Stargate – USS Daedalus

Quick Facts

  • Building time: Six months
  • Parts count: Nearly 2000
  • Versions made: Four
  • Dimensions: 67 cm long, 37cm wide
  • Weight: 3kg/6.5lb

The Design Process

20170904_210900The Daedalus was the first Lego model I built, and over a number of years I have made various attempts to build it, finally reaching the model I have now. At each stage, I changed the way I designed the ship and developed new building techniques. In this model, a big change is the focus on detail.

I researched every aspect and detail of the actual ship, and replicated each of them in Lego. There were no exceptions. I had to develop a way of perfecting this accuracy through proportions. I did this mathematically through the key measurements, using a ratio. I measured two sections on an image of the actual ship and ensured the same two sections on the Lego version shared this ratio. If any proportions were incorrect, it affected the detail of the rest of the model.

The other big difference between this and earlier models is I had a huge range of extra pieces available. This allowed me to articulate every detail. The building process took so long because at the beginning I didn’t have the parts I needed. This is when I started purchasing parts brick by brick.

Journey diagram

In the building stage, I started with the front of the ship, and worked my way to the back, adding the main details as I went, and the more extensive details at the end. When I build, I like to see the big picture as soon as possible. So, I generally build the skeleton of the model first and add to it. This creation was no different.

This year, I updated the model again. I strengthened parts and modified some of the details before it went on display at Oz Comic-Con Melbourne. You can see some of the differences here.

Daedalus to OCC Journey diagram


The Daedalus seems to be a very simple design in general, but looked at in detail, there are some extensive challenges. These included the hangars and the main engines – both took the bulk of the time spent on the project.

20170904_202309The difficulty with the main engines was they needed to be slightly larger than the 4×4 stud round piece I planned to use (this size and associated pieces ended up being used for the secondary engines). Eventually I developed a design to create the round engine from scratch rather than using engine pieces. This involved creating 8 separate modules and using hinge pieces to create the round look. I was very happy with the end result, and I feel it reflects the detail of the engines better than using a single piece would.

20170904_202250The hangars were difficult to build because I had to achieve the complex angles at the front and on the sides while ensuring it was stable and sturdy. I also wanted to create the ‘door’ at the front, and incorporate the engines into the hangars, providing detail on every side of the ship.