Asteroid Excavator

After I'd finished composing the main page for Futuron II, I suddenly realized that I hadn't created an essential vehicle. I still had all the models displayed on my shelves, but I didn't have enough dark red left over to build anything substantial. That's why the Asteroid Excavator isn't pictured on the main page. However, after disassembling the entire theme and getting a hold of a couple of Manas motors, I got started on this squat little tank.

The rear cargo area holds four boulders and they are unloaded by the two grapple arms. The smooth black oval is the RC receiver. The red ball is pressed to turn the motor on. By itself the motor is quite heavy, so it was a real challenge to detail the model and try to hide the motor without adding so many bricks and plates that the movement was bogged down by the extra weight.

Each of the grappling arms for the rear cargo area has a control station.

Inside the cockpit I gave the driver two sets of controls; a steering wheel for driving and the handles above and behind his head which are for directing the big drills.

The decorated 4x4 plates from the Star Wars Imperial Shuttle set fit nicely to suggest large cooling mechanisms for the big drills.

Here I've removed the cockpit and some other bricks so you can see the gearing for the drills. The Manas motors have two separate powered axles on either end that power the treads and the drills ,so whenever the treads roll, the drills spin as well! It was fun to play with and the kids at meetings LOVED driving it into their friends!

Having no previous experience with RC vehicles of any kind, it took me awhile to find a method of powering the treads that had good torque. Then I remembered an old Micronauts toy I'd seen once, and as soon as I tried its configuration, I had the Manas motor spinning in circles like a drunk at Mardi Gras! Adding all the detail slowed it down a bit, but with just the treads on, this little devil can scoot!

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