One of the hobbies that has kept me busy over the past few years is building LEGO versions of vehicles from the worlds of Gerry Anderson. If you follow Security Hazard on Facebook you may have seen a few of these.
In search of inspiration for a new project, I found myself glancing at my shelves, and at the Space Precinct Police Cruiser beautifully rendered in toy form by Vivid Imaginations. This was very much the flagship of the extensive Space Precinct merchandise range from the mid-1990s. The vehicle seemed like a good shape and size to be produced in LEGO at minifigure scale. I didn’t want to purchase any parts especially for this build and felt reasonably confident that I could achieve a passable finished product with my exisiting collection of LEGO pieces.
I started by recreating the likenesses of Lt. Brogan and Officer Haldane in minifigure form borrowing from my selection of spare heads, wigs, torsos, and legs. The vintage police uniforms felt very appropriate and the fairly basic faces actually captured qualities of the characters very well.
With the minifigures in place, the first major puzzle to solve was how to recreate the large, sloped windscreen. After trawling through my large box of windows and doors the solution came in the form of two 6 x 3 x 1 transparent slope pieces. Although it would have been nice if the windscreen had been one solid piece, capturing the right overall shape was more important to me. The same ethic was applied to the rest of the build in so far as the overall look had to be right using what I had available, even if certain colors or angles weren’t the neatest or most accurate choices.
That being said, I worked from four pieces of source material in order to make this model as recognisable as possible. The first was the Vivid Imaginations toy which is possibly one of the most underrated Gerry Anderson toys ever produced. The level of detail, combined with all of its play features, clearly show a lot of time and effort went into making this an impressive artefact for all ages to enjoy. The second source was David Sisson’s model of the craft. His website has a great article about the construction and a gallery of the finished product. Thirdly, I studied Graham Bleathman’s cutaway artwork from the Space Precinct annual. Then, last but not least, I looked at clips from the series itself. This step was important for figuring out the details (or lack thereof) of the interior.
With a windscreen picked out and all of my source material carefully studied, I sat down in front of my drawers full of LEGO pieces and started constructing the front section, by far the more challenging half of the model. Capturing the angle of the hood involved using carefully placed hinge pieces and then using a lot of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) construction to cover it all up. Keep in mind that I hadn’t done any prior design work or planning for this model. I often find building off the cuff makes for the most interesting experience, and develop solutions to problems as they come up.
One major difference between the Vivid toy and the original craft is the placement of the lights on top due to the way the gull wing doors operate. I was facing a similar plight until I managed to track down some hinged window pieces in my collection which meant I would accurately be able to position the light on top of the cabin, rather than behind. Unfortunately I appear to be lacking the “glass” to go in said windows, but you get the idea!
As I advanced towards the rear of the build, things became a lot simpler. The main body of the craft is basically a block with the engines stuck to the side. The very back of the model tapers somewhat so more sloped pieces and detailing for ventilation became important.
The boosters are probably the least accurate part of this build. Although the shape is pretty spot on, the colours are a bit mismatched because ultimately I just had to find four identical parts from my collection that would do the job. At least the cones are black rather than bright pink. Some more SNOT construction was needed to produce the smaller emergency rockets attached to the side – a detail that is only vaguely hinted at on the toy but came as a great surprise when studying the actual craft more closely.
With the main structure now in place I started to added little bits of detail, including roughly recreating the underside of the model – an area that is easy to forget about but definitely needs a little attention on all builds of this size. The final touch was the landing pads which I decided to include since the model would generally be displayed on a tabletop rather than “in-flight”.
Et voilà! This model is rather special to me. Although I’ve had a few pieces of merchandise in my collection for some time now, I’ve only really discovered Space Precinct very recently with the new DVD release from Network. I love the ambition of the show and the exciting, shadowy, diverse version of the future that it paints. The design of the police cruiser represents the overall spirit of the show of being a familiar cop show but with a futuristic sci-fi spin put on it – something to which LEGO easily lends itself.
If you enjoyed this creation, comment below with your thoughts about what I should build next, and follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!
As a bonus, and as requested by artist and actual grown up Chris Thompson, here is a video of me swooshing the model around to the theme music…