Packing LEGO creations for a convention can be a tricky proposition. Some builders construct custom-made crates out of wood and foam, while others carefully wrap their masterworks in clothing in their carry-on. I cram 50 or 60 model cars into cardboard boxes and hope for the best and “the best” often involves hours of re-building and frustration. Chris Yu says hogwash to all of that with this brilliant LEGO creation that packs itself. It is impressive enough in suitcase mode with its outer shell outfitted in a Classic Space motif and made to resemble a piece of carry-on luggage.
With the release of the new Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander set, LEGO is once again delving into the world of space exploration. Some of the oldest, most notable, and most nostalgic LEGO sets and themes are based on space exploration, so it’s no surprise many of these sets are favorites of LEGO fans young and old. To commemorate the occasion, LEGO has compiled a list of interesting facts on LEGO Space sets, from the very first rocket ship in 1964, to the more recent behemoths of the past few years.
Want to learn some of the history behind the earliest LEGO Space sets? Or perhaps test your knowledge? Then read on to find out!
Adult builders of a certain age hold a special place in our hearts for what we call “Classic Space.” With the Apollo missions fresh in the history books and with Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and Star Wars capturing our imaginations, LEGO hit a sweet spot with their space theme from about 1973 to 1987. For many, they were likely among our first LEGO sets and the fond nostalgia for the theme remain with us forever. Guido Brandis captures this feeling nicely with his LL-942 Star Fire II. There are rules to the “Classic Space” look; blue and light gray are used in nearly equal measure while trans-yellow is for windscreens. Red, used very sparingly, is usually reserved only for rover rims but is utilized here as the pilot’s uniform. Modern elements not available to us in the ’70s and ’80s create a perfect synergy between the old and the new. Even its “LL” designation stands for “Legoland” and was used in the original sets. This sure takes me back!
Not too long ago, Alec Hole revealed his enormous Galaxy Explorer and now he’s back with a companion rover that’s just as exceptional. It stands out with a unique two-seater cockpit design for a pilot and his companion to go exploring the landscapes of distant planets. The rover’s cylindrical tanks at the back have some interesting-looking greebling that makes it look all authentic with serious space functions. To top it all, the highlight of the build is that this rover is built to fit into the cargo hold of Alec’s monumental Galaxy Explorer.
Looking at this Tracked Laser Mining Vehicle by Jon & Catherine Stead, the first thing that springs to mind is classic Blacktron. A few details seem out of place in this assumption and the description reveals no villainous intentions.
The yellow spacemen suggest this is in fact very much a peaceful vehicle. I particularly like the laser array, supported by strings going between pillars of translucent red 1×1 round plates. The ground is quite interesting as well, using an established technique and carrying us to a faraway moon or planet with its colours.
I always wanted to make a mecha dragon, even as far back as 2012 when I fell in love with LEGO dragons. I always knew it would be gray and greebly, but it almost seemed like cheating. Light gray is the LEGO colour with most the available detail pieces, so it would make finding solutions to building problems easier than I would like them to be. Ironically, this is the most complicated dragon build I have made yet (of which there are 24 now, including some more open interpretations of what a “dragon” is). I working on building this one on and off for 2 months from late December to mid-February.
Many depictions of space men visiting earth depict them making contact during modern times, but who’s to say they might not have visited in the past? That’s exactly what looks to be happening in Ralf Langer’s latest creation. But the visitors from space are not the only thing that’s out of this world in this little chapel – the parts usage is seriously stellar!
Ralf was inspired to build the chapel by a challenge to use the new Big Ugly Ship Hull for something other than a spaceship, and he integrates it so well here that I didn’t even notice it at first glance. Advanced building techniques abound in the construction of the chapel, from the complicated yet smooth circular wall to the chain link rooftop. My personal favourite is the front door – I can’t figure out how he achieved the herringbone inlay, but the end result is stunning.
Benny is a man and minifig of many talents and versatility, having captured the hearts of many around the world. With the help of LEGO fans, he has been to the Star Wars galaxy, and now he’s taken a leap into the Macross Saga with this unique three-in-one transformable model built by Wallace Chow. I’m impressed by the level of thought and effort it took to represent multiple forms in a single LEGO model, all while maintaining thematic consistency. Each form stands on its own as instantly recognizable.
Benny would not only be thrilled but ecstatic and going bonkers with this upgrade of the Classic Space 928 Galaxy Explorer. Builder Alec Hole did such a great job and so jaw-dropping of an upgrade that it almost looks like it could have come out of a scene in a sci-fi movie. The detailing and greebling in key spots paired with minimal stud exposure give it a very sleek look. Measuring in at almost a meter in length, this is one sweet spaceship that I wish I had in my collection.
Despite the “classic” in classic space, LEGO creators love to build snazzy new models inspired by this original and recently re-vitalized (thanks to The LEGO Movie 2 sets) theme. This moon rover by Uspez is a great example of giving the classic theme a fresh perspective, a take which is sometimes called Neo-Classic Space. While keeping consistent with the blue and light gray color scheme and yellow accents, this rover’s beefed up wheels and suspension, not to mention that big rear mounted cannon, are completely unique.
And judging by the yellow rubber bands behind the cockpit, I’m guessing this rover even has some killer suspension.
With the recent release of the 70841 Benny’s Space Squad set from The LEGO Movie 2 and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Classic Space, there is bound to be a spike in popularity for what is already one of the most popular LEGO themes. Contributing to this spike is this creation by Miro Dudas, a rover that is heavily inspired by a classic car most of us are probably familiar with… The Flintstones‘ car!
The build captures the angular and minimalist style of Classic Space sets, but its simplicity has an added bonus – why not make your own with the instructions provided by the builder? Miro has built the rover in a few alternative themes himself, both digitally and physically, as seen below.
In the future world of Boris Schneider, the moon’s got a colony and it’s pretty rad. This mash-up of real-world-inspired design and LEGO’s famous Classic Space aesthetic makes for a fantastic extra-terrestrial outpost. The moon’s surface is made from a jumbled mix of grey plates and slopes with exposed studs, a combo that works well to recreate the scattered regolith on the impact-dotted lunar fields.
The Apollo-era lunar lander has received a serious upgrade in the form of this moon-earth transport vehicle. The printed flag and USA elements from the official Saturn V set work excellently both here and on the base to give a bit of real-world tie-in to this Classic Space scene. Continue reading