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Rigidity of on-orbit construction

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What's a way to get very rigid structures constructed on-orbit?  I'm working on my Eve lander/ascent vehicle, as we talked about in this post (My Eve Ascent Vehicle Doesn't Work - Gameplay Questions and Tutorials - Kerbal Space Program Forums), and I tried implementing one of the suggestions, which was to make a longer tail stabilizer.

As a matter of fact, both my short stabilizer and my long one have this problem:  the part of the ship shielded by the heat shield bends way the heck around, pointing in one direction, while my stabilizer tail points in another direction.  It could be that the bend is all coming from the Advanced Grabbing Unit that I used to connect the tail stabilizer to the lander; that's the way it looks.  Incidentally, the advanced grabbing unit does sometimes survive the process, while the lander itself disintegrates.

Would it be preferable to just use a docking port instead of a advanced grabbing unit to do the construction?

After I resolve this I think I'll try to move the center of mass closer to the heat shield.

In short: what's the least bendy way to connect two spaceships together in orbit?

Just to be super clear, the tail itself is barely bending at all during entry into the Eve atmosphere.  That part seems strong.




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5 hours ago, BenKerman said:

How do you add struts once in orbit?

I don't want to use mods.  Only stock.

You can load struts into a cargo container and fly an engineer up to attach them if you're keen. (click the crane hook for construction options when you're on EVA)

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