So a month ago I finished the HAVE SHIVER fighter, feeling like I’d done something successful and unusual, but which left me itching for more. I still wanted to play around with those pneumatic tanks, and I also really wanted to get back to microscale. Shannon Ocean, in wonderfully creative fashion, reminded me that a ‘surface-based’ starfighter does not necessarily mean Earth-based. So, I perused some lunar-lander concepts, toyed with a couple concepts, and this popped out.
Originally, I thought it would be cool if the ship were rail launched from underground silos. A centerline rail going through the middle would look extremely cool, but also be highly impractical. The ship was to sport a railgun – which, having a big recoil (something I didn’t think about on HAVE SHIVER – more on that to come), also needed to be centerline. Also, a single engine means fewer points of catastrophic failure, and thus higher survivability (an important consideration during the Apollo years), so that would have to be centerline as well. I thought for a while about mounting the rail-guides to the leg struts, but eventually abandoned it altogether. The ship instead would take off and land under its own power from landing platforms, and potentially be towed into bunkers (thus the wheels rather than Apollo lander feet).
After that point, the design followed a far more typical Lego MOC process than my last build. Most of the central body came together the way it did because it looked interesting and mildly NASA-riffic, more so than because I reasoned it through. The possible exceptions are the maneuvering thruster clusters, which I both like and hate. They’re inventive (not an original technique, mind you, but unusual use, at least), but too big for the scale of the craft, despite being as small as I could manage to make them. Plus they stick out too much and look unbalanced. I tried them on the bottom of the tanks too, but they nearly touched the ground, so I added some to the “knees” of the leg struts instead. I think I may be a little overzealous on the thrusters; at this scale, they’d probably be small enough to forgo if I wanted to.
I don’t much like the railgun (thus the backstory of it originally being a transport – I’ll probably mod it that way soon), but the round radar on top is kinda interesting. I’d really love to build a lunar base, but it’s going to have to wait a while.