markhchan

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  1. 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. 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.
  2. ** 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. **** 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Thank you! Here is the underside: the least accurate, and most poorly represented aspect of my build. I prioritized many other features, notably the proton torpedo launcher - thus the underside suffered as a tradeoff. The model is straight, it was just a poor camera capture angle. I could probably make it better with a lot more thought and a huge redesign, but that would likely come at the expense of some structural integrity. Right now the model is extremely sturdy.
  10. Thank you for the compliment! Here is a closeup with a better angle of the Krupx MG7 Proton Torpedo Launcher. The implied "round exit tube" recessed behind the slope is a modified 1x1 tile with clip. (modern part 15712, can also use older part 2555) I spent countless hours experimenting with different approaches to represent the Torpedo Launcher. It was my highest priority feature in the front fuselage, as I felt it was under emphasized in other models, especially given its place in lore as The Weapon that Destroyed the Death Star. I had to design my entire front fuselage around this launcher, and it "severely" constrained my front landing gear options, as well as constraining my smooth underside options.
  11. Atlas, I need to thank you three times for your reply to me: First for showing me the correct model - with great diagrams and absolute proof that the '77 and '15 is the intended version. This isn't the first time different Star Wars movies have different representation of key ship parts (e.g. the no. of struts on the Millennium Falcon landing gear) Second, for showing me that what bugged me from my memory about the rear fuselage was my memory actually being correct. That makes me overjoyed. It also kinda embarrasses me because I have a physical plastic X-Wing model near me that also shows this angle. Not sure how I overlooked it. And last but not least - thank you for giving me a new challenge to improve upon in the future. I wasn't fully smitten in love with my rear fuselage - I loved the smoothness, but something was missing. Now I have a reason to tinker with it. It does present its own set of challenges, so it may have to wait for my next rework of the entire model. Hopefully not another 18 years for me, or perhaps another in our community can improve on it. I did intend all along to model after the 1977 version. But I relied very heavily on the Special Edition image posted above, assuming that it was accurate to the original - but with greater detail. How wrong I was - and I'm glad to know a little more Star Wars movie trivia. It is interesting how changes in a movie can trick your memory. (I still know one memory that is 100% fact no matter the subsequent film versions. Han shot Greedo first.) I love the great feedback, the absolute attention to detail, and the friendly striving for accuracy of this Lego and Star Wars community.
  12. I had the "exact" same thoughts when I completed my rear fuselage from the canopy to the back. It looked "plain", from the cockpit to the rear and needed "something". I tried various things to "improve it", but I kept pulling my mind back to this famous picture from the Special Edition version of A New Hope below. In contrast to my personal memory of it - that section is also straight, plain and boring - not distinctive! I then realized a couple things: First, one of the famous quotes (I don't know who said it, I'm paraphrasing) about the beauty and cultural endurance of the X-Wing is that "it was a perfect balance between the sleek smoothness found in modern fighter jets, contrasted with exposed details, panels and parts as seen inside the wing, or the elements behind R2D2" This great description explains how it could be easy in my mind, over time - to conflate which sections had which. Secondly, if I stare at a Lego representation long enough (and I enjoy looking at many builds from others for long periods of time) that build starts to be "the X-Wing" in my mind, causing my memory to be distorted. I've seen so many other Lego X-Wing where the rear upper fuselage was something "other than smooth" - studs sticking out, or clips, or slopes meeting at different angles. This was often necessitated by part constraints. Another example, over time - the Lego canopy starts to becomes "the right shape" in my memory, until I look at a movie version. The above might explain why I personally felt my version of the upper rear fuselage was "plain" and missing something. But that section is, actually and accurately, not very special. Thus I have convinced myself my version modeled it quite well (even if the plain nature of it still bothers me a bit). I did try and reproduce that bulging panel near the engine opening (an early build used a 33 degree dual slope to perfection there), but it proved too thick and distracting with the other lines of the model, or prevented me from getting the sleekness elsewhere on the rear fuselage. Same goes with the nose cone. Mine is the right length and height, but as an optical illusion, looks too sleek and narrow precisely because I could not bring the tip to a fine point (leaving it at 2.5 plates). I keep thinking, "wow my nose looks good", and it has a smoothness I admire - but comparing back to the movie picture it is easy to see the inaccuracies. The 'butt' or rear was its own set of compromises, I may post more on that later. Again, as you mention, all of this is forced by limitations on parts/techniques - but I 100% agree with you that is part of the fun of creating and seeing different Lego build interpretations!
  13. Yes, that is great insight into my thinking! The contrast does match the limitations imposed by lack of color choice on other key (to me) features. I thought long about making the 4 wide engine cylinder top grey and I may do that eventually. It's not an easy part to just pop in/out - it is quite vital to the structural strength of the wing and model. I'd literally have to take apart the entire rear fuselage and detach it from the front fuselage, to get at the SNOT S-Foil scissors to also take them completely apart (which would then separate all 4 wings), to get at that single piece! And I did enough of that while making build iterations that I'll probably leave it alone for a while :) Anyways, engine white or grey was another interesting and agonizing (but still fun!) choice to make. My final decision making process there was that front to back grey/white/grey on the engine matched the pattern of grey/white/grey of the laser cannon at the wing. But as you said, to each their own - that is the joy of our Lego hobby!
  14. Atlas, your post is 100% spot on. The tradeoff decisions are what makes the complex X-Wing such a fun, long term - and likely never completed - build journey. You also nailed some of the pros/cons of the intentional tradeoffs I had to make such as the nose cone. I love the analysis and you eloquently expressed some of the same thoughts I had while building. Regarding grey vs. white, I wrestled with this decision for weeks. Your front fuselage post on Flickr was incredible in grey, it looked like one of those molded plastic model kits- I referenced and admired that picture as much as any other. It was the strongest factor in me wanting to go to grey. In the end, my decision to use white rested on these factors, which were (barely) enough for me to overcome the beauty of grey expressed in your picture: I did an informal "survey" of non-Lego people who knew about Star Wars, but weren't rabid fanatics like us - showing off the grey and white versions of Jerac's build, as his pictures controlled all the variables (shape, etc.) except color. White got more expressions of "oooo nice" - and this preference was stronger in female viewers. (Side note: women also generally prefer white cars in real life to a higher degree than men, so this result isn't much of a surprise) One of my top personal criteria was making a rounded laser base at the wing, avoiding the blocky 1x6 tiles prevalent in many X-Wing builds today (e.g. as shown in Jerac build, although this could have been a cost-containment compromise). The 1x6 tile technique does pass the "eye test" for me, but I really, "really" wanted "round" there. After prototyping - with actual bricks - many of my own variants of Macej/dmaclego's innovative wheel concept, I chose a different path to achieve "roundness". Two reasons: (1) the wheel version was not "smooth" from front to back" (another, secondary desire of mine), and (2) it used cut hose pieces - which I wanted to avoid for both purity factors, and sturdiness/adhesion to wing factors This led me to the saucepan - which had its own flaws (diameter too small), but met enough of my criteria to be my choice. Since this part only comes in black or white, this tilted me to white I wanted to use the flashback suppressor hockey mask concept, again pioneered by Macej/dmaclego. And it frustratingly only comes in white (to the point where Macej has publicly mused about painting the thing). This plus the laser base made for a nice front and end two-tone for the laser, All of the above finalized my decision to build with white. If I could get the full laser to look good enough for my criteria in grey (or part silver, or some color that isn't as stark as white), I would absolutely rebuild another version of my model in grey. More discussion to come, for those that are interested. Atlas, thank you for taking time to reply, and for your prior posted works that inspired me. I haven't had time to fully digest your latest published X-Wing yet, but I will - I had been looking forward to your completed build off that beautiful fuselage for quite some time.
  15. Thank you Jerac, these are great compliments from a builder with as much renown as you have earned. And it is great to finally meet you (virtually) on the forums. It was the published instructions of your excellent build, and your forum post here on Eurobricks describing the creative process, that finally convinced me to reserve some time to finish an updated, contemporary X-Wing of my own. Every build has its tradeoffs, and I totally agree that is the point of building it. For example, from your X-Wing story post, I know your build was restricted in canopy choice by Brickvault. And keeping your model parts accessible/affordable was another intentional tradeoff factor. Absent these constraints, I'm certain your model would have looked materially different, and perhaps you will make another future X-Wing without these constraints - I'd look forward to seeing that. I absolutely love making the tradeoff decisions on each part of the model. I similarly look forward to the tradeoffs others make - and most interestingly to me, reading about the reasons why and how they made them. At the risk of putting too many posts in this thread, I would like to share my decision making thoughts/process on the tradeoffs I made in future posts. This is a great Lego build community here on Eurobricks forums, I probably should have de-lurked sooner :)