Saturday, February 26, 2011

Minifigs: Exploriens

I've mentioned before that my first two Space sets, tied for the title of eldest in that theme, were the Blizzard Baron and Saucer Scout. My third set, however, has not been mentioned. That was 6815 Hovertron, and with the exception of a few, small, alien sets (UFO and Insectoid), it was the last Space set I would get until Mars Mission came out in 2007, ten years later.



Consequently, Captain Reginald Explorn, as the above fig was named, has a rather special place in my heart, as does the Explorien theme. Together with Space Police (ii), of which I did not acquire a set until much later, it was one of "my" Space factions (in a household where all the leadership of all the factions was divided between the siblings), and I still think they're pretty cool. Their colour scheme is strongly reminiscent of the Futuron sets, and thus of some of the later classic Space sets, and would be seen again in the Space Police (iii) sets of the 3rd Millennium.

The fig I call Captain Explorn (original name, I know), is one of three different Explorien figs, as pictured below. Note: the face on the fig at the right should be the same as the centre fig, and--yes--I know the Exploriens also had an android (named Ann Droid, proving that LEGO was little better at original names in the 1990s than I was).



The decision to make the fig on the right a command-rank fig is mostly due to the fact that he's the only one I had back in an era when I *had* to have the ruling fig in the faction, but I think it's a decision that still works; because Captain Explorn only sports a large logo, he lacks the mechanical extra bits the two other Exploriens sport, and thus--to my mind--has the more prestigious uniform. In any case, the long-term results of Space gameplay in my family was that the uniform on the right belonged to command-rank figs (naval ranks Commander through Admiral), while the one in the middle belonged to junior-rank officers (naval ranks Ensign through Lieutenant-Commander), and the one on the right to non-commissioned officers. One assumes that LEGO people can tell the differences within these categories, such as between an Ensign and a Lieutenant, but this distinction eludes the human eye.

This pic is a group shot of my entire Explorien population today (note the 400% growth since 2005). It will be noted that Captain Explorn has since seen a promotion to Vice-Admiral, and that none of the other torsos features a head that would match it in an official set. This indicates, as it does in many instances in my collection, that the figs are assembled from Bricklink parts (or extras acquired other ways). Not, mind you, that Vice-Admiral Explorn's torso actually matches his head in any official Explorien set, because it's a custom design.



As you can see, it's a fairly simple custom. All I did was copy a blue version of the Explorien logo from this piece and use it to replace the grey-and-silver version (on a non-Space torso, I would like to mention), and then add some white epaulettes to round things off. For the most part, I've been moving away from using customised torsos in the last couple years, not because I have a purist position on the issue, but because my quality standards are higher than I'm normally capable of making them, but in this case I think it works really well.

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