This is the CSV Vespucci. The ship measures about 9' 9" long (just under 3 meters). In minifig scale the ship is 384 ft (114 meters) long. She is classified as a colony support ship, capable of carrying passengers and cargo to colonies around the outer gas giants. Her four main engines are xenon-fueled VASIMRs. Her most striking feature is her pair of counter-rotating habitat rings which provide a measure of artificial gravity on the months-long voyage to the outer solar system.
If you want to see it move, search for CSV Vespucci on YouTube and you'll find a Beyond the Brick interview I did at BrickCon 2019.
The whole project from start to finish took almost exactly one year. I started coming up with ideas for how to build the rings at BrickCon 2018, and had the whole thing built and on display by BrickCon 2019. Half of the build time went into the rings alone, as they are structurally and mechanically complicated.
Each ring weighs about 15 lbs (7.8 kg) and is driven by a pair of the medium Power Functions motors. The two rings counter-rotate, just like they would in space. This provides stability for this model too, as the torque of one ring helps cancel the wobble caused by the other.
There are a few non-LEGO bits on the Vespucci. There are some large decals on the hull and the rings, as well as the stickers on the cargo boxes which were custom made. The cargo boxes are from OK Brickworks. The hull stickers were printed at home on transparency paper. The fuel tanks are LEGO inside, wrapped with gold foil from the party section at Target. The radiator fins and reactors are lit by EL wire, which sadly isn't bright enough to be visible in normal light conditions. Luckily the LED tea lights inside the engines are bright enough to show up. Lastly, due to the extreme torque required to drive the heavy rings, I was forced to replace the mangled LEGO axles with aftermarket steel axles.
log in to comment