MSL Curiosity Rover

 

Another design by Stephen Pakbaz (Perijove), from Rebrickable.

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Rey’s speeder (part 6)

Rey’s speeder (part 6)

New Year’s weekend I went ahead and built my version of Rey’s speeder, except I was missing a couple of parts, so it sat not-quite-complete for a few days. But the parts have now arrived and here it is.img_1909 img_1915

For those tuning in late, this looks a lot like the official LEGO set, and indeed significant chunks of it are carried over (mostly) unaltered from that — the front end, top surface, control panel, and lower engine specifically. But in fact, although my original intention was just to tweak the set to bring it better in line with the movie version, I ended up largely redesigning it. The bottom, side panels, interior structure, upper engine, and seat/fin mount are completely redone. The body is one unit longer than before, to bring it closer to scale. The front grille is black. The uncanonical stud shooters are replaced by something more like the movie version’s “directional steering exhaust nozzles”. I reused some of the kit’s stickers, but not the bright orange ones on the body; instead I did brick-built dark orange stripes. The sides don’t bulge out as far, and don’t hinge. A net full of “junk” replaces the kit’s clip-on tools. And of course the whole thing hovers is propped up above the desert sand.img_1910

There are no studs on the seat to keep a minifig Rey in place, but that’s because, at approximately 1/19 scale, this thing is just too large for minifig Rey. Her staff, clipped above the net, is lengthened to something more like correct scale, but lengthening Rey is more problematic. She can pose in the foreground of a photograph, but that’s about it. Sorry, Rey!img_1916

 

Rey’s speeder (part 5)

Rey’s speeder (part 5)

So much for a few design tweaks.

Here’s what I have so far for a 1/19 (4 studs wide) speeder. 4-wide 4-wide-2 4-wide-3The top and front of the body, the bottom engine, and the controls are largely unchanged from the kit. The interior, bottom, and sides of the body, the top engine, and the saddle mounting are all completely different. The body’s one stud longer than the original, to get it closer to scale length. I did reuse the 4×4 wedge panel on the sides, which do not hinge. There are no provisions at all for opening up the body — there wasn’t really room inside for even the suggestion of engines to look at.

There’s a couple of holders where a net can be attached to the left side (but not in LDD), and they can be used to clip Rey’s staff to the speeder too — a staff which also got redesigned, since the minifig scale staff was too small for this model.

I did change the front grille to black (not that all the colors here are what I would use in a physical build). No oval rim though. The stud shooters have reverted to “directional steering exhaust nozzles”, executed similarly, I think, to Andrew Becraft’s model.

If I know me I’ll probably fiddle with this a bit more, but unless I find a serious fundamental flaw, which is entirely possible, I don’t think I’ll make any major changes. As for building it, well, not very soon, but maybe after Christmas I will.

Rey’s speeder (part 4)

Rey’s speeder (part 4)

I spent a ridiculous amount of time in LDD yesterday. Because I am an adult.

I worked out that a scale of about 1/25, basically the largest you can go with proper scaling and still claim minifig scale, corresponds to a body width for the speeder of 3 studs. No one in their right mind would design a 3 stud wide speeder, though.

And yet here we are.

3-wide 3-wide-2 3-wide-3I tried in several places to carry over stuff from the LEGO kit design only to find reasons why it wouldn’t work well, so this ended up being basically 100% new design. It came out looking better than I was expecting; I’m not sure how well the build would work mechanically, though. (I have a suspicion the whole nose would be likely to fall off if you looked at it funny.) I’m pleased with the brick built orange stripes, which add a lot to the otherwise slablike body. There’s no net, or provisions for anchoring a net, but that’d be easy.

But I don’t think I’ll be building this.

It was educational, trying to work within a 3 stud width. My feeling, though, is that a modified version of the LEGO kit would look considerably better, with nicer details, even though at 1/19 it’s really too big for minifig scale.

Then there’s 2 stud width, 1/37, firmly within and not at the edges of minifig scale range. That’d really look like a bare, square slab, though. Unless I… NO. I AM NOT GOING THERE. Today.

 

Rey’s speeder (part 3)

I hadn’t realized until I overlaid the LEGO model on a schematic of the “real” speeder how out of whack the scale is:speeder-compareAdjusting to make the heights the same, and disregarding the spurious stud shooter pods, the engines on the LEGO kit are too fat but not by a lot, and the bottom one’s too low but not by a lot, and there’s not much one can do about either. The body width side to side is too large, but mainly on the wedge shaped plates that form the front halves of the side panels; they form the widest part of the body, whereas they really should be recessed a little. Otherwise the body could stand to be a stud narrower, maybe, but that would really make for a design mess. Or of course the other dimensions could be increased a little, but it’s already near the limits of minifig scale.

The real problem is the body length. Much too short.

In the kit the stabilizing fins (which, trust a model rocketeer on this, would not do much of anything to stabilize this thing) are too far from the engines. Oh, by the way, you can’t see the fins on the LEGO drawing because I imported the LDD file into BrickSmith to get these straight-on side, front, and top views (LDD seems to allow only perspective views), and the LDraw database doesn’t include that part. But you can see the brackets they clip into, and they themselves are beyond where the fins in the schematic are.

One other amusing discrepancy is the saddle, which is too far back. Presumably the reason for this is that the Rey minifig can’t sit on the smooth-surfaced saddle, so instead it goes on the (lengthened) studded surface in front of it. I am not sure what to do about that: having the minifig ride the speeder is problematic in all sorts of ways, but giving that up seems wrong.

The bottom engine can stay as it is, except to get rid of the spurious blue stud. The top one, well, there isn’t an engine really, just a nozzle at the back. Can that be improved? And in the process bring the fins in at least a little?

As for the body, it certainly needs lengthening, which means the side panels need re-designing and maybe correcting their height profile is possible.

… and if the body is lengthened then the argument that the size is within minifig scale limits gets a little less defensible. Sigh.

Wait, when did this little toy turn into such an involved project? I was just going to tweak the kit a little…

 

 

Rey’s speeder (part 2)

Rey’s speeder (part 2)

 

Prior experience with LEGO Digital Designer led me to expect significant trouble with trying to build the speeder digitally. In fact there were very few problems — some pieces (notably the fins) unavailable in the right colors, and some (notably the stud shooters) unavailable at all. So I made a few substitutions. I left off the tools hanging off the side and the stuff stowed inside, and the minifigs of course. I mounted the whole thing on a stand to elevate it. Ta daa. Now I can work on digital mods.speederspeeder2