Today is September 8th and I’m already falling behind schedule on Matango! I made the admittedly strange choice to begin with the legs, and it’s been an uphill battle from there. The conventional wisdom, as Simon indicated in his recent SHIPtember article, is to begin with a sturdy Technic frame and build out. My mind doesn’t work that way though, I have a tendency to start from weird places, like building a temple from the roof down. And as for the Technic frame, I’ve managed to build 4 SHIPs over the years and not one of them has used a Technic frame. I’ve got nothing against them, or the people who use them, the proof is in the results, the process works and has resulted in some of the best SHIPs in the community armada. My plan is to use a Technic frame at some point, but not until I know how big the entire vessel is going to be, and not until I have some of the major features roughed out. I’ll connect everything at the end, which is probably a shitty plan that will leave many of you shaking your heads, but I’m a special snowflake and this is how I roll.
So after I finished prototype of the leg, I duplicated the leg and began a Bricklink order for the parts I need to make them entirely orange. Once the legs were finished I wasn’t sure what to tackle next so I picked what I thought was the easiest feature to replicate, the huge octagonal cargo containers. My initial design was two studs wider and the pattern on the door looked better, or more like the concept art in any case. I was pretty happy with them at first, and they fit snugly enough that I didn’t have to brick them in, which could pay off later by allowing for a photo of the cargo container open. However, when I compared the containers to the legs it was very clear they were just too wide and I had to make an adjustment. The containers are hollow except for one beam that runs across the center from top to bottom. There are no matching rear doors at this time, but I have the parts on hand to replicate them if need be. I’m still not convinced I’ve got the dimensions of the containers quite right, but I’m done tweaking it for now. I still have no idea how to treat the back of the ship, the concept art leaves that entirely to my imagination, which is kind of liberating within the broader concept of trying to recreate another person’s design.
As promised in Volume 1, here is my first Bricklink order, placed a couple of days ago and apparently it has already shipped from Illinois. I mentioned a projected budget of $60 and I bragged about being good at sticking to my budget…because I’m an idiot. Clearly I’ve already crushed the projection and I’ve already started looking at a second order from a different vendor. I have a lot of orange, I’ve been collecting it for years, but not nearly enough to satiate hungry Matango!
The next section I tackle will be the nose, it’s probably my least favorite feature of the design so I’ll probably take some liberties there too. I want to figure out how wide Metango is going to be, so I can start adjusting some of the proportions and begin figuring out a frame. Feel free to leave me your sage advice and well-earned mockery in the comments, your feedback is always valued at the Manifesto.
The votes have been tallied and the official theme song of SHIPtember 2016 is…
Wish me luck, constant reader, I will certainly need it. These challenges all come down to time management and how I decide to split my free time between the blog and the SHIP will make all the difference.