My new version of the X-wing, a mix between the recent Dagobah X-wing set and an original custom, which ended up with almost everything from the official version changed or completely rebuilt.
About this creation
Recently I had decided to finally attempt an original custom X-wing with opening wings and a tapered fuselage. It was to be based on my old custom version, which I had never added the above features to (there is a pic of the incomplete prototype body at the end of my folder "LEGO custom X-wing"). Long story short, I had set that project aside for a while when I decided that modifying the new Dagobah X-wing might be less work and could still yield a result I could live with. In the end, I'm really glad I did, for several reasons:
1. It pushed me to try a SW custom in white, something I previously thought I'd be dead set against (it's always been light grey or bust for me in the past).
2. It provided a unique and ready-made way to have the wings open in a realistic looking fashion (though my wing modifications made retaining the set's opening mechanism, well...interesting).
3. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun deconstructing the stock ship (which had strong points but quite a few big flaws from an accuracy standpoint) and creating a compromise that, I feel, goes beyond both the set itself and my previous custom version and makes a good effort at recreating the ILM models within the confines of the brick at minifig scale.
Enough with the blah-blah-blah...here are the pics.
High angle forward view, showing the contour of the tapered fuselage, which I altered by having the front of the tapered section meet the nose at three studs across instead of two. The official version looked way to thin and awkward, IMO. While the curved wedge pieces on the sides of the cockpit aren't ideal (widening the taper and continuing it further back, as Brucey-Wan did in his excellent custom version, would be best), I decided it was good enough (at least until I change my mind)!
...the right side! Note that the rearmost section of red behind the cockpit is not repeated on this side. This is as it appears on the original model built for Star Wars...I love the little touches the model makers put in to make the ships more "real!"
Rear shot, showing the engine thrust nacells (I love the way the underside/inside of the 2x2 rounds looks when used for this - no cheesy tranparent neon pieces to simulate afterburner glow for me, thank you).
Higher angle rear view. Adding the grey 2x3 wedge plates continues the angled line of the main wing piece, avoiding the awful straight line on the official version, as well as adding a bit of texture (though I think white would look good as well, but not at current Bricklink prices of a 2x3 white wedge plate).
Another angle I like, which highlights a feature which some may question, but I will always vehemently defend...the size of the main body section of my wingtip lasers! I realize that on the ILM models they really aren't quite as big in circumference as the rear engine thrust nacells. However, they most certainly are closer in size to them than to the half size (1x1 rounds) methods used on both official sets and many customs out there! Check out any good photo reference (not flawed "schematics" passed off as blueprints)...they are HUGE structures, especially when seen on the full-scale X-wings from ANH and ESB. Check out how big they are compared to a human body!
The only drawback of my larger wingtip cannon design was that the added weight was pulling the lower wings down when in closed position. This was easily remedied by adding a second set of rubber bands.
Straight on view in cruising mode. Bringing the engines closer to the bottom edge of the wings makes a world of difference from the ridiculous way they sit so far apart on the official set (this was the first pet peeve thing I noticed from the first preview pics of it online)! Little did I know how much fudging I'd have to do to the wing structure itself to maintain the opening method while keeping the wings from falling off (more on this below)! In retrospect, I understand why LEGO did it as they did, to maintain easy function and playability.
Overhead view, showing overall proportions. The angle of the rear edge of the wings is not quite right, but using the 6x12's from the official set allowed the wings to remain one plate thick...if I had converted it to 2x4 wedges as I did on my original custom version, the wings would have to be two plates thick to hold together!
Front overhead angle with flash. An all-white ship would look completely wrong, IMO, but with blending of light and dark grey, I'll admit it looks OK, though grey will still remain the color of choice for most of my Star Wars custom work!
Luke in the cockpit, with the readout angled to simulate the console as seen in the films. I'd never included a control stick on my ships before, but I like the idea now. I wanted to add more readouts, etc, along the sides of the cockpit, but retaining the curved white side wedge pieces required using the white "tile/wall" pieces to avoid a gap below the closed canopy. If I ever alter the fuselage and remove the big wedge pieces, I'll certainly update the cockpit, as cramming in cockpit detail is one of the fun parts of ship building!
Rear section behind the cockpit. The details around R2 and the deflector shield projector are pretty much taken exactly from my older original custom version, though most other things were adapted from that design with some changes.
Another feature my previous X-wing (along with every other Star Wars custom I'd ever built) never had...working landing gear. I know, you might say "big deal, the official set has it!" I didn't just leave it as is, though...I lengthened and repositioned the front leg to make it more accurate, and I made rear legs that also fold up.
Lower shot (with gear up) revealing more underside detail. I'd never been willing to compromise the integrity of a custom's accuracy of scale and proportion just to include bonus features like retractable gear (form over function was my motto), but a tapered fuselage allows for nice leeway in this respect. Hats off to LEGO (as well as the many customizers out there who've gone for it and included this feature)...you've convinced me it can be done without sacrificing accuracy!
Detail of my wing modifications. One thing I really couldn't figure out (and this goes for the first system X-wing and the mini version as well) is why the heck LEGO would force a gap in the wings by not inverting the bottom wings to allow a flush meeting point when closed! It was, to me, the most obvious and easily realized change in the entire set.
A bit out of focus, but this pic shows the inner wing area which I struggled with for a while. In order to allow the engines to lower closer to their proper orientation while still allowing the wing mechanism to function properly. Having to remove the smooth inverted round convex - or is it concave, I can never remember - pieces caused a big problem. As is, the rotating "arms" that push the wings apart have a bit of a rougher journey on mine...the wings sometimes require a bit of a push by me to finish opening. It was well worth the trade-off to me to allow for a much more accurate wing profile.
Detail of Proton torpedo launch tube. I almost didn't include this feature, going back and forth about how it affected the overall look. In the end, inspired again by Brucey-Wan, I decided to go for it. Speaking of Brucey, kudos to him and all the others who created tapered fuselage system scale X-wings long before LEGO did (though LEGO set the standard with the groundbreaking UCS version). I consciously and subconsciously borrowed from several good designs (Bruce's being the only one I can recall by name, apologies to the others) to create this hybrid.
Quoting Matt Klein
Hey I know this is an older MOC but I was wondering if you had any pictures of the wings and the mechanism that spreads them in like an exploded view?
Matt, I still have it, but it is packed away somewhere since my last move. Your best bet, since the opening mechanism is essentially the same as the set this started as, the #4502 Dagobah X-wing, is to start with these instructions: http://www.peeron.com/cgi-bin/invcgis/scans/4502-1/?ct=1. All I remember is that I altered the wings to make them thinner, flipped the bottom ones studs down, and eliminated the gab between them. Good luck!
Pete, I'm never really on here any more...but just came across this and wanted to say miss you, buddy, and I hope all is well for you (music, etc.) You can always hit me up on Facebook if you're on there. Take care!
UNVELIEVABLE! Basically dDitto my review of the SS SE Revised!!!
Just awesome, Bri. :-D WOW! :-D
*pics jaw off of floor*
I haven't built anything in awhile because of time spent w/ the band, but this will be top priority along w/ the Snowspeeder SE Revised. It will be MY HONOR to duplicate anothor of your masterpieces, & it will be prominantely displayed (including a "Custom Hybrid X-WIng Fighter-by Brian Tobin" sticker on it's stand for all to see. And i'll send you a pic as soon as it's built.
This is simply THE BEST moc X-WIng in ANY SCALE out there, period. And AGAIN, i MUST thank you sincerely for your masterwork.
I like it
February 24, 2004
Wow. This is awesome, very detailed! This is *THE* ultimate system X-wing.