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.
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.
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!
If Arsia Prime looks as good in real life as it does in the pictures, sign me up! Just like The Martian, everything about this off-world arboretum is fantastically realistic. The terrain is gorgeous, offering a stunning variety of layering, subtly blended colors, and unique rock formations. Builder Ryan Howerter describes this simply as “a relatively near-future colony on Mars.” With the daily advances of space travel, these words may not be too far from the truth.
Mecha legend Mladen Pejic has built an interesting pair of quad-legged rovers in Blactron I & II livery, using an ingenious technique to create spherical rollers as opposed to wheels. The resulting ‘legs’ give the rovers a wonderful sense of character and allow all manners of dynamic posing.
Of the two, my favourite has to be the Trespasser shown above…mainly because of the surprising cockpit.
Galaktek continues his long-running series of mechanically inclined animals with a turtle named Toby on an interstellar mission to the newly discovered planets of the Trappist-1 system a mere 39 light years from Earth. The builder says, “Unfortunately, when the NASA contract asked for an “amphibious” rover, they may not have considered how a turtle would look at it…” With wheels that fold into the rover’s body, and a color scheme reminiscent of the LEGO Ideas set 21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine, it looks like Toby is in for a groovy spacey adventure.
The FebROVERy competition is now in high gear, and all the cool and cute rovers have to squeeze together to make room for some (damn) hot vehicles. This vibrant black beauty by Stephan Niehoff can make any planet look good by just roving a quarter-mile on it’s surface.
This rover is so smooth and stylish, it’s simply impossible to ignore its rear view. Why choose huge mission emblems or side numbers when a couple of yellow stripes is all you need?
Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another round of Friday Night Fights! Tonight we end Rover month with a battle of two of the most realistic space buggies. Let’s go to the tale of the tape.
In the Mars corner we have Kosmas Santosa and his Space Exploration Rover:
In the Moon corner we have _Tiler(Calin) and his Lunar Rover:
As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding the outcome of this bout by way of comment. On the last edition of Friday Night Fights, the Mecha Match, Lu Sim’s brute beat out Tim’s bot by a 10-7 margin. Tune in next week for another action packed edition of Friday Night Fights!
The thing I love about rongYIREN‘s creations is his ability to pack in so much great design while maintaining playability. The Thumper is something the 10 year old me wishes LEGO had produced as a set so I could swoosh the removable, remote drone around while exploring an alien planet in a bouncy space rover. That rongYIREN is able to do all this with a sparse part count is impressive, and is in keeping with the best of LEGO’s own product design. Most adult fans of LEGO tend to build without thought to part limitations. We create mocs that could never see production because it would be cost prohibitive to do so. rongYIREN is that rare exception that is able to make great models without over building. Why he isn’t already a designer for LEGO is beyond me. Hello Billund?
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