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Hello Eurobricks! Today I present you the review of an unusual, very playable and exciting old LEGO set - the Aero Tube Hangar. 01 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Set Name: Aero Tube Hangar Set Number: 7317 Year of Release: 2001 Number of Pieces: 706 Number of Minifigures: 5 (all Martian) Price: $ 90.00 ($ 0.13 per brick) Life on Mars was a short-lived, but interesting LEGO Space theme. It explored the world of Martians, who are surprisingly friendly to human astronauts, which is rather unusual for LEGO and science fiction in general. The Aero Tube Hangar is the main base of the Martians. It was the dream of my childhood, but I got this set only in 2013, when I was already an AFOL. So, let's get started. Box The main box is large, what fits this set. The front side depicts the Aero Tube Hangar in all its glory: 02 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr On the back side the functions of the set are shown: 03 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Old-type boxes with flip covers are great for storage: Box by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Different parts of the set were sorted into three additional boxes which are not cool as the main one, but useful: 04 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Instruction Booklet The instructions start with the same image as seen on the box: 05 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Next there are the minifigures (note the misspelling of Arcturus) and the hypersleds with a warning: 06 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The first model to assemble is the mech: 07 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Note that this is an old instruction, and there is no list of required parts on each step. The last pages show how to connect the tubes and how to use them and some ads (I will put them under a spoiler): This set also has a small advertising booklet: 13 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr There are sets from other series on another side: 14 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Unfortunately, almost all that themes (Alpha Team, Studios and LoM itself) didn't live to this day. Only Star Wars do. Minifigures This set includes five minifigures. All of them are Martians, and there are no humans: 15 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr These Martians are, very much like Blacks from Harry Potter, named after different stars and constellations. Perhaps their names sound differently in Martian language, and here the human equivalents are given. Riegel (note the misspelling - the star is called Rigel) is the leader of Martian people and the general of the Aero Tube Hangar. He does not like laziness and disorder. His favourite food is space slugs. Unlike other Martians, he has a different skin tone and wears some sign (maybe honorific) on his chest. Cassiopeia is the daughter of Riegel. She does not look like her father, but very likely looks like her mother. Later she visited Earth with the austronauts. Mizar is a Martian technician. He wears something like a gas mask. Vega is a scientist who specializes in excavation. He likes sandwiches. Arcturus is a spy from another tribe of Martians which tries to still energy-rich biodium ore from the Hangar. In 1930s he was the leader of Martians, and his invasion of Earth and subsequent defeat were described by Orson Welles. All these figures are exclusive except Vega (who also appeared in 7316, 1195 and 7320) and Mizar (who also appeared in 7321). The Martians have the same bodies and hands with Trade Federation battle droids: 16 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Except they are sturdier due to different legs and (in my case) shorter use. The Martians move through the aero tubes using hypersleds molded especially for them: 17 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The white hypersled glows in the dark. Mech This small mech is used for scouting and defense: 47 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The mech's limbs are very mobile, which is rather good for early LEGO walkers: 48 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The only flaw is the lack of knee joints: 49 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The right hand holds a cannon to repel enemies, and the left hand has a hook to lift meteorites: 50 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The cockpit is open and has a holder for a Martian pilot, and a printed control panel: 51 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Flyer Another vehicle in this set is a flyer (or convertiplane, to be precise). It looks similar to Scorpion from James Cameron's Avatar and Banshee from Starcraft II. 55 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The propeller engines rotate freely: 53 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pilot is interestingly attached to the cockpit - only their arm is attached to a lever which is connected to one of the flyer's cannons: 52 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Transportation Now it's the time to review the most noteworthy feature of this set. The Martians can be transported through aero tubes using this pump: 42 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pump is one very big part with some adjustments. It looks like some futuristic storage house or power plant. The black upper part, which is made of rubber, can be rotated to shange the direction of air flow. The aero tubes are flexible, transparent and not perfectly round. They should be plugged into purple solid connectors very tightly, so they will be disconnected with a click: 43 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This system was used again in two sets from Mars Mission line (7690 and 7691), but there the tubes were orange and human-built. And the aliens were hostile and didn't come from Mars, so this was a completely different theme. Unfortunately, humans (or other non-Martian minifigures) cannot ride or even get into the tubes - their arms are too large: 44 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Mizar needs to get to the red mech bay. He lies in a hypersled at the main station: 18 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr To suck him into the tube, we should rotate the upper part of the pump counterclockwise until it stops and then squeeze it: 19 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Now the Martian can be seen within the tube: 20 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Then, we remove a stopper and place the tube in the required direction using gears and the steering wheel: 21 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr 22 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr There is another fork on Mizar's way, and here we also should set a course by moving the tubes: 23 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The stopper is removed: 24 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr And then the tube can be moved on rails: 25 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The drawback of this process is that the supports are constantly shifting and can hang in air. Next we rotate the pump clockwise and slam it. Now the air pushes the hypersled from the rube, and Mizar rides to his destination. 26 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr 27 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr That's it! Mizar has arrived and is ready to work! 28 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr 29 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Now Riegel must lead an excavation expedition, and he prepares to depart: 30 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr But wait... He is stuck within the tube - probably due to his medal: 31 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In reality there is nothing to do with the medal. Sometimes Martians get stuck in tubes and cannot be launched. Nevertheless, the construction is made very soundly. We turn the pump counterclockwise, suck Riegel into the tube and place it to the left side: 32 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Next we turn the pump clockwise, push the Martian ruler forward, and he is now ready to lead the expedition: 33 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Buildings Let's take a closer look at the hangar buildings. Here is the biggest one: 34 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The "umbrellas" with tools and control panels are attached to the sides via bridges: 35 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr At the top there is a tower from which Riegel oversees his domain: 36 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The flyer can be hung on axles: 54 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The tower holds a turning crane which is used to put meteorites to the site for further dissection and processing: 37 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This meteorite contains biodium - a substance used by Martians as energy source. They collect meteorites especially to obtain biodium: 38 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr One purple "umbrella" (or "mushroom" if you like it more) has some control panels: 39 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr These Martians should be really cold resistant - they walk bare-handed and bare-headed in the open air at -50 degrees Celsius (or -58 Fahrenheit). Under the second "umbrella" they store their equipment, which unfortunately does not suit their hands at all: 40 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr 41 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Walkie-talkies (there are two of them!) and circular saws are common, but the grey wrench is a valuable acquisition. The aero tubes lead to mech bays: 45 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Each is painted in colors of different Martian mechs. The blue one corresponds to the heavily weaponized Red Planet Protector (7313), and the pinkish-red one - to the Recon Mech RP (7314). The light-grey studs are used to connect the mechs. It should be noted that the entire Life on Mars theme is rich in colors and non-standard parts. It had the first appearances of rare "sand" colors, such as sand purple, sand red, sand green and sand blue. Unfortunately, only two last colors are still produced nowadays. The bays can be disconnected from the tube ports: 46 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This set has only two bays, but three ports. The third port is supposed to be connected with a tan bay coming in 7316 - the Excavation Searcher. In conclusion, I will show the extra parts of the set: differently colored droid arms (both Martian and mechanic), another Riegel's medal and transparent studs: 56 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Pros/Cons Pros: + Tubes + Tubes + TUBES!!! + Rare colors + Non-standard parts + Martians + Mech and flyer + No stickers! Cons: - Martians sometimes get stuck in tubes - Supports not always stand firm - Tubes are not compatible with traditional minifigures - Primitive build - Not so many Martians - No humans Thank you for reading! And what can you say about this set?