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Ando
07-17-2009, 12:43 PM
For our 2nd anniversary, my wife suggested that we once again get ourselves a joint gift (last year, we got a Wii).

She said it'd be fun to get the LEGO 10188 Death Star with all of the mini figures and cinema scene/diorama levels.

I am starting this thread to document our progress. As of last night, the second level is maybe 1/2 finished (we just finished the doors on the garbage smasher).

We're taking turns as we go and making sure we finish each page before stopping work.

These first few pictures are of the sorting process. Because of the sheer volume of pieces, we're using plates, bowls, pots, and other kitchen items (like a Rubbermaid cookie container) to keep the pieces semi organized.

Opening the boxes and separating the pieces took about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

We believe this project will test our relationship, but I think it will make us stronger.

Enjoy.

Ji'dai
07-17-2009, 04:20 PM
You mean the part bags aren't numbered? :hurt: I'm getting spoiled with those numbered bags. Makes building so much easier.

Sorting the parts into containers like that is good idea.

Ando
07-17-2009, 04:27 PM
If the part bags were numbered, then I missed it and I am doing it the hard way. I've been building a LOT of sets since the first of the year and if they number the bags, then that's great, because there is literally no rhyme or reason to what is in each flipping bag.

They only time I have seen them numbered is when I got the Dropship+AT-OT set and they numbered the stuff for the AT-OT with a "1" and the Dropship with a "2".

Pots, pans, and plates are the only way to go if you want to manage a build this size.

We did a basic sort before we started assembling and I build some of the smaller elements as we go to eliminate the pieces from the unused pile and then resort/separate as we go.

Ando
07-17-2009, 04:34 PM
More progress...

Ando
07-17-2009, 04:37 PM
And a little bit more...

Ando
07-17-2009, 04:38 PM
Last two and this is as far as we got last night.

LusiferSam
07-17-2009, 05:33 PM
If the part bags were numbered, then I missed it and I am doing it the hard way. I've been building a LOT of sets since the first of the year and if they number the bags, then that's great, because there is literally no rhyme or reason to what is in each flipping bag.

They only time I have seen them numbered is when I got the Dropship+AT-OT set and they numbered the stuff for the AT-OT with a "1" and the Dropship with a "2".

Pots, pans, and plates are the only way to go if you want to manage a build this size.

We did a basic sort before we started assembling and I build some of the smaller elements as we go to eliminate the pieces from the unused pile and then resort/separate as we go.

No you didn't miss anything and you're not doing it the hard way (not really). This set doesn't have any numbered bags. Any set that makes a pile of parts bigger the a certain size I sort. And the Death Star more than meets that criteria. I personally separate out by size and color. I took a couple of photos early on when building, but totally forgot later on (hey, I was building darn it :rolleyes:). I'll post them if I can find them. In the mean time Ando keep up the good work.

Ando
07-17-2009, 05:39 PM
No you didn't miss anything and you're not doing it the hard way (not really). This set doesn't have any numbered bags. Any set that makes a pile of parts bigger the a certain size I sort. And the Death Star more than meets that criteria. I personally separate out by size and color. I took a couple of photos early on when building, but totally forgot later on (hey, I was building darn it :rolleyes:). I'll post them if I can find them. In the mean time Ando keep up the good work.

That's what I figured. And that's how I do all my builds (at least separate by color), and I always segregate gears, shafts, and those specialized pieces that I know I will spend 30 minutes digging for later.

Thank you for the encouragement, LS. It's definitely a team effort between me and the Mrs.

We are taking a picture every page or two as long as there is a definite difference in a appearance as I build.

Because it's larger than any of the Clone Wars vehicles, I am not hunched over the coffee table, scrambling to put it together, so each step is deliberate and double checked.

Can't wait to get home and see how much progress my wife made after she got home from work (she gets off before I do).

I'll have more pics on Monday!

Ji'dai
07-17-2009, 06:51 PM
I don't think I've sorted a set prior to construction since I built the UCS Rebel Blockade Runner (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10019) (1,748 pieces) in 2001. It was the largest set I'd built at the time.

The biggest set I've ever built is the Green Grocer (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10185) (2,352 pieces). The great thing was the parts were all in numbered bags 1-4, so I could just open just those bags to build step #1, step #2, and so forth instead of having a 2300-piece pile on the table.

I'm going to build the Medieval Market Village (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10193) next (1,601 pieces) and the part bags are not numbered unfortunately. On builds like that I just open each bag and try to keep each pile separate from the others.

Thanks for the pics and updates, keep 'em coming!

LusiferSam
07-18-2009, 01:22 PM
I don't think I've sorted a set prior to construction since I built the UCS Rebel Blockade Runner (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10019) (1,748 pieces) in 2001. It was the largest set I'd built at the time.

The biggest set I've ever built is the Green Grocer (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10185) (2,352 pieces). The great thing was the parts were all in numbered bags 1-4, so I could just open just those bags to build step #1, step #2, and so forth instead of having a 2300-piece pile on the table.

I'm going to build the Medieval Market Village (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/10193) next (1,601 pieces) and the part bags are not numbered unfortunately. On builds like that I just open each bag and try to keep each pile separate from the others.

Thanks for the pics and updates, keep 'em coming!

Oh, man. After a really bad experience building the Barracuda (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6285) by dumping all the parts into one big pile I started sorting. That was '91 I believe. The Green Grocer I sorted the parts for each level. If the number of parts for each level was smaller I won't have sorted.

I looked and I guess this was only this photo (http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/LusiferSam/Collection/swds.jpg) of my Death Star build I took. I had just finished sorting and not started building yet. The parts sitting on the instructions are the mini-figures and accessories. This not the table I normally build on. But being such a large build I needed a bigger than normal space for the set up.

Ji'dai
07-19-2009, 09:58 AM
I built the BSB a few years ago for the first time but didn't have any problems. I don't think the pirate ships are too difficult, just put the sails, rigging, and masts to one side and it's pretty much sorted.

I built the Medieval Market Village last night and finished it this morning. I guess I could've made things easier on myself by sorting but I wanted to jump right in. I think I'm just too impatient to sort first. I want to start building right away. I didn't find all the mini-fig parts and the maiden's dresses until I was nearly finished with the blacksmith shop though.


I looked and I guess this was only this photo (http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/LusiferSam/Collection/swds.jpg) of my Death Star build I took. I had just finished sorting and not started building yet. The parts sitting on the instructions are the mini-figures and accessories. This not the table I normally build on. But being such a large build I needed a bigger than normal space for the set up. My table is smaller than yours, even with the leaf in the middle. When I built the UCS RBR I couldn't get all the parts on the table so I put some on the floor and kept others in the box nearby.

Good idea using a white table cloth for contrast. My table is really dark wood and it's difficult to see black or dark gray parts on it. I remember when I got back into LEGO again as an adult ten years ago I rebuilt all my old sets. I had a lot of problems building the Blacktron Message Intercept Base (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6987) - it's like all black parts with maybe a dozen yellow pieces. So there I was, building an a practically all-black set on a dark table top at night no less... what a pain that was.

Slicker
07-19-2009, 02:49 PM
I personally don't sort my pieces and was mad at the few sets I got that were numbered. I just love sorting through all of them when I need 'em. That's why I wanna get the UCS Falcon so I can have a helluva time.

LusiferSam
07-19-2009, 05:43 PM
I personally don't sort my pieces and was mad at the few sets I got that were numbered. I just love sorting through all of them when I need 'em. That's why I wanna get the UCS Falcon so I can have a helluva time.
Good luck with that. I can't image building something that big by dumping all the part into one big pile and searching through it.


My table is smaller than yours, even with the leaf in the middle. When I built the UCS RBR I couldn't get all the parts on the table so I put some on the floor and kept others in the box nearby.
The table I normally build on is less than half the size of the dinning room table. I just barely fit the Batcave (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/7783) on that table. So I knew ahead of time the Death Star couldn't be built there. When I can I like to build on the floor (childhood thing). My parents house has sunken living rooms with three steps leading down form the main floor. So a frequently I'd sort my sets in the hallway and sit on the steps. Again childhood thing.


Good idea using a white table cloth for contrast. My table is really dark wood and it's difficult to see black or dark gray parts on it. I remember when I got back into LEGO again as an adult ten years ago I rebuilt all my old sets. I had a lot of problems building the Blacktron Message Intercept Base (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6987) - it's like all black parts with maybe a dozen yellow pieces. So there I was, building an a practically all-black set on a dark table top at night no less... what a pain that was.
You know the funny thing is I was just too lazy to pick the table cloth up befor starting. The biggest thing the table cloth helped with was keeping parts like the techine pins from rolling around. The contrast issue wasn't too big a deal as the table is light colored to begin with, but it did help (not with the clear 1x1s). The down side was near the end when I'd start moving stuff closer in, the cloth would get in the way. Or some of the small parts would try and go through holes.

Ando
07-20-2009, 07:47 PM
So I took some more pictures on Friday and we made lots of progress, but unfortunately all my pictures were corrupted :sad:.

I will post some pictures tomorrow.

Slicker
07-21-2009, 10:35 AM
When this is done you'll have to take a picture with you holding it or something just to get a sense for the scale of it.

I'm still uber jealous.

Ando
07-21-2009, 11:07 AM
When this is done you'll have to take a picture with you holding it or something just to get a sense for the scale of it.

I'm still uber jealous.


Will do.

I am glad everyone is enjoying the progress reports and pictures.

Here are some more from last night. Sorry for the gap, but as I mentioned yesterday, all of the Friday night pictures got lost.

Ando
07-21-2009, 11:21 AM
Still more progress...

Ando
07-21-2009, 11:22 AM
And a few more...

Ando
07-21-2009, 11:23 AM
Even more...

Ando
07-21-2009, 11:24 AM
Last one. This is where the work stopped last night at 10 pm.

More pictures tomorrow of whatever we do tonight.

Slicker
07-21-2009, 01:06 PM
You are seriously making me want to buy this. I just may do that before we pull back into Japan so I can have something to do with my first weekend off. I've already got 3 sets waiting for us to pull in and for me to take 'em home so one more won't hurt.

Ando
07-21-2009, 01:17 PM
You are seriously making me want to buy this. I just may do that before we pull back into Japan so I can have something to do with my first weekend off. I've already got 3 sets waiting for us to pull in and for me to take 'em home so one more won't hurt.

Well, it's a spendy set, but it's been lots of fun for me and the wife to build together. And because we have a LEGO shop at our mall, we got $30.00 back on a LEGO gift card because of the LEGO rewards program.

I highly recommend it, but make sure you have time and space for the build. Right now it's occupying our kitchen table and has been since Saturday/Sunday of LAST week.

Slicker
07-21-2009, 04:41 PM
I'd probably end up dying of hunger, thirst, sleep deprivation or all three since I wouldn't be able to stop until it was done.

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:22 PM
Okay, we finished it up last night and it's all done. The only thing left is for my wife to populate it with the mini-figures (while I supervise).

Enjoy.

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:24 PM
More pictures...

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:25 PM
And even more:

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:26 PM
More and more:

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:28 PM
Even more still:

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:35 PM
More and more and more and more:

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:36 PM
Just a couple more...

Ando
07-27-2009, 05:37 PM
And for Tycho, a mouse droid.

Ji'dai
07-27-2009, 06:54 PM
Awesome, man. Mine should be here by tomorrow!

Ando
07-28-2009, 10:20 AM
Awesome, man. Mine should be here by tomorrow!

Thanks, good luck, and have fun!

Ji'dai
07-29-2009, 09:10 AM
My Death Star has arrived and is ready to keep local systems in line! Now all I need are some Wookie slaves to help build this thing. Maybe Ando can lend me some of his if any survived, that is.

Wedge wasn't kidding! Man, look at the size of that thing. I mean the box isn't as big as the UCS Falcon's box. I've actually seen that one in person at a TRU in Indianapolis. That set is so big the box has got a handle on top so it can be carried. The DS box is still big though.

It was nice LEGO double-boxed it for shipping. There was a hole punched through the outer carton and it did penetrate through to the inner box. The DS box only has a minor puncture/dent though. Still, very nice.

I'm definitely going to have to plan this build. I'm going to buy some acryllic sheets at the local home improvement store and build a display box for it first though. I'm gong to keep this one on display for a long time and I want to keep the dust off of it.

Ando
07-29-2009, 10:34 AM
My Death Star has arrived and is ready to keep local systems in line! Now all I need are some Wookie slaves to help build this thing. Maybe Ando can lend me some of his if any survived, that is.

Wedge wasn't kidding! Man, look at the size of that thing. I mean the box isn't as big as the UCS Falcon's box. I've actually seen that one in person at a TRU in Indianapolis. That set is so big the box has got a handle on top so it can be carried. The DS box is still big though.

It was nice LEGO double-boxed it for shipping. There was a hole punched through the outer carton and it did penetrate through to the inner box. The DS box only has a minor puncture/dent though. Still, very nice.

I'm definitely going to have to plan this build. I'm going to buy some acryllic sheets at the local home improvement store and build a display box for it first though. I'm gong to keep this one on display for a long time and I want to keep the dust off of it.

Awesome.

We're still trying to figure out where we will permanently be displaying ours. I like the idea of an acrylic box to keep the dust out.

I think I may head down to the Container Store to see if they have anything that big. They have some pretty neat display cases that I use for my clone troopers.

Ji'dai
07-31-2009, 04:12 PM
Well, I checked prices on acrylic sheets today at the home improvement store and it's going to cost me about $50 to build a 18" W x 32" L x 20" H display box.

According to LEGO, the Death Star is 16" high and 16-1/2" wide, so a box that size should easily accomodate the space station and have room for another set. And I think all the Pirate ships are under 20" tall so it'll work for them too.

Ando
07-31-2009, 04:18 PM
Well, I checked prices on acrylic sheets today at the home improvement store and it's going to cost me about $50 to build a 18" W x 32" L x 20" H display box.

According to LEGO, the Death Star is 16" high and 16-1/2" wide, so a box that size should easily accomodate the space station and have room for another set. And I think all the Pirate ships are under 20" tall so it'll work for them too.

DAMN. I was going to cheap out and just buy something. I was going to go to The Container Store and look at their display cases, but the DS is too big for this http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?searchId=21811947&itemIndex=14&CATID=233&PRODID=61432 (http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?searchId=21811947&itemIndex=14&CATID=233&PRODID=61432)

And definitely too big for this: http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?searchId=21811947&itemIndex=13&CATID=233&PRODID=61430

Shoot.

Ji'dai
07-31-2009, 04:30 PM
That doll-size one is $40 and is less than 12" square and under 16" tall. So building one is the way to go. I can build an acrylic box than can accomodate two Death Stars for $50.

Ando
07-31-2009, 04:48 PM
That doll-size one is $40 and is less than 12" square and under 16" tall. So building one is the way to go. I can build an acrylic box than can accomodate two Death Stars for $50.

I know. I just don't have the tools or the workspace to make anything like that where I live right now.

Ji'dai
08-09-2009, 07:02 PM
I'm having a devil of a time finding some good adhesive that will bond acrylic. The guys that make custom cases for computers and acquariums all swear by U-Weld, but I can't find it at all locally. It dissolves the acrylic where it's applied and when it cures the two pieces are bonded together like a single piece.

LusiferSam
08-09-2009, 09:35 PM
I've never heard of U-Weld, but ProWeld and Tenax-7R are types of plastic cement. Both should work on acrylic. I use Tenax-7R for building models and get stuff at my local hobby shop. I had a bad experience with Ambroid years ago so I won't use ProWeld. If you can't find those two Testors Liquid Cement or Tamiya Extra-Thin Cement should also work.

Ji'dai
08-10-2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks, I'll see if I can find some Tenax 7R. I'll have to check Hobby Lobby for it. If they don't have it I know they carry Testors products.

LusiferSam
08-10-2009, 11:37 AM
ProWeld and Tenax-7R are a bit like Coke and Pepsi. If you drink one you normally don't drink the other. Again I simple had bad a experience with Ambroid (tube glue, not ProWeld) so I won't buy their stuff. A quick word on Testors, don't buy the stuff in the tubes. Make sure it's Testors Liquid Cement. If you have any question on the stuff, normally the guys at the hobby shop should be able to answer any of those questions.

Ji'dai
08-10-2009, 10:04 PM
My dad found a tube of Testors model glue in his garage, but I didn't want to try it since I wasn't sure how old it was. It was still sealed in the package and the bubble had yellowed. Hard to say when that was purchased.

If I can't find Tenax-7R, I'll get the bottled Testors Liquid Cement.

---

So I cracked open the Death Star box and was simply amazed at how big the instruction manual was. Not just in pages, but overall size! It's a monster. I don't know where I'm going to store it. It's really too big for the bookshelf and I can't put it with my other set instructions.

Ji'dai
08-13-2009, 08:58 AM
I couldn't find any acrylic cements yesterday at all. All they had was model glue in the tubes. Unfortunately there aren't any nice little specialty hobby shops locally, just the big chain stores. They have everything, yet don't really have anything.

So I broke down and just ordered a pint of Weld-On from a plastics company in CA. (It's Weld-On, not U-Weld... I posted incorrectly before). It's recommended by the company that manufactured the acrylic sheets I bought. Expensive stuff, with shipping a pint came to $22. I need to find some applicator bottles or disposable syringes to apply it.

Hopefully I can get the display case glued together next week and start sorting the Death Star parts.

LusiferSam
08-13-2009, 01:30 PM
Stuff the in the tubes is really just the same as the others. The difference is the tube glue has an additive that the slows the drying time. This is good if you need to time to place the parts or don't care about the drying time. But it's bad if you don't want to or can't wait the few hours to the glue to dry. So I use the blue Testors tube for most the cockpit elements and smaller external parts (it's less stringy and smells less than the red tube). But the large parts, like wings and fuselage I use Tenax-7R because of the quick drying time. It's about 15 sec to a firm hold and is totally dry in a minute.

As for applicator, I won't recommend what I use (unless you want to start building DS cases a business), it's too expensive. A small, fine brush should work. What you're going to do is hold the sheets close and flow the glue into the gap and then press them together.

Ji'dai
08-25-2009, 06:25 PM
I received the acrylic cement last week and glued the case together over the weekend. The display case is 32" long, 18" deep, and 20" high. I put the motorized walking AT-AT inside and took some quick shots of it:

Display box (front) (http://i32.tinypic.com/2yw8lev.jpg)

Display box (right front corner) (http://i29.tinypic.com/e0hm6t.jpg)

Display box (left front corner) (http://i26.tinypic.com/2jflzj5.jpg)

Ando
08-25-2009, 06:29 PM
Impressive! EFFING impressive! That looks amazing!

Ji'dai
08-25-2009, 06:39 PM
Thanks! I was pleased with the way it turned out. The acrylic sheets I used are only 3/16" thick - which made it easy to cut with a utility blade but difficult to glue together. Fortunately finding and using the correct type of cement made assembly easier. I could attach a panel and the bond would be strong enough to stand alone in just a few seconds.

It looks huge - easily dwarfing that AT-AT I put in there. Hard to believe that the finished Death Star will practically take up half of the space inside the box.

Ji'dai
11-22-2009, 07:42 PM
I took some photos of the Death Star boxes, instructions, decals and sealed part bags today; part of my usual documentation before building any set.

All the part bags are contained in four numbered white boxes, which also have a symbol on them (http://i47.tinypic.com/kd4enq.jpg): square, triangle, circle, and cross. Do these symbols signify anything?

It would be nice if the builder only had to open one part box at a time and then move onto the next box and so on, instead of dumping all the parts into one big pile.

I guess I still havenít given up hope of not having to sort parts before building :sad:

LusiferSam
11-22-2009, 10:21 PM
All the part bags are contained in four numbered white boxes, which also have a symbol on them (http://i47.tinypic.com/kd4enq.jpg): square, triangle, circle, and cross. Do these symbols signify anything?
Not the I remember. I focused more on the numbers than the symbols. The bags aren't numbered, nor is there anything in the instructions about different sections.


I guess I still havenít given up hope of not having to sort parts before building :sad:

No such luck there. Just bite the bullet and sort them. I don't know how to deal with a set this large otherwise. Do it the night before you want to start building. It should only take a couple of hours. :p

Ji'dai
11-23-2009, 08:20 PM
Weird that LEGO would put those symbols on the part boxes unless they were meant for the packers in the factory.

Ji'dai
11-28-2009, 11:11 PM
I started building the Death Star the day after Thanksgiving. The morning was pretty much shot since I went shopping so I didn't start in until after noon. I put Clone Wars season one on and began sorting around half past twelve or so and was finished by three or three-thirty, including breaks for lunch and stuff. I sorted everything on the largest surface I have, the living room floor.

So I set up a 6' foot banquet table and had to move parts one pile at a time from the floor to it and the dining room table. I also had piles of bricks on the counter. I worked on it Friday evening after dinner up until midnight before I quit. I had finished the lower hemisphere but not the "equatorial" quarter sections that the top hemisphere is built on.

I started working on it again this evening after dinner and then quit around ten to take a shower. I completed the big deflector dish and then consolidated the remaining parts in piles on the dining room table. So I'm ready to build the top-most section now and am finally down to just having parts on one table. I may work on it some more tonight, but it looks like I'm not going to finish until tomorrow.

Ji'dai
11-29-2009, 09:56 AM
I built Vader's TIE Fighter last night and was short two 1x1 dark gray slopes so I had to go back through the instructions to find where I put them. It turned out that in the previous section I used dark gray instead of black so I was able to quickly swap them out.

I've mistaken dark gray parts for black and vice versa on other builds so it's not surprising I've had that problem while putting this set together too.

I'm working on the top-most sections now and should finish this morning.

Ji'dai
12-01-2009, 08:42 AM
So I was getting near the end of the build Sunday afternoon as I was working on the walls to the briefing room on the top level. The instructions called for two 1x4 light gray bricks, but I only have one 1x4 brick in light gray and one in dark gray. Ugh...

I go back and check the instructions to find where I put that other light gray 1x4 and there it was, in the wall of the trash compactor. Typical that it would be way down at the bottom practically. And not the movable walls either, mind you, but the center section. So after a short internal debate, I decided to pull the DS in half at the equator and get that light gray brick and put the correct dark gray one in its place.

The top half pulled off fairly easily after I loosened it up a little, but when I did, the trash compactor and a couple wall sections on the lower half came apart. So I had to put that back together and reattach the top hemisphere.

I'm missing a 1x1 round clear plate. One of four that's used in the briefing room. Those aren't exactly rare and I should be able to pull an extra from some other set. I may have lost one while moving parts around from floor to table.

I ended up with a round black plate left over, the kind that's used on the turntables in the set, but that was an easy fix. After going back through the instructions again I discovered that black plate went with the cannon on the lower level.

So now it's complete and I put it in the display case I built for it. It takes up a lot of room in there, easily half the space. I've still got the Endor set on the other side and the Tantive IV is squeezed in there too. Barely. Now I might build another case just for the DS. I'd like to leave it on display for a long time since it's such a great looking playset.

Ando
12-01-2009, 11:10 AM
Congrats on finishing the build, Ji'dai!

Any pics of the DS inside the display case?

Ji'dai
12-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Sure! Here are a few quick shots of the case with the Tantive IV, Battle of Endor, and the Death Star:

Pic #1 (http://i49.tinypic.com/w8589j.jpg)
Pic #2 (http://i46.tinypic.com/295sg0w.jpg)
Pic #3 (http://i46.tinypic.com/9gwrns.jpg)