Tag Archives: Alienator

Alienate This

Of all the six first-generation Blacktron sets, the Alienator has probably had the most separate update attempts.

There are reasons for this.

In 1987 when the Blacktron first made their appearance, the Alienator was my least-favourite of their hardware, even including the little Meteor Monitor that presaged the disappointing “Blacktron Future Generation” colours by including white.

The original Alienator

It was those legs that got me.

Normally I’m a fan of legged vehicles, especially in LEGO form, but even as an early-teenaged child I had enough of an inner biologist that I wanted something that bent at the hips and knees. That twist-and-slide zombie shuffle didn’t do anything for me. To my mind, the capabilities of the bricks they had back then meant that the world wasn’t ready for LEGO mechs. I didn’t like any of the various legged Classic Space vehicles.

Cut to the present and my post-Dark Age return to building as an AFOL, and we have all kinds of useful element types that didn’t exist back then. Not least of these are the various kinds of balljoint elements.

Now Alienate This!

The whole Bionicle/CCBS/”constraction” thing came in while I was away, and to this day that building style is a complete black box to me and effectively a separate community. I personally get bored with endless variations on the human figure, and lacking any background I neither know nor care whether I’m looking at the Toa of Cut-Price Furniture or the Protector of Cyborg Hippoes. Or whatever it is the real ones are supposed to be called.

But the various balljoint elements with studs add so many capabilities to my arsenal of techniques that they’ve nearly become essential to my building. I literally couldn’t build two thirds of what I build without them.

Now that we have the capability to build a more realistic jointed leg, an Alienator update is a really good idea, and just about every TFOL/AFOL Blacktron fan seems to build one at some point.

The various neo-Alienators out there seem to fall on a spectrum from stuff like this, which is very close in design to the original apart from the realistic legs, to stuff like this, which is awesome but radically divergent from the original, being much larger and flashier.

Mine’s somewhere in between. More “inspired by” the original than strictly colouring inside the lines, its long, spindly insectile legs and big round feet combine to give it a rather Wellsian War of the Worlds vibe, like a Blacktron take on the Martian Fighting Machine. It’s ended up with a lot more cockpit, proportionally speaking, than the Alienator 1.0.

I was actually initially anticipating a larger vehicle with a more extensive rear section, but realising that I was bored with the conventional daisy-chain mode of balljoint connection I decided to experiment with using the central ball that is normally used for attaching the greaves elements as a primary connection point. That pulled the whole centre of balance forward and necessitated a much abbreviated rear section.

You’ll of course have noticed the out-of-place dark red curved element. Even with the partial element sorting I’ve managed since this post, I can’t find the other black one that I know I’ve got, so I had to use a different colour. The same goes for the dark grey Bionicle limb rod at the back.

I’m claiming battle damage. Some Space Police disruptor weapon changing the chemical composition of the hull-metal.

The Martian War Machine-esque Bauplan got me thinking that it needed a wrecked spaceship to loom menacingly over, so the scene-setting accessories are a row of rocks and a partial Space Police-coloured wreck. Take that, nasty Space Police!

Of course, now I want to build a full on Blacktron-liveried war tripod à la War of the Worlds.

Maybe later; I’m going off on holiday in less than a week. And I’ll probably have forgotten all about Blacktron Martians by the time I get back.

SteamBlacktron Alle-Venator

Following on from my “Einvader” steampunk re-imagining of the Blacktron Invader, it was clear that the Baron von Blacktron was going to need some sort of ground vehicle for his forces of villainy.

SteamBlacktron Alle-Venator

SteamBlacktron Alle-Venator

The Alienator is a walker, which is pretty steampunky already, but “Alienator” isn’t a very steampunky name. Still, we can adapt. Using the odd mix of German and Latin that produced “Einvader”, I’m calling this the “Alle-Venator”. Translated, this would be “All-Hunter”, which seems apt for a SteamBlacktron walker.

Alle-Venator 2

The Alle-Venator has fully-jointed legs that allow a much better level of motion and poseability than the disappointing sliding motion of the original. Ah, the wonders of modern ball joint elements!

Alle-Venator 3

There is a piston/double wheel arrangement on the back that I’m quite pleased with, and the inevitable billowing smokestack that tells you beyond a doubt that yes, this is steampunk.

Alle-Venator 4

The name suggested a manhunter rather than an anti-armour fighting machine, so the armament is a pair of large machine guns on an underslung turret beneath the cockpit. The front feet also have some nasty-looking claws as a secondary attack mode. I’ve made the pilot of this one a girl; it seems wickedly appropriate for the pilot of a manhunter. I’m calling her Magda von Morrigan, referencing the Irish warrior goddess and keeping with the Germanic name theme of my SteamBlacktron forces.

Alle-Venator 5

So now my Baron von Blacktron has a flying machine and a walker.