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Traction Cities, Mortal engines (modular design)
These models are based on the Mortal Engines series of books by Phillip Reeve, The books are based in the far distant and apocalyptic future. A ferocious 60 minute war where both sides threw every weapon possible at each other has resulted in a geographic upheaval of the earth. The population, now recovered from its post war numbers, are forced to live in huge vehicles to avoid earthquakes and other tectonic hazards. The only problem is, due to the scarcity of fuel and materials, these vehicles are forced to consume smaller towns to form a process called 'Municipal Darwinism'.
It is these vehicles that these sets make, with a diverse range of modular parts any city described in the book can be produced, or if you want you can make up your own. If the 'Gut' is installed it is possible to capture smaller cities and integrate the parts with the predator city.
The main changes made to this project in this update are:
- An overhaul of previous design including new features such as:
-New Tier System
-More City Tiles
-Improved chassis design; with more power and a lot larger allowing you to build bigger cities
Also, Lego London!
I have produced a example of a Traction city model based on the description for London from the books (certain details where omitted due to impracticality). It includes detailing like:
-St Paul's Cathedral & the angular Mayors office on the top tier
-Museum on Tier 2
-7 Tiers with appropriate social class associations
-Algae Tanks and Water treatment facilities on the lowest floors
-Elevator system with TFL 'Elevator Logo' (Red circle with vertical blue bar)
To make the model easy to change, it uses different 4 components (of which there is some choice)
1. Chassis - the main part, everything attaches to it as it makes up most of the structure and can come in different sizes.
2. Traction - If you want a all terrain city, then you go for Tracks, if you want something a bit faster, then there are wheels. There are also a snow skid and a flotilla.
3. Core - This changes the type of city, Gut for predator towns, or if you want a more peaceful town, then there is scavenger, fuel drilling and mining units.
4. Tiles - the main part of the product. Each 12x12 tile contains a series of buildings. They clip together and can be stacked vertically to form ever higher towns&cities.
My intention for this set is for them to be released at around the launch of the film (directed by Peter Jackson) which is coming out some time this year or next. Even if you haven't read the books, this should still be an interesting project with its perpetually versatile construction.
Here is a basic Idea of how a city is put together:
From top left anticlockwise: chassis frame, Wheels/tracks, gut/mining tool/savaging tool, tiles(i.e. building).
This system allows a vast range of cites/towns to be built from effectively the same parts. Each city contains the 'chassis frame' a basic structure common to all sets, though varying sized will be available.
So far the following components have been designed:
-Gut (for 4x4)
-Mining head (for 3x3)
-scavenging system (for 3x3)
-Fuel drill & refinery
-Corner shop (pictured)
-2 types of generic factory
Though This list seems quite long, it is still growing as I design more parts.
Above is a picture of Lego London, This is a concept model and would be one which requires several sets combined to make (mostly as it contains an incredible 12,060 parts and would hence cost in the region of £/$400+ to purchase). It uses 6 M motors to operate all its functions (which includes the operating Jaws).
The Idea is to sell this product in a series with a varying range of size of the towns.
The 4x4 cities costing around £120, and the 3x3 cities at £80. Smaller villages would be on sale which contain a small chassis and one or two tiles. There is also the potential to have the 'city tiles' sold separately at £5 each.
In addition there is the potential for a 7x6 city (like the one on the main image) but this could cost near £400, so I would suggest a extension set to turn a 4x4 into a 7x6 to be sold instead.
Another point would be for images in the back of the instructions and full instruction online to produce accurate models of cities found in the books.
One of the main features of these models is the extreme miniature details in the structures. The most noticeable is the change quality of buildings as you move up the structure. On the first tier are a series of cheap compact housing, for all the residents of the eaten cities, which are nestled between the huge factories that also occupy the layer.
Next on Tier two there are the houses for the poorer ,permanent, residents of the city, each one has its own small garden, there are also; schools, pubs, shops and factories on this floor.
On the tier up, you get more spacious semi detached houses, with more sizable gardens, in the center, though, are some more houses from the floor below; this floor also has a 'aero-port'.
Then there is tier 4, on this there is mostly just large mansions of the wealthy, a couple of smaller houses are also up there for the marginally less well off.
Finally on tier 5 there is the town hall, and a large park. The final part to make these vehicles look better than the industrial giants they really are.
There are may details on these models that you will notice as you look at these models closely, these include:
The cutting machined in the gut-
The mini airships-
This is a drilling town, admittedly not the prettiest of models, but it does show the diverse and complete range of models that are producible. One of the features is the fuel carrying blimp in the port. In the books, these towns will go off to seek oil, they are owned by larger cities which they will have a constant connection with via the blimps. Towns like this are invaluable to Tractionists (the people who live in traction cities) as it allows the cites to continue unhindered and less dependent on eating smaller towns.
Thanks for reading, and remember, please support.
Please visit my Flickr page to view more images of designs for this project: