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[MOC] Cloud City (rebuilt)

cloud city lando bespin carbonite chamber

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#1 darththeling

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:31 AM

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Hello again, Eurobricks members,
There were a few different incarnations of Cloud City that I've been messing around with for the past few years. I have a lot of OT Lego but I'm often surprised at the lack of sets aimed at screen time in the original trilogy. I believe Cloud City, Yavin IV and Degobah are underrepresented in TLG's catalog of sets. Luckily, LEGO is a construction toy and making a set exactly the way you want it is a matter of motivation (obsession).

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I've lost count but I believe this is the 8th version of this model... another thread here contains my 2nd attempt: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=59737
Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the old model.

Cloud City... it's an obession for me to find the 'right' way to do it in Lego.

I was very critical of TLG's 10123 design I found myself returning to the strip-mall style of it... where the exterior of Cloud City is expressed on one side of each modular piece and the other side contains the room and play area. But after ripping apart and rebuilding from scratch a half dozen times I then tried to make a more custom version of 10123 but with more adaptability in the re-arranging of rooms. I've come up with something that has many different combinations of play/display.

There is no basic "default" state for the arrangement yet.

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Here's this model in it's entirety so far (above). The carbonite chamber is the heart of Cloud City and the source of its income and prosperity for collecting and manufacturing the tibanna gas from Bespin. My Besgas 3 platform from the other models had been revamped and improved with some half-rounded pieces. There's no place for figs to stand but it seemed an important "feel" to Cloud City to have at least one.

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So the carbonite chamber doesn't have a lowering/raising mechanism included, however for the sake of expansion I did leave a sizable hole in the floor... eventually I'll engineer some kind of crank that raises/lowers a HanSoloSickle.

One very difficult aspect of Cloud City are all the lighting effects that are not easily registered in Lego but remain inportant when re-creating key scenes... within the chamber itself it's good to have some blue in the background. My solution so far was to include some transparent pieces on the backside of the carbon freezing chamber to give it the blue feeling like in those dueling scenes (see below).

Another problem altogether is the orange glow of Cloud City when the heros are arriving/escaping at sunset... but I dash of orange pieces here and there fix that. I'm satisfied with the mini Cloud Cars over full size ones, they add that important hint of orange.


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I did add a light brick here because I feel the carbonite chamber is such an important location and the heavy light there really adds to the mood of the room. You can move the light brick down and out of the way for dueling play... and of course the top comes off completely to access the chamber unimpeded. Jabba's Palace 9516 gave me the idea about having one big rounded corner "main" area that all of the other areas could connect to... and I took the idea of the removable top and stuck it in there as well.

The result is a very playable carbonite chamber complete with pipes and tubing for Luke to hang from and an all-too-easy lever. The top 'hat' piece slides off easy for duels in the chamber.

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There's also the extension platform where the duel ends. It can easily hang over a tabletop for some handless Luke diving. "Come with me. It is the only way."

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There are three other "main" areas, two hallway areas left and right which lead to East and West platforms and a back area with the dining room, hotel suite and all the utility rooms from the film. I squeezed as much as I could into each scene without going crazy on the piece count. Which is something I think TLG tries to do with big playsets. But I fully realize that to pull off the sleek, 70s feel of Cloud City I'll need a lot more smooth white tiles.

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The hallways are small and bare but do the job of allowing characters to sneak around Cloud City trying to avoid detection. One of these hallways feature a large decorative sculpture. The two angled areas contain a guard rail (love this piece, have to get another) and a table with chairs. I haven't completed the decals yet but these smooth 1x2 pieces on the table will eventually become Sabbac cards.

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I tried to build a casino into Cloud City many times but it's lack of appearance on-screen in the movies confuses the overall 'look' of being identifiable.  I feel that gambling is a big part of the Cloud City experience, although not seen in ESB.

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The hatch (below) was used in many attempts to get the scene where Luke escapes from the underside of Cloud City back to the Falcon. But doing it underneath Cloud City and making it accessible is nearly impossible... although I'm sure Stoutfiles' full scale globe-shaped Cloud City could pull it off!!

We've got two holding cells on the top. The left is the prison that Leia, Chewie, Han and C3P0 are taken to after their "dinner" with Vader. Chewie is trying to fix C3P0. No one in the dining area at the moment. When there are, I'm sure they'd be honored if you would join them. There's the garbage room with a cute reference with the 'recycling' sign that will be replaced once I find another white thin wall piece. ;)


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Ow!! That thing hurts. "They never even asked me anything..."

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The window of the dining area needs a sticker to from a circular window.

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The Ugnots (sp?) need work. The faces work I think but they need blue jackets and caps. Having a rim around the garbage room allows for lots of fun bits to be laid in there... somewhat like the Death Star 10188's does.

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I have no idea how TLG will figure this out (if they ever revisit Cloud City).

Also some little spikes on the top of the Cloud City dome (above the carbonite chamber) could use more detail.
Thoughts, suggestions? Were this to develop more I plan to make 4 Lego boxes to show off the units individually; I'd love to see this as a playset for about $160 total but broken into $40 pieces that can be collected x4: The Carbonite Chamber, The East Platform, The West Platform and the Hospitality District.

Until TLG makes an official follow up to their old set, this will tide me over. I think Cloud City is a fantastic challenge. It has a very recognizable outer shape and for a long time I was hung on making that shape look right as well as the inside. But now I feel that as long as the play areas are correct this 'city' playset will do the trick.

Thanks for reading and please share your criticisms and observations.
darththeling

Edited by darththeling, 01 December 2012 - 10:46 PM.


#2 J.V.D.

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

Nice concept darththeling. I like the idea of making your own version of an official Lego set, especially if its an iconic one like the Cloud City.
There is only one thing I am realy missing here: the room with the window that gives access to the central shaft. I dont think a Cloud City can do without. Afterall one of the key scenes take place there: Luke battling Vader and (a bit later) hearing the truth about his father..

Maybe it would be interesting to try to tile out (a part of) the floor of the white areas. I think it would contribute a lot in capturing the sleek look these rooms have in the movie. Though it would of course limit the posing of the figures which is also an important aspect of a playset.

One could argue about the use of the planet sets twinpod, but I think it is the best solution. A minifig sized one would probably be to big to fit with the rest of the build, and in fact Lego did something similar with the deathstar playset. The TIE fighter there is "undersized" for the minifigs too, but it doesnt disturb at all..

Anyway, nice MOC, and I fully agree that there is a lack of scenery sets in the Lego SW line up.
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#3 North Lego Star

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:53 AM

Nice Cloud City darththeling! I like how the you were able to include all the rooms in this MOC and make them movie accurate. I think how your cloud city is in your final layout picture is the best layout design since it shows off all of the rooms very clearly. The only thing I would suggest changing is possibly making the Dinning Roon larger, putting the room with Boba and Lando under the interrogation room and putting the disintegration room under the prison cell, and if possible making the final duel area larger. Still, this is a great Cloud City MOC :thumbup:

Edited by North Lego Star, 27 November 2012 - 04:57 AM.


#4 Lobot

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

This is a very nice attempt darththeling, and an improvement on the earlier version, well done! :thumbup:

I tried to do a 'modular' version of Cloud City myself a while ago, but had to admit defeat due to my complete lack of talent.  I knew how I wanted it to look, but just couldn't build it!!  The only section that I was almost happy with was the Carbonite Chamber, which I illuminated with a load of LEDs (link here).

In terms of improvements I'd suggest a larger landing pad, plus the iconic Falcon, and to expand on the duelling walkway.  Stoutfiles did a version of Cloud City in LDD a while ago, and his 'backdrop' section of this was really (most!) impressive :vader:  (link here); perhaps you could take some inspiration from this?  Also, the main entrance in Lego's version is really nice....I modified mine by covering it with grills to add some detail (link here) Using tiles for the platform & landing pad also looked good.

Cheers, Robin

#5 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

Amazing MOC! :wub:
The carbonite's room looks fantastic with the light! :thumbup:
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#6 GandalfofHoth

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Great MOC! :thumbup:
My favorite rooms are the darker rooms, much better than the Lego version.

#7 darththeling

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

 J.V.D., on 26 November 2012 - 09:49 AM, said:

Nice concept darththeling. I like the idea of making your own version of an official Lego set, especially if its an iconic one like the Cloud City.
There is only one thing I am realy missing here: the room with the window that gives access to the central shaft. I dont think a Cloud City can do without. Afterall one of the key scenes take place there: Luke battling Vader and (a bit later) hearing the truth about his father..

Maybe it would be interesting to try to tile out (a part of) the floor of the white areas. I think it would contribute a lot in capturing the sleek look these rooms have in the movie. Though it would of course limit the posing of the figures which is also an important aspect of a playset.

Smooth white tiles! They are so unrerepresented in my brick reserves. At the moment I've ripped the floors apart and I'm trying to consolidate my smooth bits into a single walkway... that should do the trick until I find more smooth white tiles.

You are right about that dueling room. It's important to me that critical scenes from the film go in this model and I agree Cloud City cannot do without... so here's my solution. It attaches between the carbonite chamber and the dueling platform... and it has some action features for Vader's force hurling heavy objects at Luke.

Pipe one.

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Pipe two.

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And that big heavy thing. That looks like it hurt.

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The window piece pops off the two suds with very little effort. Unfortunately it falls straight onto the platform instead of off the side, but it's fine.

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The window breaks and Luke tumbles out onto the platform below.

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If you only knew the power of the dark side! It's fun.

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And here are the accessories. They connect to one stud and so are easy to dislodge for force-thorwing at Luke.

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 North Lego Star, on 27 November 2012 - 04:53 AM, said:

Nice Cloud City darththeling! I like how the you were able to include all the rooms in this MOC and make them movie accurate. I think how your cloud city is in your final layout picture is the best layout design since it shows off all of the rooms very clearly. The only thing I would suggest changing is possibly making the Dinning Roon larger, putting the room with Boba and Lando under the interrogation room and putting the disintegration room under the prison cell, and if possible making the final duel area larger. Still, this is a great Cloud City MOC :thumbup:

Thanks, Lego North Star! You may be right about the dining room being larger... I've started working on expanding it and I'll have new pics soon.

 Lobot, on 27 November 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

This is a very nice attempt darththeling, and an improvement on the earlier version, well done! :thumbup:

I tried to do a 'modular' version of Cloud City myself a while ago, but had to admit defeat due to my complete lack of talent.  I knew how I wanted it to look, but just couldn't build it!!  The only section that I was almost happy with was the Carbonite Chamber, which I illuminated with a load of LEDs (link here).

In terms of improvements I'd suggest a larger landing pad, plus the iconic Falcon, and to expand on the duelling walkway.  Stoutfiles did a version of Cloud City in LDD a while ago, and his 'backdrop' section of this was really (most!) impressive :vader:  (link here); perhaps you could take some inspiration from this?  Also, the main entrance in Lego's version is really nice....I modified mine by covering it with grills to add some detail (link here) Using tiles for the platform & landing pad also looked good.

Cheers, Robin

Thanks Robin, I appreciate your praise. I'm a fan of your work such as the Cloud City chamber and the pic from your avatar... both images I studied while building this model. The lighting effects are quite excellent! It would make an awesome poster image. The detail of the three pinchers that collect the slab of carbonite is really unique!
Stoutfiles' LLD attempt at a 10188-style is also a great work of Cloud City ingenuity... I certainly drew inspiration from that one!

I'm still not sure how best to approach the build of Cloud City's outer walls at all. At the moment I'm using a lot of white sloped walls that I'm not sure look right... but I'll need to take photos and upload them as I don't really have the outer side detailed above.

I've been admiring a couple of great builds I found on MOCpages, such as Jordan Sjodin's Cloud City Trap. I love the wall decor with the circles, that is very true to the design of Cloud City.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/299605

and I've also been enjoying Kaitan Tylerguy's hallway scene. Such an excellent capture of the Cloud City flavor.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/135890

 LEGO Train 12 Volts, on 27 November 2012 - 10:46 PM, said:

Amazing MOC! :wub:
The carbonite's room looks fantastic with the light! :thumbup:

 GandalfofHoth, on 28 November 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

Great MOC! :thumbup:
My favorite rooms are the darker rooms, much better than the Lego version.

Thanks, LEGO Train 12 Volts and GandalfofHoth. It means a lot to get positive feedback from a model that I've been tinkering with for so long.

Edited by darththeling, 01 December 2012 - 11:37 PM.


#8 Lobot

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

 darththeling, on 01 December 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:

*snip*
Thanks Robin, I appreciate your praise. I'm a fan of your work such as the Cloud City chamber and the pic from your avatar... both images I studied while building this model. The lighting effects are quite excellent! It would make an awesome poster image. The detail of the three pinchers that collect the slab of carbonite is really unique!
Stoutfiles' LLD attempt at a 10188-style is also a great work of Cloud City ingenuity... I certainly drew inspiration from that one!

I'm still not sure how best to approach the build of Cloud City's outer walls at all. At the moment I'm using a lot of white sloped walls that I'm not sure look right... but I'll need to take photos and upload them as I don't really have the outer side detailed above.

Thanks, it's great to meet someone with a similar obsession with Cloud City!! :laugh:  

I've got a load of screenshots that I took from the DVD of the landing platform, walls, duelling corridor & walkway if their any help? If you want them please PM me and I'll forward them onto you.  I can also send you the original photo of the carbonite chamber, which you're welcome to print if you want....it's 5.4mb so it should be fine at larger sizes!

I really like the new corridor & the improvements; my only suggestions would be to use a combination of tiles & grills for the floor & to add some more detail to the tower/instruments that Luke holds onto shortly after he has his hand lopped off; if you look at the film there's some really nice details.

Keep up the good work, you've almost inspired me to have another bash at this! :classic:





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