mao16

My first MOC: (another) Venator

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I have always loved Lego since I was a child but never really got into building my own stuff. This was mainly because I am the type of person that builds Lego for display and not for play. I care about how accurate the Lego model is compared to the real thing and don't care at all about how fun or practical it is to play with. I can't afford to have a huge collection of Lego to use to create models up to my standards. I also wasn't skilled enough with creating original physical models to be able to use the various virtual programs made by fans to create stuff that I was sure would actually work in real life. These programs were essentially CADs with a library of Lego parts you would "stick" together. I use the term stick because that's what they were doing. The programs couldn't actually recognize proper or more importantly improper connections. For master builders this isn't a problem. For some one new who didn't have the blocks in real life to test and couldn't afford to spend $100s buying bricks only to realize the model wouldn't hold together structurally in real life this was a huge problem. The only other alternative was Lego's own Lego Digital Designer which was incredibly basic at best.

Until now (well for the last few years but I only just realized).

The big difference between Lego's own program and the fan's was that while it was still simpler and more restrictive it could actually detect if bricks are connected or not. This was huge for someone like me (sure the program can't tell what the model's structural integrity is like but I like to think i'm skilled enough to do that). The barrier between me and making my own Legos was finally broken.

I've spend the last week designing my own Midi-scale Venator-class Star Destroyer. This was because I love the ship's design and Lego only made a Play-set version which looked terrible.

250px-Imperial_Venator.jpg is not 185px-Venator_Class_Republic_Attack_Cruiser_1.png

There have been many MOCs of the Venator ranging from simple 40ish piece models to that famous 35000 parts one and everything in-between. I've found the 4000 piece models scaled like the offical lego Star Destroyer or recent Executor to be the best looking that aren't made from tens of thousands of pieces. There are even instructions for some of them http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=132718. They however will cost at least $500 to make.... so I decided to go smaller. There are many amazing mid scale fan creations but none of them are willing to share building instructions (either since they designed it using real bricks or they just don't want to). There was one that was willing to share Instructions (by Chris Deck) http://sw.deckdesign...tor/venator.htm and I used that as a starting point but it felt restricted aesthetically since the author decided to build it to a scale of one stud to 50m.

My first attempts based on the above instructions:

2486665-venator+wip.png

After this first attempt which was based heavily on the official Midi-Scale Imperial Star Destroyer I decided the model looked too fat vertically compared to the real thing and started to work on a thin version based on another person's MOC by V1lain. I contacted the author and he said the reason it was never finished was because it was incredibly structurally unsound (as I soon discovered myself while trying to replicate it) 2486667-venator+2+wip.png

In the end I decided to start over and make one completely myself (which took heavy inspiration from Brickdoctor) http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/141704

Around 15-20 hours later and I finally finished my first MOC (after basically going into hermit mode for a week). For my first ever original build I'm quite proud of the final product. I still feel she's way to thick verticaly but that was the only way to ensure structural stability. I am 99% sure this thing will be rock solid in real life and am just waiting for my parts to arrive before building it. I'll make sure to add pictures to this post when i'm done. For reference it cost around $100 to aquire all the parts for this build on BrickLink or around $0.18 per piece (slightly more expensive then an official Lego set). Since I had such a hard time finding instructions I'll post my work in progress and final version LDD files for anyone that wants them.

This is how it turned out: 541 Bricks (with stands and no obiwan)

2486669-venator+ready+to+build.png

2486684-venator+cross+section.png

More Pictures:

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/14/143284/2486670-venator+top.png

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/14/143284/2486671-venator+side.png

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/14/143284/2486672-venator+front.png

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/14/143284/2486673-venator+back.png

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/14/143284/2486674-venator+bottem.png

*edit*

I've finally finished building the initial model. There are a few problems however. First of all some of the bricks were incorrectly shipped (some color and a few wrong pieces). The much bigger problem however are a few structural weak spots caused by the types of bricks (60471) I choose to use for the rigging. They lock in nicely but at the wrong angle. Replacing them with the non-locking hinges (60470) should fix this. I also had to take a few pieces out of the trench to get the close seal i'm looking for (LDD isn't perfect/ doesn't actually simulate physics). I'm going to have to rework the bow's trench near the nose of the ship. There are also a few structural weakness on the "wings" that I need to look into. Still; replacing the rigging should solve almost all the problems. On the bright side (aside from some bricks that are the wrong color) she looks pretty much identical to the 3D model. For my first MOC i'm really happy with the results so far and now that I have a physical model I am confident some minor tweaking here and there should make her nice and durable. Surprisingly making a model entirely in LDD wasn't a total disaster, a testament to how far Lego's software has come. I'll post the version that wont fall to pieces at the slightest touch once my new parts arrive in a week or so.

Venator Final NOT READY TO BUILD.lxf

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In the end I decided to start over and make one completely myself (which took heavy inspiration from Brickdoctor)

:laugh: I didn't realize people still remembered that MOC. It was the first one I posted when I joined EB. (Warning! n00b-style posts.)

You've got a solid start there; good work on your first MOC. One thing that I think really separates the great Star Destroyers at this size from the good ones is that the bottom hull should be angled upwards towards the bow. That way, you won't have that gap that's growing larger between the top and bottom of the hull from the side docking bays to the nose. The strongest way to do that is with a triangle of Technic beams, just like TLG did in their Midi-scale Imperial-class Star Destroyer. (My Venator uses a bunch of clips and bars and hinges to fit it into a smaller space - you don't want to do that if you don't have to. Very fragile.)

And welcome to EB! :classic:

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One thing that I think really separates the great Star Destroyers at this size from the good ones is that the bottom hull should be angled upwards towards the bow. That way, you won't have that gap that's growing larger between the top and bottom of the hull from the side docking bays to the nose. The strongest way to do that is with a triangle of Technic beams, just like TLG did in their Midi-scale Imperial-class Star Destroyer. (My Venator uses a bunch of clips and bars and hinges to fit it into a smaller space - you don't want to do that if you don't have to. Very fragile.)

I considered it but opted against it for a few reasons. The biggest being while it would make the bow look nice it would also make the rear far too thick vertically and also cause the trench to be too thick for my liking. I used the below images for my main references. Still I get what you mean, I think i've gone too far in the other direction.

8099_Midi-Scale_Imperial_Star_Destroyer_Side_View.jpg

Venpro.jpg

RepublicStarDestroyer2.jpg

After some prototyping with an angled hinge to support the bottom. I've come to the conclusion that that the only way to get rid of the space in the trench at the bow of the ship is to angle both pieces. This would make it look way more thick vertically at the back than I'm comfortable with though. Not to mention that a for a model of this size, the structural instability would be way too much (I plan to use a platform stand). Guess I'll just have to pick the lesser of two evils.

Why not just bend the top at the middle? Sure the structural integrity goes out the window and I'll have to basically rework everything but it should work.

2489203-venator+final+frame.png

And it works perfectly, this should also give me more room to add details to the trench. Might finally get those front gun batteries in now.

Edited by mao16

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Really nice micro-scale work :thumbup: :thumbup:

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The bent in the middle design does look a lot better. The drawback there is that you get that slight hump. Not as exaggerated and ugly as in the official set, but it'll be there. Maybe try some of the old style hinges that aren't thicker than a plate at any point. That way you could keep both hulls straight and hinged to the engine area, and complete the triangle with a connection somewhere in the bow area.

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