A Tale of Several LEGO Hover Barges

This is an old Nonsense Wars post that was supposed to have published in 2013, but that I apparently never finished. Around the time that I completed the Ayase I entertained the idea of rebuilding my second oldest MOC, a hover barge about the same age as the Kagurazaka, and eventually took said idea out for dinner. With both the recent “real” end of NW and the dismantling of the rebuild, I thought it was an appropriate time to complete the post.

In the BKS/CL universe anti-gravity technology is electric, efficient, and rugged, meaning that you can drive it with low tech steam-electric or diesel-electric power in low-maintenance, colonial environments. I imagine the niche of the hover barge is that of a vehicle of train capacity that can go where there are no tracks.

For some time hover barges were to LEGO what DMG paintings were to drawing for me. I think they do a good job of showing the progression of my LEGO design philosophies over time as they are all the same thing and all built similarly.

The First Barge came in 2006 (though you could argue that my big legacy MOC, the “CS Charmer is a hover barge) and it was an all greeble, no form job, much like the rest of my MOCs at the time. It had guns, an open cab, a drive train on it’s own spindly tower, and it didn’t make that much sense, but it nonetheless set the standard layout for all subsequent barges: open hull, superstructure, engine, in that order, front to back.

Shortly after, at the height of our modular craze, I built a modular barge, and it’s the only one that got named. The Tsukimiya is still the most “colonial” of all the hover barges, having a suggested steam drive train and really looking like it was built of junk and spares. It still didn’t really gel quite that well with its massive frame and spindly propeller mounts, so it didn’t last that long.

The Third Barge was actually the first decently sized one-piece MOC I’d made for a while: it may have been what convinced me that building smaller could be better. It wasn’t quite as greebly as the previous two barges, though the styling is still full of somewhat arbitrary slopes and features. The fully enclosed cabin and engine also eats a lot of parts and is really cramped.

Then came the one that lasted a long time. I think the fourth barge is to the Third Barge what a de-streamlined steam locomotive is to its streamlined counterpart. All of the cowling is gone, and while it’s still kind of messy with some random angles and features here and there, I still think this design looks pretty good. J thought it looked better than the rebuild. The mail ship cab has been recycled so many times.

And so we come to the rebuild. Fundamentally this isn’t too different from the Fourth Barge, but I cleaned up a lot of what I considered the “random angles and features”, much like I did for the Maehara going from revision one to three. This is the ship that recently got dismantled (but not before I preserved the design in LDD this time) partly due to the general decline in space and sci-fi interest at BayLUG, but I think it is still representative of the way I would build today.

And that’s it!

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