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  1. Hi guys, so what happened was that I accidentally build a BRAND NEW EF76 Nebulon B Medical Frigate! (It is ok if you skip past all the text and jump straight to the pictures below :) ) A rainy Saturday afternoon in December, I decided to put my old Nebulon model back together after it had been displayed at AFOLCon. Since I had to build the entire thing again, I thought it would be fun to see if I could improve it in some way and update the design. Thus I revisited the modelermagic.com site I had used the first time I designed the model. They have 200+ pictures of the model used in the movie. The model was one of the last finished models created for the Empire Strikes Back back in 1980. As with most ILM models it was made from a wonderful cocktail of kit-bashed and custom-made parts. If you look closely at the studio model, you can find old model kit parts – warship hulls, rockets, racecar fenders, engines of all sorts, and different kinds of weaponry. Even the frames used to hold the different kit parts have found their purpose. Back when I was building the old version of the ship I even found some guys trying to recreate the studio model – identifying the old model kits parts and all, a few years later the guy is still at it! But I digress… Looking at the pictures again I got a few ideas for modifications and extra details. But, more importantly, it somehow looked like the front half maybe needed to be… bigger?? I knew that the official 300m length and 72m width of the ship did NOT fit the proportions of the studio model. I had taken that into account when building the first version of the ship – where I repeatedly had to redesign the entire front again and again to hit the correct proportions. But looking at the pictures with fresh eyes it still looked “off” from certain angles. However, I couldn’t pinpoint how much exactly needed to be done… Until, I found the Empire Strikes Back BlueRay! On the BlueRay there were additional pictures AND a video of the movie model rotating. The goals were (as always) to get the proportions and details of the ship as accurate as possible. And, using the BlueRay material, I discovered that the entire front needed to be MUCH bigger than before to be accurate. Thus, a brand new design process began. During this process I built an entirely new front half of the ship with a ton of new features, which made the old model look, well, like a model. When that was done I began tweaking and rebuilding the rest of the ship; the neck, the back sections, the aft Deflector Control tower, the engine detailing, etc. etc.. Even the mini Falcon needed to be changed to another model entirely to fit with the larger construction. In the end I had built a brand new model! When designing the old model I had been pretty uncompromising when it came to angles of the ship. I wanted to get everything as close to the movie model as possible and not just having either straight or 45degree angles - this mantra has continued with the new model. This meant there were no easy solutions to make most of these angles. The “off” angles combined with all the specific detailing resulted in the original ship ending up using more than 450 types of bricks. This was also due to the discrete coloring found in the movie model, which I tried to replicate. Due to the much increased size of the new model it can afford much greater detailing – especially the front half, which was way too small before, is now infinitely more detailed compared. As I had originally done with the engine section, I could now begin to interpret every little piece of detailing on the front of the studio model. This also means that the brick type count with the new model has gone past 500 – and the ship is now several thousand bricks larger than before. Enjoy! This ship has a ton of detail and sections so I have tried sorting the pictures a bit – beginning with the front. The Front The Medical Frigate is a very “forward heavy” model. The entire front section takes up nearly half of the models total length (and much than half of the bricks). The front section has several defining features: The huge dark water tank, the antenna arrays and the dominating “stalactite” housing numerous smaller pods. The water tanks sports a lot of piping - but also a lonely canon (AKA a dbg 6246a screwdriver :) ). The Stalactite was one of my favorite areas designing the first model. However the increased size has allowed me to have details not possible before. Each section is like designing its own separate model. My way of working was to think of each "pod" as a separate, detailed smaller ship – which actually fits with the lore of these pods being interchangeable. I also like the haphazard cover plates encapsulating the pods. Some of the plating seems almost to float in space. This angle also reveals some of the several, otherwise hidden, viewports of the ship. Each part of the ship is designed as if it were a separate micro model. Just like trying to make the scale Falcon as precise as possible (Thanks Tim) each section is built for optimal detail. For comparison is a picture of the studio model in the same area below: Here the dirty, used look of the model along with the subtle splashes of color is evident. These are features I have tried to recreate in the design of the model. Before we move on here is a shot of the top of the front. The short-range communications array is in focus. I have always been curious as to what the purpose of the grilled area is? The Middle The area where the front section meets the neck is where we find the medical bay. Here is the iconic window where Leia and Luke watch the Falcon depart with Chewie and Lando in the search for Han. Getting the shape of the window correct was a challenge when using plates and tiles for the plating. I did a test using a “brick wall” approach, which made it easier to get the desired shape of the window, but forewent the nice texturing afforded by the lines between the tiles of different shapes and sizes. Just now writing this post I got an idea. Looking at the window in the picture above I decided I could clean it up a bit, but also set in the proper picture of Luke, Leia and the droids (the picture was found in the aforementioned post). This only goes to show that no Lego model is ever truly done :) (too bad I delivered back the good camera so this picture is taken with my phone ><). And now I got an idea for my next moc – I will build this medical-bay-window-scene in minifig scale, put in the minifigs, take a picture and place it in this window frame – it is the Lego way! :D The Falcon. In scale with the Medical Frigate, docked as seen in ESB. The excellent design is thanks to Tim Goddard. I have updated it a bit with a new cockpit section and a few other modifications. The Falcon is attached to the “Docking Neck” which is detailed below. The docking neck up close. Loads of piping, but also a few slopes thrown in to approximate the not quite round, but not quite square, shape of the studio model. The detailing continues all the way around – even under the neck. This was the only place I did not detail on the old model, but this time around it has gotten the proper treatment. Connecting front and back. Getting the Falcon to hang on properly and NOT fall down was "fun". Looking at the film shot it is actually docked in the exhaust vent right under the turret (which also makes little sense). Trying to getting it to hang in that area meant that it was too off the center of gravity and I would need a seperate stand for the Falcon. Or I could revert to the smaller, lighter version used in the old version. I am still considering a solution :) The Back The back section’s main features are the engines, the static discharge vanes and the Deflector Control tower. However, there are also plenty of more subtle features to pique the imagination. This angle shows off the details of the Deflector Control tower nicely, but it also reveals some detailing not seen from the angles shown on film. I have found no description on what the pipes are meant to be, but they look interesting and are part of the section of the model labeled Engineering. There is also a row of holes in the model here, which I suspect should be windows. However, on the studio model they are not covered with the kind of film the other windows are. Maybe it is an omission or maybe the holes serves a different purpose – in any case I have recreated them here. The static discharge vanes are also prominent in this picture. They must serve their purpose in atmosphere or perhaps more gaseous parts of space – perhaps inside a nebula eh? :P Here is the opposite side of the same area. Although the model is overall symmetrical, the different detailing techniques of the modelers working on different parts of the model is evident when looking at the studio model. I have tried to interpret the different styles using bricks :) Now to the juicy stuff – the engines. The engine section of the studio model sports an obscene amount of detail. Dozens and dozens of plates, placed in an intricate system. Looking at this section on the studio model from different angles continuously reveal new details. Just as you thought you had the look nailed, a new picture reveals plates jutting further out than expected or until then hidden nuances. This is why another picture of the exact same area, but from a slightly different angle, is needed. Looking at the engines from different perspectives also revealed that they are placed at slightly different “depths”. In general I had to revisit this area quite a few times because nothing lines up as neatly as initially expected. Even though it can look like it, the sides of the engine section does not slope at exactly 45 degrees – which makes recreating it that much more troublesome. Another perspective. The deflector control tower has a weird air intake looking thing at the top. The “Dark Side” The starboard side of the ship is not really shown up close in either ESB or RotJ. The main reason for this is that this is the side where the model was mounted to a large steel frame for shooting. The side sports a lot of unique detailing, as also seen on the back section. When looking at the starboard side of the stalactite, several unique features stands out compared to the port side. I have tried to recreate all these features, but I have also improvised a bit of additional detailing because this side was somewhat barer. Looking at the green command module there were no windows on this side and some weird plating. This lead me to believe that at some point the modelers had to prioritize their time to get the model done - and stuff that would not be seen in the movie suddenly became less important to flesh out. Thus I have taken a few liberties with this side. I recreated all the unique features, but I also added detail. For example the starboard windows to the command module – only having windows on one side struck me as weird. Since the other side of the same module had piping and cylinders I added a bit of those here as well – without mirroring anything, because no mirroring is to be found anywhere else on the model. I did more or less the same with the tan module adding some detail to compliment the opposite side. However, I have tried to make my own detailing subtle enough as to not take focus from the unique features found here. All in all, this side is a bit more of a playground compared to the rest of the model where every area is exquisitely detailed. The more modest texturing here begs for continued tinkering :) Heading into Hyperspace! The Nebulon B - ready to jump to lightspeed! Overview On the shelf. The model is done for now, but a model is always a work in progress. I am always tweaking here and there. I have already made a few modifications since these pictures were taken – I will keep you updated here :) I got a lot of builders asking to send them LDD of my old model. Well, I have good news. I will be making (not me personally) instructions for this if anyone is interested. When they are done the will be available alongside the LDD, Excel Sheet with the bricks needed and an XLM wanted list to upload to Bricklink :) And yes, it is swooshable! Please comment! Go here for updates to the design and instructions: http://www.eurobrick...howtopic=131170 UPDATE: