d373 5AT 2013


I apparently didn’t have much to say about the old 5AT back in d93 (yes, the old 5AT had been sitting around for seven years, which is almost as long as the Kagurazaka), so I’ll start from the top.

Much like the ACE, the 5AT is an advanced steam locomotive that was developed and not built. The difference is that the 5AT is a much more recent design, and that the construction has only been recently shelved (obviously it could still be built – with a higher probability than the ACE). It seems to me that the 5AT was also much further along in development than the ACE ever was. There are a lot of detailed calculations and CAD models on the 5AT website.

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d371 ACE 3000 Part 1


One of the themes of my art has always been the juxtaposition and combination of ancient and advanced technology. As long as I can remember, I’ve had space trains and space ships. Those outrageous shenanigans continue into the present, but I am just as fond of more subtle shenanigans like art-deco space or steam intermodal.

As such, I’m a big fan of modern steam, or attempts to modernize steam, and that’s where I’ve gone with my more recent Lego train models such as the 5AT, SR Leader, and even to some extent the venerable FF7 Locomotive. Today’s MoC is a continuation of this “series”; the American Coal Enterprises (ACE) 3000 is an advanced steam locomotive concept that gained some traction in the late seventies and early eighties during the oil crisis and lost it all when gas prices came back down.

The ACE has been kinda-sorta done for a while. You can see the beta version in this USS Melvin pic from March.

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d360 121016 Maehara and Konoe


Wow, a post about Lego. How many years has it been?

According to d188 it’s been more than four years, though I know there is at least a mention of my Technic clock somewhat more recently.

I had a pretty bad run leading up to my Lego hiatus; I didn’t finish the Sakurazaki (because it was ugly), and I did finish, but never liked the Curran (because it was ugly). Heck, I don’t even have a Brickshelf gallery of the Curran, even though I do recall taking it to a BayLUG meeting, if only because I had not finished anything else. Whether or not these “failed” ships contributed to the hiatus is debatable.

That being said, the Maehara, seventh in my line of “Akamatsu Ships”, is really everything the Curran wanted to be. After building the monstrous Aoyama and turning her into the much smaller Tsuruka, I was pretty set on getting away from the modular ships that defined Lego in high school. I’m not sure if I had begun to consider unified styling or overall form for the Curran as well, I definitely wasn’t able to implement either if I did.

I was really happy with the Maehara when I finished. To me the overall form and the Art Deco accents suggest something between a WW2 fighter plane and a classic car, and I really liked that. The styling isn’t totally consistent, but I did plan out the basic layout in advance, and I followed it fairly closely. Furthermore, the unified construction gives the ship a relatively sleek and sturdy core structure, which definitely was not the case for most ships of the past.

Also unlike the ships of the past there are very few greebles on the Maehara. The first gen ships in high school, the Urashima and Springfield are basically simple shells covered in greebles for “visual interest”. But because greebling is kind of a local thing, the ships are also disjoint and really messy. As such, I made it a point to limit the amount of greebling on the Maehara so they wouldn’t distract from the rest of the ship. I do have my signature greeble, though, which is floodlights.

… and the complete Brickshelf gallery, though there aren’t really that many more pics.

Moving on to the Konoe. I do realize that my naming scheme is about to get messed up if I don’t want to use “Su” or “Konno” as ship names; I do have a couple more ships to go before I decide though.

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