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jan kusters

Space 2019 (and onward...)

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Space 2019: chasing Jupiter...


Space, the not so final frontier...

I grew up before Lego entered space. Classic Space appeared just after I entered my dark ages... So when I became a born again bricker, there was lots to catch up on.

And now (2019-2021) Lego started a series of space sets that I think could very well be a new Classic Space. I liked it, I bought a few sets, and I went as deep as I usually go into this.

I bought set 60229 (spaceship with crawler and clean-room), set 60228 (rocket with ground control and a roller-coaster (?!?)), set 60227 (spacestation) and a couple of small sets. Later on I added set 60350 (Lunar Base) as well. And I threw in several bricklink orders to modify the sets to my liking...

All in all enough to keep me playing for a years and a half (and 6 month before that, thinking about it). So settle down, order aTea Earl Grey Hot, it's going to be a long one again...

The full story and all the images I made can be found over at my Flickr pages:


Preparing for a new project...

As per usual, the first thing to do was to clear my one Lego shelf to make room for the next project; Lego to the stars...


beeb beeb beeb...

Orders from Bricklink for the new project were starting to trickle in... Big parts for big plans, curious what will come of it eventually... The truck was a modification from the truck in set 20229, Rocket Assembly & Transport. I added a multi purpose claw in black in stead of the orange grip, and made it an articulated longer lorry (with a few extra wheels)

And no, this is not a Rover. Yet.


space 2019, building the VAB

That's quite something you guys are building there! Fancy a break down here? My lunch box is a bit big for me alone...

VAB: Vehicle Assembly Building... I am building a bigger box than I ever build. And that box is for building spaceships and stuff...
I am wondering if this is worth the many white panels.

So in 2019 Lego introduced some City-Space sets. I was in love with set 60229 straight away; a big rocket on a huge crawler, with an additional 'clean-room' for working on things. The Crawler had a fantastic 'Thunderbirds' vibe, which I also love.

I also liked the 'modular' concept of these sets; a rocket with capsule, stages and solid fuel boosters, a similar rocket but with mini-shuttle space ship and a slightly different configuration, and a space station in 3 parts, and all more or less interchangeable  by one common part (the multi hole 8 cornered panel)

To me, in playability this felt a lot like Classic Space! I liked the bright colour scheme (white and orange, with some blue and grey). Sadly, I do not like the new space loge, a cut orange, and I did not like the huge rover or big shuttle from this series. So I bought just my favorites; 60229 (spaceship with crawler), 60228 (spaceship with great launch and control centre) and 60227 (the space station). The sets include a couple of small robot rovers that I plan to alter a bit in due time. Heck, all the builds are going to be altered quite a bit...

But first things first; a building to build stuff in...


febrovery 2022; we're ba-ack...


‘By the moons of Ganymede Penny! What’s with all the luggage? We are only here for a few weeks, not moving back to earth!’

‘Shut up Benny, just because you wear the same spacesuit for 40 years does not mean we all have to be animals!
Porter! A hand please!
Oh uh, I don’t think that tiny transport rover is going to cut it…’


By the time I had turned the 3/4 open clean room into a full fletched Vehicle Assembly Buildig, it was february, and some old friends turned up for Febrovery and the testing of new rovers. The sets had quite a bit to offer...


Space 2019; the rover lab...

‘No! No no no, we just cleaned the room!
Don’t you dare ride that filthy piece of junk into our clean room!
Park it outside, and we’ll take a look at it!
What’s the problem, air-tanks falling off again?’

‘I don’t think they need us for testing rovers Benny, that lorry driver told me they hired a new special testdriver! Just for testing Rovers! Seems to be quite a character…’

‘What kind of dummy picks testing rovers as a career?’

I do like that set 60229 came with a clean room .

I not just added walls (only 3) and  did some rework on the interior as well.
The 'lift platform' is now white and a little less garage-like.
I tiled the floor and added some tools and a workbench.
There was even room for a scaffolding to working on larger stuff.

And finally I build in some lights from Light My Bricks. At least for inside shots I do not have to worry about the light... Which is a good thing because we are having terrible dull grey weather.



Space 2019; meet the new guy...

‘Oh, right, yeah, that figures…’

‘Are those tattoos? Wow, that’s dedication indeed!’


Space 2019; building a tiny rover...

‘Hand me the 10 mill spanner…’

10 millimetre spanners and sockets are a myth…


Space 2019; a versitile little rover!

Set 60229 came with one small robot-rover that would fit into the cargo bay of the shuttle-rocket (the one on the left).

I think it is designed along the lines of the Mars rovers we have send out in the last decades; a semi-autonomous vehicle with 6 wheels, an observation mast (here with stereoscopic cameras I think),  solar power panels and something to drill/scoop/scratch the surface.

After not liking the big rover set (60225) it came as a surprise to me that this new line had small rovers that I did like!

It offers quite a bit of room for modifications, so I gave it a quick try. Seat and control panel for a human driver instead of AI unit. The drill was replaced by a laser drill (of course). And I stuck a proper communication dish on it. I think the basic design of this Rover offers as much possibilities for modification as the old tiny grey rovers from Classic Space. Just stick on diggers, claws, lasers, power packs or wherever you like, it will work…

Space 2019: a closer look

‘That little black thing above? That's not proper communication dish! THIS a proper communication dish…’

Surveillance rover MkII…
Old and new mix well in this one.


Space 2019; Daisy daisy...

‘What AI unit would you like for his rover? This one?’

‘No, not the HAL 9000, that more something for a big interplanetary space ship… Get the Cozmo unit, that will do fine for this tiny rover.’

‘Which one is the Cozmo unit?’

‘Those little blue eyes…’

These sets came with small-rover-galore! I also bought set 60228, the mission control with a capsule-rocket. That set came with 2 (!) rovers. This little rover is one of them.

The robot unit (head and arms on the workbench to right)) can probably be equipped with rockets for space work, and with legs for casual walking work when stairs are to be expected.

I like the tiny caster wheels, although I wished there was a way for them to actually roll.


Space 2019, another short Rover review...

As I said, the small rover of set 60228 feels more like a robot-conversion-kit than like a full rover. So here several iterations of possible robo-explorers.

On the left the set robo-rover. First thing it needs if it is ever going to use that circular saw, is a different arm with a vertical grip.

The third image from the left shows our robo-rover in a stair-able walking configuration.

And finally on the right… Is it a bird? Is it a plane?!?
No! It's Rocket-robot!!!
(in fact set 60227, the Lunar Space Station that I also bought, has a rocket powered variant of this little robot that looks a lot like this)



Space 2019; All the Benny's are back...

'could this be one of your lot? He says his name is Benny...'

I received that forklift part 2 years ago  just too late to be used in Febrovery back than. Finally it gets used in a Febrovery setting!

Space 2019; guess who did not get the memo...


'Benny! No! We've got a designated test dum... driver now! Come back here!'


Modern Rover decked out as an old rover... Works great!


Space 2019; he's ok...


‘Still one of yours, I believe? A bit of a loose cannon, isn’t he?’

‘That’s Benny One for you. We think the cracks in his helmet have not helped…’

After wrecking that little rover, I realised that was pretty much one of the better ‘modern’ design classic Rovers; 6 wheels (with red hubs), and all in all a whole 15 parts. And it was fun...


Space 2019: ‘Woohoooo!’


Muttering Clean-Room engineers: ‘It’s like handing your carefully build rover over to baboons…’

'Yes! Our next rover will have two seats and I will be sitting beside that driver with my hand on the kill switch!!!’

‘You sure you wanna sit next to that?’


Space 2019: big sounds from the shed...

‘Are you going to tell them, or should I?’

‘Nah, they’re the smart engineers. Surely they have thought of that…’


Space 2019: A Grand day Out

‘No problem, I’ll get her out alright…’

The big one!!!

This is one of the builds I very much had in mind when I invested in the ‘space 2019’ sets. I like that modular system for spaceships and thought it could be taken a bit further. This Rover is based on two modules of set 60227, the ‘lunar space station’.

Slap some wheels underneath, stick a drivers compartment on the front, and it makes a great Mobile Laboratory (MoLab).

My basic inspiration were the MoLab rovers designed for Nasa in the sixties and seventies, and I think using the Space station modules give this pretty much the right hip 'hey we can mould in in smooth plastic now' sixties look I was going for.



Space 2019: MoLab 1…


(at least the engineer kept his word about riding with the test driver...)
I spend quite some time on getting all wheels on the ground under most circumstances. I have no real steering now, but the rover looks awesome going over a bumpy road with each wheel moving up and down independently.

For steering, I would need to make a gap between first and second cabin but I prefer them tight. Right now the grey ‘couplings’ are connected by one pin at the bottom hole, allowing the front section to roll left and right (thinking in terms of aircraft pitch, yaw and roll).




Space 2019: Boink; the Hermann Oberth Moon Car…

‘Hi… They told me you did your rover testing on a low gravity moon? Any chance for a job opening’

Hermann Oberth was a very serious early 20th century scientist who is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and spaceflight.
He wrote several books on the subject, advised for the Fritz Lang movie ‘Frau im Mond’ and inspired many of the early rocket builders.

In the late fifties, he wrote a book called ‘the moon car’. And this was it pretty much. A jumping moon tank…
Not entirely sure (never saw or read the book in real life) how serious he was about this.


Not 'Classic Space', Not 'Space 2019'. Just Space...

'Ok, I think I get it now. Pneumatic wheels is not the best idea for a rover...'
'And why do the fenders keep falling off?'

(just a little Febrovery afterparty, while I should be breaking up and sorting bricks).
Design by Gothamknight over at Rebrickable (Foldable Rover).


Space 2019: small Mission Control...

'Dad? The Right Stuff wants to tour Mission Control Dad. All of them.'

'What? All nine!?! We're going to need a bigger Mission Control!. And don't call me Dad, junior!'

'Ok Boss.'

'Don't call me Boss either! Here I am Flight Director!'

Set 60229 came with a lot of fantastic stuff, but the Mission Control building, uhm, not so much. A bit like a bus-shelter for space-travellers.

It does the job though; it has a satellite dish, several computers and a big display that spins with the Satellite dish and shows an unearthly landscape.
It even has a chair and a coffee mug.

This is build according to set instructions. No roof, no back wall. This small Mission Control was one of the main reasons for me to get the other 'big set', 60228, which had a much bigger and better control centre. And truth be told, I want to enlarge even that one in the end...


Space 2019: bigger Mission Control...

Staring up at an entrance on the first floor without a ladder: 'You know what Jim? I am beginning to think they don't want us to visit mission control at all...'

Again, not my own design but a set-build. Set 60228 in this case...

Set 60229 came with a tiny mission control. Set 60228 has a much better mission control. It is a lot bigger, with 2 desks with computers and a couple of fantastic display screens at the back.

The high door is actually because the set wants to take the astronauts from mission control to their rocket with a roller coaster. And that needs a high start to keep on rolling...

A bit superfluous in view of the ride on a rocket they are going to take next...

While this mission control looks a lot better, I am still not satisfied with what this set offers. I want more...

In my youth, watching Mission control was pretty much the best thing available on tv about space flight. Actual broadcasts from space were grainy, black and white and rarely shown in Dutch tv. Only the photo's afterwards really showed what happened in space. So the view of the rows of computer terminals and those big screens at the back meant a lot to me, and I want a build that reflects that. More rows of computers and terminals, more people... So I am working on that.


Space 2019: Launch & Mission Control Centre...

Slowly, ever so slowly, my new space port was growing. Not finished yet, but I think it is far enough to show what I have got so far.

This is going to be the new control centre, the place from where our intrepid little space folks will be guided and advised.

This build combines the tiny launch control from set 60229 and the bigger mission control from set 60228 into one big control centre (with a lot of help from my own stash and bricklink)) Together with the VAB building, it is turning into a real space port...


Space 2019: ♫ heiho heiho, it's off to space we go ♫

'Will you look at this?!? Finally a control centre that we can check out! Door on ground level and all!'

While limited in play and photo use, a good control centre is important to me, because I grew up watching endless tv from the Gemini and Mercury Mission Control Centre. Footage from space was pretty bad. Only once a flight was over, better movies and images became available (but were not broadcast that much and often here).

So for me, space flight back then WAS watching Mission Control and listening to them going though their checklists...



Space 2019: Launch & Mission Controll Centre on a quiet day...

'Not much going on yet, Mission Control is at present still done from the old building. We just finished testing the hardware and expect to switch control to here any day now...'

I combined 'old space' computer consoles in the front row and 'modern' computers in the back row. Mission Control will not just launch and guide new space ships. It will also still be attending to the Classic Spaceships and spacemen and spacewomen out there.

And of course where there are computers, there will be coffee and pizza...



Space 2019; remember them good old days...

'Man, do these old consoles bring back memories... I am glad we still need them! But this corner was the CapCom station, we need the communication console in this spot...'
'Oh great, we are giving those space jockeys still a seat here?!?'


Space 2019: NO MORE ROVERS!!!!

'OH NO! NONONONONO! NO! We are done building those filthy rovers in our beautiful clean room! Take it away, we're not doing it! What do you think we are? Some dodgy garage for dirt bikes and quads?!? GO! GO AWAY! '

'Easy now Bertha, calm down, the boy can't help it...
Sorry for Bertha boys, Febrovery was a bit rough on her.
You take that load to the outside assembly area, it is to big for us anyway!'

Started one of the bigger builds; the 'crawler' rocket transport  from set 60229. For me this was one of the main reasons -together with the clean room-  to get that set.

The first modification is also already in; side windows (original design open like the truck cabin).
I thought that crawler might be a very good base for a rover some day, and we can't have open windows in space, can we?



Space 2019: more assembly...

'Are you sure this is the front end?'

'It most certainly will be, once we're done!'

The crawler from set 60229 taking shape.
The rubber wheels are on axles that connect to one sprocket in each track. It 'drives' the hard plastic tracks, even on a very smooth surface, and works very well.



Space 2019: it's rocket science alright...

Two Engineers and a Robot building rocket engines...

just a little MOC I came up with. It will not actually fit in the rockets I think, but it is nice to have one build.

Before I bought these sets, this was one of the images I had in mind already; the clean room build out into a full building, and a huge rocket engine being build... I'm happy!



Space 2019: and so it begins...

'There she goes, seeing them leave always makes me a bit sad...'

'I know how to boost your mood Bertha; we've got another booster to build...'

'Oh dear lord, no puns please...'


The main reason to build a bigger bed for the truck...



Space 2019: I love it when a plan comes together...

'A tad back, Jaap...

The space 2019 sets are slowly turning out to be what I had hoped. As some builds get completed, play takes over from building, I can spend quite some time arranging smaller and bigger scenes...



Space 2019; loading the rocket

''All checked? Can I close the fairing now?'

'Everything A1, You can close it up...
*Sight* '

'Now what Syl??'

'I feel sorry for the little guy, going up in space all alone... What if he gets home sick?''

'He can go into sleep mode once the satellite has been deployed and checked.
And he won't be alone forever; once we start the space station, he can join up with the crew there...'

The nose cone was a Bricklink order that arrived sooner than expected. I am very glad it came so fast!
The rocket from set 60228 has a butt-ugly capsule, and this looks much better.

Besides, this nose cone gives me the option of sending up unmanned cargo rockets as well.

The robot is my modification from a small build from set 60228, already shown in Febrovery.



Space 2019; crawler speeding to the launch platform...

'He looks like a kid with his new toy in tow...'

A little callback to long ago when I was in the army. Tanks and armoured vehicles had to drive walking speed on the base. To make sure they did not go faster, someone had to walk in front of it. Often several tanks in a row following one fast walking soldier... Like a kid towing toys behind him. 

This is mostly the original rocket from set 60228, but with a different nose cone. I did not like the rather oversized capsule from that set.



Space 2019: delivery roling in...

'Wait what? More building materials? Aren't we done yet?'

'Nope, one more big build...'

While smaller and bigger Bricklink parcels make their way to me...



Space 2019: launch pad, counting down...

'Like it?'

'It's all rather big, isn't it?'

The final extra build was a launch tower. Based on set 60531 (which I do not have). And yes, it does look bigger that I expected in real life...
And taking pictures of these big builds is still hard...



Space 2019: countdown on hold...

'What are we waiting for?'

'Just taking some time to admire the view...'

Rebuilding an iconic image... Sadly I have no real spotlights to light up the entire rocket...

The two shorter masts at the front of the rocket are also based on set 60228, but in red in stead of grey, and placed at slightly different angles.

The large tower is based on a set I do not have; set 60351.
I looked op the instructions and bricklinked the parts.



Space 2019: the final go/no go poll...

T minus 10 and holding… All stations final check…

Booster… go
Retro… retro is go
Fido… woof
Guido… go
Surg uhm mechanic… mechanic is go
EeCom…  go
GNC… we’re go
Control… go
Procedures… go
InCo… go
FAQ… go
Capcom… go
BiReBu… go

All stations are go for launch, resume countdown…



Space 2019: And we have lift off!!!

Engine start
SRB ignition…
We have lift off…
Roger. Clock.
Clock is running

We got a roll program.
Roger. Roll.

Roll complete and the pitch is programmed.
One Bravo.

Spacebot one, Control. You're good at 1 minute.

Stand by for mode 1 Bravo.
Mode 1 Bravo.
One Bravo.

Spacebot One, this is control. You are GO for SRB separation on 6

SRB separation
Spacebot One Control We confirm SRB separation, you are go for throttle up main...


I already wrote listening to launch control was the best space-tv we got here in the sixties...



Space 2019: deploying the eye in the sky...

'Easy now Spacebot! That satellite is a delicate thing...'

'I think he is just happy to get to work.'



Space 2019: deploying the eye in the sky...

'Solar panels at full capacity Spacebot, you can let go now...'

'This will give us a much better view of what's going on with next launches...'


This telescopic satellite came with set 60228. I added bigger solar panels and bade the tube a bit bigger...



Space 2019: ground -not so much- control calling Spacebot...

'He what?!?'

'Spacebot said that, as he was waiting for the next rocket, he might as well take a little holiday Sir...'


Space tourism...



Space 2019: first minifig launch from space 2019 spaceport...

'Smile and wave... check!'

'Stop showing off and get in here Burt!'


Using the capsule from set 60350 lunar base here because I like pointy rockets...



Space 2019: first minifig launch from space 2019 spaceport...

The poor sod tasked with keeping the rocket in frame...



Space 2019: first minifig launch from space 2019 spaceport...

...Did a great job! God Speed, little fellows!



Space 2019: first minifig launch from space 2019 spaceport...

'Meco and separation confirmed...'

'Weeee! I'm floating!'

'Is that your foot?'

'Mind where you put that elbow'

'They were right, not much room inhere to enjoy weightlessness...'

'Where is that Spacebot? I want to get started on building the station and get some room!!!'



space 2019: building phase 1 of the space station...


'Well, look at the bright side; At least it does not hurt when you step on Lego in zero gravity...'

Grin, I had this one in mind ever since I saw a video of NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino unbox and build LEGO a set in zero gravity...
It's a good thing they have Spacebot to hunt down and collect all the parts!



Space 2019: Controll, phase I is finished, we have a space station...

'Fantastic, this is like one of those really clever pop-up campers. We even have a pizza oven!'

'Are you sure Space Station phase one is supposed to look like a windmill?'

'Well, the instructions were a bit cryptic. And Spacebot might have missed out on a few pieces... But we've got air, we've got room and the pizza is almost done... Get in here!'

This is pretty much why I wanted a more or less classic capsule as well; I wanted a 'Skylab' like space station for starters. It was one of the last things I tried to build while I was growing out of Lego as a kid... Never dreamt Lego would one day lead to this! Build with one space module from set 60227, and the capsule from set 60350.



Space 2019: 'ping'...


'Was that the pizza oven?'


The Space staion set 60227 came with a disk-shooter-pizza-oven. Sadly I have no way to show what this does in my imagination, but launching a pizza with that kind of force and speed in micro gravity... Wow!



Space 2019: Building space stuff

While back on earth...

'Admit it, you have no idea what we are building here!'

'Not sure, we are not building according to the original plans...'

Set 60227, the space-station set, came with a central hub for connecting space station modules that I both liked and did not like. It makes great use of the connector panels, but it has only connectors at 3 sides.

I prefer connectors on all 6 sides. Granted, less sturdy and a bit more fiddly, but I think I will be able to get a space station that can grow in all directions. And I wanted more than one hub...

The hard part with alterations like this is that I keep getting new ideas after ordering parts. I ordered extra connector panels and installed them on the top and bottom plate. Only after building that I realised I could actually build them open on all sides too. Back to bricklink... And I wanted perhaps a few more solar panels as my station was getting a bit bigger... Third round bricklink... This is taking forever!

There are some more alterations of the space station set in the works, and my little peeps are working hard at it, even if they are not sure where it's going...



Space 2019: new delivery


Two connection-hubs for the Space Station on the way. Another job for the astronauts and Spacebot...

I took the 'connector module' from set 60227 Space Station, seriously modified it to connect in all 6 directions, added round doors and build a second one because why not...

After shedding its streamlined launch fairing, strapped to rocket engine with fuel tanks powering the whole contraption on its way towards the present station in orbit...



Space 2019: construction in progress...

'Push!... No no no back back up!'
'This way?'
'I don't know what way is up!' 'Turn!'
'Which way?'
'Perhaps we need to use another side?'

'Ooooh, look at the pretty colours of those polar lights...'




Space 2019: ground control to the rescue...

'Our astronauts seem to have a bit of a problem understanding the building instructions. Solutions?'

'Well, Syl and I made a Building Bot some time ago.
Never used it, but it must still be lying around here somewhere...
We could program it with building instructions and send it up with the next rocket...'

'Make it so!'

Yes, the flight director missed his true vocation as a space ship captain... And he is more a coffee guy that 'tea earl grey hot.'



Space 2019: another day, another launch...

'Spacestation, ground control here.
The next cargo is on its way, including the Buildingbot we promised...

You'll find it in cargo bay 1, and we suggest you start with that one.'

The 'eye in the sky' satellite is giving ground control (and us) a great view!



Space 2019: The BuildingBot...

'The BuildingBot is in Cargo bay One, the orange crate.
I can't wait! No more crazy building instructions no one understands... No more fiddling with big glov... What in the name of Ganymede is this?!? They send it up in parts??? WE have to build the BuildingBot?'

'Yep, and here is our old nemesis, the building instructions...

'Step one: make sure the illogical unit is gimbal locked before attaching it to the neural distributor?!?... Uhm, say what?'



Space 2019: The BuildingBot...

'Can't we do this inside? With good light and without these space suits?'

'I am not bringing this thing into our space station! It looks creepy as hell!

Ahhh! Its eyes lit up! Why do his eyes light up? Did I switch something on!?!'

'Space station, Ground control here.
The technicians asked if you locked the gimbal nut before jamming the head onto the spine...'

'Aw crap!'



Space 2019: The BuildingBot...



'Well, he can go on and build the whole space station for all I care, I am not going out there!'



Space 2019: Spacestation phase II...

'It's getting quiet out there...Do you think BuildingBot is done?'

'I don't know, but the status panel suggest we have several pressurised area's we did not have before...'

'Best we both suit up before opening any hatches...

Starting with the space station from set 60227, I added a second hub for connection modules, and modified both hubs to accept modules on 49699 panels in all directions.

These are the 3 modules from set 60227, and a capsule pinched from set 60350 (front hub, downward).

I bricklinked a few more solar panels to keep the space station in power and added them to a new boom. The boom with solar panels can also be connected to any 49699 panel...



Space 2019: space station still growing...

'Control, Space Station here. Science platform installed. From now on we can keep an eye on Space Weather...

And we found a place for the extra fuel tank...
Why do we need an extra fuel tank, Control? Are we starting an Intergalactic Gas Station?'

A bit of MOCing on the side...



Space 2019: Spacestation still growing

'Time to send up more crew, our Station is getting a bit big for a crew of just two.

What do you think Bob, if we stuck a cockpit on one end and light up that lander engine on the other end, would it qualify for Shiptember?'

Modules from set 60227 (space station) and 60350 (moon base) combined with my own node modules are making a big space station! Perhaps not quite Shiptember big, but with an additional storage module, a big fuel tank and a cockpit I might actually reach a 100 stud length...

With still 2 orange 'tank modules' from set 60228 and a white windowless module from set 60229 used for rockets right now, I have some more modules to add if I want to.



Space 2019: still preparing for launch...

'Do you mind? We're standing on a fully fuelled booster here!
Go fly that rocket powered camera robot somewhere else!!!'

The interplanetary version of a camera-drone; no tiny whining propellers but real rocket-power!



Space 2019: the chibi-rocket...

'3... 2...1!
We have lift off!

We have lift off, shuttle 'Little Grasshopper' has left the platform for its maiden flight....'

Building a full launch tower meant I had little use for the launch capability of the crawler from set 60229.

But while playing with all kinds of rocket and spaceship combinations I stumbled into this one.

It's the small spaceship from 60224, launched 'shuttle-style' with a big tank and solid rocket boosters, and the shuttle riding piggy-back.



Space 2019: the slow waltz...

'Little Grasshopper, Control here, you are go for coupling. We have a magnificent view from the Eye in the Sky and are starting the Blue Danube Waltz...'


Space 2019: Full Service Fuel Station (b)


These are of course still Lego City sets, so we do need a garage like thing... And as I hoped when I started this project; all the rockets and parts are easily combined in so many ways...



Space 2019: Space Station-ship


Space 2019: Space Station-ship


What is the difference between a space station and a space ship? Just a motor stuck to one end, right?

Shiptember; a 100 stud long spaceship... The entire things is indeed a little over 100 studs long.

I pinned together parts from 60227 (the Space Station), set 60228 (space launch base), set 60229 (space ship transport with space ship) and set 60350, with a cockpit I used before for a moon rover.

As I used the 8-sided connector panels all these sets use to stick together are technic pins. So the whole things is rather fragile; no zooming around with this spaceship!



Space 2019: Question!

Meanwhile in the assembly building...

'Hey Syl, where did we put that experimental hyper drive? I can't find it in storage and its not on the list here either?'

'We put in in that external rocked drive for the space station, remember? To see if it would fit?'

'We did take it out again, right?

'Oh, uh, oops...'



Space 2019: meanwhile out there in space...

'Hey look, we even have a 'hyper-drive' button on the screens...'


Chorus: 'AAAAAAH!'



Space 2019: Where are we? (a)

'Wow, that was fast...
I have no idea where we are!'

'Uhm, I think we are far away from home.
I suggest we very carefully turn this thing 180 degrees around, point it EXACTLY at where we came from and hit that hyperspace button for precisely as long as it took us to get here...'



Space 2019: Where are we? (c)

'Ok, so lt's a bit smaller than I thought. Hard to judge distances up here. Let's call it a planetoid...'

'Stop chatting and get a rock sample! I want to get going back!'

'Rock sample? From this? Why don't we take the hole thing back with us?

When I saw Lego had this tiny moon as a NSURP (Not So Ugly Rock Piece) I just had to have it. This image was in my mind from the moment I saw it.



Space 2019: we've got a sample for you!

'Wow, that's... A whole planetoid?!?...

Wait, stop! You can't leave me with that inhere! This is just a small medical lab! I haven't even unpacked the geo-lab gear!

This will have to wait until we have set up the ground base somewhere!

Just strap it to the roof or something!'

The space station modules of set 60227 are really small when it come to photo's and posing, and the moon base modules from set 60350 are even smaller!

I planned on building a bigger 'set' for inside images, but each time I designed something in Studio, things got bigger en bigger. I would have to buy loads of bricks and parts to to build it.
Besides, I am not planning on telling a whole 'Start Trek' like story about the people inside, so all in all I saw only limited use for such a build...
So I decided this was not worth it, and this will have to do...



Space 2019: Take the long way home... (b)

Going home. All together now: 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH'



Space 2019: Take the long way home... (c)

'The computer stopped the drive... Now lets take a good look around to see anything we recognise...'



Space 2019: Found them!

'Hey everyone, I found Explorer 1! Got it on the Big Eye! They're coasting near Jupiter!'




Space 2019: Let's do something wild!

'Oh wow, look at all these moons Jupiter has! We were sent out to set up a moon base, why not pick one of these moons...'

'I am not sure a space mission is the right place wild ideas! And Flight Control might have something to say about it too...'

'Ah well, in an hour and a half or two hours perhaps! At least let me take the shuttle for a little fly by then!'  

Meet the Jupiter Family; from left to right Callisto, Jupiter itself, Ganymede big at the front and Io far back. The 4th big moon, Europa, is missing in this view (as well as the 80 plus smaller moons and rocks orbiting Jupiter).

My big disappointment when growing up and looking at spaceflight; the slow realisation that spaceflight was not the place for adventures and spur of the moment ideas. No like 'Frau im Mond' style 'light a match to see if there is any oxygen' or Star Trek Style 'Wow new unknown planet, lets send the captain and first officers down to investigate' (unless an oxygen tank explodes and you have to put a square filter in a round filter holder).



Space 2019: Ganymede, here I come...


Space 2019: Ground (not-so-much) Controll

'They launched the lander Sir.'

'Someone go and get me those eggheads from the Assembly Building.
If we are setting up a base near Jupiter, we are going to need a lot more of those Hyper Drives, and they do need to be better fine tuned than the one Explorer One has been using!

We don't want our supply ships ending up light years past Jupiter!'



Space 2019: going down...

'Lander one this is Explorer one, what's taking you so long? Put that thing down somewhere before you run out of fuel!'

'Explorer one, Lander one here, we're looking for a good spot... Things look different down here...'



Space 2019: the lander had landed!


'Lander one this is Explorer one.
Control won't be happy!'

'Maybe not, but I am very happy!
Finding a good spot was harder than expected, things are not as smooth down here as we expected. I remember something about a shovel-rover on one of the cargo lists, better send that down before anything else...'



Space 2019: space construction....

'Did someone ask for a shovel-rover? Where do I put this thing?'

While I bought set 60350 mostly for the big dome and the capsule on the moonlander, it is turning out to be a very useful set for other parts and builds as well.

The set has several smaller side builds like this shovel rover and a rocket drone with crane.
I slightly modified the drone to put an astronaut in it. It is now more like the small flyers that came as small classic space sets like set 885 and 6801.

And landing on a rocky moon like this one, a bulldozer is really handy!



Space 2019: preparing to build a base...

'Straight at me... slowly... right!

'Why are we this close to these large boulders and rocks? Shouldn't we build a bit further away?'

These rocks will be part of our base... We can build higher this way, and use those natural caves as well...'

'Them rocks look weird, regular, almost build!'

'Ah well, probably just basalt or something, you have those weird geometric rock patterns at some place on earth too...'



Space 2019: building Ganymede base...

Easy now, slow down! Those dome parts are tough, but not indestructible!

Not exactly Space 2019 as this set came out in 2021, but is is very much connected to a line started in 2019. We are building the moon base from set 60350. With excellent use of the Big Ugly Rock Pieces that I actually do like for this.



Space 2019 meets space 2021...

'Oh wow, you have one of those new space suits! How do you like it?'

'Great flexibility, I can even turn my head! But I still haven't found the visor de-fogging button...'

I prefer the old chrome visors in my builds, but for photo's the matted visor is a lot easier... Not my entire room reflected!

And yes, Gany-Base is growing in the background...



"space 2019 (err... 2021?) GanyBase phase 1

'Ahhh, finally room to stretch again!'

'Nice. Now who has the remote to open that gate? Hello? Anyone?!?'

Phase one of my Ganymede Base is just the central building from set 60350 'moon base'. Nice build, and more roomy than I expected.

I did a few modifications, like the hatches on the side connections for more modules, and the big yellow door to close the central vault.
The big yellow door does not actually open, but it can be 'removed'. It's Lego after all!

I probably mentioned it before, this set is giving more fun than expected, the little side builds like the bulldozer-rover add greatly to the play value of this set.

And yes, the trans blue dome parts do weird things when combined with yellow-ish led lights...



intermezzo: moon base set 60350


This is the original interior of the dome as designed by Lego. Nice, but I was a bit confused. What was this? Some space-Spa for rest and relaxation? Soft music while waiting for a massage and a carrot mask?

I do like the greenery though. And as a whole it does look nice. If I ever need a Spa...



intermezzo: moon base set 60350 modified


I thought the original interior of the dome looked a bit too 'holiday resort'. So I decided to redesign the dome as a full lab. A place to do experiments with plants on extraterrestrial soil perhaps, And a microscope and a serious lab for research and analyses.  

Luckily most lab stuff came with the set, squashed into one of those tiny tube modules. I just added some blender-analyser (just behind the light-pillar: molecular accurate cocktails anyone?) and some glass work (no lab has ever enough glass work).

And yes, the greenery is still bare, we're just starting here...



Space 2019: a proper lab at last!

And guess who finally has a proper lab to study rocks and other stuff...

The lab comes mostly from one of the smaller modules from set 60350, that previously proved to be too small to examine a space rock...
I added a few bits and bobs from myself to fill out the lab.



Space 2019: tuning...

'grmble mmmbl... aiming for Jupiter indeed... It's like giving a sprinter concrete shoes!'

I have spend far too long trying to design a spaceship with a visible and external 'hyper drive'. I had to order lots of parts, and whatever I came up with would be pretty flimsy. And than one day it hit me, just show the technicians working on one of those designs in their clean room! Pretty much a hyper drive as it was standing on my work table, waiting for other ideas...

Works well enough, and this will be 'unseen inside' the space ship. No need for complicated external stuff!



Space 2019: chasing Jupiter...

'Up! More up! A bit higher Jaap!'


The crane that came with set 60229 on wheels, the clean-room bigger and closed, but it all works as planned by Lego designers. Just a bit modded because my imagination needs more real stuff then back when I was 8 years old...


I think I am going to end it with this. The story has been long enough...

Edited by jan kusters
making small textual corrections

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Incredible work on the builds and story line. The time involved must be massive. Keep it up, can't wait to see more hyperdrive incidents on the way to Jupiter.

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Thank you, just having a good time playing these sets. I wanted to show a bit what was possible with them.

But I'm afraid I am ready for a change...

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You went into the dark ages when classic space released? Woah, you're not a AFOL, you're a OGOL!

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I very much enjoyed this, thank you, brought back several good memories about my, very much missed, Blacktown II Lego. 

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Wow, just stunning and truly epic! What a shame that Lego's own catalogues aren't as good and inspirational as this. Thank's for sharing.

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On 6/19/2023 at 4:16 PM, Time77 said:

You went into the dark ages when classic space released? Woah, you're not a AFOL, you're a OGOL!

OGOL? Grin not sure what an OGOL is, but I'm an old geezer that remebers when Lego wheels were new...


21 hours ago, brimbolet said:

Wow, just stunning and truly epic! What a shame that Lego's own catalogues aren't as good and inspirational as this. Thank's for sharing.

Part of why I make these posts is because I like the long 'personal story' posts from others. And perhaps I enjoy those so much because Lego no longer does (or perhaps because as I grow older I need more of a story then Lego tells... And I just like playing with the sets, de photo's follow more or less natural after that.


Thanks to all for your kind words!

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Congratulations Jan, it's a fabulous work.

The dedicated time and effort shows your love for LEGO toys and space exploration. I loved the way you also told the backstage of the story!

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