November 1937: Adolf Hitler is assassinated to pre-empt possible war in Europe. A costly second world war is avoided however Russia and America both start to kidnap top German scientists, sparking an technological arms race between the two superpowers.
May 1943: ICBMs are developed and deployed across western and eastern Europe.
December 1948: Russia launches first space probe, the Sputnik, catching the Americans off guard. It is soon realised than space is the ultimate "high ground" with the moon becoming the new goal for both powers. Whoever controls the moon will have access to vast resources and will be able to strike virtually anywhere in the world.
June 1949: A manned Russian ship lands on the moon, marking the unoffical start of the Battle for the Moon. While complex treaties exist on Earth to carefully maintain the balance of power between the two rival superpowers, there are no such treaties governing the moon, and an all-out war ensures in the cold, unforgiving lunar battleground.
Map of Lunar terriotories, circa 1953:
Lunar military technology, although advanced for it's time, consisted of tail-sitting rocketships, giant robots and mecha, running on large and primitive vacuum tube style technology. Simple computers take up as much space as a large house, so robots are multi-story giants which, thanks to the moon's low gravity, move around relativily easily. Another design feature common to lunar war machines was their severe lines, giving them a bulky, rectangular look. Little effort was made in streamlining for an airless environment.
American Securitron robot. I was going for a very clunky, 1950's scifi movie look and started taking photos in black and white to try to add to the retro atmosphere. This was the first moc I did in this theme, which ended up setting the tone for everything that followed. Of all the BFTM mocs that came after, this is still my favourite.
Soviet one-man Battlemech. The Russians took the lead early in the robot and mecha designs, which were often smaller and faster than their Western counterparts:
Russian laser tank.
Soviet Katyusha rocket launcher. The Russians seemed to be having problems with wheeled vehicles so the Katyusha was an idea to utilise a large number of piston-like feet to move the craft forward. Despite some inital success, the design proved too cumbersome.
A blurry image of a massive Russian Mobile Command Centre. There were many such MCCs like this one, constantly on the move to avoid American attacks from space. Most command centres even had their own shuttles. (This moc is of course microscale; I'd've loved to have made a minifig scale version!)
To assist it's tank and robot units, the Russians added their elite troops, the Spetsnaz Rangers. Although fast and with a small rocket jet-pack, this early design suffered from a lack of adequete armour protection.
Later Spetsnaz version with upgraded armour and rocket packs. Spetsnaz were highly effective in sabotage attacks behind enemy lines:
American Type 2 Battlebot. An example of early US robotic technology. Even with many panels removed to aid cooling the banks of vacuum tubes and gearing, the Type 2s were outmatched by Soviet robots. This led to Type 2s being used in waves as a diversion to real US attacks.
Down but not out! An American Lunar marine waits in ambush behind the cockpit of his destroyed "Battleman" mech for a Soviet "Attackbot". Not the size deference between the Russian bot and the American mech.
USSR "Gvardeyets" robot. Automated sentry to guard important Russian lunar installations. Sensitive ruby-coated optical sensors give a 360 degree field of vision and earmuff-looking heatsinks to help cool the large computer brain.
What the Americans lacked in their robot technology, they more than compensated for in their spaceship design. Shown here is the famous S-5 which, in 1957 acheived total lunarspace dominance, forcing many Russian installations underground...
The Russian's tried to transfer their microsized robot technology to their space battlecraft but the result was thier spaceships lacked power, range and armour and were hopelessly outmatched by their American enemies in the space around the moon. Seen here is a typical Soviet ship, the "Butterfly":
An example of Western lunar architecture during the Battle for the Moon (in microscale). Note the size of the guardbot next to the stuttle. (I would've liked to do more buildings for this theme but it really wasn't possible with the bricks I have. I could've done more microscale structures though...oh well)
Improvements in the late 1950's in American technology led to their most successful mech, the R-300:
And the battle for supremacy continues: Russian recon mech:
EDIT: Nearly forgot this one: light laser tank:
Soviet propaganda poster:
And so it on this day, March 15, 1961, the Battle for the Moon continues with neither side gaining a decisive upper hand. Who will win?
I had tons of fun with this retro styled theme; I remember as a kid being very interested in an alternate history of the 50's where man did indeed live and work on the moon, before my Dark Ages hit, so it's been great to actually explore some builds that I always wanted to but couldn't when I was younger.
nice! but spacecraft of the time were utilitarian, with lots of cylinders, cones, and cubes. plus, although it would make it infinitely harder, almost everything should be gray or white for camouflage. still, great build!
Quoting Greg Howe
I know what that Vladimir Lenin picture says: Bez pereboda! Na lunu. I don't know what it means exactly. I'm learning Russian. It's something about the moon and space. Lunu, Lunar?
Ah cool man! Yeah, to be honest I can't remember what it means, something like "Comrades (or) Friends! To the Moon!" I think you're right. I have a workmate from Azerbijain whose I get Russian advice from :) I tried to get him to teach me Russian but I found it too hard-I hope you do better than me mate!
Finally, Someone else who likes retro stuff! (Not exactly sure what to call it)And I think you might be interested in my Youtube WORLDS idea (It can work for mocpages too!) It's here on my Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/js9productions/4358919370/ I'm not trying to advertise or spam, I just thought anyone who happens to read this might find it interesting.
I'm happy that you goes on with this kind of "retro" MOCs, especially when there's a cool backstory ! I love the S5 and the Light Laser Tank in particular, but they're all awesome. MOC of the month (at least) IMO !
Just wanted to let you know that "Без Перевода - На Луну!" translates into "Without Translation - To The Moon!". I assume that you meant to say something like "Without Delay - To The Moon!" which would roughly translate as "Без Задежки - На Луну!". If it was up to me, however, I would write something akin to "Вперед - На Луну!" ("Forward/Onwards - To The Moon!") which harkens to the olden days of commie propaganda. :D
this was really great. I am from Germany and I had lots of fun your "alternate history". You capture the spirit, the retro design very, very well. I really enjoyed your pictures.
You've been watching WAY too many old movies, and it's paying off in spades! I love it! And I gotta say, that last ship on the bottom, you should really go back and finish it. The concept is GREAT! And then let's not forget the work you put in to the backstory here! Wow, everything is just... wow. Your creativity never fails my friend. ~ Chris.
This is one of the rare absolutely excellent mocs that we come accros on mocpages. The theme style is superbly executed. the retro pictures are a fantastic touch.the models look like covers from "amazing stories" or some of those early sci fi magazines. Honestly this is just incredible... SUCH STYLE!!! congratz and keep it up! please :)
Very cool. The backstory is as good as the builds. The mechs and robots have a very "Forbidden Planet" feel to them and are definitely of the period. I love how you distinguish between each side's strengths. I really like this theme -- it's fun to imagine "What if?"
Yes, black and white film would be appropriate for the time period for the most part. Let's look at actual history -- most news photos of the time were B&W, and most news film as well. It was probably cheaper to process than color, which would be a factor, and few newspapers printed color photographs at the time.
Quoting Topsy Cret
Battle for the Moon starts in the late 1940s and you're telling me black-and-white cameras are still in use? Wouldn't China join forces with USSR and send troops to the Moon as well?
Good point about the B/W camera thing :) In retrospect, I should've faded the colour out of the shots to give an old colour photograph or retouched feel...oh well.
I considered adding some Japanese giant robots into the fray but no, in my history, China stays a nice quite agricultural country :)
Battle for the Moon starts in the late 1940s and you're telling me black-and-white cameras are still in use? Being a lover of all history, I just can't help but come in here and inquire: Wouldn't China join forces with USSR and send troops to the Moon as well? Also, if you gave a Russian a mech, they wouldn't be able to tell the shooting button from the steering mechanism.