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Annihilator


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#1 CP5670

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:30 PM

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(click the picture for the full gallery)

This model is several years old and was my first "major" MOC project. The concept was loosely inspired by the M270 MLRS, although the final model doesn't have much in common with it. I rebuilt it last year and cleaned up the design a bit. Hinckley had suggested to me a while ago that it would be good to create EB threads on any older MOCs, so here it is. :classic:

Here are some quick facts and an overview of the functions, copied from the info file there:

Quote

Annihilator V2.0
Build time: about 20 months, 2002-2003 and updated in February 2007
Sets used: primarily 8456, 8480, 8868 and 8880
Pieces: roughly 2200

A rocket launcher, not really based on any actual one. It has these functions:

Steering, controlled by standard hand of god light
Front stabilizers, controlled by right side polarity and transmission switches
Rear stabilizers, controlled by right side polarity and transmission switches
Launcher tilt up/down, controlled by left side polarity switch with setting 1
Launch platform forward/backward, controlled by left side polarity switch with setting 2
Launcher rotate left/right, controlled by left side polarity switch with setting 3
Rocket "exhaust" (fiber optic lights), controlled by left side polarity switch with setting 4
Rocket launch, controlled by four tabs on the top, fires in sets of two
V12 engine, connected to four rear wheels
Front flips open to allow access to crew cab

Edited by CP5670, 20 September 2011 - 11:40 PM.


#2 Holy Diver

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:33 PM

It certainly lives up to its name.  :thumbup:

#3 CP5670

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:42 PM

(continued from a discussion in the Technicopedia thread)

Blakbird said:

The model is rendering right now. I'll send you a PM when it is complete. Looks great so far.

I got all of the mechanisms to work, so that is not a problem. There was one entire worm gear and axle missing from the ldraw file but once I figured that out I added it and everything works fine. I made a number of other corrections where things were just not in the right holes to get everything to line up. The only remaining discrepancies concern some of the structural changes you mentioned. I can see in your pictures that there are a few differences, but I can't tell for sure how to correct them. If you like, I can send you my updated ldraw file and you can start your update from that.

Thanks, that could be very useful. It may be a while before I get around to it though. I will need to examine each step carefully and compare it with the actual model. I made a large number of adjustments everywhere that were mostly very minor, but they added up in the end.

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I got the flex tubes in with Lsynth just fine. I also added all of the fiber optics which looked great, but Lsynth uses a HUGE number of primitives for fiber, so the ldraw file was over 40 Mb. Even with 4Gb of RAM, it would not render. So I went back and used pneumatic tubing instead and then just modified the diameter so it looks like fiber. Worked great and now the model is only 1 Mb.

As far as the ring segments looking like disconnected bits, I have found that this is a function of seam width. For example, in LDView you can have it draw a seam between parts (which I usually do) but this makes the hoses look disconnected. Turn off this feature and they look fine.

Those must be some seriously detailed fiber optic cables. :tongue: I will try turning that off and see if it helps.

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In terms of "instructions", there are a couple of steps in the model that cannot be performed in the order shown, but it was no big deal to work around it.

Yes, I realized that too during the upgrade since I was rebuilding parts of the model from the instructions. They resemble 8865's dense instructions and should probably contain about twice as many steps as they do. :tongue:

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One remaining question I have concerns the front "grille" made from axles and liftarms. It is only attached to the frame at the bottom, so the whole thing pivots down and just falls open a lot of the time. Is it supposed to be attached somewhere at the top? Finally, I can't figure out where you routed the wire for the fiber optics. I got them to work fine, but the wire does not seem to fit underneath the carriage like you seem to have it routed in the photo.

Thanks for the help.

The front should be held up by two of these, which are anchored on the inside by half-bushes. These parts look deceptively like bushes in many of the pictures.

It is worth noting that I used the type I half-bushes (pre-1994) in this place and a few other spots around the model. I don't remember if I distinguished between them in the ldraw file. These had much more gripping power than the later ones.

As for the wire, if you're talking about how it passes through here, there should be a two plate gap between the bottom of the platform and the stuff beneath it. It is also held in place by an arch brick in the back, and the plate under the arch should just clear the worm gear beneath it. This prevents it from clogging the other gears near the worm.

#4 Blakbird

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:22 PM

I've just completed this model and I can say that it is a work of art both aesthetically and technically.   :thumbup:   I own every Technic set made, and I think this beats all of them.  The sheer number of technical functions packed within it is amazing.  It uses parts which span decades going back to original bushes, axles, and beams, and all the way to the present with liftarms.  I think every kind of gear ever made by Lego is represented here (not counting Samsonite).  There are the old 8, 16, 24 and 40 tooth spurs.  The 24 tooth crown.  The old 14 tooth bevels and the newer 12 tooth bevels.  Both the old and new differentials (but not the brand new one).  Worm gears and rack gears.  The newer 12 and 20 tooth double bevel gears.  The 24 tooth clutch gear and the 16 tooth transmission gear.  It even has the obscure 20 tooth bevel gear!  In all I count 125 gears in this model which is many more than you find in any release from Lego.   It also has both generations of 9V motor, fiber optics, and a 12 cylinder engine.  Honestly, I can't imagine how you could pack any more into it.  It weighs a ton.

CP5670, if this was your first MOC then you are a talented individual indeed.  Thanks for sharing.  My kids love this thing!  They are eager to put an eye out as soon as possible. :tongue:

Regardling the Ldraw model, I'll be sending it to you via PM shortly.  Here is a brief list of the changes which I remember making to it:
  • Updated all unofficial parts to newest versions.
  • Added LSynth flexible hoses and fiber optics cables.
  • Added missing worm gear axle right next to rear motor to drive the clutch gear for the translating launcher.  (I have no way of knowing if this is the way you did it, but this function doesn't work without it.)
  • Moved 40 tooth gears for launcher lift back one hole (needed to engage mating pinions)
  • Changed length of 4 axles which are used as pushrods to lift the launcher from 4 to 3.  Launcher would not completely lower with length 4, and length 3 is what seems to be in your photos.
  • Reversed the direction of the perpendicular axle joiners at the front of the flex hoses to make them line up properly.
  • Changed wheels from white to gray to better match the vehicle.
  • Changed all transparent neon green parts to transparent yellow.  Note that the slope 45 2x2 does not actually exist in trans yellow.
  • Changed pistons from dark gray to yellow.
  • Changed most dark gray liftarms to light gray.
  • Changed blue steering parts to black.
  • Changed tire color to 256 (rubber).
  • Changed seats from red to yellow.
  • Changed blue marker lights to yellow.
  • Moved all outriggers up 1L.  The way the 4x2 liftarms were located in the model it was impossible for them to deploy.  They now match the photos.
  • Changed the transmission driving rings to red (these are a lot easier to buy these days).
  • Changed the position on several parts of the canopy opening axle to match the photos.
  • Changed the location of some of the rear bumper parts to match the photos.
  • Changed the tips of the competition arrows to rubber.
  • Added a few pieces inside the front wheel wells to make them look a bit more "rounded".

Whew!  I think that's it.  Obviously, this is your MOC so you are free to reverse or modify anything I have changed.

One thing still missing in the model is the electrical wiring.  It took me a fair bit of time to decipher it, and I think I did some things differently than you.  For example, I don't run the fiber optic wire all the way up to the front.  I just put it on top of the rear motor which means the lights are on whenever the rear motor is running.  If I had thought of it earlier, I might have been able to snake it through the inside of the platform.

Thanks for sharing this great model.

By the way, I've finally finished my render.  So far, this is my magnum opus.
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Edited by Blakbird, 24 March 2009 - 06:06 PM.

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#5 CP5670

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 10:35 PM

Quote

I've just completed this model and I can say that it is a work of art both aesthetically and technically. I own every Technic set made, and I think this beats all of them. The sheer number of technical functions packed within it is amazing. It uses parts which span decades going back to original bushes, axles, and beams, and all the way to the present with liftarms. I think every kind of gear ever made by Lego is represented here (not counting Samsonite). There are the old 8, 16, 24 and 40 tooth spurs. The 24 tooth crown. The old 14 tooth bevels and the newer 12 tooth bevels. Both the old and new differentials (but not the brand new one). Worm gears and rack gears. The newer 12 and 20 tooth double bevel gears. The 24 tooth clutch gear and the 16 tooth transmission gear. It even has the obscure 20 tooth bevel gear! In all I count 125 gears in this model which is many more than you find in any release from Lego. It also has both generations of 9V motor, fiber optics, and a 12 cylinder engine. Honestly, I can't imagine how you could pack any more into it. It weighs a ton.

CP5670, if this was your first MOC then you are a talented individual indeed. Thanks for sharing. My kids love this thing! They are eager to put an eye out as soon as possible.

Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying your copy. :classic: I tried to include everything I could think of that would be reasonable for a vehicle of this size.

You can actually see the entire pile of gears in the last picture. (although it was taken during the upgrade and has many parts that are no longer used, like the blue stuff)

Your render is awesome and the background fits it very well. It just became my new desktop background, in fact. :classic: It might also be interesting to try adding in some sort of bloom or lens flare effect around the transparent parts, maybe just on the 2D image itself.

Quote

# Added missing worm gear axle right next to rear motor to drive the clutch gear for the translating launcher. (I have no way of knowing if this is the way you did it, but this function doesn't work without it.)
# Moved 40 tooth gears for launcher lift back one hole (needed to engage mating pinions)
# Changed length of 4 axles which are used as pushrods to lift the launcher from 4 to 3. Launcher would not completely lower with length 4, and length 3 is what seems to be in your photos.

Yes, all of those changes are how it should be. I guess I messed up a few things in the ldraw file.

Quote

Changed wheels from white to gray to better match the vehicle.

I was also thinking that would look better. I used white ones since I don't have any of the earlier sets with the gray kind.

Some (non-Technic) sets in the last few years have also come with them in black, and I have been seeing them on Bricklink lately. They might work even better.

Quote

One thing still missing in the model is the electrical wiring. It took me a fair bit of time to decipher it, and I think I did some things differently than you. For example, I don't run the fiber optic wire all the way up to the front. I just put it on top of the rear motor which means the lights are on whenever the rear motor is running. If I had thought of it earlier, I might have been able to snake it through the inside of the platform.

That should work too. I did it the existing way mainly because I happened to have a longer wire available.

The wiring is generally similar to what is done on the 8480 Space Shuttle. The ldraw file contains comments next to some pieces that give additional information about them. I numbered the wire ends that way and roughly described how long the wire is (among the five or six standard lengths of 9V wires).

Note that the platform is fairly easy to remove by disconnecting two of these from their pins, if you need to adjust anything under it. I did this many times while I was building it.

Edited by CP5670, 19 December 2008 - 10:46 PM.


#6 Blakbird

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:32 AM

View PostCP5670, on Dec 19 2008, 02:35 PM, said:

Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying your copy. :classic: I tried to include everything I could think of that would be reasonable for a vehicle of this size.
It's hard to imagine any more features.  The only thing I could think of would be remote launching of the projectiles, but that's minor.

Quote

Your render is awesome and the background fits it very well. It just became my new desktop background, in fact. :classic: It might also be interesting to try adding in some sort of bloom or lens flare effect around the transparent parts, maybe just on the 2D image itself.
Since the image was supposed to be at night, I tried to stay away from lens effects.  I would like the lights to appear a bit more "illuminated", but my efforts to make this happen were thwarted.   I was quite happy with the yellow glow of all the other lights though.

Quote

I was also thinking that would look better. I used white ones since I don't have any of the earlier sets with the gray kind.
I've built mine with gray and it looks great.  The white just looks out of place because there is no other white on the model.

Quote

The wiring is generally similar to what is done on the 8480 Space Shuttle. The ldraw file contains comments next to some pieces that give additional information about them. I numbered the wire ends that way and roughly described how long the wire is (among the five or six standard lengths of 9V wires).
I saw the comment fields in the file about the wires, but the opposite ends' numbers didn't always seem to match.  And surfing for wires to buy on Bricklink I found that there were far more lengths than I remembered.  Something like 12.

Quote

Note that the platform is fairly easy to remove by disconnecting two of these from their pins, if you need to adjust anything under it. I did this many times while I was building it.
Yep, I've removed it that way.
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Technicopedia

#7 CP5670

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:18 PM

Quote

It's hard to imagine any more features. The only thing I could think of would be remote launching of the projectiles, but that's minor.

This is actually something I wanted to do originally, by using flex cables to connect the switches to the fiber optic geartrain so that it would slowly launch them while the lights were running. I ended up dropping the idea after a few attempts though. There wasn't enough room for the gear down mechanism without making the launcher look very bulky, and it was frequently making the motor stall too. It would probably have been doable if the model was a bit larger and used the large RC buggy motor (which I didn't have at the time) instead of the gray gear motor.

Quote

And surfing for wires to buy on Bricklink I found that there were far more lengths than I remembered. Something like 12.

I wonder what sets the others came from. I believe I have only six types in my collection, but there are several of each kind.

#8 Blakbird

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:42 PM

View PostCP5670, on Dec 20 2008, 11:18 AM, said:

I wonder what sets the others came from. I believe I have only six types in my collection, but there are several of each kind.

There are a couple of really long wires in 8094 and 8285, and the Power Puller has a long wire as well.
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#9 CP5670

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 01:51 AM

View PostBlakbird, on Dec 20 2008, 03:42 PM, said:

There are a couple of really long wires in 8094 and 8285, and the Power Puller has a long wire as well.

From looking over several sets on Peeron, I have wires of lengths 9cm, 13cm, 26cm, 34cm, 52cm and 128cm. I think you're referring to the last kind, which is generally only used for connecting models to an external power source.

That seems to cover everything I can find on there, aside from a few that are off by 1cm here and there.

#10 zero1312

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 12:36 AM

Absolutely stunning piece of machinery. I don't know if I can ever do this myself. :sceptic:
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