MOC: Just an Ordinary Day at Echo Base

Everybody knows what happened on Hoth during the Empire invasion. However, before the Empire strike, the Rebels had their issues to adapt the Speeders to the extreme cold conditions of the planet. In my Echo Base MOC, I wanted to show a difficult moment for a  Rogue Squadron testing crew during the preparation of their craft. 

echo-base-snowspeeder

After my MOC on the Imperial Turbolaser Turret, I wanted to do something also for the Rebel Alliance. I decided to create a small scene at the Rebel’s Base Echo a few days before the Battle of Hoth

I wanted to avoid battle scenes, so I preferred to focus on an apparently calm moment. On one side we have the on ground troops patrolling and preparing equipment. On the other side, in flight, the a crew of a snowspeeder attempts a safe landing due to overheated generators.

Rebels life is turbulent and they must be ready in case the Empire strikes back!

Overview

After the Battle of Yavin The Rebel Alliance is aware that the Empire is looking for their base and they have to be ready to fight. To support its defence lines, the Rebels were equipped with the T-47 Airspeeders. Unfortunately, these low altitude vehicles were not designed for the cold Planet Hoth. So, the Rebels engineers and technicians had to modify the airspeeder with additional radiators to avoid overheating of the main generators. Some initial flights had issues and Rebel pilots had to demonstrate all their ability to fly back to Echo Base.

echo-base-snowspeeder-white

This MOC represents one of the side entrance to the Echo Base with the access to the snow trench. A DF.9 turret protects the Base entrance and the trench. In the mean time, just above them, a Snowspeeder is flying very low in evident difficulties due to generators overheating. Finally, a series of Minifigures completes the MOC.

The Snowspeeder

The first main character of the MOC is the Snowspeeder. I have always been fascinated by the bizarre shape of these vehicles. They are ugly and awkward, however they have a certain charm, that I really like.

snowspeeder-full

The Snowspeeder is edited from the LEGO set 4500. Probably one of the oldest version of the speeder, however it has nice features and it is a good starting point.lego-4500-1

Snowspeeder modifications

I considered the overall structure of the official LEGO set 4500 a good starting point to create a nice version of the snowspeeder. 

back-2

On the back side, I replaced the two engines with Driving Ring Extension parts. Then, I removed the rear harpoon and I created a more accurate one using bar, binocular and technic connector.

Concerning the aerodynamic surfaces, I included the ventral spoilers and I slightly changed the spoiler on the upper surface.

Another important modifications are the laser cannons: I removed the original ones and I tried to create a more accurate version including long bar and a combination of cylindrical bricks.

snowspeeder-2

Finally, I cover the entire wings with tiles, to make a smooth aerodynamic surface that I really prefer that the studed ones. 

Smoke

Last but not least, the main issue affecting the Speeder: the smoke! I tried to represent a critical and dangerous situation for the crew, without destroying the Speeder, yet.

back-view

The smoke is based on a combination of 2×2 round plates and 2×2 round bricks of different colors. I started with the black close to the craft and then it turned into grey scale and finally white as far as the smoke vanishes.

The DF.9 Turret

The next part of the MOC is the DF.9 Turret: the anti-infantry laser cannon. Together with the Speeders, these turrets are the providing fire support to the land troops. However, the turrets were not much efficient against the Imperial AT-AT strike.

turret-front

The turret is combined by two parts: the main body and the laser cannon part. 

Laser Cannon

The upper part of the turret accommodates the laser cannon and the observation hatch on top. 

turret-top-side

turret-top

Main Body

The main body is a cylindric structure, that is a different solution with respect to the original version. The original DF.9 structure is actually a cone. However, trying to keep a certain scale in the turret, I decide to simplify the structure with a cone rather then a cone with a very small slope.

On the bottom of the cylinder there is also an extra basement level to hang the turret on the ground and to connect to the power generators of the Base. 

The Snow Trench

The main part of the MOC is of course the trench in the snowy planet Hoth.

base-echo-screen

The trench starts from a tunnel that will go deep into Echo Base and it will continue on the left and right to cover the perimeter of the base. 

The tunnel includes a panel to check the power supply and the external systems and also a power line for the external generators.

power-generator

The floor of the trench is covered with snowed footboards to avoid troops getting stuck. All around there are cables and supply equipment for the troops.

trench-1

Finally, on the border of the trench there are some perimeter sensors. 

sensor-echo-base

 

The Minifigures

The MOC is completed with the minifigures: snow rebel troopers and of course the Snowspeeder crew.

There are 7 rebel soldier and 2 pilots and I combined them with different faces, to personalise them.

minifigures-group

Two of them are busy with equipments: one on the border of the tunnel and one on the power generator switch. 

tunnel

minifigure-2

Two are patrolling the trench.

minifigure-3

minifigure-1

Two are exiting the Base perimeter, but they are listening to the commlink communications, first.

minifigure-4

minifigure-5

Despite, I didn’t modify the minifigures, I decide to add a customised backpack to the commlink operator. The design of the backpack is inspired by the movie, based on the techniques I already used for the Scout Clone Troopers

 

minifigures-explorers-frontminifigures-explorers-back

The last trooper is on the observatory hatch of the DF.9 turret with the quadrinocular. 

turret-trooper

Finally, the two rebel pilots are of course busy to reenter Echo Base with the damaged snowspeeder.

snowspeeder-1

Ready for the Battle

What happens after the snowspeeders modification is Star Wars story. So, I hope that you like reading and discovering my Echo Base MOC. Thanks to Star Wars movie and the pictures, I really enjoyed discovering all the details of Echo Base and recreating a possible scene.

I hope you liked my post and my Echo Base MOC as well. ANy comment and suggestion is welcome, so leave you comment below and don’t forget to inscribe in my mailing list.

To conclude, I want to thank my friend Gioele for his great feedback and suggestions during the preparation of the MOC. 

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