The coronavirus quarantine is challenging in a number of ways, resulting in people finding new and unusual activities to keep them busy at home. One fan is combining his love for both Star Trek and LEGO into a fun activity that is producing some impressive results.
Recreating Star Trek: The Next Generation in LEGO’s virtual builder
Star Trek fan Chen Wang is working abroad in Hong Kong, and after his girlfriend returned to Europe, he found himself isolated, due to travel restrictions. Wang is also an IT professional and longtime user of Lego Digital Designer, LEGO’s free app that allows you to create LEGO builds in a virtual environment. Looking for things to do kill the boredom, he combined his computer skills with his fandoms.
The result is a series of virtual builds in Lego Digital Designer, each depicting a scene from Wang’s favorite show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. He started from the beginning, and so far has created scenes from the first half of the show’s first season. Wang has been sharing his work on Reddit for both the r/lego and r/startrek communities and agreed to allow us to share them here at TrekMovie.
Captain Picard goes on trial for humanity under the judgment of Q in “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Yar finds out if Data is fully functional in “The Naked Now.”
Yar demonstrates an aikido training program in the holodeck in “Code of Honor.”
The Guardian of the Tkon appears to the Enterprise landing party and Ferengi in “The Last Outpost.”
The Traveler and Kosinski get the Enterprise warp drive ready to test their enhancements in “Where No One has Gone Before.”
Worf gets shocked by mysterious energy in “Lonely Among Us.”
Wesley breaks the rules of Rubicun III by breaking the glass in “Justice.”
Picard faces off against Riker while in command of the U.S.S. Stargazer in “The Battle.”
Q pops into Picard’s ready room in “Hide And Q.”
Picard grapples with Lwaxana’s luggage in “Haven.”
Picard and Data indulge in a Dixon Hill holodeck adventure in “The Big Goodbye.”
Data fights with his brother Lore in “Datalore.”
Riker and Yar address Angel I’s council of mistresses in “Angel One.”
The Bynars prepare to upgrade the Enterprise’s computer in “11001001.”
How he does it
LEGO has never made officially licensed Star Trek sets, but what Wang has created shows how you can do without them, just using available LEGO components. Even though Wang’s builds are virtual, they should all be possible to build for real, as the Lego Digital Designer uses commercially available LEGO components for its building blocks. However, he admits that in some cases he might be using colors on some parts that may not be available to buy.
Each of these builds has taken Wang about two days to complete. Wang notes that the Lego Digital Designer is easy to use, but he is implementing some advanced techniques including “scaffolding” to complete his builds. After constructing each scene in the LEGO software, he exports the files to Pixar RenderMan to create the final high-resolution images.
The animation below shows how each build is created in LDD. Note, the abbreviation “MOC” is what LEGO builders call “my own creation.”
Wang tells TrekMovie he doesn’t have a specific target in mind for how many episodes from TNG he will recreate, but he plans to keep going. He is also considering taking on Deep Space Nine. He may also take a crack at ordering the LEGO parts to make some real builds as well.
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