Tag Archives: Lego

AnkylosauRover

Combining dinosaurs and space is a long-standing LEGO tradition for my AFOL self. Ever since I allowed myself to get back into building I’ve had a bit of a thing for merging the future and prehistoric realms. My username on the old LEGO.com forums – SaurianSpacer – referred to this; I knew I was going to be Building A Spaceship a lot, but my first posted creation was a Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur. And then some of my first (digital) AFOL creations were a series of dinosaur-shaped spaceships and vehicles.

But I don’t think I’ve done an Ankylosaur before.

It’s a strange omission in some ways. Ankylosaurs were one of the major dinosaur families, and the armoured beasts were and are pretty cool.

So as the first instalment of FebRovery 2019 I decided to rectify the situation.

Role-wise I think the Ankyloroversaurus is some sort of geo-sensing rover, possibly akin to 6841 Mineral Detector or 6844 Seismologic Vehicle. All the bristly antennas along the sides look like they’re part of some kind of sensing equipment, like an advanced Ground Penetrating Radar array or similar.

The cannon-armed thagomizer is possibly a little out of place on a geo-sensing vehicle, but in real Classic Space those wouldn’t actually be cannons despite what they look like. No, they’d be rock sampling lasers or the nodes of some other kind of sensor (using gamma rays?).

Of course, possibly those spikes along the sides aren’t antennas, and the vehicle has a more military nature. That seems a little less likely given the prominent non-existence of weaponry other than the tail club, but perhaps a force-shield generator rover or similar?

That’s actually a pretty good idea and goes well with Ankylosaurus’ armoured nature. But it still looks a lot like a geosensor rover to me.

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Three Little Pigs Mech Battle

So I had this idea for a series of mechs based on the story of the Three Little Pigs.

Originally I was thinking I’d do them at minifigure scale and purchase three of the old piggie suit guy (from the Series 12 minifigures) to pilot them, and a Chima figure for the Big Bad Wolf. Then I saw the going rate for Pig Suit Guy. Ouch.

Yeah, he’s not the most expensive minifigure out there (Ginny Weasley for over $25? I laugh), but I still object to paying $35-45 US for three minifigures that I’m probably only going to use in a single creation.

Microscale, then.

You don’t get quite the same level of piggyness with the stacked-1×1-round-plate type of figures, but at least they have pink heads and give an impression of three little pigs. The wolf is marginally better – light bluish grey microfigure with the 1×1 clip tile on top of his head for ears. And it’s worked out probably better overall, because this way I got to build a whole scene out of it.

A very tiny Big Bad Wolf

The Mech Made Of Straw was the first part of the creation to be built, and is probably my favourite of the mechs. I don’t think I’ve built that many microscale mechs before, and I decided to pull out as many of the stops as I could in creative joint structures and not using balljoints all the time. He’s armed with those big pincer claws and a laser or machine gun of some sort.

Mech Made Of Straw

The Mech Made Of Sticks got built next. Again, I went with mostly non-balljoint joints, and built just a little larger than the straw mech. I think I’m most pleased with the clinker-built look of the front torso and the suggestion of knots in the wood with strategic use of studs and tiles. His main weapon is the rocket pods on his shoulders, showing that Stick Piggie isn’t the wisest of pigs (Explosive materials and wood. Hmmm).

Mech Made Of Sticks

Then I took a break from mechs and built the huffing, puffing Big Bad Lobo Tank. To be frank about it, I wasn’t sure I could pull off a good enough Lobomech at this scale, especially since I wanted that big wind turbine element as a main weapon system. The tank was substantially rebuilt after my first attempt, adding the side sponsons and generally cleaning it up. I’m still not entirely satisfied with it but it’s better than it was.

Huffin’, puffin’ Big Bad Lobo Tank

The Mech Made Of Bricks came after that. Originally taller, I rebuilt some sections after I decided that the arms looked too short. A Brick Mech ought to be sort of squat and solid-looking, after all.

Mech Made Of Bricks

This was my first experiment with the use of minifig legs as mech fingers. This mech is small enough that it isn’t quite as good a technique as it would be on something with bigger hands, but it works, and it’s a new technique for me. I’m actually least satisfied with the Brick Mech, which is partly why it’s lurking at the back.

After building all these mechs, I was staring at my daughter’s green baseplates when I started to think that some scenery-building would really unify the creation and bring it all together. Bright green isn’t normally my preferred incarnation of LEGO green, but it certainly works well with the sideways fairytale subject matter here. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ve got enough regular green and other colours to break it up a little. And I got to build the House of Straw, House of Sticks and House of Bricks as well.

Straw House. Note the First Little Pig to the right.
Second Little Pig and Stick House
Brick House with water wheel

It’s actually something of a shame that the Brick House is right at the back, because it’s by far the best of the three houses, complete with water wheel and an interesting technique on the door frame. However, if I put the Brick House at the front it would mean I had to put the Brick Mech at the front, too, and it’s not quite as good as the others. And since the mechs are the actual focus of the creation…

This Is Not The V-Wing You Are Looking For

LL588 V-Wing transatmospheric craft

When looking for a name for this NCS transatmospheric craft, it seemed that “V-Wing” was the only possible choice somehow.

However, there’s already a Clone Wars-era Star Wars ship (possibly two) by that name, so I was reluctant to add a third.

Still, with those long wings that fold vertically up for landing, it’s so much more V-shaped than the V-wing. Which I don’t actually like all that much as a fighter; too derivative of the Jedi Starfighter. And since the NCS universe in all its variants is normally separate from the Star Wars canon universe and I know of at least one non-Star Wars V-Wing, I think it’s okay to add another.

LL588 in landing configuration

I know it looks like an NCS homage to Kylo Ren’s command shuttle, but I was honestly more inspired by the Imperial shuttle Tydirium. It was only after I decided to dispense with the vertical fin that I realised how similar it looks to the First Order’s second-best original vehicle.

I’ve ranted before about how ugly a lot of the new trilogy’s new hardware is, but there are a few exceptions. I mean, the Resistance X-Wing and First Order TIE Fighter can barely be told from their originals, and a lot of the other hardware is so obviously derivative that I don’t count it as a new vehicle (First Order Star Destroyers, uglified AT-ATs, Resistance cruisers). And so what are we left with? The ugly sideways brick of the Resistance troop transport, the First Order’s slab-sided repulsorlift LST, the almost-as-ugly Resistance bomber and that transport pod. The Crait speeders are a partial exception but I’m not personally that fond of them, so the only two new ships out of two whole Star Wars movies that I actually like the designs of are the First Order command shuttle and the TIE Silencer.

For the Star Wars universe, that’s a pretty terrible record. The franchise made its name and reputation at least in part on its iconic and awesome ship designs, and even the Prequel Trilogy had a lot of gorgeous vehicles, like the vaguely-ancestral-to-an-X-Wing Naboo fighters or the sail-powered vessel of Count Dooku or the AT-TE. The present crop of hardware designers just don’t seem to cut it by comparison.

However, this is NCS, and owes little to the Star Wars canon apart from a tangential inspiration. My V-Wing actually looks like a V and not a letter H.

~~~

The LL588 V-Wing is a class of transatmospheric scoutship used by the Federation. Its long wings make it perfect for in-atmosphere work as well as in vacuum, but its flight configuration is suboptimal for space carrier operations due to the amount of hangar space they take up.

Though some carrier designs experimented with vertical-stacking small craft bays, the fact is that humans evolved on the ground and prefer flat layouts.

The solution ever since the days of ancient wet-navy aircraft carriers has often been folding wing designs, and the V-Wing is no exception. When raised for landing, the wings do take up a considerable amount of height, but hangar bays are typically tall to facilitate takeoff/landing operations.

The LL588 V-Wing is not heavily armed for its size, though the pair of underslung particle cannons are of a calibre normally found on corvettes and small frigates as secondary or tertiary weapons. In addition, the V-Wing bears a pair of wingtip lasers.

The main thrusters are augmented by wing-mounted microjets to aid in extra-atmospheric manoeuvring.

The Redcoats Are Coming

I don’t have a lot to say about this, but I think it’s one of my best built large figures to date.

The constraction parts I used on the legs and feet almost feel like a cheat, but they do work so well here that I’m not going to sweat it. And technically either the face ought to be light flesh in colour or the hands should be tan, but if I hadn’t known that I don’t think I would catch it.

The head and hips are my two favourite parts. Those old clip-on black solar panels or whatever they are work really well to cover the balljoints, and I’m really pleased with how the face turned out and the design of the bearskin hat.

Admittedly it would work even better if I had a balljoint holder in light tan, but that’s a no-go at this time. I’m not even sure LEGO make one in that colour.

Anyway, here he is; my first creation of the new year. Enjoy.

Spirit of Christmas Future

…And a happy new galactic year!

Rudolph and company are all very well for Earthly Christmas travels.  All around the world on a sleigh pulled by eight to nine flying reindeer is doable when your distances are only thousands of miles.  But in the galactic future, the Big Red Guy is going to need an upgrade.

The idea of Santa calling on the aid of warp-dwelling transgalactic lifeforms such as Hyperspace Reindeer has a lot of awesome story potential but it’s difficult to build.  No, Father Christmas is going to need a spaceship.

Enter the Spirit of Christmas Future.

Santa drives a Vic Viper, obviously.  This is only my third or fourth Viper, and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.  And this from the guy who built his first Vic Viper and said to himself “Right, done that now.  Can’t see myself building another one.”

Since in the spirit of goodwill to all men, Santa has to visit all the factions of the Classic Space universe, even the Spyrius, he can’t have a spaceship in any of those colour combinations.  White with green and red accents works great against a black background but when I combined it with my icy planetary backdrop I wished I’d gone with more green and red.

Storage compartment for presents

There’s even a storage compartment for presents in the back.  Unfortunately it won’t open any more than that because engines, but the thought is there.  I can’t rebuild to correct it because that would drastically mess up the overall profile of the ship, and I won’t change the engines for the same reason.  But there it is.

Alongside Santa’s spaceship, the scene was crying out for some Ice Planet goodness, so I built a little Krystovian Christmas scene adjunct to go with it.  Stockings hung by the reactor with care, the reactor itself having a lot of the look of a Christmas tree, presents, hot tea and Christmas cookies.  Sounds good to me, except I hope that reactor is properly shielded!

Old Obi-Wan makes a pretty good Commander Bear, and I followed through on the slight Star Wars subtext by using Rei and Finn’s heads as well.  Ice Planet needs at least a few black people, after all.

Rapa Nui

Easter Island

It’s the beginning of Advent and the start of the runup to Christmas, so obviously I’m going to build Easter…

…Island.

I don’t have a lot to say about this, but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  The blank microfigures are proportioned just right for the stone heads, with their large head and short body layout.

The ship I’m also quite pleased with, though I think it would be nice if I’d been able to build a proper Polynesian catamaran or outrigger at that scale.  Alas, way too tiny.  Still, a regular sailing ship works too.

Aerial view

It might also have been better if the stone heads were all grey, but I’m too lazy and impatient to wait for Bricklink orders every time I want to build things.

Here it is, then.  Easter Island.  At Christmas time.

Enjoy.

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