In the science fiction series The Expanse, a group of main characters find themselves in possession of the Rocinante. Previously known as the Donnager, a small warship built by the Martian Congressional Republic Navy (MCRN). The Expanse has a bunch of unique spaceship designs, almost all of which are clunky purpose built machines. This Lego version of the Rocinante is created by Kevin J. Walter. It features the grey color scheme used to hide the ships origins. A lot of the little details have been preserved converting it down to this small scale. Including communications gear (Lego walkie-talkies), the various cannons and PDCs (the little Minifigure roller skates add a lot of detail), and the giant engine (the Minifigure hands are a great detail). This Lego build has a lot of creative part use, check out some of those complicated shapes in the hull. A little hard to see as the flat grey appearance hides a lot of the details, as intended.
The solar system is a magnificent display of physics and gravity. Huge planets spinning around the sun, each in their own orbit. Somehow not hitting each other in the process. Models that show how the solar system moves over time (an Orrery) can be extremely complicated. This Lego MOC of the Solar System is created by Thomas Rodger. There is a lot of math involved in trying to get the speeds of the planets as accurate as possible. And, that is with out Pluto! The designer has figured that this Lego Orrery is about 96.5% accurate. It uses one power functions motor to drive everything, which adds up to be about 4,000 Lego pieces. There are instructions on how to build this yourself that have been made available, but if you need to buy everything it will cost around $350-$600. Even though a lot of the pieces are common and cheap, there are some extremely rare ones found in the gear rack system. A very interesting note, is that brand new gears are needed. As any wear and tear will effect how this model works. Make sure to check out the video to see it in action!
There are a whole bunch of “Power Armor” builds out there. Sometimes known as “Exo Suits.” They usually focus on using a lego minifigure head, and then recreating their body out of lego pieces. In the end, creating a type of mechanical looking armor. This MOC is titled “Elon – Life on Mars” and is created by Devid VII. The orange plates mixed with the tan in the background makes a great simple, out of focus Mars. The blue/teal of the spacesuit is a perfect contrast to the orange. And, the white gives the whole thing a very clean future look. Usually these type of lego builds are super fragile, but this one looks sturdy. Lots of clips here.
The new Lego CUUSOO set, NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover (21104), has recently been released and is extremely hard to find. Not only that, but reviews for the the Rover are also rare. Maybe it is because YCF Lego Reviews has pretty much posted the definitive video review. Not only do they have the set designer (and Curiosity engineer!), Stephen Pakbaz, assisting in the review, but this 18 minute video also features a Lego studio tour. The Lego Curiosity Rover is the smallest CUUSOO set yet. With 295 pieces and a price tag of $29.99. The little Rover features a unique 6 wheel rocker-bogie suspension, an articulated arm, and even a model nuclear power source. This thing is ready to explore Lego Mars.
One of the most interesting aspects of this review is that they spend a great deal of time comparing the released Rover with the original proposed Rover. The most apparent change is the color of Mars (baseplate) and its rocks. Opting for a gray color because the dark orange is not in production. Good news is that there are many gray rocks on Mars, so it stays accurate. There are two other big changes. The articulated arm has been reinforced, to prevent accidental breaking. And, the suspension has been refined. Stephen Pakbaz compliments Lego with designing a more accurate and sturdy suspension in the released Rover.
The video from YCF also features a pretty extensive tour of Stephen Pakbaz’s studio. Featuring other space themed models (Voyager, Juno…), Transformers, and even Samurai Jack’s villain: Aku. This is a great setup for a Lego room… wow.
Mars Attacks! is having a bit of a resurgence this year with the release of the original trading cards, comic books, collectors book, and an upcoming all new set of trading cards. BaronSat is the one responsible for this creation. A great Lego Mars Attacks Alien trooper. The ray gun looks great, and the back pack is spot on. Even the weird dangly brain pieces near the mouth are there. Just imagine those dangly things shaking while it is talking. “Ack! Ack! Ack!” indeed. Will Mars win this war?
Mars Attacks! is an interesting sci-fi universe. First appearing in 1962 with a surprisingly successful set of trading cards. Since then Mars Attacks has stayed in the collective subconscious with a sporadic series of releases. With a series of comic books and reprinted trading cards through the 1980’s. It ultimately lead to science-fiction-comedy film directed by Tim Burton in 1996, titled Mars Attacks!. Recently a re-release of the original trading cards, a collectors book, and comics have lead to an all new trading card set, to be released in the near future.
Lino M, over on Flickr, created a great Lego Alien Ambassador from Mars Attacks. Featuring the iconic brain, spindly body, and a cosmic ray gun. Also, check out that throne. Super alien looking, with a minimal use of Lego parts.
It is official, NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity is ready to… launch… as the next Lego CUUSOO project. Coming as no surprise to anyone (they have already approved 3 other science based CUUSOO projects). Curiosity was one of three projects considered, the other two were a Star Wars Jawa Sandcrawler, and a Portal 2 theme. No word was said about the Sandcrawler, but there is a little bit said about Portal 2. I will not ruin the surprise (don’t get too excited), you will have to watch the whole video to learn more.
Other CUUSOO news, still no official word or update on the upcoming Back to the Future Delorean Time Machine. Doc. Brown is getting impatient.