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 June 16, 2003

Little Buddy

Due to the overwhelming success of the BLACKTRONICLE defense system, Blacktronics Laboratories developed a design more suited to scouting and attack missions. Also built with the ultralightweight yet durable Legonium alloy, the BOHROKITRON is a compact unit that packs a variety of weapons and can be inserted behind enemy lines with a high degree of stealth.

The pilots are drawn from the best of the BLACKTRONICLE pilots, as the BOHROKITRON design requires a greater degree of control to operate. Once the pilot is strapped in, the Stage I Drop Pod can be dropped from high altitudes and freefall to within a few hundred feet from ground level. During freefall, four mini gyro stabilizer pods are used to maintain attitude control so the pod remains upright.

Once the desired altitude has been reached, the arm-mounted gun pods can be deployed to form the Stage II Attack Craft. In this form, a limited amount of gliding can be acheived while directing the weapon systems at a downward angle to help clear the landing zone of any hostile units or obstructions.

The primary weapons on the gun pods are two pairs of Blacktronics Mark V Ionized Particle Cannons. While not nearly as powerful as the Mark VII Particle Cannon individually, four combined together provide a greater punch while remaining considerably more compact. Mounted on the inside of the gun pods are a pair of EMP guns, used primarily to knock out any perimeter defense warning systems just before touchdown. Also mounted on the outside are twin pairs of mini thrust pods, which are used primarily to reduce velocity just before touchdown. Assisting them are jump jets mounted on the underbelly. Between the six thrust pods and jump jets, the Attack Craft can be slowed down enough to land with only a slight jolt.

Just before touchdown, the legs are deployed to absorb the shock caused by landing, and forming the Stage III Assault Walker. At this point, the gun pods are flipped sideways to help prevent incoming fire from striking the central pod. Most of the energy in the mini thrust pods has been used up during the landing process, so they aren't very useful during ground-based combat, but the four jump jets can still provide a boost of speed when needed. Due to the lower center of gravity, the four mini GSPs can handle stability issues.

In the left image you can see all four jump jets (two aimed downward to boost the BOHROKITRON into the air, and two aimed backwards to provide forward thrust), and the four mini GSPs located just above and below the arm mounts. In between them is the improved micro fusion generator, which is straddled by two defense cannons that can be used to belch forth a large cloud of thick, black smoke that's laced with thin curls of metal. The smoke prevents enemy troops from being able to identify its location visually, while the metal curls can interfere with any electronic targetting systems.

On the front of the underbelly are located three automated gauss cannons that help mop up anything the gun pods miss. Right below them are three low-level light emitters. Since stealth is essential in the types of missions selected for the BOHROKITRON units, the cockpit canopy contains a powerful light amplification layer. The light emitters can each provide the minimum level of light required for amplification, just in case one or two of them cease operating during combat. They're located in the belly as a way of preventing any aircraft flying overhead from spotting the lightsources on the ground.

This design is more blatantly based on Paul Coomb's Gremlin mecha, but the cockpit is based more around the original BLACKTRONICLE seating system, and involves a fair amount of cheating, and a specific type of BOHROK torso. There's enough room to fit the minifig with a torso that's only four studs wide, but the cockpit seat would flop around inside. I would have preferred to make the canopy see-thru, but clear canopies don't fit within the Blacktron color scheme, while opaque black is consistent with their helmet visors.

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