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NASA: Crawler-Transporter


Building the interior part 2


Building the body part 1

Interior and top deck instructions to follow, along with a discussion about all aspects of the build. Please wait for full details before deciding if you want to build.




Building the body part 2




Building the body part 3






Building the tracks

Below are the building instructions for one of the track units used in this project. I am still looking at the best way of providing free building instructions for the whole Crawler so please don't invest into the build until its all available.

As I have said in a previous update the track is loose - not to the point where it can come off but it does sag when you lift the model up; this actually is a benefit as the loose track means that the top of the tracks move in a wave and look like they have a lot of weight.

One note about the complete build is that with eight tracks pointing in one direction the Crawler only wants to move forwards and backwards, it does not want to turn - at least not on carpet. The real crawler has driving cabs at both ends to avoid having to turn too much.

Notes about the track units

The cross axle's main purpose is not structural, it locates the track unit to the main body. The load is passed through the flat plates on the top of the unit. Directional stability comes from the four 'hydraulic rams' which attach the track unit to the main body of the crawler. You can see them in some of the earlier updates.



Happy Holidays - Bonus build

Its the Holiday season an you can't beat a train or two at this time of year. NASA operated a railway network for moving components between some of its facilities. For the Titan 3 rockets the parts for the core vehicle were flown in, with the segments for the solid fuel boosters arriving by train.

The Titan project also had a twin track linking the assembly buildings and launch pads; specially adapted EMD SW-8 switchers were used to move the rocket. The trains featured a boom arm which coupled the engine controls allowing one person to operate both engines as a side-by-side pair. The trains were also modified so that they could be finely controlled and could be moved a fraction of an inch at a time. In total three trains were available for the task- retired in 2005, Loco number 2021 has been preserved.

The build is for a 1:110 scale model of one of these Switchers. I would have prefered black wheels but the ones needed are not available in many colours. Happy Holidays.



Rebuild and more detail

About a month ago Blue-Blackfox queried the overall width of the Crawler, although I thought I'd calculated the width correctly I had made a mistake from the very start of the project and it was too narrow, the model needed to be 4 studs wider. Thank you to Blue-Blackfox for spotting the error. This turned into quite a major rebuild but I took the opportunity to refine the build and add some more detail.

1. Corrected overall width of model

2. Fuel tanks have been added, they are in the middle of the open sections at the front back of the Crawler.

3. The Machinery space is wider and has windows, banks of ventilation fans, a larger triangular hydraulic fluid tank and instrument panels

4. The control room has been redesigned and now is a much closer representation of the actual Crawler and also has windows

The model is now complete and there are no build issues with the final build. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project and I please spread the word and see it it can at least be considered by LEGO.


Crawler test build complete

I thought it was going to take a little longer to everything together. Lots of packages from various parts sellers and a couple of evening's work and the NASA Crawler Transporter is complete. Good news is that there are no issues with the build that could cause a problem on review, I do have a couple of minor changes still to do but they are quite straight forward.

Only a few changes required, mostly with the engines which only existed in LDD. The top drops in to give a flush top and it proved to be difficult to remove, fortunately it only needed minor mod to add a couple of levers to pop the top up so you can lift it off.

All this is missing now is the Launch Umbilical Tower to bring the 1:110 Crawler and Saturn V together.



2500 - Time for a test build

Firstly thank you to everyone who has supported this project.

I designed the crawler in LDD and with 2500 plus supporters I think it's time to show that it can be made up in LEGO. I've been working on making this up for some time,  I started by building one one of the four double tracked drive units and making up one corner of the crawler body to workout the best way of connecting the drive unit including the four steering rams connect to the sides and underside of the crawler.

Once I had finalised that part of the design the whole model was rebuilt in LDD using parts and colours which are currently avaialble. I have also decided to incorporate the interior I proposed in an earlier update. After a weekend of sorting through all my spare parts I have placed orders for all of the pieces I need for the build.

I should be able to update in the next few weeks with the completed build. As a taster here is one of the completed double track drive units.

Hopefully being able to show the NASA Crawler-Transporter's capabilities will help with gathering the support needed to reach the next milestone.




Mobile Quarantine Facility

The astronauts of Apollo 11 started their journey in the Cortez Motor Home and the ended it transported in the Mobile Quarantine Facility.  The MQF was made by Airsteam who make the iconic polished aluminium trailer homes. Its purpose was to prevent the unlikely spread of lunar contagions by isolating the astronauts from contact with other people. The MQF contained living and sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The astronauts stayed in it for 88 hours, while the MQF was flown from the aircraft carrier Hornet to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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