Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Variga - Introduction

If you've ever watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, you may remember that red-and-white ship that you only see for a couple of minutes at the start of the movie, the one that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn travel on and that gets blown up in the hangar of the Trade Federation battleship. That little, insignificant ship, the Radiant VII (the only ships used by any major character in the movies that get less screentime are the Sith Infiltrator used by Darth Maul, also in Episode I, and Yoda's little rocket pod, on Kashyyyk in Episode III), has long been my favorite spaceship design of all time, and more than one personal project has featured variants of that ship. is a website that serves as a bare-bones hosting website for images, documents, and files pertaining to Lego and clone brands. It allows people to upload images and certain kinds of other files to its database, display them in folders under their account, and use keyword searches to search its database. That's about it.

About two years ago, I was on a mini-building craze. I wanted to build a very, very small model of the Radiant VII, and I wanted to see if anyone else had done that and how they had done it, to get ideas for my own work. Instead, I found this:

Once I had picked my jaw up off the floor, I was ecstatic. The Bricklink gallery included photos of some of the internal structure of this model; I had everything I needed to start building my own. Thus began a project of three or four months. In my spare time, I worked to reverse-engineer the design by the French AFOL whose online name is Anio. I also made some modifications, working toward a favorite variation on the design, and the result is the Variga.

Then, a week or so after the end of spring semester at college, I decided to launch a major project for the summer. I would build the Variga, using real Lego's. It would require the purchase of over 1,300 bricks.

About 5 days ago, I received the (hopefully) last two pieces in the mail. It's taken a couple of months more than I expected, but soon, I'll be building this model. Watch for updates!

Happy building!

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