In this 'ible I will show you how I made the iconic Slave I from the Star Wars Movies, owned by Jango Fett and later by his cloned son, Boba Fett. I decided to make Boba Fett's version, because the Green/Brown colour of this ship is easier to recreate than the Dark Blue/Grey of Jango's version.
The Slave I is in my top 3 list of Star Wars Spaceships. It's weird shape, the fact that it flies and lands in different positions (Similar to Thunderbird 1) and every sound it makes: Soaring, firing and bombing... All are great.
The model is about 45 cm high and 40 cm wide, from wing to wing. It's made out of 1023 pieces, and was built over 3 weeks time, for 10 hours in total. It features all things that you can imagine on this versatile fighter: Rotating laser cannons, moving Side-Wings, hidden weapons compartments and a working Seismic Charge Launcher!
The Slave I is my most complex model so far, as it has an unusual shape that is difficult to recreate with K'NEX. Many weird connections were used, and it was tough to get all details fit in the model. Here is a list of the steps in this 'ible:
- Parts Needed
- Seismic Charge Launcher
- Green Side Arches
- Brown Top Arch
- Brown Bottom Arch
- Side Wings
- Bottom Hull
- Display Stand
Step 1: Parts Needed
Knex pieces: Buy at K'NEX User Group / K'NEX spares
- 127x Black rod (16 mm)
- 130x Silver rod (32 mm)
- 2x Flexible purple rod (32 mm)
- 31x Blue rod (52 mm)
- 14x Dark grey rod (86 mm)
- 4x Flexible pink rod (86 mm)
- 5x Green rod (128 mm)
- 1x Grey rod (190 mm)
- 4x Flexible Lilac rod (190 mm)
- 2x Rigid Black Rod (190 mm)
- 7x 8-way black connector
- 27x 7-way blue 3D connector
- 25x 4-way silver 3D connector
- 37x 5-way grey connector
- 6x 5-way dark grey connector (Beasts Alive Bronto # 34483)
- 108x 4-way green connector
- 2x 4-way translucent green connector
- 30x 3-way dark grey connector
- 27x 2-way (V-shape) grey connector
- 80x 2-way (long-shape) brown connector
- 65x Clip with hole end dark gray (1-way connector)
- 51x Metallic spacer (1½ width)
- 21x Blue spacer (½ width)
- 85x Black clip with rod end
- 20x Silver clip with rod end
- 24x Clip with Ball end
- 2x Clip with Socket end
- 9x Clip blue
- 8x Interlocking clip Tan/bronze
- 8x Ball and socket Large
- 4x K'NEXMAN Headtop Translucent Yellow
- 6x Black Snap-on Cap
- 3x Tri panel mini silver
- 1x Tri panel mini Translucent Yellow
- 2x Tri panel small silver
Micro K'NEX: Buy at K'NEX User Group
- 32x Connector 4-way Light Grey
- 4x Rod Dark Grey (40 mm)
- 12x Rod Black (14 mm)
- 1x miniature elastic bands (1 cm / 1/4" diameter)
- 1x A4 Size paper and a colour printer
Step 2: Seismic Charge Launcher
This part is the middle and thus the start of the Slave I. It's a design by my brother, after I showed him some of my idea's when it came to these bombs.
The launcher works as follows: A bomb (A silver rod with 2 blue spacers and 2 translucent-yellow K'NEXman heads) is placed in the front of the launcher (the cockpit) Then, a lever has to be pulled, so that the bomb is pushed into the ejecting channel, after which it's pressed out with a little force. When the trigger is released, the mechanism shoots back into it's original position and a new bomb can be placed.
It was a tight fit to get this pre-made mechanism fit in next to the 3 thrusters and between the green arches.
Step 3: Green Side Arches
These Green Arches were the very first part I made for the Slave I. They mostly determined the scale of the model: big.
By themselves, they are not the most difficult part to make. The angle of the beams connecting to the wings was more difficult to get right.
Furthermore in this step you will add parts that are important for future elements of the Slave I.
Step 4: Brown Top Arch
The brown top arch was relatively soon finished, but the finishing touches were lacking. It still had a lot of holes in it, that look better when covered up. Also the connection to the top of the Cockpit was not made until a last stage. The bottom covering plate was added later. This part is relatively easy to connect to the model: It connects on 3 points, but is strongly connected to the rest of the spaceship.
Step 5: Thrusters
The thrusters were another part that I finished separately. After I designed them I then added them to the model in the best way possible. First I was looking for some easier thrusters consisting of wheel hubs and fluorescent ball-halves, but they wouldn't fit, and I didn't have the pieces. Therefore I decided to make my own: 2 black 8-way connectors with 16 y-clips attached to it give the two thrusters their round shape.
For the top-bar thruster, I used fluorescent green connectors and a mini panel. Some LED-lighting would be cool! (further improvements)
Step 6: Brown Bottom Arch
This was the part that I feared the most before starting the model. The bottom arch is a parabolic-like shape with a pointed end, while at a tilted angle. In K'NEX terms: Almost impossible to make.
But I pulled it off. I made this part using two flexi rods and lots of brown connectors and silver spacers. On the bottom is a cover that serves as a structure at the same time. The Bottom Arch is added below the two round Thrusters.
Step 7: Side Wings
The side wings use Micro K'NEX for details, but therefore they are pretty accurate. The frontal edge is curved and the rear parts are made at an angle using 4 way connectors and bronze interlocking pins. They are added to the ship by connecting to two points: the big Ball Joints and another brown connector.
In the next step you continue with the bottom hull, which houses many weapons and hidden compartments.
Step 8: Bottom Hull
The bottom hull was the second part I finished, as the shape was difficult to get right. It has many slopes and round edges. That made me decide to go for Boba Fett's version of the Slave I, and not Jango Fett's. Boba Fett's version is namely green, whereas Jango's version is still light grey. In K'NEX terms, this would me the top would be totally flat, which would look inaccurate and dull.
The very last parts of the ship were the hidden weapon compartiments. They can open and 2 little blasters peep out, ready to overwhelm a target in a space-dogfight.
The Bottom Hull is strongly attached to the rest of the Slave I, the model can be lifted from there.
Step 9: The Display Stand
The display stand is custom made for this model and had to be big and mostly strong. Although not very large, the Slave I weighs over 1.2 kg! That's because it's nearly very piece-dense. That made me use two rigid black rods, put at an angle, while 2 green rods support this. The whole ship is only connected by one (!) connector, yet very stable.
Thanks for reading through the ible!
K'NEX Han Solo (in carbonite) greets you.
May the Force be with you!