2001: Discovery One

Pod leaving the Discovery-OneThe Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey was the most ambitious and complicated model I have ever undertaken.  The model has 3,861 pieces and is over 6 feet in length.  I wanted to do something to celebrate both the best movie ever and the history LEGO has with outer space.


I found the model instructions online.  Having never built a custom model from online instructions before, this was going to be a new experience for me.  I sat down with my current stash of LEGO parts and looked at what I had.  It was not much, to say the least.

Parts Ordering

During the Christmas break I ordered most of the parts I needed. After an incredibly large purchase from LEGO’s Pick-A-Brick site, I still was not finished.  I had to turn to BrickLink to find the rest.  This was a long and time consuming process and wound up double ordering some parts and forgetting to order others.  Only a few weeks ago did I finally get the last pieces I needed, about 2 months after I placed my first order.


The first complication I had was just getting all the pieces in the listed colors.  I wound up having to do a few substitutions, like using dark gray instead of tan for some of the magnet holders.  A second issue was finding a proper application to read the instructions.  I had the LEGO design app on my Mac but that app could not handle the .mpd files; it would only handle .ldr format files.  I wound up finding another Mac app called Bricksmith to allow me to read these .mdr files.  Construction related issues I had with the model involved how some of the parts go together. The engine plates and magnets holding the Pod Bay Doors are attached half a stud off of normal. This makes the connection is more likely to come undone and I spent many days struggling with getting the engine panels to stay on.


I learned quite a bit working on the model.  Maybe down the road I will take another crack at it to improve the design.  Currently, I am not sure how long I will keep the model up.  There were days that I wanted to just give up and rip it right down.


Overhead shot of the 6 foot plus model