Tag Archives: Neoclassic Space

Easy Rider

Even with the Grendel space fighter breaking the big ship mould, with all my large creations recently, I still feel like I haven’t really built an actual small creation for a while.

So here’s a Classic Space hoverbike.

I don’t have a lot to say about this really. It’s a hoverbike. It’s Classic Space. Enjoy.

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Here Fishy Fishy

I do like vertically-oriented ships. They’re almost always awesome-looking; I mean, who couldn’t love the angelfish-like elegance of Babylon 5‘s Minbari War Cruiser? And even the stark severity of Star WarsNebulon-B medical frigate is pretty cool.

I think part of the attraction is that it’s more normal to design and build in a horizontal orientation.

LL394 Blue Guppy

This deliberately piscine spaceship doesn’t have all that much of a vertical orientation compared to something like the Minbari cruiser, but for a minifig-scale ship of its size, it’s far more vertical than most.

I’m not completely happy with some of the studdiness of the sides, but until I get enough blue tile elements to alleviate that problem I’m stuck with it.

I was actually not sure whether to build this as a microscale or at minifig-scale when I began, but the combination of the ovoid windscreen canopy and the rounded top decided it for me. Having said that, however, the idea of a microscale starship roughly based on this sort of shape sounds like a good one.

If the potential microship is a spacewhale, though, this is evidently something smaller.

Given its surface resemblance to that odd 747-derivative heavy transport aircraft, the Super Guppy, I think we have a name…

The Blue Guppy, however, isn’t some sort of transport or shuttlecraft. Despite its harmless-sounding name it’s fairly well-armed, with wing cannons, that spinal mount above, and those twin cones – coilguns? – beside the cockpit.

The sides open up in rather a helicopter-esque fashion, and I suspect that the Blue Guppy’s role is somewhat similar to a Blackhawk or Super Lynx.

I can see a pair or small squadron of these operating helicopter-fashion for ground support and troop insertion, possibly even within atmosphere. Something approaching the Classic Space version of a snowspeeder transport variant.

I remain somewhat dissatisfied with this somehow, but I can’t quite put my finger on what’s wrong with it. Maybe I should have built the spacewhale instead.

Building Bases

As a follow-up to my Thor-class fighter, Mobile Science Station and Classic Space scout motorbike, I decided to attempt a small base and landing pad.

Ground bases and landing pads and the like are a really unusual building theme for me, because I always feel like I don’t have enough of the right kind of pieces.

The landing pad is a case-in-point. I used up pretty much all of my grey tiles here, and I still had to resort to tan for altogether too much of the landing pad even in its primitive squared-off version.

And I simply don’t possess enough grey to generate a whole planetary surface in that colour. The planet’s tan for a reason. I console myself with the thought of that sand yellow planetary background all the early Classic Space sets depicted in their instruction booklets and promotional shots. I was always a bit baffled as to how this harmonised with the grey cratered terrain we were actually given.

But anyway, I built a base. It’s tiny, the landing pad is way too small for the ship I’ve got landed on it, and it has colour issues between the grey and the tan, but it’s a base.

After I’d already taken the shots with the Thor-class fighter, I found a few more tiles and reworked the landing pad a bit, as you see in the shots with the bike. The Thor-class is fiddly to balance on those landing legs, though, as they aren’t technically attached to anything. So I let the existing photos stand.

Presumably with that giant tank or whatever it is, this is some sort of refueling base. I think my version of the Federation use antimatter reactors for power, which don’t really need much fuel, but maybe it’s liquid oxygen for the air supply or something. Or some kind of reaction mass for the thrusters, if they even still use reaction drives rather than some sort of metagravity or subspace engine.

Anyway, not too shabby for my piece limitations. I’d prefer it if the terrain was a little less studdy, or I had a lot more 1×1 round studs and tiles to strew about the surface, but it works. Mostly.

Rebel Without An Atmosphere

Technically, motorbikes probably have limited utility in outer space. You may be dealing with lower gravity, you’re almost certainly dealing with rugged, unfriendly landforms, and there’s no air to enable your infernal combustion engine to work, so you have to use something like electric power, which just refuses to growl menacingly in that macho, Hell’s Angels kind of way. You can’t feel the wind whistling in your hair when you’re in a spacesuit and there’s no air for there to be wind in. Really, if you’re going to have wheels at all, a buggy is so much more practical.

Nonetheless, have a space motorbike.

It’s built way too low to the ground for practicality on a rugged unexplored planet, and it actually looks like it has exhausts, but work with me here.

Probably those exhausts are micro-probe launchers or something, and maybe it’s for biking on a really flat planet. Whatever.  Space bikes may be technically silly, but I’m sure some future neo-biker will make one anyway, if we ever get out there.

Anyway, I built a space scout bike, and here I am telling you how foolish an idea it is. It’s a relatively small, simple model of a kind I haven’t built all that much recently, and I’m sure others have already built the same sort of thing only better. Still, motorbikes that a minifigure can ride on aren’t the easiest things to construct without making some approximations for the sake of bricks and playability.

She Blinded Me With Science

The Classic Space proto-theme featured all kinds of non-combat land vehicles. Back then, the LEGO Group held a much harder line against violent and combative toys, and Classic Space was all about cooperation and exploration rather than the factions and fighting that characterise practically all of its modern themes (Ninjago and Nexo Knights have their conflicts, Star Wars and the Superhero lines have their good guys and bad guys, and even City has its police and criminals). So there were any number of mobile science labs and seismological research vehicles and satellite tracking stations and the like. It was what they did.

Modern Neoclassic Space creations are often a bit more warlike. Being fan creations, they don’t worry so much about Ole Kirk Christiansen’s dictum that war is not something for children’s toys, so you find Neoclassic Space and Neo-Futuron space fighters and tanks and battlecruisers and the like.

But you also find the science vehicles as well.

Mobile Science Station

This small Mobile Science Station is firmly in that tradition. Crewed by two white astronauts (my research into how the different suit colours were portrayed leads me to believe the white astronauts are primarily scientists whereas the red astronauts are primarily pilots and drivers), it features a bubble-canopied driver’s station and an articulated rear section with an interior laboratory and a dish antenna atop the roof.

I think one of my favourite parts of this is the round entry door to the lab module. It doesn’t fully work; you’d be hard pressed to reach in through it and extract the astronaut. But if you were minifigure-sized it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Also, I finally have some red wheel elements so I can make ground vehicles that are entirely in keeping with the original prototheme. I’m sure if they’d been making the theme a half decade or so later, they’d have had wheel hubs in a colour other than red (grey, most likely), but back in 1978, LEGO wheels only existed in red and the LEGO Group of the day weren’t about to make weird-coloured wheels just for the experimental Space line.

The height difference between the front and rear sections is a little unpleasing somehow, but I think it would have looked worse if I’d elevated the driver’s cab. Maybe I should have widened the wheel base another notch or two.

20/20 hindsight. Next time….

Hammer Time

Apparently I didn’t need much of a break to be able to bounce right back into space mode. I’m calling this rather swooshy space fighter the Thor-class fighter, due to its vague resemblance to the Buck Rogers “Thunderfighter”.

It’s in many ways a pretty generic SNOT-built Classic Space space fighter, but I’m rather pleased with the variable-angle wings and the overall shape and heft of it.

There are no major greebly areas or incredible new techniques, but I just like the combination of those aggressive forward-jutting wing prongs and the smooth-yet-layered solidity of the back section behind the cockpit. I could see the Classic Space equivalent of Buck Rogers being quite happy with a ship like this.

Obviously, I don’t have a lot to say about this, but here it is. Enjoy!

Enter the Viper

So I finally succumbed to the Vic Viper build-virus.

The term apparently comes from the name of the player starship from some ancient arcade game I’d never even heard of, but despite my utter personal ignorance that videogame original seems to have spawned an infinite number of clones and variants.

I became aware of the phenomenon some time back as I flipped through my search engine’s image files looking for LEGO space fighter inspiration. Seeing multiple very different space fighters being called “Vic Viper”, I looked it up.

Apparently the term defines a certain set of visual characteristics, most notably twin forward-facing prongs on either side of the cockpit, but that’s not the sole requirement. It seems They Who Decide have decreed that to officially qualify as a Vic Viper it has to also possess two (and only two) wings and a single tail fin.

Since I found out, I’ve been content to ignore the phenomenon. It’s not something I’ve felt any particular impetus to join in with. “I’m gonna build a Vic Viper” isn’t etched into my brain; if anyone’s going to decide what my spaceship looks like, it’s going to be me, darn it!

I did toy initially with building a Vic Viper battlecruiser, just to mess with people’s minds, and I still might, but up until now I’ve cheerfully ignored the phenomenon.

This is my token Vic Viper. It’s pretty conventionally-shaped; about the only slightly unusual feature is those down-curved wings. I doubt I’ll be building too many more of these things, because it’s honestly not a configuration that grabs me and says “build me!”.

I may have a go at that battlecruiser variant, though.