Home One - Mon Calamari Star Cruiser . Admiral Ackbar's Command Cruiser from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. . Intro
The popular thing to do with large creations nowadays are these “construction journal entries.” Personally, I like surprises… shock and awe! Nothing more surprising then to unveil a 7-foot light-up Home One in Imperial Star Destroyer scale.
For ages, well since episode VI came out, the rebel command ship was deemed by many, well, me, as the Impossible Ship. A ship with no right angles, no straight lines, just curves, bubbles, and obscure cylinders. Certainly such a ship could never be built out of Lego pieces and look good. But that day (conditional on the fact that people actually think it looks good) has arrived!
Now people always complain I don’t write enough about my creations, so here’s a book:
As far back as summer 2007, I was contemplating building it. In April of 2008, while waiting an eon for pieces for my star destroyer to arrive via Bricklink, I started the design on computer. Below is a detailed account of the 11-month project.
To get the shape of the hull I initially considered laying down huge cross-sections of Lego plates on top of each other. The curves would look like the one’s found on most Lego creations that have an irregular shape, such as spheres, animals, people etc. But this looked too blocky. Next, I considered building the ship in a more traditional style, using roof pieces to emulate the curves of the hull, but there was nowhere to put windows. Next, I thought of laying down sequential plates, facing outward to create the curvature of the hull, like Lego’s official Death Star. Even though the curves looked good, the windows would have to be placed the wrong way - their tops facing out. Finally, I decided to make a wall with yellow tiles for windows, but with hinge bricks every so often so the wall can bend into a C-shape. This also meant no studs would show creating a smoother look and saving me a few thousand dollars on flat tiles.
One of the most difficult challenges was designing the wings on the side. I decided to continue the gradual step pattern of each C-shape hull segment from the front of the ship all the way to the back, until the engines got in the way. I then “shaved off” the hull segments near the middle to create a “bubble” effect for the wings. When I realized that the right wing needed another bubble sticking out of it (where the main hanger was), I almost decided to quit and go design a box. But with 10 different design attempts and clicking the undo button 10,000 times, I was able to come up with something that looked decent.
Another difficult challenge was adding the two long bubbles that pop out of the sides of the upper hull near the front. These bubbles had to stretch across 4 different upper hull segments, meaning it would have to be separated into 4 distinct shapes. Even though I suffered a mental breakdown, I was able to successfully add on the bubbles with the help of some stud-less slope pieces for smoothness.
The hardest part of the ship was the rear. I had to find a way to create a cone shape with slots carved out of it for the engines to fit in. If I was ever ready to quit, it was just about now. Fiddling with it for 100’s of hours, and by a sheer act of God, I was somehow able to fit everything neatly into place.
Construction of the frame and bottom ran smoothly at first. The biggest hurdle was when joining the curved segments to the support structure running down the center of the ship. Turns out that on computer, when it comes to joining irregular segments, Lego design programs are very “liberal.” Meaning that even if some bricks don’t interlock exactly, it will let you connect them if you get close enough. In real life, however, this can cause a problem. I noticed that the smooth transition between the different hull segments wasn’t so smooth. Each hull segment was 1-2 mm too close or too far from the central support structure. But the thinnest Lego plate is thicker then this, so I couldn’t just add/remove a plate to/from the support bar. I spent at least 100 hrs of construction time using Lego tricks to make the support bars shorter or longer by ½ a plate thickness. Finally, before adding the top hull panels, I ran a chain of LED lights through the core of the ship for a cool light-up effect.
The entire design and construction of this ship was a never-ending headache. I found myself saying, “This is never going to work” every day for 11 months. With it finally finished, I now find myself saying, “How the hell did this work?” After designing and building a star destroyer which has no curves last year, then designing and building this dolphin, I can safely say that star destroyers are EASY!!!!
Since this ship literally broke my bank (damn NSF charges), I’ll have to hope either Obama finds me a new job or sell it on Ebay. Thanks for all the people who supported my work through the years and all those who follow my creations. And thanks for all those invitations to join groups on Mocpages.
See you later and remember; nothing’s impossible!
- Me (Since I did all the work using my own money).
- More precisely… I’d like to thank all those who were directly or indirectly responsible for this creation taking place; in chronological order, they are:
God, George Lucas, model team at ILM, my family, Sean Kenney, Lasse Deleuran, Erik Varzegi, Kerim Ozcan.
- Piece Count: 30,500
- Length: 260 Studs or 208 cm or 6’10” (82 inches)
- Width: 48 cm (Max)
- Height: 28 cm (Max)
- Weight: 52 lbs (Approximate)
- Material Cost: $5500 US.
Check out two pages of additional pics in my Brickshelf folder.
EDIT: To raise funds for my Executor, you can now buy the digital design of Home One here for $10.