With summertime, I've gotten more building done!
The Solar Federation is one of the youngest star nations, but its rate of expansion is unparalleled; it is said, only half-in-jest, that the Solar Federation's primary export is Exploration Fleets. However, the Federation quickly learned that the galaxy is a dangerous and unforgiving place to those who would venture into the uncharted wilderness, and so the Solar Federation Armed Forces were founded to protect their fleets and colonies against the dangers of the void. The threats of the galaxy are manifold, from the all-consuming Dungan Swarm
, to the xenophobic Imperium Constructor
, to the myriad Space Pirate
fleets which plague the trade routes between the stars; regardless of their nature or number, the Solar Federation stands firm against them all!
Here's a group photo of all of my soldiers:
And all of my creations:
Since MOCPages has had some outages lately, here's a picture from BrickFair (not as much detail, but everyone's in it):
Check out The Last Stand
for a picture of some Solar Federation Marines in action against the Dungan Swarm
Captain Jakob Tyreus
Ultimately, all authority on a ship rests with her captain. He or she will have served for at least twenty solar years, and amassed a wealth of tactical knowledge. They will almost never go on away missions themselves (that task is generally delegated to an Officer or occasionally a Senior Officer), but will remain on the ship to run things and keep an orbiting eye on the situation.
“Make it so!”
Fate has conspired to send Captain Tyreus against every threat known to the Solar Federation, and he quickly became so experienced that SF High Command decided that he would be more valuable as an instructor and consultant than a front-line fighter. Unfortunately, disaster befell his beloved SFS Phalanx
on the way to his new assignment, and it crashed on the Pirate-ruled world of Alexandria. Having converted the wreckage into a fortress, all that Tyreus has to do is survive...but it seems that the Pirates and Dungans have other ideas...
Executive Officer Valerie Weaver
The Executive Officer is the second-in-command of a starship, and often functions as an extension of the captain's will and replacement if the captain is incapacitated. The XO is also in charge of security and the de facto leader of the ship's complement of spacemen, and will coordinate them in the ship's defense.
“Today is a good day for someone else to die!”
A hot-blooded native-born Titanian, Commander Weaver is the indomitable second-in-command of the Phalanx
, and generally operates as the bad cop to Tyreus' good cop. Her demands of the crew are only matched by her dedication to their well-being -- she will work them harder than any other officer, but she will back them up a hundred percent.
Marine Commander Snijeg Frigus
Every ship has a Marine Commander in charge of its complement of Marines. A Marine Commander will have been a Marine for at least fifteen years, and have an unparalleled grasp of tactics in a land battle. When several Squads of Marines are deployed on an away mission, the Marine Commander will generally lead them, and when a ship has to protect itself from boarders, the Marine Commander will coordinate his Marines in the ship's defense.
“We are the Solar Federation Marine Corps, and we shall not falter in its defense!”
Commander Frigus was part of the "Ice Planet" project, an initiative to plant a hyper-beacon on Pluto; in one sense, that makes him one of the founders of the Solar Federation, as it is only the hyper-network which ties the many member worlds together.
Flight Commander Ariel Rhodes
It is said that there are old Pilots and bold Pilots, but very few old, bold Pilots. Those few old, bold Pilots are promoted to Flight Commander to lead all of the Pilots on a starship. They have the peculiar combination of expert skill and luck that it takes to survive at least ten long years as a Pilot, and an ego the size of the Solar System that comes with it.
“Good shot! Now let's blow this thing and go home!”
Commander Rhodes isn't necessarily the best pilot in the Solar Federation, but she is superhumanly calm under pressure. When the fecal matter hits the rotary air impeller, she doesn't panic; she gets serious.
Chief Engineer Montgomery "Monty" Wales
The Chief Engineer is the leader of a ship's complement of Mechanix. When things go horribly wrong, it's up to the Chief Engineer to put them right again.
“I am giving her all she's got, captain!”
Monty's worked with warp cores and fusion plants for so long that he has gained an intuitive understanding with them; he can listen to the hum of a resonating fusion bottle and instantly diagnose its woes, and then tune it up to work better than spec.
Medical Officer Nick O'Tempo
The Medical Officer is the leader of a ship's complement of Medics. The Medical Officer doesn't see much actual combat, but will often be busiest just after a mission, as the medical team heals minifigs who were injured in the course of a mission.
“This won't hurt a bit…though it might hurt a lot!”
Medical Officer O'Tempo has something of a grouchy streak, but his no-nonsense care has injured Spacemen up and about in record time.
Marine / Sergeant
Marines are volunteers from the various SF worlds. They defend the Solar Federation against any threat from without, and from time to time act as law enforcement in egregious cases of, for example, planetary rebellion.
After about ten years of experience and training, Marines are promoted to Sergeants and trained to lead squads of their fellow Marines.
The weapons used by the SFMC, from left to right, top to bottom: force rod (Small CC weapon), laser pistol, fusion cutter (Engineer Tool), medi-beam (Medic Tool), laser rifle, flamethrower, grenade launcher (the bit sticking out the side is for the ammo rack), repeating laser rifle
Here's the ordinance for the various Launchers employed by the Solar Federation (left to right, top to bottom): armor-piercing rounds (large), heavy explosive rounds, hyper-explosive round (too volatile to put in a clip of four), anti-personnel rounds, explosive rounds
Spaceman / Petty Officer
These volunteers crew naval vessels. They are sometimes derided as not having enough skill to become Pilots or enough physical ability to become Marines, but these people are just as important to running a ship as their more glamorized colleagues -- somebody has to actually operate things, and they also serve as a ship's last line of defense.
Spacemen with a few years of experience in a technical area are promoted to Petty Officers and lead a team of Spacemen.
Pilot / Wing Leader
Pilots are trained from the ranks of the Navy to use a vehicle's heavier weapons and operate it at the same time.
Pilots with a talent for leadership are put in charge of a formation of craft and called Wing Leaders.
Marine Commandos are much faster and stealthier than their comrades. They are deployed as guides in unsafe areas, forward scouts to spot hidden potential threats, and as spotters to assist artillery barrages. Marine Commandos rarely work in squads as they are self-sufficient by nature; however, they may be attached to a squad to lead them through dangerous territory or assist squad targeting.
Used to get a specialist to a destination more rapidly. They are especially deadly when used by Demolishers, who have the training to fly and fight simultaneously.
Foehammer Drop Pod
Shuttles can carry more Marines than any other Solar Federation transport, but when people hear "Solar Federation Marine Corps," the first vehicle which comes to mind is the Foehammer Drop Pod. A Foehammer drops in from an orbiting mothership, carrying up to four SF Marines exactly where they are needed. One Pod may be deployed for inserting Marines deep within enemy territory, to perform a hunt-and-destroy mission. On the other hand, up to a dozen may be deployed at once to reinforce a critical front. In some cases, Foehammers have been deployed "backwards" to punch through enemy ship hulls and deposit their cargo as a boarding crew, or packed full of sentry guns instead of Marines to clear a landing zone ahead of a larger force.
Doors open (above), and vanes open (below) for delivering ordinance.
Creation Notes: Everyone seems to rave about this little guy the most (in fact, it is the only creation so far to have earned Natalya's Seal of Approval), which strikes me as a little odd, but I'm told that the simple elegance of the design makes it stand out.
Lancer Pursuit Fighter
The Lancer Pursuit Fighter is built for speed, with massive engines and a power-to-weight ratio which is second to none. Standard Lancer doctrine is to swoop in, deliver firepower, and bug out before the enemy can respond. “If they catch you, they will kill you – but first, they must catch you...”
Creation Notes: All new design, based on an airframe I once built for the Imperium Constructor
Marine Demolishers wear extra armor and have special training for operating vehicles and mounted weapons – they operate Raider Jetbikes and the iconic Marauder Hardsuits.
Defender Sentry Turret
Defender Sentry Turrets are used to hold objectives or cover retreats, allowing more Marines to be used in combat. Their underside thruster allows them to land from a low-flying craft, and their adjustable legs allow them to stand firmly on uneven surfaces.
Creation Notes: The feet are attached to pins which are set inside 1x1 round bricks for the legs. This lets them move in and out and rotate, so that the turret will be level on any surface:
Marauder Hardsuits are not so much suits of armor as wearable tanks. They wield firepower that one might expect from a vehicle and yet are not much larger than a person; for this reason, they are usually deployed in closed-in and dangerous environments such as a Dungan hive or an enemy vessel being boarded.
Marauder Hardsuits are heavily customizable, with attachments suited for every occasion. Upgrades are (from top to bottom, left to right): laser cannon, repeating laser cannon, flamethrower, grenade launcher, attenuator field projector
, scanner, twin-linked laser gun, missile pod, power claw
Here's a quartet to demonstrate. Commander Frigus is up front with an assault loadout: he's got an attenuator field projector, a flamethrower, and a twin-linked laser gun -- less range than a laser cannon, but more bullets. Captain Tyreus (right behind him) has a balanced load: an AFP and power claw, but also a repeating laser cannon and missile pod. The Demolisher behind him is optimized for delivering explosions: he has a scanner pod to keep him on target, and a grenade launcher with high-explosive rounds. The Demolisher just getting out of the Thunderbird is equipped for range: a scanner pod, a grenade launcher, and a laser cannon.
Creation Notes: I am especially pleased with this hardsuit. It has always irked me that no other hardsuit actually has a minifig inside -- they may have a head or helmet up top, but it seems that they are more of an artificial body than a suit of armor. I made it a priority to avert that design aspect; it is also nice that I have enough parts to build several of these suits!
Coming Soon: Pillbox?
A versatile ground transport and support vehicle.
Upgrades are (left to right, top to bottom): long-range missile pod, Avenger cannon, Avenger launcher, short-range missile pod, attenuator field projector, scanner, anti-air laser turret, armored cover (not pictured)
Here's a squad of Marines in the back of a Mule with anti-air lasers and short-range missiles. They're ready to get into the thick of action!
The previous version of the Mule looked more like a bullet train and had the driver leaning back; this meant that the cockpit took up a lot of area and only left one hardpoint. I fixed that for this iteration.
It became obvious after the first engagement with the Imperium Constructor that the Thunderbird Shuttle was not suitable for extended combat use. The Thunderbird was reliable, but it was based on a civilian cargo-hauler, and could only be pushed so far, even with armor and weapon upgrades. Furthermore, while the large rear hatch was convenient for handling large cargoes, it was unsuitable for rapidly disembarking under fire. The SF Armed Forces decided to create a ship specifically for troop deployment and support in battle. Based on old helicopter and hover-gunships from the Division Wars, the Fury Gunship proved to be a powerful tool in the SFAF arsenal.
Creation Notes: (now four studs longer!) The engines rotate, so the Fury can swing them to point down and hover as it disembarks troops. The doors are doubly-articulated, so that, wherever enemy fire is coming from, the door can provide significant cover while the troops disembark:
Here's a squad of Marines ready to deploy. The guy in the back left is turned sideways because he's operating the secondary weapons console.
This is an Emergency Response Team -- two Engineers and two Medics for repairing anything or anyone who needs repairing, and two Spacemen and a Petty Officer for security.
The Thunderbird Shuttle is the workhorse of the Solar Federation Armed Forces, with plenty of room for any cargo and plenty of firepower and armor to protect it. The Thunderbird is usually applied as a soldier or materiel transport, but is sometimes used as a bomber to attack hardened targets or a gunship to support infantry units. Thunderbirds are often escorted by Lancer Pursuit Fighters to ward off enemy defenses, but their heavy armor and firepower mean that they are capable of holding their own if need be.
With door closed/ramp retracted above, and with door open/ramp out below:
Creation Notes: This is the most criticized of my creations (so far), mostly relating to the
front end. I hope I've addressed the complaints with what follows:
Thunderbird Shuttle, Mk. II
The Thunderbird Shuttle is the workhorse of the Solar Federation Armed Forces, with plenty of room for any cargo and plenty of firepower and armor to protect it. The Thunderbird is usually applied as a soldier or materiel transport, but is sometimes used as a bomber to attack hardened targets. Thunderbirds are often escorted by Lancers or Furies to ward off enemy defenses, but their heavy armor and firepower mean that they are capable of holding their own if need be.
Here are the weapons!
Landed configuration (wings folded, ramp open) from the front...
...and from the back. The cargo bay is large enough to hold a Mule inside of it!
Phalanxes are based on hulls normally used for Solar Federation starships; the first Phalanx was created unintentionally when the frigate of the same name crash-landed intact on a hostile world, and held for two months against the pirates and Dungans which lived there.
This story mirrors the development history of the Phalanx bunker; it was going to be a SHIP, but then I saw that it looked more like a bunker, so I decided to make one of those, instead!
You know, it doesn't look too threatening, does it? I mean, those laser cannons are pretty nasty, but they can't take down everything, can they?
Hold on, what's this?
Not so harmless after all...that's a missile pod and a Launcher (the bit sticking out to the side is where the ammo pod goes)
What's back here?
Well, hello there!
I'm afraid to ask what's under this panel...
Goodness gracious me!
So, do you think that this is a big enough bazooka to take down the HATREDCOPTER? Because if it isn't...
How about an internal tour?
Here's the front segment. It has two decks.
This is the upper deck, with the bridge up front (Sensors, Control, Weapons stations, from left to right) and sleeping quarters in the back.
And here's the lower deck; notice sleeping quarters on the edges, weapons caches scattered around, and Science and Medical booths up front.
Here's a hangar segment -- there are two of them, one facing each side, to accommodate a Thunderbird (outside).
Each one has an equipment rack up top, for attachments to a Mule.
And here's what's inside! Notice the tool rack in the back, the Raider off to the side, and the two Marauders in front. To the left, you can see the airlock that holds the back of a Thunderbird; it was inspired by the end of a jetway.
And here's the landing area in the back. Fury parking to the side, Lancer parking in the rear, with a crane and an open landing pad in the middle. Notice the equipment on the front edge: this is how each segment connects to the next.
I would really like to get an old Space baseplate for a proper landing pad, but such is life.
Coming Soon: SF Intelligence
Spacemen with training in Engineering become Engineers, working under their Chief to keep their ship and everything on it running smoothly.
Much as the Engineering Department looks after the ship, the Medical Department sees to the people running it. They seldom deploy on away missions, except when they are working to stem the tide of bodies to be dealt with afterward, but they have been used to augment a force by keeping men on their feet a little longer.
Electronics Officers see to navigation, jamming, and electronic warfare.
Coming Soon: Unity-class Frigate, Monitor-class Cruiser, Thunderbolt-class Destroyer, Enterprise-class Battleship
Some final notes:
These guys are made based on (mostly) Imperial torsos, giving them blue arms and legs.
By my figuring, I've got about 1700 CP worth of Solar Federation guys, a good 300 of which are tied up in that Bunker.
- Ever-Builders (think Blokbots, coming soon)
- Imperium Constructor
(Bad Guys, with an emphasis on lots of identical soldiers, big APCs, tanks, and the colors black and red)
- Jovian Alliance (seceding from IC, using stolen IC and loaned SF equipment and hybrids thereof, most likely CAD only for a while)
- Space Pirates
(slapdash construction, kind of post-apoc feel)
- Dungan Swarm
(think Space Locusts)