Lego Brick

  Lego Model of the Invisible Hand by Jörg Roth
  (Digital Modell by LDiEgo)


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Invisible Hand from Star Wars Episode 3

The spaceship has only a brief appearance in the movie 'Revenge of the Sith', before it falls into two parts and makes a crash landing - the Invisible Hand. This spacecraft was not offered by Lego as the official kit (as at 2015). In 2011 a proposal for a model under Lego Ideas was submitted by LDiEgo (Lego Ideas). Although this proposal reached the necessary number of 10,000 supporters, it eventually was not produced by Lego. Since LDiEgo published the digital plan, I tried to realize the project myself. The project turned out to be more difficult than exptected. There were three problems:

1. Problems with the Lego Digital Designer (LDD)

  • The LDD was not able to produce building instructions form the model. Obviously, the digital model had too many parts (2184 without the small spaceships and minifigs). The only solution was to divide the model at the breaking point in the middle also digitally and create two digital models. This allows a creation of the building instructions. But:
  • The LDD has generally a problem to bring complex models in a reasonable construction sequence. Exactly that happened here: sometimes you have to hang parts 'in the air' before they were joined later with the rest. Or parts had to be brought into a position in which they could not possibly be mounted without dismantling the model. Often is also was not visible in the LDD where a brick has to be put, because it was covered from all sides.
  • It is not easy to create a parts list from the digital model. That is required if you want to search or order all parts. In principle the LDD should generate such a list (at the end of the building instructions in HTML, it should give a parts list), but that did not work bricks did not have pictures or numbers. Here it was required to install another tool that produces a list of parts from the digital model.

2. Problems with the procurement

  • Many of the parts in the model are very rare (at least in the desired color) and therefore very expensive. Even though parts are available in principle (e.g. on BrickLink), a certain seller usually had only one of the rare parts, sometimes not in the required number. The result was a large number of small orders.
  • Even worse, many of the parts were not yet produced at all in the desired color, so are not available from any seller world-wide. Unfortunately, these parts are required to give the model the striped outfit and therefore are essential for the overall impression.

3. Problems with the design

  • The model of LDiEgo is completely unstable in the original construction. Often the components survive not even the first build up. Many components are attached by only a single knob, if you are lucky with two. Obviously, the model was constructed in the LDD, without taking into account the physical properties. Unfortunately, the LDD does not have a function to check the stability of a model digitally.
  • The mechanisms to open the ship are not working properly. An example is the mechanism to open the top cover of the rear part to look into the hangar. The corresponding joint is much too sluggish. The opening to use the laser cannon also does not work.
  • There are a lot of elaborate interiors (e.g. an elevator), which are not visible.
  • Finally, the model is slightly too big (about 1m long, 40cm high).
After two months of construction, several BrickLink orders and numerous stones from the own fund, the model was finished. The model no longer corresponds exactly to the original plan, because I had to redesign many components for stability reasons. In addition, some parts had to be replaced by others, because there were not available in the desired color. Some parts (e.g. the ship hull parts of the ship's bottom), were used in the wrong color, as there was no simple alternative. However, the result still is impressive.

Here the pictures:

Invisible Hand Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand