OP64.jpg (52469 byte)

64 Bubblecraft 2

Build 13/6-8/8 2005, Pieces, 742, Weight 650g
L/W/H: 48/26/21 studs, 37,78/20,51/16,24 cm

64-0700low.jpg (334007 byte)The engines have a black grilled air intake in the front and a red exhaust in the back. The lower engine is only grey because I don't have enough of the big 6x8 slopes in white. 

Starting with the engines: I had these engines lying around for a long time and a vague idea that I wanted to mount them in a Y-shape like in my 51 Heavyfighter (and like the guns in the 61 Shark 2). But as I'd learned, everything protruding from the belly makes landing gear difficult - and these engines were particularly large.

One of the old pictures: bottom engine in it's grey incarnation, folded up in landing position.

Split tail: So I had the idea to copy the forked tail from my very first serious model, 02, because that would enable me to turn the lower engine backward leaving a pretty flat belly.

64-1145high.jpg (2002975 byte)But what about the body? However after finishing the engines at around the 13th of June, it took me nearly 1½ months to get inspired to actually starting on the model.

Since one of the coolest features of the engines is the thin white triangular shapes around the grilles of the ends, I decided that the general shape of the craft should mirror these.
  My initial idea to achieve this was to make an engine section with a pair of thin pointy prongs pointing backward and a semi-Stardestroyer-shaped body and front like Brent Skadan's "Advanced Starfighter".

64-1130below.jpg (309577 byte)Two balls above and one below

Nah, not really Although the Stardestroyer idea furthermore inspired me to include three balls to work as reactors/fueltanks for the engines and break up the arrow shape (like an Interdictor class Stardestroyer), I was hesitant to start on the craft: Although I knew it would be adequately challenging technically, it just felt really boring to copy a design that had been done a hundred times before.

Scribbling a bit: When 1½ months had passed since I made the engines, and 2 months since I'd made the previous 63 Bubblecraft I decided to sit down and try make drafts of my idea in order to see if it looked as bad as I thought it would. It did.
  But accidentally I made an error of perspective when I drew the design, which made it look like the sides of the carapace were slightly wringed.
  And that was a new design, that would be very interesting to try to make with lego.

Curving technique: Technically the curving wasn't that complicated because I could simply use 1x2 bricks with one stud to make the narrow angles.

I really like the curved grille here. No: I didn't bother to spend a couple of hours making a right wing just to get a green light there for the renderings.

Angling technique: Just a basic jumpertechnique using two hinges.

Basically I used the same technique with bricks and hinges as on the 61 Shark2, but unlike that, I kept it simple with a central 90 degree saddle structure that was a lot easier to connect with the internal structure.

The saddle part of the carapace is kept in place by the pins in the back (yellow arrows) while the wings are attached via hinges in the middle (red arrows). Some of the special parts used for the greebling aren't rendered yet and therefore missing from the renderings.

Interior and balls: The lower ball is built into the central structure, while the two upper ones need the white carapace to keep them from falling out.

Note how the lower ball is wedged in between the slopy parts at the bottom. The landing gear is attached to the triangular wedging section below the wings.

Landing gear: Basic structure using clickhinges and 1x2x3 slopes.
  I decided to lengthen them a bit by inserting a 1x2 brick to get a bit more ground clearance, which unfortunately weakened the structure a lot.

64-landing gear.jpg (373506 byte)Landing gear deploying - hmm... I wonder why I didn't delete the  old version above...

Note how the pilot's seat can drop down in the last picture, enabling the pilot to step out on the ground easily.

Cockpit: Not exactly like I had planned, but I kept it because it was easier to connect with the rest of the craft (white sloping), and especially because of the neat little opening technique I came up with, using a 1x3 technic liftarm/beam.
  I was absolutely sure I took a picture of it, but can't find any...

64-0400.jpg (328094 byte)Wings: I didn't have enough 1x2x3 slopes to make the arrowhead shaped carapace, I changed it into two half-Fleur de Lis-shaped wings and a wing/cockpit-configuration inspired by my 15 Dropnose and the 61 Shark2.

Ground clearance

I wanted to give you some more low shots of the craft like this one, and with the engine extended, but the time ran out :-(

The model was presented in this thread on CSF.

64-0600low.jpg (342895 byte) 64-0800.jpg (333526 byte) 64-0800low.jpg (324533 byte) 64-0900low.jpg (320636 byte) 64-1000below.jpg (332713 byte) 64-1200low.jpg (315630 byte) 64-1200xtralow.jpg (304100 byte)

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