The Shpleem Dome
The Moon has been good to the Shpleem. It has brought him joy, friends and a real excellent time in general. He has now returned this love to the lunar inhabitants with a gift: The Shpleem Dome.

It is a lush oasis on the cold desert vacuum of the lunar surface. A breathable atmosphere and a variety of holographic terrain provide a solace and relaxation for all the moonbase to enjoy.

The Shpleem Dome covers 16 48×48 stud baseplates. The dome itself is about 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. The base is made up of 8 columns which each can have up to 2 corridor connections for a total of 16 potential corridor connections for other moonbase modules to hook up to.

When you go to a LEGO convention typically the larger models get most of the attention. Not good or bad, just the way it is. I wanted to make something large to take to shows that used the smallest amount of parts, so a geodesic dome sounded right.

I built this for Brickfest DC 06. The geodesic dome took about 6 months of design and prototyping in my spare time. I wouldn’t have been able to build it without the awesome dome calculator on desertdomes.com. It was a surreal project because I learned (a little bit) about how real geodesic domes are made and then got to figure out how to make it with LEGO.

The Shpleem Dome is a 4v geodesic dome. The higher the frequency of triangles the rounder and smoother the dome will be. At 4v and exactly half a sphere this dome is made of 250 beams or struts. There are 6 different strut lengths but 2 of them were so close in length that I got away with fudging it in LEGO and just used 5.

I’ll post a LEGO dome how-to soon. The idea can definitely be expanded on. You could make a larger dome, a sphere, skin the surface etc…

The terrain and village inside is more than likely a one off. I’m keeping the rest of it built forever to bring to future Moonbase layouts, hopefully improving it over time. I have a few ideas about what could go inside it in the future. It should be on display in some form or another at the Boeing Museum of Flight on this upcoming Father’s Day.
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