Saturday, September 6, 2014

LEGO Inferno Part 1: Vehicle Mode

Inferno is an Autobot fire engine from G1 Transformers cartoon series. The inspiration to build him came while I was working on my previous MOC, Towmecha.  This is due to the core design of truck-cab-as-robot-chest, and also availability of 4 pieces of ladder from my LEGO set 60060: Auto Transporter. 

I wasted nearly an hour trying to improve the front part of the cab by experimenting with different types and pairings of headlamps / grill. In the end, It's back to my initial design above (2 lamps).

For the main roof to open fully for the minifig to hop in, there are 2 flaps behind it that needs to be folded up too. 

The cab fits one driver,even a fireman minifig with a big helmet. 

Yeah, same like Towmecha, the minifig will have a hard time entering the cab even with the door open, hence the need for the opening roof.

"Angel Wings" Extension

In the original Inferno toy, a pair of intricately moulded white hoses were plugged on the side of the ladder. Initially I attempted to build such component using a bunch of white parts and wedges, but they ended up very thick and looked very inelegant. Then the winged parts from the Chima Eagle caught my eyes. The rest is history. =)

No animals were harmed in the plucking of these synthetic feathers.

The rifle is pegged onto the tip of the ladder.

These angel wings are bestowed with excellent balljoint articulations. The nozzles connected to them can aim in almost all desired directions and angles.

With Towmecha

As you can see, the design of the cab from Inferno was suposed to be almost similar to Towmecha. However, the fire engine mode is one plate taller than the tow truck, to align with the tyres on the back of the fire engine.

More Trivia:
  • In Towmecha, the cab conceals the small robot head , so the roof is partially grey. For Inferno, there is alot of clearance for me to obfuscate a decently sized robot head at the back of the cab. This leaves the roof partially hollow. So I have to implement the hinged roof flaps to cover that up. These flaps will become shoulder pads in robot mode. 
  • I've been looking high and low for the "lifebuoy" to mimic the hoses on the side of the truck (like in the original toy) but failed. (I'm not even sure I have 2 of them at all).  The next best thing would be some printed tiles and a "steering wheel"  I guess.
  • After referring to google photos of various real fire engines, I almost applied yellow stripes running across the truck cab but given up doing so. (Real Inferno don't have yellow stripes)
  • The nozzles on the ladder tip started off VERY big and complicated looking. But when I noticed how awkward it is when dangling at the back of  robot mode, I simplified it to what you see currently. 

The Ladder

Original Inferno toy has 3 tiers of extended ladder, this one has FOUR!! Not only that, the nozzles on the tip of the ladder can be swiveled to a great number of directions, thanks to the balljoint used.

To make things even more realistic, no fire engine is complete without extended legs /stabilizers.

Fully extended ladder reaches more than a feet high!!!

"Are you gonna climb on top of me or what?" 

Ground bridge coordinates miscalculations caused Ratchet to end up in the LEGO Universe Airport. He's calling for backup to get him out of the predicament before he scare the daylights out of the citizens there.

Now let's visit part 2 to view photos of the robot mode

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