For my project the top 5 specs I would want to have are: a good diffused LED lighting, at least the base of the rocket built, a somewhat sturdy stand for the rocket that is as unobtrusive as possible, the lights to flicker or at least change color, and clean looking plumes that look like smoke. I want be able to have a cohesive and clean look for my project. Having LED lights that don’t seem like they are obviously lights would be neat since that would detract from the effect. In addition to this, I would like the smoke plumes made by the cotton to look more natural and not like a bunch of cotton balls stuck together. Creating a smokey effect is a key component of this project. I would like the acrylic/plastic holder to be subtle enough that it would blend into the background of the rocket. I don’t want it to look super obvious while still being able to be support the rocket well. Having color changing LED’s would be key to make this project dynamic. Ideally it would flicker and change colors from grey/white, to yellow, to orange, to red to simulate the rocket launch. I say this tentatively because it is dependent on the lights and any electronics I use for this project.
The top 5 constraints would be that the time it takes to build the Lego rocket, the design of making the “smoke plumes” look realistic, the light changing aspect, the time to build the stand and iterate it, and sound if I choose to implement it. The Lego rocket has 1969 pieces and is rather large and intricate, meaning it might take a lot longer than I expect to build it especially if it’s to be done alongside school. As mentioned earlier, I want the cotton to look as smoke like as possible when assembling it. I’m afraid of the cotton just looking like a mess or a bunch of trash in a pile so I’ll really have to look into making it look authentic. The light changing is a potential sticking point. Some LED’s come with a light flickering option built in and can change colors as a setting. However, I don’t know if they will have that option in the colors I want and at the speed and cadence I want. So if I have to do something custom I might need to use an Arduino and a different set of lights to control it and make it look like a launch. The case is also something that might be hard. Making it sturdy enough to support a 39in tall Lego while still being hidden at the base might be an issue. I think I want to try for a strong base that I’ll just cover up with cotton balls while the rest of the structure goes behind the rocket and wraps around certain parts of it. I would like it to be clear as well, that way it’s more hidden. Finally with the sounds, it would be really cool to play sounds of the Saturn V rocket launch and sync it with the lights. The difficulty in this would be finding the appropriate speaker and potentially having to code something to play the sound in time with the lights.
“Acrylic Display Case for Lego Nasa Apollo Saturn V (Vertical).” IDisplayit, IDisplayit, https://www.idisplayit.com/lego-display-cases/ideas/nasa-apollo-saturn-v-display-case-vertical-for-lego-21309-92176/.
If you want to make your plumes look more realistic, I’d consider that stringy cotton material over cotton balls, which I believe was an early idea. I think this’ll provide the texture you’re going for in your aesthetic. Good luck!
I think it would be a great idea to code the lights to sink up with the sounds of an actual rocket launch. I’m sure coding that into an Arduino wouldn’t be too bad.
I’m curious about the smoke effect. Are you integrating this in the acrylic material? Or are you creating a separate smoke component, and what material are you planning on using? Either way, fantastic idea, I’m excited to see how it turns out.
Hi Cody, Have you thought about positioning the rocket such that it is being supported at an angle? I think this would add to the sense of flying through space. I think the idea about using smokey LEDs would be really cool.