Having some thoughts on how should the Star Wars HWK-290 Light Freighter look inside, and how much room you can actually expect there, and being a big fan of creating floor plans to the ships we use in our campaigns, I’ve decided to try building a model of the ship, as a proof of concept.
I’ve chosen LEGO bricks for the job, for various reasons. First, and foremost, I like LEGO. It is a lot of fun building from physical bricks, but with the advent of modern computing, you can also design in Lego Digital Designer directly on your PC , having access to all the bricks in a world, be able to tear down and rebuild in the matter of minutes (well, ok, it takes some time to get used to the interface, and some time to get a feeling where all those bricks you need are located, but once you are familiar, it gets much more fun). Second, my daughter likes LEGO, too. And she likes Star Wars. A year and a half ago she got the LEGO 75105 Millennium Falcon set, and it is still one of her favourite doll-houses she plays in, so creating a minifig scale ship of my own design, provided it will be accessible and have all those interactive parts inside, looked like something she might be interested in as well.
I started my work by creating a folding bunk bed in the cabin. The bed would have regulated height, would convert to a table for a day use, or could be folded completely if not needed. To be able to eat, work or use the built-it entertainment system located in the table two jump seats were placed on the opposite side of the corridor.
On top of the folding bunk landed the coffin-style “master cabin”, with the doors that can offer some privacy. And this is it for beds – if 4 persons are to travel on board, the other two are either on a piloting watch, or taking nap in those large, comfy piloting seats.
At this moment the project froze for a couple of months, for no particular reason.
When revived, the shape of the hull appeared visible, and I’ve also added some storage lockers for the crew and a small kitchenette with a food processor:
Next step was to build a stern bulkhead, with large sliding doors to the cargo bay, build the cargo bay itself and put a small elevator. Well, in fact, most of the cargo bay consist of the said elevator:
The elevator was sized so it could accommodate a standard cargo crate in any orientation. I’ve built two droids from the generic parts, an astromech, that would in future operate from the cockpit, and the labor droid, that in normal operation, when some cargo is being carried, most probably will be left out, due to the space restrictions on board.
At the same time, the front side of the hull had been extended, to house a refresher on the starboard side, and the rotary airlock on the port side. The airlock can open on three sides – outside, the cabin and the cockpit. It also has an upper hatch and a docking collar for safe rendezvous with other ships while in outer space. In case the airlock is unserviceable, the cargo bay can be used as a temporary airlock solution – sliding doors being the inner door, and the cargo elevator being the outer door, as both are airtight.
To allow easy embarking and disembarking outside of the port facilities, there is a folding ladder at the bottom of the airlock.
This pretty much concluded the easy part of the construction, and at the same time the first part of this article. We will start the next one from the task of building a bow of our HWK-290. And then rebuilding it again.