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Here it comes, the most majestic ride minifigures can wish for, an airship! An extraordinary idea for a Lego set, easily modifiable design, and a mighty addition to any Lego city!
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GlenBricker was kind to edit & offer stylish black and white pictures of the airship with historic New York City in the background! Airship in NEW YORK #1 Airship in NEW YORK #2 Airship in NEW YORK #3
LEGO has made an airship set once before, but like you can see, this brings the concept to a whole another level, while still being reasonable size (and price).
About the design.. While the concept is somewhat reminiscent of modern airships like Skyship 600 or Zeppelin NT, still in terms of style I wanted this to resemble so-called rigid airships, those iconic sky cruisers of old!
It is not my wish to dictate some specific role of this vessel: it is for you to decide! She can serve at any tasks, like transporting passengers and/or cargo, or she could be the vehicle of choice for brave explorers, or for cunning smugglers, or for bold air pirates seeking to strike from above. Here are some examples of minifigs I find fitting together with this old-style sky-conqueror. Yet, nothing says it can't be a part of modern-day Lego world as well, since it can be an old ship still in use or a new ship made in the old style.
I designed it with MLCAD, here's a screencap including model dimensions in both centimeters and inches:
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Here's a vertical cross-section showing the basic structure keeping the ship together.
The gondola is connected with three Technic pins. The design allows easy connection of almost any kind of Gondola, making the ship highly modifiable.
Here are two renders of the design: Render #1 Render #2
Here three photos of the completed build still without envelope, showing all internal structural framework: Framework #1 Framework #2 Framework #3
Yet in order to fulfill her role, she gotta have skin! Making the envelope of Lego pieces would make the model too heavy and expensive (and also easily ugly-looking), so I made the envelope using 40 sheets of cut paperboard:
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In this photo almost all envelope sheets are in place, allowing us to see what it looks like inside.
Like you see, the sheets are kept in place between studs and 1x1 round tiles. Notice that you can replace those parts with many other pieces, like plates or even larger Technic pins, adding to the modifying capabilities: you could place antennas, rope ladders, observation platforms for minifigs.. Possibilities are limitless!
I can really envision many people modifying a set like this into a steampunk-style airship!
In an official set the envelope could be the same or similar material to that used for the ship sails in the Pirates line.
Here three more shots of the completed Lego airship: Complete #1 Complete #2 Complete #3
The T-shaped thingie on top is a handle, allowing you to easily lift and move around the ship:
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The top grip makes handling this flying whale so easy, and gives it a great "swoosh-factor". To see a demonstration watch this video. (Afterwards added link on the top of the page too.) Both the handle and the entire ship are sturdy enough to allow much faster moving of the model, but I wanted this airship to perform with dignity and to follow the tone of the music there. :) Speaking of which, the music in the background is, aptly, "The Zeppelin Arrives", composed by Edward Shearmur, from the soundtrack of the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. No I don't care much about the movie, but I'm a fan of movie music! YES I know the video is little campy, and that just adds to the fun, right! :P
Let us take a look at her functions shall we? First of all, the ailerons do turn.
The gondola has many opening hatches. In addition to two boarding ramp -like doors, one on either side, the wall sections on both sides open up to allow access the interior.
On the back of the gondola there are two winches, one on either side, adding to the playability, like when our daring sky pirates want to grab and carry some additional cargo!
This design comprises of around 1,820 pieces. This would not be a licenced product, lowering its price. For a little estimation, the modular set Pet Shop for example was $150 with 2032 pieces, making price-per-part ratio $0.074. This with a similar PpP would cost around $130, not much for a set of this size and specialness! However, everyone please keep in mind that with every CUUSOO project the final design is up to LEGO, and the price is then determined by the production costs of the final product!
It's possible LEGO could also decide to make the envelope of new very large but thin pieces. Such a design could have following advantages: - Simplier build might make the price ever lower. - Easier to build and thus more suitable to younger builders too, thus widening its markets. - And further such a design would likely be even sturdier. Just pointing out this possibility - all is up to LEGO in the end!
Regardless of such details, these fellas are so ready for adventure...
This message was written by the LEGO CUUSOO Team. Do not modify the message in any way.
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