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About NathanR

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    Smells like new LEGO

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  1. Brickset isn't listing any exit dates for the sets, so it's likely they will bet available until at least the end of this year.
  2. I can confirm those parts do not connect together, but they are supposed to be compatible. If you manually place each piece at coordinates (0,0,0), they will line up with no collision. I'd just line them up, merge them into a sub-model, and use that.
  3. I don't suppose you have a link for the kind of wire you bought? I've spent the last couple of hours browsing around and I can't seem to find anything like the right stuff. One of the YouTube videos I saw suggested 23 or 24 AWG wire, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for and most of the stuff I can find looks like it will take a month or more to ship to the UK from China.
  4. Thanks for the suggestions! I've been watching a few videos on YouTube showing how to do this... I do not have the tools, skills, and certainly not the confidence to try this myself. It looks way too scary. I've had a look through the 8480 instructions, but I don't think there is enough space in the model to fit the power functions connector next to the motor. Every time I touch them, more of the insulation flakes off. The replacement wires are pricy though, about £20 each, which is a bit steep, but I guess it can't be helped. The irony is that a wire over twice the length is half the price! I tested the other electronic components. The fibre optic generator and the micrometer are both working perfectly, thank goodness. The main 9V motor (2838c01) behaves a little oddly - its speed varies occasionally, and it gives off a smell that reminds me of hot oil, almost as if some plastic is singeing. I don't think the 9V motor can be dismantled, as the base is secured by 8 separate tabs that all need to be pulled back, so I can't look at what state the interior is in. Is the smell normal for an old 9V motor that hasn't been run for years, will it just wear off with use, or is it a sign that the motor is about to burn out/catch fire/explode?
  5. I'm incredibly excited, I just got myself the 8480 Space Shuttle from 1996. It was a really lucky find on ebay, a little over 200 GBP and basically brand new! It's got the original box with the plastic inner trays, the 1996 Service catalogue, the regular catalogue, the original sticker sheet (never used, all stickers still on it!!!), and the bricks haven't yellowed or discoloured with age! The set was advertised as "new", but I think it has been built once before being dismantled and stored away for the last 20+ years. All the bricks were loose, and there are circular marks on the terminals in the battery box that suggest batteries have been installed in it at some point. Fortunately, there's no sign of corrosion. The thing is, I've never had a 9V-era technic set before and I need some help with understanding and maintaining the electronics. Firstly, how do I test the motors and the fibre optic generator? Is it literally as simple as connecting battery box, cable, motor, and then switching on? (I'm sure this is a very stupid question, but but I've heard there can be quite a bit of power loss going through each 2x2 connector plate., so I was worrying about whether I could burn out the micro motor if I connect it directly to the battery box). The two long wires both have cracks in their electrical insulation. It looks like the wires use some kind of rubber for the insulation, and that has definitely deteriorated. The moment I gently uncoiled the wires, the insulation cracked and fell away. One of the long wires has just a small nick in it, about 2mm of bare metal is visible. The other has a couple of places where about 2cm of the insulation has completely stripped away leaving both positive and negative metal wires exposed and able to touch. What would be the best way to fix this? Can it be repaired, or should I look for replacement wires? I saw one Bricklink seller state that his wires had plastic insulation instead of rubber, did Lego redesign the 9V wires over the years? Or instead of an exact replacement, are there any other wires (e.g. from Power Functions era, Control Plus, or even third party sellers) that would be compatible and safe to use? Also, it feels almost sacrilegious to peel the original stickers off the sheet (and they would probably crack with age anyway). Do you know where I could find a good quality reproduction sticker sheet for this set?
  6. NathanR

    Issue with UCS AT-AT!!!

    Oh, that shouldn't be a problem at all. The new 3L technic pin (added Book 2 step 280) is apparently designed so that if you insert a bar into it (e.g. lightsaber blade), then you can pull the bar and the pin will slide right out.
  7. The new UCS R2D2 is absolutely worth it! Great build, very enjoyable, and loads of neat features. It doesn't seem to be too different from the original UCS, though, so if you own the first version you might not want the second.
  8. I'd be willing to help out - I have a guess at which ship you're planning to build. Most of the Correllian YT series is characterised by the saucer and offset cockpit, so for a ship matching the size of #75192 you can start off with building it's technic framework and looking at how the hull plates are structured. Would love to see what you're working on, feel free to PM me.
  9. NathanR

    [MOC] [WIP] The Ghost

    You might be a noob, but you have some great insights! I've studied the UCS TIE Fighter, but hadn't thought to look at the Star Destroyer or Republic Gunship. It was quite illuminating! Indeed a three plate sandwich is the minimum thickness for a strong base, but two plates between technic bricks allows a 3M beam to connect them and prevent the layers from popping apart. So back to the drawing board again, and this time I think I've got it figured out. Two layers of technic brick frames, and maybe add some 3x3 T-shaped technic beams to bolt it together. The thing I like about this design is that it should be fairly strong, it give all the connection points needed to support the upper deck, and it still allows the main cargo bay doors to open and close! And there's enough room for me to make the interior of the cargo bay look interesting (even though it will never be seen). Or maybe I can just have it hold a cargo container with a Wookie inside... The only major design decision that remains is should I add a brick built grey stripe on the underside of the "wings"? It looks good and is true to the real Ghost, but the problem is that it has to be built entirely out of 2x2 wedge plates, and it kind of messes up the structure of interlocking plates. I did consider putting the strip as a separate layer of plates, but it won't technically fit - the 1x3 plate is right up against the studs of the 3x12 wedge plate that forms the side of the ship. And while two plates and the studs are the exact width of one Lego brick, the studs have the Lego logo embossed on them. Which means there isn't the space for the 1x3 plate to fit in real life! The grey stripe would have been a cool feature, but I think I'm going to have to sacrifice it for the sake of stability. Revised framework file is here, if anyone wants to play:
  10. NathanR

    Santa's Front Yard Moon piece?

    I believe it's just a 2x2 round tile with a sticker.
  11. NathanR

    [MOC] [WIP] The Ghost

    Well, I'm going nuts. Completely redesigned the main deck plating, it's a little thicker than I'd have liked but the triangular wedge plates now have 6x10 plates running cross-wise for much greater clutch. Of course, the plates still pop apart quite easily, but I'm hoping a technic frame underneath the deck plate may provide some additional rigidity and support. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to create a suitable frame. After about ten hours on this part of the ship, this is the least bad that I've come up with. I just feel there is a better solution, that I'm missing. I keep looking at 75257 for inspiration, but I can't quite see how to adapt that for here to create a robust, yet lightweight framework. It has to cover 16x34 studs, with maybe some extra technic frames supporting the pink 6x10 plates. I'd like to have the airlock supports running right down the middle of the ship like last time, but that introduces a weakness around the mid-section of the ship, with the fore and aft frames able to flex too much. I'd like to have a strip of 6x8 frames running the length of the ship, so that the forward landing gear and cargo bay can connect too them right the way along the font of the ship. But then the front left/right triangle wedges don't get enough support. So I have no clue what to do to improve this. If anyone wants to play around, here you go: Master Mk Ideas how to proceed?
  12. NathanR

    [MOC] [WIP] The Ghost

    Thanks! If people are interested, then for sure I will keep updating the file. I've been slowly adjusting the design, trying to figure out how to maximise strength and stability. I was amazed to find a positioning of pin holes for the underside plating that appear to almost perfectly align! So at least these plates won't have to rely on just one hinge at the base heroically fighting gravity... I've also been working extensively on the main deck, which is a surprisingly tough challenge. It's formed primarily from two 16x16 plates, in the hope that there will be enough space for a roomy interior. The plan is to eventually add in the crew's rooms behind the cockpit, and have the briefing room with the dejarik board at the back next to the Phantom. Unfortunately, the deck is proving to be rather fragile. Each corner features a large white triangle, which is three plates thick. That allows a good amount of 2xN plates (reddish brown) to bolt everything together. I also have 2x16 plates (dark tan) linking the front and back triangles together, going through the technic bricks that support the airlocks. I'd have liked the 2x16 plates to be a bit wider (say a single 6x16 plate) but I have to leave a gap for the angled technic bricks holding the sides of the airlocks together. So what am I complaining about, it sounds pretty robust, right? Well, there is only one 2x10 plate holding each white triangle onto the 16x16 plate. There's just about room for another one underneath, but the lightest flex and the entire plate sandwich pops apart. Ideally, I'd make the entire deck three plates thick and have done with it, but there's only room for two plates at most, and that is already causing a headache with having Hera actually able to sit in the cockpit. It's bad enough that Sabine is barely able to fit in the nose gun turret without bashing her helmet on the ceiling. I'm trying to look at techniques used in Tie Fighter wings but they are invariably three plates thick. I'm also looking into using a technic framework underneath to provide some additional support, but again space is limited due to the cutouts that appear underneath the nose of the ship, the cargo bay and it's opening hatches, and also the precise location of pin holes to support the underside angled plates. I'm running out of ideas - anyone got any suggestions to make this more robust?
  13. NathanR

    [MOC] [WIP] The Ghost

    I'm a huge fan of Star Wars Rebels, and several years ago I invested quite some time in trying to reverse-engineer a rather masterful model by eurobricks user DarthTwoShedsJackson. I never got a chance to build it in real life, but I kept the files. Now, using that model as a starting point, I'm trying to create a better version of the Ghost that I can truly call my own design (hopefully). So far, the front half is pretty much complete: What do you think? There are a few flaws. Some of the brick-built paint stripes are too big, but I don't want the hassle and mess of creating a custom sticker sheet. The undercarriage is also a bit of a disaster, it is way too tall, and I would give a heck of a lot for some 1x2x2 inverted slopes. Or maybe a plate with studs on both sides. One part of the model I could really do with some help on, is the main triangular plate that forms the front corner of the ship. The new 4x6 wedge plates work amazingly well at capturing the angles, but I keep ending up with either collisions or some unsightly gaps, like you see below. Are there any experts on lego triangles who could advise how to figure out the best size and shape for the large wedge plate, and how to find the best pivot point for the ball-and-socket hinge joint? If anyone wants to take a closer look, the current draft version of The Ghost is available here:
  14. That AT-AT is a work of art, but I've no idea where I'd put the thing. Or how to afford it. Maybe it really is time to sell a kidney... How does the mass/weight of plastic compare between the two? How does the number of different part types compare between the two? Also, more to the point, the AT-AT has a new circular gear rack developed exclusively for the set. That will definitely drive up its cost.
  15. NathanR

    PSA: UCS Millennium Falcon looks to be retiring soon

    Could the "retirement" be part of Lego's move from plastic bags to paper bags for the parts? Lego had a press release out about this a few weeks ago, numerous sets would retire and reappear with same set number but paper packaging. They were keen to stress that baseplates would not actually retire!