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

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.

Locating the Rotating Points

DYRL Transformation

For transformation into Attack Mode the middle section rotates 180 degrees, the tricky part is finding the appropriate point of rotation. I used some spare LEGO bricks as placeholders to help me locate the rotation point. The white main section is so pretty but I always knew I would have to break it apart and install a Technic brick on each side (I’ll also have to break it apart to add additional mechanisms for support too). Below is a photo of me lining up the location for the Technic brick:

The photo below is of a test to see what the SDF-1 would look like after transformation, I’m attempting to line the blue section up correctly.

The line art images that I have are not too much help because they are not really drawn to scale, especially after transformation. Because the artwork is untrustworthy, I had to use my own best judgment to decide how far out the white section should protrude after transformation.

This is the most detailed image I have of the SDF-1 in attack mode but the I use it the least because so many areas of the drawing is not to scale.

This week I’ll have less time to spend on this, I have to get back to real life! Also, progress is limited until I receive my new LEGO orders from Bricklink. Best case I hope to at least finish the leg by the weekend.

Work in Progress II: Center Section

I was able to make more progress on refining the second half of the center section, see picture below:

I added more detail to the bottom portion to fill in this gap:

The challenge with this section is building it so it folds properly into the first section for transformation, it sounds easy but of course it was not. Fortunately with a few tricks and determination I was able to get it to work. This is where I am at now:

There is still work to do to finish cleaning up the gap. Also, the mismatch colors are due to my shortage or white LEGO.

I’m still short on white pieces thus the mismatch colors. This section will be all white and all new LEGO pieces once I’m done. Here is a picture of middle section as I tested it for transformation:

Front View

Back View

I would have preferred the top section to sit a little deeper into the first section but this was the best I could do and I think it is very close to the line art I have of the SDF-1. I’m not going to do too much more with the second half of the middle section until I receive more white pieces. This was fun to build (so far) and it turned out better than I expected.

Work in Progress: Center Section

This project is a beast! I’m running out of so many types of LEGOs, I totally underestimated how many pieces this project would require. Today I submitted two more Bricklink orders for pieces, on top of the three orders I already have outstanding. I am afraid to tally how much this ship has cost; I’ll wait to add it up when I’m done.

Today I worked on the second half on the white center section, the section of the ship that the bridge sits on. The tricky part about this section is that rotates clockwise into the first half of the white center section when the ship transforms. In order for me replicate that important feature I have to find the best point of rotation. Again, I am working only with pictures I found online of the SDF-1, I don’t have a toy or model to assist me. I’m building the rotation points with simple Technic pin 1×2 bricks. Below is a photo of the section after I determined the best points for rotation.

It took a long time to find the best points! It was not easy, a lot of trial and error!

Next I had to determine how long the section should be; again I used the images available to me.

I used these images to determine how long the section should be (how far over the legs did it extend).

Compared to everything else, determing the length was easy

Below is a picture of my first attempt to build this section out after I pinpointed the points of rotation. You’ll notice I’m using other color LEGO in this section besides white; that is because I ran out of many of the required white bricks and plates and was forced to use my old spare bricks as substitutes. After I built this section and took this picture I decided it was too bulky/blocky and took it apart. Again, just like the leg the slopes and angles were the source of the problem, replicating them is no easy task. With the first attempt I felt the slopes I created were not faithful to the images I had of the SDF-1 and I knew I could do better.

Not exactly what I wantedAfter hours and hours (approx. 10) and many more versions this is the best version I was able to create:

I did the best I could to be faithful to the SDF-1 images.

I used wedge plates to create the outer angles and inverted slopes for the inner ones. I was also able to match it closely to the images I have of the SDF-1. I’m happy with how this section has turned out (so far), but there is still a lot of work to do here: I’m still missing many of the pieces that I need and I still need to finish the bottom/back of this section. Also, this section is mostly hollow and I am planning something special for the inside!

Being short of so many critical pieces I am not sure what I’ll be able to work on tomorrow. I’ll sleep on it.

Rick likes what he sees so far...

Where is Macross City?

Macross City Views

I want to insert a miniature version of Macross City within the SDF-1 but I have been conflicted as to where to put it. In the movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? the city’s location was shown to be in the right leg and that location was confirmed with the scale SDF-1 model that was released last year:

Yamato DYRL Collectible version.

External view from the legs into Macross City from Macross: Do You Remember Love?

But in the Macross series I have not found any references to the exact location of Macross City within the SDF-1. I always used to think the city was in the white center section of the ship until I viewed DYRL and observed that it was actually contained in the leg of the ship.

Macross City within the leg.

I have scoured the internet for a ‘Macross City Map’, ‘Macross City Location’, etc. and mostly what I get are images and information about the DYRL version, not the series version. As I mentioned when I started this project, there is much more information and pictures available for the DYRL version, it is by far more popular.

I’m almost positive for the creators of the original series details such as the exact location of Macross City within the SDF-1 was not a priority concern.  They could not have predicted that the series would be so popular that 30 years later people would be building the SDF-1 from LEGO and wondering where to place Macross City.

Another point about the lack of information concerning the inside of the SDF-1, if the right leg contains the city then what is the left leg? Is it the barracks? Is it empty? Does it warehouse supplies and/or ammunition? Does it house Valkyries and Destorids? Yes, no? Also what is in the center section? What is in the other outer sections? There is no map (or least I haven’t found one) that details how the inside of SDF-1 is layed out – for either the original Macross series or Macross: Do You Remember Love?

At this point I anticipate my LEGO SDF-1 to have three empty compartments:  the legs and the main center section. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll follow the DYRL template and place Macross City inside the right leg. I also haven’t decided what to place in the other empty compartments, for example should I make it a space for a mini-barracks, should I create mini-Valkyries and store them there, etc.?. At this point I’m not too concerned about it because when I get to that point of the build it would mean I would have successfully accomplished building the legs and the second half of the ship and my LEGO SDF-1 would almost be finished!