A long, long time ago, LEGO announced their new Collectors Star Destroyer. It was their largest set at the time and I being a long time LEGO maniac, I had to have it. It took many weeks to build, and has been one of my prize possessions which I’ve flaunted even more than my hot tub. Friends, relationships and other toys have come and gone, but ol’Desty has always been around.
Now that I have a wife and kid, space has become constrained, and I’ve had to become creative in my toy storage. After mulling it around, I realized the best for Ol’Desty was to prominently display her, hanging from the ceiling. Unfortunately, after some researching the only useful bit of information I found was “use fishing wire”. I could do better than that.
To all my friends who have gotten this far, you can stop reading as the rest will bore you to tiny little brick pieces. To all of the LEGO enthusiasts, on with the gory details!
One of the most fascinating parts of trying to hang the LEGO Star Destroyer (LSD) was taking it apart and seeing how 9 years of being on display has affected the structure. If you’ve built an LSD before, you know that the fuselage is made of four attached triangles and most of the weight settles on the last two-thirds of the structure. You also probably also know that it’s an extremely fragile set, held together by magnets. Great idea, but for me, the bottom panels kept falling off all too often. In the pictures, you can see how the center beams have warped over time, bowing up to 4 3/4″ from the ground (between the two stands) and sagging to 4″ from the ground (at the tip).
On my first attempt, I tried to cradle the LSD by wrapping fishing wire around the entire structure, but that caused it to pinch the panels some places and bow out in others. After a few other experiments with the LSD over a generous glass of whiskey and coke, I found my solution.
I removed all 4 pieces of panelling and tied one long piece of fishing wire into strategic weight points on the triangle frame, using the peg holes of the middle long bricks to wrap the fishing wire around. I then re-attached the panels and fed the fishing wire between the horizontal center crevice. This approach caused the least amount of structural and functional disruption and allowed it to balance right on it’s widthwise center of gravity.
I played around with different locations along the frame and finally found a proper equilibrium (see pics). When hanging, my intent was to tilt the LSD slightly forward so that as you enter the room, a clear view of all of the beautiful deals LEGO put into the model are visible. Along with some more adjustments to the weight distribution, I was able to get the angle I wanted.
Google Sketchup was a great way to plan out exactly where to drill for the ceiling hooks. It also allows me to make some planned adjustments for upcoming LEGO Goodness
It required two people to hoist the LSD up, adjust the tension on the wires and tie off the ends. Once it was all settled and angled properly, the rear wires were significantly tighter than the front, but I believe that this is unavoidable due to the LSD’s weight distribution.
For the rest of the evening, I just sat there, basking at it’s beauty and glowing as it was inspiring to see it hovering ever so menacingly there, and proud of my accomplishment and DIY prowess.