Tag Archives: Futuron

The Dark Underbelly of Classic Space

The System. Brightly coloured business tyranny of a half-dozen ruthless transcorporations who dominate and control human exploitation of the solar system.

Bound over to a Dark Side hypercapitalist creed of profit maximisation at the expense of individual lives and freedoms, the System owns everything, dividing up the worlds between the several megacorporate business interests and enforcing their will through both the theoretically independent Space Police organisation and internal transcorporate security forces.

Despite occasional turf wars and bloody takeover battles over the control of their various subsidiaries, the half-dozen major transcorporations collude as much as they compete, with the directorates of Bencom, TransOctan, Lagrange-Lunacorp and the others in full agreement over the basic tenets of their pseudocapitalistic corporate feudalism and its overall expression in the System.

A growing protest movement has emerged, using stark black as a unifying colour in reaction to the brightly-coloured transcorporate liveries used by the major economic players, and bearing a triple-triangle emblem representing the ancient French Revolutionary battle cry of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. Dubbed “Blacktron” by the Bencom-controlled media outlets (who tried to pin the blame for the disturbances on the TransOctan Group’s takeover of Bencom’s financial subsidiary Atlas Solutions), the protesters are drawn from a cross-section of idealists and radicals across all the major transcorporations up and down the economic ladder.

Ruthlessly suppressed by transcorporate goon squads with the full support of the Space Police organisation whose mission is in theory to uphold the last vestiges of real law in the System, the movement spreads underground by word of mouth, liberated communications and graffiti scrawled on outpost walls, a David-and-Goliath alliance of motley rebels who may be the last best hope of humanity…

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Several of my recent builds have been tied into my dystopian Brightly Coloured Tyranny universe in their descriptions, but this is the first time I’ve specifically built anything that couldn’t be a more generic Neoclassic Space creation.

Since the System is a Brightly Coloured Tyranny, it’s a fairly certain bet that anywhere out of the direct eye of the directorate classes is going to be underfinanced and broken-down, and it’s actually been a lot of fun putting together a ramshackle, tumbledown version of the Classic Space theme. It’s also let me bring in colours that never usually belong in a Neoclassic Space build; most significantly dark grey, but I’m also making judicious use of flat silver and dark tan.

There are quite a few fun little details here. The guy riding the speeder bike looks absolutely terrified of the Space Police officer. The officer does look rather brutal – she’s actually Cyren from the Ninjago theme, and the only yellow head in the entire build.

There’s a security camera on the wall, casting a roving, Big Brother eye over that part of the build. Predictably, it seems in far better working order than the various lighting fixtures, half of which have missing or broken bulbs.

On the middle level are the armed transcorporate goon squads, behind their dehumanising black visors. If the traditional polarity of “Classic Space good, Blacktron bad” is reversed here, then it’s the Blacktron who need the humanising touch of being able to see their faces and the Classic astronauts who need the darkened visors. Or at least the transcorporate security forces.

Down below, it’s a lot more ratty and grim-looking, with dark grey (new greys throughout as usual) predominating and more dark tan. Here are the Blacktron protesters, one of whom is being gunned down by a blue-suited Bencom enforcer. The protesters have homemade signs, both because I’m a cheapskate and because I wanted the look of hand-drawn signs. With one protester down, I figured a little blood wouldn’t be out of place, even if it ups the classification rating somewhat. This is the first time I’ve built anything with bloodstains in it; normally I stay within the boundaries of a Universal/General rating.

The Futuron dude looks suitably horrified at the brutality of the transcorporate security forces; the Brightly Coloured Tyranny universe isn’t a simple case of Blacktron versus the world, but a more complex and nuanced world in which some of the brightly coloured astronauts might be sympathetic civilians, or System partisans, or apathetic, or anything in between.

I’m not sure “I hope you like it” is the right thing to say with a build like this, but you know what I mean. It’s a gritty and dystopian build, but I’m really satisfied with how it’s turned out.

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Black Viper

The clean, conventional lines of the Colonial Viper are most unBlacktron, really. However, having built a Cylon Raider (1980s version) in Futuron colours, a Blacktron Viper does complete the symmetry.

This isn’t a straight copy of the Colonial Viper, either the original version or the reboot, but like my Futuron Raider, it’s definitely in the “inspired by” category.

Blacktron I hardware tends either toward the sleek and streamlined (like the Battrax) or the nastily unconventional (cue the asymmetricity of the Renegade); and while this is smooth, the shape doesn’t give quite the impression of sleekness and is certainly a very conventional, hero-type design.

However.

As I’ve been mentioning on this blog, in these parts at the moment the Blacktron movement is a heroic rebel Alliance rising up against the brightly-coloured tyranny of the System and its shiny Classic astronauts (frowny faces punishable by Disappearance). And in that inverse version of the Classic Space/Futuron/Blacktron shared universe, the conventionality of the Viper-esque lines make a certain amount of objective sense.

Or it’s a sophisticated visual irony and the Blacktron are their usual bad selves.

Either way, I built a Blacktron Viper to go with my Futuron Raider. And of course, I had to take a pic of them facing off.

I think that with this creation I’m done with this mini Classic-Space-meets-‘80s-Battlestar-Galactica kick. Though I do wonder whether a Blacktron Battlestar would work…?

By Your Command

Apparently I’m in ‘80s Battlestar Galactica mode or something.

Futuron Raider

Normally we might expect that if we’re building a Futuron interpretation of a 1980s Battlestar Galactica ship, it would be the Colonial Viper, leaving the Cylon Raider for the Blacktron. However, in this part of the universe we run on an inverted, mirror-dimension sort of setup in which the Blacktron Alliance are the good guys and the Classic Space/Futuron/Space Police triad represent an oppressive megacorporate System. So it’s the Futuron that get the Cylon Raider.

Cylon Raider (original 1980s version)

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The Colonial Raider-class transatmospheric fightercraft is a tailless flying-wing design space fighter with twin nuclear engines. The configuration is inherently unstable for unpowered atmospheric operation, but it is considered unlikely that any fighter would have to make an atmospheric flight without power. The weapons systems of 24th-Century combat tend towards utter destruction of a struck vessel of this size rather than any survivable hit.

The Raider includes twin wingtip-mounted lasers and a pair of plasma cannon mounted in the nosecone. The cockpit is large and spacious for a single pilot, and the command variant includes a second seat in tandem with the first for no increase in overall size.

Planet Futuro’s colonists are a mixed bag of allegiants of most of the major System transcorporations, and their white-with-black livery is a departure from the older blue-and-grey livery of the System, selected initially as warning colouration to make astronauts aware that the vessels are interstellar-capable and include antimatter power plants.

Since almost everything moved into the Tau Ceti system that includes Planet Futuro was powered by antimatter, the livery has become associated with the “Futuron” colonists.

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Now, how about a Blacktron version of the Colonial Viper…?

Original Colonial Vipers

M600 Scarab

Futuron being the acknowledged successors of the Classic Space Federation, it’s entirely possible they’re still using Peter Reid’s robot turtles.

But it’s equally possible they aren’t.

M600 Scarab unit

Inspired by my Blacktron antiTurtle, the K19 Black Widow, I experimented with other variations on the basic circular-handle-and-3×3-dish theme and came up with this beetle-like robot design in Futuron colours.

I’m calling them Scarabs, which seems to fit with both the white-colours-and-light nature of the Futuron and with the bladelike front claws. Ancient Egyptian mythology is weird enough that they have a dung beetle pushing the sun across the sky (when it isn’t sailing in a boat or flying as a falcon or 89 other mutually-conflicting ideas).

Alas, I only have one white 3×3 dome and four white robotic finger elements, so the second one is an unpainted factory model, but I did manage more than one. Isn’t it strange when it’s a lack of some tiny element in a particular colour that stymies your building?

Neo-Futuron Speeder

You see a lot of Neo-Classic Space out there with its awesome blue/grey/trans yellow colour scheme, but rather less Neo-Futuron.  So I built this Neo-Futuron landspeeder.

Neo-Futuron speeder

Neo-Futuron speeder

I wasn’t intending this as necessarily Neo-Futuron, but that’s the sort of vibe it seems to have ended up with.

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I don’t have any Futuron minifigures to crew it, and one of my kids seems to have run off with Pete the Roboturtle Feeder (from the LEGO Ideas Exo-Suit set), so Yve the Exo-Suit Driver is copiloting for the minifigure I’ve christened Laurie the Androgynous Ice Planet Guy.  With that floppy fringe of hair, I was convinced for several years that this minifig was a girl, but the consensus seems to be that the figure is a he.

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