Boy, LEGO builder Yuri Badiner sure makes lunar exploration look like fun, doesn’t he? I was under the impression that space travel involves following strict procedures and abiding by careful measures and counter-measures. But this photo makes me want to switch careers to become an astronaut. These two are having a blast on their Apollo rover. While the build techniques are fairly basic you’ve got to give props to his excellent photography. In fact, excellent LEGO photography seems to be Yuri’s thing. With photos this engaging, we’ll be sure to be on the lookout for whatever other hijinks he gets his LEGO minifigs into.
February is the least favorite month for many people, at least in the Northern Hemisphere; it’s often cold, still dreary, and all the magic of winter and Christmas is long forgotten. But not for me. It certainly helps that my birthday falls in this shortest of months, but there are many other positive features to recommend it. For example, it is the month to build LEGO rovers (Febrovery). I love rovers. And what better way to combine winter with rovers than a solid Ice Planet 2002-inspired rig like this one from the appropriately named Frost? It’s got giant wheels that are really erasers (perhaps it erases its own wheel marks from the snow?), the glorious trans-neon orange canopy, and the can’t miss blue-and-white color scheme. Some stickered pieces from the Galaxy Squad make some nice details, and I love white greebles. The coral highlights set it apart though, which is good because this is on Ice Planet 2003, not 2002.
Across the moons of the outer systems, thin dusty soil causes problems for surface vehicles. Without big chunky tires, your fancy new rover isn’t going anywhere. LEGO builder Frost has put together a flashy moon rover with the requisite balloon tires but also bedecked in an eye-popping color scheme. The tires are a beefy joy, tiles attached to caterpillar tracks wound around standard wheels. This design allows for a multi-layered multi-colored look, perfectly matching the bold styling of the rest of the vehicle. The curved stripes over the bonnet are nicely done, as is the front grille and the integration of the angled windscreen and roll-cage parts around the rear. The fin sticking from the rear is easy to miss amidst all the color, but is a great use of a parts separator — lovely stuff.
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.
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.
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.
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!