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.
For the past several years LEGO space enthusiasts have been getting together on Flickr each February to showcase planetary exploration rovers of all shapes and sizes. While it’s not a contest, as the month draws down one builder, in particular, is standing out as the unmistakable leader of this year’s Febrovery event. US-based builder Frost has certainly been no slouch with one new eye-catching rover after another each day so far. We’ve already featured his glamorous P6R, but now is a great time to highlight some of the other fantastic rovers he’s added to the current lineup. Here’s one which looks as if it was made specifically for a space-faring Clark Griswold:
This thing is ugly, but in a really good way. The lime-green body, wood paneling and gold trim grants a rather funky, 70’s vibe. I wouldn’t be surprised to find an eight-track player and shag carpet inside this futuristic station wagon. Further down the line, Frost’s two-wheeled rover is ready to cover some ground with its single axle, Segway-esque design: Continue reading
Fifteen years of unprecedented discovery came to an official end last week when NASA bid a final and touching farewell to its Opportunity rover. The announcement was marked by profound, even personal, loss for those who followed the rover’s journey across the Martian landscape. Outpourings of sorrow for the fallen explorer prevailed as at any funeral. I’ve seen few remembrances, however, as expressive or poignant as one shared in LEGO form by Stefan Schindler.
With her mission over, Opportunity appears to be guided by Curiosity, who alone remains to carry on the mission. Awaiting Opportunity is her departed twin, Spirit, and Sojourner, the first to land and travel on the red planet. There is a subtle, almost heartbreaking glance between Opportunity and Spirit. As if a few more discoveries would have made her inevitable end a little easier. It’s a small but incredibly eloquent scene, both honoring the history of the Mars program while conveying its current hope.
Abandon all logic! David Roberts is back at his surreal best, with this fine meat-based entry to the Febrovery building event. David asks us why we wouldn’t want to drive around in a car shaped like a hot dog, and I really have no answer for him. Taking his inspiration from master children’s illustrator and author Richard Scarry, whose mad world saw anthropomorphic pigs at the wheel of just such vehicles, this build ticks all the LEGO fun boxes. Take a final moment to marvel at its mustard windshield, sausage chassis and wrap around bun – genius!
By the time the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars with its splashy “Sky Crane” in 2012, the unassuming Opportunity rover had already been trundling across our neighboring planet’s surface for 8 years. But on February 13, NASA declared its 15-year mission over, having received the last transmission from the rover ahead of a major dust storm on June 10, 2018. To commemorate the end of the mission for what is arguably one of humankind’s greatest achievements, here’s my LEGO Opportunity that I built back in 2012.
For LEGO space enthusiasts, February means one thing – no, not flowers or romantic getaways, but space exploration rovers! It’s Febrovery once again, which means we’re seeing a ton of space-themed vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Although we’ve featured a few already, I’ve found a new personal favorite with this stylish and adorable rover by Frost.
The heavy-duty axles, all-terrain tires and bulky frame give this rover a seriously rugged and capable look. The coloration is unique and looks surprisingly good. But don’t let the pink trim fool you – this six-wheeled rig is ready to rock and roll!
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.
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 Gorgone maintenance and rescue rig, built by Spacerunner, captures the essence of the Classic Space super-rover whilst resolutely remaining a serious contemporary creation. What I love about this model is its understanding of the ethos of its archetypes, notably the M:Tron Mega Core Magnatizer, without any slavish adherence to colour schemes or piece selection.
Instead, it borrows key elements such as the trans-blue windscreen, alongside masterfully built play features such as the rear-deployed mini-rover and mobile claw arm. The result, a well-crafted model that manages to ignite that special spacey nostalgia.
Proving once again that all LEGO pieces are created equal, F@bz constructed this stunning vehicle which showcases the packaging cannister from the old LEGO Creator Sets. But this time he’s built a lovely rover instead of a big rig truck.
F@bz’s grey and gold rover has just enough metallic accents and space-age apparatus to perfectly balance out its wide-set wheels and large canister body. And the use of two Super-Adaptoids (sans wings) as the futuristic Martians is simply genius. Not to mention, that dog-sized mini-rover is adorable.
We’re not as frequently treated to large-scale wheeled vehicles in the Neo-Classic Space tradition, despite plenty of non-flying vehicles to take inspiration from among the original Classic Space sets of the 70’s and 80’s. Alec Hole corrects this trend with his monstrous MCU Rover.
See more photos of the monstrous MCU Rover
New Zealand LEGO wunderkind David Hensel is at it again with another awesome build inspired by the movie The Martian — the 2780 Moon rover. Superb shaping and a lovely aesthetic feel leaves me with the impression this could be a real rover. David has used fantastic lighting and a rumpled grey sheet to give the impression it is trundling along the surface of the ‘moon’. I love the clever use of the trans yellow cockpit pieces with the LEGO horns giving an organic curve to the angled pieces. Other features worth noting are the cool telescopic arm with camera and it would be remiss of me to not mention those gorgeous wheels using Technic pins!