Space Police I - Redux

This project began with my desire to re-tool the Space Police I theme in a new color scheme of black, dark blue, dark red and trans-red with brand new designs. I soon realized that this wouldn't be possible as dark blue is just not widely available in enough parts for an entire theme of sets. Rather than just make one MOC, I thought it would be a fun alternative to reinterpret the original theme's designs in the same colors while adding some modern parts and new colors like chrome and trans-clear.

I probably have multiples of all the original sets in my collection, and I'm fortunate enough to also have the instruction manuals. This made it much easier and quicker to get started as I didn't have to surf through lots of images on Peeron. Most of the smaller sets didn't need to be built first as I could reinterpret the design as I built. However, when I got to the base and the flagship, I did have to build the original completely so I could have a template for making changes.

With each set, I strived to retain the basic design and original functions, while adding features if possible such as landing gear, more moving parts or more detail.

We begin with the Message Decoder. The small size made it easy to add extras like a third wheel set, a computer and some mini-fig accessories. I used Mark Pockster's brilliant chrome blaster design as the standard sidearm. It also inspired me to come up with the backpack design, with which all the officers are equipped.

I don't know if any Lego piece can actually be attached to the chrome towball on the back, but I like the look it suggests.

The Galactic Peace Keeper is definitely one of my favorites of the theme design-wise. I was glad to be able to add engines to it, as many SPI ships suffer a distinct lack of propulsion. Balancing the distribution of chrome and trans-red bits was challenging, and lots of time was spent tweaking their positions and numbers.

This design cried out for landing gear, so I was able to use a one-stud space between the expanded base to add a couple of simple pads. I also added engines to the underside of all the spaceships.

I wanted the weapons on the fold-out wings (quite possibly the coolest feature in any of the SPI sets!) to be a little more detailed and powerful-looking, but it presented a problem in that the extra bulk meant that the wings wouldn't fold out. I had to make the fingered hinge rotate a little, and that gave the wings an awesome F-14-ish swept-back look.

The extra space in the middle of the ship made possible the addition of a small storage area once the prison cell is removed.

Within lies a Pockster Blaster, rangefinder, spare packback and space binoculars. I was glad to fit the window in as I thought that the pilot would appreciate being able to do a visual inventory whenver it was desired.

The Spy-Trak 1 has a totally snazzy steering mechanism that presented me with a special challenge because I discovered to my great surprise that I didn't have any wheels in black in the original size!! I don't know what I did with them, but I decided that the biggest ones from the M-Tron #6989 Multi-Core Magnetizer would work. While they served well, I had a bit of work to ensure that the wheels didn't rub against the rest of the vehicle when they were rotated.

Probably my best idea in the entire project was to take advantage of the rotating wheel sets by extending them in the front and adding guns. This way, whenever the wheels are rotated, the guns move in the same direction in which the wheels are pointed! I was also jazzed at how the X-Pod lids made such perfect wheel covers.

I have three of the trans-red canopy extenders, and vowed to use all of them. Here we have an officer at the steering controls while the lieutenant scans the surrounding area for Blacktron I baddies. Since I have several colors of the old jetpacks, I decided to use them to indicate rank. Black = Officer, Grey = Lietenant and Blue = Special Ops.

Another chrome towball in back along with another new detail, anti-collision lights which I also added to all the sets. I also substituted the trans-red 1x1 plates on the prison cell doors for trans-clear with the idea of providing extra light when locking up the bad guys. These can also illuminate the rear, so the lieutenant can spot anybody trying to sneak up from behind!

The SP-Striker is a favorite of mine for its funky design, and especially for the only light-up computer console ever to appear in any Lego set. I have a LOT of 9V stuff and made a point of squeezing in as much extra flashy blinky stuff as I could. There's a movie further down!

Since the SP-Striker was also lacking engines, I resolved to double up the flashing lights to the rear. The ones in front are steady, while the ones in the rear flash to give an engine-y impression.

Clicking here will give you a movie of the lights. I piped in a little music from "Star Trek: First Contact" to set the mood!

!! WARNING !! It's 25.3 MB!

The landing gear is pretty weak, but I guess it's better than none at all!

The canopy extender made it possible to add another lieutenant to monitor the ship's functions and watch for danger.

I still wanted to add my own design to the theme, and I had got out all my chrome bits and begun tinkering with them. I made an engine design that I liked, and first thought that I'd use it for the Mission Commander. Hoever, the size was prohibitive, so I built a small, fast fighter around them.

Incorporating the engine design into a pair of wings that were sturdy was a real challenge as my engine design is quite flimsy and requires very careful handling. It was fun to use parts like the semi exhaust pipes in a new way.

Initially I had a simple impulse engine in the middle, but I realized that all the vehicles in the theme should be able to carry a prison cell, so I modified the back to accomodate that. I used a couple of 1x2 bricks with the clip since I couldn't incorporate the original theme design in the space. You can also see my crappy landing gear design that refuses to stay deployed!

I thought that the design was aesthetically appealing, but it would slide out and topple the ship with the slightest bump!

However, it did fit nice and flush up against the ship when in flight mode.

My proudest achievement on this ship was figuring out how to make an X-Pod into a cockpit. I'd seen it done before, but I had no idea how challenging it would be!

Just what exactly is the pilot sitting on? Well, a crane weight is just able to fit inside, which made for a nice play feature.

Because the X-Pod is only held in place by the two arms, regardless of the ship's position the crane weight ensures that the pilot is always oriented to the horizon. The part arrangement necessary to accomplish this is quite flimsy, but I'm sure that further tinkering by you space mechanics out there could arrive at a better solution!

Aaah, the Space Lock-Up Isolation Base, where Blacktron I renegades go to receive "enhanced interrogation" as to their nefarious activities. This set provided me with the chance to dole out a heaping handful of my stash of trans-red corridor panels. The original set was always a bit skeletal to me in this regard, and it was fun to throw some more meat on the bones!

I also used some of the corridor corners with the SPI logo to add a little more ID detail to the exterior. I only have one old jetpack in blue, and I thought it would be fitting if the chief interrogator has a special outfit.

The ship deployment/radar dish function is always fun to build and rediscover. It was a bit of challenge to add detail to the ship without crowding the tight interior.

I tried to standardize the design of the prison cell holding pad through all the sets.

One little detail that I really liked was spotlights over all the support struts. I think that they add an ever-watchful atmosphere that's perfect for an isolated prison outpost.

I enclosed the roof as much as I could, and added all the trans-red grill tiles as a kind of solar power collection grid (or something like that!).

The chief interrogator is one hardcore dude, who takes his job seriously (a little too much according to his fellow officers!). He's famous for making prisoners watch while he applies his special brand of attention to extracting useful data from his current target.

At last we come to the flagship of the line, the Mission Commander. One of my favorite space designs for its innovative moving features, badass color scheme, and sleek snazziness.

I used the canopy extender for the third time, and came up with a variation on the two-pilot cockpit that I think is quite fun.

There's an officer and a lieutenant as always, but when the canopy opens . . .

The officer can stargaze while the lieutenant goes for a little ride!

Here you can see how I kept the design standard for the prison cell mounting platform and used the same decorated 1x1 round tile for the wheels as I did for the Spy-Trak I vehicle.

The engines are nothing special, but at least this mighty ship now has visible means of propulsion! I also added another SPI decorated corner to the mini-ship covers.

The reason that there's no officer sitting in it is because the chrome spears on the jetpack keep him from sitting completely flat behind the seat. Ehh, waddyagonnado? I like the design too much to change it, and it would work with standard airtanks.

From the back you can see that the SPI logo corridor corners provide some indentification to any tailgaters, and you can see the chrome trim around the antenna array. I didn't elaborate on that part too much to keep a low profile for the ship.

The rear section still detaches from the front, a nice play feature from the original, especially in the way the wings open.

The chief engineer monitors the engines as well as the prisoners, making sure they're properly sedated for their long ride to the Isolation Base!

Remember when themes used to have polybags? I do! I wanted to have something like that, so I created a shock trooper jetpack for special missions.

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