BTB: Space Shipping Facility

I know I recently blogged about this MOC as a “Seen” item, but I decided to try to get a little insight into L D M‘s creative process. There were a few questions I had, and I figured I’d share what I learned with folks here.

PROJECT TITLE: Space Shipping Facility (working title)


What’s the concept behind this project? How did the idea come up? Are there non-LEGO things that inspired it, either intentionally or otherwise? Were there any other LEGO models / builders you looked to for inspiration, ideas, etc.?

Like a lot of my builds, I don’t really have an exact idea of what the finished product will be when I start. In this case, I had two empty large gray baseplates and several 8×16 tiles, as well as some other dark gray parts I’ve never used yet. I set a challenge to myself to see just how far I could stretch my collection of gray parts, with little idea where it was headed (I was thinking maybe a hangar for starfighters). At this point, it’s sort of a space version of the back room of a post office—some kind of shipping depot. The overall aesthetic was certainly inspired by Legoloverman. I started adding motors and lights once I heard of the Motorized Sci-Fi Contest.

Back room of a sci-fi post office? Perfect. When I saw it, I was thinking that it was some sort of distant future heavy loading vehicle…the rails maybe signaling a sort of sci-fi railroad loading dock. Can you tell us what else is going on in this MOC’s background? What’s the context and story?

Those are the only tracks in the build (stretching from one end to the other), and this is the only track-based vehicle. It’s just something to transport the packages (even if it is sort of inefficient, only being able to carry one box). The track choice was just a way to fill the baseplate at first. There isn’t much in the photo other than the truck (because I don’t want to give too much away of the build itself), but off the top of the photo are a corridor and some alcoves with moving pistons.

Got it. Can’t wait to see more as it progresses. You make a lot of use of tiles. Is that a regular design choice for you? Why’d you go that way for this project?

Yeah, I seem to have an obsession with studlessness. If too many studs are showing, it looks somehow unfinished to me. If you look at a real floor, you won’t see regularly spaced bumps with the word “LEGO” on them. Not that I’m going for perfect realism (I’m using minifigs…), but tiles just look right to me.

When I first saw this, it was listed as a work in progress…”under construction”, so to speak. I’m always curious how long it takes for folks to work on projects. What’s your estimate for this one? Do you generally do long building sessions or shorter ones over the span of a project?

It’s hard to say when it will be done, but I’m aiming to enter it into the Motorized Sci-Fi Contest before the end of March, and then present the polished version at Brickworld in June (I hope). I build when I can, in between school, chores, meals, etc. Sometimes it’s only 15 minutes, sometimes I can build for a few hours on end. I’m about 2/3 of the way done with the backdrop/base itself, and then I’ll work on filling out the base with more vehicles, minifigs, and other stuff.

Might seem silly, but when is a WIP not a WIP? Everyone has their own unique “standard” that they go by, so how do you know when a project’s finished?

There are always little things that can be improved upon on any build; it stops being a WIP when you stop fixing them and call it done. In this case, I’ll stop when I think it looks like a complete, presentable MOC.

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  1. on June 29, 2011 at 8:40 am