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Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
8/30/21 11:49 p.m.
Lobsterpennies said:

It's only another foot for gods sake, suck it up! Just kidding of course, looking forward to more pics

It's definitely a challenge to work with just the size it is- and to find the right piece from so many! It is coming along though, and looking more familiar...

Lobsterpennies
Lobsterpennies New Reader
8/31/21 12:39 p.m.

Wow that's going to be a beast. Looks great so far!

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/1/21 4:54 p.m.

In reply to Lobsterpennies :

It's pretty ridiculous... but it is nearly 6000 pieces...

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/1/21 5:10 p.m.

Updated pictures.

Here's a few before I put it on the stand:

For the last bit of work on it (the struts for the drive cone and the docking ring/landing gear support) I figured it would be much easier to work on with it on the stand (a bit more on that later), so here it is on the shelf that will be its home:

You can see my Saturn V up on the shelf above it- the Saturn V just edges out being longer than the Roci is (though in reality the rocket is over twice the length the little gunship is supposed to be).

Finally- here's a minifig for scale reference (and he couldn't be happier to be the one used for the comparison...). The model is around 30 inches from the end of the drive cone to the tip of the sensor arrays, so depending on just how its length is supposed to be measured in whatever the wiki used for the Roci's length, it's not too far from minifig-scale- though I think that my assumption that it would need to be about a third to half again larger to be to scale to a minifig is still about right.

As it turns out, having it on the stand wasn't exactly the best of choices- it did make getting to the underside of the ship easier for some things, but it's not really stable when you're trying to push pieces on... and not long after I started it rolled partway off the stand and I had to rebuild a few parts that came off.  I'm also running into a few issues with the landing gear ring... I don't know whether they're because of the non-brand-name bricks or because I messed something up, but two panels aren't at the right height so I'm going to have to pull them off and figure it out. And the method used to attach the aft panel that the drive cone is built on does not like staying attached- again, perhaps due to the generic bricks, but I think it could have been made a bit sturdier so I may try figuring out a redesign of my own. Someone else who built the MOC also came up with a sturdier stand design, so I'm probably going to implement that so it's a bit more stable.

As it is shown in these pictures, the PDCs are in their stowed position- unfortunately the parts kit I ordered is missing one of the pieces needed to complete the PDCs to show them in their deployed position, so I'm going to have to wait until I finish up and know what other parts I need to order to put them on. The cheap knock-off parts kit was missing a number of pieces, but since I have a pretty good depth of bricks myself I was able to find ways around it for everything but the PDCs... I still want to pick up a few so that the colors match properly though.

Lobsterpennies
Lobsterpennies New Reader
9/2/21 6:06 p.m.

Love the little blue guy. Years ago I had a bunch of classic space and city that I had when I was a kid. Had to sell it off one year to make property taxes but I managed to hand onto my classic castle stuff. Looks like you have a nice collection in the background! How is the offbrand stuff? Couple of sets of like to buy that would never be affordable in genuine Lego but was wondering about reasonable quality. Build looks fantastic

 

 

 

 

 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/3/21 12:03 p.m.
Lobsterpennies said:

Love the little blue guy. Years ago I had a bunch of classic space and city that I had when I was a kid. Had to sell it off one year to make property taxes but I managed to hand onto my classic castle stuff. Looks like you have a nice collection in the background! How is the offbrand stuff? Couple of sets of like to buy that would never be affordable in genuine Lego but was wondering about reasonable quality. Build looks fantastic

Benny is easily the best thing to come out of the Lego Movies (with Unikitty being a close second)- I knew from the first trailer when they showed him with the broken helmet strap that the people making the movies knew their stuff. I have a brother 15 years my junior, so when I went off to college all of my late-70's and 80's Lego went to him and he picked up a bunch of stuff (lots of early SW sets and Harry Potter mostly) until I ended up with the plastic totes with all of the pieces again a few years back. I spent the last few months going through and sorting everything and putting back together all of the sets that I could determine and buying the missing pieces to complete them. I don't have room for everything though, and most of my brother's sets (he's said he doesn't want them back) will be getting gifted to the younger members of my wife's and my extended families that are big Lego (and even better in a few cases, big SW fans as well) fans this Christmas.

I bought the kit for the Roci from AliExpress (here, specifically) so the brand of the off-brand bricks is unknown. I bought the instructions from the original designer on ReBrickable (here) so they got proper compensation for their work. I did look into getting all of the parts used from BrickLink and BrickOwl, but once I got up over about $1500 and still had more parts to source I quickly decided that my wife would absolutely kill me for spending that much and decided it made more sense to go with the generic bricks. The parts kit took about 3 weeks to arrive, and while I considered sorting through the bricks and making sure all the parts were there I quickly decided that doing that for almost 6 thousand bricks would take me like a month and be ridiculous, so I just dove in on building the kit. I did some sorting as I went, specifically for pieces that there were a LOT of and it just made it easier to be able to reach into a bag and get exactly what I needed (mainly 2xN plates- for example, it uses well over 150 2x4 plates and around a 100 2x3 plates, so not having to try and sort them out as I went was helpful). I knew that there was likely to be some issues as just from the parts count between the MOC page and the kit page, the kit was showing as having 6 less parts. Ultimately, there were a handful of parts that were wrong in the kit- several really long technic bricks were missing, apparently with them having put in shorter ones instead- thankfully I had the bricks in my extra pieces and since they were part of the non-visible internal structure it worked fine. There were some other things missing that I was able to find replacements in my stock for, but I had to run out to the local gaming/hobby store that has a bricks-by-the-bag setup to find the right color plates for some of the external parts that were missing. I've got an order in for a half-dozen parts that I want to replace with the proper color pieces or just didn't have the right ones of (the PDCs use rubber tires to hold all the wand rods that form the barrels together, and the kit had the wrong size ones), but if I'd not have a pretty deep selection of spare parts myself and only had what came with the kit on hand I would have been waiting a week or so for those technic pieces at least.

Ultimately, getting a nearly 6000 piece kit for under $400 was quite nice- it worked out to about 7-cents a piece, which isn't bad given a number of them are well over a dollar even used. However- on principle, I would never buy one of the knock-off kits of an actual set Lego sells... this was a fan-created design where they just sold the instructions and parts list and you had to get the parts yourself, so buying the kit of generic bricks was not ideal but I was comfortable with. The designer still got compensated, vs. buying a knock-off of an actual Lego set where the just outright stole the design and sold it as their own. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/3/21 8:58 p.m.

Oh- I forgot to say anything about the quality of the bricks. They're clearly not as good as actual Lego... there's little doubt the tolerances on the real pieces are tighter than on the generics- this made some things (like the aft close out plate that the drive cone attaches to) much more difficult to get to stay attached properly. In the reviews of the kit on AliExpress people said they'd just ended up gluing some things that wouldn't stay. I did consider this for the aft plate, but eventually got it to behave- but moving it at all is pretty scary. 
 

Also- weirdly the kit ended up having a LOT of extra pieces- I mean easily over a hundred, possibly 200. Normally actual Lego sets have extras of small pieces that are easily lost (and it's difficult for the machines that dispense parts by weight to measure properly so they err on the side of caution)- but I have like a dozen extra 2x4 plates, almost as many 2x6s, and so on. I also had almost all of the pieces extra to be able to make the reinforcement to the stand that someone on the MOC page had suggested. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/4/21 9:57 a.m.

Here's pictures of the completed (minus the rest of the barrels on the PDCs that I need a different part for) model:

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/7/21 11:21 a.m.

So, kind of amusing side-effect of building the Roci MOC- I went looking for a good picture or clip of the Roci firing a torpedo to see if I could make a couple of torpedoes and find a way to attach them making it look like they were being fired, and in clicking around found a link to the subreddit for TheExpanse and started reading through a few of the threads. And probably the most interesting thing is that at least one of the actual authors of the books occasionally pops in and posts/responds to some of the threads- this one in particular being amusing. 

Really looking forward to the final book coming out in a few months! I'm the first on the reservation list to check out the book when our local library gets a copy. I'm figuring I'm going to pick up the inevitable complete collection of the books once they're all out (presumably after the compilation of all of the short/side stories comes out next year).

Season 6 comes out on Friday. I'm looking forward to it, but also wondering how much of the story they will truncate to reach a satisfactory ending to the series. Leviathan Falls wrapped things up nicely and some elements of it would play well in the series, but there is just too much story left and too little time for them to properly tell the whole Laconian Empire story line.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
12/6/21 2:08 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD-PorscheHoarder-Jon (Occasional Forum Supporter) :

I finished reading the book yesterday (I was first in line for one of the copies of it at our local library) and was quite happy overally with how they wrapped things up. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the series doesn't really delve much at all into Laconia- I'd say they could just leave them out entirely except for a passing mention, but with the railguns they may have a more active role. Will be interesting to see. I'm just really looking forward to seeing the battle with Marco's ships chasing the Roci... Bobbi's slick little maneuver with the PDC's and the railgun is probably one of my favorite things from all of the books (the rather unconventional game of catch in LF being a much more fun one).

I would expect that they'll stick pretty solidly to just what's in the 6th book and maybe hint at what is still coming so that the TV series can be wrapped up nicely, and then perhaps make movies down the line of the remaining books.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
12/6/21 3:45 p.m.

Here is a good recap


It does a good job of covering some of the motivations (I was not fully aware of why the new worlds are a potential disaster for the belters for example).

One question: I either forgot, or it wasn't covered in the series.  How was the ring gate built? The video above notes that that is the entire purpose of the molecule (which I did not realize) but I don't remember if anyone built it, or it just appeared.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
12/6/21 4:21 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

The ring gate was built by the Protomolecule after a time of being on Venus after Julie Mao & Miller crashed the Protomolecule-converted Eros into it. The Protomolecule's primary purpose was to co-opt life on whatever system it was sent to and to build the gate so the Gate Creators would have access to the system to use for their own purposes. The destruction of all of the hybrid Protomolecule soldiers that were launched at Mars after Holden & Co. stormed the facility where they were being created by the nuclear missiles Fred Johnson had stolen during the Eros incident essentially sparked the Protomolecule to launch what would become the ring from Venus out to the edge of the system where it deployed and semi-activated. Some time later a Belter slingshotted through it and fully activated it.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
12/6/21 5:05 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun (Robert) :

Beat me to it.

I was also going to add that this was sort of the plan of the creators of the protomolecule. They launched the PM at Earth several billion years ago to take over early life on the planet and use it to build a gate so they could enter the solar system. But it got caught in orbit around Saturn.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
12/7/21 10:45 a.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

Yup. I was having a difficult time making sure I didn't bring anything from the last book into it (or generally, from what's not been covered in the TV series) so figured I left out a bit.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/7/21 11:37 a.m.

Soooo...

I haven't read any of these books, but as a hard sf fan, they sound interesting.  Not really interested in watching the TV series.

I'm not a fan of huge long book series, especially when they meander and peter out or get driven oddly by the TV adaptation (*ahem* GOT *cough*).  Is this one worth starting?

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/7/21 11:55 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Haven't really tried the TV series after I read the books. It's a good read. It's a long series that doesn't feel or read like a long series

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
12/7/21 11:56 a.m.
Duke said:

Soooo...

I haven't read any of these books, but as a hard sf fan, they sound interesting.  Not really interested in watching the TV series.

I'm not a fan of huge long book series, especially when they meander and peter out or get driven oddly by the TV adaptation (*ahem* GOT *cough*).  Is this one worth starting?

 

I would say a resounding yes!!  It's a great book series and now that all of them are written, you won't be in that "now I gotta wait for the next one" anxiety.  I get that way some times on series.  I finished the last book last week and I thought it wrapped things up nicely.  Enjoyed it so much, I've started all over again to read them all in one go.

-Rob

In reply to Duke :

I started with the TV series, then went to the books. I prefer the books, but it's all well told with good characters and a story that develops well all the way to the ending.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/7/21 12:18 p.m.
Duke said:

I'm not a fan of huge long book series, especially when they meander and peter out or get driven oddly by the TV adaptation (*ahem* GOT *cough*).  Is this one worth starting?

In a word, yes.  I didn't watch GOT and gave up reading them after book 3 or so, but my impression is that the big problem there was that Geore RR Martin can't write books fast enough, so when the TV series got to the end of the stuff he'd written they had to make it up on their own.  That's not the case with The Expanse, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck ("James S A Corey" is a pen name for a pair of co-authors) have continued at their current pace and have always been at least 3-4 books ahead of the TV series.

The novels are really structured as 4 stories, each taking place in 2 books, plus one more that I haven't read yet which presumably caps them all off (Tiamat's Wrath is the 9th book and it's the last one).  The protomolecule and its creation of the ring is the first story, the stuff that happens through the gate is the second, the relations between Earth, Mars, and the OPA back in the solar system is the third, and the fourth is "Laconia" (leaving that vague to avoid spoilers).  This structure wraps up most of the plot threads from each story by the end of its second book, which helps to prevent the "meandering" thing.

 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
12/7/21 1:06 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

The books are definitely worth it- I love hard SF, and The Expanse is pretty much right up that alley and is the best hard SF I've read in a long while. As others have said, it helps a lot that all 9 books are out (there is technically one more- but it's a compilation of all of the previously-published short stories and at least one new one, which as I understand it just provide additional background & insight into the characters) and there isn't a concern of waiting for the next one. There's little I've seen that pays as much attention to the real science & physics of space travel & warfare than this does, and it's a joy to read. I re-read the first 8 books in preparation of the final one's release and they definitely hold up to re-reading as well. My library has all of them so I checked them out from there (many of them electronically, which I found appropriate)- when they release a full set of all the books I'll likely pick it up.

The TV series will at best over the first 6 books and if the final trilogy of books (I'd disagree with codrus- the books are 3 sets of trilogies) makes it to the screen it will likely be as movies. The authors had input into the series, but the books have always been way ahead of it so there's not much 'backwash' from the series into the books- there are definite differences, but they're not particularly bad ones (though one that wasn't planned but rather forced on them I would have preferred to have not had happen, but I'm sure they'll figure it out). It is great seeing things from the books in motion- I'm really looking forward to one particular fight from the books that should be in the coming season.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/7/21 1:22 p.m.
Ashyukun (Robert) said:

(I'd disagree with codrus- the books are 3 sets of trilogies) 

FWIW, while they were sold to the publisher in sets of 3, the authors consider them to be duologies.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
12/7/21 1:35 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Ashyukun (Robert) said:

(I'd disagree with codrus- the books are 3 sets of trilogies) 

FWIW, while they were sold to the publisher in sets of 3, the authors consider them to be duologies.

I can see that- and obviously if that's how they consider them that is what they would be. They work well broken up either way though (mainly because you have to have 6 & 7 in different groups). 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/7/21 1:51 p.m.

OK, thanks for everyone's input.  It's good to know that the series is wrapped.

I read both The Dark Tower and GOT series individually as they came out, and also both series straight through after they reached their (sort of...) conclusions.  In both cases, that was kind of wasted effort.  I figured that would help me see all the nuances and background detail, etc. but in reality, each book in both of those series were such juggernauts that by the time I finished a later book I had pretty much forgotten much from the preceding books.

If The Expanse is broken up into duologies, that would help a lot.

 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
12/7/21 2:00 p.m.
Duke said:

OK, thanks for everyone's input.  It's good to know that the series is wrapped.

I read both The Dark Tower and GOT series individually as they came out, and also both series straight through after they reached their (sort of...) conclusions.  In both cases, that was kind of wasted effort.  I figured that would help me see all the nuances and background detail, etc. but in reality, each book in both of those series were such juggernauts that by the time I finished a later book I had pretty much forgotten much from the preceding books.

If The Expanse is broken up into duologies, that would help a lot.

 

I've read the Dark Tower series multiple times and would say the Expanse series flows much better. 

-Rob

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