vynsane

Modular Starfighter [LDD MOC]

66 posts in this topic

In designing this starfighter, I wanted to devise a way to easily reuse portions, such as the cockpit, so I wouldn't have to worry about that part of it in future builds. Thinking back to Blacktron, and how the pieces of the various vehicles could be swapped out inspired me to design modules that could be reused. I first designed a 'cockpit tub' that would have as many technic bricks as possible to act as "hard-points" for other modules to snap into, and quickly designed a 'canopy' module to accompany it. The nose came next, then I worked on the engine module for quite some time in order to perfect it. Finally, I created the 'undercarriage' which includes working landing gear.

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Modular Starfighter, head-on by vynsane, on Flickr

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Modular Starfighter, landing cycle by vynsane, on Flickr

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Modular Starfighter top-down by vynsane, on Flickr

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Modular Starfighter module breakdown by vynsane, on Flickr

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@ Vynsane: I like your modular concept for spacecraft -- it makes it easier to re-assemble after one crashes it on the planet's surface! :laugh:

I looked at your Flickr photostream to see if the LDD .lxf file was available there. Would you consider posting the .lxf file here on Eurobricks, so we can "play" with your spacecraft? It's easy to do if you "Attach This File" to your reply. You can upload LDD files directly from your computer, since almost all .lxf files are less than 150kB in size....

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About attaching LXF-files. Yes, it's possible to attach to a post (max 100kb), but the main drawback is that since space is so limited, the risk is that you have to deleted the file to attach another one, and then we are left with a forum full of "emtpy" links. So, if including a LXF in a post, it is prefered that they are linked in from a Brickshelf account, Google or Hotmail SkyDrive or similar.

Also, regarding posting MOCs, they should normally be posted in the respective theme here at EB. Only MOCs where you share your LXF-files should be posted in the LDD forum (since it then becomes of more general interestes to other LDD builders).

But, having said all the above, in this particular case I think the MOC is so special (modular), and you've shown a nice way of presenting it with the space backdrops, that I think it can go here even without the LXF :thumbup:

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I've uploaded these three files to my personal servers, so no issues about attaching too much here:

  1. Modular Starfighter, painted - the 'final' color scheme as presented in the first three screenshots above.
  2. Modular Starfighter, color-coded - the 'working' color scheme with the various color-coded modules for easy selecting/swapping, as presented in the last screenshot above.
  3. Modular Starfighter cockpit - just the 'cockpit' module, if you want to play around with the modular concept without the constraints/preconceptions of the modules I've designed.

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Very well designed starfighter vynsane! :thumbup: I love the interesting modular concept and the overall SNOT build of this one using those various curved slopes. And thanks for sharing the LXFs, I've included these in our LDD MOC Index.

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I've recently revisited this concept as I found it hard to design new modules for the previous incarnation. The 'hard-points' for attaching modules weren't universal enough. The separation of the cockpit 'tub' and the canopy also ended up being less than optimal. I started with an isolated fuselage that includes the canopy (it's highly influenced by the Vic Viper fighter in 7066 Earth Defense HQ) and then split the fuselage behind the pilot's seat, adding techinc bricks in between. I then built the engines/wings and connected them to the hard-points in the rear fuselage module via angled technic connectors, and added a small 'tail fin' module to the end of the fuselage.

A security patrol flight of two Tanuki Corp. modular starfighters in the "Kitusne" light interceptor configuration skims the atmosphere of the planet Xirlon.

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Modular Starfighter security patrol - front by vynsane, on Flickr

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Modular Starfighter patrol - rear by vynsane, on Flickr

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Modular Starfighter Revisited - modules by vynsane, on Flickr

LDD files:

I also developed an alternate cockpit module, this time housing a Flight Control Droid instead of a conventional cockpit for a human. The back-story on this was very fun to write:

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Kitsune/Mujina Droid-Controlled Fighter variant by vynsane, on Flickr

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Deep Space patrol by vynsane, on Flickr

The Tanuki Corp. modular starfighter system is easily adaptable to varying needs. By replacing the cockpit module with a droid control system, this otherwise standard Kitsune configuration becomes a very capable drone fighter.

It's not uncommon for strike wings of up to 6 Kitsune/Mujina Droid-controlled fighter (K/M-DCF) variants accompanying a single human-piloted standard configuration Kitsune fighter to be very effective in attack and defense missions. The AI necessary for such effectiveness is likened to that of a trained police dog, obeying the masters commands and actions with a series of pre-programmed algorithmic responses and analytical reactions to unforeseen situations.

Results of completely un-manned K/M-DCF flight wings have, however, ranged from disappointing to disastrous, depending on the amount of free will the AI is given. One account of a test flight of a group of K/M-DCFs with the standard "police dog" AI ended in a brawl over who would be the pack leader, inciting multiple attempts to "assert dominance" that caused multiple hull breaches and the loss of one Droid Control Module before safety measures could be enacted.

I'm having a lot of fun coming up with names for these things. The modular nature of the concept makes it hard to pin down actual names, but the idea that certain configurations are popular enough to be 'standard' helped address that. Since the modules can cause the fighters to take on different shapes, I've been playing with shapeshifters of Japanese folklore - "Kitsune" being the Fox, "Mujina" being a type of spirit that can often take the shape of a faceless human (which gave birth to the idea of the droid control module in place of the cockpit). The corporation that builds these is Tanuki, yet another shapeshifter.

LDD files

Droid Control Module

Edited by vynsane

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Tengu class Heavy Interceptor by vynsane, on Flickr

A convoy of GHL transport frigates charters a course across the galaxy secure in the knowledge they are guarded by a top-gun squad of Tanuki Corp. Tengu Heavy Interceptor pilots.

While attacks are rare, space pirates can pack impressive weaponry that will endanger even the most armored ships. To meet the firepower requirements of high-profile clients that have to move valuable materials across the galaxy (such as GHL, as is the case here), Tanuki Corp. engineered the Tengu configuration Heavy Interceptor.

Featuring dual pulse cannons affixed between the fuselage and each engine/wing module, the Tengu can deal out an impressive amount of damage to slower vessels. Generally, a compliment of Kitsune Light Interceptors will accompany a wing of Tengu Heavy Interceptors to pick off any attackers that can evade the more powerful, but slower-moving, starfighter.

LEGO Digital Designer Files

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Hey Vynsane

Great to have you back :classic:

And as usuall - lovely work on those fighters + the sweet photoshoping!

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Thanks, Superkalle, I'm having a lot of fun both designing and writing backstories for these! I have another design that's kind of an odd mash-up of some of the ideas previously presented. I'm also half finished with a set of replacement rocket engine modules (that will take the place of the 'wings') based on the work of peterlmorris, and plan on creating a 'Vic Viper parts pack' in time for NNoVVember.

I'd love to see others come up with new modules and/or configurations - everyone, feel free to post them in this topic if you do!

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Thanks, Superkalle, I'm having a lot of fun both designing and writing backstories for these! I have another design that's kind of an odd mash-up of some of the ideas previously presented. I'm also half finished with a set of replacement rocket engine modules (that will take the place of the 'wings') based on the work of peterlmorris, and plan on creating a 'Vic Viper parts pack' in time for NNoVVember.

I'd love to see others come up with new modules and/or configurations - everyone, feel free to post them in this topic if you do!

Yeah, I relly like the thought behind the modular concept. Makes it something more then just a Vic Viper. It's the kind of product LEGO should sell - allow you to build and collect various boosters and packs to your model.

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I really thought they could have done something like your idea above with the Space Police 3 bad guy ships - a lot of the weapons and engines on them were connected via technic pins and the like, leaving it open to swapping them out for beefed up variants.

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Infamous Aliss Oyuki and her starfighter the Denublian Sunset by vynsane, on Flickr

Security camera footage from an asteroid outpost captures an image of the infamous mercenary Aliss Oyuki piloting her highly customized modular starfighter "Denublian Sunset".

The highly customizable nature of the Tanuki Corp. modular starfighter system makes it not only a favorite of large scale corporate defense contractors but can also fit the needs of some of the galaxy's seedier denizens.

In this instance, we see Aliss Oyuki's personal starfighter, boasting a unique dual fuselage/single plasma cannon configuration, with its distinctive custom orange and dark red paint job (hence the name "Denublian Sunset" after that moon's distinctive red and orange hues at dusk.)

Speculation and rumor hint at a highly customized firmware update leading to nearly self-aware yet incredibly reliable AI housed in the Droid Control Module affixed to the starboard fuselage. Oyuki has also reportedly increased the handshake protocol effectiveness to the point that her two accompanying K/M-DCF variants (sporting matching custom paint jobs inverse to that of her fighter) have exhibited autonomous decision making far superior to anything Tanuki Corp. has developed thus far.

Tanuki Corp. refuses to confirm or deny rumors at futile attempts to contact Oyuki or her software developer, and won't even entertain questions about how their technology finds its way into less than reputable hands.

LEGO Digital Designer files

Edited by vynsane

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I've created a few modules and ship using this concept. All modules are linked to from the flickr photos in this set, but they can be found at http://onemoreproject.com/LDD/MODULES as well.

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Attack Ship [LXF] - New gun pods

and smaller wings
, deleted forward guns [hard point cover].

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The Dragon [LXF] - Deleted tail fin from original model [tail delete module], added gun pods in between heavy weapon module and wings.

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Interstellar Interceptor [LXF] - Extended fuselage [fuselage]and jump drive engines [jump drive].

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Fighter Trainer Variant [LXF] - Extended two-seat cockpit [cockpit], deleted forward guns.

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This is really cool. I especially like the modular approach. I've done that to some degree with a few MOC starships, but you've taken it much further. The modular cockpit certainly could be applied to other spaceships too, even more mundane ones like tugs and small freighters. I like doing those sometimes as I think the non-fighter spaceships are very underrepresented.

BTW, I've only played w/ LDD a little bit and the question that occurs to me is - do you work out the basic design with bricks and then create the LDD design, or do you design from scratch in LDD?

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This needs a name: VMSFC - Vynsane Modular Star Fighter Concept

...or something

:classic:

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This is really cool. I especially like the modular approach. I've done that to some degree with a few MOC starships, but you've taken it much further. The modular cockpit certainly could be applied to other spaceships too, even more mundane ones like tugs and small freighters. I like doing those sometimes as I think the non-fighter spaceships are very underrepresented.

The current cockpit module has a solid back wall, so it would be hard to use it in the context of a larger craft - it wouldn't have a pass-through to the other segments of the spaceship. I agree that the modular concept could easily be applied to larger spaceships, and it would be a really cool to see it branch off in that direction.

BTW, I've only played w/ LDD a little bit and the question that occurs to me is - do you work out the basic design with bricks and then create the LDD design, or do you design from scratch in LDD?

These days I pre-visualize exclusively in LDD. I learned about 'Universe Mode' here and it really opened my eyes to how useful a program it was. My entry to last year's LDD Design Challenge contest was the first MOC I designed solely in LDD before-hand, ordering parts I needed, and building in real bricks. I designed it from the ground up, colors and all, not thinking about which pieces I had in my collection. This year I entered a contest at ToysNBricks and designed the MOC in LDD and as I didn't want to have to order anything didn't design it for color this time around, just pieces I knew I had in my collection. When I put it together, that's when I search for the greatest amount of pieces in similar colors. The modular starfighter designs aren't expressly intended to be rendered in real bricks, so I played a bit 'free and easy' with the coloring (though I'd venture that I have about 75% of the pieces necessary to build the initial Kitsune configuration). By contrast, the "Denublian Sunset" uses pieces that I know aren't available in the color it's 'painted', but as it was more 'concept art' than a pre-visualization I didn't even give realism a thought.

This needs a name: VMSFC - Vynsane Modular Star Fighter Concept

...or something

:classic:

HA, it would be great to see this become a fad that needed a name.

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PLM-T1 "Bakemono" class interceptor by vynsane, on Flickr

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PLM-T1 "Bakemono" ceremonial fly-by by vynsane, on Flickr

Tanuki Corp. in conjunction with Starfighter Engineering unveils the PLM-T1 "Bakemono" class interceptor, flanked by a Starfighter Engineering "ZR-42D Archangel Plus Alt 1" and Tanuki Corp. "Kitsune" class Light Interceptor in parade formation among the moons of Flanula.

When posed with a large contract for a client with high performance demands and nearly non-existent development timeframe, Tanuki Corp. subcontracted the design of a new high-performance integrated engine/weapons module to Starfighter Engineering.

The PLM module was developed and integrated with the standard "Kitsune" class fuselage in the PLM-T1 "Bakemono" configuration Interceptor. The "Bakemono" fits right between the "Kitsune" and "Tengu" with a higher performance envelope than the Light Interceptor, but packs nearly the same offensive punch as the Heavy Interceptor.

- Much thanks to peterlmorris for the inspiration and instructions!

LEGO Digital Designer files:

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Now that PLM-T1 is one good looking little spacecraft! Alright, I'll take two.

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That blue, white, & yellow is worthy of being bricked! :thumbup:

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Awesome ships, vynsane! :thumbup: The Denublian Sunset and the PLM-T1 "Bakemono" are probably my favorites. Perhaps you should post some of these on LEGO CUUSOO--I'm sure many people (including me) would buy them!

-Toa Of Justice

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Awesome ships, vynsane! :thumbup: The Denublian Sunset and the PLM-T1 "Bakemono" are probably my favorites. Perhaps you should post some of these on LEGO CUUSOO--I'm sure many people (including me) would buy them!

-Toa Of Justice

You should only know that if you post them on CUUSOO you loose all rights to the design. It is all taken over by LEGO even if the model is never set in production.

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Fantastic ships!! I had stopped building Lego for some years, but this ship "PLM-T1 "Bakemono" class interceptor" just brought me back to it!! Do you know what would be the best idea to buy it? Because Lego digital desginer says, that it continues parts, that are not available and thus cannot be bought. But I dont want to buy that set parts by parts, cause it will take ages!! Can you help me out there, whats the best solution, to get it relatively fast? Thanks!

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Thanks, everyone, for the comments and especially to Superkalle for the front-page article! I wasn't expecting that!

Now that PLM-T1 is one good looking little spacecraft! Alright, I'll take two.

A representative of Tanuki Corp. will contact you shortly to facilitate all your space superiority needs. ;)

Fantastic ships!! I had stopped building Lego for some years, but this ship "PLM-T1 "Bakemono" class interceptor" just brought me back to it!! Do you know what would be the best idea to buy it? Because Lego digital desginer says, that it continues parts, that are not available and thus cannot be bought. But I dont want to buy that set parts by parts, cause it will take ages!! Can you help me out there, whats the best solution, to get it relatively fast? Thanks!

I would say the best way to go about building one of these is to buy the parts necessary via Bricklink and to get the list of parts necessary, use Superkalle's software LDD Manager. If you're on a Mac, like me, and can't use LDD Manager, you could use brickhelper (third item down on that page) to get a list of pieces and generate a Bricklink 'wanted' list. Also, I've been designing these in LDD Extended mode, so some of the pieces might not be available in the color selected (in fact, a trans-orange version of that new windscreen is definitely NOT available, though we're going to see it in clear and trans-purple next year in addition to the 'smoke'/trans-brown color we have from this year's Imperial V-Wing, MBA Kit 1 and Earth Defense HQ sets) so some concessions might be necessary.

Also, I HIGHLY suggest you download the revised version of the PLM-T1, linked below - the connections should be much more stable and it features distinct weapon and engine modules, which can heighten reconfiguration possibilities in the future.

______________________________

In working with this concept more and more, I've made certain revisions to pre-existing modules in order to make them more useful. The original cockpit module underwent a revision to bring the rear side technic bricks in line with the front ones (there was a one-plate offset initially). Similarly, the two 1x2 technic bricks w/2 holes on the Plasma Cannon (heavy weapons) module have been lined up (they, too, had a one-plate offset.)

Additionally, I've created three folders on my servers where these files have been uploaded. One folder holds all the individual modules that I've developed thus far, one holds the configurations that I've developed using those modules with each module color-coded for easy selection/manipulation, and one folder that contains all designations, those configurations that have been named and 'painted'.

Now on to some new stuff:

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PLM-T1 "Bakemono" Rev. A by vynsane, on Flickr

This revision of the "Bakemono" class interceptor uses separate weapon and engine modules.

LDD Files

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"Kitsune/Hiyakudori" class light interceptor by vynsane, on Flickr

An Alien Defense Unit "Kitsune/Hiyakudori" class light interceptor patrols the airspace of planet Earth for any signs of otherworldly trouble.

To increase the effectiveness of any weapon or sensor modules installed, the addition of a secondary cockpit module can facilitate seating a Combat Systems Officer who would then be responsible for monitoring the systems secondary to piloting the craft.

The fly-by-wire nature of the modular starfighter system allows for transference of duties from one control module to the other, so if something were to happen to the pilot, the Combat Systems Officer could take over control of the craft to land safely in a "limp home feature" capacity.

LDD Files

While JudahMoTron revealed his 'Trainer' version:

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Modular Fighter - Trainer Variant by JudahMoTron, on Flickr

I was also working on a tandem-cockpit variant of the "Kitsune" class light interceptor configuration. Originally I intended to make the additional cockpit module fit between the original cockpit and rear fuselage modules, but for the sake of a smooth appearance ended up incorporating the additional cockpit into a lengthened version of the rear fuselage.

Edited by vynsane

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So, other than developing additional modules for use on the starfighter frame, I'm seriously considering that the next step in the evolution of this concept is to branch out into a modular Mecha rig that can re-use the modules already developed. I'm picturing a mech with an inverted plasma cannon module (exhibited in the Tengu Heavy Interceptor) on each shoulder and can't help but smile deviously...

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So, other than developing additional modules for use on the starfighter frame, I'm seriously considering that the next step in the evolution of this concept is to branch out into a modular Mecha rig that can re-use the modules already developed. I'm picturing a mech with an inverted plasma cannon module (exhibited in the Tengu Heavy Interceptor) on each shoulder and can't help but smile deviously...

Sounds like a cool project. Look forward to what you can come up with :sweet:

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So, the concept for the modular mech frame is still in the Tanuki Corp. R&D department. For NnoVVember, they've unveiled the newest set of modular subsystems, known collectively as the 'Mamushi' class.

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"Mamushi" class modular starfighter: The VV shot by vynsane, on Flickr

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"Mamushi" class modular starfighter by vynsane, on Flickr

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"Mamushi" class modular starfighter rear by vynsane, on Flickr

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Mamushi modules exploded by vynsane, on Flickr

Promotional images of the "Mamushi" class modular starfighter from the 7012 solar cycle Tanuki Corp. Fall Catalog.

To meet the varying defense needs throughout the multitudinous galaxies colonized by humanity, Tanuki Corp. has developed many configurations of its highly popular modular starfighter system.

The newest configuration in this line-up is the "Mamushi" class, a design that leverages the modular nature of the platform to facilitate lightning-quick weaponry changes, jocularly referred to as "power ups" by pilots.

LDD Files

Edited by vynsane

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