Space – The Final Frontier

Maybe you remember my vintage space memorial from a couple months ago, where I announced the launch of the fast space cruiser Andromeda. Finally I got around to take pictures of it!

andromeda-in-space
Feel free to use this one as wallpaper – I do!

I like Star Wars (especially the original trilogy), but my true sci-fi love belongs to Star Trek. This spirit of discovery and a better, peaceful human society is just so inspiring, so uplifting. I think its rather easy to figure out that the Andromeda is my version of a U.S.S. Enterprise – and of the Raumschiff Orion – a German sci-fi series which was produced around the same time, which I found quite influential too (especially the design!). Actually the term I use to classify the Andromeda – “fast space cruiser” is a literal translation from the term “schneller Raumkreuzer”, used in the series.

FX Star Patroller: such a sizeable ship – with only 218 Parts! (Source: Brickipedia)

 

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Its ancestry is undeniable. I hope to get a transparent yellow cockpit canopy in future though. It just looks so much better.

Part-wise the Andromeda is a quite direct descendant of the FX Star Patroller from 1985. And I am sure you can spot quite some parallels between them. Ironically, I just realized when inserting the link, since I built this ship last year, I built it exactly 30 years after that set was released. What a coincidence!

andromeda-stations
An overview of the ship’s stations. Please don’t ask were the beds or toilets are. On a Lego Spaceship such questions are just not fair! And maybe they have simply highly advanced space-suits, who knows…

When building the Andromeda, my primary goal was to give it a proper starship bridge. Of course the limitations of size and parts meant that I couldn’t quite make it as large as I wanted, but I am pretty pleased with the result. It certainly gives the impression of a busy place full of high-tech equipment. I was even able to put in a little sickbay – and a main engineering console like the Enterprise-D has (colloquially called “pool table”). There is only one seat for the engineers though. Fortunately one of them is an android and doesn’t really need to sit down anyway. It wasn’t planned like this, but what works, works.

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A closer view at the bridge…

 

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…and from another angle.

 

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Close-up at the pilot’s cockpit. Please note the holoprojector in front of him (transparent yellow).

You might have noticed the landing gear. That is something I am also quite proud of. It gives the ship actual landing capabilities. And doesn’t looks too chunky when retracted either. I didn’t originally build the ship that way, but when I added the large jet end pieces to the engine pods, I wasn’t able to safely sit it on its fuselage without putting their mounts too much under stress (it also looked silly).

The solution was surprisingly simple: short, L-shaped 5 stud technic-beams! They are nicely sturdy and while they can be folded in into one direction, their short end is ideal to limit their movement into the other without the risk of parts getting loose over time. For me, this way is quite ideal since it combines a decent look with a sturdy construction. My builds should be ideally about as stable as the Lego sets you can buy in the stores, so you shouldn’t be afraid of picking them up and their structural parts also should not deform over time (that’s actually something even Lego set designers don’t always achieve!).

You may also have noticed that some parts have quite significantly yellowed over time. While its possible to bleach them, I don’t intend to do that any time soon. I see it rather as option to give my builds a more interesting texture.

 

andromeda-approaching-the-moon
Have another one, because it looks go nice. One small step…

The Andromeda, under the Command of Captain McLane is the fastest and most advanced space-ship of the Futuron fleet. Despite being well armed and capable of defending itself, it is not a warship. It is built for peaceful exploration, scientific research and first contact missions – as it is the spirit of the Futuron Federation!

That’s it for now. Next time we will take a closer look at the crew and have a peek into Admiral Takayama’s office.

 

 

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