Sign in to follow this  
badgerboy

[MOD] A lockdown project - Odyssey No.918

Recommended Posts

This was a project I undertook last year during lockdown. In fairness, I got carried away with it. Originally published on New Elementary's Patreon site and then shared (in a heavily edited form) on the brickset forum... so some of you Classic Space fans here might not have seen it.

I thought I would share it here (in full) just in case anyone was the slightest bit interested in my silly project!

Odyssey No.918

For my fifth birthday, I was given a 918 ‘one man spaceship’. The very same 918 ‘one man spaceship’ pictured below in fact, bitten, scratched and sun damaged... but still my original set from 1979.
I can only assume my juvenile self was not the same fan of that little moon logo that the adult LEGO addict is. At some stage in the past, I had nearly rubbed and scratched away the whole logo.
I recently took a pragmatic decision to “restore” the slope by removing the logo entirely with Brasso and replacing it with a homemade sticker. It held no nostalgia for me as it was and it really was unusable in the state it was in.

50030317386_3bfe41b66b_b.jpg

  My original 918 with “restored” 3939 6x3 slope.
The box is an empty one I acquired circa 2007, when a 'Classic Space LEGO' habit was affordable!

50030318396_545c609f75_b.jpg

During lockdown I've been rebuilding many of my old Classic Space sets with my children as an “activity” for all of us to enjoy, well, for me to enjoy ;-)
...and that’s where my old 918 comes in.
Often, we have no idea where the inspiration comes from for a LEGO project but this is not one of those times. This started as an attempt to reflect the classic moon logo by building an all red version of 918 and it quickly spun out of control.

50030317081_07474bd3e2_b.jpg

 
I ordered the parts I didn’t already own off Bricklink and the built ‘The Redbird’ above. It was really easy acquiring all the correct elements owing to the plentiful supply of red parts. I decided to go red with a few black accents - mostly because I had a lot of the missing parts in black as spares... and there aren't 3963 three-way direction jets (space rockets) in red. I’ve subsequently found that there was a brief availability of red 4x4 cones - I assume from a pre-production run that is now sadly all bought up.
With the Redbird another tricky part were the red 3940 support stands and I wasn’t sure they added anything to this variant, but the two I bought eventually found a good home elsewhere :-)
Since the initial foolhardiness of the ‘Redbird’, one 918 has led to another 918, as it were.

49830294862_f67b21cfbb_b.jpg  49829456508_1c49c5029a_b.jpg

I popped these pictures of the Redbird in various places on the internet and was delighted with the reaction they garnered.

Casually one evening whilst washing up, I mentioned how inordinately pleased with my red 918 I was and other people's responses to it. My wife said to me "How many different colours could you build it in?". Oh come on! Loose lips sink ships, seriously, you shouldn't say something like that to an addict!

Bricklink search time!
You think 918 is made up of mostly commodity parts, but some are fairly rare if you stray away into "all the colours" territory. Some are simply beginning to become rare as a result of age and its associated issues. Others are just expensive because, well, Classic Space.

50030358701_f3f2932423_b.jpg

According to Bricklink’s inventory we are looking for a meagre 81 parts. "This is doable!" I thought "...and anyway, we're down the rabbit hole now."
My first considerations were wings and slopes.

50030317886_e52609642a_b.jpg

“Don’t Chrome crying to me that this isn’t a full ring!”

The 4x8 wedge/wing with 1x1 notch/cutout otherwise known as 3933 & 3934 (the original classic space wings) are available in a total of 16 colours.
Let’s immediately forget the chrome wings that came in the 10026 ‘UCS’ Naboo Starfighter from 2000. Why? Well, to be honest, the price per wing is enough reason. Additionally they're only available in limited quantities, none are on sale in the UK and postage from anywhere else would make the cost bankrupting. Furthermore Chrome has such a limited number of parts, unless you do go the custom route, it would only ever be the wings and antenna that are possible to include.
I could buy very reasonably priced custom items from one of the reliable chroming boutiques, but then where would it end?!

50030426821_00715eef4a_b.jpg

...I see a red car slope and I want it painted black...
The 3939 3x6 slope, comes in 8 solid colours and 6 translucent ones.
You need a translucent one and a solid colour one in each variant 918. The solid colour either needs to be the same colour as the wings or a nice visual companion as with the original 918's colour scheme.
Surprisingly, the reintroduced 6x3 slope 58181 doesn't actually help all that much. Available in only 3 solid colours and 4 translucent ones*.
The exception being its appearance in dark bluish grey... which is a pretty rare piece as a ‘parted out’ component, owing, I am sure, to its singular inclusion in 75144 UCS Snowspeeder.
*Trans red is also tantalisingly available too, but again, expense made me rule it out in its unprinted form.
Once I had amassed all the parts I had in my parts store, I realised that some of these spaceships were going to be easier to complete than others, and at least a couple of them were going to require a few compromises!
I had most of the parts for a black one but I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a regular Classic Space black or a Blacktron variant.

50029779598_b036af9239_b.jpg

An extra Blacktron 918 however, would mean that I would (just) need another pair of black wings and a few yellow parts. You can see where this is going can't you?

50030317636_33a5c079fd_b.jpg

3963 direction jets (loudspeakers) are only officially available in 8 colours and they are not plentiful in yellow, or were (at least) rare enough not to appear in pairs in the UK on Bricklink. I realised a little after the initial batch of orders that the Blacktron 918 needed a yellow cone too. The yellow 3943b 4x4x2 cone was only available in four sets including the US exclusive 6954 Blacktron Renegade... which I've seen being coveted in a fair few quarters recently. There was only one used one available in the UK at the time (gone now!) but I was able to get two new ones from a good German store for not much more than the UK price plus postage.
Combined, these things and minimum order costs pretty much simultaneously meant that I ordered enough parts to make a yellow version.

50030317141_beb9dd274d_b.jpg

Brackets of the 3956 variety don’t exist in yellow (not in official sets at least), but I worked out what I think is a neat enough alternative using the new 41682 2x2 bracket in yellow and 32028 1x2 modified door rail plate. Luckily the 12 colours that the original bracket comes in covered most of the variations I wanted to make.

50030317766_80c548f3b1.jpg


I used the bracket solution for one other ship. There is a dark bluish grey 3956, but it only came as an 'alternate' part in 8100 and more common in that set is the light bluish grey variety! Not that expensive on its own, but only two Canadian sellers had it listed on Bricklink, and although supply on ebay looks possible within the set, I would need to spend a minimum of £8 to get it!

50029779473_3901bebd95_b.jpg

Stealth mode ON!
I knew blue was going to be fairly easy, and I had everything but a spare trans blue 6x4 plate and a spare pair of wings. The model is missing just one final 3940b blue support stand, sadly this was owing to an inventory error with one Bricklink seller. Blue is definitely one for the purists, because it’s possible to do a faithful colour correct recreation (however, I did end up substituting a pair of wings for the 6104 wedge plate).

50029779338_ed0f37f696_b.jpg

Other variants that came together reasonably easily were White and Light Grey. Again, the white should be a purist pleaser. The Light grey is actually theme accurate if not 100% part accurate, sets 6901, 6861, 6891, 1968, 6952, 6940 and 1580 all use the Trans Green/Light Grey colour scheme to great effect.

 50030576857_cfe09f138d_b.jpg

50029779728_e8b5be5ab2_b.jpg

Dark Red has just one part that I would love to have the appropriate replacement for. My Dark Red 918 needs the 3956 bracket, but it doesn’t exist and currently at least I can’t use my 41682 “fix”. Also, I’ll make no bones about it, I would also LOVE a dark red Classic Spaceman!

50030577772_83fbfa6283_b.jpg

Dark Grey really needs the front forks/guns (otherwise known as 3839a or 3839b and please do see Inthert‘s excellent article about that part!). It could really do with the doors too, but the black ones are okay as the chances of there ever being original dark grey doors are between pretty remote and non-existant!
 
50030316626_aef68a250f_b.jpg
I always order more “used” parts than I actually need. It’s a habit I’ve formed over the last fifteen years of ordering from Bricklink. Understandably, the quality of parts can be variable, even from the same seller, also, there’s never a single seller that has all the parts I want. Almost always there is some overlap of availability of the more plentiful pieces between sellers that have the rarer parts in stock too. Long story short, I usually end up having more than I need because most Bricklink sellers are excellent.
During the process I found that I had enough parts to create a few extra additions to my fleet. I already had a good supply of Light Bluish Grey wings so Neo Classic versions of the original livery was a nice variation to be able to do and also there were also parts I wanted to try out with a Redbird variant.

50030316456_1f9fa4f738_b.jpg


50030577012_0beabd9a76_b.jpg

I also find that I’m easily muddled when ordering from a few places and this leads me to mistakenly order duplicate parts (particularly when I’m balancing the best deals). I doubt I’m alone but the pictures of left and right wings (and wedges too, etc. etc.) on Bricklink confuse me too. The happy consequence of that though, has been the multicoloured ship that has naturally evolved out of the spare parts.

50029779108_0d0cf3b61d_b.jpg
At this point, I decided that if I could, I’d like to build as many of the possible variations as I could afford to on my LEGO budget. Where 3939 is not available at all, I've allowed a configuration of 1x3 & 4x3 slopes - you need the width in the middle to have a big enough logo! Where neither 3x6 or 4x3 are available I have combined where possible with different colour wings to limit my overall number of separate ships.
Brown wings are therefore partnered with a sand green 3939 slope that I thought looked like quite a nice companion... alternate parts are available but without the red crest, this ship just doesn’t earn its nickname!

50029779033_daa4b493f0_b.jpg

I'm also still working on my sand blue, dark orange, orange and dark blue versions. Collectively there are still quite a few parts to locate for the fleet, hopefully parts to plug some of the more important gaps are on the way. Not least, the Orange Spaceman that comes in DK’s ‘LEGO® Minifigure A Visual History New Edition’ will be a wonderful addition.

50030577422_f520dfbac5_b.jpg
 
50030316691_b4dd6c348b_b.jpg

50030317506_af96424765_b.jpg

50030577042_e25bf85a63_b.jpg

As with many of these endeavours, you discover just how crazy prices can be, for example, the 6x3 slope 3939 in black (that I'd ideally have for both black and blacktron) was only available in one promotional set (2998 for Stena Ferries) in '98 and would have set you back a cool £16 each, minimum, on Bricklink (at time of writing).
Amazingly, there are only 5 colours of the 3479 tail wing support, so decisions must be made as there's really no way to satisfactorily work around that element in modern pieces.

50030578272_f66c0b54c5_w.jpg

All but the original blue slopes have homemade "moon" logo stickers, I know, I still need to add a few more!
It really has been an undertaking, and one I partially regret right now, because I’m about three months’ worth of my LEGO allowance over budget. I’m happy with the results, it’s been a nice challenge.
I had pulled from spares and acquired enough wings to make the full delta wing arrangements for the whole squadron but the corresponding plates to support them were more troublesome, and despite my efforts to account for all the pieces I would need... Plates are required in 4x8, 4x4, 2x10, 2x8, 2x6, 2x4, 2x3 2x2 aaaaand 2x1 & 1x1 in various quantities and believe it or not, not all the parts are available in all the colours needed to complete this job. Others meanwhile are rare and only available for just plain demented prices, I’m looking at you Sand Blue 3024! Luckily most are possible to substitute.

Similarly 1x4, 1x3, 1x2 & 1x1 bricks are also needed... although, I think just about all the colours I needed are available.
Trans colours for the 3032 4x6 plate you need for the canopy are limited to two, it only appears in trans yellow and trans blue! So, naturally I have had to use solid colours for the majority of the fleet.
Homemaker stove switches 4x1 3010p41 also comes in only two colours (white and light grey) and I honestly didn’t see any real reason to worry too much for a part that won’t be seen and is pretty difficult to see in the original anyway. I did buy one very reasonably priced white one though.
Only one real disappointment in all of this for me was the absence of any green wings. So in the interests of making this more of a rainbow in our troubled times I clad some spare yellow wings... vive la NHS.

50030577497_bd0d05bea5_b.jpg

 

50030578502_806499f517_b.jpg

Rainbow, well sort of ;-)
Finally, I was left with a "junkyard" of extra unused parts...

...and I think “Hmmm, could I use red wings to do a pink/magenta/purple in a similar way to the green?” ...I really don’t own much purple LEGO!
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I... uh... I'm going to need a moment here to process this...

They're so beautiful.  :cry_happy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, deraven said:

I... uh... I'm going to need a moment here to process this...

They're so beautiful.  :cry_happy:

Don't let them reel you in with their beauty, they're sirens! You'll end up penniless, this was meant as a dire warning for all tempted astronauts! :wink:

Edited by badgerboy
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing work, kudos, and what a way to stay busy in these times

 

Makes me remember doing a darth vader style eta-2, maybe i should do another recolour of a cool spaceship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this post so much. These kinds of works are inspiring and just joyful to see. It really shows true nostalgia and a deep desire to continue a fun and personal achievement. Must have been a blast (expensive of course as you mentioned) but absolute blast of a challenge to overcome which is what it is all about. As an absolute chrome fanatic, I need to see that chrome ship though :drool:. Seriously amazing work and a fantastic read. Can't wait to see what you do next! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vectormatic said:

Amazing work, kudos, and what a way to stay busy in these times

Makes me remember doing a darth vader style eta-2, maybe i should do another recolour of a cool spaceship

Thanks! It's a fun little exercise, researching and finding the parts and building an alternate colour!

23 minutes ago, The Neighborhood Merchant said:

I love this post so much. These kinds of works are inspiring and just joyful to see. It really shows true nostalgia and a deep desire to continue a fun and personal achievement. Must have been a blast (expensive of course as you mentioned) but absolute blast of a challenge to overcome which is what it is all about. As an absolute chrome fanatic, I need to see that chrome ship though :drool:. Seriously amazing work and a fantastic read. Can't wait to see what you do next! 

Thank you! Yeah, it was expensive, totally blew my budget for a few months! It spiralled out of control and kept demanding I do the next one. Really good fun, distraction, worth every penny!

Glad you enjoyed the ride too! Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.