The Stargate franchise focuses around the titular "Stargate" - a ring-like device that, when activated, creates a link between different planets. One can cross the galaxy as easily as stepping across a room. This allows modern man to explore the galaxy and encounter all sorts of new civilizations and adventures without requiring a starship. It's quite fun.
The second spinoff TV show (Stargate Atlantis) deals with an expeditionary team locating the lost City of Atlantis that, instead of being a lost continent, was instead a city/starship used by the creators of the Stargate to flee our galaxy to escape a plague long long ago. In modern times, humanity locates and travels to the lost city in the Pegasus galaxy and explores both the city and the new galaxy. One of the technical wonders found within said lost city is a small shuttle craft capable of flying through the Stargate. As the active Stargate's event horizon resembles a blue standing wall of water, the craft was affectionately nicknamed a "Puddle Jumper".
Initially, I came up with a minifigure scale model of the Stargate but took up creating the Puddle Jumper and the internal spinning ring as technical challenges. The end result was even better than expected. The Puddle Jumper not only has a full interior with both cockpit and rear cargo area, but also has retractable engine and weapon pods which can allow it to fit through the gate.
Yes, the model does indeed fit through the gate. I'm rather proud of that.
The complete model here includes:
- The titular Puddle Jumper with full interior
- Two sided Stargate with Pegasus and Milky Way designs
- "Space Gate" (a Stargate orbiting a planet) style station-keeping thrusters
- Display stand
- Alternate "Gate Ship" label tiles
- Spinning Milky Way stargate glyph ring
- Manual crank for turning the ring
- Attachable event horizon to simulate an active stargate
Currently, it clocks in at 2575 pieces, though I am constantly fiddling with it.
The Puddle Jumper features a cockpit with seating for four. Note the pentagonal panel in the forward console, which mimics the dialing panel seen in the show. Ideally, the pentagonal piece would be decorated with the gate-dialing interface. The Jumper also features a closable door between the fore and aft sections. The aft includes:
- Seating for six passengers
- A working ramp/rear hatch
- Four oxygen canisters
- Two stowed backpacks
- Controls/circuitry under the rearmost seats.
- [Invisibility feature NOT included as then one would never find the model again!]
Optionally, one can also include the unique "time machine" in the rear section, allowing the Puddle Jumper to travel through time as well as space.
The forward weapon pods include 2 drone weapons each, though the Puddle Jumper was always seen as more of a transport than an offensive vessel, and can be easily retracted. The engine pods include engines that can be folded down into the hull panels and then stowed into the side panels. I didn't originally think it was physically possible to create engines that could do that, thinking at most I could build engines that one could detach and then retract the hull panels.
I've attempted to mimic the exterior paneling on all sides, including the underside. The roof is removable, to facilitate access to the crew areas. The design is structurally sound - one can easily pick up the Puddle Jumper by grabbing the weapon pod areas to "fly" around - no need to worry about squeezing the design too tight and shattering it into a thousand pieces!
Personally, I think this would be wonderful as both a play set and a display piece, whichever strikes one's fancy. I'd love to see what adventures people could create with this set.
The Stargate itself features the nine iconic blue "chevrons" for the Atlantis gates and 36 blue tiles, one for each star constellation "glyph" used to create an address sequence. The blue event horizon is removable, though frankly I think it's much more visually engaging to have the gate active. The inner diameter is show accurate, using the 1 stud per foot translation, as is the radial thickness of the gate, though the other dimensions are not as accurate.
As the Jumper was known to visit the Milky Way stargates in various episodes, the rear side of my gate features the Milky Way design with red chevrons and different glyphs - allowing one to select which galaxy they are in. One major difference between the Pegasus Stargates and the Milky Way stargates is that the Milky Way stargates had a spinning ring, allowing the users to physically select the desired inputs by physically rotating the glyphs to the desired chevron. This feature can be manually rotated through a crank on the rear section.
Yes, it spins! Here's video of my prototype spinning ring in action, spinning in both directions; motorized by some Powered Up functions not included in my submission:
As I see it, Stargate is all about exploration and adventures, and the Puddle Jumper itself allows one to travel without concern about the far-side atmosphere or even if places of interest are anywhere close to the gate. The home base Stargate is iconic, but the real adventure is in the field and with this Puddle Jumper and two-sided stargate, one can find adventure wherever it takes you. That's why I think this would make a terrific LEGO set - the possibility for exploration and creative play is unlimited. One can go anywhere or anywhen, limited only by one's imagination.
It's an ongoing friendly argument in the fandom about whether this ship is properly called a "Puddle Jumper" or a "Gate Ship" (it's a ship that goes through the gate - hence "Gate Ship"). I prefer the "Puddle Jumper" name, but alternate lettering tiles are included. I do hope you enjoy this design, I'm rather proud of her, as said I wasn't sure the Puddle Jumper or the spinning gate was even physically possible.
See you on the other side!