Imperial Star Destroyer mark II - the pinnacle of all sci-fi spaceship design. Brutal and massive yet elegant.
About this creation
The Star Destroyer might be very well the best looking sci-fi vessel in any franchise and for a good reason. Its design combines simple, clean lines with fine detailing where required, and the way bridge section arrogantly perches on top of the massive warship tells much about the Empire itself. Most people know that a Star Destroyer measures 1600 meters in length, but not many know that it is actually about 1000 metres wide!
Building a huge Star Destroyer was my long lasting child dream, and by some luck I came across such time of my life when I can build it. Year earlier it would be impossible and given amount of money required, it might not have been possible in the future.
First, some raw data. The model dimensions are 202x125x58 centimeters, or 252x156x72 studs. This alone makes it bigger in ANY dimension than ANY of my previous builds. The already large Titow Battlecruiser was probably a tiny bit longer than the Chimeaera Star Destroyer is high, but the SD might be a bit too low actually.
Such dimensions naturally causes considerable heft of the construction and indeed - the model weights approximately 50 kilos. Approximately because it is impossible to lift it by one person so I cannot really check precise value. It is not the structural integrity which is limiting, the model is durable enough - it is the pure weight and dimensions.
The Star Destroyer design process started in early November and actual build started just after Christmas, when first (...large...) batch of parts arrived. Since the model was meant to be featured on Zbudujmy.to LUG exhibition in Swarzewo which was to start at 1st of July, 2014, it was also the deadline. The model was ultimately finished just few hours before the beginning, which is the reason why some little sections are unfinished.I also had no possibility of taking good quality photos, since when the model was encased in glass cabinet, sunlight and reflections made that almost impossible.
The ship in its full glory, standing in the display cabinet. The stand itself is made of steel but does not enter the structure - model is simply lying on the stand which is profiled to match ship's anges.
"Terraces" section of the vessel, also the highest concentation of greebles and sometimes difficult angles. While the whole ship is a SNOT-ly mess, the superstructure greebling is actually built with common studs-up technique which allowed me to use some trans-clear plates. They will be required later on.
Each of those engines took about 1,5 hours to assemble, and first one took about 1,5 weeks just to get the design right. Imagine you have to build a smooth 15-cm diameter bowl which is empty inside, stays straight and is durable enough to survive transport. In such a massive ship, every detail that can fall off during transport, will fall off during transport. Generally the bigger your MOC is, the more durable it has to be.
Altough exact proportions of the Star Destroyer Mark II are an absolute mystery, I based them on known ISD-I proportions and common notion that the second ship was a bit more narrow than the original. Thus, while ISD-I would be 200x132 cm, mine is 202x125 cm. Either way, this is a stunningly wide ship which I have realised only when I started the build.
Notice how the ship stays straight... while weighing around 50 kilos, measuring 2 meters long and having absolutely no steel or non-lego structural supports inside. LEGO and LEGO only! :)
Bridge and terraces section close-up. The goal of greebling was not to recreate greebling of original ship, this would cost me too much time given the strict deadline. Most important features are included, though and greebling is easy to replace so maybe one day... :)
As said before, the entire frame is made with LEGO pieces only, and consists of well over 1.000 technic bricks, out of which 700 are 1x14 or 1x16. There are also hundreds of plates, pins, liftarms and unimog suspension parts... yeah, no mistake here :)
The ship is modular - it is too heavy to be moved around by two people safely, so entire top section can be taken away. Not only it makes it lighter, but allows easy access to the frame which is both required for maintenance and also offers good holding points. One who wants to pick it up by the frame needs to have good leather gloves or it will hurt. A lot. With blood. :D
This little viginette shows how empty the model is inside. I wonder how heavy would it be if it had an interior... not that the interior would be interesting, considering that if a minifig was to-scale with the ship, it would be shorter than one plate's height.
That's me :)
Maybe tired a bit after another sleepless night but happy anyway. One of LEGO-related dreams fulfilled!
Plans for the future?
The ship will stay at Zbudujmy.to exhibition at Swarzewo in Poland for next three months, after that I will take it back and properly finish. Altough detailing is more or less done, some parts of the structure are not reinforced and are too fragile in long-term. I also plan to add fully working lightning, which you sneakly peek at here:
That photo dates back to March or so when the ship was still under constructions, but shows how hangar lightning already works.
And in the end, few more or less interesting facts:
There were more than 1500 used of each of: 1x2 plates, 1x1 bricks with headlight, 1x4 bricks and 1x1 tiles - all in light bluish grey.
Sensor globes on the bridge were actually designed to be 6-stud diameter, but one BL seller decided it would be fun to change splash terms at night and cancel my order - few days before the deadline. So I had to use whatever I had at hand...
The halfway-done ship was entirely dismantled near April because I found out it was less than 10 centimeters too shallow.
For quite a time it was impossible to pick the ship up, because its structure relies not only on the frame but external covering as well. If one side - either top or bottom - is missing, the other side won't stay attached to the frame.
Originally I have based the model dimensions on drawings taken from Essential Guide to Star Wars Vehicles, which was a bad decision. The model would be 200x100cm while it should be 200x125cm.... even bigger problem surfaced when I have realised that my car's trunk opening is actually only 110 cm wide. It would be ok for the ill-proportioned EGSWV design but not for the proper one.
For last two weeks the model was built in the dining room. I was testing if it would fit in the car after "cutting off" the edges (and it did!), but I found out that it is impossible to drag it back to 1st floor due to narrow staircase. It was hard enough to get it down.
Original estimate for 1x2 plates was 2000. By a mistake I have ordered that lot twice... which eventually proved to be beneficial, as there are over 4300 of them used in the final iteration of the model. 1x2 plates are by far the most common element used.
The model can be actally hung from the ceiling on some kind of a steel wire - the frame will easily support the weight. The problem to solve is in the ceiling itself, it would need three quite massive hooks.
Be sure to see a movie about preparations to the exhibition - which also shows the Star Destroyer being carried and worked on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbqLiKxVQNY
The movie was made by our LUG member, Allemov.
This model is awesome. I know the instructions would be crazy, but would you be willing to provide the LDF file (assuming you use LDD)? Huge kudos that you actually built this and didn't just design something that is not buildable. If you would be willing to share the design please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is truly amazing work.
Quoting Peter Q
I'd love to build this thing. Do you have instructions? Will you ever release or sell them? Thanks.
Absolutely no way. Unless someone pays me for all the time required, which would be easily into thousands of $$$... ;)
UCS Slave 1's instruction booklet is 300 page brick, I have no freakin idea how big would the instructions for the SD be.
I'm incredibly impressed! The level of detail is superb, and the fact that it is so large yet as perfectly to scale as possible is astounding. Kudos on keeping it all LEGO as well, I've seen some SHIPs that included wood or steel so that is a bonus. I'm not sure if it was intended, but the name Chimera is aptly chosen given the hybrid nature of the scales you chose based on the information available. Outstanding job here!
I have seen his model. In fact I have based my LEGO model on his renders. His ship is more canon when it comes to details than general shape, which has severely damaged my own model as mine was not accurate with details, so it ended up being wrong with both proportions AND details. Generally, entire terrace/bridge structure of Ansel's model is too small in almost every direction. However - I finally got it right, I think: http://d.naszemiasto.pl/k/r/ef/eb/543003d1a0ea1_gd.jpg
Ah, I thought Fractal’s superstructure was too small; glad to see I wasn’t the only one. ;) Your model looks perfect to me, although I’m not exactly an authority on the subject. . .
I have seen his model. In fact I have based my LEGO model on his renders. His ship is more canon when it comes to details than general shape, which has severely damaged my own model as mine was not accurate with details, so it ended up being wrong with both proportions AND details. Generally, entire terrace/bridge structure of Ansel's model is too small in almost every direction.
However - I finally got it right, I think:
Amazing work all around. It seems there is no compliment fitting for this. Simply put: you put your all into this and it shows. This is one in a million ("Never tell me the odds!"). Thanks for sharing.
Fantastic creation. I Always loved the 10030 set. I have hesitated years to build a larger one just because the ultimate question was how to keep this design interesting. This is the answer to all my questions. It looks absolutely stunning. Saw it on Flickr, did not even know it was on MOC pages...well here it is. I'd like to build one of my own . Some high resolution pictures would be welcome. If you used so many 1x2 plates, I guess you used even more bricks 1x2 1x3 1x4 1x6? because it's build in SNOT to get the smooth look.
Oh WOW! Only now I noticed this and I must say this is THE most perfect recreation of a star destroyer. The Lego only internal construction really blew my mind, as did the fact that it looks like it's a plastic model from afar. What will happen to it now that it's built? Will it be on permanent display somewhere? it certainly deserves it.
Quoting Dr. Monster
Wow! I don't even know what to say. Your MOC makes me think that there are no limits to what one can do with Lego. Thank you for that.
Because, indeed, there are none :)
Except $$$, though.
But I have already seen working 1:1 scale cars, flying helicopters, machine which is a quickest rubiks cube solver in the world and many-meter long gothic cathedral... everything can be built!
Well, I've already gushed over this on Flickr, but I'm happy to do it again. This is easily THE best Star Destroyer that I have seen made from LEGO. What really sets this one apart from the rest is the fact that you went with the studless look, which not only improves the appearance, but gives me a deeper respect for your vision and execution of that vision. I love the greebled sections, they are definitely the highlight of the build for me. Although it may not be "accurate" in the small details, the sum of the whole makes the look unmistakable, and therefore, nothing shy of "accurate." The only suggestion that I would have for any future builds is display it in the States. Preferably Ohio. Around the Dayton area;) Really a superb piece of work. One of the most impressive to show up in the community in a long time. You should be proud.
That is, absolutely massive! I think the greeble work looks great! I'm surprised there isn't a steel structure on the inside; most other large scale spaceships seem to have a steel backbone, but it's great to see some actually build something 100% LEGO :-D
That is truly astonishing! Possibly my favorite vessel from the SW universe realized in perfect detail and, more importantly, perfect efficiency. It is a Star Destroyer in every respect. This has such outstanding presence that in spite of the globes not being 6X6, this thing is mean. ;) This is flawless! Thank you!
Yet another great build Mr. Kelso! Wait, what? Your not Kelso?!
In all seriousness though, this is pretty darn amazing, you captured all the aspects of the Star Destroyer into one beautiful build, I tip my hat to you good sir.
Mere words cannot express the magnificent piece of work that we are all looking at right now. Easily THE BEST Star Destroyer I have ever seen rendered in LEGO bricks. I really enjoy the greebling details, the overall sleekness, and the 1x1 tiles scattered about to give the ship that last stroke of perfection. Absolutely stunning work!
The technical side of giant Lego creations is truly astounding. It's incredible to think that the web of beams is holding it all together, in perfect shape. The detailing is also fantastic, I love the smooth and functional look. The overused word 'epic' definitely fits this build - a superb creation!
Great see this on MOCpages after it's appeared on so many blogs - it's a truly astonishing piece of work. I can barely wrap my head around the dimensions, the detail, and the cost of this! One of the standout Lego creations of all time. 5 stars.