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With just 50 days to go and only 450 supporters this project is unfortunately not going to gather enough support. I loved the idea of having a set designed for kids to play with. So, if anyone would like to build a racer (or two) here are plans for one. Its quite easy to swap between the double rudder shown and a single one. You can change the design/colour of the top deck bricks to create your own unique racers. Some simple gameplay rules are in an earlier update. Have fun and thanks to everyone who supported. With a special thank you to the members of the Hovercraft club of Great Britain who took the trouble to register so they could support
400 - Thank you
Thanks to everyone who has supported the project so far. 230 days to go to reach 1000. The models are not complex or involve unusual build techniques but that because they were always aimed at younger children to build and play with. By adding the game element I am hoping to get kids using their imaginations to make the racers come to life - with roaring engines, skirts inflated and with them as the minifigure piloting their own racer around the course, wanting to beat friends and family and win the race. Most of all just having fun.
Please help to spread the word about this project and thanks again
Underside of Racers
The base of the racers is quite solid and strongly built so they can be played with. To allow the model to slide there are six 2x2 inverted domed plates on the underside. These plates also mean that the racers can slide onto the water feature I posted in an earlier update. As requested here is a picture showing the underside of a Hovercraft racer (click on picture for the full image).
More colour options
The project was chosen as a Staff Pick - thanks to everyone who has supported it so far and given it a boost.
Not all of the racers skirts are black, I've already done an update showing couloured side panels. The whole skirt can also be coloured. I have also found photos of hovercraft with the edge of skirts coloured. This all adds up to another way of customising the racers. If you have any preferences please leave a comment.
Getting to the Races
You need to be able to get your hovercraft to and from the races. The hovercraft model has been modified so that the skirt is deflated and sits closer to the ground and the model has been placed on a trailer ready to be towed off behind a 4x4, van or truck.
This is not part of my proposed Hovercraft racers set but shows how a spin-off set could be created in the Lego City range.
Adding some random chance
I have given some thought to Hovecraft Racers gameplay. Adding a LEGO die into the set with some simple rules would make it more exciting to play. The die would have one red side, two yellow sides and three green sides.
LEGO Hovercraft Racers rules
1. Set out your course.
2. Split your course into section's
3. Decide which section are 'Easy' and which ones are 'Tricky'.
4. Decide on the number of laps - races are usually three laps
1. On your turn you normally move your racer into the next section.
2. If you are moving into a 'Tricky' section roll the die.
Green - 'You are going great', leave your racer pointing forwards.
Yellow - ' Its starting to go wrong' , leave your racer sideways on the track.
Red - 'You lost it', leave your racer pointing backwards.
3. Next turn
If you are facing forwards move into next section - roll the die only if its a 'Tricky' one.
If you are sideways move into the next section but you must roll the die even if its an 'Easy' section. On a yellow or red you spin out and place your racer facing backwards.
If you are backwards do not move into the next section but turn your racer to point forwards and move on your next turn.
Repeat until you have a winner.
More Power and ditching the seat
I have added an option to represent multi-engined racers which have a seperate lift fan. The grill on the front is the intake just for the lift fan. This means that all of the power from the rear fan is used for propulsion and not lift. You can also have better control over how much lift you are getting.
The driver of the blue hovercraft has also ditched his seat in favour of standing. In real racing the driver is not strapped into a seat , its usually more like a motorcycle bench seat so that they can move their bodyweight about to help control the craft.
Originally I thought that standing would give the minifigure an odd pose but it works fine - the figure is upright and not stooped over.
The beauty of hovercraft is that they can travel over land and water. Race events usually take place at locations with both so I decided that a water section was needed for the set. The section is made up from a large green 'crossroads' plate with a printed pond (I'm sure the Lego art department can do better than my attempt) and Lego plates used to form the banks with grass and bushes. When playing the narrow gap between the flags mean your hovercraft will be racing to get there first. By using the thin plate for the pond the hovercraft will slide on and off it easily. Click on the image below for a larger picture.
Real Hovercraft Racers
Thank you to the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain (www.hovercraft.org.uk) for their support and to their members who gave a very noticeable boost to the number of supporters - thank you for taking the time to create a login to Lego Ideas. Please take a look at their website and facebook page to see some real racers in action.
I'd like to also mention the Light S Racing team (www.lightsracing.com) who contacted me offering their personal support - thank you.
If you are new to Lego Ideas you do need to create a login to support any project - however, its free and the default setting appears to be one email a week from Lego Ideas - you can set your preferences so that you do not recieve any at all.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported this project - I'm still working on it and will have further updates soon.
Additional designs and introducing coloured side skirts
I have kept the same basic colours but changed the parts on the top deck to create some new racers. ( Click on image to enlarge.)Looking at some photographs of the real racers they don't all have plain black skirts and I've found that changing the colour of the side skirts can be quite effective. Thank you for all your comments and support.