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Saturday, September 19, 2015

SpacePolice: 6886 Galactic Peacekeeper

It's a monochrome theme it's a monchrome world so be obedient to the law, stick em up and don't argue... 

This is Galactic Peacekeeper, the Crown Vic spaceship of Space Police.  It contains a standard layout, driver up front, prisoner in back.  It is the second smallest Space Police model, and the tiniest example with the, then brand new, 10 stud tapered canopy and the beautiful ergonomic jailcell capsule.  It may be the cheapest finished model to ever provide the 10 stud canopy in a set.

One could be forgiven for thinking this is a big set, but it's actually quite small and compact.  The whole of it clocks in at just over 100 components.

The pilot sits at his controls in an airtight cabin.  We're treated to a Classic Space console unchanged from the first wave of Classic Space.  Nice!

Excuse me while I drool over that prison cell design.  While jails aren't by their nature something to be lauded, TLG really nailed this design out of the park.  It's immediately apparent what this is, the colors are striking and despite the tight build, its pedestal feet, police print, cell lights, and red translucent laser bars give it a heavily detailed and compact design which would have been at home in a late 80's sci fi movie.

The basic concept for the helicopter landing gear over flag poles was shared in another prison transport which appeared a year later.

Dungeon Hunters
If it was good enough for medievals it's good enough for us.

-----Attributed to an unknown Space Police Officer

The prison cell was presented as is within the Lego idea book 260, and it has basically burned itself into my brain as a concept.  However, I didn't know the hooks were back there until I started acquiring the sets two years ago.  I'll elaborate on them shortly.

Of course, nice as a holding cell can be, our Blacktron spaceman has decided to try his luck in that great white nothingness that stretches as far as the edge of the page.

And now, back to the spaceship!

The central fuselage is a tubular chassis with nose canards, obscuring the gaze of those little laser eyes.

Burly shoulders hide the peacekeepers not so peaceful laser cannon wings.  The design is one part cute... and equal parts muscular.

The Space Police spacecraft share a design language among themselves which holds true across the board.  I present... the template.  To my eyes the octagon body is the most distinctive element among these spacecraft.  None of the ground vehicles contain that particular attribute.


Give me 5 seconds...k?

Incidentally, the jail cell has two different prints for police so it can always be built with the lettering right side up... I realized after wrapping up photography, that this jail cell had 2 of the 2x3 right side pattern panels and resolved that by inspecting the other five jail cells... somehow, the sellers all sent me the proper prints, but some of the jail cells were sporting two rights, or two lefts.  Just something to keep in mind if you're particular about such things.

Game over pal!  Hey!  Where'd he go???

Now, there is one design gripe I have to level at the Peacekeeper, and which I will be frequently fussing over as we see more of these Space Police ships.

It sure looks nice with the jail cell on doesn't it?

But when you open up that back end the rear design just vanishes into nothingness.  The front starts to look unbalanced and the whole sculpted thing of beauty is gone.

While we're on this aesthetics business, check out those slats.  They aren't there for looks, so what gives?

The rear of the cell capsule has elbow pin plates with a 6 mm horizontal reach.   These pins reach just far enough to slide between the top tile and the underside stud with a well fitted grip.

Warning!!!  there's no guarantee the elbow pin plates in your collection can achieve this result as a 5 millimeter length elbow pin plate has been released within the last decade which can't quite reach the distance of a plate... You will stress the pin and possibly break it.  

Of course, if you're engineering whizzes with your bricks, knowing the two options of elbow plate should be useful knowledge for all you exacting builders out there.  How come I found out about it? Well one of my ebay acquired prison cells wouldn't slide on properly... and I went to Peeron's parts database to find out why.  I made the switch with existing parts from my collection where I wouldn't miss the extra millimeter of wiggle room.

Impress your friends with useless knowledge and build the trick to show them why it matters.  Or hide all the long elbow pins and watch their frustration mount as they attempt to copy your amazing construction technique.  Have fun and play well.

All told Galactic Peacekeeper comes with a Ship, jailcell, officer, and Blacktron spaceman.  There are no accessories to be had.  For the period it's an attractive set with enough here to get the storytelling and space pursuits started.  Personally I think it's a great set by the standards of any year.  26 years have passed and I still feel like blogging about it... that's staying power.  What do you think... are my nostalgia goggles filtering out obvious flaws?

We'll be moving on to bigger and 'gooder',-(a verbose explanation would be needed if you incorrectly surmised that I added a grammatical flaw in error... it was intentional, there the joke is ruined if you read this, but if it was Blacktron it would be bigger and badder.), Space Police vehicles in the near future, but I'll say it now, this one is my favorite; Galactic Peacekeeper has the most balanced looks and the least wallet crushing impact for your Space Police construction toy hobby.

Galactic Peacekeeper has an excellent spread of parts.  Notably, these printed bits are unique.

1 Shoulder left print

1 Shoulder right print.  These prefab walls are a big piece of my enthusiasm for older Legoland space sets.  Also, printed elements for the win, I can't stand stickers.

The straight black corner panel will appear in another Space Police set further up the line.

These more prevalent components are unique in theme.

2 black brick 1x1 with studs all around.  This part has gotten so much use in the last ten years that one could be forgiven for thinking it was always common.  But back in my day it was a needle in a haystack bit.  and it's so darn useful.

1 blue hinge plate 1x4.  I'm surprised to see this one here, given the preponderance of blue across the theme.  Clickhinges have replaced these old style hinges for the better in terms of rigidness, and long term wear and tear, but I do miss the streamlined edge and silent gliding motion offered here.

4 1x2 panel black.  I also thought this would show up more.  I'll have to check Black-tron's inventory, but between M-Tron and Space Police there aren't a lot of these.

2 black 3 finger hinge plate.  Yet another surprisingly low use component.  The 2 prong has 3 times the spread across the same 3 themes: Futuron, M:Tron, Space Police.  I'll have to look through Black-Tron's inventory to see if there are any more in black.

11 parts, not bad at all.

Alternate box image via the plastic brick.  Also, holy spumoni... only 9 bucks, I would have loved to get Galactic Peacekeeper for that price.

My own MOC attempts to give Blacktron an appropriately colored vehicle while leaving something for his pursuer to give chase in.  The result is one whale of a tale.  High speed pursuit through the vast ocean of space, don't get caught on the asteroid reef, or this chase will end with a sinking feeling that Blacktron fought the law and the law won.

The other item I built is this winged spacecraft.  It pushed the limits of available parts, and resulted in a decently nice looking ship.

The wings are very 3D, and give some nice contours to the slender tube chassis.

Overall I'm quite pleased with this set, the inclusion of a torch, megaphone, or walkie talkie would have delivered the final winning addition, but as is there's no reason to fault the design.  The components add up to an attractive pile of parts.  For an introduction to Space Police, there's nothing better.

See ya later, The Cure-all Pill

Final Score: A
Pros: Attractive Design, good entry point into the theme, jail cell, attractive specialty part selection
Cons: Lots of plates, no accessories,