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Monday, June 23, 2014

Auxilliary Patroller + Orion II Hyperspace = Tri-Orbital Transporter

Today's post is a combo effort.  Ive chosen two models: a 1987 Futuron set, and a 1989 Futuron set.

Galactic Starship; also known as, Roboprobe Transporter; also known as, Orion II Hyperspace













Auxiliary Patroller














As previously mentioned, Futuron is an outlier theme in that of the Golden Era Space Lego themes it was the only theme which had a strong continuous presence over the course of three years.  Over this period of time the Lego system's part selection continued expanding; allowing for Futuron's design scheme to evolve with the parts available.

The only other Space themes to exceed this 3 year spread were Classic Space and Star Wars..

Recent Space themes e.g. Galaxy Squad, Space Police III, and Mars Mission have managed to replicate/exceed the size of Futuron's theme over two year or two wave releases, but none of them have as yet managed to match the three year/wave pattern.

All that aside here's the thoughts behind my construction; and results of my mashing these two sets together.

The design is reminiscent of Blacktron: Future Generation in the reverse.


I placed a pod at the back; developed to approximate said bubble cockpits from that toy range.  After that I already had a general idea of the window at the front, and so I just had to develop the middle pod to bring the model together.













I really got underway once I decided to utilize the Octagon window frames.


I attached wings and engines to the door to fill out the middle pod design and gave it the old school aircraft running lights in the Classic town colors.















The car was assembled from available parts and snuggled inside the bubble.  The robot was inspired heavily by the 6885 Crater Crawler robot.  Though looking at it now I can see that the new result was actually quite removed from its source material.








And so I have created a space craft which could be described outside of Lego terms as three spherical pods attached end to end.  I find the result to be quite pleasing, and I consider this to be my best Futuron alternate built to date.  I've derived the name Tri-Orbital Transporter from a twist on the Latin translation for three spheres.














Overall I suspected that 6893 and 6850 would synergize well, but I'm actually blown away.  They have proven to be a very compatible pair of sets.

While it is to the side, I have recently gotten a new camera...could you tell?  I'm taking one or two pictures of each shot now, as opposed to fifteen.  The old camera was lower resolution and exceedingly finicky with slight movements...which was frustrating.  I hope you like the clearer images going forward...I certainly appreciate the reduced time needed to photograph and adjust the pictures.  We're talking magnitudes of work flow improvement.  I've probably cut two to three hours of work per blog post with the removal of reshoots, digging through gobs of pictures trying to find a useable image, editing said image, and then jotting down notes about which filenames to use.  This should hopefully result in more consistent updates; since I've removed an evening's worth of work from my posts.

I don't even want to think about how much time I spent on 6990's pictures.

Until Next Time~CureAllPill

Friday, June 20, 2014

Futuron 260 and etc.

When I went to college one of my very first actions after class was to open up an obscure little website called Lugnet and peruse every Lego Space set ever made. 

The Lego company had accidentally printed the lugnet website domain in one of the Mania Magazine comics, and I took note of its presence when Lego issued a statement in the back stating that Lugnet was not officially recognized or endorsed by the company...(see kids, it pays to read the fine print.)























Note the Computer










Following issue






















And accompanying legalese...this is what led me to Lugnet, and the AFOL community.


















For many years prior to Lugnet and the Internet at large I had subsisted on fanciful visions of what Lego Space could be from scraps of instructions and random brochures.  I never threw out anything I didn't have a copy of somewhere else, so when my 4 year old brother shredded my ancient 1988 catalog I kept it...except for the part he ate...

Exhibit A















Beautiful aren't they?  Even Classic Space was getting in on the Futuron color scheme.  I was carrying around old Lego brochures on car rides through High School. Eventually the Internet made their daily use obsolete; so now I just keep them for nostalgia value.

Before I received that pamphlet the Lego Idea book 260 was, in particular, my go to guide for Golden era Space sets through much of the 90s and early 2000s.  I conjectured about getting the sets some day but didn't really have a solution for the how of it all.  Ebay was just starting and Bricklink wasn't a thing, and I didn't know anything about either of them.  


Due to the obscurity of information for all things old the 260 Idea book was a childhood favorite of mine.  I received it from my best friend for a birthday in the distant yester-years.  There were many things hidden away in the book like Pirates, Town, Basic, Castle, Space. All the usual themes.  Given the era I was born in these are still 'the' themes that come to mind when Lego is mentioned.  Wild West, Time Cruisers and Aquazone felt like wild departures, but they were only what seemed to me to be the beginnings of a new wave of ideas from the Lego company.  Pirates was new at the time I got into Lego, but I wouldn't discover that reality until much later.

So for many years this was the source for what I knew about the Futuron theme, the Black-tron theme, and the Space Police theme.  M-tron was during my time; I loved M-tron and knew all the set names; but that was as far back as my paltry knowledge really went.














Futuron managed to hold out through M-tron's 1990 arrival via a constant three year stream of new sets, and a persistent presence of 6990.  I think part of Futuron's appeal is just the sheer size and diversity of the theme.  Black-Tron only had six sets, as did Space Police, and M-tron only managed eight.  None of that is obvious in the 260 idea book.

The undiluted Futuron aesthetic in 260 inspired me in the absence of the real thing.  I cannot begin to count the number of iterations of that front buggy I made in my youth.  I just loved the concept of a suspension no matter how basic it was.  I'm pretty sure I even built the Radar buggy at least once.









The back truck's SNOT design mystified me until recently when my grown up self had an aha! moment and assembled this blue version two or so months ago.  I had always just assumed the section below the driver's arm was one piece, and it was only when I realized what specific parts were used that I could finally complete the design in my head.  (Read: I realized no such mystery piece exists!)  Eventually I want to build the true color scheme.














Here's a spaceship that seems kind of like a flying saucer.  The downward pointing engines and lack of wings were intriguing in a time when the sets themselves sported consistently straightforward construction techniques.  SNOT (Studs Not On Top) wasn't really talked about back in those days.














Within the Space section lay some wonderful ideas that would inspire a generation of Space Lego enthusiasts...some of us anyway. Looking back on it now I can see that the models don't hold too much appeal for crazy skilled builders, but for casual enthusiasts, and archivists, this is a classic tome.

Below you can see a bustling Futuron spaceport with a base, news anchor, trucks, spaceships, and the radar tower from the front spread.  This was, aside from 6990, everything I knew about Futuron for much of my childhood; with the aforementioned old catalog filling in some information for me in late junior high.

Oh yeah, and instructions.  This is the Space sections largest alternate, though compared to some of the other sections, like Castle and Pirates it seems small.















Hey, wait a minute, who put those sticker borders there???!

RAWR!... sadly, that was probably my fault.

This Base is unfortunately obscured, but there's enough visible structure that the imagination can go wild with it.


















Some Spacecraft, Radar, and a Space police Guy...but you know, a Black Futuron Spaceman doesn't appear in this book.  Interestingly, they use more Futuron red spacemen than were actually released in sets, giving a false sense of their presence in the product line.








News Anchor...in case you doubted me.  You can see some M-Tron bits and even a few Classic Space pieces in this image.  








But let's get back to those instructions.  

You'll need three pieces that aren't in any of the Futuron sets.  
2 of these in black from Space Police.
1 of these hinges in black: This is a tricky piece, from the era in question your best bet is the last Classic Space Station Polaris 1 Spacelab, otherwise go for the '93 set Ice-Sat V.  

Other than that, Futuron can supply all the parts.

If you have 6990 you practically have 75% of the model already...subtle advertising much???

Well I should hope we've got most of the model from the flagship set.  Okay, here we go.

After the three Black parts listed further up you can see we've got a pile from Monorail Transport System, three bits from Strategic Pursuer, four parts and a Blue spaceman from Orion II Hyperspace, four parts from Star Defender 200, one slope and two dots from Laser Ranger, and two window frames with the Red Spaceman from Cosmic Laser Launcher.  In this way the Lego designers spread the part selection out to encourage kids to buy more sets.  From this we can determine that Marketing has never been a parent's best friend.














Here is the Inventory
1
4

4

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

2

2


1

1

1

1

2

1

4

4

4

4

4

2

1

2

1

2

2

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

1


On the positive side, this model uses lots of common parts, so Bricklinking it won't break the bank.

And here we have the finished product, a small rocket ship on a launch pad.  I've always liked this design, but I never thought I would ever build it...until it occurred to me recently that all the roadblocks were gone.  



















It's actually kind of nice, I'd say it's more attractive than half the Futuron line.

And that closes this post, but we haven't seen the last of this mythic archive.