You can keep your Blacktrons, Futurons and Classic Spaces; the space theme that stole my heart growing up was LEGO’s Life on Mars theme. These days, it’s perhaps most notable as a source for the retired sand-red and sand-purple colours. But the set design wasn’t half bad either if you ask me, or Duncan Lindbo, for that matter. He’s seen fit to revamp 7311 Red Planet Cruiser for Mechtober. (It’s like October, but for building mecha.) And it looks great! A one-legged mech is an unusual concept, and Duncan has made some nice upgrades. The best one is the discs on either side, turned into what look like sensors or transmitting equipment, rather than… Whatever they were before. Wings, maybe. As much as I do like the Life on Mars line, I have to admit they only ever looked this good in my imagination!
Sand purple; there’s a color that doesn’t see a lot of use in LEGO creations these days. But Djokson refuses to be limited by convention – or that fact that the purple elements used in Grappler SuGork haven’t been seen since 2001’s Life on Mars theme. And don’t let that friendly face fool you, either. That’s a Bionicle Krana mask from 2002. And those odd shoulder bits? Hovercraft skirts last seen in a 2006 Batboat. I don’t know what SuGork is up to, but it’s clear he’s been working on that armor for a very long time.
Sadly there aren’t a ton of other Martian throwbacks in our Life on Mars tag. Why not dust off some old pieces and try making a tribute yourself?
I’ve often imagined what it might be like to live on Mars. The Red Planet has been the subject of many science fiction movies and novels, one of the most famous of which would have to be The Martian, a novel by Andy Weir that was also made into a movie. These scenes by
Andreas Lenander do a wonderful job depicting life on Mars in the not too distant future.
I love the simple shape of the ship, especially the curved elements on each side, that look fragile and sleek at the same time. The greebly pipes on top feel very functional, and a bit delicate. The rover and fueling station also stand out against the stark landscape.
The post-production lighting and the overall bleak and desaturated colors set a very somber mood, while the use of simple plates and bricks for the surface don’t draw attention away from the vehicles.
The Life on Mars theme seems to be mostly forgotten by most LEGO fans, its nostalgia overshadowed by the more memorable early Star Wars and Bionicle sets. Some people, including Henry F., still seem to remember this lost jewel and give it the publicity it deserves — because it really was an imaginative theme with a positive message, unlike the loose reboot known as Mars Mission.
I love how elegant and compact the exo-suit is, with just enough exotic Technic pieces to give some texture while keeping the build clean. A few splashes of orange help the build catch the eye, and the tan used for tool-hands is a nice touch. A Martian figure fits in snugly and the lazy-looking alien looks like he is quite comfortable. It should also be noted that the use of the reddish background really helps create the feel of the red planet.