Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Building a major MOC using LEGO - Part 4: To the dome

In tackling this project, I knew that the dome was going to be a bit of a challenge. The very brickish nature of LEGO doesn't exactly lend itself very well to curved shapes. There are, of course, a few specialty pieces made by LEGO that create that curved effect on their own. However, they can look out of place if the proportions are off. In this case, given the size of this project, I could not find anything that would match the specific length and size I was looking for.

As I'm sure many people who MOC do, I looked to random image searches for a little bit of inspiration. Oddly enough, I ended up finding something close to what I was shooting for with this project from a post about spheres. This helped give me some insight in to how to get at least a portion of the effect I was looking for.

I started construction of the dome by figuring out the basic footprint I was shooting for, which ended up being 8x8 studs. From there, I started building a layer of staggered plates up the top, ending up with something resembling a pyramid. Then it was simply a matter of using a combination of 1x4 and 1x2 plates to create kind of a terrace effect from the bottom to the top. This left me with a roundish surface when I was done.

I decided to use a SNOT approach to help cascade off the sides, since the dome of the Capitol is more elongated than spherical. I used a pair of 1x1 bricks with a stud on the side on each side of the building, which gives the plate two firm connection points. You could use something else, but I had a ton of these on hand already from another stage of the building process.

Once the snot plates were attached, I used a 1x8 modified plate with door rail to help smooth out the edges.
From there, I was able to just do a solid wall on each side with some windows and other design features to add some texture. I think the finished product ended up looking pretty good for my first try at a domed structure.
We're almost done! In the next installment, I'm going to go over how I tied the entire project together.

Check out previous installments of this series: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

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