Tag Archives: Mars

Mars Corp.

The Mars Corporation is set to branch out a bit in the future, if Flickr’s BobDeQuatre is to believed. Currently makers of pet food, chewing gum, Uncle Ben’s rice, and… er, Mars bars, apparently the company will one day need an off-road buggy fitted with an enormous plasma rifle. Perhaps Pedigree Chum is going to get some more exotic ingredients…

Whatever its purpose, there’s more to see of Bob’s ‘Mars Corporation Escort Vehicle’ at his Flickr album. Click the link above to take a closer look – just don’t ask how your dog food is made.

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Space Container

Oh. Crap.

That’s what went through this writer’s head when he entered TLCB Towers this morning. The Elves don’t have a bedtime as such, returning to the office as and when they find a blog-worthy creation, although they often sleep in their cage room when we turn the lights out in-between foraging for builds.

Normally this is a peaceful affair, with only minor scuffles reported the following morning. That was not the case today.

Squashed Elves where everywhere, ingrained into the carpet or slammed against furniture. They’re resilient little creatures so they’ll all be fine (probably), but recovering our Elven workforce to a functioning state and cleaning up the Elven bodily fluids spilt during the night is not a fun job. Still, at least we get paid to do it. No that’s not right…

The cause of the destruction was found abandoned in the corridor with an Elf squashed underneath it and another swinging miserably from the crane mounted on the rear.

But what on Earth was it? Well it turns out ‘on Earth’ is the wrong place to start, as this amazing machine is apparently a ‘Martian Heavy Transporter’, a six-wheel-drive, skid steer, off-road crane truck, built to carry containers across the Martian landscape.

Each of those six wheels is fully suspended and powered by an individual XL Motor, with all six hooked up to a BuWizz bluetooth control that delivers up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions system. No wonder it could catch the fleeing Elves.

Mounted on the top of the chassis is an enormous remotely operated linear-actuator powered crane that can pull a large container onto the rear of the vehicle with ease, in a manner somewhere between LEGO’s neat 1994 6668 Recycle Truck and something from Robot Wars, or slide it to the ground by unfurling itself rearwards.

It’s a seriously slick piece of engineering and one we’re properly impressed by, even if it the cause of some considerable tidying up plus the need to administer a bit of Elven healthcare. Whilst we get on with that you can see more of this remarkable vehicle courtesy of desert752 of Eurobricks / Kirill Mazurov (aka Desert Eagle) of Flickr.

Head to Eurobricks and/or Flickr via the links for more, where a video of Desert / Kirill’s ‘Martian Heavy Transport’ and a complete gallery of imagery can also be found.

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Life on Mars*

Lego Mars Shuttle

It is conceivable that humans will land on Mars well within our lifetime. This means that even if there isn’t alien life on Mars, there will be, well… alien life on Mars. For the first time in the history of mankind, we will be aliens.

Flickr’s Andreas Lenander imagines what a landing in 2050 could look like with his ‘HORN’ shuttle, complete with a rather splendid looking Martian surface.

Fast forward a few decades and driving across Mars will be as mundane as trucking up the M40. At least according to fellow Flickrer Luis Baixinho and his Mars Truck.

See more of each build via the links in the text above.

Lego Mars Rover

*The title of this post definitely comes from this rather than this. Sorry LEGO, it wasn’t one of your finest efforts, even with the Futurama-esque tubes.

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Life on Mars

Lego The Martian Ares 7 Rover

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

This spectacular Ares 7 Mars rover, inspired by the motion picture ‘The Martian’, comes to us from Jeremy Williams. It features fully independent suspension, Power Functions drive, and twin-axle steering, and there’s more to see at Jeremy’s photostream.

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Fab Febrovery

Lego Space Rover

Febrovery continues, and Flickr’s F@bz is the latest builder to get his rove on. Whatever this is, it looks rather wonderful, and there’s more too see at F@bz’ photo stream via the link above.

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Pump Up The Volume

Pump

One of The Lego Car Blog Elves has just staggered back into the office, having been lost in the Hardnuary group on Flickr for a while. It’s demanding a blue Smartie as a reward but as this build isn’t a vehicle of any kind (and Hardnuary finished 5 days ago), we’re saying, “No”. However we are blogging this model by Dicky Laban because we think it’s a neat bit of work, it’s car related and it also gives us an excuse to post a link to this classic tune from 1987.

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Exploration Isn’t Dead

…We just have further to go. Meet the Curiosity Rover, LEGO Cuusoo’s latest offering.

Lego Mars Curiosity Rover

Set number 21104; coming soon to Legoland Mars.

Of all the Cuusoo models to date, this is undoubtedly the one that stays most faithful to the original project. There seems hardly any difference between this set and Stephen Pakbaz’s proposal. Mr Pakbaz is not only a LEGO fan, but a Mechanical Engineer working on the Curiosity project, so we can trust him to make a faithful model.

So far, the Cuusoo project has been a bit hit and miss. It’s a fantastic idea, and I hope LEGO persist with it; models like this make the exercise well worth it. We probably don’t need all the IP-dominated models of wildly varying quality (DeLorean, anyone?) but at least this model shows you don’t need to exploit a popular franchise to get noticed.

One thing I really like about these sets is the presentation. They come in a sturdy, tastefully decorated Architecture-style box with a glossy, square-bound instruction book that includes some fascinating information on the model and its designer. You pay a little more as a consequence but it’s well worth it. That said, this isn’t too expensive – £30 for 295 pieces presented with this quality is perfectly reasonable value.

So, the build. You start with a little slice of Martian terrain for the vehicle to roll over and show off its suspension. Simple, but a nice touch. Next, it’s the body of the rover; a slightly irregular white box with plenty of greebles. Wait, they can’t be greebles – on the real thing, all this stuff does something… There are 17 cameras and many scientific instruments to analyse this vehicle’s surroundings. With much data to process, there’s no need for a fast machine – how does 200 metres per day grab you? – speed freaks need not apply, I guess, despite the nuclear power…

It’s a fairly quick build; reasonably straightforward with a smattering of SNOT and a touch of Technic to liven it up. It’s an enjoyable thing to put together. As you go through it, the book tells you little tidbits of information about the rover and its mission and it’s fascinating stuff. For instance, this vehicle can roll over obstructions up to 65cm high while keeping it’s body full of delicately calibrated instruments amazingly stable.

The model will do something similar. It features the same type of rocker-bogie suspension and it works brilliantly. Roll it over any uneven surface (not too fast…) and it really impresses with the stability of the body. It’s done fairly simply but it works superbly. So, an impressively realistic model at a reasonable price with a dose of playability – what’s not to like?

Criticisms? Come on, there’s gotta be something…. Well, if you’re going to push me, I could wonder why it has conventional truck-type wheels and tires when those hard plastic wheels you sometimes see in space sets might be closer to the real thing. Hardly a big issue, that, and it looks fine as it is. Can’t think of anything else to carp at.

Together, LEGO Cuusoo and Stephen Pakbaz have scored a home run. If the idea of exploring other worlds is at all interesting to you, you’ll enjoy this a lot. 10/10.

Highly Recommended.

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Gaza Strip in Space

Octan Attack!

He'd better have a good insurance policy.

Terrorists and freedom fighters blowing stuff up is sadly all too common on Earth and it seems the future residents of Mars are no better off. The RPG wielding fellow above is about to make the tanker driver’s day a whole lot more orange. Mark Stafford, a LEGO employee no less, is the artist behind this awesome action shot.

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