I’m too young to have played with Classic Space sets or figures firsthand, so I don’t have the nostalgia that many fans of LEGO feel. I caught the tail end of Futuron and grew up a die-hard fan of Blacktron II. That being said, my uncle had a bunch of the original spacemen and I enjoyed playing with them whenever I went to my grandparents’ house. And today, as an adult, I love the simple color scheme and the almost whimsical design of the old sets, and even more the highly detailed and almost absurdly greebled Neo-Classic Space creations. This rover by billyburg hits a sweet spot; it’s not too greebled, but also not too studded (or studded at all). It is an homage to 6950 Mobile Rocket Transport, but with two rockets and a much different scale. This one is for tiny spacemen! The knobby tires look great and the metal detectors make for a nice sensor array in the front. Time to get exploring.
Classic Space – one of the perennial LEGO building genres, ever-popular amongst fans for its nostalgic nods to iconic official sets of the past, and the opportunities it presents to depict an optimistic expansionist vision of humanity’s intergalactic future.
This building genre takes its primary influences from the LEGO Space sets released between 1978 and 1987, and the follow-up themes released during the late-80s and beyond, when factions like Futuron, Blacktron, and the Space Police were introduced to the universe.
But the genre is about much more than just the official sets. Take a trip with The Brothers Brick as we blast off on our grand tour of LEGO Classic Space…
There are many LEGO builders out there who are such strict purists that they would never, ever use an “illegal” connection, such as one that stresses a piece. I’m not one of those people, and it seems that official LEGO designer Chris Perron is not, either. Try to wrap your
mind arms around the way the wheels get a grip on the terrain, or do your best to get a handle on that gold accent near the front; something seems off, not quite orthodox, but I just can’t seem to put a hand on it. Besides the countless arm-less and hand-less minifigures walking around Chris’s workbench, I would be remiss if I did not point out something else that separates this build from the pack: the use of a teal brick separator on the hood, seamlessly integrated. I also love the bubble canopy and the bright colors of the rover and the landscape. It’s so pretty! It is like a Friends version of Neo-Classic Space.
LL166, this is Moonbase Control, you are clear to begin your approach…
Time to run through the LEGO Classic Space checklist: Transparent yellow canopy? Check. Blue body plating with light grey greebly-bits? Check. Yellow and black striping? Check.
And yet, this spaceship by ZCerberus manages to look fresh and new whilst still complying with all the Classic Space “rules and regs”. That’s at least partly down to those twin engines, with the cogs in the mountings implying the thrusters can rotate, making this a neat little VTOL craft. The fuselage angles are sharp too, with more than a little whiff of an Apache helicopter, making this look somehow dangerous despite the lack of obvious armament.
Is there anything more romantic in this universe than a trip to some distant world in a two-seat Neo-Classic Space ship? Aussie LEGO fan aido k makes the dream come true for this lovely couple of space explorers. Just like many other great LEGO models, the design of the spaceship started with a single piece, in this case, a bulky Spinjitzu rotor. The amount of exterior elements on the ship’s body and wings looks just perfect; massive engines, a couple of pipes and small grills create a totally swooshable model.
Classic Space seems to be in a boom recently, probably due to the recent re-release of classic space minifigures in the 70841 Benny’s Space Squad set. This gives us quite a few opportunities to share amazing Classic Space builds to share here on the Brothers Brick, including scenes, rovers and mecha. A big fan of Classic Space, Andreas Lenander gives us an immersive piece of action in this beautifully lit all-LEGO scene titled “Gravity failure at Epsilon IV.” It uses the brand-new pink classic spacesuit.
Brickshelf user (yes, Brickshelf still exists) legofrik has recently built a cute boxy rover in the colours of Classic Space. He says the inspiration was a coincidental discovery that small treads fit around 6×6 dishes to create a unique wheel design.
The build has a very boxy shape, and yet avoids looking rectangular and simple. The colours are not only blocked visually, but also by purpose; blue as the main bulk of the vehicle, gray for radars, hoses and other technical doodads and translucent yellow as the iconic Classic Space window and windscreen colour. The rover also has working suspension and a detailed interior.
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.
Whilst the spacecraft of the classic LEGO space theme seem to grab the nostalgic limelight, for some of us the lunar rovers were the real stars. Maybe Andreas Lenander is trying to make this point, and if he is what better way than through this magnificent Neo-Classic Space Drilling Rover. It’s certainly got my classic space pulse racing. Although it sticks faithfully to the grey and blue colour scheme, its forms and shape speak to a more realistic post-NASA near future. There’s phenomenal part usage too, just look at the way the old rails form the drill casing, and the Jurassic World gyrosphere looks as if it were designed to be a moon buggy cab. To complete the scene Andrea signs off with a troop of new pink astronauts, from Benny’s Space Squad, scouring the variegated planet surface for its precious mineral reserves.
Over the past few years, Rob Damiano has been building up a believable world around his Classic Space-inspired Nova Team. We have featured his work before and were pleasantly surprised to see this lovely Nova Team star-fighter. In a nod to the Classic Space ship numbering system, Rob named his star-fighter the LL-824 Paladin, and it is clad in the iconic blue, gray and trans yellow colors. It looks incredibly fun and swooshable. However, what really makes Rob’s work stand out is his photography, which utilizes a mix of practical effects and digital editing. While the Paladin is great, the setting and lighting help bring it life. It is reminiscent of the lively scenes found in LEGO product catalogs of the 1980s and 1990s, which also happen to be one of Rob’s sources of inspiration.
The classic space theme is always near and dear to my heart, as my very first LEGO set with a minifig was 487 Space Cruiser. There have been many LEGO creations paying tribute to this theme, from scaled up versions of classic sets to microscale. This long-range scout ship by Alec Hole represents a significant reboot.
The classic division of light gray wing/underside and blue fuselage pays homage to the theme while prolific greebling and other details throughout the model give it a very modern feel. There are a number of elements from the classic sets used here to connect this modern vessel to its historic roots, from the overall blue and gray color scheme to the little “bumblebee” stripes.