If Arsia Prime looks as good in real life as it does in the pictures, sign me up! Just like The Martian, everything about this off-world arboretum is fantastically realistic. The terrain is gorgeous, offering a stunning variety of layering, subtly blended colors, and unique rock formations. Builder Ryan Howerter describes this simply as “a relatively near-future colony on Mars.” With the daily advances of space travel, these words may not be too far from the truth.
Astronauts with shiny blue faces monitor various science experiments and intricate systems like the giant solar panel arrays (made out bulldozer track elements). A cute little manned rover with crab-like pincers scuttles across the desolate reddish landscape, while a variety of different beacons, aerials, and other space stuff dotted about the place completes the scene.
The greenhouse is filled with possibly the first botanical life the planet has ever held. The growing veggies are made of a variety of elements, all enclosed in a smoothly curving greenhouse made with UCS Slave I canopies and the new 1×1 quarter circle tiles, among other parts.
This last picture, a wide angle shot taken at Astronaut eye-level, really gives you the feeling of being on the surface, exploring this brave new world. Imagine having to grow food for yourself and the other pioneering colonists living on the surface of another planet—some of us have a hard enough time doing this on our own planet.
If you’d like to take a closer look at the red planet, this model will be on display at Brickworld Chicago this weekend, which is open to the public Saturday and Sunday.