the helmets. They have an interior door (full height) and an exterior hatch (smaller). I have abandoned the design I used on the Orion Transport, both because it was overly complex without actually fully working, and because the design wouldn’t fit in this Hyper-Courier.

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B.U.N.N.I.E. Suit

I seem to be wanting to make mechs at the moment.  Here’s another one, also in the “Space Construction” line, though more general-purpose:

 

Construction BUNNIE Suit

Construction BUNNIE Suit

The BUNNIE Suit is a type of construction equipment having no parallel in 21st Century construction. Sometimes called a “mechsuit”, it is a mech-type vehicle that is worn rather than piloted; a strength-augmenting exoskeleton used to make light of much of the heavy lifting of the construction industry. The acronym stands for Basic Utility Neural Net Interfacing Exoskeleton; however, most authorities agree that this is an after-the-fact name derived from the rabbit-ear-like antennae projecting above the pilot’s head. It is a matter of record that the first test pilots jokingly referred to it as a “bunny suit” due to the appearance of the antennae.

 

Mechsuit 2 Mechsuit 1Useful for heavy lifting in enclosed spaces where even a small mech will not fit, BUNNIE Suited construction workers move and place all kinds of parts and equipment, operate laser welders and plasma saws, lay control fiberoptics and power lines, and perform many of the smaller-scale tasks of the space construction site.

Mechsuit

The suit is also useful in all kinds of other environments, even existing as a Space Fleet Command version, the so-called “Tactical BUNNIE Suit”:

Tactical BUNNIE Suit

Tactical BUNNIE Suit

Tyrannosaurus mechs

Stomps around… Shoots big lasers… Eats AT-ATs… Must be a Tyrannomech!
When making a series of Neoclassic Space mechs modelled on dinosaurs, your Tyrannosaur derivative had better be impressive. I hope I’ve achieved that goal.

I always intended the Tyrannomech to be the biggest and baddest of my dinomechs. I was originally thinking it would have a crew of two, one or at most two big guns and a selection of smaller ones. A detachable head spaceship would be an added bonus.

Then I actually started building. Working from the feet up (yeah, possibly a strange place to start, but I grew up in the era before SNOT became the expected norm, and I wasn’t quite sure how to do some of the techniques involving plates used as angled walls) it quickly became clear that this was going to be a considerably larger dinomech than I had originally envisioned.

This is ok, but it creates quite a gap in size between the Raptor and the T-mech. And since nature abhors a vacuum, stay posted…


The Tyrannomech in all its glory

The Tyrannomech, sometimes called the T-mech for short, is the largest dinomech produced by the VLC Corporation and one of the most combat-capable mechs in use anywhere in the Galactic Federation.

Frontal view

Frontal view

A large bipedal walker featuring a detachable reconnaissance spacecraft as the “head” and an elongated balancing tail, the Tyrannomech combines the heavy armament of many quadrupedal walkers with the better speed characteristics of bipeds. Gyroscopically stabilised and with the tail to aid in balancing, the stability problems sometimes associated with large biped walkers have been effectively overcome by Federation engineers.

The big guns fully rotate

The big guns fully rotate

The T-mech has a crew of three and an internal transport bay able to hold up to four troops. It may be controlled solely from either of the dorsal cockpit control stations, or from the head via a specially-designed interface bracket, or functions may be shared between all three stations.

Contains a small internal troop transport bay

Contains a small internal troop transport bay

The main armament is a pair of heavy antimatter lasers mounted on a dorsal turret featuring a unique double boom arrangement. Numerous other lasers and antimatter lasers act as secondary armament: two each on the small “arms”, four on the head mount, two more in a small ventral turret and five on the tail, making the prospect of attacking a T-mech from any angle a dangerous one.

Tyrannomech 3a

After aspect

The reconnaissance spacecraft, known as the R3X fighter, features variable-angle wings and a pair of antimatter lasers as armament. Its primary purpose is to give the T-mech an integral long-range reconnaissance ability.

The R3X fighter detatched

The R3X fighter detatched

The Tyrannomech is not widely used outside of the Saurian Sector. In most of the Federation its design as a dedicated combat mech makes it less attractive to more peaceful Sector Commands requiring a more versatile design. In the dangerous Saurian Sector, however, it provides a much-needed heavy defensive capability.

Cephalon “Octocrab” battle mech

With the drastically upgunned nature of my dinosaur-inspired parallels of Classic Space hardware, it was obvious that I needed an adversary.

I’ve always admired cephalopods, and there are some rather famous Mesozoic ones in the shape of the Ammonites, Belemnites and Orthocones.

I’m seeing possibilities here.


The Cephalon Dominion is a powerful and aggressive interstellar empire outside the borders of the Galactic Federation. Expanding into the Saurian Sector at the same time as the Federation, the Cephalon Dominion’s AstroNavy is one of the main adversaries of Space Fleet Command in the region.

Cephalon Dominion "Octocrab" mech

Cephalon Dominion “Octocrab” mech

The Cephalon species is green-skinned, short, somewhat squidlike, and hostile to humanity. Due to the presence of extensive Sector-wide deposits of the rare energy crystal Mesozorium, tensions between the Dominion and the Federation are high, and conflicts are actually fairly common. Their bulbous spaceships and surface hardware in green, black and red colour scheme are easily recogniseable and quite deadly.

A Cephalon planetary surface warrior.  I've used the Lego SW Kit Fisto head as being appropriate to a cephalopoid race.

A Cephalon planetary surface warrior. I’ve used the Lego SW Kit Fisto head as being appropriate to a cephalopoid race.

Cephalon surface assault capabilities are exemplified by the powerful Octocrab mech.

close-up of the head section

close-up of the head section

The Octocrab is an eight-legged walker with flexible legs ending in feet which double as powerful gripping claws, giving it a close-in combat ability unmatched even by the Federation’s own Tyrannomech (forthcoming build). Primary ranged armament is a high-powered antineutron beam in an underslung turret; this is backed up by a quartet of sponson-mounted twin neutron blasters and a further twin neutron blaster mounted in a rooftop turret.

The Octocrab does not really have a "rear".  But this one is currently headed away.

The Octocrab does not really have a “rear”. But this one is currently headed away.

The Octocrab is typically crewed by four Cephalons.

Type 7 Miner-Explorer (“Wombat”)

 

The Wombat

The Wombat

The Wombat (officially the “Type 7 Miner-Explorer”, though it is rarely called that) is a mobile mining and exploration vehicle used in the Neoclassic Space Federation for mineralogical and planetological survey work, including the drilling of preliminary bores prior to actual extraction and exploitation of the ores in question.

Type 7 miner-explorer 1

It features a pair of below-ground scanning devices utilising seismographic equipment, subsurface radar and more penetrative forms of radiation to build up a 3D tectonic and geological map of its immediate area. At the rear is the main drilling rig, on which a pair of hand-held geo-scanners are mounted for transport. The drill itself is mounted on a turntable and multi-jointed arm for ease of transition between drilling and travel modes.

Type 7 miner-explorer 2

Also mounted at the rear are a pair of articulated grabber arms for handling of more volatile samples; these are conveniently located next to the sample boxes amidships.

Type 7 miner-explorer 3

Space miners Hal Burgess and Cutter Vance in the cockpit area. Dale Brickholm is at the back.

 

The Wombat carries a crew of three in a single forward cockpit. There is a hatch leading from the cockpit to the drill arm area, and the entire front of the cockpit (including the steering console column) swings up for easy access, revealing a ladder mounted on the lower hull.

Type 7 miner-explorer 4

Miner Dale Brickholm operates the drill

 


 

This was a fun model to make. I’ve been wanting an excuse to use the big curved cockpit shield for ages.

This is still definitely a Neoclassic Space vehicle, and is certainly used in the Saurian Sector where all my dino-themed Neoclassic creations are set, but it doesn’t have a dino name. It’s more of a semi-civilian vehicle, and the miners themselves are civilians. I imagine a lot of this sort of specialised work happens under the aegis of Space Fleet Command but not actually performed by Fleet personnel, and I’ve used this excuse to mess around with established Classic Space suit colours to create a new combination. The Dark Stone Grey/Medium Nougat combination is going to represent space miners, at least in my corner of the Classic Space universe. And I used the half-hemisphere visor in transparent brown to further distinguish them from proper Fleet personnel.

LL1028-series Saurian Sector Explorer

In making dinosaur-inspired equivalents for many of the old Classic Space sets from the Dawn of Time (at least as far as Lego Space goes), sooner or later I was going to have to make something equivalent to the big mama of original Classic Space sets, the LL928. Known in Europe as set 928, the Space Cruiser and Moonbase, in the US the same set went by the name and number of 497 Galaxy Explorer. Both had the same “LL928” printed on the side, though.

It’s to this that Benny’s Spaceship Spaceship SPACESHIP!! from the Lego Movie refers with its “LL929” hull number. I decided that since this was already taken, that I would modify the original set code number in a different way; hence, “LL1028″.

I’m a Brit, but the name “Galaxy Explorer” seems to work better in my unified backstory, so I guess that settles it. In my corner of the Classic Space universe, the original LL928 is the Galaxy Explorer, while my “dynamic equivalent” is the LL1028 Saurian Sector Explorer.


With the discovery of the dangerous Saurian Sector, the Galactic Federation’s Space Fleet Command recognised the need for a more combat-capable spaceship than the old LL928 series Galaxy Explorer to serve as a primary exploration and transport vessel. The Saurian Sector not only had many rugged planets with inimical local lifeforms, but also spacegoing dangers such as the hostile Cephalon Dominion and Neo-Blacktron incursions from their nearby base world Sardis. After several LL928-class vessels disappeared along the edges of Cephalon space, the Sector’s commanding officer Admiral Thera took to radical means to combat this threat.

The various Sector commands already had a great deal of local autonomy in ship design, and with the establishment of Saurian Space Command, a new generation of primary explorer ship entered service: the LL1028 series Saurian Sector Explorer, sometimes called the Pliosaur-class. Like much of the hardware of the Federation in the Saurian Sector, the LL1028 has a design based on an extinct Earth creature: in this case, the marine reptile that gave the class its name. It was a rarity among Sector Commands to attempt a redesign of a ship as ubiquitous and successful as the LL928-series, but the realities of life in the Saurian Sector left little alternative.

The LL1028-series "Pliosaur" spaceship replaces the old LL928-series in the Saurian Sector

The LL1028-series “Pliosaur” spaceship replaces the old LL928-series in the Saurian Sector

In common with the LL928 Explorer, the LL1028 model has a large crew section and a rear cargo compartment able to carry a small surface vehicle. However, due to the rugged nature of many of the Sector’s worlds, the Pliosaur-class eschewed the LL928’s rover in favour of a miniature mech of the VLC Corporation’s Troodon design.

LL1028 landed, with Troodon

LL1028 landed, with Troodon

The four main engines of the LL1028 are mounted on omnidirectional fins, giving the vessel a combination of speed and agility unmatched in most ships its size and adding considerably to its combat power. This design also proved necessary for safe takeoff and landing in the rugged terrain of Saurian Sector planets.

After aspect showing the drop-down ramp

After aspect showing the drop-down ramp

The other factor in the LL1028’s battle effectiveness is its massively increased armament over the LL928. The old Explorer class was deliberately designed with minimal armament to avoid provocation, but in the hostile Saurian Sector, such moves were often taken as weakness and an invitation to attack. The Pliosaur-class has a cluster of four antimatter lasers attached to each of its engine mounts, a dorsal turret featuring another four antimatter lasers, plus a bank of four regular lasers beneath the cockpit and another six rear-firing lasers aft.

Front view with cockpit.  There are internal hatches allowing access from the cockpit to the passenger area and the passenger area to the cargo bay.

Front view with cockpit. There are internal hatches allowing access from the cockpit to the passenger area and the passenger area to the cargo bay.

The forward cockpit opens up, and is connected to the main crew compartment by a secondary hatch. Another crew hatch leads from there into the interior of the cargo bay. In addition, the main crew compartment opens up for easy access to the ship, and the cargo bay is acessible from the outside by a drop-down ramp.

View into the main passenger compartment.

View into the main passenger compartment.

VLC Troodon mini-dinomech

Continuing the series of dinosaur-derived Neo-Classic Space vehicles, I present the VLC Troodon mini-mech.

It was clear that while the VLC Raptor is a relatively light vehicle as mechs go, it was still too bulky to realistically fit inside the cargo bay of any vehicle designed as a rough equivalent to the LL928-series Space Cruiser/Galaxy Explorer. And such is the Pliosaur-class.

To do that, I had to go not larger, in a big Tyrannosaurus mechs, but smaller. A mini-Raptor. The Troodon is that smaller dinomech.


The VLC Troodon dinomech

The VLC Troodon dinomech

This mini-mech is produced by the VLC Corporation of the Saurian Sector as a small personal mobility vehicle. Designated the Troodon, the vehicle is the smallest dinomech produced by VLC Corp.

Due to the rugged nature of many of the Sector’s planets, mechs are far more suitable than rovers for surface mobility, and the rover of the old LL928 series Galaxy Explorer has been replaced by other vehicles in the large LL1028 series Saurian Sector Explorer, also known as the Pliosaur-class (article forthcoming). Chief among these is the VLC Troodon dinomech.

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

Due to the necessity of fitting into a fairly constrained cargo bay area, the mech has been designed to partially fold up into a relatively small volume. The hinged tail is part of this folding ability, as is the ability of the mech to disembark an LL1028-series vessel remotely without a pilot on its back.

The VLC Troodon’s pilot controls the vehicle via a handlebar-type controller mounted on the neck. The operator may either stand atop the small dinomech’s back (usual operations) or sit just behind the neck (which may be more comfortable for long-duration missions but which is less stable at high speed).

After aspect of the Troodon

After aspect of the Troodon

The Troodon is far more minimally-armed than the larger Raptor mech, with only a single head-mounted laser cannon as ranged armament. The single claws mounted in the arms can be used either for close-quarters battle, or more commonly to aid in climbing. Its minimal armament reflects its different role; the Raptor is an armed vehicle for reconnaissance-in-force, whereas the Troodon is more of a light explorer and general mobility vehicle.