If you are in the US you may know this set from 1979 as the 'Galaxy Explorer' if you are from pretty much anywhere else it will be the 'Space Cruiser and Moonbase' Set number 497 or 928.
Why am I building this set from 1979 so many years later? Well Lego have updated it and re-released it for their 90th birthday so as I'll be building that shortly I thought it was time to search through so very old pieces of Lego which I've owned since I was a child, look up from instructions on the internet and set about rebuilding the original set.
This set has 338 pieces - a lot for the time, it cost $32 USD (which is about $130 USD today, although if you have one in 'New' condition you can get about $3000 for it) and it had a whopping 25 steps to put it together so it really shouldn't be that hard. Also I'm only making the ship not the base plates so that should make it easier.
Computer at the ready with instructions, it time to start getting out some pieces.
As I start to build out the shape of the spaceship it starts to dawn on me that consciously or not this is the set that taught me how to build spaceships, As a kid I don't think I followed the instructions very often, but I swear to god this is pretty much what I always did to start the process, lots and lots of grey base plates
If you are a person of a certain age - this will be very familiar - lot at these classic computers and space logos (also look at the difference between a 40 year old piece in the middle with the newer piece at the bottom.
As I continue to build you can see it's getting a little out of hand - I know I had most of the pieces (although there are a few which are the wrong colour, and a few little work arounds I had to do) but finding those pieces became quite a task as the dining room table filled up with boxes of pieces to search through
But we got there in the end and I am left with a pretty good rendition of the spaceship that would have lived in mine or more likely my big brother's bedroom in our little house in New Zealand in 1979.
By modern standards you realise how much harder the instructions are - I'll say it again this whole set is 25 steps - there are about 10-15 pieces per step, there are no break-out boxes, no highlighting of pieces you actually needed to think about it - No wonder we are more capable than kids these days (he says as he shakes his fist at a cloud)
The colour is a little all over the place, as I've mixed new and old 'Light grey' pieces but so many classic pieces here, the yellow transparent pieces, the 'guns' the LL928 brick. There should be way more blue fork pieces at the top rear and the ones near the rockets should be grey not black, but they have be broken at some point in the last 40 years. Underneath is a rock show in terms of colours, nothing matches
Oh and it comes with a car inside, which was very cool at the time
And as a special treat I found this photo from the last time I built this set a couple of years ago - back then I even built the base plates....
What's next - well right at the bottom of that last building picture you can see a ticket from Toll to go pick up my brand new version.....
So come back tomorrow for that build