The Planetary Defender (PD) is a critical line of defense for the delegation of mining specialist stationed on Mars. As the value of Mars continues to climb so does the risk of pirates. Although the first delegation of miners were equipped to handle some banditry, the pirates realized the lucrative business opportunities to be had from Mars and thus an arms race ensued. The PD is the latest tool developed for protecting the precious ore.
Peter Morris must be mentioned and given full credit for this build. Peter entered the "Show Us What You Got" starfighter contest and submitted his build the ZR-42D Archangel . Ultimately, he won first prize for this build and has posted instructions.
*DISCLAIMER* Any complaints read here are not a short coming of Peter's amazing directions or his phenomenal skill but simply a reflection of my meager skills stretched way beyond what I'm capable of. With that said... My brother (as many great building sessions begin) said "I got these instructions off the internet we should try to build this." I said "Instructions? We should be able to bang out a couple of these no problem." That my friends was my first mistake. We never kept track (the number was simply uncountable) but, throughout the build my brother and I said "What the heck...?" or "How could he...?" or "Why did he...?". And without fail at the conclusion of the build all of those questions were answered.
I have heard on other blogs and from other builders that a great way to improve your own building techniques is to step into the shoes of another builder and walk their path. Admittedly I thought it sounded a bit "hokey". But, following Peter's instructions was insightful into another's builders thought process. So this is a shameless plug. If you are looking to understand more "advanced" or "non-Lego" building techniques, build from someone elses directions; there are lots available and many are of professional quality.
From the beginning of the build my brother and I realized that there were some critical pieces for success with this build. He had ample supply of orange and white (even an orange canopy) and thus a Mars Mission version was obvious.
There are few deviations from Peter's build other than the color scheme but the builds are essentially the same. Probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of this build is its "shwooshability". Often times when utilizing advanced building/non-lego building techniques a model becomes increasingly fragile. Not so with this build (although for the first half of the build we thought that this was going to be ridiculously fragile) at the conclusion of which we were impressed with its "playability". Again, kudos to Peter.
Hey I'm glad you guys enjoyed building the Archangel. And I'm glad you learned some new techniques. It's the whole reason I put the instructions up.
But actually I hosted the contest, and the Archangel was first prize for winning. The second and third place prizes are also available as instructions.
You can see the actual winners here: