SpaceX Falcon Heavy
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A Perfect Landing (Pad)On
Update to Update:- thanks to DodgeDude5498 who has made up a pad and noted an error with the deck markings. Corrected the error and remapped the SpaceX logo to the 48x48 grid.
Reusability is key to the SpaceX launch system, with the first stage and booster cores soft landing to be refurbished and flown again and again. Below is a 48x48 stud landing pad, the markings are to 1:110 scale and are the same as those on the the landing barges.
The few stickers for Heavy Falcon really finish off the model and I would hope that 5 printed pieces would not be out of the question if this were ever made into a set. For now I have had to make do with homemade stickers. Aligning the stickers would not be easy without a placement guide and I found a simple way of doing this.
Preparing the stickers (Plain paper, Self Adhesive paper, or Self Adhesive film)
1. Print the image so that the overall size is 150.7 x 55.7 mm (this should be 100% scale)
2. To protect my paper print I covered it in Self Adhesive clear plastic and added double sided tape to the back.
3. Cut out the individual letters (boxes around SPCE, a triangle for A and a box with a tail of the X). The aim is to keep the printed rectangle intact as this will be your positioning guide. A craft knife can be used, or scissors, just use small pieces of tape to join any cuts made cutting between the letters. The aim is to have the guide in one piece with 6 holes in it.
Using four 4x4 circular plates and six half cylinders I made up a section of rocket, I lined up the left hand side of the positioning guide with the cylinder join and taped it on. Wrapping it around the cylinder the black line 5mm from the edge should line up with the other cylinder join (The 5 mm extra is to allow for taping the right hand side down as the X comes very close to the edge of the cylinder)
Remove the backing from the letters and position them back in their holes. Untape the positioning guide and you should have three cylinder pieces with perfectly located lettering.
Use a similar technique for the Flag and Falcon Heavy Logo - Note that the fairing pieces are turned 45 degrees in the build so the Falcon Heavy Logo is positioned close to the right hand edge. When assembled the logo should be appear in line with the flag and SpaceX logo.
Design Notes and Common CoreOn
Rare Part - Thanks to cw2367 who has let me know ther the large fairing pieces (part no 92591) are rare in white - I was just luck to get a couple at a very reasonable price so didn't realise there could be an issue. Much more common is the piece in Blue Grey but that is not true to the original launch vehicle. I would recommend sourcing this part first or deciding if an alternate colour would be acceptable to you before buying the other parts. This piece only came with the Space Centre set and had a sticker applied with the Lego City Space logo on it, you may be able to find it with a sticker which some sites list separately to the plain white piece.
Important note - To show all of the parts it was necessary to show plates and 2x2 parts on the cross axles before the 4x2x5 cylinder pieces were attached. Put these piece on roughly into position and slide them down once the cylinder pieces have been added. This is especially true for the disc inside the interstage which can only be seated fully after the cylinders are fitted.
The additional strenghtening (2x2 round bricks inside the cylinder section) was added to the the first stage because the cylinders in the stage worked apart very quickly when pinned between the two boosters. The boosters did not need the additional strengthening.
You may knock off an engine - unfortunately only the centre engine could be pinned, using the 2x2 plates to attach the remaining engines gave a better connection than using a 4x4 round plate.
I found it quite difficult to get the 34 4x2x5 cylinder pieces needed for this build - I did get mine direct from LEGO along with the three long cross axles which took a little while to arrive. The rest of the parts were quite easy to get from the usual sources ( I use Brickowl).
Using two of the common core pieces to complete the Boosters.
Take the remaining build from the first part of these instructions to make complete the first stage core.
Add your choice of payload, for display you could use either the Satellite or Tesla, for play the Satellite payload is too heavy (tipping the rocket on its side causes the second stage to separate) use the Tesla - or your own lighter payload.
Note that in step 34 I recommend cutting 86mm pieces from one long tube.
Falcon Heavy recoveryOn
I wanted to build the Falcon so that you wouldn't need to add additional parts to the legs to support the rocket. I did consider attaching transparent bricks to the rockets but have found that they will stand on their own. One click below the horizontal works and looks quite realistic - it works on a carpet but may want to click up on smooth floor, two clicks down makes for a stronger stand. You can recreate the entire blast off and recovery of the Falcon Heavy.
Falcon Heavy and Saturn VOn
The pieces arrived and I was able to complete a test build. A few minor tweaks before I can post instructions but I thought it would be nice to show the 1:110 scale Falcon Heavy next to LEGO's Saturn V.
My last update was a proposal for a couple of payloads for the Falcon Heavy, the Tesla Roadster has been modified with a new shaped back which I hope improves the look of this tiny car (Thanks to Robboblox who sent it to me for free after I left it off my order) and Starman now sits a little lower in it - there is a cut out section of the car to allow allow the trophy figure to stand with its head at the right height; the cutout should be put at the back as shown in the photos).
I have test built both the 8 satellite payload and the Tesla and its really easy to swap between the two as they both attach to one stud. The Tesla is very light and this single stud attachment is stong enough - with the satellites there is a 2x2 single stud round plate at the top which keeps the assembly vertical and attaches to the cone above the fairing.
**UPDATE** After test building the complete Falcon Heavy there is a limit to the payload weight you can fit if you want to be able to hold the model at any angle. The Tesla works but the satellites will cause the second stage to separate if you tip the model from the vertical to the hozontal. If the rocket is more for play rather than display then I would recommend making it with the car.
Instructions to build both payloads are below (after the photos).
I have not been able to make a good looking Tesla at 1:110 - I can make a car shape but not anything which you would say looks just like a Tesla. As the Falcon Heavy's usual payload will l be satellites I thought an alternative payload based on an up coming Iridium Satellite launch would be a nice alternative to the car. Shown here next to my slightly longer version of the Tesla with a trophy figure Starman is an eight satellite payload. I will include instructions for both payloads.