More Reconstruction

The appearance of second half of the center white section (the section the bridge sits on) had been bothering me for a while; I felt it was not scaled correctly. The more I looked at the section and compared it to the pictures the more I could see a few of the curves and angles were off. What I noticed was when the bottom of section begins to curve inwards, the start of the curve is aligned to the middle of the circular section, see image:

Note the horizontal red line.

However on my LEGO SDF-1 the inward curve began to high up, at the top of the circle: Continue reading

SDF-1 Arms and the Start of Macross City

Yesterday I was able to construct the arms (not the carriers) of the SDF-1. Fortunately I had about 90% of the white pieces I needed. I plan on using a Technic brick assembly to connect the carriers to the ship and to hold the carriers horizontally after transformation. This assembly is a huge challenge because it has to handle a lot of weight post transformation; only testing will tell if my design theory will work. I foresee post transformation the arms and carriers will be another section of the ship that will require glue to provide extra strength to manage the weight and stress.

There is not really anything extremely complex about my arm design, just turntables to rotate the arms out and wedge plates to get the angle effect. The rest is just white bricks, tiles and plates. The photos below best show the functionality:

Note the arm above is still under construction.

My apologies that this is not the most up to date image of the arms. The image above is of Continue reading

Main Guns & More

Sorry I have been away for so long, but real adult life often gets in the way and can keep even the best of us away from building with LEGO. Fortunately for me I have had a lot free time the past couple of days so I could dedicate time to making some progress on building my LEGO SDF-1.

One of the big issues I was having was with attaching the Main Guns after transformation. Each gun weighs over 2 lbs when hollow and I plan on inserting details inside of each so in the end they they possibly could weigh much more. What I used to connect the Main Guns to the body of the ship were three 6 stud long Technic axles (sorry no picture). I knew that using a simple stud connection wouldn’t work and after some trial and error with a couple of other techniques the 3 axles were the best method I could come up. Continue reading

The Second Leg

I’ve only had a limited amount of time to work on building the SDF-1 due to my real life responsibilities, and unfortunately extra time will only become more and more limited going forward. Since the last time I posted I’ve been dealing with a number of weight issues – even beyond the legs. With the size and weight of this model, the traditional LEGO connections aren’t doing the trick.

In cruiser mode, the blue sections on the left and right side shown in the picture below were not being held tightly connected to the main white center section with just a couple of technique pin assemblies. This was especially troubling since this was happening before I attached the legs and before I have even built and attached the carriers – which would add even more weight. I tried to remedy the situation with numerous additional pin and axle connections which all improved the quality of the connection between the white and blue sections but none were able to make the connections really ‘tight.’ The best solution was to build a 1×1 hole on both sides of the white center section which I was able to line up with the top of the blue sections. Through this hole I slid a plate that I was able to use to connect the sections and create a tight connection.

I buitl the 1 x 1 hole about where the gray brick is at

I’ve also rebuilt a significant portion of the leg to improve it and have started building the second leg. I’ve have come to the realization that glue is the only solution to make the model strong enough to support the legs. I’ll most likely need some form of super glue, because the legs are extremely heavy and there is not LEGO trick I can think of that I can use to connect he legs to the ship AND still have the SDF-1 be able to transform.

Before I begin to start to glue the leg I wanted to make sure the SDF-1 didn’t have some form of fundamental design flaw that would not allow the SDF-1 to stand and support its own weight after transformation. So I built a skeleton of the second leg to test the balance during transformation and fortunately it worked: Knowing that it could support the weight I went on ahead and also tested the transformation:

I was most afraid that the SDF-1 would tip backwards because of the weight of the Main Guns, but fortunately no issues.

The only issue I found with this test was with the technique I’m using to attach the Main Guns is not really holding the guns upright and tightly to the ship. I may have to go back to the drawing board on that feature.

I have to order a ton of new bricks on Bricklink in order to finish the 2nd leg. If the gluing the LEGOs together does not work in providing enough support for the legs then I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue the model, at least not at this large size. I’m going to hope that all the time, energy and money I put into this model will not go to waste because of that.

Work In Progress: Second Half

Sorry I have been away for so long – please don’t think I have abandoned my LEGO SDF-1! Things have been extremely busy and unfortunately I won’t have as much time to dedicate to this project going forward as did last month. I have been able to sneak in some time to build here and there; most importantly I have started building the second half of the ship. I’m still short of a lot of pieces, but I did receive a couple of my orders from Bricklink which allowed me to put some finishing touches (although far from complete) on the main center section. Below are a couple of snapshots of the progress to date:

Starting the build of the left side. Part of me feels the blue section of the Main Guns may be too short, but I'll hold off on judging until I see the ship with the both Legs attached. Besides, the last thing I want to do at this point is reconstruct anything!

Although the Main Guns may look almost complete, there is still a lot of work to be done. There are some areas I will have to take apart and rebuild.

As I described in my previous post, there are still major issues with the weight of the leg. I have to decide if glue is the only solution to make the LEGOs strong enough to support the weight horizontally. If glue is the only solution, I have to decide when is the right time to start gluing Sections together, I don’t want to glue Sections together too soon and have to go through the trouble of taking the pieces apart.

To prove my point about not wanting to glue too soon, I have already discovered that I need to rebuild a section of the leg to make it so it can support the ship after transformation. Recently I found a critical design flaw in one of the connection points I built for transformation and as is I don’t think it would be able to support the ship upright.

There is still a great deal of work to be done, I’ll have to attack the leg issues when I have a significant amount of free time to focus just on solving the leg’s issues. For now I am going to wait for my last Bricklink order to arrive.

Good Job so far Sport!