Continuing on my fad of building “hard sci-fi” spaceships that look like they might have been designed by NASA or SpaceX, after completing the Vanguard, I found myself with a handful of leftover modules. So I set about building another ship and employing some of the techniques I’d learned and adding others. Last time my ship had topped out at 89 studs in length, but the I.E.A. Discovery rings in at 120 studs.
One of the main things I wanted change was the color scheme. Although the solid black-and-white motif is very classic NASA, I was trying to build a spaceship of the future, so perhaps a little color was in order. My two chosen highlight colors were sand green and flame yellowish orange (or bright light orange, if you prefer Bricklink’s nomenclature). Both are vibrant and bold, while still capturing the vintage space-race color palette I wanted.
I continued to play around with ring shapes, with the first being this disk made of sand green astromech droid bodies, connected with a piece of flex tube strung through the leg holes.
Another key addition are the solar panels, thanks to LEGO’s fantastic printed dark blue 1×4 tile.
Here you can see the hydroponics module created with garage door panels at the bottom, while above it is my favorite module, the habitat cube. One of my favorite things to do with LEGO is to find uses for obscure elements, so the cube is a 6-sided die from the LEGO Games theme, covered in 2×2 triangle tiles with rubber bands around the edges. Also prominent here are the accordian covers for docking ports, made with minifigure ruffles. Look closely and you can spot a black pen bead.
Like the previous ship, this spacecraft also has a habitat ring and a micro-asteroid shield, though both have vastly different designs this time. The habitat ring began life as an attempt at using the 2×2 triangle tiles to build a full geodesic half-dome, but I found the geometry too finicky at this scale. I may revisit the idea at some point, but for now I’ve repurposed the ring for this ship.
Now it’s time to set up a base somewhere off-world.