Main Gun Tips Minor Reconstruction

Please forgive me for being away for so long! I FINALLY took some time this weekend to work on the SDF-1, albeit I only had time to work a very small section: the white tips of the Main Guns. This section has always bothered me; I never felt I got them completely right.

My first issue with this section is the gap in the slope, in the series of 2 x 3 slope bricks you can see one of the studs right at the transition point. This is only place on ship where a stud sticks out like this. I’m no LEGO purist but I do feel that this breaks some kind of unwritten rule. Either way, it has always bothered me and I wanted to use a technique to build this slope that would not result in exposed studs.

LEGO SDF-1 Main Gun Problem Section

Exposed Studs on the left and the center section has 5 different angles.

Second you’ll notice when looking at the diagrams below that the front tips of the SDF-1 Continue reading

Update

It is really, really, really hard to find time to spend finishing my LEGO SDF-1. Fortunately I am an entrepreneur and I love it, but unfortunately it leaves me very little free time, even on weekends! I took a break this Saturday and my wife was out of the house all day visiting friends leaving me alone with my favorite LEGO project. I didn’t get that much accomplished today, but still it was fun. Here is a snapshot of the bottom of the legs. I think I’m going to switch out the boosters though:

To give you an idea of the weight of the ship so far, just one hallow leg alone is 3 lbs. I don’t want to guess what the weight of the entire ship is now, but please know it is heavy! Because of the weight, I’m using six 1×1 plates (you can see on the far right) as pegs for the ship to stand on when either standing upright in crusier mode or after transformation. I would rather the 1×1 plates get scratched up over time on surfaces than the entire bottom of the legs. Continue reading

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.