Day 15: L.U.R.C.H.

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Today we retreat to a quiet backwater of the Federation, where no harm could possibly befall us, for some quiet research with Ralph Savelsberg's L.U.R.C.H. and mobile lab.

L.U.R.C.H.

 

Having anti-gravity technology and flying around‭ ‬at relativistic velocities can be a lot of fun,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬but sometimes you just have to move something large and heavy across the surface of a planet.‭ ‬In that case,‭ ‬a wheeled vehicle is still the way to go.‭ ‬The‭ ‬Federation’s‭ ‬standard vehicle for this kind of task is called L.U.R.C.H.,‭ ‬which stands for Large‭ ‬Ultra-Rugged Cargo Hauler.‭ ‬That name‭ ‬pretty much covers it.‭ ‬Rather than going for a high-tech option,‭ ‬this‭ ‬vehicle‭ ‬was built using old-fashioned but highly dependable technology.‭ ‬It has to be rugged.‭ ‬Where this thing goes,‭ ‬there is no breakdown service.‭ ‬There is no‭ ‬road either.‭ ‬In fact,‭ ‬other than a lot of dirt and the occasional scenic view,‭ ‬there generally isn't much of anything.‭

Don't mess with L.U.R.C.H.

‬The scenic view is an important part of this particular L.U.R.C.H.‭'‬s mission.‭ ‬It is delivering a luxurious mobile home/‭ ‬laboratory to a remote location overlooking a particularly nice lava lake.‭ ‬The beneficiary of this endeavour is the famous exo-botanist Annie D.‭ ‬Quite why the Federation goes to this trouble isn't clear,‭ ‬but rumour has it that it is a birthday present by Commander Armstrong.‭

Mobile Lab

Ralph says: Ed and I have done collaborative builds before.‭ ‬We seem to work well together,‭ ‬because usually we end up building something that either of us would never have built alone or wouldn't have built as well.‭ ‬This one is no exception.‭ ‬I normally don’t do‭ ‬science-fiction and Ed's initial attempts at building a vehicle weren't‭ ‬exactly‭ ‬really going‭ ‬to plan.‭ ‬Of course,‭ ‬with Ed being the kind of guy he is,‭ ‬his plan was ambitious.‭ ‬It goes without saying that the vehicle‭ ‬had to be big and‭ ‬as though that wasn’t enough,‭ ‬he wanted power‭ ‬functions remote‭ ‬control.‭ ‬When I got involved,‭ ‬I'd only just built a six-wheeled military vehicle of my own design and on a visit to Ed and his wife Annie,‭ ‬it formed the basis for a quick sketch of a six-wheeled cargo/exploration vehicle.‭ ‬Ed and I both liked the look,‭ ‬but there were a few issues.‭ ‬Because it was going to carry some sort of mobile base and shouldn't be too high overall,‭ ‬the wheels that did the steering simultaneously had to be the drive wheels.‭ ‬I am hardly the world’s most experienced technic builder,‭ ‬but we agreed that I was‭ ‬going to build the vehicle,‭ ‬obviously‭ ‬with Ed's‭ ‬and‭ ‬his wife‭ ‬Annie's input and using Ed’s‭ ‬still‭ ‬impressive collection of old grey left over from building HMS Hood.‭ ‬The build wasn't‭ ‬very‭ ‬easy.‭ ‬Initially the vehicle just wouldn't come together.‭ ‬Versions one,‭ ‬two and three all had problems:‭ ‬they were either too slow or too fast,‭ ‬the steering‭ ‬mechanism wouldn't self-centre or would self-destruct.‭ ‬One version drove with an odd-looking lurching motion,‭ ‬which‭ ‬gave the vehicle its name.‭ ‬Finally,‭ ‬with‭ ‬version four everything worked.‭

* Happy birthday Annie‎!

Lava Lake

We love both L.U.R.C.H. and the mobile lab, and all the fantastic interior details. As if it wasn't awesome enough, it's motorised with a Power Functions remote control - check out video here. Let's just hope that Dr. D. is safe on her remote outpost...

Ugonkin Night Terror Attack

 

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