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Black Falcon Flying Fortress . The Black Falcon knights are back, and they are armed to the teeth! The castle-themed SHIP, armed with a massive Gauss Cannon and powered by two black matter ovens, will ensure the comeback to power of a once mighty kingdom! Dalv finds himself in some parking troubles, as he comes to stop the marriage between Quetzalcoatl and the daughter of a Black Falcon Duke. . The Duke could not be bothered with welcoming the priest aboard his mighty flying fortress. The duke was anxious to meet Quetzalcoatl, his long since feared enemy, but soon to be son in law. The Black Falcons would rise to power once more, he and his ship would see to it! And Tezilia of course, his daughter and heir, who would mary the mighty opponent of the Black Falcons. The discovery of interstellar space travel has brought many merrits, but it did have it drawbacks; like meeting hostile aliensbeings... Quetzalcoatl was hostile, and maybe even more alien... He did not have the slightest clue about chivalry, but he ruled over more then a dozen solar systems. The black Falcons just had a small part of Miniland! They did not bother with going through the rigors of centuries of scientific research to learn the physics that can hurl a spaceship through the depths of instellar space at speeds that make light seem to travel at a snail's pace, they just got themselves a black matter oven driven and heavily armed ship built by a creator. The Duke welcomed Quetzalcoatl aboard... Dalv flew on his dragon as fast as he could, he had to be in time. He had to be! The beautiful Tezilia was about to fall in the hands of the brutal Quetzalcoatl. She was ransom to hold off Quetzalcoatl's armies from Black Falcon space for another couple of years. But Dalv had to stop it. He had to stop the marriage, no matter what. It would almost certainly lead to war between the nations. The relation between the Black Falcons and Quetzalcoatl have been tender at the best of times, and lead to bloody skirmishes at the worst. But Dalv set his sight on whisking away Tezilia before she was trapped beyond reach in the golden spire of Quetzalcoatl. In the end, does not love conquer all? Dalv thought as he spurred the dragon into assault. A full blown war was long since due! The only thing that kept the two from it, was that the peace, as fragile as it was, had been good for business. The Black Falcon's became wealthy and Quetzalcoatl had become incredibly rich, godly rich in fact. The only thing he did not have, was love. And Dalv was going to steal his beautiful bride from him. But it was not love! A peace offering, a peace sacrifice! Tezilia would surely die of horror if that brute took her. Stealing the bride would upturn the truce... But Dalv was beyond the point of no return. He would enrage Quetzalcoatl, who would surely muster his armies and launch a horrible campaign on the Black Falcons. Dalv did not blink at the thought, nor when he crashed through the gates of the flying fortress. After all, war was good for business as well, Dalv thought as he took his claymore from his belt. Maybe not everyone's business, but certainly for Dalv's! Mercenaries do not earn so much studs during peace time... Dalv swung off his dragon and dashed for the stairs. He had seen he was late, Tezilia stood in front of the priest with her soon to be husband and captor. He flew up the stairs, sword in hand, hoping to reach the top before anyone else could draw a weapon. Fighting was so much easier if you are the only one with a four studs long blade... Two guards and a knight; easypeasy, Dalv thought. The duke and, to his bigger releave, Quetzalcoatl were both unarmed. The priest could be up to some tricks, though... Never trust a priest, was a simnple rule that has kept Dalv's head on his shoulders for over thirty years. You never knew if they could throw a spell or curse at you! Tezilia, the lovely Duchess-to-be, was overjoyed at seeing Dalv the hero come to the her rescue. Dalv stepped over the smashed bodies of the Black Falcon soldiers and winked at the bride. She giggled as she scuffled behind Dalv, away from her hated groom. The bricky mess in front of her made little impression, but golly, she was even more beautiful than Dalv had imagined! Dalv ushered Tezilia to the stable deck as Quetzalcoatl reached for his crystal axe and shield. War had started with Dalv stealing the ransom for the mighty brute. But it was worth it, he was certain he could get a snog before she even was in the saddle... Quetzalcoatl released a roar that reverberated through the ship. He banged his double bladed axe on his shield, crystal on crystal, the sound was an awful screach, like squeeling pigs but at an ear-tearing pitch. The priest had sunk to his knees and the Duke had drooped off quietly. Dalv grabbed the reigns in one and his stolen bride in the other hand, and swung off the balcony to his dragon. They only just met, but Dalv knew this would work out. His dragon bellowed a blast of green fire at Quetzalcoatl as they swung up. And then, right when he thought she would, Tezilia kissed Dalv. The dragon and its two riders burst through the gates of the flying fortress. As the ship's weapon systems were powering up, Dalv and Tezilia took one more look at the Duke. The dragon blew another fiery blast of green flame against the bridge's glass dome. The ship was going into battle mode and the gates closed with a mighty thud. The turrets were manned and lifted out of the bow towers. The engine guns, the bow and stern guns, and the even the massive main assault cannon, were powered up to blast Dalv from the sky. The black matter ovens roared with the blazing inferno that powered the gauss cannons. The priest prayed to both the Falcon God as Quetzalcoatle's, or was he a god himself? To be on the safe side he threw in a prayer to the weird alien too. The Black Falcon Flying Fortress was ready to deal death. Dalv and Tezilia flew into the sunset long before the lumbering beast became a real threat. They lived happily ever after The End There are some more pictures that I wanted to show you, and some rants and dribbles on the construction. Stay a little longer for the first, and don't mind the latter... A roundabout view The idea of building a SHIP never left me, I just never did it again after building the B-Ark, but chose sleekness over size. I did not have enough bricks to make it as smooth and detailed as I have got used to, but by applying some tricks I managed to make this MOC both huge (120 studs long and 75 bricks high) and just about studless. The idea for the hull shape is based on a classic castle configuration of four towers on the corners and a large tower in the middle. From there on it was just a matter of making it look as spacey as possible! But overall, I don't think I've got it right... Space wins in the end, and it should, but the overall hull shape never really agreed with me... The long story is all about modules... I started construction of the Black Falcon Flying Fortress with the gates. The result immediately meant a departure from my initial design idea, which was with the gates placed back in the hull, flanked by the towers. I liked the gates and built the gate protruding instead. Too bad I do not have Black Falcon kite shields... Second was the bow section with the stable deck. The stairs were fun to build, and the balconies just fell into place. The hardest part was the initial stage; choosing how big the floor would be... I set out to build a SHIP, so I had to know the dimensions of this section long before I built it to its final length, because refitting later is so cumbersome when your building on this scale... Long before the module they are supported by was finished, I built the bow towers. I did not intend to put the turrets on a lift when I built them, but when I found out I could squeeze them into the towers, I had to. From there on, I restricted myself to make all weapons retractable... The nave came naturally next, as soon as the bow main module was nearing its final stages, when I built the raised deck on the back side. The cross windows are a recycled idea, but they were not as seemless in the Green Dragon Knights’ Castle, they are also integrated into the frame a lot sturdier. Building a mosaic floor was new to me, at least, how the mosaic is set into the floor as three sections. The falcon sigil proved to be quite a challenge... Then, I think, were the engine towers. Yes, before its support. I had only a rudimentary framework for support, but I needed to know if I had the bricks to make four of the same looking towers. By this time I was already extremely short on black bricks. The exhausts had been lying on my desk for a while, and they decided the size of the engine towers. Because there would be a high structure behind them, the guns' windows could open more easily than those on the bow. Only one of them has an interior, I found out that it was downright impossible to make a decent photo of the Black Matter Ovens, luckily, before I built the other... The stern main module had to be sturdy before I could continue, that's why I put it off just a little longer, by building the roof over the stable deck and nave first. I hate the dark grey bricks in it, a gross breach of colour theme, by brick shortage and shear bloody mindedness not to redesign with the available bricks. I humbly apologise... The blue windows are built so as such to let in most light as possible, it casts an eerie blue shadow over the falcon below it. Okay, finally, the stern main module. There is not a whole lot about it, except for the angle for the tower maybe... It took me a while to figure out the spacing of Tecnic pins to create the desired angle, but I figured it out. The elevator started from a little side-build; an idea I had of connecting a bunch of brickes, basically. It does not go to the third deck without being deattached first, sadly enough... The main tower makes the now more than half finished SHIP a whole, the angle is a repetition of the gates, sort of... The rose windows are a variation on the cross windows design in the nave. It was a lot trickier with the headlight bricks outside the arches! Building the aft window required me to redesign the bow turret windows, I needed more of the Space Police holding cells... The idea for the bridge was one from the original concept, the two big blue windows were lying on my desk since I started. The top roof was a tricky one, and one subjected to multiple refits. Funny that I, again, make an infriction of the laws of basic MOC design... Why was the arched fence in the Joust set brown, and not black? The final version of the roof came when the SHIP was just about finished, but with an initial design topping it off, the most difficult task came next... The upside down tower. At first I built two; one for the front, one for the back. But it made the ship too bulky. The one for the front turned out best, and I rebuilt it to replace the back one. I had to, because the stern base is slightly smaller... With only roughly finished bases of the towers, I started construction of the bottom modules. I was anxious to have a look how it would look all together. The upside down towers were still too fragile and uneven to put them together with the rest of the ship, I had to support it. The first supports I built were too high... I did dare stacking the whole front of the ship on it, even the aft section (it stood about 90 bricks high!), but it was so fragile that I couldn't connect the two with the nave module... I made them well over ten bricks shorter and tried again. It stood! Fragilely, but now I could connect the supports to a single base and then it was stable. But why, why did I leave that red plate over there? Was I seriously thinking I could crop it from every shot? Possibly because something much more urgent was up; the ship as whole was also not pretty. After long and careful consideration I took out a module from under the bow and made the support a lot higher. That made the ship acceptable after some more tiny refits (like the blasted top roof), and I started with the interiors. These are all the fourteen modules of the SHIP. I hope you have enjoyed watching this MOC! I have had quite some pains giving birth to it... The black Falcons have appeared in sets from 1984 to 1992, and have recently made a comeback in the joust set 10223. This is my tribute to those loyal underdogs! Have fun!

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