I have finished the first attempt at redesigning the cockpit of the tank vehicle of the LEGO Exo-Force 8118 Hybrid Rescue Tank. As I mentioned the other day, the existing cockpit design seemed pretty badly done and so I went ahead and tried to improve it. I’m still not entirely happy with the results yet, but I think it’s a fairly big improvement. There is now a rear wall behind the pilot, the canopy is more conventionally situated and provides actual protection for the pilot, there are actual control surfaces instead of a blank tile, and I think it just looks a bit better.
The mechanical linkage between the left upper track hub and the gatling gun is unfortunately still visible in the new design, but not nearly as much as it was in the original.
The thing I am least happy with currently is that the movement opening the canopy is fairly stiff and can only really be done by using the small clip to the right. Originally I had used two 1×2 free-spinning axle blocks but moved to fixed axle blocks when the canopy would flop open simply by looking at it. The fixed axle blocks mean that the rotation is happening in the pins used at the ends of the axles and aren’t really designed to turn easily. Ideally I want to put a control on the body opposite the turret spin control that will open and close the canopy. I’m going to have to rework the motion on that front axle before that will be really possible though.
Next step is to fill the gaping cavity behind the cockpit. The initial idea is to use the V6 motor parts from the LEGO Technic 8421 Mobile Crane that I got a few years ago but I will have to see how well it fits the space.