Tag Archives: Starship

Motley Devil

Arrr! Avast, ye scurvy spacedogs!

Space navies aren’t always the only agencies to field armed starships. The Star Wars universe has its smugglers with their armed freighters, and many other universes have mercenaries, privateers and outright pirates.

The inspiration for this spacegoing privateer came from me trying out different combinations of my dark blue and dark red curved shell elements, looking for different ways I might use both together. Combining them in chequered fashion, I was put in mind of a Mediaeval jester’s motley, and I thought the combination had definite possibilities.

Of course, there are very few official space navies that are going to use chequered blue and red as livery colours. Even a putative Croatian Space Service would use red and white, not blue and red. And even fewer would put up with having a warship named Motley Devil.

Therefore, a privateer.

I’m not sure whether this baby is part of a mercenary fleet, a lone-wolf privateer or an out-and-out pirate, but I’m happy to leave that much open to interpretation.

Motley Devil‘s another large vessel. What is it with me and these huge vessels? She’s not as long as Liberator, at a mere 60 studs’ length, but even if she doesn’t remotely qualify for SHIP status she’s got a more satisfyingly interesting shape.

I think my favourite part of Motley Devil is the octagonally-arranged rear hull. Combining the ring of 45-degree angle plates with the central spine was not as easy as it might have been, and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Another favourite part is the jaunty skull decoration on the upper hull. It serves no discernible purpose other than to look cool, but who’s to say a band of privateers wouldn’t individualise the starship that is their home?

Motley Devil is relatively well armed for a privateer; perhaps she’s more of a mercenary than a pirate. I’ve reused those cool ball mounts for the main forward guns, and utilised most of the new elements I bought with SHIP construction in mind.

Those 45-degree angle plates really aren’t designed to have anything connected through the centre of the ring like I have, so there’s a major structural weakness, and it’s an unavoidable one. Still, it makes for a cool-looking ship.

Anyway, enjoy!

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There’s Klingons on the Starboard Bow!

Klingon D7 K'tinga-class battlecruiser

Klingon D7 K’tinga-class battlecruiser

I do like Star Trek’s Klingons.

Due, presumably, to lazy modelmakers and producers, the Klingons never had anything like the number of different ship types that the Federation had. And that’s even including the Bird-of-Prey visual that the TNG special effects people used to represent at least four vastly different-sized ship classes, a trick that makes no in-universe legitimate design sense at all.

Whereas there were at least twelve separate Federation ship classes shown, and dozens more designed, there were only four, possibly five separate Klingon ship designs.

Out of that limited field I think my personal favourite is still the oldest, the D7, sometimes called the K’tinga.

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Supposedly the seventh iteration of a series of cruisers named after the Klingon drell lizard, the venerable D7 was the standard Klingon starship in Kirk’s era and still seen in service on more than one occasion in Picard, Sisko and Janeway’s TNG era. Which again makes no sense; it’d be like the Royal Air Force continuing to use Supermarine Spitfires in 2016. Refits can only go so far before it’s cheaper to design a new ship class, and the Klingons wouldn’t have been able to gain and keep an empire if they were stupid with their military tech (besides that being out of character for the Klingon warrior race). But that’s the situation we apparently have, and fans have jumped through all kinds of ludicrous hoops to explain what’s really just the producers being lazy and cheap in terms of in-universe continuity.

There are probably fans who’d have done the design work for free just to get their Klingon ship on screen, and the modelling too, come to think of it. Sorry to go on about it, but it’s one of my pet peeves about the Star Trek universe.

Anyway…

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Following on from my little Classic Space Bird-of-Prey (which I didn’t post here, but here you go), I had an inspiration for how to build the most difficult section of the D7 – the bulbous forward section – easily and without trouble in LEGO bricks. The only problem was that doing so would make the completed model fairly large, and necessitate an LDD work.

This is that completed model.

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I’ve gone for as much visual accuracy as I can muster; this is the D7 of film and TNG, not the original TV series, as evidenced by the squared-off, not round, warp nacelles. It’s the same basic design, just with slightly more advanced sci-fi modelmaking.

I think there’s a good chance this might actually have reasonable structural integrity if built in real life. Even that long, narrow neck section is actually fairly strong between the spinal long axles and the outer tile-and-plate wrappings. I make no guarantees, but there’s a chance.

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As to the inspiration for the forward command section, who would have thought that balloon segments would have so many alternate uses? So far I’ve used them in steampunk rayguns, fawns, mediaeval ships and now Klingon starships.

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I’d love to see an Enterprise model at this scale, either the movie-version original NCC-1701 or the -D version Galaxy-class. But a round saucer section that big… I’d have to really pull out all the stops on my LEGO modelling, that’s for sure.

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