A cut my LEGO teeth on Classic Space. Unfortunately, that has caused irrevocable damage to many of the bricks. One of the very first sets I owned was the timeless classic 497/928 Galaxy Explorer, widely held to be one of the best LEGO sets of all time, and it propelled me into a love affair with Classic Space that far outlasted the shelf-life of the range.
As I got older, I started to take more care of my LEGO, and many of my later Space sets are still in pretty good condition. You can see examples of two of the sets in my reviews: 6930 Mission Control Centre (Space Supply Station) and 6928 Mercury Crawler (Uranium Search Vehicle). However, the earlier sets didn't fare so well, and now - thirty years later - it's time to see if I can rejuvenate them. I've already had some success with my 375 Yellow Castle; I hope I can achieve a similar result here, but these sets were played with a great deal more and also spent a long time built and exposed to attic dust.
Here's a small selection of my Classic Space collection, rescued from the attic in roughly the state you see here. From this angle, things don't look too bad, apart from the muck, but it doesn't bear up so well to closer inspection.
I had in mind that I'd start with 928. Let's take a closer look:
The ship itself looks complete, and both baseplates are present, including three of the four spacemen. The little base that comes with the set has long since gone.
The printed parts are all there, but the Classic Space logo has lost some of its gold. As you can see, the exposed parts are filthy, and some are discoloured, including what looks like rust on the 2x2 cone. Many of the parts are chewed and battered.
There's more filth on the front, and the modified plate with prongs is chewed. Unfortunately, the printed slope is quite badly scratched, and the detail on the lovely planet logo has long since gone (it should look like the logo on the banner above). You can also see here how some of the wedge plates are more discoloured than others.
Neither is the ship truly complete:
Round on the left side, the grey door is missing, and has been replaced with a blue one. Examples of battered and ill-fitting parts abound here.
Some parts are broken:
The centre grey tail here has snapped; I had clearly tried to disguise the fact. The other side has the same problem.
The underside doesn't look too bad, but the nearside landing bad is bent. Also, the long 6x24 plate in the centre should actually be two 2x12 plates.
The two dudes I found inside the cruiser don't look too bad at all:
I doubt these are the original figures! The gold logo is a little faded on each, which looks a lot worse on the white dude because it isn't hidden by the white background to the print. It's hard to get hold of pristine space figures; these may have to do.
The third guy isn't looking so good: he's quite badly discoloured, with a broken helmet. It's a shame, as his logo is in quite good condition; however, whilst I can get the white looking much better, I can't do that without further damaging the logo.
What I aim to do here is get the sets looking as good as possible, within certain constraints.
- I will accept a small loss of quality in some of the prints; I'll try to replace badly faded prints but it is tricky to get hold of some of these printed parts in mint condition.
- I will try to use 80s bricks where possible. It isn't always easy to tell; for the old grey colour, you know that the parts are at least 8 years old; some later plates can be distinguished by a difference in the mold.
- Where I still have the box, I'll give it a good clean and try to spruce it up; where I don't have the box - for the larger sets - I'll try to get hold of one.
- For parts where there were mold differences back then, I will try to use the original mold designs. For example, in the case of the part 'Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Light', I will use the original 'thin ring' parts rather than the later 'thick ring'; however, where mold differences occurred in different releases of the set, I won't be so fussy (for example, I'll accept any form of the modified plate with handles (Bricklink ID 3839, so long as the colour is right).
I reserve the right to modify my own conditions if it proves too difficult otherwise!
Wish me luck! I'll be updating this thread periodically as I (hopefully) make progress.
Chapter One: 928 Galaxy Explorer
Chapter Two: 924 Space Cruiser/Transporter
Chapter Three: 918 One Man Space Ship