2020-03-03

Jällivaara-class Digging Armour

 This is my third entry for MOC Wars. The category is called Clunkers, and it's one of the more complicated ones: "The demands of corporate and the dangers of mining asteroids for rare elements have reduced margins, safety, and dignity. Build a "Clunker", a one man, short range, under-the-radar, mining vessel of questionable spacefaring integrity fit for maximizing profits by reducing costs. Take into consideration the trade offs of mining tools, cargo hold capacity, defense ('cause space pirates), maneuverability, and speed. MUST be built in Miniland or larger scale and shown in action mining an asteroid."

It's not a small assigment, giving it has to be at least miniland scale and feature an asteroid scene. Scale, of course, wasn't a problem. I usually build in larger than miniland scale. However, I rarely make scenes for my figures, as they take lot of pieces - not to mention how much a scene with a space vessel would take! Nonetheless, the assigment was very interesting so I jumped to it. I liked the feel of this customised, slightly outdated space technology with a hint of cyberpunk. I wanted to make a very cramped vessel, a canned food type of thing. My concepts were numerous - but it was always going to have that egg-shaped dome and chromed Rock Riders drill. They're both cool pieces, and the dome especially nods back to old b-film robots.

Without clear concepts I made the upper part with the dome and the shoulders; The driver's real arms would be inside the shell, but there would be a pair of strong yet clumsy mining equipment, like tools from heavy-duty Swiss army knife. They're given extra friction with some gears connected with friction pins. Use of big wheel hubs, along with the colour scheme of dark red, silver and black, makes it actually look like something that would transform out of Vereftoi Radiante's Salamander Sword speeder.

When the top part was completed, I had to decide what to do with the rest. I though about a jellyfish sort of thing that would have several mechanical tentactles hanging under it, made with CCBS parts. I tried them but they didn't work; the pattern was too different and they were just tad feeble. I settled with Dalek space dress instead - Skaro mining technology - with heavy lower part with (supposedly) rocket engines underneath. It felt bit rigid, and I wanted it have a joint in the middle. I tried an inside-out tire, and old trick from Black Fantasy, but it didn't really work. I made faux-flexible part with some swivel hinge plates and curved slopes instead and it looked great, making to posing more dynamic.

The lower part has some interesting bits. Wide castle helmets are embedded into the structure, nodding back to the spheres on Dalek shells. Metallic silver track links - two came in one Power Miners set - protects the front. On the back there is a round hatch, but it's up to viewer's imagination if it's the part where the driver crawls in... One preliminary ideas was to add a trans-clear visor on the front to give glimpse of the driver's bare feet, but that would have demanded too much from the inner stuctures, which are ugly and rainbow-coloured as usual.

The suit has also a backpack. In addition to interesting profile, I wanted to make a contrast between it and the factory-made suit. I have plenty (six maybe) of those 1x6x5 panels with Space Police III graffiti stickers, but I managed to find only one, which was located in the back of Frog Monument, which again was on display inside my window... But I digged it up, and it gave the model clunker-like atmosphere. It has oxygen tanks and exhaust piping stuck on the side, too; the piping part is an odd element, from weird Tuneable Racer from 2003. I don't think I've ever seen in used in a MOC before.

The head is recycled from and old WIP that never got finished. It has dark blue eyes and eyelashed made of a batarang; I though those would work on the cyberpunk context. The teal hair is reference to Rock Raiders, of course, and uses pieces bought from LEGO House's AFOL Day Pick-a-Brick. Then there's the scene, of course. I'd rather had a brown or dark tan asteroid, as the Clunker has light bley on it, but I didn't have any good asteroid landscape parts in those colours, whereas light bley allowed me to make all sorts of craters and stones. The clunker is mining some vibrant coral minerals - let's call it magnesium -  though it's not clearly visible on the eye level shots which I prefer.

By the way, Jällivaara is Finnish name of mining town Gällivare in northern Sweden. Lots of Finns went there to work. An additional fact: this creation reminds a lot of one called Moon Mayhem from 2015. I was never quite fond of that one, even though it was popular. Looking back it now, five years have passed swiftly, but mostly for good.

-Eero







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