Classic Space is fun. The adventures of the nameless astronauts of the Galactic Federation, exploring the galaxy and countering the villainy of Blacktron. No story except what you make yourself. A chance to let your imagination take you to the stars.
The Classic Space astronauts, obviously, come in different colours. There seem to have been multiple versions of what the different suit colours mean. It seems fairly obvious that they denote different departments, but which ones?
Brickipedia says that the red astronauts are pilots, the white astronauts are explorers, the yellow astronauts are scientists, the blue astronauts are soldiers and the black astronauts are spies.
LEGO Ideas says that the red astronauts are soldiers or explorers, the white astronauts are pilots, the yellow astronauts are scientists, the blue astronauts are commanders and the black astronauts are spies (which I’m choosing to interpret as intelligence and internal security). The new green astronauts (that come with the LEGO Ideas Exo-Suit) are supposedly mech pilots. Brickipedia claims their source is the creator of the Classic Space theme, but LEGO Ideas is actually written by LEGO staff, so it seems as close to official as we’re probably going to get. I’m going with it. And extending it in different directions.
But not everyone in the Federation is going to be an explorer or a pilot. They are going to need environment technicians, doctors, dockworkers, and miners, and that’s just the ones who will definitely need spacesuits!
And they will also need construction workers.
In some ways it was probably inevitable. I mean, I love Lego Classic Space and I work in construction. It seems almost bizarre that it’s taken me this long to put the two together. But then, I don’t know that anyone else has done it, either.
So, Space Construction. The guys in the orbital shipyards who put the SPACESHIPs together, and the guys on the ground who assemble the bases. They aren’t soldiers, pilots, scientists or commanders. They’re Emmet in space. Orange seems like an appropriate spacesuit colour, with the full near-hemispherical visor I’m using to denote civilians.
Of course, this is the future. They probably aren’t going to be using early 21st Century bulldozers and excavators and dump trucks. We have to think a little bit about what the 24th Century might need their machines to do.
Robodozers? Probable. Laser cutters rather than excavators or drilling machines? Plasma graders? Rock fusers rather than concrete mixers? Laser welders? Giant robotic excavators?
We obviously don’t want everything to be automated, because who wants to play with a robot bulldozer? But the heavy equipment probably shouldn’t look too much like the stuff from the regular LEGO City.
In that vein, then, I present the L4 Construction Mech:
The L4 mech
The L4 is one of a series of general construction mechs built by the Grubb Corporation.
As mechs go, it is a relatively light vehicle, and serves as a general-purpose hull to which various kinds of equipment can be attached.
The factory-standard model comes with a pair of grasping arms, but one or more of these can be replaced with other gear as appropriate. Examples of alternate gear include modern plasma welders, laser cutters and antigravity cranes as well as older equipment such as fine manipulators, or even ancient devices like shovel blades and physical hooks.
Thanks to modern integrated computer management, switching out the various kinds of equipment is a relatively straightforward process: simply perform the physical switch and the L4’s onboard computer provides the necessary control alterations in a matter of moments. The L4 is thus one of the most versatile of smaller construction vehicles; akin to the tractors of 20th and 21st Century construction.
Controlled by a single pilot, like most of the Grubb Corporation’s hardware, the L4 is merely one example of a graduated series of construction mechs. The largest, the L12, is the size of a large building and optimised for excavation, whereas the smallest, the L2, is about half the size of the L4.
From the earliest days, construction vehicles have been painted yellow for easy visibility in the often-dangerous environment of a construction site, and this custom continues to this day.