The Remorians are one of the clans that live in a far away world in the multiverse. This world is essentially inhabited by mechanic, silicon based lifeforms. Because of their quite advanced technology, most of them have silicon implants. Resources are scarce on this world, with the result that some mechanics prey on others, disassembling them, and using the parts to repair themselves. Some of the mechanics are capable of mining valuable resources from the soil and depths of the world, but massive reproduction of those in the early days nearly mined out the world. As a result, some of the life rebuilt itself to hunt on other life, in which process some of them sacrificed their mining capabilities for speed or space reasons. The mating of the lifeforms, which to us would sound and look like an ED 1000 and a hydraulic car press gone mad, starts with impressing each other with one's best features, and results in a massive energy discharge, needed to release both of the partners blueprints.
Then construction of a new version is started, which can take years to build and program. Some of the mechanics, one of which is the Raven, live in symbiosis with vulnerable carbon-based life. The carbon life is somewhat humanoid, although they are a little shorter, and lack elbow and knee joints. When boarded by a humanoid, the Raven is persuaded to go a certain direction, but would never do something against its own programming. The humanoids are living in clans, together with the ravens and other mechanics, of which some of them maintain herds to mine the surface. The herds give up refined resources and energy in trade for protection from preying other clans, or freelance predators. They are all stationed in a massive lairs, which protect the humanoids from the harsh conditions of the world, while serving as a repair bay for the mechanics.
The Raven includes a pneumatic system, operated by the arrowed lever and the four pneumatic valves on top, which control the two claws, the neck and the beak. The back two wheels on top make the wings move. Two springs under each wing assure the movement of the wing is even (i.e. moving the wing down takes as much power as moving the wing up). At one third of the wing there is an extra hinging point so that the wing looks bent down when going up and vice versa. The two wheels on the front extend and retract the claws. It amazed me in the construction that by sheer coincidence, only the heel joint needed to be controlled to retract the whole leg. The cockpit opens to reveal a nifty control section and the brave pilot/companion of the Raven.
Known Flaws: (it's not a bug, it's a feature!)
The mechanic operation of the claws and wings had to be quite slow to be operable. I think a real bird has one extra joint in his leg, and there are probably a lot more things that an ornithologist would point out to be very wrong, but hey, it's my world, and my bird, and I even could have called it a trilobite (Let's make a real deal!) if I wanted to.
The initial idea came from the seeing Fanta(r) "Elefanta" commercials on TV. For those of you who don't know, these ads show a neat mechanic elephant, in addition to other mechanic, robot-like animals. I thought it would very well be possible to build a impressive looking mechanic animal from LEGO bricks. In addition I was charmed by the "Darkworld" Dragonfly of Karim Nassar (for which I bought a recon robot just to be able to reproduce it perfectly). Because I thought I had far too much black wings, I decided to justify this, and the Raven was born.
Some of this text is given in by these sources:
Terry Pratcett (Discworld):
"There's no justice, there's just me" (Death).
Star Trek: TNG, DSN:
"Earl grey tea, 85 degrees Celsius" (Captain Picard).
"50,000 tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night" (Commander Sinclair).
All in all it took half a year to construct the Raven. All my Technic sets had to be sacrificed in order to construct it, and some sets were bought just to be able to build it like I had in mind (most significant was the Deep Freeze Defender, which was also handy to protect the Hadgen Dasz in my fridge).
Mainly used sets:
The Raven preys mostly from the Supercar (8880) and the Pneumatic Crane Truck (8460), while most of the neon-red came from the DFD (6973).
Oddest parts :
In the gray rear section there are two bow bricks from a Rebel
Hunter, which are there because an ordinary 1 X 4 X1 would block
some gears. The pilot wears a blue set of shoulder patches from
a Pirates' treasure chest.
[If your browser doesn't support inline images, click these links to see the above pictures: The Raven, Other Mechanics, Top View, Claws, Front View, Carbon-Based Pilot / Companion]
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Raven text © 1996 Remco Slotboom.
Text and background graphics © 1995 Lou Zucaro. Pause Magazine and the Pause logo are trademarks of Zucaro Internet Publishing. All rights reserved.