Tag Archives: Ice Planet

IceBug

The Ice Planeteers had (proportionally speaking) quite a lot of surface vehicles in their single year of existence as a theme, but no mechs. This was back in the day, mind you, before the advent of CCBS and balljoint elements, and making reasonable legs was really hard.

That’s since been rectified, but insectoid ice mechs still aren’t exactly two-a-penny.

Mini IceBug.

I actually started out with the smaller “Snowbug” robot, building it as a vaguely AT-TE-inspired microscale. Something the size of a building that could transport the heaviest equipment across the frozen worlds of the organisation’s mandate.

Then I decided to see if I could scale it up at all.

Big IceBug

Knowing I wasn’t going to be able to build a vehicle even remotely as big as I’d envisaged (3-6-crew cockpit, ½ plate height = approximately 6 feet), I felt free to adapt the basic design while keeping with the overall beetle configuration.

Ski Rover (stowed position)

Ready for deployment

One of my better small Ice Planet vehicles, I think

The resulting ice bug can transport a small ski rover on its rooftop flatbed pallet, adding a nice element of playability. There’s only room for one of the two crew I’ve provided it with in the cockpit, unfortunately, but it does have those rotary shooters as well as the poseable legs and deployable ice rover.

Pilot’s position.

The final element of the overall setup is an ice speeder I built a week or so back but never posted here. My neo-Commander Bear figure (Commander Cold Bear’s body with Old Obi-Wan’s head for the flesh skintone I typically like to use) is driving, now that I actually have the Ice Planet commander figure.

VX313 Fulmar ice speeder

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Snowbird

VX925 Snowbird

Inspired by the shape of the original 928 Space Cruiser but sized more like the 924 Space Transporter, I’m calling this neo-Ice Planet shuttlecraft the “VX925 Snowbird”.

Having a limited range of available trans neon orange windscreen elements, several parts of this spaceship were necessary adaptations of that original design to what I had available; in particular the two separate compartments.

The overwing engines and cranked-arrow delta wing obviously reprise the 928 Space Cruiser/497 Galaxy Explorer, but on a smaller scale because a lot of my blue elements are still in use on the Auriga.

I guess the VX925 Snowbird would be a sort of slightly larger stablemate to the Blizzard Baron, with a more realistic enclosed cockpit. It’s possibly a bit overengined for its size, actually, so presumably it serves the Ice Planeteers as a kind of fast courier.

Both crewmembers are sporting what I’m considering for an adapted Ice Planet standard gear, adding blue epaulets and replacing the airtanks with a backpack that presumably includes airtanks but which looks much more rugged. Technically I suppose the epaulets ought to desigate a commander, but Commander Bear is still on my list of “need to get this but haven’t yet” minifigures (which also includes Space Police 1 troopers, yellow and black Classic astronauts and the legendary Ice Babe).

Whatever. It was eighty-something Fahrenheit in Texas last weekend, and so I naturally built an Ice Planet spaceship.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – completed build

Did someone say “Ice Babe boudoir”?

No?

Well, baby, it’s really cold outside on Planet Krysto, home of the Ice Planeteers.

Though it’s normally only heard in the run-up to Christmas (the radio stations around here seemed to really like it this past year), the song Baby It’s Cold Outside didn’t manage to inspire me then. Probably because the temperature around here at that point was being typically Texan – in other words, unreasonably warm.

Plummeting in the last couple of weeks into the teens Fahrenheit, it’s now that it’s cold outside in real life that I get inspired.

“It’s cold outside” is a perfect, if somewhat understated, tagline for the old Ice Planet theme, and it struck me that it might be fun to make the original LEGO ice princess a boudoir.

The Ice Babe boudoir

I hemmed and hawed quite a bit over this creation, because “LEGO” and “boudoir” don’t normally belong in the same sentence. The LEGO Group make children’s toys, after all, and the other way around (LEGO in a boudoir) sounds like a recipe for pain.

There’s nothing here that I’d be embarrassed about my kids seeing (I don’t think even third-party custom LEGO makers are crass enough to make minifig prints that are actually risqué), but conceptually, this is definite AFOL territory, and I hesitated before plunging across that particular boundary.

Building the legendary Ice Babe a boudoir is complicated by the fact that I don’t technically own her, but I can certainly reference the original well enough to make it clear. Minifigure head printing has evolved considerably since those early days (she may well have been the first ever specifically female minifigure in a theme) and those first steps beyond the original smiley look a bit crude now, especially the female ones. I think an update is not out of order.

An Ice Planet living space (especially one with the word “boudoir” attached to it) begs the question of what sleeping quarters will look like in the future depicted by old LEGO themes. How exactly do you make a bedroom that looks Ice Planet-y and recogniseably a bedroom, let alone warm and cosy?

Obviously the Ice Planet theme’s colours are all wrong for warm and cosy. Even the trans neon orange, while warm, is aggressive rather than comfortable, recalling anti-glare goggles and suchlike. But if we can’t use Ice Planet colours, how do we make it clear that this is an Ice Planet creation?

Cue the double-sided approach.

Ice Planet exterior

From the outside this is classic Ice Planet, with mostly blue construction, deep-frozen white landscape, icicles at the window and trans neon orange highlights. From the inside, it’s a warm, stylish bedroom with just a few Ice Planet touches to unify the model. The window is clear rather than traditional Ice Planet neon, but that’s the way I planned it because the window was one of the first conceptual parts of this creation and you have to be able to see through it properly. After all, calling your creation “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is rather futile if you can’t see the outside.

This creation also marks the first usage of some of my Christmas-acquired new-to-me elements. And the first new element to make it into a MOC is… Sensei Wu’s muumuu.

Rockin’ the Sensei-style nightdress

Honestly, if you’d told me on Christmas Day to rank my new elements according to how likely I would be to MOC with them, that’s the absolute last element I’d have picked. I’d have selected the 1×1 round tile with vertical bar, or the 1×1 round plate with handle from the Darth Vader Transformation set. Even Garmadon’s jungle pauldron would have ranked higher.

However, Sensei Wu’s fabric robe is exactly what I need to be my Ice Babe Mark 2’s nightdress. Together with the arms and legs from the Warrior Goddess (never thought I’d use those either), real-Nya’s face and a vivid red hair element possibly from one or other variants of Poison Ivy – perfect neo-Ice Babe in a nightgown!

I did experiment with Cavegirl’s hair, but while it looks nicely sleep-fuzzled and untidy I decided that the vivid scarlet was a better referent to the original Ice Babe.

Ice Planet VX spacesuit storage

I particularly wanted the Master Falls set for Christmas because I always feel like I lack pieces for making scenery, and now here I am building my most sophisticated scenery-type build yet (ie not a vehicle) and due to the nature of the scene nearly all its elements are the wrong ones to use. Go me.

Including my first interior SNOTwork baseplate, this has been skill-stretching on many fronts. I almost never build LEGO interiors or furniture; my element inventory is fairly geared to vehicles and creatures. So I had to work out how I was going to build the bed, the table, that carafe (LEGO bottles just look too dinky next to the glasses)…

And on top of that I had to work out how I was going to communicate it visually that this is an Ice Planeteer’s bedroom without making it look chilled and sterile. And hopefully keeping the coordinated look of a stylish lady’s quarters. You could, for example, leave a neon orange ice saw standing in the corner, but it would totally destroy the effect. In the end I decided that I had to have the Ice Planet spacesuit in a closet to unify the interior with the exterior, but even that looks just a little out of place.

Of course, then I got into trying to parodise the song for LEGO. “I’ll take your hat; your hair as well…”?

And that led to this modification of my original build:

“Baby, it’s Cole outside”

I’m calling it, obviously, “Baby, it’s Cole outside”. That duet has to be sung by Nya and Jay, but a Ninjago bedroom scene seems like a step too far, so I built them a couch to sit on.

It’s less unified and intentional than the original build, because it still has all of the Ice Planet touches all over the place.

Amusing, though.

Ice Vigilator

Having built a Classic Space Turtle robot, some Blacktron hardware and a Futuron turtle variant, obviously I needed to build something Ice Planet to round out the set of early Space themes. (And maybe something M:Tron, but I’m only just beginning to develop the glimmerings of an interest in that theme and don’t have any figures or logos or trans neon green parts).

An Ice Vigilator mech picks up a crystal

An Ice Planet mech seemed like a good idea, and I have enough in the way of trans neon orange to give several design options.

I went with a four-legged, pleasingly War of the Worlds-esque design using the old-style helicopter windscreen element from the Ice-Sat V. The cockpit section rotates allowing the mech to be walked in any direction, and the multi-jointed legs allow some interesting posing options, though less than you might think because I had to use clickstop hinges for most of them for the sake of stability and weight issues.

The mech doesn’t have a lot of prominent weaponry apart from that big claw. I’m really satisfied with my decision to remodel the cockpit and replace the twin arms on its sides with a single claw arm underneath. The result is so much more Martian Fighting Machine-like and just seems to work better.

The short antennas on either side of the cockpit would probably work as last-ditch weapons, but I’ve decided that they’re actually “thermal lances”: short-range heat blasters for melting a path through the Krystovian ice.

The giant neon orange spindle is supposed to be some sort of crystal deposit. The original Ice Planet people appear to have been doing some kind of rocketry research, based on their proliferation of rocket launchers and satellites, but they also had a number of mining and ice-cutting vehicles, so probably the rocket research was only part of what they were doing.

I’m calling my new Ice Planet mech the “Ice Vigilator”, a slightly meaningless name mostly stemming from the tall, looming aspect of it that made me think it would be a good guardian or sentinel-type vehicle.

The pilot isn’t Generic Ice Planet Guy, who’s my only official Ice Planet minifigure thus far. I’m using the minifigure head with the red goatee (which I’m rather attached to as he looks a bit like me), as perhaps a son or scion of the original “Ice Babe” minifigure. Maybe in any post-Christmas Bricklinking I do I might see if I can acquire the other Ice Planet minifigures, or at least a Commander Bear…

Krystovian Task Force 02

Following on from last time’s small Ice Planet battle fleet, I present further expansions to the Krystovian Naval Command.

The extensions to the Krystovian space fleet

I reworked KNS Nordica into a second Jotun-class vessel, just to have at least a couple of ships beyond really tiny ones that are ostensibly in the same class. That necessitated a reworking of the frigate Snowbird, but I think I prefer this version. There’s a new destroyer-sized vessel, the battle transport Kodiak, and I added a couple of cruiser-sized vessels midway between KNS Sword of Winter and the destroyers.

Finally, I built a trio of corvettes on a different design to the Mammal-class.

Ready? Here goes…

~~~

KNS Nanuk

Lyran Corax-class cruiser

With the expansion of the Vertex shipyards at Zycon-IV, the Stellar Republic of Krysto intends to gradually phase out its foreign-built cruisers and battlecruisers as the new Frostblade-class battlecruisers and Valhalla-class cruisers finish construction.

For the moment, however, the KNC’s cruiser complement is filled by a mix of Federation, Blacktron and other designs, such as KNS Nanuk, an ex-Lyran design produced by one of the largest of the several buffer states. The Corax-class may be based on a modified copy of the Blacktron Reiver-class, though the Lyran government deny this.

KNS Ilmarinen

Refitted Federation Apollo-class cruiser

After the controversial Apollo-class were withdrawn from Federation service, all six ships were acquired by the Stellar Republic of Krysto.

Refitted in the Vertex shipyards, the vessels were renamed after Finnish mythological characters and entered service with the KNC.

Though weak in terms of primary armament by the standnrds of modern warships, the Apollos have extensive secondary armaments and point defence grids, making them superb fighter- and missile-defence ships.

KNS Aegir

Jotun-class destroyer

Another of the Jotun-class, KNS Aegir follows the same design as the more famous KNS Ymir.

KNS Kodiak

Kodiak-class battle transport

With the increasingly proactive and internationally-engaged posture of the Krystovian government in recent years, a need was felt for a planetary assault vessel of a sort.

Both Federation and Blacktron ships were looked at, but both the Federation’s Myrmidon-class and the Blacktron Alliance’s Genghis-class are large, battlecruiser-sized vessels designed to transport huge numbers of troops at once; too large and expensive for the KNC to operate on an ongoing basis.

The solution was the destroyer-sized Kodiak-class of pocket planetary assault ships, or “battle transports”, as they are designated.

KNS Aurora

Icefire-class frigate

The first flight of the Icefire-class are generally considered handsomer vessels than their second-flight counterparts like KNS Snowbird, but the second-flight ships have slightly greater available volume for ship’s systems and supplies. KNS Aurora was the second ship of the class built after KNS Icefire herself.

KNS Laptev

Kara-class frigate

The older Kara-class frigates were the main domestically-built frigate class before the introduction of the Icefires, and many of the class are still in service.

Sleeker and faster than the newer class but far less capable otherwise, the Karas are generally used as scoutships and fast patrol vessels.

KNS Gaspar

KNS Balthazar

KNS Melchior

Blacktron Tribal-class corvettes

The three Tribal-class corvettes here were acquired together from the Blacktron Alliance when the Alliance withdrew the last of its corvettes from service.

They are typically used as customs patrol vessels and couriers.

~~~

The entire Krystovian fleet as built at present.

Krystovian Task Force

The Krystovian Naval Command is the spacegoing military force of the independent Stellar Republic of Krysto. Comprising the three systems of Krysto proper, Zycon and Coldstream, the Stellar Republic is one of a number of neutral buffer states between the Federation and the Blacktron Alliance. Krysto in particular is famed as the so-called “ice planet”, but all of the Republic’s worlds are cold planets that skirt the edges of habitability.

Battlecruiser Task Force of the Krystovian Naval Command

The KNC is a surprisingly large and well-equipped fighting force for a mere three-system polity, and though its fleet lacks the dreadnought-class battleships of the major powers, its battlecruiser-led task forces, such as the one pictured here, are capable fighting formations.

KNS Sword of Winter

Frostblade-class battlecruiser

KNS Sword of Winter

The Krystovian Naval Command’s newest starship and largest domestically-built vessel, the Sword of Winter is only the second starship of battlecruiser class to be built in Krystovian yards. KNS Sword of Winter is 10m longer than her sister KNS Frostblade, the extra space being utilised to make the forward power monitoring rooms more ergonomic.

The Stellar Republic’s Vertex Shipyards in Zycon-IV orbit have only recently been upgraded to a size capable of building large cruiser- and battlecruiser-class vessels, and the Frostblades are the firstfruits of the increase in capacity. Before that, all vessels larger than destroyer-class, and some of the KNC’s smaller vessels also, were purchased from other star nations.

KNS Ice Maiden

Refitted Blacktron Werewolf-class light carrier

KNS Ice Maiden

Originally the Blacktron Fleet vessel Nightmare, the Ice Maiden is the oldest ship in the entire Krystovian Naval Command, having already had a substantial service life within the Blacktron Alliance before being sold off to the Stellar Republic and refitted to Krystovian specifications. It is designated a “light carrier” because it is built on a light cruiser-sized hull rather than the battlecruiser- and dreadnought-sized carriers favoured by the major powers.

Ice Maiden is due to be retired once the domestically-produced twin carriers Partridge and Peartree come online, but for now it provides an operational base for 20 domestic Polaris-class space fighters.

KNS Ymir

Jotun-class destroyer

KNS Ymir

Venerable lead ship of the Stellar Republic’s Jotun-class of fleet destroyers, KNS Ymir is considered a “lucky” ship in the Krystovian Naval Command. The Jotuns have been mainstays of the small Krystovian fleet, and until recent expansions were the largest vessels produced in the Vertex yards. However, they are beginning to be replaced by the newer Kalevala-class.

KNS Nordica

Federation Sapphire-class destroyer

KNS Nordica

An ex-Federation Sapphire-class named after the largest continental landmass emerging from Krysto’s iced-over seas, Nordica was built under contract for the KNC by the Futura system’s Futuron Naval Yards. A little smaller than the Jotun-class, several Sapphires were constructed for the Republic while Krysto’s own shipyards were being extended and upgraded. The ships supplement the Jotun and Kodiak-classes.

KNS Snowbird

Icefire-class frigate

KNS Snowbird

The Icefires are the Stellar Republic’s most advanced frigate class, and KNS Snowbird is one of the most recent exemplars of the class. It shares the same vertical orientation as most newer Krystovian ship classes, such as the large Frostblade-class battlecruisers. KNS Snowbird is, of course, much smaller, but can sustain a much higher acceleration than a larger vessel.

KNS Caribou
KNS Narwhale

Mammal-class corvettes

KNS Narwhale (left) and KNS Caribou (right)

The Mammal-class corvettes are another older design. The entire corvette class is being phased out of most space navies as too small to be effective, given that construction of a frigate takes only 125% as long and yields a larger, better protected and longer-ranged ship. Krysto’s corvettes are mostly extensively refitted and less visually alike than their common class designation might suggest.

KNS Caribou is named after the Old Earth creature. KNS Narwhale is named after a native Krystovian species which slides over the ice of that planet’s seas.


I semi-promised more Ice Planet a week or so ago, and what better way to keep that promise than with a whole fleet?

Building a battle squadron for the civilian Iceplaneteers might seem like a bit of a non-sequitur, but people produce M:Tron space fighters and Futuron tanks all the time, so I feel like I’m on safe ground.

Besides, who’s to say the Classic Space theme’s widely-theorised Federation even actually exists? Those early Space themes are, after all, from the age before TV shows and named characters and back-stories for the sets. And I have to say I rather like the idea of Krysto as a sort of neutral Switzerland between the Blacktron and the Federation.

Ice Ice Baby

It’s the middle of April, and daytime temperatures in Texas are bouncing around the eighty-degree Fahrenheit mark, or closing in on thirty degrees Celsius and the sort of temperature only reached in Britain in the height of summer.

It must be time for another Ice Planet creation.

I started this model with the intention of using one of my new rubber caterpillar tracks to make a small skidoo-like vehicle. Skis in front, single track in back, room for a single scout driver, that sort of thing.

Try as I might, I couldn’t seem to make the single rear track work for anything remotely as slim as I wanted. Everything ended up being far fatter than I was looking to build. And it didn’t help that the ski steering column was a pretty substantial affair, either.

Shrugging in resigned desperation, I decided to double up the tracks and build a side-by-side double-wide version of the track section. This made a considerably larger vehicle than I was initially intending, but on the other hand it gave me the perfect excuse to mount a radar-guided twin plasma cannon in the back.

So it’s no longer the diminutive personal scout vehicle I anticipated building, but a heavy skidoo-mounted space defence cannon is a worthwhile addition to the Ice Planet folks’ vehicle inventory, and I rather like what I’ve built, so here it is.