Sometimes it feels like every spaceship I see out there in the LEGO building community is either a single-seat starfighter or a giant capital ship. Sometimes the fighters are tiny, sometimes they themselves are giant, and some of the capital ships are minifig scale and others are microscale. But wouldn’t it be nice to see something else with more frequency? Like, what about the civilian ships, or even the military support vessels? Someone has to move the supplies from Planet A to Planet B, right? Well, thankfully we have Blake Foster, who has made us a small, minifig scale Neo-Classic Space (NCS) cargo shuttle. Called the Blue Lobster because it grips two containers at a time in its mechanical claws and it’s blue, it is the ship you hire for small jobs, when you don’t want to spend an entire nation’s GDP to move a few crates.
The coherent color scheme is perhaps my favorite aspect of NCS ships, and the Blue Lobster does not disappoint, with the obligatory yellow canopy and the blue and grey body. The grey greebles are perfect, using my favorite greeble element, the piston bar, and the Nexo Knights droid torso to great effect around the engines. I also love those crates; each is a work of art in itself, with some fascinating geometry making them work. Now, I need to move in a month or two, and I think my family’s belongings could fit in those crates (if we were minifigures, that is); maybe I should ask Blake if this cosmic crustacean is up for hire.
Most spaceships I have seen are just machines, a tin can hurtling through the cosmos propelled by some rockets or thrusters. X-wings, Star Destroyers, the Enterprise, Discovery One, and so on, all fit this paradigm. Most LEGO space creations fit the same pattern, be they Classic Space, Galaxy Squad, or Star Wars. But do they have to be? Galaxy Squad offered a glimpse into what semi-organic spacecraft could be with the Buggoids, and Insectoids back in the day did too. Thankfully, to show us a true hybrid of machine and alien, Rubblemaker has brought us the BR4-1N, a fusion of Neo-Classic Space and some deep-space dwelling creature.
See more of the hybrid here
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…
Click to read our in-depth overview of the Classic Space building genre
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.
Read more about “illegal” LEGO connections, or check out our glossary for other cool LEGO terms you might not know.
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.
Click to explore more areas of the Epsilon IV base
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.
At 96×168 cm, this sprawling space layout is a phenomenal build. Creator Dale Harris notes on his harrisbricks blog that the display is a personal love note to the Classic Space theme’s limited colour palette and retro tech aesthetic.
See more details of the super-sized space display