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Review: 7316 Excavation Searcher
Farseer Petriel posted a topic in LEGO Sci-FiHello again Eurobricks! It's time to continue reviewing rare Life on Mars series with Martian Excavation Searcher - a huge mech with two claws! Excavation Searcher Full Set by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Excavation Searcher is the second largest set in the series. Only the main set, Aero Tube Hangar, was larger. On the one hand, the Searcher may look rank-and-file due to typical colors (tan and brown). On the other hand, this mech is interestingly designed, and Aero Tube Hangar looks empty without a meteorite processing station, and that's why I view this set worthy to acquire. I got it on my Birthday, just like Alien Discovery, but it was my present to myself. In fact I've been waiting to buy it for a long time from my childhood, when I was reading LEGO catalogues and dreaming of Life on Mars sets. So, let's begin. Box The box is rather large and bears typical Martian background and a photo of the set. When the set has been stored in some warehouse for 18 years, it became pretty battered, but not destroyed: Excavation Searcher Box by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The set name and brick count are written again on the box. That means I got the American version again. The back side depicts how the parts of the Searcher can be separated and combined: Excavation Searcher Box Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This modular structure is one of Life on Mars features and can be seen in many LoM sets. The sides of the box - photos of Martians, warnings and importers in the New World: Excavation Searcher Box Sides by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr There's a little surprise within the box - it has a cardboard pallet for parts: Excavation Searcher Box Cardboard Pan by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It makes the box useful for storage, and now I put there elements from Life on Mars sets, such as small vehicles and aero tubes, while bigger parts such as mechs and the pump lie in the large Aero Tube Hangar box. Alas, such boxes don't exist now. Instruction and Booklets The set has three booklets: an instruction, a mini-catalogue and a postcard: Excavation Searcher Booklets by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The instruction is standard: here are the beginning and the end of the build: Excavation Searcher Instruction First and Last Pages by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr On the following pages the transformation of the Searcher into a smaller mech is shown: Excavation Searcher Instruction Transformation by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr I'll return to this function later. The back cover of the instruction depicts all boxed LoM sets as usual: Excavation Searcher Instruction Back Cover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The postcard surprised me. It's made of cardboard, and it could be sent to Enfield, Connecticut to get a free LEGO catalogue: Excavation Searcher Club Postcard by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The back side has the same information written in French and a profile. Unfortunately, this service was available only for USA and Canada residents: Excavation Searcher Club Postcard Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr I didn't get the free catalogue because I live in neither of these countries, and it has been 18 years since this postcard was published. However, I got another booklet with the Searcher, and it was a very pleasant surprise: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In theory, this mini-catalogue from early 2000s deserves its own review, because it's a paradise for nostalgic LEGO fans. And yes, I'll show all its pages here! The first pages - contents (so many old school logos!) and a LEGOLAND ad: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue First Pages by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Studios - the Steven Spielberg Moviemaker Set with a real and hopelessly outdated camera, and smaller sets: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Studios by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Life on Mars - the Aero Tube Hangar with detailed work scheme and other sets: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Life on Mars by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Xalax racers (these aliens are so funny!) and Alpha Team (agents, neon, evil Ogel, cool spy stuff): Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Xalax and Alpha Team by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Old Star Wars sets - somewhat clumsy, but cute, and Palpatine's shuttle is gorgeous! Then there are the first Star Wars UCS models and the 1999 Railway Express train (I have it): Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Star Wars and Trains by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr LEGO Football/Soccer (it's my favorite series too), Arctic and legendary Adventurers - particularly Dino Island: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Football, Arctic and Adventurers by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Knights' Kingdom (the first one with King Leo and Cedric the Bull) and the very first BIONICLE sets - Toa Mata: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Knights' Kingdom and BIONICLE by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Technic (Battle Cars and Slammers), video games and a Canadian LEGO Club ad: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Technic, Software and Last Page by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The back cover has a US LEGO Club ad: Excavation Searcher Mini-Catalogue Back Cover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Here the review of the papers is finished, and I'm ready to move to the next part - the Martians. Minifigures The set has three Martian minifigures with typical turquoise skin: Excavation Searcher Minifigures English by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Canopus and Pollux are unique to this set, and Vega appeared in Aero Tube Hangar (7317) and two promotional sets (7320 and 1195). All Red Planet dwellers are named after stars and constellations like the Blacks from Harry Potter, and these three Martians are no exception. Pollux wears a light grey suit and a gas mask. Judging by the dirt on his forehead, he is a worker. And apparently he shaves his head. It's weird, that there is no Martian named Castor, since Castor and Pollux are twin brothers in mythology and neighboring stars in Gemini constellation. Canopus wears a tan suit and some hi-tech mask. He has a gunsight instead of his right eye. Maybe it's a magnifying lens or an implant. In LEGO Racers 2 video game Canopus was a scientist. The tan and light grey suits look standard, but unique faces compensate this. Vega wears an orange suit. He is a scientist who specializes in excavation. He likes BLT sandwiches (did he discover them after humans arrived?) and dislikes surprises. Vega's head is dull since it lacks any features besides eyes. Considering that this Martian was included in 7317 too, this set should have contained some other Martian - Castor, for example. The Set The assembly contains three parts: the Excavation Searcher, the flyer and the bay: Excavation Searcher by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Let's start with the most important part - the mech. Excavation Searcher As the name implies, this vehicle is used for search and gathering of meteorites that provide the Martians with energy-rich biodium ore. The mech is large and moves on four legs. The front claw and the tail make it look like a scorpion, though the antennae make it resemble some insect like an ant: Excavation Searcher Mech by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The color scheme looks very standard compared with other Life on Mars sets which have many rare colors. Tan and brown were widespread in LEGO sets - for example, in Star Wars, so there's nothing particular in these colors. Fortunately, they are diluted a bit by small touches of orange. As with all LoM mechs, the legs of the Searcher don't bend in knees. However, due to the presence of four legs the walker can be posed in many ways without the risk of falling: Excavation Searcher Mech by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Excavation Searcher Mech Walking by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The only remaining restriction is the 2000s-era hinges that can be placed only in certain positions and bend harder with time. And this set has many of them. This mech can even do the splits! Excavation Searcher Does the Splits by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Rear view: Excavation Searcher Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In front, there is a cockpit for a pilot. Above the typical LoM darkened windscreen, the antennae with red signals and the circular badge with unique claw symbol are located. The operating arms are attached to the left and right of the cockpit: Excavation Searcher Front Cockpit and Arms by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Technic panels and curvy sloped parts give the cockpit a nice shape. The windscreen can be removed to see the pilot: Excavation Searcher Cockpit Inside by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr As in all mechs, the Martian is holding the handles. The orange slope makes the model look complete - without it the claw and the orange dish would look worse. The pilotless cockpit: Excavation Searcher Cockpit Without Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The brown handles have no control panel on them, though there is some device on the left side of the pilot. And it looks like a Martian smartphone! The arms of the Searcher can be moved with hinges. The left arm ends with the claw which is designed to hold meteorites (they are included here and aren't in 7314): Excavation Searcher Claw Arm by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Above the claw there is a similar sign than above the cockpit. The claw itself contains two parts which are pulled together by a rubber band. This claw works harder than the one of Recon Mech RP, probably because of time. The right arm wields some device with an orange radar dish: Excavation Searcher Laser Arm by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr I think it's a laser for stone cutting to obtain biodium. Behind the cockpit the mech's body with four legs, meteorite container and tail is located: Excavation Searcher Middle and Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The grey top pin spoils the impression a bit, but it's required to attach the cockpit above. It should also be noted that leg prints slightly differ in color for some reason. The meteorite container occupies the entire middle part of the mech. A small flyer can be seen under it: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Container by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The container can carry up to 2 meteorites. Frames prevent the meteorites from accidental falling. Grey bridges between the hinges are made of flexible rubber, so the joints can be moved separately: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Container Flexible Parts by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The container without meteorites - the studs allow to attach the precious cargo: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Container Empty by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The tail claw can move down and take a meteorite from the ground: Excavation Searcher Grabs a Meteorite by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Searcher holds the meteorite: Excavation Searcher Tail Claw by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Unfortunately, the tail contains the same hinges as arms and legs do, and this design restrains its movements. The claw can put the meteorite in the container: Excavation Searcher Puts a Meteorite by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Unfortunately, there is no way for the front claw to do the same work. The crane operator controls the tail: Excavation Searcher Tail Claw Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr His workplace looks very simple and has no seats - only the control panel on the rotating circle: Excavation Searcher Tail Control Panel by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Flyer The Searcher is equipped with a small scout flyer. This little plane is attached to the holes under the meteorite container using Technic axles: Excavation Searcher Flyer Storage by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr These axles with light grey dishes are some kind of engines or anti-gravity devices which allow the flyer to hover above Mars surface: Excavation Searcher Flyer by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pilot controls the vehicle, firmly holding the computer panel. The flyer's nose is the same part as Searcher's legs. The pilot can stand on his flyer too, though this will likely worsen the aerodynamic properties: Excavation Searcher Flyer with Standing Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The console is attached to the flyer with a tan Trade Federation battle droid arm - the same part as Martian arms. Plane's bottom. Perhaps, these black circles are anti-gravity devices too: Excavation Searcher Flyer Bottom by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The flyer without its pilot - the control screen can be seen: Excavation Searcher Flyer Without Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This small aircraft can be placed under Searcher's hull even with the pilot (though mech's steps and Martian "air" currents will shake him hard): Excavation Searcher Flyer Stored With Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Vega uses the flyer to locate meteorites, and Pollux with Canopus will gather them in the Excavation Searcher: Search for Meteorites by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Hangar Bay/Meteorite Processing Station The set contains a structure - a bay where the collected meteorites can be unloaded and processed: Excavation Searcher Hangar Bay by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Its roof is decorated with the same claw as the Excavation Searcher. It looks very similar to two other mech bays included in Aero Tube Hangar - sloped roofs, sand purple arches, docking axles and supports with red lights: Martian Hangar Bays by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr But there are differences too: Searcher's bay is shorter, and roof lights are placed a bit differently. It also has a rear section for meteorites. The Excavation Searcher can be docked to its bay with axles. To do this, all leg hinges should be placed at right angles: Excavation Searcher Connected by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The axles of the bay are connected to the holes in Searcher's hull: Excavation Searcher Bay Connection by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The tail claw can be turned, and the roof can be raised to unload the meteorites: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Arrives by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr A meteorite can slide to a container (it's a block part): Excavation Searcher Meteorite Station by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Here Vega can scan it to find biodium and even extract the ore using hi-tech equipment. And here are the uncovered meteorites! Biodium, the spaceborn valuable energy source for Martians, can be seen inside them: Excavation Searcher Meteorites by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The biodium crystals have different colors: red and blue. They both are fused to orange rock. Biodium meteorites were included only in 3 sets: in this one, in Aero Tube Hangar (one with blue crystal) and in Solar Explorer starship (one with green crystal). Unfortunately, this high-energy ore is represented only by transparent tubes, but there were no translucent crystals in 2001 (though there was CHROME!!!). The processing station has a computer panel: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Station Computer by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The slide for meteorites holds on hinges that don't take fixed positions (the rube is removed for illustrative purposes): Excavation Searcher Meteorite Slide by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The straightened slide: Excavation Searcher Meteorite Slide Straight by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Here turquoise grills can be seen - they are unique for this set in LoM, but were also used in Rock Raiders and Technic series. An aero tube connector from 7317 can be attached to the bay: Excavation Searcher Bay With Hangar Ports by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It's done! The Aero Tube Hangar is now complete! All three exits now lead to mech bays! Aero Tube Hangar With Excavation Searcher Bay by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The only one shortcoming is that the connector between two tubes now floats in air, but the tubes can be turned such a way that it will stand on the ground. Transformations Now let's see the modular structure of this set. It can be disassembled into 7 parts (Lord Voldemort approves!): Excavation Searcher Disassembled by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It's proposed to make a small mech from the cockpit and front legs, and another one - from the tail with the container: Excavation Searcher Two Parts by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr I even like the cockpit-based mech - it looks funny. However, the separated tail is weird and can easily fall. I would like to put the cockpit above the front legs - now we can get a centaur without annoyingly bulging pins: Excavation Searcher Centaur by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In this configuration, the cockpit becomes mobile and can rotate up to 90 degrees. I like this variation even more than the defalut one. By combining the elements of this set and Recon Mech RP, you can try to assemble a very looooooong "mech train": Excavation Searcher and Recon Mech RP by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr However, the 7314 instruction proposes to connect the rear part with a long light-grey bricks, so this model becomes a fully-fledged alternate build. I didn't disassemble the set just to do that. By removing Searcher's cockpit and connecting the rear part with an extra Technic bridge, such construction can be achieved: Excavation Searcher and Recon Mech RP Fusion 2 by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Unfortunately, the Recon Mech's cockpit leans down under its weight. The extra parts: 5 spare rubber bands, a black Technic bridge to connect parts from different sets and a red light (there were also Martian and droid arms, but I removed them before filming this review): Excavation Searcher Extra Parts by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Pros/Cons Pros: + Original design + Size + High mobility + Contains a part of Aero Tube Hangar + Interesting and unusual parts + Modular structure + No stickers + Usable box Cons: - Typical color scheme - Connecting hinges - Legs don't bend in knees - Leg and flyer nose prints have slightly different colors - A bulging top pin in the standard configuration - it can be easily eliminated by building a "centaur" - Hard to find Bonus (with Aero Tube Hangar) Once upon a time, in the Aero Tube Hangar... Excavation Searcher at Aero Tube Hangar by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr - The intelligence reports two meteorites in Tharsis mountains. Pollux, Canopus, Vega, go there in the Excavation Searcher and bring biodium ore. - Right away, General Riegel! Pneumo pump, destination point - Excavation Searcher bay! Pollux Ready by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pneumatic pump started working, and Pollux's hypersled disappeared in a translucent tube of the Hangar. After that, Canopus prepared to his turn. - Pneumo pump, destination point - Excavation Searcher bay! Canopus Ready by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr After Canopus, Vega laid down in his hypersled. The powerful pump placed all three Martians into the tube, and the mechanism connected it to the required aero track: Vega Ready, Pump Is Working by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The air flow changed its direction, and all crew members rushed in their hypersleds to the destination point: Three Martians in the Tube by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The tube passed through the entire Martian base, and a human astronaut looked cautiously at Hangar's work, driving his Rover. Three Martians in the Tube by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Finally. the Martians arrived at the bay and cheerfully walked to their faithful mech: Excavation Searcher Crew Arrives by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Pollux climbed into the cockpit, started the engine, and the mech undocked from the bay. Canopus took his place near the crane, and Vega laid down in the empty meteorite container as he couldn't find a place to sit: Excavation Searcher Departs by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr After several Martian hours, the walker returned to the base, loaded with meteorites. Vega flew his aircraft that helped him find these rocks with precious ore. Excavation Searcher Returns With Meteorites by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Using Searcher's tail claw, Canopus moved the meteorites to the bay, and they slided to the processing station, where Vega prepared the biodium extraction tools: Excavation Searcher Returns With Meteorites by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Thank you for reading and watching! If you like the review, leave a comment.
Review: 78777 Alien Discovery
Farseer Petriel posted a topic in LEGO Sci-FiHello again Eurobricks! I present you the review of a rare LEGO set from 2001 Life on Mars series - or even 3 sets in one box, to be precise: Alien Discovery by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr They are two promotional (Double Hover and Rover) and one "common" (Red Planet Cruiser) sets. Life on Mars is one of my favorite LEGO series. Its main idea is interesting even in our times - humans and Martians do not fight but live in peace and harmony. Besides, this series was very rich in rare colors and uncommon parts, and it can be viewed as the primogenitor of all LEGO walking mechs. This set (being "new" and sealed, of course) was a birthday present from my friend. It was a very pleasant surprise for me, as now I have got almost all Martian sets from the series. So, let's go! Or, as Tenth Doctor says, allons-y! Box The box looks unusual, as it has slots for lesser boxes with sets inside: Alien Discovery Box by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Such "3 in 1" packs were sold only in America. The depicted astronaut says that it was a set of special value. This minifigure, the silhouette of Mars and the red background create the atmosphere of distant space and scientific discoveries which was iconic for this series. The back side of the box has the set images and the LEGO Club advertisement: Alien Discovery Box Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The ad looks unusual for Europeans as it was targeted at American consumers. It should also be noted that the green background has the blueprints of a completely different Life on Mars set - Recon Mech RP. The big box without small ones looks like a photo frame: Alien Discovery Box Without Small Boxes by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Different sides of the big box: set images, a Club ad and warnings: Alien Discovery Box Sides by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Three little boxes viewed separately: Alien Discovery Set Boxes by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr They have the images of the sets on the red Mars background. Written names and pieces counts indicate that this is the American version. The back sides of the promo set boxes have combined Life on Mars posters, and the box of Red Planet Cruiser depicts its functionality: Alien Discovery Set Boxes Back Sides by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Different sides of the boxes: Alien Discovery Boxes Sides by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Red Planet Cruiser pilot is named on the box (Altair), while the other minifigures are not. Instructions and Booklets The cover of Red Planet Cruiser instruction: Red Planet Cruiser Instruction by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr On the first pages, the construction begins: Red Planet Cruiser Instruction First Page by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The back cover has all basic sets from Life on Mars in boxes: Red Planet Cruiser Instruction Back Cover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The instructions for smaller sets are folded sheets of paper: Double Hover and Rover Instructions by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Their back sides are absolutely identical: Double Hover and Rover Instructions Back Sides by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In both promo sets, these small posters are included (I don't remember which poster corresponds to which set). One poster depicts three Martians (Altair, Canopus and Cassiopeia), and another one depicts more Martians and the Assistant: Life on Mars Posters by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr There is nothing on their back sides. Besides the posters, all sets have such advertisements (they are identical, and here both sides are shown): LEGO 2001 Ads by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The profiles to attain LEGO Club membership in North America (US and Canadian flags are depicted): LEGO Club Ads by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Minifigures Each set has one minifigure. Totally there are three figures: two Martians and one Earthling: Alien Discovery Minifigures English by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The name of the Double Hover Martian is unknown. He has the same face as Vega, but his body and legs are colored differently, which is atypical for the series. He is one of three nameless Martians included only in promo sets. This Martian can be found only in Double Hover. On the other hand, we know the name of Red Planet Cruiser pilot - Altair. He is a Martian child. He likes listening to weird music and flying at high speed. His name means "the flying eagle", very much like the name of Altair star. His eyes are larger and cuter than Vega's, and his face has nostrils and freckles. Altair is also the only Martian with hair - he has a very funny red forelock! This figure is unique for 7311. The Assistant is an unnamed crew member of the human starship called Solar Explorer. He wears a futuristic spacesuit and a helmet with a blue visor. His face with glasses and a microphone is standard for that years. It's amazing how his bare hands withstand Martian cold weather (-40 degrees Celsius!), or he wears yellow gloves. This Assistant figure was present in two promo sets. The version included in basic 7310 set has a chrome blue visor. For my entire life I thought that Altair's suit is yellow - it looked yellow in photos and comics from Samodelki magazine. This is not true since Altair's body and legs are lime, and this can be easily seen if you bring a human minifigure: Altair Is Not Yellow! by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Assistant has no print on his back: Alien Discovery Minifigures Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr From his back he looks like some fantasy knight: Space Knight? by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr But from his front he doesn't: Assistant and Grand Marshal by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Sets Let's move to the main part of the review - namely to the sets. There are three of them - Double Hover, Rover and Red Planet Cruiser: Alien Discovery Sets by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Rover Rover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Number 7309 (other versions: 7300, 1413). The Rover represents nothing special - just a small vehicle with an ore detector. Behind the pilot here are an antenna and two side holders, one of which is occupied by the locator. The Rover is controlled by an ordinary steering wheel: Rover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The wheels are placed on spinning Technic pins: Rover Wheel Construction by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Rover without pilot: Rover Without Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Double Hover Double Hover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Number 7310 (other versions: 7301, 1414). The Double Hover is as small and simlple as the Rover, yet it looks more exotic, because it is a Martian invention. It's something like a hovering scooter or sleigh: Double Hover Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pilot holds the handles, upon which the printed control panel is attached. The set has no stickers at all - the round part under which the engine is apparently located is printed too. The color scheme is the same as in Red Planet Cruiser (it will be shown later) - green, sand green and a bit of orange. The "ski" of Double Hover can be lifted. Apparently the pilot can use this to regulate the altitude: Double Hover Engine Lift by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr "Obey me, Earthlings!" Obey Me! by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Without the pilot, the Double Hover doesn't look so beautiful: Double Hover Without Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Red Planet Cruiser Red Planet Cruiser by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Number 7311. The Cruiser is the biggest set in this box and the only one that belongs to the common set line. It is the smallest of the "usual" Life on Mars Martian sets. It's hard to understand why this vehicle is called Cruiser - it doesn't look like one. It's a weird one-legged hybrid between a mech and a flyer: Red Planet Cruiser by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It's hardly understandable how he moves. By jumping? Or is the leg needed only to push off the ground and later fly on jet engines? This leg is particularly flexible due to three joints (larger mechs have only two of them). The problem is that it's difficult to pose the Cruiser without falling. But it can crawl like a caterpillar, for instance: Red Planet Cruiser Caterpillar by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr "Forward, to the stars!" To The Stars! by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The leg can be straightened to turn this weird mech into a small flyer: Red Planet Cruiser Flying by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr In this mode, it flies with two wing-based jet engines. Probably there is the third engine inside the leg. The round piece with flame image is the Cuiser's symbol and isn't included in other sets, except for accessory pack. The cruiser's cockpit is open and has manipulators on its sides. Most likely they are sensors and scanners, but the orange dish may be a weapon: Red Planet Cruiser Cockpit by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Cruiser from the bottom: Red Planet Cruiser Upside Down by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr This model has pleasant colors. Grey and sand green with small inclusions of green and orange look good. The cockpit without the pilot: Red Planet Cruiser Without Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It can be seen that the control panel is attached to the similar part as Martian arms, but grey. The Cruiser contained several extra parts (extra droid and Martian arms mistakingly are not shown here but still were present): Red Planet Cruiser Extra Parts by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The Cruiser can be united with the Double Hover, and they look like one vehicle (this was Artlego's idea): Red Planet Cruiser With Double Hover by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Red Planet Cruiser, Double Hover and other Martian flyers: Martian Aircraft by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Rover, Cruiser and Double Hover among other Martian mechs (7314, 7316 and 7317): Martian Mechs (With Rover) by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr I need only Red Planet Protector (7313) for the full Martian collection. Pros/Cons Pros: + Special value, 3 sets in 1 box + Good color scheme + Rare minifigures + Mobility of Red Planet Cruiser and Double Hover + No stickers Cons: - Weird Red Planet Cruiser design - Simple Rover design - Hard to find Thank you for reading and watching! If you like the review, please, leave a comment. The author will be glad to hear your opinions. And if someone wonders why I'm doing these reviews, I'll answer that this is for history.
Review: 7314 Recon-Mech RP
Farseer Petriel posted a topic in LEGO Sci-FiHello there! Recently I've become a lucky owner of almost all LEGO Life on Mars Martian sets, and I want to make reviews of them some day. Previously I owned only Aero Tube Hangar and Recon-Mech RP, but published only the review of the first set here. Now it's time to show you the second one. - A meteorite is detected south of the hangar. It is probably rich in biodium. Antares, bring it to the base. - Acknowledged, General Riegel. Pneumo pump, destination point - Recon-Mech RP bay. Antares in Aero Tube Hangar by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Recon Mech RP Parked by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Antares near the Cockpit by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr - Full speed ahead! Mech Deployed by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Set Name: Recon-Mech RP Set Number: 7314 Year of Release: 2001 Number of Pieces: 194 Number of Minifigures: 1 (Martian) Price: $ 20.00 ($ 0.10 per brick) Recon-Mech RP (the acronym probably stands for Red Planet) is made for scouting and meteorite gathering. It cannot take as much meteorites as Excavation Searcher (7316, now I own this one too!), but is more mobile and has a burner for ore extraction. Life on Mars is the first LEGO series that contains walking mechs, so it can be seen as a predecessor of Exo-Force. Box The box is rather usual, without any special features. It has a set name, a pieces count and a reminder that it is a building toy but not a cauliflower soup. This means that I got an American variation of the set (meanwhile, my Aero Tube Hangar was European one and did not contain writings on the box). Recon Mech RP Box by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr On the back side, the transformation process is shown (I will demonstrate it later): Recon Mech RP Box Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Instruction Booklet The instruction is small and bears the same image as the box does: Recon Mech RP Instruction Front by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The first pages: Recon Mech RP Instruction First Page by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The end of the assembly: Recon Mech RP Instruction Assembly Completed by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Then the transformation is shown in steps: The last pages contain the combinations of different sets, and one of them is a hybrid between Martian and human technology: Recon Mech RP Instruction Combination by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr On the back cover all LoM line in boxes is depicted: Recon Mech RP Instruction LoM Ad by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Minifigure This set contains only one minifigure, and this is Antares the Martian: Antares the Martian by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr As the others of his kind, he is named after a star. Antares is a healer. He also likes to invent and created the Aero Tube Hangar. His favorite food is vegetable cubes (I don't know which vegetables do they have on Mars, but still). Antares has large, clever and slightly tired eyes. He wears some kind of cap on his head. This figure is unique for this set. Model The Recon-Mech RP looks cute and has pleasant colors: Recon Mech RP by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Why do not LEGO produce sand red parts now? The mech with its little brother from Aero Tube Hangar: Recon Mech RP with Aero Tube Hangar Mech by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The pilot sits in the cockpit with transparent windscreen: Recon Mech RP Cockpit by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The windscreen can be lifted off: Recon Mech RP Cockpit Windscreen Open by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Antares holds the handles on the control panel: Antares Acrobatics by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Although it is rather difficult to seat him properly, this is the best way to fix a Martian (or battle droid) minifigure in the cockpit. The left and right flashlights are a bit different: Recon Mech RP Pilot by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr It should also be noted that the Mech's arms have the same symbol as on the red/pink Hangar bay. The cockpit without the pilot: Recon Mech RP Cockpit Without Antares by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The arms are very flexible. The tubes are fixed well and do not constrain the movement. The right arm wields a burner for ore extraction from meteorites. It can also be used as a flamethrower: Recon Mech RP Burner by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Here a rather unpleasant construction defect can be seen: the red pipe is not fixed properly and freely moves on the dark gray axle, and the burner jet is not connected firmly and can fall off easily: Recon Mech RP Burner by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The left hand is equipped with a claw for meteorite gathering: Recon Mech RP Claw by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Meteorites are very important for Martian civilization, since they contain energy-rich biodium ore. The claw is as iconic Life on Mars part as transparent futuristic cockpits. Two parts of it are pulled together by a rubber band: Recon Mech RP Claw by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Its shape is perfectly suited for meteorites (the meteorite not included and taken from 7317): Recon Mech RP Claw with Meteorite by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The legs are movable too, though they do not bend in knees: Recon Mech RP Legs by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Two holes are designed to connect the mech to the Hangar bay. The feet have prints, not stickers. An interesting design - the hips have ladders for the pilot to climb: Recon Mech RP Leg Joints by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Behind the cockpit there is something like a fuel tank with signal lights (again, its roof is a print): Recon Mech RP Back by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr The mech body can rotate in any direction: Recon Mech RP Turning Body by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Despite the legs being flexible, it is hard to pose the mech without falling down. However, the next photo illustrates its capabilities. OP, OP, OP! OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE!!! Recon Mech RP GANGNAM STYLE by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Now let's talk about transformation. The mech can be disassembled into these huge parts: Recon Mech RP Disassembled by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Combining these blocks a bit differently, you can get this weird flying machine: Recon Mech RP Flying Mode by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed, because this is not proper transformation like in 2005 Alpha Team sets and requires some reassembly. There are no extra parts, except for some additional rubber bands and a black Technic part of unknown purpose: Recon Mech RP Extra Parts by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Pros/Cons Pros: + Style and color scheme + High mobility + Interesting and non-standard parts + NO STICKERS! Cons: - Burner construction - Legs do not bend in knees and are hard to pose - Transformation requires disassembly and rearrangement of parts - No meteorites Bonus - General, I have found the meteorite. Recon Mech RP and Meteorite by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr Antares tries to grab it with the claw, but suddenly... - CAW!!! Someone Steals the Meteorite by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr - Oh no! I thought it has CHI energy, not biodium! CAW! by Farseer Eldar, on Flickr (It is ironic that the set with Razcal was new when I filmed this set. Now it is a rarity too - not so rare as Life on Mars, but still.) Thank you for reading and watching! And what can you say about this set?
Review: 7317 Aero Tube Hangar
Farseer Petriel posted a topic in LEGO Sci-FiHello 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?