Wow! We’re already on Day 17 of our journey with my chum John as he builds the LEGO Ultimate A-Wing Starfighter model from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. As you may recall, John is implementing only 19 instructions a day, which means the entire 570 instructions (encompassing 1,673 pieces) will take 30 days.

Two honking big engines! (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: John Alflat)

Accompanying today’s photo, John said: “The second engine in now completed and the whole model is starting to look and feel like a chunky beast. I also commenced work on the front side sections with a small connecting piece being put in place.”

In yesterday’s Day 16 build blog, I posed the question: “How many gallons of deuterium-tritium mix does it take to fill the A-Wing’s tanks and how many light-years do we get per gallon?”

John replied as follows: “As for filling the tanks, that takes around 15 minutes. Light-years per gallon? Hmm, it doesn’t work like that in space; however, a full load of fuel would last you a week. If you are talking about light-years, then the jump into a hyperspace lane takes very little fuel itself, and once in you burn fuel at a normal rate. I can tell you that within Earth’s atmosphere the fighter is capable of 1,300 mph, but don’t ask me how the thing maneuvers.”

Last, but certainly not least, for this column, John closed by saying: “Word to look up: Greeble

“How cryptic,” I thought, but I must admit to being intrigued, so I had a little Google when no one was looking to discover that a greeble (or nurnie) is a prominent detailing added to the surface of a larger object that makes it appear more complex, and therefore more visually interesting. According to the Wikipedia:

Greebles usually gives the audience an impression of increased scale. The detail can be made from simple geometric primitives (such as cylinders, cubes, and rectangles), or more complex shapes, such as pieces of machinery (cables, tanks, sprockets). Greebles are often present on models or drawings of fictional spacecraft or architectural constructs in science fiction and are used in the movie industry (special effects).

I love the Wikipedia because it tickles my fancy with the nuggets of knowledge and tidbits of trivia that make my day, such as the fact that, “The earliest recorded use of the term greeble found to date was by those working at Industrial Light & Magic for the special effects of Star Wars,” and that, “An early physical example of their application was in the production of the spaceships in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) where they were called wiggets.”

How about you? Do you have any interesting terminology of this ilk that you’d care to share with the rest of us?