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About drclark

  1. Like it!
  2. Like the new trans yellow canopy. Too bad it's not available in a cheaper set. Did you buy the bat cave set to get it or is it already available on bricklink? Nice design; has a very "classic" feel to it. Nice to see a moc that utilizes mostly traditional studs-up construction and doesn't go overboard with greebles. My only suggestion would be to have the bottom built in all gray would be more true to the original CS color scheme. Thanks for sharing - doug
  3. Wow! Love it.
  4. I grew up getting a lot of classic space sets as a kid. It was my favorite Lego theme back when there was only Town, Castle, and Space as part of the Legoland System. I really liked the Galaxy Squad sets and bought most of them (largely because my son was ~3 when they came out and I could built them with him). I kinda wished I had not passed on alien conquest sets. One of the things that I think sets CS apart from all that followed was that there were no overt bad guys - the theme was about space ships, moon bases and buggies exploring different worlds - not that we didn't make up our own bad guys to fight, but that was kind of the point with LEGO. You actually had to imagine and create your own story line back then. I would also tend not to characterize CS as a theme. Instead it was a core "product-line" that spanned many years (essentially a decade from 1978-87). It maintained more or less a consistent color scheme across many years and allowed me as a kid, living within my parents birthday/Christmas budget constraints, to build up a large, usable collection of parts in common colors and decorated elements to build MOCs from while still keeping some of my favorite sets built.... so I was able to use parts from other sets to build companion ships to the galaxy explorer. Heck back then, all sets essentially only had blue, gray, white, black for primary colors with trans yellow, blue, green for choices of canopies. Construction was all essentially studs up and the models were very basic by today's standards. I remember making my own space base layouts on a card table that could hold a 3x3 grid of crater and landing pad baseplates. So in a sense, everything was simpler and maybe more kid-friendly back then? The other thing that one also has to keep in mind is that space exploration was a relatively new, exciting area of research and development. In the late 70s we had just wrapped up the Apollo program, the joint Apollo/Soyuz missions, and skylab. All the buzz was about the new re-usable space shuttle (which most of the classic space ships LL918, LL924 and LL928 all generally resemble). I remember my 1st grade class all gathering around a TV to watch the first launch of the space shuttle. We were going to build a space station and the next stop was going to be mars. Futuristic, sci fi movies and TV shows, like Cosmos, Star Trek, Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, 2001, and Starwars fed the interest in space. Space was part of our popular culture - a thing to be excited about in general. It was only natural for LEGO to introduce a toy line that capitalized off of the popularity of science fiction and space in general. So what happened? Somewhere along the lines our popular interest in space fizzled out. Shuttle launches became routine (with the exception of Challenger and Columbia) the construction of the space station dragged out, manned missions have been diddling around in low earth orbit for 30yrs, and our plans to go to mars stalled. Lucas wrapped up the Star Wars trilogy in 1983. Sci-fi shows began to disappear from main-stream TV. The various incarnations of Star Trek was the only real sci-fi main stay on network TV when I was in college in the 90s. Scifi became a geeky niche relegated to its own cable TV channel. During that time of the 90s and early 2000s LEGO tried to keep the interest in the space product line going by introducing the concept of factions/themes and some of the early themes are classics in their own right (Blacktron, SPI, MTRON, etc) but now the themes had very short production runs (maybe a year or two) which probably helped drive sales (new pieces in new colors) and added to collectibility, but now made it much harder for a kid to have that large collection of common colored elements to build MOCs from. The space theme became very fragmented with no real connection or continuity between themes. In general set designs suffered with the later space themes (and across a lot of Lego products) as Lego seemed to be struggling with the changes in how kids approached toys in the emerging internet/video game/digital age. When Lucas started the prequel trilogy in 1999 and revived the Star Wars franchise, LEGO scored the license rights which was and still is a huge seller (which probably helped them survive the early 2000s). This however, pretty much ended hope for a continuing LEGO space line of products. Lego did not do any space themes from 1999-2005 while the prequel triology was in theaters. They only appeared to attempt to return to their own organic space lines from 2007-2013 as interest in the Star Wars was winding down after Revenge of the Sith. In those years it would be interesting to see how the organic space themes did against updates and re-hashes of previous Star Wars sets. One of the side effects of the Star Wars and other licensed products is a demand for model/color accuracy that prior space sets did not have to worry about. On the one hand, this has been great as to achieve more true-to-scale representations of a fictional vehicle it has driven more complex building techniques into official Lego sets and other Lego products and making the sets more appealing to older kids and AFOLs. On the other hand, the color variations between models within a "theme" and within the model itself means it has become very hard to amass a "critical mass" of pieces in similar colors for MOC building without resorting to the second hand markets. In other words, the Lego sets are becoming less of a general building system and more like stand-alone "snap-together" model kits with the exception of the creator line which seems to be returning an emphasis on ability to build multiple models from one set. Now with Disney buying the Star Wars property and pumping out a new movie every year and having animated series to fill gaps in the timeline - I would not expect to see many LEGO space themes, beyond one-off ideas sets (I am thrilled with the Saturn Rocket set that is coming soon) or sets that have tie-ins to LEGO movies anytime soon. Star Wars is the only sci-fi/fantasy space theme that still appears to capture and drive popular culture. Everything other sci-fi property out there is either not kid-friendly or just too geeky to appeal to the general population. Kids are also different now. They grow out of toys earlier and move into digital media and video games at earlier ages than they did when I was a kid. The latest generation seems to be so inwardly focused on their digital devices that I think a lot of traditional youth interests and activities are starting to die out. I think that is why Lego currently seems to be so heavily dependent on licensed themes or internal themes that are tied to a TV show or movie. They seem to need to have their toys tied into a story-line or virtual world that has been fed to them than one they create in their own minds. So if we get a Lego movie set in space then we will probably see some cool space sets.... however, it won't be a continuing theme or product line unless there is a continuing media tv show tie-in or video game series tie in to keep them going. Other than that, I think an ideas set or a creator set might pop up on key "classic space anniversary dates". I would love to see a direct-to-consumer space themed set along the lines of a neo-classic space base that contains a large ship, landing pad and control center.... Just my thoughts, drc
  5. When I was young it was the perception that kids grew out of toys. As an adult it's lack of time or money. Also as your family grows, you might run out of space.. My daughter's bedroom now occupies my former LEGO room. Another thing that can influence a dark age is the health/vibrance of either local LEGO clubs or online communities as the exchange of ideas between enthusiasts can help inspire new builds. I entered a somewhat second dark age as the lugnet community started to disburse across the web. Didn't really get back into the hobby until my kids were born. Now, I go very long times between mocs with sudden bursts of inspiration. I tend to "build" alot with ldd as it's quicker, more cost effective and I am not limited by part/color availability. Most of the new LEGO we buy is for the kids now.
  6. I really like the alpha 1 rocket base tribute
  7. Awesome MOC! - Can't believe its gone this long without a comment.... Love the combo of technic function with a system theme. Not clear from your video - is there room in the interior for minifigs?
  8. That's really cool, and different. Looks similar to the high end doll house scale furniture.
  9. Hey - thanks all for the comments. I've been tweaking my MK VII design and I am much happier with its appearance and believe its now much closer to the MK VIIB reference I was working from. I have rendered the update next to my original cut for comparison. brickshelf folder (when moderated) I move the wings forward by 2 studs, reworked the rear portions of the fuselage sides to eliminate the large sloped wedges and create hints of intakes just behind the cockpit. The rear fuselage tapers and wraps the upper engine better. I got rid of the minifig surfboard wing/tail tips and reworked the cannon mounts to eliminate the small gaps that were very apparent on the side and top views. The forward fuselage was also reworked to blend the wings better and eliminate some of the bulkiness forward of the cockpit. I like the look of the rear end much better as shown in the picture below and rendered in a similar view to my reference, but the rear portion of the fuselage is a bit more fragile with some pieces only attached by 1 stud... I decided to sacrifice sturdiness for overall accuracy. So, I am going to call this one done for awhile..... Thanks again for looking, drc
  10. The update looks great. Proof that a MOC is never truly done
  11. I finally finished my first cut at the MK VII viper that was seen in the rebooted BSG series. It is built in the ~1 stud = 1 foot scale I have built my other models to. It is slightly longer than scale, but that is to compensate for the extra width that our overly obese minifigs require. brickshelf gallery when moderated In my research, I realized that there are two subtly different versions out there. The original has the wings blending into the fuselage all the way out toward the nose and has different shaped wings. The "MK VIIB" has the wings blending into the fuselage about the midpoint of the nose (and remind me a lot of how the wings on an F-18 blend into the forward fuselage). I chose to try to model the "B" model and used this site put up by one of the VFX modelers for the show as a reference. This was a difficult build to try to make all the angles come together and look "right" at this scale. The core is a 2x2 structure using the many bricks with studs on their sides that are now available. The model literally has "studs up" in all 6 directions to achieve the form. I did look at this excellent MOC of the MKVIIA by atomictoaster85 somewhat in the build process as it appeared much smaller and "true to scale" than other MK VII MOCs I have seen online. Given the shape of the rear fuselage behind the cockpit, there are only so many ways to achieve the "stepped" look with LEGO bricks at this size.and that portion of my model does look very similar. I don't know if I am satisfied with the large sloped wedges on the sides of the rear of the fuselage relative to the MK VII reference I was using and may continue to twiddle with it in the future. A minifig does barely fit into the cockpit, but as a result, the controls and instrumentation are not as detailed as I would normally like. Yet another compromise when trying to build at a smaller scale. I have been challenging myself to include fully retractable landing gear in these Viper models that closes cleanly. On the nose gear, I didn't quite achieve the effect I wanted. I had another nose gear design planned (similar to my LL919 model) but the nose structure became too compromised when I started deleting bricks to make room for the nose gear assembly. So I ended up using a simple hinge piece with a 1x2 brick. It works, but does interrupt the clean lines of the bottom of the craft. Lastly, I'm not sure I like the minifig surfboards for the wing/tail tips. I thought they would look cool, but are too wide for the scale I'm working at. I would also like to eliminate the gaps on the wing/tail cannons. Again, these are some things I might continue to experiment with. But overall, I believe the design is 90% there, and I am happy with it for now. Thanks for looking, drc
  12. I like the concept and execution. My only comment would be the place on the race car where front wheels would have been looks a little empty. Maybe that's because you've maintained the look of an F1 racer so accurately... Seems like there ought to be a small pair of repulsor lift modules up front to compliment the rear "wheels" I wonder if it would be possible to use several LEGO magnets embedded below the tiles of the scene and on the car to actually levitate the race car in the diorama?
  13. Really nice! It's always tough building in ldd to know how sturdy the model would be IRL. Love the renders too.
  14. Been fiddling around with my BSG Viper models in LDD and decided to do a quick render of all of them together. Since the MK I viper is seen briefly in the museum hanger of the mini series reboot, I imagine that all of these models could have existed in either the original series or reboot series timeline. My fictional backstory is set in the TOS timeline since that is where my fondness for BSG began. Backstory from right to left: The Scorpion is a early precursor to the MK I Viper. I have seen it referenced as the "antique viper" or 6th Millennium Colonial Fighter. It is seen in the original series episode "The Long Patrol" when Starbuck stumbles upon a forgotten prison colony that pre dates the beginning of the cylon war. This vessel was phased out of service as the MK I vipers were introduced and many found their way into the hands of smugglers and pirates. I chose to depict this as a "factory fresh" model but have also modeled it as a beat-up, heavily used, weathered vessel as shown in the TV episode. I will be uploading more renders to its brickshelf gallery as I get time. The Viper MK I is the classic Viper from the original TV series. It was originally designed as a space superiority fighter/interceptor for fleet defense being catapulted out of launch tubes of a battlestar to rapidly engage an attacking force. It is highly maneuverable and boasts superior short duration speed and acceleration resulting from its turbo boosters. Its two laser cannons are sufficient to destroy enemy raiders though it is somewhat under-gunned to be used in the strike/attack roles. As the MK II Vipers were entering service in numbers, surplus MK I spaceframes were upgraded at fleet depots to the MK IA configuration, to better serve the strike attack role. Armament load out was supplemented by the addition of twin wing/tail tip rapid pulse rate laser blasters for strafing soft, unarmored targets and ventral hard-points allowed for carriage of 6 nuclear torpedoes enabling a full squadron to be a serious threat to an enemy basestar. Additional armor, jamming electronics and an enhanced sensor suite improved survivability rates. Provisions for external tylium tanks allowed for extended use of turbos allowing the strike vipers to make high speed runs through a target area. The increase in strike capabilities, added weapons and armor did adversely affect agility and dog fighting abilities. When loaded for attack missions, the MK IA squadrons would be launched out of the main landing bays since the Strike Viper was no longer compatible with the Battlestar launch tubes when carrying external ordinance packages. Working in conjunction with MK I or MK II escorts the Strike Viper squadrons enjoyed great success against hardened enemy planetary and capital ship targets. Building on the success of the MK IA, a number of MK I and MK IA craft were sent back to Starhound's factories to be re-manufactured into MK IB strike models. This involved upgrading the engine modules for increased power output for higher speed, an improved reaction control system to regain some of the maneuverability that was lost as a result of the added mass. This allowed MK IB models to self-escort themselves into target areas on strike missions as well as fill the fleet defense/interception role in a pinch if the MK I / MK II squadrons suffered heavy losses. If pressed into the fleet defense role, they could be launched from the catapult tubes when no external ordinance was being carried. Additionally, the nose section was lengthened to incorporate an improved sensor suite, network comm systems and higher capacity life support system allowing the MK IB models to also double as extended range scouting craft that could either outrun or fight their way out of a hostile situation. The MK IB excelled as a true multi-role craft. With the success of both the MK IA and IB models, Starhound proposed the ultimate evolution of the MK I platform with the MK IC "Super Viper" model. The spaceframe, wing and tail sections were heavily redesigned to allow incorporation of two additional laser cannons, improved sensor and jamming electronics. Engines developed for the MK II model were fitted as well as a sensorwave absorbing coating to reduce its target signature on enemy scanners. Intended for deep penetration missions into heavily defended territory, several prototypes were built and successfully tested. Despite meeting or exceeding all design parameters, the Council of 12 feared that procurement of such an obviously offensive oriented craft would jeopardize the ongoing peace talks with the cylon empire. Additionally, many members of the council balked at paying 1.5-2x the cost of a new MK II viper for what they viewed was an obsolete design. The handful of prototypes that were built were assigned to a special missions squadron aboard the Battlestar Pegasus before she mysteriously vanished. The MK II "Pit Viper" was developed as a successor to the MK I Viper in the fleet defense, interceptor and space superiority roles. It featured advanced engine technology and a spaceframe built from advanced lightweight quantum alloys that allowed sustained speeds equivalent to MK I models at full turbo output and unparalleled agility. It quickly proved to be a lethal dog fighter that the cylons had no equal for. In its first major fleet action, the two squadrons assigned to the Battlestar Columbia decimated 4 waves of cylon raiders sent from two Basestars allowing the Columbia and her MK IA squadrons to press an attack, destroying one Basestar and forcing the retreat of the other. It was believed that this was one of the factors that suddenly caused the cylon empire to pursue a peace settlement. As one of the preconditions of the peace talks the Council of 12, at the behest of Lord Baltar, agreed to reassign the MK II squadrons to the 12 colonies to be used only for planetary defense. Nearly all of the MK II squadrons were lost on the ground during the cylon sneak attack, with the few that got off the ground, quickly overwhelmed by superior numbers. Lastly, the MK VII ViperX project was a next generation research project aimed at revolutionizing the colonial space superiority combat capabilities. The advanced craft would have acceleration and delta-V performance that could produce G-forces that could exceed the physical limits of the human pilots. Planned to include the latest in artificial intelligence based pilot aids (to assist in recovery and prevent the craft's performance from killing its pilots), networked sensor fusion, its design represented a potential quantum leap in squadron combat tactics and capabilities. In fact the performance potential of the craft was so great, many military leaders were advocating the development of even more advanced AI systems that would remove the pilot from the system altogether to allow the craft to realize its full combat potential. Opponents of this controversial project insisted that the incorporation of such AI systems would be embedding the exact types of technologies that the colonials were fighting against in the bitter cylon war, with many fearing these advanced combat machines would eventually turn on their creators. To alleviate these fears, Starhound engineers decided to retain a human in the loop as the basis for the craft's design and were focused on developing advanced G-suits and looking into the physics of inertia modification to attempt to overcome the human limitations. Only 1 spaceframe mockup was built at the time of the cylon surprise attack. All records of the MK VII project were lost as a result of a direct-hit of a cylon nuke on Starhound's development center outside of Caprica City. After the attack the lone surviving Galactica had both MK I and MK IA squadrons assigned. As the Galactica assumed the role of protector of the rag-tag fleet of survivors, it was clear that the time for offense was over. The MK IA craft were sent to the Celestra to be stripped down and reverted back to their original MK I configuration as more fleet defense fighters in the alert tubes would be needed if the fleet was to survive its quest to find the 13th colony. Builder notes: Other than the Scorpion and the MK II, these are all basic variations of the MK I build. I really enjoy the ability to quickly explore slightly different build variations and color schemes in LDD. I will be updating this post as I get more individual renders of each version posted. Thanks for looking, drc