I've been developing the A200 series Mobile Command Center design for longer than I'd care to admit these days, and I can't help but wonder if I haven't finally taken it as far as I can with the A210. Standing at well over 3 feet tall (nearly 4 if you count the weapons on the roof), the A210 finally has everything I've ever considered putting into a mobile fortress, from a two story rec room to a main concourse and even two shuttle bays! I am finally and completely out of ideas when it comes to improving upon the A200 series design. Inevitably, there will be an A210-R which will incorporate minor tweaks and adjustments to the design, but, for the first time, I honestly wonder if there will be a full redesign after this one. I also wonder how the heck I'm ever going to get this mammoth off of my work table.
This is an extension of the previous A209 Mobile Command Fortress which, in turn, was an extension of two other mobile command fortresses before it. I have not made any significant changes to the first two levels since the A209. However, levels 3 and 4 have been changed significantly, and levels 5 and 6 are almost entirely new.
The A210 Mobile Command Fortress is a six level fortress on wheels for any standard 3.75" action figure. If you're familiar with previous A200 designs, this one is unique both because it is the tallest (more than half a foot taller than the previous model) and because it expands out to the sides at the top. The sixth level hangar bays required more space, and I thought the expansion added more character to the overall look of the fortress, as well.
The interior from a distance.
A swinging door serves as the main entrance to the A210. Since the fortress is equipped with both a transporter system and two hangar bays, the main entrance is rarely used, but it is essential in the event of a systems failure or other emergency.
Level 1, The Command Level.
Included are a Captain's chair, a helm and tactical operations station, two systems operations stations, a fuel chamber, a transporter relay pad, and a main viewing screen.
A closer look.
Reverse angle of the captain's chair and accompanying work stations.
Left rear science station.
Right rear science station.
The Transporter pad. This is actually a relay pad for the central transporter core, located on the sixth level. Anyone transporting on and off this pad is first routed to the transporter core before arriving on or departing off of the Command Level pad. Though the relay pad is not sophisticated enough to do any transporting on its own, it provides instant and reliable transporter access via the sixth level transporter core.
From a practical standpoint, it also conceals an additional set of support wheels beneath it. There are also additional support wheels beneath the captain's chair and the fuel chamber toward the rear of the level in order to keep the enormous ground floor from sagging in the middle.
The A210 is fitted with two turbolifts, one at each of the front corners of the fortress. They run all the way from the Command Level to the roof. In reality, they are simply empty shafts. I have developed quite a few elevators for fortresses over the years, but none were sleek and user-friendly enough to suit the technology level of this fortress.
Level 2: Engineering
The oldest part of the entire fortress, the Engineering Level has not changed since the A209, where it was tweaked in the most minor of ways from the A208 design, in which the main engine was moved and the colors were changed from the original A207 design. I honestly feel like I hit it right with this level on the first try, and so it's the only portion of the fortress that still retains a strong resemblance to the original A200 series mobile fortress.
Our officer disembarks from the turbolift on this level.
He checks in on the engineering crew's personal quarters.
Level 2, left wing
The Engineering crew personal quarters, complete with swivel chair, entertainment table (perhaps with a computer or video game system built into it), and three bed spaces that are extra wide in order to double as storage areas when needed.
Right now, only one bed is being used which allows for the upper bunk to store ship supplies and the open space on the floor below to be used to store foot lockers for the crew's personal belongings.
Level 2, right wing
Identical quarters for Command Level crew.
Level 3: Medical Bay / Research Facility
This is where crew members can be treated for injuries and illnesses, as well as receive regular physicals. Of course, the most alluring aspect of this space, though, is the potential for performing deranged medical experiments on human subjects. The chamber at the center of this level can be used to diagnose, treat, and/or torture patients. The choice is yours.
While the previous incarnation of the A200 series fortress also had a Medical Bay / Research Facility on this level, the design has been wholly revamped for the A210.
The new experimental chamber opens, and our unwilling subject enters.
I hope he cleared this procedure with his insurance provider.
Level 3, left wing
The Detention Facility. This space can comfortably accommodate two prisoners and, if necessary, can uncomfortably hold a few more. Its proximity to the Medical Bay makes it ideal for holding unwilling test subjects.
Our officer survived the experiment and is well enough to pay a visit to his detainees. The electric rods blocking the prisoner's escape are fully retractable.
Level 3, right wing
One of the more memorable contributions this design makes to the A200 series is its new Captain's Quarters. I've been including one since the original A207, but it never looked like much until now. The new L-shaped desk really sets the tone for this room.
For the first time ever, I've managed to give the captain both a desk AND a bed. Now that's living!
Fourth floor, left wing
The mess hall and, when necessary, the conference room. I first introduced a conference room in the A208. It was a great design, but it wasn't quite working. I gave it more space and had it double as a mess hall in the A209, found a way to move the chairs out from the table a bit more in the A209-R, and now I've raised the ceiling to give it a more spacious mess hall feeling in the A210. While this doesn't seem like it would make a huge difference, the feeling was far more tight, cramped, and generally unpleasant prior to making this tweak.
Level 5, Concourse
The social hub of the A210, the Concourse is a level and a half of off-duty recreational areas for stir-crazy crew members on long missions. The heart of it (5th floor center) is just a path connecting these areas together, as well as providing the only means to get from one side of the fortress to another via turbolift. Before there was a Concourse, other designs required personnel to move from turbolift to turbolift in the heart of engineering.
A closer look.
Fourth and Fifth floors, right wing
Main Storage Area / Recreation Deck. This space is used to transport cargo and, if necessary, people for a short term. Ultimately, most items that are not being used can simply be dematerialized and stored in the transporter core for later materialization. As a result, this space doesn't get used for storage all that often. Instead, it doubles as a Recreation deck where crew members can stretch their legs and get some exercise when the space isn't otherwise needed.
Fifth floor, left wing
The White Room, a space set aside for crew remembers to relax and unload stress with soothing music and holographic images.
Level 6, Transporter Core
The core of the A210's transporter system is housed here, along with various interfaces and diagnostic tools designed to give the crew more control over the finer aspects of the system. All teleportation done onto and off of the Command Level transporter pad is routed through the transporter core. Fortress matter replication systems also route from here.
Even when no one is transporting or using a replicator, the transporter core performs a variety of automated tasks, including scanning the adjacent area for matter containing useful elements and molecules, dematerializing them, breaking down the elements, storing useful elements and molecules for later replication (this conserves valuable replication energy), and then breaking the remainder down into energy in order to supplement the A210's fuel supply.
Level 6, left and right wings: Hangar Bays
Perhaps the biggest new addition in the A210 is two Hangar Bays where Cuyahoga class interceptors are stored. In previous A200 series designs, small aircraft were initially kept on the Command Level and later moved to the roof. Now, they finally have a proper place where they are safe from outside attacks and also out of the way from the daily operations of the fortress.
A view of the left hangar bay from outside.
The hangar door opens. If you are familiar with building Construx, then you can imagine that this was actually incredibly difficult to design. It took a lot of experimenting to get the door to swing in tightly without sticking.
The fortress with both hangar doors open.
The empty hangar. The neon floor panel is an energy contact plate that recharges the interceptors' fuel cells while they are stored in the hangar.
The roof level, complete with anti-aircraft lasers and barrage cannons, both positioned on a multi-pivot point system, providing 360 degree horizontal mobility and approximately 90 degrees vertical. Most importantly, the roof can be used to land larger aircraft that cannot fit in the hangar bays (requires vertical take-off capability).
An access hatch opens, and an engineer comes up from the right turbolift shaft.
Modification: Revamped Medical Bay (July 2010)
I've changed the medical bay once more and feel that I've finally got it right. It maintains functionality while having a lot more open space than the previous designs. I'm also rather fond of the new scanner/mutation chamber.
Our patient is placed on the operating table, awaiting major surgery.
But, once that protective shield is lowered, it's anyone's guess what goes on inside.
Should he have been concerned that the control stations were located safely away on an entirely different floor?
This new layout was actually inspired by the Star Trek: Next Generation shuttle bay. For roughly twenty minutes, I had the idea that I could convert this layer into a working shuttle bay (with control stations above and to the sides, safely away from landing shuttles and plasma exhaust). When that didn't work, I decided that I liked the setup as a new medical station.
History of the A200 Series Mobile Command Fortress