My final attempt at a remake of the old 1968-1 set. I think this captures all of the original design elements while still looking newer and more "realistic" than the original.
About this creation
Status: Intact. I like this one, and I think it's the final version. It's been a long, sometimes frustrating attempt at remaking this obscure, even unloved set, but it's done. Hopefully, all of the design elements like the color scheme, the engines, the lasers and all that came out close enough to the original that one can look at them side by side, and say "yep, they're related".
Some of you may notice that it's called "Space Express", even though the original 1968-1 never had an official name. Looking up the set on Wikipedia, there is a name listed, but I never could verify the name. It sort of fits, and all good ships need a name.
First, the lasers were moved to underneath and just inside of the cockpit. This way, you don't have those pesky cable in the way, and it keeps the overall length down to just a hair past that of the original.
The engines on the front of the cockpit module swing down during flight, and has its own landing gear.
The rear section still has the little buggy in the back, and it still opens the same... mostly. I figured having a larger area to store it in would be nice, and the ramp mechanism works great at the height of the ship when on its landing gear.
The antenna on the top now lay parallel with the ship, seeing how it just made it taller for no reason. They also make it easier to open the new secondary cockpit underneath.
Top view shows you the same basic layout as the original. The white slopes are a sensor package. The original set had two 2x2 slope computer bricks... I never really thought what they were supposed to be, until I found just the right sticker from another set.
The landing gear supports the weight so well, you can detach the cockpit module and it will still stand. In addition, it also makes the ramp on the back lower at this perfect angle, perfect for letting it roll out on its own.
Here, you can see the landing gear folded up onto the bottom. You can also see the cockpit module's landing gear just behind the engines, the support beams for the cockpit, and various little details.
Did I mention that the wings swing forward? It can sit in the same space as the original, but then have larger wings for flying around.
One thing I always wondered about the original set was where the robot sat. He couldn't share the cockpit or the rear compartment, and just hanging on to the ship made no real sense. I decided to include a space for him, and the Technic frame I used allowed for a nice empty spot right in the middle.
The ramp drops down, letting the buggy roll out on its own. The seat folds up, the controls fold out, and either the pilot or the robot can drive it. In fact, all three seats (cockpit, secondary cockpit and the buggy) are totally interchangeable with either figure.
The trans-yellow canopy opens all the way straight up, but that's far more than you'll ever need. Other mini-figs and cargo can fit inside.
Our pilot and her trusty robot companion. The granddaughter of the original test pilot for the 1968-1, she's proud to fly the Space Express. The original served for years without problem, even if it wasn't the prettiest vessel in service. Known for it's sturdiness and reliability, it was only after the inevitable, relentless progress of technology that finally saw the 1968-1 no longer up to standards. But the tradition carries on with the Space Express!
Quoting commander Vulcan 79
cool. could you please post instructions??
Sorry, I don't have any. Everything I build is pretty much designed in my head, and then built as I go. Even then, it changes as I find issues like parts not fitting exactly, or not having exact pieces. Short of taking it apart (which I am loath to do), you'll have to look at it and try to figure it out.
Very interesting. I wouldn't have thought a "modernized" version of this set could be made so sleek and practical while retaining the feel of the original, but you have pulled it off wonderfully. I spent a long time comparing it with the original, and it has made me rethink some of my ideas of the classic space sets. I hope to see more classic space remakes from you in the future...