Product Idea |

Stargate Atlantis - Puddle Jumper

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 easy as stepping across a room. This allows modern man to explore the galaxy and encounter all sorts of new civilizations and adventures without a starship. It's quite fun.

The second spinoff TV show (Stargate Atlantis) deals with an expeditionary team locating the lost City of Atlantis which, 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. Now, 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 the lost city is a small shuttle craft capable of flying through the Stargate. As the active Stargate's event horizon resembles a 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 as a technical challenge. The end result was even better than expected. The jumper not only has a full interior with both cockpit and rear cargo area, but also has engine and weapons pods which can be retracted to 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 is a display incorporating the titular Jumper, a "Space Gate" (a Stargate orbiting a planet equipped with station-keeping thrusters), and a display stand. Currently, it clocks in at 2268 pieces including the alternate "Gate Ship" label.

The 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 before and after sections. The rear includes:
  • seating for six passengers
  • a working ramp/rear hatch
  • four oxygen canisters
  • two stowed backpacks
  • controls/circuitry under the rearmost seats.

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 weapons pods include 2 drone weapons each, though the 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 sides of the jumper. 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 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 dark blue tiles, one for each "glyph" used to create an address sequence. The 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 I see it, Stargate is all about exploration and adventures, and the 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 Jumper, 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 any when, 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 "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 this design was even physically possible.

See you on the other side!

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