In my bygone (or not so bygone) days of grade school, SW prequels, and Nintendo's SW Racer, I thought the idea of pods strapped to gigantic engines racing around an alien-world course was epic/awesome/interesting and way more bad@$$ than street racing in Grand Theft Auto (no offense to any of you street/car racers, or prequel haters). Since then, podracers have been a frequent build for me, but all were done for fun (and to swoosh around with) and none were serious enough to be photographed.
Until know... ... ...I think.
I set out to build a pod that would make me proud (meaning: it's gotta be gigantic). So while there are TONS of other podracers that still blow my mind, both LEGO and official-SW, I think I amply satisfied my own goal here. I resorted to many unconventional building techniques to make this MOC (and to make it good), and I believe I matured/advanced in LEGO-building as a result. I also learned how frustrating/stressful/PAINFUL/time-consuming/sometimes-not-fun/yet-ultimately-engrossing advanced building is and that I wish I earned my own salary to buy new LEGO sets to get their useful parts :D.
Picture captions provide additional commentary. Please excuse me if my ego seems big, I put in a lot of time and effort to complete this MOC and I want to do justice for my fun-erhem work. Enjoy!
I started off the pod by building the pilot, Kiteeng'la, of no canon whatsoever in the SW universe. You can see him later in these photos. I aimed for an industrial feel, hence the odd color combos (also done to conserve my LEGO resources) and other details. Though I can pick up this podracer and move it around for photoshoots, the pod is unfortunately too frustrating/fragile to handle for *intense* play (though with the way this pod looks, just staring at it is good enough for me :P). Each of the two cables is actually three smaller (multicolored = parts constraints) cables hooked together.
Credits to turkguy0319 on flickr for the intake ring itself. The rest of the intake and the fan itself are my own design/version.
This is my fan design, which I'm very proud of (shame on me). In reality, the black web dish right behind the fan gives the illusion that there are spinning blades behind the fan when nothing's moving (unexpected coolness). In addition, the fan CAN spin.
Engine cable hookup inspired by ones like Ratts Tyrell's. The reason for why the cable is not settled on the antenna to complete the hookup look: I blame LEGO’s stubbornly stiff cables. Also note the gray exhaust/piping sticking out at an angle.
Crappy photo setup... I was trying to capture a low angle. Just imagine that the pod is about to ramp off a snow cliff :).
Yeah, my energy binder is crooked here. I blame the photo stand.
Landing on a snow cliff after a major ramp...
I wanted a bubble cockpit (like Ark Roose's), because conventional open-airs were too boring for me. It gives the pod an alien/fluid twist. This design was a PAIN to figure/put together, but I'm pretty happy with it.
I thought Anakin's cockpit's cable connecters were industrial/complicated/cool-looking, so I put 'em on here.
Just showing that the bubble windshield DOES wrap all-around.
Kiteeng'la lands again!
I wanted this pod to seem realistic (unlike the logic-defying physics of Mawhonic's), hence the turbofans. While turbofans may seem to be a boring podracer design, gigantic turbofans rendered in LEGO are still amazing to me. I’m a simple guy :P. The reason I used progressively smaller wheels is because I was running out of wheels. I made the engines relatively long because short looked too stubby/disproportional/ugly. The reason I used wheels: parts constraints, and I’m not crazy enough to ignore tailor-made podracer pieces? This engine design, like the pod, was a PAIN to make. But I also like it.
The black bars furthers the pod's industrial-ness. I guess the bar would serve to protect the main engine from scrapes alongside a race course wall. Plus it complicates/fills out the shape of the almost-too-slim engines. Let’s just hope that Kiteeng’la doesn’t ram his engine into Anakin’s and gets stuck together like Selbulba did!
I wanted slim, smooth brake flaps on my pod, so I fit them on. I also originally wanted hydraulics pushing the flaps up, but after constructing the flaps: enough was enough. Funny note: the engine intake is so large that it covers up 2/3 of a fully-expanded brake flap from the front.
The cockpit, with Kiteeng'la snug inside (yes, he doesn’t rattle around). The Life on Mars aliens were always the perfect podracers for me.
Because doing an unflattering straight-horizontal shot showing the removed cockpit chair would not do this PAINFUL design justice.
Features handlebars and viewscreen. Foot pedals could have been substituted for the screen, but the instant I saw the screen, I knew that piece needed to be in the cockpit (pod cockpit interiors in Ep. 1's podracering scene is where I'm coming from).
The diameter of the intake is the length of two Kiteeng'las, one on top of the other. Funny note: despite how large this pod is in LEGO terms, in the SW universe, this podracer would probably be a medium-large pod compared to ones like Selbulba's and others. I may be wrong about this, but my impression is that Ody Mandrell's intake could easily be two-and-a-half/three Kiteeng'las.
Now I see why you couldn't use the original alien legs, they wouldn't fit ;). Still, a very good build. I agree with the GIANT turbofans, in the real world, it couldn't do without them. And the cockpit too is worth its time.
I like it
August 26, 2010
Amazing job. Looks way better than the official pod racing lego sets.
Thanks for posting this in my group :)
I really love this - though I might be very much a car guy (though not so much street racing kind of cars) I do agree that podracers are just awesome - and I love your one, it's one of the best I've seen here !
I really appreciate the time gone into the design - I found out myself that there aren't too many ways to make a nice, rounded design for the parts where you don't use wheels; and the way you did the engine intakes/blades is just ingenious !
Great work, makes my Darth Maul's Podracer look pathetic lol :)