Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tutorial: Make your own Starfighter Part 1 The Nose

It's September and for a lot of Lego builders its also Space-tember.  It's a grand time to imagine and build myriad forms of space related MOCs.

And when you are in space most folks think of STARSHIPS!

If you've ever wondered how to make your own ship and were afraid to venture past the instructions included in your Lego sets follow this new series of mine as I give some techniques in creating your own starships.

I built the model below for one of the activities of my build team #teamtopak.   I call it "The Sunburst"  I'll show everyone the steps I did to build it.

The Sunburst

The Nose

We'll start of with the nose of the ship.

TIP:  It is best to create your ships in sections and then put them all together.  A lot of folks start off with the cockpit and build outward.  For this particular ship I wanted to start with the nose section.

If we look closely at the nose of "The Sunburst" the first we notice is that there are a lot of plates covering it and it makes use of SNOT techniques.  SNOT stands for "Studs Not On Top" which is Lego building speak for ways to go around the normal studs on top builds.  It's a fine concept for making really complex Lego models.

Here are some bricks that are considered for SNOT builds:

Bricks that let you implement SNOT

The most famous of the ones in the picture is the 1x1 brick with a stud on each of its side, known as the Travis brick.   Initially the Travis was what I had in mind to be able to mount plates on both sides and the top of the fighter's nose.  I decided to look for some other pieces that might be able to implement the same effects and I came up with:

The traffic light brick
The traffic light brick, so called because it was initially used as the hub for connecting stop lights, came to mind.  When considering builds and what bricks to use the texture or shape of the brick can help immensely in giving extra details to the build.

Starting with the tip of the nose section

2 traffic light bricks help me assemble the tip of the nose section.  When starting out with your own ship it's fine to just use any colored brick at hand to start building.  You can always come back later and get the correct colored parts.

Now we can extend and build the complete nose section.

Additional traffic light bricks were used to lengthen the nose section

And here's why I ended up using the  traffic light brick:

Now I can pretend that someone is working on The Sunburst's nose section

Remember what I said about picking a piece because it's shape or texture might give the extra details to make your MOC look awesome? By using the traffic light brick it gives the feel of having internal components in my nose section.  If I used the normal Travis brick I would end up with a smooth looking interior when the plates are removed.  Now I can use this extra detail to make ship hangar dioramas where technicians could be shown working on the nose section with the plates removed.

Going back to extra details and giving texture to your work take note of the modified 2x2 plate on the end of the nose section.  The rounded end gives it texture which we shall see in later parts of the tutorial.  Also take note that the entire nose section will connect via SNOT techniques to the body of the starship.

So I'll end here and hopefully you all picked something up about building a starship today.

Be sure to check in for part 2 when we build the cockpit section.

Till then Leg Godt!

PART 2 is here: