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Close Encounters

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If you take a look at the last LEGO series with alien creatures and vehicles, you see that the aliens are always the bad guys. The insectoids attack the human race (Galaxy Squad), the aliens are the criminals (Space Police III) and green colored extraterrestrials want to take over the Earth (Alien Conquest). But if you are from a different planet, does that mean you’re bad? Of course, LEGO didn’t do research about aliens when they made the sets of the earlier said series.

So I thought: Let’s make a LEGO Ideas set, based on real happened UFO and alien sightings. The product: Close Encounters, a set consisting of 3 parts, all with another theme.

 

What are Close Encounters?

Every year, there are over thousand UFO reports. 95 per cent can be explained, but 5% stays unexplained. Those are the Close Encounters. They can be a sighting of a flying object over a long distance, an observation of a creature and even physical contact with extraterrestrials. This project focusses on Black Traingle UFOs, the Roswell Incident and Mothman. The background stories of all of them will be published later in an update.

 

Black Triangle

The Black Triangle part of the set consists of a Black Triangle UFO, one minifigure and a horse.

The Black Triangle has a very unusual shape for LEGO models. It is triangular, when almost all LEGO things are quadrangular.  It has simple, flat detailing on the top and bottom. There are some red transparent parts in the middle of the UFO, simulating the red light. Talking about lights, the model has a white transparent piece at each round corner. The whole Black Triangle has no exposed studs, what gives a futuristic and streamlined look.

The minifigure is a girl. She has short legs to represent she’s a young kid. The front of the head has a happy face, for if she’s riding on the horse, but her face can change to scared when she sees the big, black triangle coming… What does that thing want?

 

Roswell Incident

The Roswell Incident part of the set contains a crashed UFO and two minifigures.

The UFO is based on the typical look of the round flying saucers. You can see the main color of the vehicle is light grey, and it was probably completely grey before it crashed. A part of the UFO is black and flames are coming out from there, representing it’s seriously damaged. The dome-shaped cockpit is transparent. The interior has a seat for the alien. Because the alien body doesn’t have the standard minifigure legs, the chair hasn’t studs on the bottom, but there are studs under the computer screen so that the feet of the minifigure can be connected there. Strangely enough, it looks like all computer stuff (one big screen, two radar screens) are working. The four corners of the cockpit have a light. 3 are broken (completely transparent) and one is making a red light.

There is also a piece of terrain, simulating grass. The most important thing is that there is a piece that can be angled, so the UFO can be posed in a crashed-like position.

The alien minifigure is made of an alien head (known from the LEGO Minifigures alien) and a skeleton body. The body is for the biggest part light grey, but two ‘bones’ are black, representing burned skin.

The other minifigure is a military scientist. He’s wearing a green suit. You can remove the suit and change it into a hair piece. His primary face looks normal, his secondary face is a lot more scared. I don’t know what he’s holding. Maybe it is a metal detector, maybe an instrument to detect chemicals, or maybe an object he found in the UFO?

 

Mothman

The Mothman part of the Close Encounters project represents a scene of a random dude (probably a resident of Point Pleasant) driving in the TNT area, and sees Mothman. It contains a car, a tree and two minifigures.

The car is small and quite simple. It has 4 wheels (as most cars have) and two doors. The front has a bumper, lights and a license plate. The license plate doesn’t have any letters or numbers on it yet, but if this becomes a real set, it will probably have a special number. The back of the car has red lights and a license plate too. There is a front- and back windscreen, so the minifigure can look back and forward. The inside of the car contains one chair, a steering wheel, a dashboard and a small space for storage (the set doesn’t have something to store). To me, the car is a very nice vehicle and can be used in something different than an alien set, such as a city MOC.

This part of the set comes also with a tree. That small part, simulating the landscape of the TNT area, is not a standard tree. It is brick-built, and looks more realistic. The tree is about two minifigure lengths high, and has a grey owl in it.

The driver of the car, the random dude minifigure, is – the same as his car – very simple. As all Earthling minifigures have in the set, this dude has two faces: Happy and scared.

Of course, the Mothman part wouldn’t be called the Mothman part if it didn’t have a Mothman minifigure. To be honest, the minifigure doesn’t really follow the description from the eyewitnesses. Most people say the creature is white, but I made it black. I did that to give the scene a little bit more mystery. LDD doesn’t support special prints, so the torso isn’t that special. But the minifigure has wings on his back, using the wings part (if  I remember it correctly, that part was first introduced in the Pharaoh’s Quest sets). The head is the black alien head (same mold as the alien body in the Roswell Incident part)  with red eyes. If this set becomes a real set, I think this minifigure will have some printing on the torso, head and maybe wings.

This part of the set is made to play different scenes: Does Mothman attack the random dude, or does he want to tell him something?

 

Conclusion

So, that’s it! Making the models, taking the pictures and writing the description last about 5 weeks, but I enjoyed it. I learned a lot of aliens and UFOs, I learned more about the LDD software and I learned how to make a LEGO triangle. You probably already noticed that the ‘real’ stuff and creatures are a little bit scary, but this set is not made to be scary. The Earth is full of “aliens are bad” and “aliens do not exist” propaganda, and I want to say with this project that that doesn’t have to be right. For example, let’s take Mothman and the Silver Bridge. Maybe Mothman didn’t destroy the bridge. Maybe he (or she?) was just in the TNT area, and wanted to ask the people how to go back to his home planet. And when the bridge just randomly collapsed, he flied away because he was scared. I would also fly away then. How do you think about alien life? Do you think they exist? Do you think they are already here on Earth? Feel free to tell your thoughts in the comment section.

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