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The Cloud City playset from Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Backs…https://ideas.lego.com/projects/163944 I wanted to design a fun and playable set which would include the ionic scenes from the Empire Strikes Back film. The aim was to create a set that resembles the shape of the cloud city and offers a playable platform like the Death Star play set. I’m a keen Star Wars fan and as Cloud City hasn’t seen a new set since 2003 I thought I would have a go. I hope you enjoy and welcome your creative input into my project. Thanks for your vote…
Hello again, Eurobricks members, There were a few different incarnations of Cloud City that I've been messing around with for the past few years. I have a lot of OT Lego but I'm often surprised at the lack of sets aimed at screen time in the original trilogy. I believe Cloud City, Yavin IV and Degobah are underrepresented in TLG's catalog of sets. Luckily, LEGO is a construction toy and making a set exactly the way you want it is a matter of motivation (obsession). I've lost count but I believe this is the 8th version of this model... another thread here contains my 2nd attempt: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=59737 Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the old model. Cloud City... it's an obession for me to find the 'right' way to do it in Lego. I was very critical of TLG's 10123 design I found myself returning to the strip-mall style of it... where the exterior of Cloud City is expressed on one side of each modular piece and the other side contains the room and play area. But after ripping apart and rebuilding from scratch a half dozen times I then tried to make a more custom version of 10123 but with more adaptability in the re-arranging of rooms. I've come up with something that has many different combinations of play/display. There is no basic "default" state for the arrangement yet. Here's this model in it's entirety so far (above). The carbonite chamber is the heart of Cloud City and the source of its income and prosperity for collecting and manufacturing the tibanna gas from Bespin. My Besgas 3 platform from the other models had been revamped and improved with some half-rounded pieces. There's no place for figs to stand but it seemed an important "feel" to Cloud City to have at least one. So the carbonite chamber doesn't have a lowering/raising mechanism included, however for the sake of expansion I did leave a sizable hole in the floor... eventually I'll engineer some kind of crank that raises/lowers a HanSoloSickle. One very difficult aspect of Cloud City are all the lighting effects that are not easily registered in Lego but remain inportant when re-creating key scenes... within the chamber itself it's good to have some blue in the background. My solution so far was to include some transparent pieces on the backside of the carbon freezing chamber to give it the blue feeling like in those dueling scenes (see below). Another problem altogether is the orange glow of Cloud City when the heros are arriving/escaping at sunset... but I dash of orange pieces here and there fix that. I'm satisfied with the mini Cloud Cars over full size ones, they add that important hint of orange. I did add a light brick here because I feel the carbonite chamber is such an important location and the heavy light there really adds to the mood of the room. You can move the light brick down and out of the way for dueling play... and of course the top comes off completely to access the chamber unimpeded. Jabba's Palace 9516 gave me the idea about having one big rounded corner "main" area that all of the other areas could connect to... and I took the idea of the removable top and stuck it in there as well. The result is a very playable carbonite chamber complete with pipes and tubing for Luke to hang from and an all-too-easy lever. The top 'hat' piece slides off easy for duels in the chamber. There's also the extension platform where the duel ends. It can easily hang over a tabletop for some handless Luke diving. "Come with me. It is the only way." There are three other "main" areas, two hallway areas left and right which lead to East and West platforms and a back area with the dining room, hotel suite and all the utility rooms from the film. I squeezed as much as I could into each scene without going crazy on the piece count. Which is something I think TLG tries to do with big playsets. But I fully realize that to pull off the sleek, 70s feel of Cloud City I'll need a lot more smooth white tiles. The hallways are small and bare but do the job of allowing characters to sneak around Cloud City trying to avoid detection. One of these hallways feature a large decorative sculpture. The two angled areas contain a guard rail (love this piece, have to get another) and a table with chairs. I haven't completed the decals yet but these smooth 1x2 pieces on the table will eventually become Sabbac cards. I tried to build a casino into Cloud City many times but it's lack of appearance on-screen in the movies confuses the overall 'look' of being identifiable. I feel that gambling is a big part of the Cloud City experience, although not seen in ESB. The hatch (below) was used in many attempts to get the scene where Luke escapes from the underside of Cloud City back to the Falcon. But doing it underneath Cloud City and making it accessible is nearly impossible... although I'm sure Stoutfiles' full scale globe-shaped Cloud City could pull it off!! We've got two holding cells on the top. The left is the prison that Leia, Chewie, Han and C3P0 are taken to after their "dinner" with Vader. Chewie is trying to fix C3P0. No one in the dining area at the moment. When there are, I'm sure they'd be honored if you would join them. There's the garbage room with a cute reference with the 'recycling' sign that will be replaced once I find another white thin wall piece. ;) Ow!! That thing hurts. "They never even asked me anything..." The window of the dining area needs a sticker to from a circular window. The Ugnots (sp?) need work. The faces work I think but they need blue jackets and caps. Having a rim around the garbage room allows for lots of fun bits to be laid in there... somewhat like the Death Star 10188's does. I have no idea how TLG will figure this out (if they ever revisit Cloud City). Also some little spikes on the top of the Cloud City dome (above the carbonite chamber) could use more detail. Thoughts, suggestions? Were this to develop more I plan to make 4 Lego boxes to show off the units individually; I'd love to see this as a playset for about $160 total but broken into $40 pieces that can be collected x4: The Carbonite Chamber, The East Platform, The West Platform and the Hospitality District. Until TLG makes an official follow up to their old set, this will tide me over. I think Cloud City is a fantastic challenge. It has a very recognizable outer shape and for a long time I was hung on making that shape look right as well as the inside. But now I feel that as long as the play areas are correct this 'city' playset will do the trick. Thanks for reading and please share your criticisms and observations. darththeling
My obsession with making a Lego Cloud City has come full circle. Initially I was disappointed and bewildered by the images of the official Lego release of 2003. "What a piece of junk." Of course with 2D photos it's sometimes difficult to fully appreciate a Lego model properly. After a half dozen or so attempts at Cloud City over the past 3 years I'm still tearing these study models apart, unsatisfied with my approach. The most recent victim was this build, however I did spare the carbonite pit. I don't believe that Cloud City is unbuildable but I'm struggling with the inspiration for it these days. It's such a critical part of The Empire Strikes Back, it must be included in any serious OT collection! The last year of Lego Star Wars releases (2012~2013) has been a great pleasure on my shelf and a great pain in the wallet. (I'm looking at you, Jabba's Palace and Rancor Pit!) Upon careful study of 10123, reading reviews and analysis it was decided that I must have 10123 and only by building it will I truly understand the nuances, high points and low points of the only official Cloud City release. Imagine my horror upon finding that a complete kit was worth about $700 used. But looking at the major pieces of the kit I was fairly certain that I had most of the parts lying about needed to build most of the main part of the set... there were major omissions like the baseplates and some special pieces like the carbon rods (little transOrange ones) but I felt that I could check out instructions online and study printed out photos of 10123 and rebuild it pretty close to the official version. As I proceeded to start I found myself "building around" the problem areas and offering my own solutions. For example, I wanted a fairly smooth floor in the dining area so I ended up doing my own thing in there and taking out the sculpture to offer more minifig spaces. I didn't have all the correct pieces or colors so I built what I could and plan to swap out some proper parts when I come across them. There's no rush, and I'm so glad I didn't end up dropping $700 that I don't have on the original model! Yikes. The "force" mechanisms in the dueling room were easy enough but for the floor flipper I tried to improve on it and added a storage area for weapons underneath. The carbonite pit is completely manual with no crank; you must pull up on the chamber lift. You can rotate Han underneath from his minifig version to the 'old style' slab piece of Han frozen in carbonite. The front door lifts up simply without a gimmick. Finally being able to play with and display and reflect on this official version of Cloud City, I must admin that in front of me, it's actually better than expected. The usual criticisms are more or less true (doesn't really look like Cloud City from the film, missing the torture room, etc) but it's fun to play with and somehow effective at being Cloud City even though the resemblance is kind of a stretch. On my shelf I display it wall size out, so the rooms are hidden which looks much better IMHO. Part of the reason I'm so pleased with it (albeit not 100% complete) is that I'm not out $700 for it!! For anyone who bought this used, do you feel it was worth the money? Eventually I will add to this model... another three large areas in pretty much the same configuration to expand on what's been completed. I'll add a torture area/holding cell, hotel suite for Leia, Han and Chewie and some landing platforms for the cloud cars. I may also be inspired to improve the carbonite chamber. The three areas separate and fasten together like 10123 does. I don't miss the enormous landing pads as most of the ships that visit Cloud City are better off landing next to it and the minifigs can gather on the small platform from my last attempt at Cloud City. Besides, I don't have the room on my shelf for those huge platforms! I built the three major baseplates from the common 4x4 curved pieces. That's my rant about making 10123 from spare parts... it was super fun. I enjoyed the challenge of following the instructions and adapting without the required parts. I didn't think I had so many spare parts to do this but I guess I had enough... if you are aching for a new Cloud City, can't wait for it (like me) and have enough spare pieces lying about, I highly recommend taking a crack at it. "This deal's getting worse all the time!" - Lando, bidding on eBay for a complete 10123 with box and instructions!