Planet Labs Dove - Instructions, Parts List, Options

Wow, what a long, strange road it's been!  Well, not really strange but a holy heck of a lot of hours!
If you're new here, check out previous posts to see the development of this model in action.

Here's the final physical info on the finished model:

And here's the part count and estimated cost of getting the parts:
Lots are the number of different types of bricks

I think I went through 8 or 9 different ways to create the internal structure, not to mention 4 different panel designs.  Anyway, the final version is complete and now you, too, can build it!

Of course you'll need instructions and a parts list, as well as knowing how to work Bricklink.  Those details are below.

I'm going to offer these free of charge, but if you'd rather have me do all the Bricklink legwork for you read below for some options.

Again, this did take quite a bit of effort to put together everything so if you feel like you want to drop me a few bucks as a tip, that'd be great but I sincerely don't expect anything.

Here's my Paypal link if you want to do that:

Instructions and Parts List 

      Full Size Model (1:2 scale)
            Planet Labs Dove Instructions
            Parts List (io file)
            Parts List (xml file)

      Micro Model

            Planet Labs Dove Micro Instructions (There's a glitch where the antenna doesn't render, sorry)
            Parts List (io file)
            Parts List (xml file)

            Here's parts list/approx. cost (see notes about this cost in Parts Overview):

Parts Overview
This is the trickiest part.  I mean, it's not hard to shop bricks at Bricklink or Brick Owl, but it can be a bit of a pain to find all the best deals you can.

Here again is the parts list/estimate cost:

A couple notes about this:
  1. The total price is if you're able to get ALL the parts at the absolute lowest price available.
  2. The price DOES NOT include the shipping costs that sellers charge.
Depending on who has what bricks it could cost you as much as $240 for everything across multiple sellers.  This set has 809 bricks so the price-to-part ratio isn't good, but for specialized MOCs it never is.  Especially for this model with the many dark blue tiles.

Getting Parts Through Me
If you'd like to get the parts and everything yourself those instructions are in the next section, but if you'd rather not deal with all that I can do that for you and ship you everything together once it's all said and done.  Here's the gist of how that would work:
  1. Deposit $250 to (add $10 if you want the micro too)
  2. I'll purchase the bricks in the most cost-effective way possible using that money (it will take 2-4 weeks to collect all the parts)
  3. I'll give you a final orders/cost list when it's all done.
  4. I'll refund whatever's left to you minus $15 for my time and the cost of shipping you your pile of bricks!
SPECIAL NOTE FOR PLANET LABS PEOPLE: Talk to your peers -- if multiple people want to have/build this I'll certainly be able to get the parts cheaper overall because I can buy bulk parts and pay shipping ONCE for parts for multiple models.

Getting Parts Yourself
These instructions pertain to BRICKLINK (sorry I don't use Brick Owl or other sites.)

To get started you'll need to download the io parts file.

With that file, head to, create an account and then create a New Wanted List.

Once created, view the wanted list and you'll see an Upload button.  Choose that and browse to where you saved the parts file, then click Verify.

At the time of my writing this, I tested the file and it uploaded perfectly.

With that parts list set up, all that's left is to either choose Buy All or gradually pull them in as you like.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!  One of the parts, 48995pb02 is not available as shown.  Most LEGO key chains have this tile as part of the key chain.  You'll need to find one of those to get this part.  I suggest you find an unlicensed minifig key chain (such as THIS ONE because the included tile doesn't have any extra writing on it.  Star Wars minifig key chains, for example, have trademark text written on the bottom of them and that doesn't look as nice.)

IMPORTANT NOTE 2!! At the time of this writing the 4x4 corner tiles don't come in BLACK.  I chose the dark blue because it give the best illusion of the larger lens.  You may want to use white tiles instead, that's up to you but based on the actual model, the width of the lens more closely resembles what I've designed.  Of course, I'll be on the lookout for when this part comes in black because ultimately that would look THE best.

Building The Dove
I tried to make building the Dove as intuitive and easy to follow as possible.  The instructions builder software has limited features but I still think it's pretty good over all.

Either way, should you have any trouble or have any other questions, feel free to hit me up by leaving a comment below and I'll be happy to help!  (Sorry, I don't want to post my email address here...)

Custom Antenna Tiles
I created custom tiles for the Dove's antenna:

These can be produced in several different ways.  Probably the best and most cost-effective for one-off use is using Testors water decals.  They could also be professionally screen printed, but most printers require you to order those by the hundreds.  I suppose if enough people want to get them...

If you're interested in these, let me know by leaving me a comment below.

I think that about covers it.  Thanks to Ryan from Planet Labs for bringing this challenge to me!  It was a LOT of work, but it was a LOT of fun and I'm quite proud of the finished model.


  1. Hi Scott, do you plan to create a 1:1 PlanetScope?

    1. Hello! I most certainly could and would love to do so. I was just trying to find some images and I'm only seeing the Dove. Forgive my ignorance, but is the PlanetScope another name for the Dove and you're looking for a LEGO Dove that's "full size?"

  2. I'm looking for the PlanetScope cubesat 1:1.

    1. Right -- but what IS the PlanetScope Cubesat? Again, all I'm finding when I google that is the Planet Labs Dove satellite.

  3. I had another Planet Labs insider let me know that for all intents and purposes the Dove is the PlanetScope Cubesat. So then - 1:1 scale means I need to know exact dimensions. Is that something you can help with?

  4. I`m a Planet Labs insider. :)
    Each PlanetScope satellite is a CubeSat 3U form factor (10 cm by 10 cm by 30 cm)

    1. Is that full length, including the rounded part? Know what I mean? Is 10 x 10 x 30 the "square" area of the satellite? Or is 30 the FULL length from end to end? If the rounded area sticks out beyond, I need to know the diameter and length of that section as well.

  5. The full length is 10 cm x 10 cm x 33 cm.


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