LL-924 and Variants . Who does not know the famous LL-924 Space Cruiser? Check the full set, discover 15 variants, and read the full story! Comment on your favorite variants.
. You are kindly invited to read the other articles concerning the LL-924 and many of its variants:
- Part II: LL-924 Backhoe
- Part III: LL-924 TIE Cruiser
- Part IV: LL-924 Arctic Cruiser
Who does not know the famous LL-924 Space Cruiser?
That astonishing spaceship lived its full glory during the first years of the space colonisation and it became immortalised thanks to the following photograph from the very respectable League for Exploration of the Galactic Orbit.
Despites its quite simple and relatively cheap manufacturing, the LL-924 was nevertheless highly appreciated by the first space settlers. Most pilots loved it for its manoeuvrability and robustness, technicians praised its low maintenance level, and everyone agreed upon stating that the LL-924 was the perfect match for many different types of mission. However, what few people know today is that after the few first legendary space exploration missions, the LL-924 went under a very long career throughout the entire space campaign and was declined under many many variants.
In the months that followed the first explorations, many LL-924 were reused for support and logistical missions, both on the front line and around the first established bases. The Star Fleet company, mainly famous for producing the elegant Star Fleet Voyager, had ordered several LL-924 that were all painted in white for the occasion.
Around the same time, Cosmic – the company manufacturing the Cosmic Cruiser- also used some LL-924 under their own colours.
It got often reported by various sources that several LL-924 worked in combination with the prestigious Galaxy Commander spacecraft, mainly by bringing them a necessary and precious support.
Second Phase of the Space Campaign
With the constant progress of the colonisation, the energy requirements was only but growing. It is around that time that a company named Solar Power appeared with vehicles like the Solar Power Transporter or the Gamma V that were better adapted to track and spot various sources of energy before collecting and transporting them. However and despites these modern ships and vehicles, Solar Power still owned a handful of grey LL-924. These provided many services to the company.
When the Blacktron conflict started, it became obvious that the aging LL-924 was obsolete when compared to recent spaceships like the Invader or the powerful Renegade. Still, its limitations did not prevent the Blacktron faction to uses the LL-924 for a high number of logistical and liaison missions.
After the war, the LL-924 usage started to seriously decline even if some sources report sporadic missions of LL-924 among the Space Police auxiliary forces.
Surprisingly the LL-924 even served briefly among the M-Tron mining company but back then it was considered as completely outdated and mainly served on second-grade missions or as replacement ship.
Era of the Colonies
While most people thought the career of the LL-924 was definitively over with the end of the first phases of the space campaign, the LL-924 underwent through an unexpected and spectacular second golden-age period among the emerging colonies. Indeed with the strong growth of these colonies, public services were quickly overwhelmed and lacked of adequate equipment to intervene across all colony settlements spread all over the recently discovered planets and asteroids. Among the first to be served, the Colonial Police quickly adopted the old LL-924.
Among the LL-924 assigned to the Colonial Police, one of the sub-version was characterised by an isolated compartment located behind the pilot. That compartment was destined to receive one potential prisoner when required.
Shortly after the Colonial Police, the other emergency services got interested in the operation and as such, a handful of LL-924 were converted into space ambulance. The rear storage compartment was so sacrificed to allow for a gurney to be transported and loaded from the rear.
Similarly, the Colonial Fire Brigade updated a few other LL-924 by incorporating a tank inside the rear compartment. Powerful water guns were installed on the wings.
Quickly, the local settlers became accustomed with the emergency services LL-924 and for them these customized ships quickly found their place in their normal moonscape.
Following the success of the emergency services, other services showed their interest in the LL-924. This lead to the LL-924 being assigned back to one of its primary role: freight transport and delivery.
And this is how the Colonial Space Mail Services reused several LL-924 to transport mail and light freight across the various colonies.
Even more surprisingly, some LL-924 were even used as refuse collection cargo ships. Their robustness still remained one of their strongest advantages and these garbage cruisers remained in services for years.
Once more, this kind of mission perfectly fit the LL-924 usage, even if some space settlers of the first hour expressed their disdain for a usage of the LL-924 that they judged unworthy of a ship which was a symbol of their good old days.
After the public sector, the private sector also became interested or rather interested again in the LL-924. Many small starting companies purchased second hand ships to develop their activities among the colonies. There are too many examples to list them all but it was evident that the LL-924 Space Cruiser was mainly used for transportation tasks.
Some low-cost companies simply purchased at cheap price some of the LL-924 from the very first generation. They then simply repainted the old ships and in some cases, even the original containers were purchased repainted.
The idea of transforming the storage compartment into a tank was also adopted later on by several oil and gas corporations. That particular updated allowed to quickly and easily supply the numerous spaceports flourishing a bit everywhere.
A few years later, some LL-924 avoided a definitive and fatal fate by being purchased as private or collector ship by some wealthy or capricious – or both- individuals. These people often repainted their own LL-924 with their own colour-scheme and the result was often surprising to say the least.
Some LL-924 even ended up their life as Taxi with a painting that was rather easy to recognise.
About this project
I got the idea for this project by looking at a picture showing three LL-918 with different colour schemes and I then wanted to create variants of the LL-924. The variants would be in line with some of the Lego Space Classic colour themes. Upon the first builds, the project expanded almost all by itself with the idea to get inspiration from sets of the Town theme from the 80’s. I had slowly started with the fire and ambulance versions but on the day of pictures shooting, I quickly created a handful more variants (Shell, Transport, White Space, Friends) before definitively stopping the creation.
I had (and still have) additional ideas for even more variants like a space liner, a repair cruiser, or even a Star Wars version using the colours of the first TIEs but every good thing still need an end. Particularly, before shooting a couple of models, I had first to deconstruct the previous ones as at any moment, I never had more than 5 or 6 LL-924 completed at 90% or more.
After the build-picture-unbuild-rebuild-reshoot phase, I decided to go one step further in the presentation. I wanted not only clear pictures but also a poster-like picture displaying all variants with a similar view. A friend of mine helped me for the picture (thank you, Onasha). Once all pictures were ready, I figured out that all these models are actually telling a story and that pushed me to write this small article. Therefore, I consider the combination of the models, the pictures, and the story to be a small but complete piece of art. My only regret is that I lacked one 3x2x1 yellow slope for the Shell variant (and maybe the postal variant as well).
On the other hand, there are some versions that I really fell in love for and some models really surprised me upon completion like the Blacktron variant and particularly the ambulance version which remains my favourite.
And you, which models do you prefer?
You are kindly invited to read the other articles concerning the LL-924 and many of its variants:
- Part II: LL-924 Backhoe
- Part III: LL-924 TIE Cruiser
LL-924 & Variants on Flickr