markhchan

[MOC] The apex of my 40 year journey to perfect the Lego T-65B X-Wing

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Could you please post a detailed picture of the open cargo bay?

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14 minutes ago, icm said:

Could you please post a detailed picture of the open cargo bay?

Yes, I'll have to set the model up for some more quality shots to get at it.  I also intend to disassemble it a bit to show you some of the infrastructure and constraints.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, icm said:

Could you please post a detailed picture of the open cargo bay?

Functional cargo bay with opening panel.  The area is big enough to fit Luke's Lego blaster, lightsaber hilt and 4L lightsaber bar, in a fully enclosed space - the contents won't move into other parts of the ship.

However, the opening isn't big enough to take them out by hand. you'd have to point the X-Wing nose down and shake them out with the help of gravity.  Thus the cargo area is more symbolic than functional.

This could be modified with more space and to make it more "playable" friendly, but at the expense of some structural integrity and exterior visual appeal.  

The two stud attachment in the center line of the ship is the underside starting point of a 1x12 Technic brick (extended on each side to another pair of technic bricks to make the area 4 wide). This 1x12 extends halfway up the length of the front fuselage for a stable, no-sag solid front section.

The visible technic brick in the upper middle (and lower right) picture is one of a pair of 1x12s that runs as a framework all the way to the rear of the fuselage, to give that section strength and stability.  It also forms the side walls of the cargo compartment. 

The join point between the rear fuselage technic bricks, and the front fuselage bricks forms the top of the cargo compartment. I actually overbuilt it in anticipation of structural strength issues - you can see the underside of several 1x2 jumper plates that I could have spanned with a 2x4 plate to further fuse the front center line technic 1x12 brick framework, with the rear pair 1x12 technic bricks framework.  It ended up being unnecessary, so I used it to further enhance my cargo area/opening.

40695801873_a8ab7defb2_k_d.jpg

 

 

Edited by markhchan

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Are you planning on doing a reverse build instruction or at least a few photos showing off how to build the internal structure or s foils. 

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On 4/19/2019 at 8:34 PM, markhchan said:

I humbly offer the following individual aspects of my model as being unique enough to represent an advancement in building techniques. ...

In a lot of ways, this post reminds me of a patent application :) But with something like the x-wing, which has seen iterations from some of the best known Star Wars builders, I definitely appreciate the attempt to transparently distinguish the prior art. And since I wasn't too familiar with differences between previous x-wing builds, I've enjoyed using your post as a roadmap while flipping back and forth between them. So far, I like yours the most! Although with the tiles and inverted tiles that recently have become available, I'm thinking Jerac might've made some similar-looking changes if he were to update his version. Speaking of which, I like the transparent cockpit piece, but I also like how the clean lines of your canopy continue all the way down the fuselage. I'm guessing it's not possible to have both? Either way, good work!

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Thank you for posting such detailed pictures of the cargo bay. These answer all my questions about it. I'm really impressed that you managed to fit this nice cargo bay in your model, but not too surprised that it turns out to be more symbolic than functional. It's always been a goal of mine to build a modern X-wing MOC with a cargo bay large enough to hold all of Luke's Dagobah camping equipment, but after seeing how much space the gearbox and wing jacks take up in modern X-wing builds, I wonder if Luke's Dagobah equipment isn't stored in hammerspace, the way R2-D2's body goes into hammerspace when he boards the Naboo fighter. There doesn't seem to be enough room in the aft fuselage to fit both the necessary X-wing mechanisms and a few big crates, much less to pull those crates out through the cockpit.

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On 4/22/2019 at 11:30 PM, cehnot said:

Are you planning on doing a reverse build instruction or at least a few photos showing off how to build the internal structure or s foils. 

I think I have 1 or 2 illustrative photos of the gearbox somewhere when it was in a partially built state.  Let me see if I can find them. 

It was a lot of hours of work (and enjoyment because I love iterative puzzle solving) - to build those S-Foil scissor openings that worked with the gear box.  Every time I wanted to extend the SNOT scissors out by a single stud, I had to redesign much of the prior stuff to make it do what I wanted while holding structural integrity.  There are 8 different surface areas to work with, 1-2) port upper S-Foil, front facing SNOT and back facing SNOT. 3-4) port lower S-Foil front and back. 5-6) starboard upper S-Foil front and back, 7-8) starboard lower S-Foil front and back.  None of them are exact replicas of the other, even with 4 almost-mirrored pair - they all had to be custom solved.

By the time I completed the exposed inner engine, I had redesigned and rebuilt all 8 of the S-foil "scissor opening" sides at least a half dozen times. 

Then I wanted to add the three fins - that took another couple re-engineering rebuilds.  Then I added the landing gear - 2 more rebuilds.  The 4x4 roof panel necessitated another partial rebuild.   Lastly, trying to squeeze every last surface area of inverted tiles forced yet one final re-engineer/rebuild.

I wanted to reduce some of the gaps as you look straight between the open S-Foils at the fuselage.  I placed a dozen 1x1 quarter round tiles (25269) in the S-foil scissor opening action that did the job nicely, but it added too much friction to allow the greeble technic liftarm to open/close the wings.  So I rebuilt it again and removed them.

There is likely only one combination of bricks/attachments that will make the wings work and keep the aesthetic mods (4x4 panel, exposed engine, max inverted tiles).  No substitutes.

I like to iterate the design in actual reality - building, and tearing down and rebuilding only using physical bricks. Never in CAD.  I get more of the artist "feel" and touch with the physical brick and greatly enjoy it.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Raskolnikov said:

Although with the tiles and inverted tiles that recently have become available, I'm thinking Jerac might've made some similar-looking changes if he were to update his version.

I'm sure the instant those inverted tiles became public knowledge, people were already thinking of putting them on X-Wing S-Foil interiors - so I won't claim any special creativity merely in using them :) 

However, it's not quite as simple as just putting inverted tiles as a substitute (because there are still only two sizes as of now) - the real trick on the inverted tiles is hitting all three of these criteria at once, and is the reason I will claim some uniqueness to my design:

(1) keeping structural strength of the wing - holding the weight of some heavy lasers at the edge - using only 1x3 and 2x2 inverted tiles.

(2) Keeping aesthetics such as the roof panel interior, laser saucepan attachments, and "red markings" on top.  I had to sacrifice that nice red/white wedge tile pairing @Jerac used, because I couldn't get it to work while keeping structure.

(3) maxing the surface area of inverted tiles, while also under the constraints of (1) + (2).  This is actually an interesting puzzle to solve.

These inverted tiles are so expensive right now - I presume @Jerac also factored in some cost containment to keep his Brickvault model more affordable. I didn't have that constraint in building my model.

My prediction is more inverted tile sizes and quantities will become available, making it easy to be the future de facto standard for X-Wing S-Foil interiors.  The underside of the 4x4 car roof hinge has served me well since my 2001 X-Wing.  Until Lego comes up with a new part for that, I can also see continued usage of it on the wing interior.

Edited by markhchan

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These weren't available in lbg back then and I am not sure if they are available now. Structural reasons are most important reason for which I did not use more inverted tiles though; I could - even with standard inverted 2x2's - but it was just too fragile. Even now plenty of people complain about low structural integrity of the model and I cannot blame them... 
 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Jerac said:

These weren't available in lbg back then and I am not sure if they are available now. Structural reasons are most important reason for which I did not use more inverted tiles though; I could - even with standard inverted 2x2's - but it was just too fragile. Even now plenty of people complain about low structural integrity of the model and I cannot blame them... 
 

Ah, you are right, the inverted 1x3 is not in lbg right now. Another factor keeping me from replicating my model in grey.  I found the inverted 1x3 makes a huge difference in structural options. But even then my model required a very careful layout on the underside - paired with purposeful placement of 1x6 and 2x4 tiles on the top side - to keep things rigid.

18 hours ago, Raskolnikov said:

 I like the transparent cockpit piece, but I also like how the clean lines of your canopy continue all the way down the fuselage. I'm guessing it's not possible to have both? Either way, good work!

Thank you! Unfortunately, at this time, we can't have both "shape accurate" and "clear" aspects of the canopy.  Many people wish Lego would build a more accurate transparent X-Wing canopy. Even if Lego did, it would almost certainly still hinge at the very back end, instead of hinge opening at the vertical line separating the front 80% of the canopy, from the back 20%.  The hinge positioning probably isn't a big deal to most - but for the modeler striving to reach replicated perfection, it matters.

With a custom canopy, I could have the beautiful tapered lines as you said (and also the correct hinge point) - but at the expense of the transparent "glass" covering. 

As with many Lego models, everything is a trade off. I wanted to see this particular canopy trade off in favor of shape accuracy, and I was surprised at how well it turned out given the limited number of pieces to custom build a canopy with (and my further self-imposed limitation of no hose cutting).

Edited by markhchan

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Another stunning version of the X-Wing!

Really appreciate reading about your journey with the MOC and also the constrains you dealt with. Great job!

 

Greetings Kommander

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On 4/22/2019 at 11:30 PM, cehnot said:

Are you planning on doing a reverse build instruction or at least a few photos showing off how to build the internal structure or s foils. 

33815658078_d5698b050b_k_d.jpg

Center component consists of two 6587 3L axle with studs, with the stud end inserted into each of the pin holes of a 6536 (technic axle and pin connector).  The 3L axle ends go through 1x4 technic bricks for a rock solid, unmovable axis to build the S-foil "scissor" action on.  Three small 6589 12 tooth bevel gears complete the gearbox - and the top gear is where the technic axle goes in to turn the wings via a liftarm at top (camouflaged within the top greebles)

The 6536 is completely held in place with no wobble by the bottom 4x4 plate and the bracket tops (on which the 2x4 33 slope is hung off purely for decorative reasons. 

The 3L axle with studs isn't long enough to reach the 1x2 technic brick at each end, but that is no worry.  A simple technic half pin, with pin side going into the technic brick, and stud side going into a 15535 (grey 2x2 round tile with hole), bridges the distance and creates a solid axle from front to stern.

The entire gearbox area is 4x4 studs across and only 5 plates tall. But since it is made of 90 degree bricks/plates - it makes it very easy to add other pieces onto it. One example is the pair of long technic bricks underneath the back fuselage which serve as (1) stability (2) attachment points to wrap the rear fuselage slopes on, and (3) solid attachment point to front fuselage section. 

Other pieces I've added (not shown here) ensure the "open" angle does not exceed 30 degrees, with limiter plates put on both top and bottom of the gearbox extending over the s-foil "scissors" at appropriate positions.

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Out of curiosity, how do you achieve proper friction in the core to avoid "flopping" when twisting the ship along its longitudal axis?

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20 hours ago, Jerac said:

Out of curiosity, how do you achieve proper friction in the core to avoid "flopping" when twisting the ship along its longitudal axis?

** Detailed engineering items follow - for gear heads only (pardon the pun).  Note that all of this analysis is based on "building with the brick" - none of this would ever be discovered on a CAD design.

When the wings are open there is no "flopping" (I call it "wobble") whatsoever in my model, and it will not wobble or even partially close under vigorous "swooshing" or "twisting" of the model.  The Brickvault (BV) model also has little to no wobble with wings open, but the wings collapsed out of proper 30 degree angle a bit too easily for my tastes - hinted at in the official "head on" marketing shot of the BV model which showed the wings at 19 degree opening angle, possibly an accidental partial closure when shifting the model for photos. And once the wings collapse slightly, the BV model is prone to wobble.

When the wings are closed I never fully eliminated the wobble in my model, but I did reduce the max angle in which it could wobble vs the BV model, while also significantly increasing the force needed to send it out of line.  Under moderate swooshing it will not wobble.  But it is possible to move it well out of line.

I analyzed the "wobbling" over a dozen hours in the BV model in "wings closed" configuration, and broke the cause down into four areas, each of which contribute to some degree:

(1) Lateral sliding of the axle inside the gearbox - I couldn't get the BV model gears to be 100% stable inside the "box" no matter how many times I rebuilt it - Maybe I never built it right, but if there is a "proper" way to build it, it is hard to replicate. I addressed this by putting my axle through the hole of a 1x4 technic brick bolted onto the gearbox.  No lateral sliding and no difficulty in assembling.

(2) Rotation of the piece inside the gearbox that holds the two 6587 3L axles with studs.  A 1x1 technic brick was used in the BV model, but it was free to rotate a few (significant) degrees. In my model I eliminated this wobble source entirely by using a 6536 that was immovably pinned in place by plates on top and bottom of the gear box.

(3) Slippage of the top and side gear connection in the gearbox due to Lego gear teeth not being perfectly tight. Nothing can change this, so this remains my main source of "wobble" slippage.

(4) Rotation of the gearbox within the fuselage due to attachment technique connecting them.  The BV model has a complicated relationship between gearbox and fuselage. My box connection is dead simple.  The 4x4 plate of the gearbox base directly attaches to the main framework of the rear fuselage, it is one with the fuselage.

(*) technically the weight of the wings also contributes to the ease of wobble, but that cannot be materially reduced.

In general, I note that using fewer parts was better to avoid cumulative individual brick tolerance/variation that ends up affecting friction and final wobble.

****

33815658078_d5698b050b_k_d.jpg

 

Despite these wobble root causes, your question hit on a great way to reduce the wobble issue - and the issue of accidental wing closure - more friction.  However, instead of adding friction inside the gearbox, I added friction outside, on the S-foil "scissors" hanging on the axles.  The primary method of adding friction in my model is a simple 2x4 plate connecting the end point 1x2 technic brick, with the 1x4 that makes up the wall of the gearbox. Underneath they are both anchored by long technic bricks.  In fact this added so much tightness and friction that I didn't connect the back 1x2 technic brick to the top of the gearbox as the top lever no longer opened the wings with that much friction.

In contrast, the BV model connects the axle end points with a structure made of many pieces, some facing the same stud direction as the axle direction. The tight bond needed to create friction is hampered by gaps made by Lego studs snapping together in that direction. With my use of a single plate with studs lying perpendicular to the axle direction, I ensure that connection span has no physical gaps, however small - thus maximizing tightness and friction. 

I could also fine tune the friction by adding up to 12 Round 1x1 Quarter tiles (25269) at strategic points between the different "scissors".  I could introduce enough friction to make the wings of the model almost rigid - only closing and opening with strong hand action on the wings. Since I still wanted the greeble hidden liftarm to open the wings as a high priority, I reduced the friction (using none of the quarter round tiles) at the expense of some wobble.

 

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Eh if only I had so much space to put entire friggin 1x12 (or 1x10) technic bricks down there. Your cargo bay area is a bit bigger than it should be and this really really helps here. 

That said - maybe 4-long core would be viable in my case too, if the core itself could be structural like it is for you, hm. I did a 2-long one just to have more space for attachment points behind the scissor section. Well - there is always space for an improvement!

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Great explanation about the wobbling! I would like to add a few pointers I used in my model:

1) Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean the movement of the axles caused by pressure on the gears? I solved that in my model by adding a 'stabilizer' that connects the point where all 4 axles come together inside the gear 'box'. That way the the pressure on the gears has no effect on the wobbling.

3) In my model I reduced this effect significantly by using bigger gears vertically. I used the 20 tooth part instead of the 12 tooth part.

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The 40 year journey was worth it, fantastic X-Wing I especially like the cockpit!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Swan Dutchman said:

Great explanation about the wobbling! I would like to add a few pointers I used in my model:

1) Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean the movement of the axles caused by pressure on the gears? I solved that in my model by adding a 'stabilizer' that connects the point where all 4 axles come together inside the gear 'box'. That way the the pressure on the gears has no effect on the wobbling.

3) In my model I reduced this effect significantly by using bigger gears vertically. I used the 20 tooth part instead of the 12 tooth part.

Thanks for the feedback!

1) In the Brickvault (BV) model gearbox, the axle/gear setup - when the axle is facing forward - has potential for some slight port-to-starboard play, or "lateral slide", within the gearbox.  This is because only thing stopping this slide in the BV gearbox is friction, while ideally you'd want a physical piece of plastic preventing motion in that direction.

This lateral play is not much after other parts of the BV fuselage are assembled - but it exists as a minor structural detail that plays a role.  Fully eliminating that potential to lateral slide keeps the axle (and thus the wings) as perfectly centered on the spine of the ship as possible. This matters because even the slightest deviation from dead center balance is multiplied (like a lever) from the weight of the wing tip lasers - thus making it easier for the wings to be off balance, and decreasing the force needed to wobble them off their correct line.

3) I thought about the 20 gear and experimented with it a bit, but early in the build process I decided I didn't want to allocate the vertical space for it.  Thank you for sharing your successful results with it - it's something I will definitely keep in mind for future builds.  There were so many things in my model that turned out different then I envisioned and had to be changed - due to realities of friction and brick weight intruding into my plans.

On 4/26/2019 at 11:16 AM, Jerac said:

That said - maybe 4-long core would be viable in my case too, if the core itself could be structural like it is for you, hm.

One upside of the 4-long core is that it gives enough space between the front and rear scissors to add the engine detail on the inside of the S-Foils while keeping strong structural integrity of the wings. 

The Brickvault model has only black plates where the exposed engine would be, and the marketing photos draw attention away from that large (surface area wise) missing detail through dark parts and shadows cast from favorable camera angles.

And there is nothing wrong with that -  I did a similar visual illusion on my 2001 build, and "suggesting details that are not really there" are absolutely part of the art and appreciation of Lego models. 

However, this time, I wanted that engine detail in my model, and not just a hint, but a full engine build from front to back edges of the inside of the wing as seen below.  I had not previously seen a full edge to edge, 2 stud deep interior wing engine on the internet at this scale of X-Wing, which further raised my interest in designing the model to include it. This became another factor contributing to my gearbox design.46800296565_176abb540f_k_d.jpg

Edited by markhchan

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As a fellow x-wing lover and builder (who never seems to finish his own model... :laugh:), this is really spot on! I've literally been looking at this for a couple days and can't find anything wrong with it that isn't my own personal preferences when it comes to x-wing models, i particularly love the main fusilage and the use of more recent LEGO elements, the torpedo railing (for lack of a better term) is really clever in my opinion! I noticed that you went for a "clean" paint job with this (i.e full red stripes) instead of a specific red squad color scheme, any reason for it? It's probably for the better lol, i know too well that obssesing over minimal color patterns on an x-wing isn't too good for your mental health. Anyways, phenomenal job! 

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:06 AM, FTG Prime said:

As a fellow x-wing lover and builder (who never seems to finish his own model... :laugh:), this is really spot on! I've literally been looking at this for a couple days and can't find anything wrong with it that isn't my own personal preferences when it comes to x-wing models, i particularly love the main fusilage and the use of more recent LEGO elements, the torpedo railing (for lack of a better term) is really clever in my opinion! I noticed that you went for a "clean" paint job with this (i.e full red stripes) instead of a specific red squad color scheme, any reason for it? It's probably for the better lol, i know too well that obssesing over minimal color patterns on an x-wing isn't too good for your mental health. Anyways, phenomenal job! 

Thank you for the very kind comments!  The part availability and structural integrity requirements pretty much dictated full red stripes.  Fortunately, as you note - this matches well with a "clean/new" X-Wing paint scheme.  I went all-in on "clean", after I decided on white. 

This build definitely leans towards being a more idealized/romanticized version of the "good guy" ship - like maybe something an Ewok child might envision when C-3PO describes the battle of Yavin IV, prior to the Battle of Endor.

If Lego would release the inverted 1x3 tile in Light Blue Grey, I would seriously consider building a "dirty", (and many would say more movie-realistic) grey X-Wing - and relaxing my restriction on stickers. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 3:06 AM, FTG Prime said:

As a fellow x-wing lover and builder (who never seems to finish his own model... :laugh:), this is really spot on! I've literally been looking at this for a couple days and can't find anything wrong with it that isn't my own personal preferences when it comes to x-wing models, i particularly love the main fusilage and the use of more recent LEGO elements, the torpedo railing (for lack of a better term) is really clever in my opinion! I noticed that you went for a "clean" paint job with this (i.e full red stripes) instead of a specific red squad color scheme, any reason for it? It's probably for the better lol, i know too well that obssesing over minimal color patterns on an x-wing isn't too good for your mental health. Anyways, phenomenal job! 

It's funny, watching the trench run FTG, the stripe changes in various scenes form the complete stripe to the broken up one.. I was rewatching for some consistency when making red5.. Drove me NUTS lol..

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2019 at 6:08 AM, markhchan said:

If Lego would release the linverted 1x3 tile in Light Blue Grey, I would seriously consider building a "dirty", (and many would say more movie-realistic) grey X-Wing - and relaxing my restriction on stickers. 

They just did! Item 6251044.  It is in the lunar module 10266.

https://brickset.com/parts/6251044/tile-1x3-inverted-w-3-2-hole

Edited by Space_jaco
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Amazing MOC. Now lets complete this 40 year journey by making some instructions and sharing it with the community. Might as well make some money for your hard work.

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