The Extreme Terrain Rover or E.T.R. - version 7
The specifications for the contest initially seemed extremely challenging, yet finally the constraints were very inspiring! When I saw what had been posted I felt like I had idea that hadn't been presented yet. I built this at one long stretch on Saturday night, June 2nd, starting at around 8pm and ending at 3am! The finishing touches were done the next day around noon. I was shocked at the effect that a contest had on me! I couldn't stop building!
The main direction of the contest that jumped out at me was "brick built wheels." I immediately started looking through all my circular and 1/4 circular parts. I settled on the spindle railings because they seemed a far cry from traditional wheel parts. Additionally, I thought that the tan color would suggest a mesh of Classic Space and actual NASA vehicles when combined with gray, sand blue and some white accents.
With two main wheels on either side, I added a couple of smaller wheels in front and back so I wouldn't have to constantly struggle with the balance issue, which could eat up a lot of build time. I dug through ALL my Technic gears before I found a few useable ones in the proper colors. Providing suspension for the front and back wheels took the most time, as my Technic building skills are still very limited. This was the most challenging part for me, and I must thank Aaron for hosting the contest as it compelled me to expand my building knowledge!
When I first put the basic wheel shape together I thought "Okay, is it just a wheel or can it possibly do something extra?" I decided that the wheels contain a ring of magnets around the inside that, when electrically powered, provide a strong yet subtle repellent to the lunar dust that often clogs the working mechanisms of many vehicles. Though the wheels kick up a lot of dust, the magnetic field generated by the magnets keeps that dusty cloud from settling on sensitive parts until the E.T.R. has passed safely beyond.
Given that the E.T.R. is designed for rough terrain, I wanted the main wheels to have suspension as well, so I dragged out a couple of old parts to make sure that there was a nice cushion for them as well.
I really LOVE this part (as I know Aaron does!); # 30033 'Plate 2 x 2 with Rod Frame Octagonal', and I thought that it would help to suggest the magnets inside the main wheels.
I had just completed another small inventory/clearing out of some of my decorated parts, and was happy to discover I have a decent selection of parts from one of my favorite Town sets; #1682 Space Shuttle. In keeping with the Moon Rover theme, I visualized the E.T.R. as a possible NASA vehicle.
One of my last minute changes was realizing that I could provide my pilot with a skylight in the roof. I dug through my parts until I had the proper combo of white frame and smooth glass. Usually, the transparent insert comes with ridges, but there are a few in trans-clear that are absent this detail for a less obstructed view.
These last couple shots are just to demonstrate that I kept my MOC pretty strictly within the 16 stud length-and-width restrictions of the contest. Thankfully, allowances were made for antenna!
Alternate Moon Rover *or*
(I had so much fun with the first I had to make another!)
It was such a subconscious thing, but when I started working on this design, I soon realized that I'd "borrowed" directly from the wheel design that Aaron had posted for a visual example in the initial contest post. Only one entry was allowed, so I knew that I would not submit this one. However, I like the way it came out so I thought I'd share it.
I doubled up on the part # 30033 'Plate 2 x 2 with Rod Frame Octagonal' so that I could use the part # 32028 'Plate 1 x 2 with Door Rail' as the grabbing edge of the wheels.
I had just enough room in the back for a small storage compartment. Apparently, the Moonbase has a major shortage of lime and orange Tang, so scads of these Moon Rovers are available to ensure that each cafeteria's beverage stations never go dry!
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