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It is always a great feeling to receive a present from friend, especially when it is something that you really wanted. This SR-71 model I wanted since 26 y.o. I was really happy to receive this American Lockheed SR-71 brick model from BrickArmyToys. It is a great replica of the real thing and it looks really cool. I am definitely going to display it prominently in my room.

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On 8/1/2022 at 1:35 AM, ChristineStanley said:

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It is always a great feeling to receive a present from friend, especially when it is something that you really wanted. This SR-71 model I wanted since 26 y.o. I was really happy to receive this American Lockheed SR-71 brick model from BrickArmyToys. It is a great replica of the real thing and it looks really cool. I am definitely going to display it prominently in my room.

It does look nice (many of their models do). Unlike LEGO, it benefits from many more customized parts to approximate the realistic look of the actual aircraft, but it does have nice shelf presence. Congrats on finally getting a copy.  Sounds like it makes you happy, and that's awesome.

 

So my two copies of 10497 were delivered on Sunday, a day early, and they sat on my porch in 100 degree heat for a day and through a round of sprinklers the next morning (Monday) before I discovered them. Really wish Fed-Ex would knock on the door when they deliver stuff. Fortunately, they weren't pirated, and though the boxes both suffered a bit of wear, the contents seem to be fine.

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I've been into LEGO since I was about 6, and Classic Space definitely appealed to me more than any of LEGO's other themes. That said, I never had any of the old blue and grey ships from '79. I remember getting smaller sets and looking at the pics of the Galaxy Explorer and the Galaxy Cruiser in the foldouts and catalog booklets that used to accompany sets back then. I miss those. I didn't get a copy of the 497/928 Galaxy Explorer until my forties, and the first set I bought was incomplete, at which point I bought a second used copy which gave me the parts to finally complete the set. It sits on my shelf as I type. Like most CS fans (I use the term broadly, encompassing LEGO space themes into the 90s), I've a great deal of nostalgia for the old Space themes, but there has always been a certain allure for those original blue and grey ships- they were majestic in their use of colors, in the shaping, in the realistic features, in the playability.

Jens Nygaard Knudsen (Jan 1942- Feb 2020) is not a household name, but it should be for the many millions of children's lives he has touched through his work at LEGO. Jens designed the minifigure. He also designed the entire first wave of the early Space sets, including the venerable Galaxy Explorer. He chose the blue color, from a then very limited palette, because it seemed to him "more technical". One may be inclined to think an obscure film called Star Wars influenced the wedge-shaped ship designs, but Mr. Knudsen finalized the Space sets in '76, a year prior to Star Wars' release, and three years prior to the US release of LEGOLand Space. The launch of Castle, Town, and Space brought immediate success for LEGO and a much-earned promotion to Chief Designer for Jens. In total, Jens worked for LEGO for 32 years before retiring in 2000, designing elements and sets that would become iconic, revered, and still much sought-after to this day.  I can't adequately put into words my immense gratitude for the influence and joy Jen's work has brought me throughout my life. In reviewing this new Galaxy Explorer design, I thought it altogether fitting and proper to first pay tribute to the creator of Classic Space and the minifigure who breathed life into LEGO themes. I consider him one of my personal heroes, so great has his work's impact been on my life. Tak.

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10497 Galaxy Explorer came about as the result of a poll LEGO submitted to the public to gauge interest in what themes LEGO fans would like to see in a 90th anniversary set. The race was close between several themes, and ultimately Castle and Classic Space were chosen to receive updates homaging the classic sets. The designer for the updated Galaxy Explorer is a talented AFOL-cum-designer named Michael Psiaki, whose work with LEGO I followed for years prior to his employment with LEGO. I was very pleased when I found out he had secured a job as a designer; he has since proved his prowess with the brick, designing sets like the Expert Creator Mustang, F40 Ferrari, Harley-Davidson Fatboy, 007 Aston-Martin DB5, as well as 3-1 sets like the beautiful Blue Power Jet. and the incredible Ideas Saturn V. 

Some quick history; In Europe, the Galaxy Explorer was released under set number 928, whereas in America, it was set 497. Apparently differing set numbers based upon region was more common back in the late 70s, early 80s. Set 10497 pays homage to both iterations through both the set number and the printed LL928 on the side of the ship itself. The LL stands for LEGOLand in case you're not familiar.  

So, let's start with the original set. This was the flagship set of the first wave of LEGOLand Space in 1979, and oh what a beautiful set it is. Big, eyecatching color scheme, awesome spaceship, a cool printed baseplate for it to land on, a cool baseplate with crater detail to explore, a little buggy, a communications tower, and four of the then all-new astronaut minifigs, two red and two white, to play out space adventures. In my mind, the appeal of this set has not diminished one iota since its initial release. 

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Old vs new.

Obviously, this is not a 1:1 set, but more of a stylistic and minimized homage of the original. Unlike 497 with its spread of baseplates and comm center, 10497 concentrates solely on the main ship, giving it a modern feel while doubling its size from the original. The basic silhouette is still the same looking down, but from the side the fuselage rakes at a steeper angle in lieu of the stepped shape of the original's cockpit section for a sleeker side profile. It also uses the UCS X-Wing canopies in trans-yellow to cover both the crew compartment and a newly added living quarters behind it. Looking at the grey wingplan, 10497 eschews the multi-layered sandwich of plates of 497 for a thicker wing plan that uses SNOT techniques to give the outer edges a nice bevel topped by tiles. The entire ship is built upon a Technic frame covered in plates and wedges, and is very sturdy. 

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497

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10497

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Instrument panel:

While 497 had printed slopes , 10497 has printed tiles. I'm particularly enamored of the ship status panel in the center; it's a cool RW touch. While I'm mentioning printed tiles, I'm pleased to say that there are no stickers in this set; all graphics are printed so as to more faithfully replicate the building experience of the original set.

497

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10497

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Crew quarters 10497 

An added bonus to getting an update to an old design is that new features can be added. In this case, a small living quarters is located behind the crew compartment. In this first pic, you're treated to a couple printed tiles and a view of the beds, each with an alcove built in so the astrofigs can sleep with their air tanks on.  

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497

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10497

Although similar to 497's cargo functions, there's one additional change: an extendable ramp. The white plates with grey Technic pins serve to hold the buggy in place allowing the wheels to spin freely while the ramp is pulled out. Once fully extended, it simply inclines due to gravity, and the buggy rolls out.

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Although this robot comes with 10497, it wasn't part of the original 497 set. It was part of set 6809 XT-5 and Droid from 1987. This is an exact copy of that droid, a personal addition by the designer.

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Airlock:

This, too, is a feature not found on the original 497. It allows passage from the crew quarters to the cargo compartment via a sliding door.  It's a clever SNOT build that works very well. The door slides so effortlessly that I wish they'd incorporated some sort of mechanism by which to secure the door in the closed position.

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External details/features:

497

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10497

A couple notes: While the downward arrow was a printed brick on 497, it is completely brick-built on 10497 using a specialized tile developed for Nexo Knights. The grey door on 497 was merely a detail, as it simply opened into the cargo compartment but served no other purpose. On 10497, the doors are replaced by specialized box elements which originally showed up in M-Tron sets in 1990. Making use of the boxes, the right one contains a black air tank (wish it was light bley to match the tank in 497) and the left box contains a couple taps with trans-red and trans-green studs which I interpret to be marshalling wands).  One other observation I want to point out is the omission of the printed grill detail found on 497. A new brick with that printed grill for this set, or even having it brick-built using the grill tiles would have been cool. Finally, while the wing mounted engines on 497 were a stationary detail, on 10497 they can unsnap from their moorings, and by flipping them over and adjusting the little levers, they can become rocket sleds of a sort. It's silly, and my least favorite of the set's features, but it's not out of the realm of whimsy and fun that LEGO's known for in other themes.

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Notes and final thoughts:

 The box art for 10497 is lovingly reminiscent of the space sets of the late 70s and 80s. I wish they'd gone full-bore and produced an old-school box with a plastic insert to highlight specialized parts/figs with a lid style flap. I loved the packaging from that era, and to have had it reproduced for this set would have been just one more checked box towards total nostalgia fulfillment. Alas, they didn't. The instruction booklet, much like many of their other specialized sets, have snippets of info interspersed throughout, which always brings an added bit of enjoyment to a building project, especially when said project has personal meaning, as this set does for me.

Set 10497 contains 1254 pieces and retails for $99.99 USD, which going by the antiquated 10 cents/pc methodology, is a great buy. But beyond the financials, this set represents a long-wished-for dream come true for LEGO Space fans all around the world, including the designer himself, who wanted to do an update of 497 since he joined LEGO in 2012.  Classic Space represents something intangibly cool to so many people, many of whom I've met or interacted with via conventions and online. These folks keep CS alive through their passion for LEGO and their amazing MOCs, and other paraphernalia. The appeal of CS remains strong, and I'm one of many who would love to see it and many of the other Space themes revisited. 10497 whets the appetite for more sets done in this fashion, and I hope LEGO will surprise us in the future. For now, aside from Benny's Spaceship in 2014, LEGO Space has gone silent since their last original Space theme , Galaxy Squad, debuted in 2013.  My hope is that 10497 will prove enormously successful, providing impetus to LEGO that there's room on shelves for more than one Space theme.  Cheers, and play well.

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Thanks for the review, my pair should be here tomorrow.. of course I have to hope that Fedex aren't their usual selves, and actually ring the bell.  Their tracking system is just completely useless lately.  It's scheduled for delivery tomorrow, but the last tracking update was friday morning. :rolleyes:

I actually really love that they replicated the old 80s control panel printing onto new tiles.  I still have a bunch of those old pieces, so I recognized the control panel designs immediately. :lol: 

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@M'Kyuun great review and history lesson on the set. I really enjoyed the read.

While this is not for me I’m glad for all the fans of Classic Space that this set turned out well.

My era of Lego Space was from Futuron to Exploriens so if they ever do an homage to 6986 or 6781 I would be thrilled. Maybe for their 40th anniversary in 2029?

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8 hours ago, Chronocidal said:

Thanks for the review, my pair should be here tomorrow.. of course I have to hope that Fedex aren't their usual selves, and actually ring the bell.  Their tracking system is just completely useless lately.  It's scheduled for delivery tomorrow, but the last tracking update was friday morning. :rolleyes:

I actually really love that they replicated the old 80s control panel printing onto new tiles.  I still have a bunch of those old pieces, so I recognized the control panel designs immediately. :lol: 

NP. I actually wasn't planning on doing so in-depth a review, but after I posted the pic of it just sitting on my kitchen table, I realized there was a lot I wanted to share about it. This is a dream set, one I didn't think was going to happen when Castle won the poll, and Bionicle was looking very likely to win at one point as well. The announcement of this set was a huge sigh of relief followed by a huge wave of anticipation. I'm also happy that I have the original to do a comparison, and I thought was the best way to do a presentation. I hope it was enjoyable. And yeah, Fed Ex's tracking is unreliable at best. They got me this time, as usually they're late by a day or two, and this time they were a day early. Totally unexpected, and dismaying when I found they'd been out on my porch for an extended period in very hot weather.

I love that they did the old computer graphic, too. It's always been one of my favorite decos. If you look at the copilot's panel, it's reminiscent of the old Asteroids game, but the silhouette of the ship is the Galaxy Explorer. LEGO humor at its finest. 😊

6 hours ago, Scyla said:

@M'Kyuun great review and history lesson on the set. I really enjoyed the read.

While this is not for me I’m glad for all the fans of Classic Space that this set turned out well.

My era of Lego Space was from Futuron to Exploriens so if they ever do an homage to 6986 or 6781 I would be thrilled. Maybe for their 40th anniversary in 2029?

Thank you most kindly. Futuron had one of the finest looking aesthetics of all the Space themes, IMHO, and some great sets. I only had two sets from that theme as a kid: 6848 Strategic Persuer, and the gloriously beautiful 6932 Stardefender 200 😍. I wouldn't balk in the least if LEGO decided to do an update of the Stardefender. 

Space Police was a cool theme, too. I wouldn't mind homages to the sets you mentioned, either.  I'd also favor some Blacktron or Blacktron 2 updates. So many good sets and creative themes from that era.

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I’ve heard somewhere online that a clause in the Star Wars license prevents Lego from releasing their on Sci-Fi series which sounds ludicrous to me.

My reason being that:

1. Star Wars is much closer to fantasy than Sci-Fi and the line that is most similar to Star Wars is the Ninjago line.

2. The previous space lines are basically Lego City in Space with a police theme, a mining theme, a train theme, etc.

I think that is more the case of Lego‘s product line strategy that they focus on licensed sets rather than own IPs, which is a shame.

I also would imagine that the Star Wars license is not cheap so Lego prefers developing sets that pay of the license fees. 

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There's a downloadable digital instruction for 10497 to build the other two smaller versions, similar to 924 and 918. I'm just not sure if one set of 10497 can be built into two smaller version or either one of them only. It would be great if one set can be used to build the two smaller versions.

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8 minutes ago, Firefox21 said:

There's a downloadable digital instruction for 10497 to build the other two smaller versions, similar to 924 and 918. I'm just not sure if one set of 10497 can be built into two smaller version or either one of them only. It would be great if one set can be used to build the two smaller versions.

10497_01_BI_AltDig.pdf10497_02_BI_AltDig.pdf

Here they are. _01 builds an update of set #924 Space Cruiser.  _02 builds an update of set #918 Space Transport (One Man Spaceship). Only one model can be built at a time with a single copy of 10497 Galaxy Explorer. Hope this helps. Happy Building!

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2 hours ago, F-ZeroOne said:

M'Kyunn, just to say thanks for the awesome review. I've been umming-and-ahhing on this for some time, and I still don't know if I'll get one (space - no pun intended! - is a factor) but I appreciate your time and effort.

Thanks F-ZeroOne, I appreciate it greatly. Of course, I can't recommend it highly enough, but so far as space is concerned, I feel ya. Even so, I wasn't going to let this set slip by after it's pretty much topping my wish list for decades. Gonna build the Galaxy Cruiser update with my second copy, and I'll probably get a third copy just to do whatever with. Fortunately, I put up some shelves earlier this year, and I'm going to get creative with some display possibilities to try and fit all this blue and grey loveliness.

I hope you end up getting a copy, but if not, there are plenty of sites that do good reviews and real-time build-ups so you can enjoy it vicariously. It's never quite the same as building it yourself, but I find it a relaxing and rewarding way to enjoy sets I likely won't buy. Whatever you decide, I wish you well.

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Yeah, I've seen a few of those sites/videos myself, always like it when they review "classic" Lego because in some cases I either had the set involved or at least saw it on the shelves at the time. I've mainly got modern Lego based on a couple other interests of mine - "Star Wars" and "Doctor Who" and I'm never going to be a "serious" collector but Lego Space has so many memories for me... argh, the temptation! 😄 

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At the risk of bogarting this entire thread, I have another review for you. as I mentioned in my 10497 review, I had designs on using my second copy of the set to build one of the semi-official alternate builds, also based on 1979 Space sets, and also designed by Mike Psiaki. I followed through, spending the lion's share of my yesterday well into the late evening toiling away on not only the ship, but a few side MOCs. The design I chose to do was 10497_01 which is intended to be an update to set #924 Space Transporter as it was known in Europe, or set #487 Space Cruiser as it was known in the US. I don't own a copy of the Space Cruiser, so I'm afraid stock photos will have to do.

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Group shot with (L-R)  10497_01, 497, and 10497, or maybe less confusing, Space Cruiser 2.0, Galaxy Explorer, Galaxy Explorer 2.0 (GE2). For the remainder of the review, I'll use these terms.100_5404.JPG.1d0ce31c8f33c932739576815b6889d6.JPG100_5405.JPG.a4eb05e0ff004364926268a7b2dd84bb.JPG

As you can see, the Space Cruiser is about the same size as the original Galaxy Explorer. It follows many of the same design cues as the GE2, as the original Cruiser shared similar cues to the Galaxy Explorer. 

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I love the slightly elevated position of the copilot, as well as the inclined fuselage/canopy. To me it just looks very sleek and aerodynamic. While I'm not the biggest fan of stickers, in this instance I wish LEGO had included a set of stickers for "LL924" and "LL918" to correspond with the alternate models. Both alternates use the printed LL928 bricks prominently, but I'd like to have a proper LL924 on this ship, which I intend to keep permanently. Note the carryover of the brick-built white downward arrow from the GE2. Such a great detail. being a much smaller ship, Space Cruiser doesn't have a living quarters, and those double windows serve a purely aesthetic function. The Space Cruiser also shares the same retracting landing gear design as GE2.

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I like the asymmetrical antennae on this model. The original had a single antenna, replicated here by a 6-stud long bar w/stop inserted into a 1x1 round brick. The fit of that bar is rather loose; it doesn't fall out, having more friction at the very end than where it sits flush with the stop, but there is a little slop so that it can move side to side a little bit. They really should have put a few light bley 1x1 round plates with open studs in the set to give it a firmer base. Alas, no. 

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This bit of nondescript cargo differs from the white cargo box that came with the original Space Cruiser. In my mind, it's some sort of generator utilizing similar tech to the engines, but honestly, imagination prevails and aside from the two light bley containers w/flip-down doors, the function and purpose of the remainder is up to the builder. If Mr. Psiaki has offered an explanation, I'm blissfully unaware.

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Another notable omission from this update is a forklift to facilitate handling of the cargo. Having a plethora of leftover parts after completing the Space Cruiser, I embraced the challenge of building one using only the leftover parts. 

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Due to the four-stud wide design of the original cargo build, I had to modify it so that my forklift, whose forks are spaced 6-studs wide, could pick it up, as seen in the previous pics. I replaced the half cylinder piece with some angled bricks to try and maintain the rounded look of the container while putting some 1x1 red and white cylinders within to simulate tanks of some sort. I put a tap in there too, as a way of interacting with it and providing a hint of functionality. I also added some side runners to provide a lifting surface for the forklift. Fortunately, the cargo bay is 6-studs wide, and the modified cargo fits perfectly.

Incidentally, that grey and blue bit sticking up is the locking mechanism for the cargo doors. It needs to be lowered to near horizontal prior to closing the cargo doors so they can pass under the large tail stabilizers. Once the doors are in closed position, you simply press the lock down and all is secured.

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After finishing my forklift, I still had a lot of parts left over, so I decided to try and replicate, still using only parts from the set, something akin to the white cargo box from the original set. 

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With a goodly collection of parts left over still, I built a little depot for storing cargo.

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In summary, by not having the numbered bags to go by, but having to pick the parts out of a rather large pile brought back the nostalgic feel of the pre-millennial sets before part call-outs on every step. It made for a longer build time (I don't organize or sort my parts out - I just dump and build), but enjoyable all the same. Forging into MOC territory with the forklift, cargo, and depot builds well into the evening was fun and freeing, if that's the right word. I've long been a MOC builder and tying myself purely to the parts available in the set put a fun constraint on realizing these additional builds. I hope they prove inspirational to anyone else attempting the same. As to the updated Space Cruiser itself, if you like the design direction of 10497, and desire an updated 487/924 for your collection, as I do, this is definitely a beautiful and complimentary model. IMHO it makes a great companion piece for the GE2, and if nothing else, provides for a fun build experience beyond the primary model. Cheers and keep clicking those bricks!

 

Edited by M'Kyuun
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On 8/4/2022 at 8:49 PM, M'Kyuun said:

10497_01_BI_AltDig.pdf 22.47 MB · 2 downloads 10497_02_BI_AltDig.pdf 19.33 MB · 1 download

Here they are. _01 builds an update of set #924 Space Cruiser.  _02 builds an update of set #918 Space Transport (One Man Spaceship). Only one model can be built at a time with a single copy of 10497 Galaxy Explorer. Hope this helps. Happy Building!

Thanks for the instructions. You confirmed my suspect. I guess the most important pieces that prevent two builds in one set is the two LL928 6X1 brick and the 4X2 space logo tile. Not sure what other missing pieces are there. But I'll start building these two when the my set come :)

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13 hours ago, Firefox21 said:

Thanks for the instructions. You confirmed my suspect. I guess the most important pieces that prevent two builds in one set is the two LL928 6X1 brick and the 4X2 space logo tile. Not sure what other missing pieces are there. But I'll start building these two when the my set come :)

You're most welcome. Happy building!

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Well, you talked me into it and I've ordered. What can I say but... Spaceship. Spaceship? SPAAAAACESHIIIIIIP!!! 😄

M'Kyuun, really great use of those leftover pieces there! Its kind of amazing what you can do with random assortments of Lego pieces; I wound up with a small set once with random bricks and things and set myself a similar challenge of building something with the leftovers and wound up with a jet-hover-sled... er... thing! Nothing compared to your fork lift and loading dock though!

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1 hour ago, F-ZeroOne said:

Well, you talked me into it and I've ordered. What can I say but... Spaceship. Spaceship? SPAAAAACESHIIIIIIP!!! 😄

M'Kyuun, really great use of those leftover pieces there! Its kind of amazing what you can do with random assortments of Lego pieces; I wound up with a small set once with random bricks and things and set myself a similar challenge of building something with the leftovers and wound up with a jet-hover-sled... er... thing! Nothing compared to your fork lift and loading dock though!

Enjoy, and thanks for the kind words.  Leg godt!

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I ordered some add on parts from Brickdesigners not too long ago. I couldn't pass up their printed parts for an Abrams tank, especially when they offer to print your tank name on the main cannon barrel 😆.  While designed for a Brickmania designed tank, I figure the printed pieces would also work my Armorbrick Abrams:

20220805_113644.jpg.30023557517f946ea4a524014d1ae665.jpg

I also bought a custom tanker minifig for it from Brickmania:

20220805_114716.jpg.3725bd3666d4184f4b6144b59f11430c.jpg

The CIP panels are nicely printed:

20220805_114449.jpg.8093e39c577b5391aca5f66c42eb2b44.jpg

 

Edited by Valkyrie Hunter D
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So my Galaxy Explorer arrived today. I haven't had a chance even to open the box yet, but I have decided that I will employ my clearly latent Master Builder <TM> skillz and make a modification to the set.

Of exactly one stud.

😁

Y'see, one thing thats been bothering me about this set is the little Moon buggy in the set - and thats its headlight. Out of the box, this is transparent, but in my head one of the distinguishing features of "Classic" Lego Space is that when you had something representing a light on a vehicle, it was red or green or yellow. Not transparent. I obviously never owned every single "Space" set ever made, so I can't really state that held true across the entire line, but its just the one thing that looks "off" to me.

Now, as I say, I haven't even opened the instruction book yet but I'm assuming this shouldn't be too hard and one advantage of Lego putting stud shooters on everything the past few years is that I have lots of spare little red dots to go around.

This is going to end in tears, isn't it? 😄 

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1 hour ago, F-ZeroOne said:

So my Galaxy Explorer arrived today. I haven't had a chance even to open the box yet, but I have decided that I will employ my clearly latent Master Builder <TM> skillz and make a modification to the set.

Of exactly one stud.

😁

Y'see, one thing thats been bothering me about this set is the little Moon buggy in the set - and thats its headlight. Out of the box, this is transparent, but in my head one of the distinguishing features of "Classic" Lego Space is that when you had something representing a light on a vehicle, it was red or green or yellow. Not transparent. I obviously never owned every single "Space" set ever made, so I can't really state that held true across the entire line, but its just the one thing that looks "off" to me.

Now, as I say, I haven't even opened the instruction book yet but I'm assuming this shouldn't be too hard and one advantage of Lego putting stud shooters on everything the past few years is that I have lots of spare little red dots to go around.

This is going to end in tears, isn't it? 😄 

Nope- it's your set; do with it what you will. You're not wrong; trans-clear parts weren't really used in those early space sets. In the case of the buggy in question, the original didn't have a light at all, but a grey airtank piece. In 10497 we get a spare black airtank instead of a proper light bley one, and instead of mounting on the front of the little rover, it's stored in one of the light bley cargo boxes built into the sides of the ship. So, in point of fact, LEGO themselves deviated from making a 1:1 representation, and that's overlooking the omission of baseplates and the little comm station. In short, make your mod and be happy about it!

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But theres more! You know the little robot that also comes with the set? In the instruction manual, its antenna "ears" are mounted so that the aerials point forward or back. But I have decided that I shall mount them...

...sideways!

IS THERE NO END TO MY CRIMES?!! 😄

I remember the little air tank on the original buggy. I'm also a bit puzzled that the spare air tank is black as well - maybe its meant to represent an "emergency" tank?

I've managed to make a start on this thing, and have just completed the second "bag". Good grief, it might not look it on the box, but I can see why this is a recommended 18+ set - it is insanely engineered. I've just seen how they achieved the "slope" on the cockpit side. I'm not sure whether or not to be awed or terrified at how a top Lego designer must think...

As is typical for me, I made a couple errors that I fortunately caught before getting too far along. I managed to get the front landing gear mounting the wrong orientation, so that the pad wouldn't quite fit into the recess. Well, who cares if the landing gear sticks out a bit in flight, theres no drag in space, right? Right? [1]

M'Kyuun, very glad your review convinced me to get this, I think I'd have been kicking myself if I missed it like I did Bennys Spaceship. And on that note, something I've been meaning to mention is that the perfect compliment to this set, if you can still find it, is the Lego Movie "Bennys Space Squad" which provides a couple of mini-vehicles, some more astronaut colours and of course the famous Benny....

[1] Someone is going to point out that, yes, there is "drag" in space, just not to the degree you get in an atmosphere etc...

 

Edited by F-ZeroOne
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So I finished the build of the Galaxy Explorer, and my fiendish plan to replace the buggys headlight has worked so far. Well, nothings exploded anyway. Yet. 😄 (for the record, I went with green. Theres a spare red and green stud in the set so I didn't even have to raid my spares). 

A few thoughts - this is a complicated set, much more so than it looks it would be from the box. It took me about 9 hours total to build - about an hour per bag - and I'd estimate between a third to a half of it is building up the interior frame and doing weirdly complex things to then hide that interior. This isn't a criticism, more an observation, but it does feel like if there were two ways of doing something with this set and one was straightforward but an inelegant finish and the other was really complex but the end result looks much better thats the option they went for. I almost miss the honest simplicity of the older sets... 

This is a big puppy - a good foot and a half long and a foot wide. Make sure you have somewhere to set it down if you're getting one.

One odd thing about the design is that theres two small windows on each side but as built, one of those windows is almost completely obscured by the engine mount. It doesn't seem like it would have been too hard to move the window forward a little. Maybe like some WWII aircraft, some of the instruments are mounted on the engines?

Its a lovely set though, especially if you have any love for Classic Space. And as I've said, if you any spare Space-themed stuff around, it obviously compliments it nicely.

And, oh, I never want to see another Lego pin ever again. 🙂

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11 hours ago, F-ZeroOne said:

So I finished the build of the Galaxy Explorer, and my fiendish plan to replace the buggys headlight has worked so far. Well, nothings exploded anyway. Yet. 😄 (for the record, I went with green. Theres a spare red and green stud in the set so I didn't even have to raid my spares). 

A few thoughts - this is a complicated set, much more so than it looks it would be from the box. It took me about 9 hours total to build - about an hour per bag - and I'd estimate between a third to a half of it is building up the interior frame and doing weirdly complex things to then hide that interior. This isn't a criticism, more an observation, but it does feel like if there were two ways of doing something with this set and one was straightforward but an inelegant finish and the other was really complex but the end result looks much better thats the option they went for. I almost miss the honest simplicity of the older sets... 

This is a big puppy - a good foot and a half long and a foot wide. Make sure you have somewhere to set it down if you're getting one.

One odd thing about the design is that theres two small windows on each side but as built, one of those windows is almost completely obscured by the engine mount. It doesn't seem like it would have been too hard to move the window forward a little. Maybe like some WWII aircraft, some of the instruments are mounted on the engines?

Its a lovely set though, especially if you have any love for Classic Space. And as I've said, if you any spare Space-themed stuff around, it obviously compliments it nicely.

And, oh, I never want to see another Lego pin ever again. 🙂

That last sentence. 😆  Yeah, lots of Technic pins, but the final ship, ahem, is a brick.  Seriously, though, it's very sturdy. And I love both how the edges look and the technique used to achieve it. Good stuff.

Although I found the set impressive, it didn't strike me as complicated as you found it. Then again, I build transforming mecha, so my gauge is a bit different. But I thought building in that incline was a brilliant technique that gave the ship a lovely rake and sense of aerodynamics that it really doesn't need in space. But, one can infer that these ships can operate in atmosphere, and the shaping helps. That's my view. Regardless, it's a beautiful update to an already lovely design, and I'm still beyond thrilled that TLG released it as part of the 90th anniversary promotion/celebration. It's far more fitting, IMHO, than Bionicle, which itself just had a birthday. LEGOLand Town, Castle, and Space were the first themes to introduce the new minifigure in 1979, and really launched LEGO to great success. Town has since become City and has remained evergreen, but Castle and Space have both waned over the last decade, so I think it was appropriate to homage those two early themes so critical to LEGO's early success in grand style. They didn't disappoint on either front. 

 

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Yeah, Town and Space are what immediately come to mind when I think of "Classic" Lego (though in my childhood I did also have the big yellow castle, but Space was always my favourite theme).

The most advanced Lego kit I've built to this point was probably the "Hoth" AT-ST, so, yes I don't have a great deal of experience with the more complex sets.

Couple other minor points: one of the reasons I was holding off on this was aesthetic; I didn't like the way the "LL928" was angled on the sides and it felt like it had a lot of "nose" compared to the main body. Now having it in person, the angling is much less pronounced than it appears in images and the proportions also look better in the, erm, brick than in photos.

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On 8/13/2022 at 2:48 PM, Chronocidal said:

Doubtful, I feel like LEGO refuses to produce any set with actual functional knees. :p 

Seriously though, that's a beautiful build, I'm impressed at how detailed they got it.

The new Samurai X Mech (71775) has knees, as did Zane's Titan Mech (71738) released last year. The knee function is limited, but at least it's there. But in general, LEGO eschews knees due to instability, or so they claim. In point of fact, the majority of their joints lack the requisite strength to keep from buckling under any appreciable weight, so they just omit them to avoid the issue rather than introduce improved joints up to the task.

Anyway that Grendizer looks really good. It's not my cuppa, but for those who dig super-robots, it'd make for a cool shelf piece if produced.

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Yeah, the heavy click joints can hold decently, but only if you group them up for larger assemblies.  The lack of strong joints was what killed my 1/18th scale VF-1 at the legs.  I had everything else complete and working.  Was particularly proud of the arms too, they were rigged with four independent worm gear assemblies that gave them the same posability as a Chunky Monkey.

I do wish they would come out with some more varied and compact worm-gear assemblies to use for things like the UCS AT-AT, but even then, those sorts of joints aren't playable.  They're only good for making display poses.

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Detail on these continues to impress, I can see that one being really popular, even just as a pure train set, apart from the movie connection.

Also really liking this new lighthouse IDEAS set, I feel like I voted for this one a long time ago, and pretty happy to see something in this style.  I got the Fishing Store set years back, and feel like it would make a really good companion piece for it.

legacy

https://ideas.lego.com/blogs/a4ae09b6-0d4c-4307-9da8-3ee9f3d368d6/post/fad6a848-a50d-49c7-9130-dbf03b4dd86d

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12 hours ago, Chronocidal said:

Detail on these continues to impress, I can see that one being really popular, even just as a pure train set, apart from the movie connection.

Also really liking this new lighthouse IDEAS set, I feel like I voted for this one a long time ago, and pretty happy to see something in this style.  I got the Fishing Store set years back, and feel like it would make a really good companion piece for it.

legacy

https://ideas.lego.com/blogs/a4ae09b6-0d4c-4307-9da8-3ee9f3d368d6/post/fad6a848-a50d-49c7-9130-dbf03b4dd86d

Both of these looks amazing. For train fans who aren't necessarily Harry Potter fans, this presents a perfect opportunity to own a LEGO version of the Jacobite Steam train in Britain.

The Fishing Store, while beautifully done, didn't really appeal to me. But this lighthouse does. I have nowhere to put it though, and a piece like this needs to be displayed.

On 8/15/2022 at 5:03 PM, Chronocidal said:

Yeah, the heavy click joints can hold decently, but only if you group them up for larger assemblies.  The lack of strong joints was what killed my 1/18th scale VF-1 at the legs.  I had everything else complete and working.  Was particularly proud of the arms too, they were rigged with four independent worm gear assemblies that gave them the same posability as a Chunky Monkey.

I do wish they would come out with some more varied and compact worm-gear assemblies to use for things like the UCS AT-AT, but even then, those sorts of joints aren't playable.  They're only good for making display poses.

I wonder if they've changed the mold for the heavy ratcheting joints; my older joints are stronger than the recent ones. I've had a copy of 4483 AT-AT on display for years with all four legs having a slight bend fore or aft of straight, and most with the knees bent slightly as well. The thing is rock solid. I bought the 2020 AT-AT set (75288) and placed it next to my 4483 AT-AT in a similar posing position with legs only slightly bent at hips and knees. After standing fine for months, it just collapsed one day without provocation. The legs just gave way. I couldn't believe it. In other sets I've got since containing those joints, the detents just seem softer, requiring less force to move from detent to detent.  If LEGO purposely redesigned the strongest joint in their inventory to be weaker, I'm at a loss as to why they'd do that. Anyway, that's been my impression.

And yeah, the gearing mechanisms allow for some nice dynamic posability, but at the cost of playability in lieu of strength.

I've seen pics of your VF-1. Incredible work- I doubt folks here understand the scale you were working in.  It's a shame that in all these years, LEGO has yet to really make much in the way of improvement or advancement in their large joint system. The new disc joint that they developed for Optimus is a game changer, but it's still only as good as the old joint half to which it's married. It's a long overdue improvement to a system of limited joint options. Still room for more improvement IMHO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rumors are going around about new Lego Star Wars sets in 2023. If the rumors are true there are some interesting sets in there mainly:

A Tie Bomber and a Endor Speeder Chase diorama. The Tie Bomber is more important since I don’t have that as a vehicle. Still can’t believe we will get a new Tie Bomber before the much more prolific Tie Interceptor.

The Endor diorama might be good for minifigs and the Speeder Bikes.

Promobricks seems to the rumor source.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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