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Laura Takayama

ADU Buteo V/STOL Gunship (MOC/MOD)

6 posts in this topic

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I've decided to take a short break from my Vic Vipers and do something a little different... Since it seems that other people here have made some Alien Conquest revival MOCs, I figured now would be a good time to post this project. Early last week I managed to find a MSIB Jet Copter Encounter set on Brick Link for $29, so I decided to grab it... I was kicking myself over not buying one when they were out in the stores, because I'd been wanting to use the parts/basic shape to make my own unholy hybrid of a Warhammer 40K Vulture Gunship and the Aliens Orbital Dropship ever since I first saw the set, so without futher ado I present the Buteo Class Gunship:

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ADU Gunship Left by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

The Buteo Class Gunship is the result of a top-secret joint military R&D project between the Airborne Demolitions Unit (ADU) and the Federal Republic of America (FRA) in the Post-Final War era. Sporting nifty V/STOL capabilities and armed to the teeth, the Buteos were soon to prove their worth on the many battlefields of Post-Final War North America in their close air support and airborne artillery roles.

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ADU Gunship Front by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

This picture shows why the Buteo puts the "gun" in gunship: Its armament consists of four blaster cannons (wingtip mounted), 2x dual merculite missile launchers (wing mounted) that use the same standard short-range missile as the quad launchers on the Mobile Command center, two laser cannons (mounted above the wings), two 38mm autocannons (use the same ammo as Federal and Republic of New Jersey patrol boat deck guns), and mounted dead center, dual 20mm Vulcan cannons for dishing out the punishment.

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ADU Gunship Top by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

This particular Buteo belongs to a mysterious pilot whose callsign is "Nabii". The only things known about him are the fact that in addition to being an ace pilot, he's also a master engineer and has a strong aversion to the color teal... :tongue:

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ADU Gunship Interior by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

...and of course here is the pilot in question, nestled in his pilot's seat, with the control sticks and surrounded by weapons control and other consoles with switches, dials and blinkenlights.

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ADU Gunship Bottom by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

Finally, we have the obligatory undercarriage shot showing the landing gear and vectored thrust ports for V/STOL and hover mode.

Well, I hope you like this project of mine... I was initially going to ditch the stickers (well put them in my sticker container), until I noticed the "Nabii" name block next to the unit number (similar to how it was done for the Nnenn Vic Viper), and since Mark is one of my favorite LEGO designers/MOCers (his "Cthulego Rising" diorama is what got me back interested in LEGO after an 8 year hiatus), I couldn't resist.

The Vulcan cannons are the part I'm happiest about because, to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only one to come up with this technique thus far: The ends of the Vulcans are extra Brickarms Minigun tips (you get two different tips with each minigun), but while several other people suggested being able to use them in a similar manner, there was always an ugly-looking gap between the tip and the shoulder of whatever stud hole it was inserted into. As I was driving up to my in-laws' house this Saturday, a solution to the problem hit me: If I used the One Ring element to cover the stud and fill the gap, it should work, and it seems that I was right.

Also, as soon as I can source some white tail fins and white or red 3x3x5 engine cylinder pieces, I'm definitely making one in the Federal Republic of America Air Force red & white livery.

Comments and such appreciated as always.

Edited by Bob De Quatre

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A nice revamp, although I like the original better. The brickarms minigun top+ring idea is pretty awesome though.

Edited by DraikNova

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Well, I'm glad you like the guns at least.... I'm thinking about posting this (at least the closeup of the front) over at the Brick Arms forums if anyone wants to use this technique.

BTW, I can't believe I did this, but I accidentally included two Left side shots instead of the front view like I meant to, so I've fixed that now....

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What I like about this one is that it looks like an official set. :thumbup:

Lego really should make this minigun parts as official parts. :wink:

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AWESOME creation......I can see some inspiration from an A-10 Warthog that's for sure ! :grin:

Brick On Fight On 'Hikaro' ! :grin:

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What I like about this one is that it looks like an official set. :thumbup:

Lego really should make this minigun parts as official parts. :wink:

Yeah, I've noticed that my MOCs and MODs tend to fit the general design scheme of official LEGO sets.... I think part of that might be because (at least according to one of the things that one of their designers mentioned) that I tend to try and balance aesthetics, parts economy and ruggedness, rather than just going for what looks best, whether it will collapse if you accidentally bump it or not...

I definitely agree 100% about wanting official LEGO made miniguns... Until then, there's Brick Arms.

AWESOME creation......I can see some inspiration from an A-10 Warthog that's for sure ! :grin:

Brick On Fight On 'Hikaro' ! :grin:

Thanks! Nabii actually posted a similar comment on Flickr... I guess it helps that the A-10 is one of my favorite fixed-wing aircraft (not to mention that they were made not far from where I grew up)....

Of course, mounting the engines, or at least the intakes up high makes sense from a certain tactical/engineering point as well: Jet engines, particularly most modern designs that use ceramic-based composites, can be destroyed if they suck in a small, hard object such as a medium-sized coin or a pebble. In most cases, such as at established military airfields, civilian airports and aircraft carriers, they have the ground crew regularly do what is called a "FOD Walkdown", where they meticulously go over the entire landing strip/airfield/flight deck looking for any Foreign Object Debris that could damage the aircrafts' engines.

Needless to say, this is not feasible at most forward air bases in combat zones (a.k.a. mostly level strips of dirt that are big enough for planes and helos to take off from and land on)... Positioning the intakes/engines ABOVE the fuselage (as in the case of the A-10 and many jet-powered combat helos) as opposed to BELOW the wings is the easiest way to keep the engines from sucking in random bits of debris that could mess them up, allowing such aircraft to use unimproved front line airstrips.

...Of course, this has the secondary and unintended function of making such aircraft look particularly hardcore. :wink:

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