OP60.jpg (339813 byte)

60 Horn

Last updated: 30/7 2007












Build: 20/3-1/4 2005

Pieces: 216

Steps: 55

60-0100.jpg (318690 byte)Aliens and symmetry: Due to our general preference towards symmetry, asymmetrical stuff looks unnatural and slightly menacing. That makes it a very interesting candidate for spaceship building, especially alien spaceships, which aren't supposed to look natural by Earthly standards.
The trouble is that it's usually pretty hard to make it look coherent, since you've already thrown away a lot of possibilities for repetitive design (specifically the designs you would otherwise mirror from one side to the other, or some other direction, in a symmetrical model).
This is the reason why I haven't really made much except my model 42 Interceptor back in 2003, but I've always had this urge to try some more.
The trick I used with that model was to balance the model around the vector of thrust by putting a gun slightly to the right, and a wing slightly to the left, which gives the model some sort of coherence mass-wise. But that looks neither very alien, nor asymmetrical.

So the big question is: can you make something completely asymmetrical that looks both good and alien? Well, a lot of abstract sculptures are actually asymmetrical, and have this organic look that is often used to distinguish aliens (nature) from humans (machines): just think of a green and slimy alien.

So I had all these untested ideas lying waiting when Chris Watkins started this thread on CSF in February, and we had a good discussion of the subject, where doubts were raised if it was actually possible to make something totally asymmetrical that didn't look ugly.

60-0300.jpg (337472 byte)No top-bottom or front-back symmetry. It has a bit of dino-tail vibe going on as well.

Inspiration: The inspiration to this model came from the long slope-part in the tail. I'd pick a brick'ed a couple brown printed earlier, and played around with combining them with the long blue slopes on the sides, but the idea lied dormant for a long while until I got my hands on some black ones.

The rest of the model basically grew from the tail forward: first came the tail and blue side slopes, then the curved ones in front of the blue ones.
This continued with the dark blue forehead where this particular curved windshield seemed nearly perfect to finish the smooth rounded line.

Almost total left-right symmetry

Challenge: Primarily I wished to make an asymmetrical alien looking ship, that actually looked good, but the starting point with the curvy slopes was also an invitation to make a design which was "impossible" with lego.

It wasn't totally asymmetrical though, so it can't settle the question about uglyness, but departing from the long "sausage (with wings) style" spaceship, is actually pretty clever as it makes the ship harder to hit, since most of the shots will pass below the tail unless the craft is traced very precisely.

60-engine.jpg (583280 byte)Third version of the engine pointing strainht backward and turned slightly down

Below I added a couple of inverted arches to continue the lower curve with space for an engine in between.

60-greeble.jpg (359449 byte)The top and bottom of the craft don't fit particularly well together, but the space in between offered a great space for working with some greeble.

Side engines: I had some considerations whether I should put a couple of black quarterdishes for the bottom, but felt that it would make the craft look too much like Slave I from Starwars, and going with the power tool inspiration I'd had earlier, I think the model got a more sculptural feel, with a strange combination with a very solid grounding pulled out in a long thin tail that almost seems to defy gravity.

It also made it possible to add a couple of side engines for maneuvering, that could be turned downward for take-off. These were copied directly from my model 52 Cargolifter 4 btw.

Engines turned down (first version), this is the 1st version of the main engine btw. Many thanks to Tore Eriksson for making the Ldraw moc-up of the tail part for me.

Engines: While I'd decided to use the two side engines pretty early in the process for maneuvering, it took me quite a while to come up with a good main engine.

Coincidentally I watched the new version of "Planet of the apes", where they have some spacecrafts that come pretty close to mine, and I stole the idea of an external movable podlike engine from these crafts.

The two side (maneuvering) engines can turn 360° while the big main engine can only turn 90°

After I'd established the general layout I worked out the interior to keep things together. This was the part of construction that took the longest.

The central part is stacked up regularly from bottom of the cocpit to the long slope of the tail, while the vertical sections are pretty simple 90° snot construction, and the angled sections are made turned with techinc pins.

Cockpit, I didn't really have any good aliens around, so I made it fit a minifig... It wasn't really asymmetric after all.

The model was presented to CSF in this thread.

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