toastergrl

toastergrl's Classic Space Fleet

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Hi, denizens of the Sci-Fi forum!

Despite being like 30 years too young, Classic Space is definitely one of my favourite themes. I don't want to just pick up the old stuff, though (that'd definitely get expensive) - I want the experience of making my own MOCs and set mods to fit within the ecosystem. To that end, I've finally managed to take a bunch of pictures to show off my stuff.

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What helped kickstart this stuff was the sheer cheapness and easy availability of 70841-1 Benny's Space Squad, of which I am barely restraining myself from getting multiple copies of. From there, it was an easy leap to 70821-1 Emmett and Benny's Build & Fix Workshop and its Space Cruiser build. I did end up picking the Ideas Exo Suit, but had a few issues with it - it was way too neoclassic for me. I can understand that greebles are of interest to some people, but that level of overdetail is not for me. To that, end, I decided to make my own, classic-style Exo Suit. From there, the rest of this spiralled outwards and upwards to greater and greater heights.

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Utilising the Mixels ball joint system, my classic-ised Exo Suit is remarkably stable and sturdy, and I think I managed to approximate the studs-exposed, detail-less style of the original sets quite well without having any vintage design to base it on, whilst maintaining some visual continuity with the bulky, large-armed shape of Peter Reid's design. In homage to the original Exo Suit, I think this pilot's name is Yvenny. (Sorry, Pete - your name can't be enny-ised while remaining recognisable!) I've lifted her helmet up a little bit to try and make it look like the classic helmet without having a green version of that part available. Maybe eventually...

The Traffic Control building on the right, however, is both more and less original at the same time. While I built it entirely out of parts I had on-hand without adhering to any instructions, the design has ended up quite similar to the space shed packed in with the original Galaxy Explorer. I would have liked to include a Classic Space logo print part, but the dang Benny BrickHeadz is way too expensive now. Oh well...

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Just a little showing off on how good those ball joint parts on the Exo Suit are. It can hold the space cruiser from 70821-1 Emmett and Benny's Build & Fix Workshop above its head without any external support! (It looks like the antenna on its back is providing some of the support, but I promise you that no weight is on it and it's just a clearance thing!)

Benny, of course, is mortified. "Don't drop Jenny and my sibling!" he cries out. Yvenny's doing too good a job to care, though.

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This goliath is definitely the centerpiece of my collection. I really liked 70816-1 Benny's Spaceship Spaceship SPACESHIP!, but had some qualms with the more ostentatious elements of the design like the flickfire winglets, the rounded nosecone, the Technic missile housings and the excessive greebling across the board. I've made a few customisations to help make it fit in with a simpler-looking crowd!

One of my chief missions with the simplification of this thing was to reduce its reliance on Dark Bluish Grey/Dark Stone Grey parts, since that was a big distractor. While I haven't been able to find replacement parts for the underside or the big octagonal plate, things are a LOT cleaner now and I'm much happier for it.

You'll also notice I didn't apply any stickers. (Well, that's not quite true - I did apply the computer screen stickers and reactor core stickers on the inside, but I don't have a consistent enough lighting setup to get good shots where they'd be visible.) The way I see it, adding stickers just means a way I can mess this up. I don't have the steadiest hands, and this thing is way too good for that kind of treatment.

I named this the "Galaxy Spearhead" in homage to both the Galactic Spearhead and the Galaxy Explorer, two LEGO builds I'm not likely to ever have my own versions of. As much as I like LEGO, it would be irresponsible to have it take over my budget like that...

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To top it off, a group shot of one of each of the true-classic minifigs I have, plus another angle of the Exo Suit!

More pics are available at my Flickr! That's all I have for now, but maybe I'll have more to share later. Thanks for taking a look! ^u^

----------------------------------------------------

Update #1 - Star Hopper, Transport Buggy, and Mobile Exploration Rover

 

Edited by toastergrl
Added link to Update #1.

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This looks like a great start to a awesome fleet, with the classic-style exo-suit being a brilliant idea (I also love the tiny building). Great work @toastergrl and I can't wait to see how this turns out in the long run!

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Really cool start to your Classic Space fleet, Toastergrl.  I, for better or worse, am actually old enough to have experienced Classic Space in its Heyday (and it sort of extension in the form of Futuron), in fact, the first LEGO set I ever had was the 6824 Space Dart-I that my parents got for me when I was in first grade.  Unfortunately, though, due to giving away most of my LEGO stuff when I was in high school, I no longer have any of my original CS or Futuron stuff anymore (something I'm still kicking myself over to this day), so I've actually been going down a similar route as you with incorporating Classic Space stuff in my collection, although it's sort of bolstered by the fact that I've decided to merge it with the ADU from Alien Conquest (I mean the color scheme is almost identical).

Of note is that it looks like you've had a similar idea for modifying the Spaceship! Spaceship! Spaceship! that I've been contemplating, namely removing Unikitty's spot & adding one of those 3x6x1 sloped windscreens to it & making it into another crew station... Although my idea was to have it enclosed as a Combat Information Center that is connected to the bridge via vacuum-rated bulkhead.  I also agree with you on some of your comments about the excessive amount of space taken up by the mechanism for deploying the two technic rubber dart launchers... I mean you could easily fit a proper Engineering section in the space it takes up (which is precisely what I plan on doing, once I figure out how to make an alternative way of deploying the launchers or just eliminating them altogether).  I'm also planning on converting/replacing the wing-mounted parasite fighters with detachable gun-pods that can function as autonomous attack drones, similar to the "Options" in Gradius (the game that not only featured the ORIGINAL Vic Viper, but also was the first one to use the classic Konami Cheat Code).

I'm also 150% with you on applying stickers (or rather not applying them):  9 times out of 10 I can't seem to get them to look right when I do try to do it, and I'd rather just not bother with them at all, lol.
 

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This is exactly what the world needs right now, yesterday, tomorrow, and two weeks from now.  More Classic Space!

46425225564_9090700f49_z.jpg

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Thank you all very much for your kind words! ^u^ Some more specific responses:

On 5/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, Laura Beinbrech said:

I, for better or worse, am actually old enough to have experienced Classic Space in its Heyday (and it sort of extension in the form of Futuron), in fact, the first LEGO set I ever had was the 6824 Space Dart-I that my parents got for me when I was in first grade.  Unfortunately, though, due to giving away most of my LEGO stuff when I was in high school, I no longer have any of my original CS or Futuron stuff anymore (something I'm still kicking myself over to this day), so I've actually been going down a similar route as you with incorporating Classic Space stuff in my collection, although it's sort of bolstered by the fact that I've decided to merge it with the ADU from Alien Conquest (I mean the color scheme is almost identical).

The space dart is super cute! I wish those weird support beam nosecone parts were still in production so I could build my own variation on it. That's a real shame that you ended up giving it away, too... I gave away all of my early BIONICLE, so I know the feeling, even if it's a different line x_x;; Nice thought about the ADU; unfortunately, Alien Conquest fell smack dab in the middle of my dark ages :'c I gotta go back and at least pick up a polybag or something... There's so few sets with bright blue and LBG in tandem these days!!

On 5/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, Laura Beinbrech said:

Of note is that it looks like you've had a similar idea for modifying the Spaceship! Spaceship! Spaceship! that I've been contemplating, namely removing Unikitty's spot & adding one of those 3x6x1 sloped windscreens to it & making it into another crew station... Although my idea was to have it enclosed as a Combat Information Center that is connected to the bridge via vacuum-rated bulkhead.

Making it enclosed would've been nice, but unfortunately I can't get a minifig down there properly as there hasn't been any large trans yellow plates for a good while so I figured jamming a space seat inside the Unikitty hole would be a good substitute.

On 5/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, Laura Beinbrech said:

I also agree with you on some of your comments about the excessive amount of space taken up by the mechanism for deploying the two technic rubber dart launchers... I mean you could easily fit a proper Engineering section in the space it takes up (which is precisely what I plan on doing, once I figure out how to make an alternative way of deploying the launchers or just eliminating them altogether).

I do LIKE the mechanism enough to not remove it, just saying the flapping pods attached to the fuselage above the wings were a bit much and I've dealt with 'em accordingly. Good thought on having an entire minifig station there, though!

On 5/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, Laura Beinbrech said:

I'm also planning on converting/replacing the wing-mounted parasite fighters with detachable gun-pods that can function as autonomous attack drones, similar to the "Options" in Gradius (the game that not only featured the ORIGINAL Vic Viper, but also was the first one to use the classic Konami Cheat Code).

Interestingly enough, while I do want to build a Vic Viper of my own at some point, I personally really like the vintage LEGO mandate of "no military stuff in Classic Space". I feel like that concept sets it apart from the more modern approaches... I've always seen the ship-mounted weapons as stabilisers and the handheld ones as for destroying asteroids, not other living creatures!!

On 5/22/2019 at 6:42 PM, pombe said:

This is exactly what the world needs right now, yesterday, tomorrow, and two weeks from now.  More Classic Space!

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Nice Astro-Watevra! I've been meaning to pick up the Series 11 or 12 Astronaut (I forget which) for that flag, too. Thanks for reminding me :P

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Great builds! I love the 'cleaned up' Galaxy Spearhead and the spaceship-lifting Exo Suit. I am still torn between clean lines or greebling, but your builds do make a great statement for clean lines.

The funny thing is, while I am about 15 or 20 year to old for the classic space stuff, and I am aproaching the subject from the other side, my introduction was pretty similar with the Benny Space squad  as a kick-off. I am trying my own designs as well, but I have great trouble breaking free from the real old school design style (think sixties designs.

Edited by jan kusters
minor typo's

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Thank you very much, @jan kusters! ^u^

Taking a quick peek at your flickr, I'm pretty awed by your stuff. Even disregarding the excellent photography, your builds are pretty appealing. Definitely unmistakably vintage LEGO, but wow, part and parcel of the look I'm persuing. Good luck experimenting with your own approach, but you've already got something pretty good going on!

Minor update to this topic, btw: I just picked up 60225 Rover Test Drive, stripped off the gold parts and put Kenny (the yellow one) in it. I think it definitely makes a fine white-vehicle era CS rover, windscreen print aside! It's legitimately a shame that part's never been put out in trans blue, whether light or dark variant. The orange may be a bit of an anachronism, but I like to imagine it's a kind of hazard indicator. No pics at current because I've barely done anything, but the next time I have something big to show off I'll definitely include it in the periphery!

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Although I always love to see Classic Space, I find them a bit bland compared to your Sonic Mania moc's. Specially because they're modular and have playability functions!
I'd say, try and look into that; maybe you can use that to make your CS-fleet stand out more and give it a little 'oomph'. Also a tip for parts; police sets for the greys and blue's. :wink:

Edited by -zenn

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Your feedback is appreciated, @-zenn! I'm glad you like the Sonic Mania stuff; I've been thinking about starting a topic to track its progress given I only gave it an initial mention in the Ideas topic in the Embassy, but I don't know whether it'd go in Licensed or Special LEGO Themes...

Personally, part of the appeal of Classic Space is that it's so aggressively back-to-basics. Modularity and action functions are fantastic, but sometimes a build just needs to be straightforward and theraputic, and that's what the titular fleet is to me. If I had to make the things include Real Drilling Action or what have you, I think I'd miss out on that. As it stands, "rolls on its wheels", "spins the radar dish", "can hold up a spaceship without falling over" and "splits into multiple vehicles" are gimmick enough for these display pieces. I have plenty of appetite for features, but I think it'd require a more action-focused theme to really get the mindgears rollin'!

I did have that thought about police stuff, but it seems to be so minimal on actual regular classic bricks - the solid ones are usually white or DBG, while the blue stuff is generally awkwardly sized plates, curved surfaces and the like, the kind of stuff I took off the Galaxy Spearhead in the first place. I may have to go for Classic boxes instead...

Edited by toastergrl

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Great looking Classic Space models.

For my modern LEGO I just have Benny's Space Squad, never got the 2014 ship as I was in a dark age.

But as a kid we had some Classic Space sets, including the big 928, which is rebuilt not too long ago + crater/landing baseplates, but I keep my old LEGO seperate from the 2015+ 

 

2 hours ago, -zenn said:

 Also a tip for parts; police sets for the greys and blue's. :wink:

I can add to that, Year 1 Nexo Knights also had some more interesting light grey and blue parts, if they can still be found, but most of them are more modern parts, but still have a very angled designs.

Edited by TeriXeri

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It's a lovely start to a home grown collection, I've also got the smaller Benny sets for nostalgia value!

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Excellent series of MOCs: entirely true to CS's late '70s design principles! I especially like the large ship. Do the pods on its wings detach as escape capsules or escort vessels?  

I'm a big fan of the era (and that of the early '80s) perhaps for nostalgic reasons but also, I think, for its aesthetic. 

I apply the following - admittedly subjective - acid test of whether a MOC succeeds in being retro: if @toastergrl had a time machine and had paid me a visit in the late '70s with those MOCs, would the younger me have believed they were TLG's own soon-to-be-released designs? The answer is most definitely 'yes'.

While I haven't gone so far as to design any CS MOCs, I did recolour/mod one of the 2019 City Space sets to give it an '80s CS feel. Perhaps I'll take the plunge and actually do some CS MOCing. 

     

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Thank you very much, everyone!!

It's fantastic that you managed to keep the sets from your childhood, @TeriXeri. I never had anything CS-themed, but I sadly never kept ahold of my Mars Mission or BIONICLE stuff when I was younger, so I'm a little envious. :P I'd love to be able to pick up Nexo Knights stuff, but it all seems to have cleared out of stores by now...

That's sweet of you to say, @AmperZand! I would say they're basic detachable shuttles - for escaping or for travelling down to the planet's surface without losing a lot of fuel. I like your City Space mod, although I must admit the windshield is a little less convincing than I'd expect from the colour. I've done one of my own, which I'll show off now that I have a few other builds to go with it - I ended up leaving the windshield off entirely, even though it doesn't have any anachronistic curves...

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The reason I made this post today is that I have more builds to show off! I ended up relenting - this is my second copy of 70841-1 Benny's Space Squad, and the next time I see one in person, I'll get a third. And more minifigs means more opportunity for vehicles, so...

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Big Classic Space stuff is fun, but the real meat and potatoes of the line was tiny extra vehicles. Neither of the ones pictured closely adhere to any existing design; the Transport Buggy has a bit in common with 886-1 Space Buggy, but only by necessity of size, while the Star Hopper only uses part of the name from 6806-1 Surface Hopper, which it has some superficial similarities with.

I really, really love them, I think - the Star Hopper especially really comes together in such a small number of pieces. Can you believe it's only 10 parts?

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Perhaps my favourite unintentional development about these two little builds is the fact that they can play together organically - the fact that both the DBG crate and the Star Hopper have four studs on their underside means that it doesn't look out of place mounted on the Transport Buggy.

Aside from the obvious Space Squad parts, these builds include a handful of pieces from 60191-1 Arctic Exploration Team and 75224-1 Sith Infiltrator, the latter of which I basically only bought for LBG parts. The extra white airtank, meanwhile, is from the City set I'll next mention...

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...set 60225-1 Rover Testing Drive, which I modified into the Mobile Exploration Rover!

By replacing the gunmetal Mars Mission-style wheels with rubber-tyred ones from two copies of 70821-1 Emmett and Benny's Build & Fix Workshop, and systematically stripping away anachronistic Pearl Gold and Trans-Black parts, I've made a pretty coherent homage to the latter-day "white vehicle" aesthetic first appearing in 1983 but taking center-stage in '87. To that end, it's being driven around by a blue Spacer minifig, which is associated with that era through sets like 6972 Polaris I Space Lab!

It's not a perfect encapsulation of the design sensibilities - especially with the claw arm in orange instead of blue, due to the new clamp-half piece only being available in Bright Orange - but I feel like it doesn't look completely out-of-place amongst those builds. It's definitely super fun to drive it around and have the arm pick up random parts to place in its truck bed, at least!

Two extra 13-long technic beams were requisitioned from my pile of parts in order to mount the wheels the desired width away from the body. I do not know the set these came from, but it would not surprise me if it was a BIONICLE set from the mid-2000's.

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Your interest is very much appreciated. Thank you for taking a look at this topic update ^u^

Edited by toastergrl

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Oh, great tiny vehicles you made there (mine always tend to get way too big). I love your little 2 wheel trailer!

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On 6/14/2019 at 7:55 AM, toastergrl said:

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Sigh. I love this. It's so perfect. Really brings me back to childhood. A few simple parts and your imagination. It was always enough. 

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On 6/20/2019 at 9:28 PM, danth said:

Sigh. I love this. It's so perfect. Really brings me back to childhood. A few simple parts and your imagination. It was always enough. 

Indeed, that's what I think when I look at my old LEGO collection , example of a few small sets I owned :

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Sets don't need to be huge to be fun.

Of course in most of those sets there's hardly any realism, or details, but imagination played a big role.

Now in modern times, I am still happy when they make tiny vehicles and such , some might call them too simple or unrealistic but I am used to this small design from the old  tiny boxed sets.

Benny's Space Squad builds were great in capturing a similar style/feeling of old , yet new.

For 2019 there was this from Magazine Gifts.

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I know Polybags also exist ,but for me the Magazines are much easier to find locally compared to Polybags.

 

That said, going back to the subject of Classic Space, I recently got the 3-in-1 Futuristic flyer set, and might try to moc some spaceship out of it and my other loose parts :wink:

Edited by TeriXeri

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Thank you very much, everyone! Yeah, small sets are magnificent. Sometimes the £9/$10 sets contain things with a similar spirit like the Space Squad that started this all, but it's the things that you put together while experimenting that really carry some pleasant energy.

Unfortunately, it's the same situation in the UK as it is in the Netherlands - the polybags are almost never found here! The Magazine builds are quite easy to get, but when City's not doing Space, it isn't exactly my thing - so I have to pass those things up.

In other news, I did a small Bricklink order and a smallish ebay purchase yesterday. If all goes well, I'll have some Red Spacers in my collection soon enough - and with that means more MOCs...

Edited by toastergrl

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The build and fix set - despite being somewhat <insert that tiresome argument> - could be a good foundation for a 918/924-esque CS moc.

Nice builds,

drc

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Thank you, @drclark! I do have multiple of the set, but I decided the glass was better suited to making the Galaxy Spearhead look better - personally, the miniature Space Cruiser is fine enough as a missing link in the 918, 924 and 928 lineage. I do have two other Big Ugly Spaceship Hulls I wanna do something with, though - maybe if I end up picking up more cockpits...

---------------------------------------------------- 

Third copy of Benny's Space Squad, so even more builds. Plus, a few Bricklink orders and an ebay purchase or two all come together to produce something that's starting to feel like more than the sum of its parts...

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The Proto Light Hover is, believe it or not, based on an alternate Rock Raiders build from set 1274-1 Light Hover. Using mostly the parts from Space Squad and a few other minor additions, I feel it does a very nice job of recreating one of the blockier, workmanlike builds with a limited parts selection and providing a bit of continuity between some of the more disparate eras of LEGO Space.

The Rocket Launch Trailer is fairly self-explanatory. It's a slightly miniturised version of 462-1 Mobile Rocket Launcher's rear end, designed to connect as an alternate trailer to the Transport Buggy I built earlier. It has a good center of balance even with the rocket raised (see the next picture), and is quite fun to mess around with.

The Stellar Comet was built once the Bricklink'd parts arrived, and utilised whatever I had left over after the previous two builds. It's a little weak, and I may dismantle it later if I'm struck with inspiration, but I think this rendition of 6825-1 Cosmic Comet is charming enough for now.

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And here's an update on the collection as a whole! You can see most of the stuff from the other pictures I've taken. What you won't see, though, is the Galaxy Spearhead - that ship's too big for my desk, so it sits at the head of my bed!

When I got my third Space Squad on impulse, I wasn't thinking about the fact I had to make a Bricklink order for another green fig to keep the proportions roughly equal. That ended up with me spiralling a little bit into me picking up the right assortment of parts to put together two reasonable-looking red figs ("Denny", according to the TLM2 video game) and a LBG fig (no LBG classic helmet or airtanks, so I decided to lean into it and have 'em be a spacer cadet in training)! I only really need one more red fig before I call this sorted, but if they do make easily available black spacers in future I definitely wouldn't turn them down.

There's also a skeleton. I only really have it here because it's the only other reasonably vintage-looking figure I own, even though it has the modern, 3mm clip shoulders instead of the loose balljoints. It's not too far off brand, is what I'm saying!

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Thanks for taking a look at my topic! ^u^

I think my next itch is to make something that looks like it'd fit into the grey-and-trans-green era. If a LEGO designer is reading this - how many kidneys or firstborns do you want for the angular enclosed cockpit (part ID 21849) in trans-green? :P

Edited by toastergrl

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