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Moff Wibbles

[J6 - Imdaar - TT] Prologue: The Strix (Freebuild, 3ABY)

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"Your flight leaves in three hours. Be at hangar bay 312. Dismissed."

-Admiral Sarn (Disguised)

The two officers took the time to pack their things and have them (and a requisition order for supplies) transferred to the hangar, before they headed down there themselves. They were greeted by what looked like a half-dissected, misshapen egg and a ground crew officer in full gear.

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Ground Crew: "Flight Lieutenants Blue and Mercer, yes?"

Arias: "Ayup, that's us."

Ruby: "Reporting as ordered."

Ground Crew: "Good, good. We're loading your shuttle up now, shouldn't take more than a few minutes."

Ruby: "Would you like a hand?"

Ground Crew: "Sure, it's just me down here today so I'd appreciate it."

The three made short work of the loading process, with the help of the two astromech droids Ruby had requisitioned for the construction process. Though she'd have liked something bigger, possibly one of the 00-99 Imperial Orbital Load Lifters, none were currently available. No matter, one was on back-order. The two pilots were rather impressed with the room the container could hold - two large weapon crates, ten supply crates, four fuel crates and four MSE-6 droids, also boxed up. Sadly, it wasn't designed with passengers in mind, and mag-sealing two chairs down meant offloading some of the supplies.

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Ground Crew: "Whew, everything loaded. Thanks for the help. Now to load you two in."

Arias: "Cheers. Got any in-flight snacks for us?"

Ground Crew: "Sure, I made sure the food containers were loaded in next to your seats. Just don't eat too much - the landing turbulence can be rough from the cargo hold."

The two, although excellent pilots, knew that if they were in the hold, it meant the shuttle would be leaving without them. As the loading ladders were retracted and the cargo doors swung closed, they started to discuss plans for establishing a perimeter and maximizing their chances of success. They quickly reached an agreement - they were going to need more supplies than this, and Ruby knew exactly where to get them. As they talked, the speaker built into the hold flared to life.

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Ground Crew: "Shuttle Strix, you are go for attachment procedure."

Shuttle Pilot: "Solid copy, positioning shuttle for cargo bay attachment."

Co-Pilot: "Magnetic clamps read green. Closing primary bolts now."

 

The procedure went smoothly. The shuttle used repulsorlifts to position itself over the detachable cargo container, then clamped the two halves together. A recent improvement, it allowed for rapid deployment of troops and vehicles without risking damage to the shuttle or pilots. The Strix was one of the first production run of the updated Sentinel-Class design. In under a minute, the ship was locked, loaded and ready to fly.

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Arias: "Hey, pilot. Mind if we make a quick detour? We've got some more supplies to load up at Dreigton..."

 

BEHIND THE SCENES!

Hi all! I am pleased to present the flagship for Arias and Ruby's adventures in the Dantus Sector - the Strix. A Sentinel-Class shuttle, she is built from the parts of the two sets that Lego has produced for this ship. Despite being outwardly very similar in appearance, her insides have been completely redesigned!

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The cockpit has been modified (inspired by the Tydirium Lego kit) to (barely) accommodate two pilots, so that eventually both Arias and Ruby can fly it together. The cargo bay has been completely hollowed out, with attachment points for various kinds of cargo (and passengers if needed), and has been made completely detachable from the main body of the shuttle! This in particular was difficult and time consuming to figure out. However, the end result is sturdy - you can actually just straight out drop the cargo bay from the shuttle onto the battlefield, and it'll take it!

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Redesigning the cockpit structure to not rely on the cargo bay for support was an interesting experiment, and one that took a fair bit of time. However, I am pleased with the result. The wings have also been modified so that it can include the classic 'bent wing' design of the nucanon Sentinel and Lambda-Class. This is intended to be a hybrid of both the legends and canon version. 

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There are some parts I'm not 100% happy with yet. The side wings have way too many studs on a design that almost completely hides all the studs on the ship - that's something I intend to redesign, possibly by making the wings a SNOT design similar to the top fin (which needs a little reinforcing, once I get the funds). Overall, though, the build is durable, swooshable, and packed with play features. I'll continue to update it over time, and eventually I plan to upscale it (to approximately the size of the UCS shuttle), but for now it is a fine transport for our character's adventures.

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The locking system is super simple - the two bricks with the brown bits hanging out? Just pull them out, and the entire top section can fly off freely. Stick them back in, and the container is locked in tight. I took inspiration from the Lego City's Volcano Heavy Lift Helicopter for this mechanism, though mine isn't quite as elegant. I'm still learning, I'll get there :)

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The one thing that has confounded me, and I can see no solution to, is a separate landing gear for the shuttle without the cargo bay. Due to the shape of the ship, it's not really something I can work in seamlessly. I've decided to leave it for now - in-story, the ship simply relies on repulsorlifts (like a Landspeeder) when it is parked.

Thank you for taking the time to view my little creation - I'm happy with how it turned out. I'll update this thread with any modifications/changes I make to the build.

Next stop - the sands of Imdaar!

Edited by goatman461
I pressed post too early. Again :(

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