Explorer is a long range science and research vessel.
About this creation
Hereís a pic of me hoisting Explorer overhead to offer a full view of the shipís underside.
Explorer is a long range science and research vessel with a crew of 8. Features include a shuttle/cargo bay, 2 storage rooms, crew quarters and bathrooms, 4 escape pods, a science/med lab, crew lounge/dining room, 2 airlock entries, and a spacious bridge. The ship is armed with dual laser cannon for blasting space debris in its path.
The model is 141 studs long, 74 studs wide, and 24 bricks high and weighs about 30 lbs. It took me about 3 months to complete, working at various intervals. Construction on the ship proceeded from the front to back, from the bottom up, and from the inside out (for the most part). I made an initial rough sketch of an idea I had for large shuttle with a forward bridge and airlock section followed by a central hub of escape pods and lounge/living areas. I had no plan for the back section, other than propulsion. I started building right away and tried different ideas as I went along.
The design and utility of this ship is somewhat of a departure from my previous large space MOCs. Explorer is not meant for combat and, unlike warships like Dragonstar or Gibraltar , it does not feature multiple decks or a conning tower. Also, while those designs were mostly influenced by anime, the design for Explorer drew on many inspirations. I didnít set off to design it to fit into any particular popular sci-fi universe, though some people think it leans a bit toward Battlestar Galactica.
Iíd say the feature Iím most satisfied with is the floor of the main corridor. This was the first thing I built and it probably took the most time because I wanted every detail under the floor grating to have a realistic purpose.
Overall, I had fun building this model and Iím pretty satisfied with how everything turned out. I tried a few different things this time and I have some ideas now for the next big ship.
This low level shot shows the main sensor dish (blue). Above it is the exhaust for the reverse engine (trans neon green). The cylinders alongside the bridge are smaller reverse thrusters for maneuvering. The model is very sturdy and balanced and I used very minimal display stands.
A good overall view of the design. I used several large tiles (with the studs along the edges) to minimize the exposed studs on the main body and give the ship a smoother appearance. The stickers are from the UCS X-Wing set.
A complete view of the shipís interior to give a better idea of where everything is located. The ship is divided into 6 bulkheads. From the left is the bridge, followed by airlocks, med-lab/lounge, escape pod access, crew cabins and storage, and shuttle/cargo bay.
A technician works on the blue Spiffcrafts Freem-drive as a toolbot stands ready to assist. On the left side of the picture are cargo containers and supply drums. To the right is a work bench (in back) and a meteor thatís being analyzed.
An overhead view of Explorerís living quarters and storage/hydroponics bays. At the top right of the frame is the storage/hydroponics bay on the starboard side of the ship. At lower right is the port side storage bay. The crew cabins on either side are identical and each feature 4 bunks, storage space, 2 tables and 4 chairs, and a bathroom.
The science/engineering display is also a custom sticker . When I completed Explorerís exterior, I took an overhead and side view shots and used Photoshop (namely the Find Edges filter) to create the ship schematic.
This configuration reminds me very much of the model design used for the spaceship 'Heart of Gold' from the original BBC Mini-series version of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" (released in 1981).
This takes me back to a much happier time;
Thank you for sharing this creation!
I really admire the concept-designs that pay tribute to classic Sci-Fi styles, like Star Blazers, Japanese Anime, BBC model-makers, and more. You have a gift for quality builds.
That was a fantastic spaceship. It looked like it could have been taken straight out of a Sci-fi movie. I liked that you have made it in minifig scale. Not all big ships have that.
I'm currently on my first attempt on a big spaceship but it will not have space for minifig.
That ship is an amazing design! It truly captures the essence of an long range spaceship. The construction and the different sections are awesome! I wonder how many bricks you have used? I must say that you are an inspiration to all of us other ship-builders out there. If this was a lego set, I would trade my car for it :-)
Nice example of fact that even non-military ship can look very good. Even my own creations are meant to make work sleek design of Exploriens in big ships and you made it very good. Main corridor is very well designed , you can employ this feature on even more parts of ships. Your creations have same feel as World Wars II dreadnought ships like Hood or Bismarck. Very nice :D
You ever thought of applying to join the Lego industries because I've seen your work and people would pay money for some of the models you've created. You can also make Lego building instructions easy on Lego Digital Designer (LDD)
Simply Amazing. One of the few spacecraft I fill people could actually live in. You put a huge amount of detail into a ship that isn't actually very big. Maybe the best starship ever! You could sell this thing for hundreds. One nice thing about it: it could be easily modified from human space exploration to Star Wars and other styles. You should have a job in Lego building.
By far this is one of my favourite lego creations. I love the use of colour and how it seems the function like an actual spaceship (Like with all the facilities lots of other ships don't tend to include) Really hope that someday I'll be able to build something as good as it. Very inspirational, Well done.
That is exactly the kind of vessel i'd like to build(i also think about Blake Foster ones, for exemple) and exactly what makes me want to do it.
When i will go back to LDD(once i will have finished my big submarine project! could you check it out please?), I'll have some ideas, and thank you for that!
I gladly give you the 200th 'I like it', this ship is unreal! All of your ships are extremely impressive...just like this one. It's all been said below this comment but I still say WOW! The details, color, shape, design, all the little rooms, escape pods, and the bridge are all top-notch. You sir, in my opinion, are one of the top all-time builders on this site.
Hi Dan. I just had a look on your explorer at brickshelf, where i saw the extra pictures of the engine part and the ship stripped down:-) I am on my first big ship and yes i copied the engine part. Instead of using modified bricks with studs on sides i used hinges down the tall wall side to build out from the ship. I didn't use monorail bars for the inside, so my engine structure is a little heavier, basically there is 3 walls, 1 on each end and 1 in the middle. it still got me the opportunity to complete it the way i wanted. I haven't posted any pictures yet, still working on the end of the ship and the last interior. The ship is called Glazerfire, pay my site a visit in about a month it should be done. best Soren.
Really, really impressed. this is something that I aspire to reproduce cheaply in many failed attempts.
On that subject, how do you design the models before you build them? I want to build something similar but I don't have the pieces, and I don't have the money to just buy thousands of dollars worth and experiment. is there a way to design it, count the bricks and then order those off of bricklink other than LDD?
thanks in advance
I am currently working on a large minifig scale exploratory ship too. Although I do not have the pieces for all the detail and the size of your Explorer, I hope that someday I can complete it. I keep coming to some of your ships for ideas for sturdy building. Thanks for all the inspiration and the great creations!
I first gazed upon this masterpiece about a year and a half ago and I instantly fell in love with it. I've always admired massive Lego creations (mainly spaceships) and this one in particular has inspired me to build my own.
I started construction about a week after I saw this ship, so mid 2007, then over the course of 2007-2008 I have been adding to it in a very laid back manor. Its about 90 percent complete and measures 120+ studs long. I've kind of run out of necessary pieces so its at a stand still until I feel like buying more.
The only reason I took the time to say all this is because this creation has really inspired me to finally build something on a massive scale. I have hundreds of thousands of bricks and have tried to build massive ships, but they always failed and never turned out right. So when I saw the Explorer it looked like the PERFECT Lego spaceship to me and I based my creation off of it.
The thought and back story you put into this really shows! You obviously thought out the functionality of what would be needed on a spaceship of this size and realized it via Lego with expert precision. What an inspiration! First Lego model I've seen with toilets!
My advice: make a stop animation movie of the adventure of this crew! you've created a great set for them... now put them in action!
Just very very very very excellent. A lot of good ideas, great crafting, details, legos, and time went into it and it just shines brilliantly. I'm bookmarking this so I can gaze upon the pictures during a slow day. It's something to rememebr you by, great work!
This is one of your greatest achievements! I love how everything is so functional, and each piece down to the last greeble serves a specific function. My favs were the landing bay (Space Man Spiff, eh? I love Calvin and Hobbes too!) and Fleebnork Duty! (Fleebnork?!?!?!?) GREAT JOB!!!!!
Easily in my top 5 favorite all time MOCs. One of the first things I saw when I discovered Brickshelf, I can't beleive I haven't reviewed this yet. Really got me actually building. Thanks. I really owe you one for inspiring me to build good. I wish some n00bs would get it into their heads that you have to build good to build good, and not just say it's inspired by some good MOC. Ah, but I ramble.
I *really* like the floor detail. It makes it look more utilitarian and "science-esque" than the Dragonstar's smooth hallways. It's nice to see a space force that puts that many resources toward science, and not just military use.
I was just WAITING for you to put this here after the Lugnet announcement so I could pounce and tell you how good it is. I saw each and every pic you took, and though this isn't the Dragonstar, it's an interesting departure. I look forward to more of these big ships, and I don't give a sugar that I'm a trainhead. I like the spiffs in the hangar, which has to be my favourite part. or no maybe its the science lab. No actually, I don't know. I BADLY want to build my own mega ship, and steal some ideas of yours, but right now I'm married to trains, and I don't want a divorce just yet. Keep it up.