Category Archives: Space Construction

Where the Spacedozers Roam

I like to build spacecraft and I work in construction, so you’d think the intersection of the two might be more of a common theme in my work. Maybe.

Not so; I’ve toyed with the concept a little, but perhaps because I work around them all day, bulldozers are usually boring to me. So it was a refreshing challenge for me to try to build this spacedozer.

More fruits of “Febrovery”, this model was what resulted from the thought “ok, I built a regular Neoclassic rover, but is there any way I can mix it up?”

Space emergency vehicles seemed like a good idea, but a vastly better builder than I posted an amazing space ambulance rover, so I didn’t want to do that. And Space Police is already a thing, while space fire-rescue doesn’t work because you can’t have fire in a vacuum. Space construction seemed like the next best option.

This rover is entirely too sleek to be truly realistic as a construction vehicle, which are normally blocky, clunkily-shaped thIngs of brute power. But it works as a sort of spacedozer. The dozer blade even raises and lowers, while the rear grabbing arm is perfect for lifting and carrying. And it has a green astronaut pilot in keeping with my personal decision that the green suits represent Space Fleet’s logistics and support command.

It’s not my greatest model ever, but it’s sort of fun.

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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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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

Space Construction

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.