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Found 7 results

  1. Mr Maniac

    Review: Deep Sea Refuge

    Hello everyone! Long-time lurker, (relatively) first-time poster! With LEGO's latest Deep Sea lineup having taken longer than planned to come to the U.S. (wonder if there's any world events that might explain the delay?), I decided to browse through some of the old 1997 Divers sets earlier in the summer to see if anything caught my eye. Sure enough, I happened upon a MISB edition of Deep Sea Refuge on eBay. Having played with it at a friend's house as a kid, I decided to snap it up. But with the newest sets having a state-of-the-art underwater research station, does this original model still hold up? Let's find out as we go beyond the sea (just kidding, we're going under it. Sorry Bobby Darin.) Info Set # - 6441 Name - Deep Sea Refuge Theme/Subtheme - Town/Divers Year - 1997 Piece Count - 433 Minifigures - 5 Price - MSRP $60 US Links Brickset, Peeron, Bricklink, Bricksafe Box Aside from a few minor dents and scrapes, the box still looks pretty good. Love that sunshine pattern on the seafloor. Definitely way more inviting than the box art for Aquazone, Atlantis or recent Deep Sea sets. It gives off that peaceful tropical island vibe that quite a few of the 90s sets gave me, although it probably helps that the only foliage available at the time were palm trees or those little conical and spherical versions. We also have the very cool Divers subtheme logo in the upper right-hand corner, along with an old price tag sticker that's still on the box. I won't say how much I paid for this thing unless asked, but I can assure you it was far from the original $59.99 shown here. That said, that logo continues to be great, reeking of atmosphere. You can practically hear the Jaws theme playing as Mr. Mask and Snorkel here looks to the surface and sees the shark silhouette, wondering if it saw him, if he can make it to safety... Moving on, the back of the box gives you some very fun alternative LEGO models, including a goofy little water slide and diving board setup, along with a larger (and smaller) undersea research station. Overall, they all seem pretty good to me, even if the boat on the largest alternative model picture looks a little strange with the bubble windshield. But that's the fun of LEGO. Now here's the good stuff. Like most boxes from this age, we have a great inner flap with more set pictures and some flavor text to help unleash your inner Jacques Cousteau, which I transcribed for all of you lovely people. "The ocean depths hold many mysteries and dangers. Sharks, stingrays and possibly sunken treasure! With building sets from the LEGO SYSTEM Divers collection, only you, the LEGO MANIAC, will find the secrets of the deep." The same flavor text is also available in French and Spanish for those in the multilingual crowd. We also have the customary (for the time, at least) plastic window which has some of the specialized parts on the left, with a random assortment of parts in bags to the right, complete with fun little scenes of the divers trying to outswim an octopus while a possible Captain Redbeard shipwreck lingers in the background. I understand why LEGO doesn't do this anymore, but man, it'd be great to bring this back. The top of the box feature some attractive water patterns, complete with rays of sun hitting the waves and the top of the ship's antenna and flag, which suggests the boat sank. Guess the pilot should've read the legal notice on the side of the box, which clearly states "NOT FOR USE IN WATER." The bottom of the box has some more of that big beautiful water pattern, complete with a porthole-like window design for viewing the diver minifigures and all that sweet, sweet animal life. Plus a now-useless barcode. Finally, the sides of the box both feature another angle of the set, with a captured shark and a sawfish that's getting a little too close for comfort for one of the divers. Once you open it, the seafaring fun doesn't stop at the exterior of the box, with a blue tray that helps contribute to the aquatic atmosphere. Take all the bags out of the right partition and you get the instructions plus a small catalogue which shows the hottest sets of 1997. Had to take a photo of the Divers page, as it looks great, with none of the obvious computer backgrounds that most promotional art has now. Instructions No surprises here. It's about the same as the box front, except without the name or age range. On the back are those wonderfully goofy alternative models again, along with a small blue tag in the lower left corner, which would be cut out and sent to LEGO for a magazine subscription. It may be repetitive, but I'll take this over Win-Shouty Kid any day of the week. Here's a random page in the actual instruction booklet. As you can see, no call-outs for individual parts, although submodels do have little yellow boxes. This can make for a more challenging build if you're not paying attention, though it's what I'm used to, so no problems there. Given the limited color palette, you get very good color differentiation, along with some fun graphics of schools of fish swimming around behind the instructions. Pieces Here's the eight bags that'll make up the whole set, still freshly sealed from all the way back in 1997. While LEGO doesn't use the bags with holes in them anymore (presumably to ensure the parts stay fresh), they still have a nice tactile quality to them. As far as loose parts go, all we've got here is one long string that will make up the winch and one lone LURP, which were everywhere back in the day. Two tan 32x16-stud baseplates make up the last loose parts in the box. Not as exciting as some other aquatic baseplates, but does provide plenty of room for staging little dioramas. Here's my first attempt at creating a photo grid in PhotoShop, with four of the bags open. Again, much like the instructions, no neat and orderly numbered bags like they make now. Chaos reigns when it comes to what parts are in what bag, so you just have to open all of them. Depending on your point of view, it can be either incredibly frustrating or incredibly rewarding to scrounge around until you find the exact piece you're looking for. And here's my second attempt at creating a photo grid in PhotoShop. With another four bags open, we can get started...almost. In case you couldn't see what was in the one plastic window, which so ably displayed all the cool new parts from this subtheme, worry not, as I took another photo of the parts after peeling the film away. We get some more sea life, some seaweed, two minifigures that have been tragically bisected by the sawfish and a few printed parts. As for the parts of interest, we have not one, not two, but three light-blue bubble windscreens, which were the most common versions according to Bricklink and mostly appeared in Divers sets (and were always excellent to have). We also get some neat modified bricks which were quite rare, only appearing in two sets in white and five sets total. The white and yellow panels 4x3x3 with portholes are also somewhat rare, having only appeared in five sets total, and only two sets in the color white, both from the Divers theme. As for the white panel 4x4x6 concave, these parts only appeared in seven sets, including some older ones from the space theme. Both the white and yellow 3x3x3 corner convex parts are probably one the more unique items here, having solely appeared in divers sets, while the minifigure handjet was sprinkled among a number of themes and subthemes (no pun intended), including an Aquazone set and Alpha Team: Mission Deep Sea one. Perhaps one of the more surprising finds here was the bow top, 6x6x1, which only appeared in two Divers sets. All told, quite a catch. As befits LEGO's generosity, we get two separate DSS for this set. I opted to leave off the marine life ones that go on the LURP since we now have actual molds to fill the gap, but I ended up using all the ones on the larger sheet, as it helps give the set some more character. Fortunately, LEGO's not a complete monster, and does give us plenty of excellent printed parts to make up for all the stickers, including control panels, a diving flag and three fun sea life tiles that will be part of a play feature. While I don't think it's to the same level as Adventurers, we still get lots of nice accessories for the minifigures to use as they explore the depths, along with two baseball hats to wear when they're not. Minifigures After getting the minifigures into emergency surgery (otherwise known as my hands), they're back together and ready to go! While they work well enough as generic figs to play around with, the May/June 1997 issue of Mania Magazine saw fit to give them all names that, depending on your perspective, are either endearingly silly or irritatingly cute. From left to right, we have Cora Reef (I think), twins Tug Topside and R.C. Scooter, along with Diver Dan and Scuba Sandy. As befits minifigures from this era, no backprinting exists for any of these characters, although the front of their uniforms are on-point, with great little sub logos that suggests a level of financing and organization the blue divers from the same subtheme simply don't have. Here's the gang with all their uniforms and scuba equipment on. Now we have a little more differentiation among the identical ones, and some of the flippers come into play. Love how the red and black flippers contribute to the overall look of the uniform. A rear shot of Cora and Dan with their oxygen tanks on. Kind of wish LEGO still used these ones, instead of the dual tanks from space sets, which are smaller and less detailed. We also get plenty of aquatic life for this set, including two stingrays, the happiest (and rarest) dolphin I've seen, the common sawfish and octopus, plus a white shark that may or may not be great. Hard to say with the newer one from this year. The Build We start by building the boat, which fits in nicely with the color scheme of the overall set. Even the 1x4 red brick works given the color band that makes up part of the actual Refuge structure. Build it up some more with a crane boom and some steering... ...then after tying off the string to the winch and hook, which is one of the two most frustrating steps in the world... ...you'll have a boat! Though something's still missing. So, after the second most frustrating step in the world... The boat is complete! While I don't have too many of the larger brick-built boats from this theme, the design of the cabin is particularly nice with the raised platform for the sonar dish. Not to mention the stern of the boat works better than the one from Shark Cage Cove, which always seemed a little low. Some other angles of the boat. One thing I like here is how the number on the side corresponds to the set number, something that still gets done anytime you pick up a set that has a vehicle in it. Now to move onto the main course that is the Deep Sea Refuge itself. I was surprised the instructions had you start on the main model immediately after building one of the two vehicles, but so it goes. We start by building the base. The blue hinge brick in the center is part of a play function that we'll come back to later. Add some flooring and the all-important chrome silver knives... ...followed by some furniture and hooks that will make up the changing room for divers... ...and we're well on our way. But first, a sub-model in the form of an X-ray machine. Obviously sleeker versions can be made now, but it works just fine and fits in nicely. Now it's starting to take shape. The machine on the opposite side of the X-ray machine is supposed to be a microscope, though it may not be the best version I've seen. The changing room for divers looks good, and fits all the extra scuba accessories that come with the set. Once that's complete, the Refuge gets closed up and we start working on the rock formation. Add a LURP and a roof to the Refuge... ...and we're done! While Sebastian and Flounder may be missing, there's still plenty of room on the two 32x16-stud baseplates for the sea life and divers we do get from the set. Some more angles of the Refuge itself. While it's quite bulbous, the shaping actually works for the structure, even if the greenery is a little samey compared to the diversity of parts we're spoiled with now. Now that we've gotten through the appetizer and main course, time for dessert, in the shape of a yellow submarine. We start with the base... Add in some branded compartments and that fishy computer screen in rear... ...and the sub starts to take shape once we add the last bubble windscreen and the porthole panels. Much like Aquazone sets, this sub comes with two moveable arms, even if it's missing a magnet hand. Unlike Aquazone sets, the joints that make up the arms seem to be slightly sturdier and less breakable, since they use fewer finger hinge parts. Guess time will tell if they break as readily. Also of note are the parts they use for the hands of the arms. I've only seen the towball piece used as part of a winch before, so it's cool to see a different use for it here. And there we are, one yellow submarine! While not as fancy as the one used by The Beatles, it still pops nicely. Another two angles of the sub. If you can ignore my crooked sticker placement on the rear and the shoddy PhotoShop job I did, you'll see this is one sleek machine, a far cry from the Crystal Explorer Sub's bulbousness. The fence pieces on top, along with the light gray bar adds some nice greebling detail. Hats aside, the two spare parts here include a Technic axle and a trans-clear 1x1 round stud. Pretty basic. Play Features While lacking in such traditional fun-filled action features from our "enlightened" age like flick-fire missiles or stud shooters, there's still some good solid stuff here. The most interesting feature that springs to mind is how easy it is to get inside the Refuge. With two hinge bricks, the structure easily swings open. There we go! Plenty of room for Sandy to do her research and for Diver Dan to get a new oxygen tank. Here you can see the cleverness of using trans-light-blue for the bubble windscreens, making it seem as if they're actually underwater, instead of an ad hoc photo studio. The placement of seaweed right outside both of the windscreens is also a solid design choice, giving the illusion of swimming to a stingray on the left and Cora on the right. So I'm cheating here, but didn't want to figure out the proper exposure for a printed tile on black under a dark blue window, so I'm stealing from the instructions. All three tiles, much like the Exploriens gimmick (and maybe a few others) look scrambled under normal light, but once you look at them through the dark-blue window, you can see bones and other fun-filled secrets. Curious about what the Refuge looks like when closed up? Simply open up the roof and you'll be able to see the structure the way the minifigures would. Kudos to the designer for making the entrance to the Refuge four studs by four studs to fit an actual minifigure, although they lose a few points once you realize there's no easy way into the structure given the placement of the struts. The bubble windscreens are also big enough to accommodate a minifigure as well, which probably comes in handy if you want to do some lounging, and can open up. Much like the Refuge, accessibility is the name of the game with the sub too. The bubble windscreen opens wide to place R.C. in his comfy blue chair... ...and thanks to four hinge bricks in the rear, it's a snap to place another minifigure in the back, although this is clearly the less comfortable position given how there's no chair. And if a diver finds something they want to stow away safely, all they have to do is open one of the two boxes on either side of the sub. Admittedly, I don't know if the printed tiles would fit in here, but the coins definitely would, along with whatever other knicknacks they happen to come across. The arms on the sub are also just as capable as a minifigure's, and can grasp a number of things. You'll also notice that there's plenty of room to display the sub on the baseplate without needing to take something else out. And thanks to the miracle of trans-clear bricks, I can make it seem as if the boat is floating on the surface of the water, where our last few play features reside. But before I forget, the boat does have a nice little compartment near the bow for placing spearguns, hats, and whatever other accessories aren't in play. While lacking a hatch on the top to seal the compartment (along with an accessible way for the pilot to get to the compartment short of clambering around the outside of the bow), it's still nice to have. Last but not least is the boat's winch, which has plenty of string to reach the (imaginary) seabed. That 41L string piece can also attach quite easily to the roof of the Refuge, even if it's not exactly clear what it's function is. If you're a fan of the movie The Abyss, you could treat it as an electronic tether and recreate the scene where the drilling platform slides deeper into the oceanic trench by pushing the set off the table. Final Thoughts Pricing and Value - According to Brick Insights, which I use for this sort of thing because I'm lazy, the price-per-part for this set is $0.22, which is a slight improvement over its price-per-part back in 1997, when it was at $0.24, which makes it good overall. That said, I think this set was still worth it even if the score was worse, given how many rare and exclusive parts you get in this set. Speaking of... Pieces - You get three bubble windscreens, eight panels with portholes, some parts that are nice to have such as an anchor and a chain, along with plenty of seaweed, string and sea animals. I'd say that's a pretty good deal, especially when you look at how much you get, and the rarity of some of these parts. Design/Build - This might be one of the more satisfying builds I've gone through recently. With two vehicles, you have something to show for your efforts without it taking too much time. With a lack of small plates and tiles, you can quickly assemble one model after another, and it's all well thought out. The sub is longer than some of the other ones from this...ahem...subtheme, but still looks sleek with plenty of room to access the interior, and the Refuge is similar. No matter if your hands are large or dainty, LEGO made sure grubby digits of all sizes can get into the Refuge. While lacking some of the more homely touches that make up 2020's Ocean Exploration Base such as a bed, coffee maker or lamp, this one has the edge by actually making it seem watertight, something that is frustratingly lacking in more recent underwater sets. And the boat is a nice addition that didn't need to be included in a set whose main focus is underwater anyway, so adding one in is a nice touch, which I can't say for the more recent line. Playability - This review took me a little longer than planned, since once the Refuge itself was complete, it was hard to get back on track and finish the sub. There's so much to do, with all the divers, accessories and sea life that you can have a number of adventures and not once get tired. Swoosh the boat. Swoosh the sub. Swoosh the aquatic animals into the Refuge. Even if this is the only set you have, it's still enough to have a good time (although I might have to recommend picking up a set that comes with a shark cage). Verdict: There's a reason this is a flagship set, one that, judging by The Brickster's review, is still widely loved and appreciated. If you compare the more recent Ocean Exploration Base to this set, it's almost no contest in terms of what you get. LEGO Divers may not always sell as strongly in the aftermarket as other retired themes, but it's well worth your while to seek this set out. Heck, it even integrates quite nicely with more modern underwater City subthemes, yellow colorschemes and all. While this set wasn't the first one from this subtheme I was looking to buy, when I saw it, I figured it was worth the price. And boy was it ever. I suspect this will stay in my collection for quite some time. Thanks for reading! Comments and questions always welcome!
  2. I don't know if anyone else remembers when @Sebeus I posted LDD images of his Lego Ideas Submarine about 5 years ago, but it inspired me to take a stab at making something similar in real bricks, with a number of modifications to make it look more like an actual WWII German midget sub called the Seehund (the sail design & external torpedo racks on my version are heavily based on what was actually used on the Seehund-class). I completed the LDD mock-up about 2 years ago, but various circumstances, namely trying to scrape enough money to hire a lawyer to get divorced from my ex-wife & my mom passing away last year after a long battle with cancer, always ended up preventing me from being able to buy the parts I needed off BrickLink until earlier this year. So, without further ado, I present: The CSS Piranha SSM-1 Lead boat in the Piranha-class midget submarines used by the Neo-Confederate Navy Piranha Starboard Side by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr From Jayne's Ships, 2118 edition: "Due to increased success of Federal Republic & Lone Star naval bombardment of Neo-Confederate coastal cities, the New Confederate States of America government realized that they'd need some cheap, relatively fast & stealthy means of coastal defense, thus the Piranha-class midget subs were born. Equipped with an air-independent drive able to operate submerged for 18 days with fully-charged fuel cells, and packing two MK-54 heavy torpedoes, the small, two-man boats proved their worth when they sunk a Federal Navy frigate sailing close to the Alabama coast in an attempt to bombard Mobile with its 3" coil guns." Piranha Hatch by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr Top view of the Piranha, with external torpedo racks visible & hatch open. In the nose of the sub are twin, repeating harpoon launchers that used compressed air to launch explosive-tipped harpoons at any sea monsters attacking the sub. The sub uses harpoons instead of lasers for discouraging overly ambitious sea life to conserve the limited power of its hybrid bio-diesel/hydrogen fuel cell Air-Independent Drive. Torpedoes Away! by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr "While these subs were originally designed with coastal defense in mind, a task they're well-suited for, Captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach of the Heavy Cruiser, CSS Baton Rouge found a way to turn them into effective offensive weapons: He simply removed 2 of the ship's boats from the port-side boat davits & secured one of these subs in their place, extending its operational range to wherever the fusion-powered cruiser could take it. Since then, all Neo-Confederate Mobile-class Heavy Cruisers have had Captain (or rather Commodore, since that idea earned him a promotion) Teach's modification applied, making these already infamous 'pocket battleships' even more of a pain in the allied navies' necks." Piranha Interior Aft by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr The 2-man subs are equipped with a combined engineering & torpedo control station in the aft (next to the single bunk for whomever is off-duty to get 6 hours of sleep while the other crew member pilots the sub. Both stations are only manned when the sub has located a target for its heavy torpedoes). Piranha Interior Forward by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr The pilot's station in the forward section of the boat also has the controls for the harpoon launchers, so that any sea serpents or kraken thinking the sub would be a tasty snack can be dispatched without having to wake the other crew member. Hope you enjoyed this project, and as a nice little bonus pic, here's the sub on display at BrickFair, VA, my first time attending as a registered participant :D My Stuff by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr
  3. Hello! I'm thinking of building a Balao-class sumbarine to honor a submarine that I spent a night on a few days ago. I'm not sure, however, what pieces I should use or how to design the engines/torpedo rooms; do you have any advice? Thanks!
  4. So, I decided to dust off a project that had been set aside for quite some time, due to how the first version had some major design flaws (IMO) that I just couldn't seem to work out. Well, after going to BrickFair last month, I decided to take another crack at it (in between various RL stuff that has been keeping me constantly busy), and after tinkering around with a few ideas (one of which, even though I initially liked it best, I had to discard due to two of the key parts being discontinued & never publicly released in red), I finally came up with this. I figured that I should post it here, rather than in the Sci-Fi forum, because it's about as much inspired by the Atlantis & Aquazone themes as it is RL Navy stuff, so without further ado: Behold, the Federal Navy Ship Black Pearl, Black Seas Barracuda-class fusion-powered fast attack submarine for my crazy crossover sci-fi/fantasy LEGO setting. It is the third ship of the Black Seas Barracuda class SSF (Fusion-powered Fast-attack Submarines), the first two being the Black Seas Barracuda and the Jolly Roger (wonder if anyone will get the references), and all ships in the class are named after infamous pirate vessels. This one just happens to have the commander of its namesake vessel for its CO.... Improved FNS Black Pearl, Forward View by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr The FNS Black Pearl is mostly deployed as part of the Federal Republic of America Navy's Caribbean Squadron, patrolling the mostly lawless waters of the Caribbean League for pirates (conventional & submarine), hunting down notorious sea monsters and giving Neo-Confederate commercial shipping & commerce raiders nightmares. Improved FNS Black Pearl, Aft view by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr Armed with four twin-laser cannon turrets (for engaging airborne targets & smaller surface vessels while surfaced & close-by underwater threats when submerged), dual axially-mounted torpedo tubes (each can carry either one MK 50 Long-range sonar-guided heavy torpedo or two MK 49 short-range sonar guided medium torpedoes), as well as a remote recon probe (also serves as a remote active sonar platform) and sometimes Federal Special Operations Command Underwater Demolition Team members, these medium subs pack a mean punch for their size. Interior view, looking Forward by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr As is typical of most submarines, the interior is cramped, but provides adequate living for its crew. The forward-most compartment houses most of the air cylinders as well as an airlock for UDT divers & the remote probe to be deployed or retrieved. Interior View, Looking Aft by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr This sub's fusion power plant, in addition to providing electricity for propulsion & equipment, also is used to separate hydrogen & oxygen from water, thus the sub can remain submerged indefinitely, crew provisions being the only limiting factor (although some enterprising crews have been known to deploy their SOCOM UDT teams and/or remote drones to harvest seafood to extend their time below the surface when trying to remain undetected deep in enemy territory) Black Pearl Bridge cut-away by Ben/Laura Bonebrake, on Flickr The relatively minimalist bridge, where the captain & duty helmsman take the sub where it needs to go. (The periscope raises & lowers)) Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this LDD project. I DO fully intend to build this thing for real (and bring it to at least one Lego show), but unfortunately, my budget is such that I've only got the barest bit of the bottom section done as of yet. This build clocks in at over 860 pieces, most of which are rather small, so you can see how it could be a bit on the expensive side, however, it is getting my top priority for my LEGO budget from now until I have it finished.
  5. Zimunsk Ocean Expedition Part #1 Tags: Vehicle Space/sub <--not to sure, engineering, G06 place: G06 Zimunsk Ocean Expedition for Biomass rich for future research. Mrs. Smith has been tasked to work out the kinks of the new submarine research vesicle O-EV-003 dropped off on the planet G06 Zimunsk, we managed to find this shifting ocean and prepare our cargo ship (next story part) and drop the sub in. The waters here are dark, dark blue and offer little light but for now mrs. Smith can manage. and some regular lit shots of the sub: Cheers Thank you for looking comments always welcome Working on part 2 and 3 for this next two week break
  6. Hey folks! I just recieved a package yesterday with a set I longed for a long time and thought I put a review together. I was always a sucker for underwater themes and this submarine is one of my favourites, the Hydro Search Sub. It’s a member of the Aquazone theme line where Hydronauts and Stingrays were fighting for the crystal under the sea. I bought the set used without the box so unfortunately I can’t show it to you. Now let’s see what this set can offer to us… Set Information Set number: 6180 Number of Pieces: 273 (Some websites mention 289 parts but in most places I found 273) Number of minifigs: 4 Year of Release: 1998 Recommended Age: 8-12 Original Price: 50 USD Set I begin with the minifigs because they are awesome, mostly because of their kickass scuba equipment but the printing is great too. We have 3 hydronauts (aka the good guys) and a captive stingray. First I thought all 3 hydro faces are identical but I only noticed the differences when I browsed through these pictures . Also their torsos are different too, but none of them comes with back printing. Now this what makes these figures outstanding, the full chrome scuba helmet, it’s not the simple silver chrome but a bluish one and it’s in perfect condition after 16 years. :wub: Here are everybody with helmets, the stingray fellow has a nice mold too, especially the back of the helmet has some really great sculpting. Now let’s move on to the set and see the interesting parts. First of all we get a bunch of trans green pieces, which plays a huge role in shaping the color scheme of the Hydronauts. We have some special parts as well and I realised that I haven’t included a trans green part in the prevoius pic, sorry for that. And I was really happy to see that there are no stickers in this set, loads of great prints and not even a little sticker… good old times. Also we have a special print, that 2x2 black tile with the circular shape has a bit rougher texture and it lets the suction-cup to attach to it. After a pleasantly long build the submarine is finished and ready to search the bottom of the ocean for crystals. The full vehicle looks very great, it has a spectacular and unique shape with lots of areas. 4 cockpit, a prison cell and some hidden storages. Here is a shot of the „cage” for the captives, it has enough place to store 4 minifigis easily (maybe you can push a 5th one in there too). Also there are cockpits on both sides at the middle of the sub with control panel to do water-searching-science stuff. And also there needs to be a pilot for the detachable submarine. It also has a little control panel but it’s quite minimalist, there is nothing in it just a box behind the pilot. Play Functions As I said the back section has a detachable submarine which is the main play function of the set, but it has lots of funny things. Let’s see the bigger sub first. It looks empty without the small one IMO. On the back when the little sub is away you can immediately notice an opening hatch which contains a bit of equipment for the figures. I think it’s a dual reflector for the figs to see in deep waters. The back of their helmet has 2 studs where it connects. Moving away from the back there is another hidden place which hides a crystal, yaaaaay! Now let’s move on to the other part of our sub. It looks a bit bulky and it gives a cute shape to it, I think it looks great when it’s separated. It also has another 2 reflector sets, so every Hydronaut can have one. It stores 2 spearguns too which can also put to minifigs hands. And at the back there is even place for the diving flippers (The big sub has 2 too on the front). And another great function, there are flexible tubes with sunction-cups at their ends which connect to the trans green boxes and can transport them. They work perfectly and hold the boxes well. Rating That quite sums up the whole set, I’m sad that I don’t have the box with those silly alternative builds on the back, but that’s not gonna work down the scores. The submarine is beautiful with loads of special and interesting pieces, great figures and plenty of play functions. It also has that inimitable old-school feeling with the blocky shape all around the vehicle. There are a few flaws of course, at some places the ship is fragile and a few parts always come off if you don’t hold it properly, other than that I can’t say anything bad about it. Maybe the price, I only found info about the original price on Brickipedia and 50 dollars sounds like a lot of money for a near 300 pieces set. Scores: Build: 10/10 The build was fun, classic parts, the BI was short but there were loads of things to do at each step (I missed that, and without the needed parts in a little box at the steps you always have to pay attention carefully, I miss that too…) Design: 9/10 The whole submarine is beautiful with great color scheme, the only minus is for the fragility at some points. Price: 8/10 I got it for 40 dollars but without box and 3 parts were missing (in spite that the store I ordered it from stated that it’s complete…) but those are easily replacable through bricklink, and that’s not the set’s fault and still, I think it worth it. Playability: 9/10 Loads of storage places, accessories and openable areas, also sucker-cups and detachable little sub, there is plenty to do, only the little fragility brings down the score here too. Minifigs: 10/10 I gave it max, in ’98 you didn’t bought the Lego set for the figs (which nowadays is too common with the weak vehicles and sets, mainly in licensed themes), but they look awesome. Great torso and headprints ahh and those chrome helmets. The overall score is 46 out of 50 which is really good, I can recommend this to anyone, especially to somebody who is crazy for the classic underwater sets like me. I hope you enjoyed the retro review, comments are welcome, thanks.
  7. dimitridekyvere

    [MOC] Ninja Turtles Sub

    This is the Turtles submarine I made for my son. It is based on the Nickelodeon cartoon series (season 1 ep 21: "Karai's Vendetta"). I made the LDD design a while ago but I had troubles finding the right parts, so finally here is the real build. (the LDD file can be downloaded from the Lego Digital Designer gallery) Let me know what you think of it. Dimi Ps: I have just read that LEGO will also launch a Turtles sub next Summer? I am curious to see it.