80 Z-Figther 3

Z-Fighter2 (Curved nose) 70 Space Countach (Flat nose) 64 Bubblecraft 2 (Fold-around cockpit) Sal Kolibri from Yoko Tsuno (Under-body configuration of engine) 72 Bumblebee Junkcraft (Engines) Swordfish from Cowboy Bebop (Gun)


  • Make a flat version of the curved Z-Fighter Nose like the 70 Space Countach, and with a sheared off bottom
  • Use the curving technique for the wings
  • Use the engine-type from the 72 Bumblebee Junkcraft in an under-body-configuration like the Sal Kolibri from the Belgian comic Yoko Tsuno
  • Chingun lance-like gun like in the Swordfish from Cowboy Bebop

I love the curve of the wings here

I got really interested in this particular curving-technique ever since Linus Bohman made a more throughout description in this thread. Starting with the Octan Long Range Escort Craft (started December 10th 2006, still unfinished), this was the second model I tried to integrate the technique in, and definitly not the last (Kingfisher Fighter near completion, you just wait ;-) )

Since this model was outrageously difficult technically, and quite an achievement if I should say it myself, I'll go a bit deeper into the building techniques in the following:

Basically the whole nose is kept together by the long curved slopes on the sides. The gap in the cockpit is for the plate on the inside.

The main problem with the nose section is that the long 3x6x1 slopes used for the cockpit (and elsewhere) creates a very edgy look with large gaps, and I had to insert small 1x3 slope sections in between to smooth things out. Using 1x2 technic bricks with two holes was the only way I could come up with to make the connections symmetrical.

Note the grap in the grey cockpit-section: that's for the 1x3 plate that keeps the backside of the long slopes together.

Coming up with any greeble that wouldn't hang down too much below the cockpt and fill out the triangular gaps was a huge challenge as well.

Nose 2:
The upper side of the nose is kept in place with the Hypo-technique, pretty much everything else is completely irregular building techniques, and floating more or less freely between the nose and wing-sections.
The flat bottom of the nose is attached to the sides with the technic plates in front and rear of the turntable sections of the top. The 2x2 boat-studs are nessecary because there simply aren't room for more inside the sandwitched section.

Tail section with wing and top removed. Note how the red top and grey bottom is interleaved with panels, creating a very pointy and smooth connection

The tail took a lot of experimentation because I wanted the convex curve of the nose to turn concave toward the pointy rear, and because the floating mid-section throws everything off... I'm still amazed at how well everything ended up fitting together.

Engines and landing gear:
Originally I was very satisfied with the engines in the 72 Bumblebee Junkcraft. Since these were supposedly salvaged from a much sportier craft, I decided to use them for some future craft, and after having them lying around for ages, I decided to incorporate them in this craft.
Originally I'd wanted only one engine, since two look way too massive compared to the slender lines of the rest of the craft.
Unfortunately I also wanted to incorporate landing gear, and there was simply no way that I could possibly build one into a single engine (the balancing-point is right between the two wheel-parts, so the front part would have to reach very far forward).

So it ended up as a two-engine-craft, but I seriously consider making a second version with a less obtrusive engine section sometime in the future.

Patching up the aesthetics:
With the body, wings and engines in place, I realized that I was screwed because I hadn't integrated a gun in the initial design:
For a long time, everything I tried simply looked too bulky and completely hid the flat bottom and free space in front of the engine(s) I was so proud of, and threatened to completely ruin the model.
I was basically stuck with this problem for months until one day when I decided to sit down and create a crude moc-up of the craft in MLCad to get a feeling of what shape, size and position would work.

Figuring out a design that didn't look too boxy took quite a lot of time afterwards, but I'm pretty satisfied with the result, although it still covers too much.

Lessons learned: Always integrate small apendages like guns and engine pods during the initial design-phase, because they're just as important as the big stuff, and it's often really hard to scale down the design-features nessecary to create a coherent design, once you've settled on the larger picture.

Using MLCad to aid the design-process was something I'd considered for quite a while prior to this model, and since I managed to succesfully solve the problem with this model, I've used it to create quite a few of spaceship designs from scratch.

I can only recommend this because when it come to advanced designs, what you create in your head just never look the same way when rendered in Lego, and important details just never look very well when you have to patch them up afterwards.

Lookit! I even managed to integrate a joystick. Never tried that before.

The 'fold around'-cockpit I used for the 64 Bubblecraft 2 just fitted perfectly for this model.

This model won second price (after the 78 Orbital Defence Railgun Spider) in the spaceship category of 'Klodsfest 2008' - the Danish Lug's annual 'fest.

It was announced in this thread on CSF, and I've uploaded a couple of images to flickr.

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