Cuusoo of the Week: Corellian Defender by Glenbricker

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Whether you love the Star Wars projects on Cuusoo or hate them, no review of Cuusoo can be complete without bringing them up at some point.

Star Wars makes up over 13% of projects over 17* support making it the most "popular" subject for Cuusoo project creators. Not to mention the astounding UCS Sandcrawler currently under review.

This week I eschew my usually humble nature to show you my favorite Star Wars project, the Corellian Defender.

Additionally I have some advice for Cuusoo project creators that I hope will be taken to heart.

Yes, go ahead and call me biased but my favorite Star Wars project on Cuusoo is my very own "doomed" Corellian Defender. I hope you don't mind as I wax on about it for a while. Obviously since I have a first person perspective on this project this article is a little different than the others I have posted. Here goes:

I have some friends who work at BioWare, the company behind Star Wars the Old Republic MMO, and Looking over their shoulders I just fell in love with the design of the Defender.

My friends assumed there would never be actual real world models of the ship so I set out to make one.

I based my design on the 3-D models available on The Old Republic Holonet (warning, resource intensive), in game observations, and the core ship art (presented left).

I scaled the ship based on affordability, available parts for the ship geometry, and in synch with the very small statuette piece. Interestingly enough this just so happened to be in exact scale with the Fury when that was released a few months later.

 

I submitted the project and many supporters requested figures to go with the ship, regardless of the intended scale. Given that the Fury has received a similar overhaul, I succumbed to the wisdom of my supporters and picked three characters to go with my design: Satele Shan, Qyzen Fess, and C2-N2.

I don't expect most of Brickset readers to be familiar with these characters, except perhaps Satele from the 9497 Republic Striker Starfighter. Qyzen and C2-N2 simply put, are companion characters associated with the vessel in the game.

 

Idea ImageFollowing the inclusion of figures, well, I had to update the design to support them. Sacrificing some of the accuracy allowed me to put in a hinged canopy to fit two of the figures. The third figure, C2-N2, is stored in a pod that slides out the side, a technique I am rather happy to have come upon, though it requires a bit more work.

 

So, as I mentioned earlier, this project is "doomed." What do I mean by that? When I started this project, there were no Star Wars the Old Republic ships and I assumed that LEGO would not pursue the property. I have promoted the project to the best of my ability and was satisfied that some day, it would eventually reach 10k, regardless of how long that took. My best estimate puts it about three years out.

Well, it is not official from LEGO yet but Brickset has reported that LEGO intends to release a Jedi Defender Class Cruiser this coming June. I have no reason to doubt that this is true. Many people have asked if this upsets me but really my goal was to get this ship I really like produced, and it is apparently going to happen. My only problem is that they are not very likely to include a trans-blue statuette in the set. I think this is a real shame because they would make for some really awesome Star Wars "Holograms." Also, I have grown rather attached to the Trandosian Qyzen Fess...

That being said, if you like what I have done with this Corellian Defender project, I would very much appreciate your support, even with the rumors that abound.

The Advice

As I said in the last Cuusoo posting, if you come up with something totally original it is going to be really hard to get the support you need. If you recreate an existing IP, well, it will be much easier to get the support but your project has to live down not only the worst aspects of the property, but the very intelligent people at LEGO are likely coming up with the same ideas. If your project lives by the sword it can very well die by the sword.

This has happened with the Rancor, it has happened with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it has even happened with random buildings like the Villa Savoye. In the future I assume this will be the case for the Mos Eisley Cantina. and most definitely the case for all the Tie Fighter variants that have incorporated the newest LEGO Tie Fighter design elements.

So here is my advice to all those people thinking of starting a Cuusoo project based on existing IPs:

According to my best estimates, the top 50 projects with the highest support rate, are still averaging over 3 years to reach 10k not to mention any review or production time that adds on top of that. Sure, your project might be one of those rare gems that skyrockets all the way to 10k, but statistically speaking, it is much more likely going to take years. A lot can happen in three to four years. Your really cool project for 2013 might be unsellable in 2017. Someone might come along with practically your same idea only they get the votes you don't. Perhaps LEGO might produce a set so similar that there is no reason for them to produce your vision when it comes up for review.

For these reasons, I recommend you build for your project for yourself and your love of LEGO, have fun trying to get people to support your vision, relish each milestone, hope for the best, and expect the worst. The fact of the matter though is that the worst here is really not that bad. Even if the project gets archived I have been able to share my Corellian Defender with thousands of people and I got a lot of great feedback that I never would have gotten otherwise.

If you absolutely want to get to 10k using an IP and want to reduce the chance that LEGO won't be producing it before you get to 10k, then you really need to radically reinterpret the role of LEGO in its execution, for example :

scott34567's life size LEGO Lightsabers or,

on the completely other end of the spectrum, toomuchcaffe's Micro Scale Star Wars Scenes

 

Cheers!

 

Last week Cuusoo received three very strong projects: Bonsai Tree, Train Turntable and modular Roadhouse, and LEGO Spice Girls. My review of these projects and a showcase of all the projects that came out in the last week can be found here.

* Why 17 support? Seem a bit random?... Well, I actually did a quick review documenting the concepts of projects so I could come up with stats like 13% for Star Wars. Starting at the most supported projects and working my way down, I stopped at 18 support.

22 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Great article Glen. LEGO Spice Girls, now that *is* funny :-)

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By in United States,

@ Lloyd Garmadon,

The life size sabers are really quite something.

As for the Defender, yes it is from SWTOR, and thank you for the compliment.

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By in United States,

Great ship. Would love to see this in production. Keep up the good work!

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By in United Kingdom,

I think the Spice Girls are very well done, but don't stand a hope in hell of being made...

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By in United States,

@ Atkinsar & Sonic_Raptor: Thank you,

@Huw: I agree. The quality of the figures is top notch, on par with the best custom figs I have ever seen. Any single Spice Girl has the followers required to get to 10k, but I can't see Lego going for it.

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By in Canada,

Another interesting article, Glen. I sorta feel that all Star Wars projects are a lost cause because it's a bit of a quagmire about rights and licences and who pays who and whatnot. Why, for example, would LEGO pay anyone anything for these ideas when they have [and paid for] the rights to make the same stuff themselves? I sorta feel like even if a Star Wars project gets the 10K it needs, the upper-level reviews just wont happen at all for legal purposes. LEGO can't have stolen your idea if they never saw it, see. That's why CUUSOO is kept in a different room. It's why I never bothered posting my Treebeard model. As much as I like it and even though LEGO isn't making one in the next year [from what I've seen], I feel that even suggesting it is possibly delaying the production of an official model by adding some sort of wrinkle they have to contend with should the project miraculously get a ton of votes.

As for Spice Girls, I'd do unscrupulous things for a set like that, and I can't imagine the girls would be tough to play ball with rights-wise, but I'll admit it's a bit out of date and won't happen bar another final-final final [for real this time] reunion tour or somesuch.

Your next article should be on... I dunno, board games or something. Nudge nudge.

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By in United States,

If I'm not mistaken.....Isn't this project and the 75025 Jedi Defender-Class Cruiser coming out later in the year one and the same. If you look up Defender-Class Cruiser on Wookiepedia it shows this ship.

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By in United States,

@IAmWillGibson,

Your logic is hard to argue with. I assume that Lego produces as much Lego in any Given theme as it thinks the market will support. There is also some indication that Cuusoo sets would not displace regularly scheduled production...That is to say, if the Sandcrawler were selected, it would not displace a UCS Star Wars build but come out the same year as another. Sure, some Star Wars fans would buy both, but large groups of the population would choose to buy one or the other.

That is why I think the lightsabers and mini vignettes have a much better chance of happening then most of the Lego Cuusoo projects. There is no traditional Star Wars sets that they would be displacing.

And, as I said before, I started the Defender project under the assumption that they would not explore the expanded universe of the Old Republic.

Then again, I know from a Q&A with Lego reps at Brick Fiesta 2011 that Lego has the rights to the entire DC catalog when they came out with the original line of Batman Lego. They apparently decided that nobody would buy a Lego set without a vehicle so they went with Batman all the way and ignored the less "vehicle centric" heroes. Half the point of Cuusoo is to prove the market that Lego has not investigated. So, I continue to support any project I would want to have and let Lego figure out what they want to do with it.

...

I respect your logic behind not posting a Treebeard projects, but at the same time. Why not take the chance? One of my favorite "Friends" MOCs was an Ent House on display at Brick Fiesta 2012. Personally I don't see why a lot more great creators are not posting to Cuusoo.

...

In my showcase of Cuusoo projects I hope to cover every major category before looping back and games are certainly on the docket. If you have something specific in mind and want to get it out there asap you are welcome to write a guest review for my site: http://blog.brick-hero.com/p/guest-review.html Not the kind of following here but every little bit helps.

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By in United States,

@Woutersja, it appears that you might not have read the article you are commenting on. ;)

Check the final three paragraphs before the Header "The Advice"

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By in United Kingdom,

As someone who plays SWTOR, with a lvl 50 Jedi Guardian and lvl 50 Jedi Sage, I love this ship.

I also bought both the Fury and Striker last year. Great sets both.

I supported this project a while ago, and was over the moon when I heard Lego was producing a Defender. Your model is superb, and I hope the official release is close to yours.

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By in United States,

In general:
Perhaps Lego Cuusoo should reduce the review requirement to 1k and say, "May the best project win." They'd have a glut of items to review every 3 months; however, seeing as how it takes 3 years to reach 10k, it'd seem fairer to lose out to another AFOL's model than to lose out to Lego's secretive internal development process--one in which it would be impossible to determine if your idea was rightfully developed first. Plus, Cuusoo would find itself off the hook in terms of inventing frivolous reasons for failure of each project.

Glenbricker:
I challenge you to turn the spotlight back on Lego in a future article, to express some opinions how the process could become more hospitable. I feel you overlook that most of us have done all we can.

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By in United States,

This model is currently on display at the LEGO Store in the Austin, TX, isn't it?

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By in United States,

I suppose this project isn't so much "doomed" as it is "already in production through other means". Hopefully the official set will come out with just as much or more dark red pieces, I'm a sucker for that color. Got the Striker Class based solely on the parts selection (not really a great set design, IMO).

But I'm REALLY psyched to see Scott's UCS Lightsabers get some attention. That project needs a LOT more love. I really expected it to skyrocket in support, but it's languished for some reason.

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By in United States,

@mooslug,

Yes, in fact it is. I originally was going to put a few asteroids and small ships in there. But when I got it all together in the floorprint it just looked way to crowded.

@RedCoKid,

I was sorry to see that your projects were deleted from Cuusoo. I hope it was by personal choice. Your apple modular was one of my favorite mods on Cuusoo.

When I have a complaint about Cuusoo, I go straight to the heart of the matter and tell Cuusoo about it. You can do so at the Knowledge base http://legocuusoo.uservoice.com/knowledgebase. Click on "Contact Support" and leave your feedback on how Cuusoo can be better.

When Cuusoo is no longer in Beta I might take you up on your challenge, but really I can't see the argument for pushing forward the rate to review. Based on my estimates (http://blog.brick-hero.com/2013/01/cuusoo-analytics-days-to-10k_16.html) seven projects are in line to mature in the next 365 days, not to mention the two or three that are likely to come out of no where. I think the current achieved projects under review plus 9 more is plenty fast enough for Cuusoo while they are learning the ropes.

@Vynsane

Actually that is really how I interpret it. That is why I put doomed in quotes. Sorry if that is not coming through in the article. I too hope for a lot of Dark red. I am incredibly curious about how they will be addressing the design challenges and I really hope that there are at least two named figs in the set.

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By in United States,

Glenbricker:Personally I don't see why a lot more great creators are not posting to Cuusoo.

I think this is rather obvious, isn't it? I"m sure many creators figure "why bother?" At times you come off as an apologist for Cuusoo, while completely ignoring or glossing over it's faults. It's pretty clearly not working well at all in it's current state, and this seems like a relevant point in light of your comment I copied above

RedCoKid:
I challenge you to turn the spotlight back on Lego in a future article, to express some opinions how the process could become more hospitable.

Exactly!

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By in United States,

As a fan of SWTOR I like the ship, the design from the builder is nicely done.
To be honest I would rather had seen the builder go for more true minifig scale instead of matching the incorrect 7500 Fury scale.

This was my same complaint with the 7500 Fury.
The Fury class and Defender should both be at least the size of the Millennium Falcon, at least the abbreviated current version, if not done in UCS.
Using the new LEGO Republic Fighter also from SWTOR as kind of a gauge, that means about double the current dimensions, so the Fury about 2ft by 2ft or 64studs by 64studs at least. And the Defender at least 2ft or 64studs long and proportionally as wide (not sure the exact width).

Im sure LEGO did this for economy of scale, but I think its possible to do the Fury in Falcon size, it just wasn't done.

This Defender is very cool and true to design, but if this was to minifig scale Id be more into it.

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By in United States,

This is just a cool ship...many great designs based on the tantive IV silhouette...Supported!

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By in United States,

Actually, Chalous, true scale of this ship is 1 stud = 1 person, These ships are massive.

As a figure is about four studs wide a true minifig scale ship would be four times as wide. So about 104 studs wide (not including the side blasters) and about 140 studs long. I briefly toyed with the idea but gave it up due to cost and sanity ;)

In the artistic rendering of the ship you can see the little "pegs" around the ship are people.

Cheers.

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By in United States,

The Defender has to be one of my favorite Star Wars ships for its resemblence to the Rebel Blockade Runner. What's funny is I've never played the game--I just really like the design! So it was an easy one to support for me. Even if this model is upstaged by the official one from Lego, it shows them they're on the right path--and that the creators hold source material in high regard.

I supported it, and I hope others out there do too!

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By in United States,

I'm so happy you included the Lightsabers in this little blog. I love their design, but they just haven't as much support as they need. I'd get Darth Maul's in a heartbeat.

Although a little late, I would like you to look at this. It is an UCS Luke's Landspeeder, and it is a reasonable size and is very well build. It's iconic, and spans generations, a good Star Wars Cuusoo idea. However, it is extremely lacking in the supports. http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/18585

I know you said it may take a few years at the rate some of these are moving at, it may make enough of a difference to get on the Discover page and jumpstart some love. Brickset has had this effect before with the help of your reviews.

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By in Canada,

I love your Defender and I supported it many months ago. I hope that LEGO's version is as good as yours.

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By in United States,

As much as I love your ship and would buy several of them (and have already supported it); I can't see LEGO ever producing anything of a current LEGO license through cuusoo. I mean, why would they make a couple 10,000 box runs of a Star Wars ship? They want to sell a million of those so they'd put it in every store they could and create it through normal channels.

Cuusoo submission's best chances are to create projects based on popular but niche IP's. That way you have a better chance of getting the support you need (maybe) and when the review board takes a look at it, maybe they'll conclude that there are enough fans out there willing to purchase it.

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