My last Star Trek project was pretty taxing so I decided to tackle something more attainable. The Danube-class Runabout looks like a shuttle, but it is actually a small starship. They are assigned unique registry numbers and are not classified as auxiliary craft. It’s also a nice robust design that says “24th Century SUV.”
About this creation
23.1 Meters Long (71 studs)
5.4 Meters High (17 studs)
13.7 Meters Wide (42 studs)
2368– Active Service Period
1 Phaser emitter
Cruise speed: Warp 2
Max speed: Warp 4
Piece count: 3396
One rule I’ve discovered that works quite well for establishing Minifig proportion is 1 stud=1 foot. My standard deck-to-deck height of 7 bricks works out to about 8.6 studs, or 2.8m scaled, which seems about right to me, and I intend to use this scale from now on instead of guessing. I’ve seen several Lego Runabouts before and they all seemed either too big or too small, so this approach helped me to fix the scale right off the bat.
It was still quite a challenge to work all the Runabout’s features into this scale, and in the end I had to leave out a few things. At one point I had a version of the cockpit with sloped sides, port and starboard airlocks, a bigger transporter, etc. and it looked beautiful. Unfortunately it was way too big: instead of an 18-wide fuselage it was 26-wide, which would have meant redesigning the engines and everything else. So I decided to scrap that and fit what I could in the smaller, “correct” scale.
One of the biggest problems with designing Trek in Lego is sliding doors. They take up at least 3x8 studs for a double door and that makes airlocks at this scale impossible. It also made the middle section quite crowded, and although we never see this area on screen it is supposed to have four rooms that are part of an interchangeable module. That and the ejecting cockpit just couldn’t be done and still have everything else I wanted. So I sacrificed the veracity of the middle section in favour of the cockpit and aft. Having said that I am very happy with how the interior looks, I think it is pretty screen-accurate.
Externally I added the roll-bar and equipment pod. This is a silly addition from a design standpoint, but it was introduced as a way for the audience to tell one Runabout from another when two were on screen. I figure it must be a weapons pod, an upgrade for the increasingly dangerous Gamma Quadrant missions.
Finally, many thanks to Tobias Richter for his excellent renderings! Without his reference this would have been much harder.
Just doing some further scale calculations: if a Lego brick is 8mm from stud to stud, and this stud length represents 1 foot in Minifig scale, what is the proportion of Minifigs to real life? Answer: 1stud=1 foot, therefore 8mm::1 foot. Converting to metric (1m=3.048 ft), we get 8mm::328mm, for a scale of 1:41. That's pretty close to my Corgi Batmobiles!
It's BIG! :)
Compliments for the very accurate scaling and detailing! Very difficult with small models.
I know mine is to small but I tried to keep it as compact as possible.
Maybe I will ever build a refit! :)
Amazing! DS9 is my favorite Star Trek spinoff, and the shuttles are probably my favorite vehicles in the show. Great rendition! The detail is fantastic, and the model looks great. I love the oval windows! Thanks so much for including the .LXF file; I'm really looking forward to having a look at it in LDD!