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Star Wars Coral Base


New spaceship arrival...

Here is my newest creation. I can't post it through lego ideas because it's an existing set. Once the instructions are finished I will post this on rebrickable (I will add another update here once it's posted).


Upper hangar ceiling

The ceiling of the upper red hangar received some extra greebles



Platform greebles

I added some more yellow greebles to the underside of the retractable platforms.


How did I build this...

I received many questions how I build this coral base. First of all I made a design of the main shape in 3D CATIA V5 CAD. The design is such that the structure looks identical if you rotate it 90 degrees. It has four identical quarters.

Next I created a macro in CATIA V5 (like you record and execute macro's in Excel) that translates the 3D shape to building instructions. The building instructions are Excel files that show with colors where the bricks should be placed. Since there are four identical quarters the instructions only show one quarter. The example below is a worksheet that shows one of the 134 brick layers. Red means that there is no brick. Orange means that the previous layer had a brick in that location. Green means that there is a brick. Light green means that the next layer will not have a brick in that location.

Next I began building the coral base. Below is an image of the point where I almost gave up. It took me ages to get the main gates with the sliding doors right. And it was still only a tiny part of the structure. Also all the interior still had to be done.

Below is an image when I arrived at the blue layer with the reactor core still visible. You can see from the helicopters that my kids have been playing with the coral base all along the build.


The image below shows the blue layer almost finished. If you look closely you can see that the lights in the reactor core are on.


Work in progress on the big green hangar. Again with proof that my kids enjoyed playing the entire build.

The next image is when the yellow hangar floor with retractable landing platforms is finished. Getting the mechanism right was a nightmare. The platforms needed to be strong enough to survive my kids playing with it. Also the mechanism had to fit within the space between the ceiling of the green hangar and the floor of the yellow hangar. The gearing of the motor had to be just right. Strong enough to lift the platforms but with acceptable speed. For safety I added a 24 white clutch gear, so the motor would not be jammed if the kids take their time to switch off the motor once the platform is either fully up or down. You can still see the battery box that controls the platform lifting motor.


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