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Grimm's Hellkite
An unusual gunship with an unusually destructive weapon.
About this creation
Even though “weird” is usually the first word that comes in people’s mind when they see the Hellkite for the first time, the great majority of them quickly changes it to “tremendously effective” after they’ve had the occasion of seeing it in action. Built when its creator (Kirydia Beebleson, a former Victorian scientist) had somehow “obtained” an experimental prototype of high-efficiency linear particle accelerator, completed with an equally advanced Field Torsion Homopolar generator, the Hellkite quickly became almost indispensable to Grimm’s airforce. The initially doubtful mercenaries quickly changed their minds when the weapon literally melted away half of the secret hideout base during its first activation test, creating a several-metres wide hole in the supposedly near-indestructible duranium alloy covered main wall. After realizing the destructive potentialities of the weapon, Kirydia was asked to create an aircraft able to use the accelerator effectively even in a real combat situation. Several months after, the vehicle, named Hellkite from the mythical kind of dragon whose fiery breath was said to be so powerful to melt even stone and metal, was finally operative, and aerial fights in Terra Nova’s skies were about to be changed forever (OK, not quite, but I wanted to end the description with one of those “cool” phrases).

Hi everybody! As you might have already understood, the Hellkite is my entry for the Grimm Vehicle Design Contest (if you want to know more about it, you can give a look at the official site here). The guidelines were quite clear: Grimm’s Army is a mercenary army, and so all the vehicles should have a rugged appearance to make them look as though they’ve been built from heterogeneous sources (“made from scrap” sounds slightly depreciative), and not designed and assembled in some posh factory.

The Hellkite has been fun to build, and even learning from a certain point of view: my previous aircraft MOC, the Herald of Victory, was a bit basic from the point of view of the building technique, and with the Hellkite I’ve been able to try my hand at SNOT, greebling and studless surfaces a bit more consistently. I quite like the result, even though some details could have used some work, but time runs out quickly and, as pretty much any LEGO builder unfortunately knows, lack of inspiration and university are never very helpful.

But enough of that! As they say, one images is worth one thousands words (so I could have used one third of an image instead of writing all this stuff…I need to keep that in mind for the next time! =D).

The mug shot, with some unknown mountain used for the background. By the way, the first name I came up with was Grimm Reaper, but I figured that it’d have been a bit too obvious.

Now, some pics to show the overall look.

Here we go! The Hellkite is capable of both ordinary horizontal flight and VTOL/stationary flight mode, even though the last option is usually limited to briefs amounts of time since the thrusters tend to overheat if used too extensively. The main engines are two massive FFR-01 Piezo “Mammoth” thrusters, originally designed to be used in an array of eight on an ore carrier mining vehicle; their great stability and regularity of the exhaust flow are required to ensure the stillness needed to effectively operate the accelerator. Kirydia’s mods include a completely re-mapped cooling circuit and three additional fuel injectors mounted on a toroidal support.

Some shots of the cockpit from different angles. I’ve always thought that headlights look cool on every kind of vehicle, so I put a rather copious amount of them on the ‘Kite. The cockpit was the first thing I’ve built, and perhaps it’s the part I like the most (more on the cockpit later).

Two shots of the rear, showing the two long dissipating antennae of the low-consumption URD engines. The URDs are mainly used during horizontal flight on long routes, since they take quite a while to reach their optimal power output; in addiction to this, the ionized gas that forms along the antennae as a byproduct of the reaction is usually lethal for the majority of humanoid lifeforms, and so activating the engines at low altitudes is generally avoided (unless of course you don’t care all this much for those particular lifeforms).

The rather chaotic and poorly colour-coordinated plating on the wings clearly shows their salvaged origins: as a matter of fact, the metal used to build them comes from a high number of different sources, including wrecked aircrafts, remnants of abandoned structures, and possibly even pieces of other Grimm vehicles. Hey, mercs aren’t exactly famous for their pristine morals, are they? Some of the fuel conducts and cooling tubes are also visible in the centre of each wing.

Finally, the Nullifier, The Rod of Zeus, the Mighty ’Un, or, in less awe-inspiring words, the most important part of the ‘Kite, the Linear Particle Accelerator. The basic concept hasn’t changed much: a bunch of ionized particles are gradually accelerated between the rails by rapidly alternating electromagnetic fields. Newly conceived low dimensionality superconductive materials allow the accelerator to shots several times in a row before the rails overheat, with energies previously reachable only by kilometres-long devices…

…but still, it’s not some silly mass driver or laser cannon you’re dealing with. The board computer checks and corrects the relative position of the rails thousands of times per second, since if they aren’t perfectly parallel and the bundle goes astray before being accelerated across all the rail length the whole ship would probably become a fused mass of metal in a couple of seconds.

The hoses connect the pre-chamber with the generator, while the green tanks contain the toxic remnants of the coolant hyperfluid used for preventing the rails from melting because of the heat produced by the fields passing through them.

The Field Torsion Homopolar generator, and incredibly compact device that produces the amount of energy sufficient to light a medium-sized city for a couple of days in no more than a microsecond.

Now, enough with the pseudoscientific blabbering and more on the LEGO. This is a shot of the cockpit with the pilot in, and it shows how he or she sits while flying the Hellkite.

Here’s the fuselage standing by itself. I took these pictures to show a bit more clearly how the thing is built, since it’s kind of difficult with the rest of the aircraft standing in the way.

Here’s the front part of the fuselage, partially disassembled to show the construction methods I’ve used. Excuse that yellow piece, but it turned out that it was the only one with enough friction to support the rest of the aircraft without collapsing. I think it’s the most important piece of the Hellkite, since it basically holds the whole thing together.

Probably you’ve figured out how the front part is built.

The rear, somewhat less complicated than the front…

…and the targeting sub-drone, as promised in the description. Usually attached to the tail, it quickly gets operative when the big gun is about to be fired.

Some may argue that the ladder is in fact the most important part of the aircraft, since without it the pilot can’t get in it.

As usual, the pilot waves his goodbye, and I do so, too. As usual, any opinion and/or suggestion is welcomed and gladly accepted; obviously, you’re not forced to leave a review, but don’t complain if your house is mysteriously turned into a smouldering crater by an unknown aircraft. Mercenaries tend to be quite short-tempered, at times.


 I like it 
  December 17, 2008
not bad, but why is the particle accelerator of set, and why isn't it symetrical?
 I like it 
  December 2, 2006
It is a bit.....wierd, but hey, it's cool! The SNOT on the cockpit is just crazy, and you really explained the backstory well. Good luck with the contest.
 I like it 
  December 1, 2006
I'm writing this from someone else's computer; my house mysteriously turned into a smoldering crater after reading this. I'm pretty sure I saw an unknown aircraft flying away, too. It looked cool, though. I liked the cockpit of it.
By Ryan Phlaminus
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Added December 1, 2006
 You are at the beginning of this folder. Joe Vig and a trip to the botanical gardens
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