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Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike
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A minifig-scale version of the popular 74-Z speeder bike
About this creation
Among the wealth of weapons and equipment found by the Hand of Judgment on their commandeered
ISB freighter are a pair of military-grade speeder bikes. When I first decided to build the Hand and their essential equipment and vehicles, I figured I would start from the official Lego design of the 74-Z. I quickly discovered, on comparison with design schematics, that the retail version was woefully out of scale. While a minifig-scale 74-Z ought to be a bit longer than 13* studs long, the official production model comes in at a ridiculous 18.

[As an aside, I also realized that building minifigure-scale models is inherently problematic, as minifigs donít have anywhere near ordinary human proportions. As a builder, you have to decide to scale with either the minifig height (in which case, all the minifigs are obese) or their width (in which case, they are all midgets). I decided the best approach was to treat the minifigs as being normal human height but excessively wide (which creates some problems with the width of rooms and vehicles, but is better than the alternative). All right, back to the description]

In my search for a better design, I decided to peruse the MOCpages archives to see what sort of approaches other builders had tried. While I found some rather impressive design concepts (entries by Brickdoctor, Hans Dendauw NPD, Eric W. , and Konrad Zielezny being among the best), and a few details that were so good I had to borrow them (such as the use of minifig hands for pedals and changing the orientation of the cargo pack, both of which I took from Brickdoctor), I felt there was still a niche that was relatively unexplored. I wanted a design that satisfied two primary conditions:

(1) keeping as close to minifig scale as possible, and

(2) being capable of being ridden by an unaltered minifigure (as Hans Dendauw NPD laments, ďthe obvious problem is a mini fig's inability to straddle anything thicker than a piece of paperĒ).

I quickly realized that the key to both of these goals was the middle of the speeder. It was relatively straightforward to cut down on the size of both the front and back of the bike, but figuring out how to link the two was much trickier. I experimented with several different configurations before discovering that I could use a battle/commando droid torso in combination with various connectors to create a bike midsection that was short and provided a nice little hollow that is just the right size for a minifig to stand in. Once I figured that out, the rest more or less fell into place. Without further ado, letís get to the pictures.



This gives the best single view of the bike. In fact, the observant viewer should be able to figure out the entire build from this one image. But because I spent so long figuring out how to make it (between my lack of free time and natural slow deliberate design process, it probably took about a month), Iíll be darned if I donít show a whole bunch of mostly unnecessary angles, hopefully with a minimum of commentary.



Overhead, showing off the minimized length, which comes in at a positively petite 13.1 studs.













The official Lego 74-Z has been criticized for its lack of a blaster cannon, but who needs one of those when you can just impale your enemies on your steering vanes?



Brightwater and his bike. Doesnít he look happy?

Once again, thanks to BrickArms for the DL-44 blaster that I used here. Ideally, Iíd like to have it suspended from above, but I havenít found a way to do it that doesnít do violence to the rest of the design.


*There seems to be some uncertainty about how long an Aratech 74-Z actually is. The most widely cited number is 4.4 m (with other sources saying 3 m or 4.9 m), which works out to 13.2 studs at a conversion rate of 1 m = 3 studs. At some point since when I made the bike, the official Star Wars Databank entry changed from 4.4 to 3.2 (which would scale to 9.6 studs, and Iím not sure anyone can do that). How there is that degree of uncertainty, I donít know. For now, Iíll choose to believe that 4.4 m is the right number, because that means I got it scaled perfectly!




Comments

 I made it 
  March 17, 2017
Quoting Captain Bo .. Great job! I like how you problem solved with the straddling issue. I have used a technique that may come in handy. Using a plate with a vertical plate attached to it to give a place for a minifig to straddle.
Thanks! I'll have to look into that suggestion.
 I like it 
  March 16, 2017
Great job! I like how you problem solved with the straddling issue. I have used a technique that may come in handy. Using a plate with a vertical plate attached to it to give a place for a minifig to straddle.
 
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Aratech 74-Z Speeder BikeSpeeder bikes


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