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About Aeroeza

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  1. Thanks again! I agree. For me the cost of including exclusive minifigures was a backward step which can only compromise the proposed budget of a UCS. I'm wanting clever builds that approach a high degree of accuracy with full printed parts & exclusive pieces (such as that elusive X-Wing canopy) if required. That's it. Minifigures are a distraction unless the build, by happenstance or design is tantamount to minifig scale (which, let's face it, has a wide degree of interpretation). I understand people love their minifigures though, & clearly including them in UCS sets has proven a commercial success for Lego over the last decade. Cost is certainly a constraint but the S-Foil in 75355 was likely a design choice committed to early on for the set. It might therefore be that deadlines were a consideration in this case too. Had the S-Foil been more robust I doubt we'd have felt compelled to attempt this MOD. By & large recent UCS sets have been excellent, but outliers clearly happen. I guess that's all part of the drama of being an AFOL! I'm happy to hear you've taken the plunge & heartened to hear thus far it's proving a fun build for you! Let us know how it turns out!
  2. We’re absolutely delighted to know you enjoyed our build so much & your comparison photos are just awesome! You’ve reminded us of why we deep dived into this MOD/MOC in the first place & have really made us feel like the hard work has paid off. Your review is genuinely humbling… Thank you. I’ll be sleeping easy tonight!!
  3. Molto apprezzato RedWolfwere!
  4. I’d just like to add to Rilted's last post that early on with our dabbling’s adjusting the angle of the canopy was considered. Jerac had executed just such a trick to great effect with his minifig scaled X-Wing. Unfortunately, the system scale X-Wing canopy verses the UCS’ have very different proportions. Angling the UCS canopy to capture this slope can disrupt the silhouette of the model rather than improve upon it. Not only do you run the risk of dropping the height of the canopy too much, but the angle of the forward windscreen can look oddly acute. Basically, the same trick doesn’t play out so well with this canopy piece and you can lose far more on the swings than you gain on the roundabout. At least, that was our impression... Also, we didn’t want to change the look of the side panels of the front fuselage section so much that it was no longer recognisably Henrik’s X-Wing. Our whole design philosophy was after all to maintain his aesthetics as much as we could.
  5. Really appreciate your sentiments ClassicLook! Thank you!! 'The Gents' are sometimes a little irrationally on the fence as to whether it's classified as a MOD or MOC but, realistically, given it is based on all the elements we loved most about 75355 we always came back down to Earth and accepted that it's just a MOD. Admittedly though, a thoroughly comprehensive one. We're just being a bit cheeky calling it a MOD/MOC! I really hope you enjoy the building experience when you get around to it. There's plenty enough new there to surprise those who have already built the original and lots of homages to and inspiration taken from Henrik along the way as well.
  6. Cheers stevej. It's certainly proven to be a most unexpected way to make friends around the world. Gives me an excuse to hit a Greek beach & a Scandinavian mountain while 'The Gents' plan our next MOC or MOD in person! The whiskey will flow.
  7. I had a little play in Studio and recreated Red 3's port side using a 2x2 half wedge. Collisions caused by the 2 x 3 dark red plate with our modified build meant the original mounting approach for the 2 x 2 tile from 75355's had to be restored. Importantly, what I refer to as 'the band' which softens the transition between the angled forward top fuselage plate and angled top plate of the nose cone, is maintained. It's this 'band' that helps the 1 x 4 width of the fuselage on top to become a 1 x 3 nose cone. It isn't a significant modification to our nose cone or side fuselage panels. Adding the additional half wedge for the lower rear section present on Red 5 is easy enough too. However, the underside fuselage plate would then need to be adjusted to account for the widening gap again. As to whether it's better shaping? Well, there are pros and cons here that are best left to the eye of the beholder.
  8. Thanks MBrick.... It certainly kept us busy when time permitted & we're relieved to have completed it by our self imposed deadline of May 4. As for the io file, well, after discussing with it with 'The Gents', we're of the opinion that handing it out felt like giving away our first born! The umbilical cord is strong with this one! Apologies!!
  9. Cheers Sucram! I must admit I'm having fun here & I'm chuffed to read you are too!
  10. Aeroeza

    UCS X-Wing 2023 - Mods

    Yep! Me too… The online debating discourse has been rife with critical posts on this set beyond the usual price tag complaint Lego invariable brings about. I guess we just ‘own’ our own concept of what an X-Wing should look like, even if it’s a vintage Kenner X-Wing with an oversized R2 unit. (Mine had the 'battle damage'… always regretted adding those stickers dammit)! 75355 seems to suffer from its own sense of ‘The Uncanny Valley’.
  11. And we have! Thanks so much for your observations! Let me expand on some of our decision-making processes behind the build…. An argument can be made that the way we have approached the nose cone’s side ‘transition’ is a clear deviation from the appearance of Red 5 – and they’d be right. However, it is worth pointing out that the four hand sculpted fuselages used for the hero models in ANH aren't identical and are also somewhat asymmetrical. For our Lego rendition we hit the research road. What we came to truly appreciate about the hero models of ANH & ROTJ (none were made for ESB as they used an MPC model kit instead) is that there are few X-wing nose cones that are alike! These differences are found primarily at the rear of the cone where it connects to the fuselage. However, port and starboard sides could also have discrepancies between one another on a single model too! 'Broadly' speaking there were three variants in particular within all these discrepancies that caught our eye... The first, I’ll call Type 1 (as depicted in Henrik’s original build) has an upper section with a wedge-look, the angle of which pretty much continues to the lower section creating an overall swept back look. Type 2 has a slight concave upper section and a more acute angled lower section when compared to Type 1, giving it a softened swept back appearance. Type 3 depicts a deeper concave shaped upper section and almost 90 degree angled lower section. The ‘swept back look’ has gone. How they blend with the fuselage also differs for this lower section. Some are quite distinct, appearing to be almost a separate component to the fuselage while others have little distinction at all and gently merge into it. Notably, the hero Red 5 nose cone is wildly different to the hero Red 3. Red 5 has the more swept back look on top and semi swept lower section. Red 3 on the other hand has the deeper concave upper shape (at least on the starboard side) with a lower section dropping suddenly (port and starboard). Both models have nose cones that remain distinct in form where they connect to the fuselage. The million-dollar question is - which nose cone can be best replicated in Lego form at the scale we were working with? The answer is Red 3. Thanks Biggs! The reference used for our nose cone was therefore the hero Red 3 model (Type 3) from ANH rather than the hero Red 5 (Type 2). Our take here was regardless of call-sign, if ILM built it & we use it for reference, then it would be right for our project! These differences to Red 5 allowed for treatment of the cone as a complete & separate modular build for better integration with the rest of the X-Wing’s dragster front. There was less call for a diagonal half-tile on the cone’s upper section and none for the lower. The use of the modified tile with curved cut-outs on the upper-rear section also proved a fair match to the concave look of Red 3 while allowing too for a streamlined flow into the side panels of the fuselage that compared well with the broader source material. Personally, I’m really enjoying the look and clean flow of the ‘roundedness’ of our cone as it segways into the X-Wing’s angular hexagonal silhouette. Scaling the schematics (while using the canopy as a reference point) to an orthographic top render of the front fuselage also proves an interesting reveal... This is a render of our first prototype nose to explore the solution. It's not identical to our final take (the above has a slightly different top panel) however it does show not only how close we got (proportionally a 1 x 3 rather than 1 x 4 nose cone top plate is the way to go), but that the front fuselage of 75355 is really at a different scale to it's rear due to the width of the canopy piece. That said, it's quite remarkable what the original designer pulled off!
  12. Thanks mate! I was a little intimidated by using BL too.... Ordering the parts for our MOC/MOD was the largest order I'd ever attempted to date. But, once I'd set up my wanted list in Rebrickable before I knew it I had'em! Five orders in total, all within my home turf of Australia for $247 AUS including postage & handling. Four days later and they're all here! I'm ecstatic to finally be converting my virtual build into the real thing! The link should be up BUT, to quote it "....we are currently in the process of setting up a distribution point for the package including the building instructions and sticker sheet in PDF format, together with the parts list available for ordering through Bricklink or Rebrickable services." Our May 4th celebration is complete! Stay tuned!!!
  13. PM sent! :) And thanks for your message. It means alot!
  14. Aeroeza

    UCS X-Wing 2023 - Mods

    No worries!! :) Final product! Wings fixed!! Nose appreciably sculpted!!! Hope you all like it.... We've got instructions and stickers sheets. If you have the official set then just another 1260 pieces or so completes our MOC/MOD. Please check out [MOD/MOC] GotB’s UCS X-Wing Starfighter 75355 for more details. Photo shoot of the final model to follow soon... Not that you shouldn't MOD your set to your happiest UCS standards but based on the X-wing schematics available in the ‘Star Wars: Rebel Starfighters: Owner’s Manuel Workshop’ the size of the R2 minifigure isn't so much the issue here as is the width of the top greebling panel located between the side rear fuselage ones. It should be closer to a 1x3 brick in width rather than the 1x4 used in the set. This ultimately ends up playing tricks with our eyes. Assuming the schematics are accurate then a 3x3 dome is a tad on the large size and disproportionate in scale to the overall model. A 2x2 dome, though not absolutely perfect, is closest. My understanding too (could be wrong) is that the orthographic images of the T-65 in that book are based on scanned 3D models from one of the film's original X-Wing props. Regardless, it certainly beats what older material was available out there prior to its publication.
  15. Well, hello there! There’s a story behind every Lego build so, please indulge me, and let me tell you ours…. It’s a beautiful seriously wet night here in Australia where I find myself gazing riveted to my computer, with Studio 2.0 open, marvelling at the final depiction of what represents a year’s work between an odd coalition of adult Lego lads. Hovering virtually on the screen in all its three-dimensional splendour is the cumulation of our little brains trust, our version of Henrik Anderson’s 75355 Ultimate Collector’s Series X-Wing Starfighter. Somewhere in Sweden though is the real thing. Our prototype. It sits solidly & gracefully in a professional photographer’s home reportedly receiving the lens love it deserves from his deft touch and eye. More importantly, he’s our team’s test builder, coder and (for all intents and purposes) Lego ‘Sugar Daddy’. I say this with both the full respect and appreciation as a man who barely had to fund this project even a few cents or break any Lego lift arm pieces along the way. For that we can thank this professional photographer. A determined dreamer who both initiated and pushed this venture forward with a maximum amount of swear words in toe and a minimum amount of doubt in hand! And, he’s probably had to fork out enough cash to almost build three different variants of UCS X-Wings along the way! Thanks ‘rde’ you’re a champ! But wait! There’s also a chap quietly celebrating somewhere in Greece. He’s just finished an instruction manual for our build in addition to overseeing the first print run of its sticker sheet. Now, when I say ‘quietly celebrating’ I mean instead rather ‘loudly’ with that measured quality you can sense in someone that betrays the fact that they tend to generally know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and just how to get it done at the same time. This speaks volumes! He also flies helicopters for a living so you’d hope he’d have all those qualities in abundance otherwise your life insurance premiums would be through the roof! He’s also ‘The Fixer’ and goes by the handle ‘Rilted’. That trickster that finds a solution just when all seems so dark, and your floor is dangerously strewn everywhere with a minefield of Lego pieces that obstructs your path to the bathroom you now so urgently need to use. He’ll find you a safe way there and faster than your bladder can say “Too late!” And then there’s old Aussie me, ‘Aeroeza’. The VFX guy with a penchant for accuracy and tendency to see the tree for the wood and sometimes the wood for a forest full of hungry arborists looking for lunch. I’ll make a meal out of anything ILM jerry-rigged in 1976 and try to build the equivalent in polygons and Lego form however structurally unsound and physically unsafe. That’s a great place to start when you know your ‘back ups’ can both build and fix it no matter the price and broken piece count. Together we formed an international brood of Lego devotees nominally referred to as ‘Gentlemen of the Brick’ a.k.a. GotB. A name mostly chosen because ‘League of Gentlemen’ was already gratefully taken, and ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, although a good graphic novel is still mostly remembered as just a bad film. Introductions aside, behold our first project! GotB’s UCS X-Wing Starfighter! 75335 Original vs 75355MOD-GotB (excl. minifigs): 1949pcs vs. 2711 pcs 1.80kgs vs. 2.0 kgs 563x443x118mm vs 576x495x112mm (without stand) Well, that’s only a photo of the previous old prototype. The one that worked really well and then we made better…. Turns out ‘rde’ is also a busy responsible dad (not just the ‘sugar’ type) so I can only assume photos of said final prototype promised in my preamble above have been slightly delayed... So instead have a sexy render of the final model! We’ll update with new shots soon…. Is it a MOD or MOC? Hard to say but we think it deserves centre place on your coffee table! Certainly, its external appearance owes much to Henrik Anderson’s original but that was always the point! We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel so much as make it spin faster, have juicer suspension, and enough tyre tread for urban assault expeditions. At the same time though, we wanted our X-Wing to look at home sitting alongside its UCS cousins while honoring the original set and Lego artist that inspired it in the first place. Admittedly there were a few concerns for 75355 out there amongst Adult Fans of Lego that also inspired and galvanized us into getting this project off the ground. Chiefly amongst those was the set being a little too flimsy and somewhat fragile. There were also those who felt its accuracy lacking or even unsettling in critical ways. The nose cone was clearly very stubby for a vehicle inspired by a 70’s dragster car and the front section’s side profile was rendered a bit clumsily using stepped plates that were in dire need of streamlining. The engine intake cowlings also appeared either too big or too small depending on whether you thought the wings were long enough or just too short. The same could be said about the R2’s minifigure scale. And the general greebling, when compared to many other recent UCS models, was also often deemed more ‘creative’ in execution rather than intentionally ‘accurate’. In truth we think Henrik got so much right and with a ton of tricks and wizardry on display for us to enjoy along the way. Where 2012’s 10240 UCS Red Five X-Wing Starfighter had seemed focused on improving choices made for 2000’s 7191 UCS X-Wing Fighter, 75355 proved a radical departure altogether in techniques and design sophistication. It bristles with effective ideas made real for a commercial product and clearly pushed ‘The Bricks’ boundaries further than had been commercially possible before. We really do like it! But it did depart from 10240 in one critical way… The S-Foil. 75355 has a rather snappy, dramatic action when deploying the wings. This is a novel approach and fun alternative to the slow thumbscrew-like turning mechanism the older UCS versions promoted. However, this S-Foil system is perhaps a bit too clever as the action comes at the cost of a more stable platform 10240 generated with its lift arm design. We felt our version needed to restore this lost stability. Which leads me to highlight the heart of our build under all those external similarities. This is a feature very different in approach to the official set but harkens back to the solutions of old. An S-Foil system whose conceptual genesis lies in the form of a MOC designed by an American named…. well for the sake of privacy let’s stick to his Reddit username of Hypodorious. This nifty little 40-tooth gear and worm screw mechanism promised to address some of the concerns regarding 75355 out there. We managed to make it a little more compact, move past its chain link driven mechanism and install cogs for the use of a dependable rear ‘thumbscrew’ to deploy the wings. The result proved a robust and reliable one that was still able to split open to a screen accurate 36-degrees or close without leaving a gap. This proved only the beginning of our journey though… We were also able to expand the internal space found in the engine bays, enough to accommodate two 31mm technic wheels. These directly link the lift arms of the S-Foil through a variety of pins and axels to the technic bricks and plates of the wings, simultaneously providing both stability and a degree of accurate detailing to an area of the build that the official UCS X-Wing’s have consistently overlooked. The wings themselves can droop ever so slightly toward their tip but this is not noticeable when they are in ‘attack position’. When deployed the S-Foil appears a pretty gravity defying construction that closely matches the external appearance of the hero model X-Wing Fighters from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Our wings have been lengthened by three studs to better match the source material as too the rear of the fuselage by one stud. The lasers have also been corrected. Schematics from the book ‘Star Wars: Rebel Starfighters: Owner’s Manuel Workshop’ were referenced to get these dimensions as close as Lego bricks could get us. It turns out that the width of the engine intakes Henrik designed are perfect when compared to these schematics but, his wings being a bit undersized, confused these proportions. Our new wings resolve this characteristic. Another area we wanted to nail down was the forward section of the model. Getting the front fuselage’s top and side panels to be smooth, angled and gap free has been successfully implemented by several MODs out there and ours is no exception! But it was the front nose cone that really needed to be right. The solution we found took many iterations and additional research to refine but we believe it to be a nose cone worthy of any true 70’s dragster! We had a lot of fun with the rear fuselage’s top panel. The vertically oriented technic 6 x 8 technic bricks with open centre, that provides a framework for our S-Foil system, allowed too for a degree of height differential when mounting the details of the top fuselage panel, making for some subtle ‘greebling’ accuracy to play out. The rear fuselage side panels have also been completely redesigned and are pretty robust. The back panel has similarities to 75355 and the ‘thumbscrew’ integrates nicely here, passing for greebling that is also found on the screen model, just like 7191 and 10240 does. Which brings us to the cockpit. We’ve done our best to scale its details correctly and to utilize every millimetre of space. Control surfaces were incorporated into the side panels of the cockpit and unsightly gaps found in the forward avionics area closed. We even designed additional stickers for placement on these consoles that wonderfully match the style of the official UCS set’s decals. The rear avionics of the cockpit also went through many iterations. In the end it was decided to incorporate a couple of play features at the expanse of a little accuracy. The targeting computer has been kept and can swivel, retract, and angle into a stored position while allowing the canopy to still close. For further information regarding our instructions, parts list and sticker sheet please visit our MOC's page at Rebrickable or our website at May all our UCS X-Wing dreams come true! Cheers all, Aeroeza, rde and Rilted – GotB May 4th 2024 P.S. More images to follow & Happy May Fourth!!