OP69.jpg (406610 byte)

69 Redscout

Build 27/8 2005-26/5 2006, Pieces 712, Step 198
LWH: 29/27/13 studs, 22,54/20,92/9,75 cm

69-concept1.jpg (324742 byte)Early concept sketch of a Hiigaran Scout from the computer game Homeworld 2

Inspiration: The inspiration for this model came from the Group MOC study 2 on CSF, started in the summer of 2005.
The idea with a group MOC study was for a number of builders to come together and give their individual interpretation of the same piece of concept art, and by parallel building, learn about other each other's building techniques, problem solving strategies and personal aesthetically/stylistically choices.

69-0130.jpg (378010 byte)Like the second version in the original piece of concept art above, the lower set of wings are considerably smaller

Originally I was very hesitant in joining first Group MOC Study: - to a lesser degree because the piece of concept art chosen didn't really strike a cord with me - and primarily because I prefer to simply experiment with Lego pieces, and try to press new uses and interesting forms out of them, rather than trying to copy spaceship designs that isn't wasn't meant to be rendered in Lego.
Basically it just seemed like a lot of work, that potentially could end up stranded or unsatisfactory because of limitations with the medium (Lego).

However, the concept art of the second Group MOC study was so neat, cool and even slightly asymmetrical, that I had to try, even though I knew that trying to render that sort of curviness in Lego was just asking for BIG trouble.

And that was exactly what I got:

69-cockpit.jpg (421897 byte)As always, minifig scale

The challenge: Let's talk a bit about why I decided to make the craft the way I did.

First off, I knew that this was a fairly small scout craft in the computer game - I decided to make it as small as possible while still containing a pilot.

Secondly, two of the really cool features of the craft was the big grille on top and the organically curved upper part meeting the thin wings continuing the surface of the curved lower part.
However, I wouldn't be able to achieve both the grille, double curving and smooth transition to the lower part/wings at this scale, unless I embarked on the huge task of sculpting up the shape up in plates and tiles. Could look awesome, even with the unavoidable stepped look, but, well, sculpting isn't really my thing...

69-0800-low.jpg (394432 byte)Small gaps, and slopes hanging out slightly...

After pondering about it, and making few more models, I came up with an alternative approach:

With the last model, the 64 Bubblecraft2, I had worked with a basic plate-build studless carapace set at a fixed angle across the length axis (beside the warping along the surfaces). What annoyed me about this craft was, that that was all it was: a long thin craft with a carapace - because of the curvature of the side "wings" it had simply been impossible to create two surfaces that would meet up properly. 

69-1200low.jpg (365815 byte)... but look at those lines and angles!

If I used the same technique for the Group MOC Study however, I would be able to make a corresponding belly carapace that would meet up properly with the top - and try out the idea I had had about exploiting the thin walls of those panels to smoothen things out.
Not perfect because of the holes I had to make in the wings for the corners of the panels and some of the slopes would stick out, but I would be able to make the lines straight, wings and connection thin, and the angles perfect.

69-0530.jpg (409279 byte)Process:

19/5 2005: 2nd Group MOC Study suggested by Sethwin in this thread

20/5 2005: I notice the thread and consider joining, and derails the thread for a while

25/5 2005: Sethwin posts a micro version of the craft

27/8 2005: After finishing 3 models (62 Nocturnal Escape Pod, 63 Bubblecraft, 64 Bubblecraft2) and, of course, figuring out a general solution to how I could render this particular shape in Lego, I started on it:
First off, I decide that it should be minifig scale, and as small as possible. This, however, limits the possibilities for complexity greatly, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing: Instead of curving the hull around both in the x and z axes I'm able to get away with some pretty sharp angling around the z-axis.

On this first day, I create the first version of the craft's body (upper carapace, darkgrey grille, upper wings/belly sections) and cockpit (A version) as point of reference (everything is scaled to fit this).

ez-redscoutcockpit.gif (104131 byte)Status 21/9 2005, note the continuous increase in complexity and number of "eyes" with succeeding cockpit versions.

28/8 2005: Updates to interior structure (tying wings and grille together)

29/8 2005: Update to top, first version of the rear finished (basic sloped)

7/9 2005: Work on belly, new version of the nose (B)

16/9 2005: New version of the nose (C)

ey-redscoutc-0800low.gif (54940 byte)Status 21/9 2005: original engine and rear. Note how the top carapace ends in the ugly buttons of slopes.

21/9 2005: I present the current status on this page to get feedback about which of the three versions of nose is best. In the end I decide to keep the most advanced C-version.

22/9 2005: Nose polished up and finished

On the original version, the curving of the top creates a nice little narrow space for the exhaust.

The development of the nose was a really difficult task, and when I'd settled for the final version, the main features of the craft was basically established. After this, I had to flesh out the interiour and get everything to stick together. This was pretty difficult, and my motivation suffered a great deal because I got increasingly unsatisfied with the engine and details around the back - the look I'd achieved were simply too basic, and didn't look at all like the original: Here, the tubes seen from the front was only intakes, while the engine thrust exited considerably higher up, well centered in the rear.

Because I'd chosen not to curve the craft along the length, my version was just going straight back, leaving a huge rear area, with a considerable distance between the intakes on the belly and the top that would be really hard to bridge.

5/10 2005: New engine started

15/12 2005: Another stud reversion created in the rear to prepare for more smooth look, and hopefully an engine placed considerably higher up 

However at this point I got completely stuck, completely unable to figure out any way to build the new octagonal based engine together with a thruster protruding from the body - so stuck that I seriously considered to return to the old shoddy version of engine. It probably didn't help that I packed away all my Lego for several months of the new year ;-)

69-engine-guts.jpg (350096 byte)Octagonal engine configuration using 1x1 bricks with 5 studs. Notice the stud reversion in the rear using a yellow 4 stud bar.

23/5 2006 After unpacking my Lego and amassing courage to face the Redscout beast again, the simplest solution dawned on me: by simply reversing the rear 1x1 brick with 5 studs, everything lined up perfectly, and the engine was finished in no time.

26/5 2006 Adding greeble and landing gear, polished and finished - pwned!!

69-gear.jpg (598728 byte)Of course since the game Homeworld, where the concept art is from version, is a space strategy game, this craft wouldn't need to enter atmosphere or land on planets, so the landing gear isn't actually nessecary - but I know how much you CSFers like landing gears, so I decided to include one anyways ;-)

This is by far the most complex and difficult model I've ever made, and, luckily, also one of the best.

It was presented in this thread on CSF.

As far as I'm aware, none of the other participants in the Group MOC Study 2 has actually finished the craft, except for Sethwin's microscale version, but here are some links to WIP's I could find:

Sethwin (big version)
Samarth Moray
Ryan Wood

A week after I posted mine Damien Labrousse posted a finished bigger version: it sorta looks like a crossing between Samarth (size, layout) and mine (angling techniques of the sides, eyes, and connection between wings and top) - but I'm not sure that he was even aware of the group moc study, as he doesn't appear to be a member of neither Lugnet or CSF, although he may have spottet some early WIP-shots of both on Brickshelf

If you've made something and got pictures of it somewhere on the net, please drop me a line and a link, so I can add you to the list.

69-landed.jpg (407883 byte)It's really fragile (especially the wings), but it's there.
I couldn't help adding a couple of small guns, even though the original version of the craft is unarmed.

The model was presented in this thread on CSF, and later together with the 70 Space Countach in these threads at Lugnet and Byggepladen

69-guts2.jpg (404524 byte)A look into the interior of the craft, rear engine section removed.
The snotwork had to be fairly complex to accommodate the exteriour features: The stud up sections tie everything together (the engine is stuck on to this, and the top grille rest on it) while the different sections of varying stud direction is interleaved between.

69-guts1.jpg (333211 byte)Note the multiple stud reversions: the top section is primarily studs forward, while the rear engine section is studs backward.
The wing/bottom section is build in two parts: the forward one studs backwards, and the rear one stud forward to avoid studs sticking out: this enables the lower section to slid in easily between the slopes of the upper one without resolving to tiles that would disrupt the smooth transition of the slopes where they connect.

69-top.jpg (381987 byte)Well, ok, perhaps I didn't avoid using tiles entirely, but I had to accommodate the rows of 3 1x2x2 panels running along either side of the big grille that enables the very thin edge between the upper and lower section of hull.
Note btw how the grille is shoved half a plate forward to fit the jagged edge of inverted slopes along the edge.

69-0800-high.jpg (395007 byte)There's your smooth transition, it's hard to keep completely tight together, I think it has something to do with the panels, perhaps some rounding of the internal corners...

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