08 September 2022

Space Tools Parts Fest: Dana Knudson

Posted by Kev Levell

The first of two Glorious Galactic Guests joins our Parts Festival today to present some wonderful MOCs using a selection of the minifigure accessories found in Classic Space sets. Dana Knudson is @Troublesbricking on Instagram.

Dana chose to utilise 3835 Axe from 1978 which has been made available in 3 colours, 3959 Space Gun/ Torch from 1979 which has been available in 11 colours, 4735 Robot Arm from 1985 which has been available in 9 colours, and 4349 Megaphone from 1982 which has been available in 10 colours. 

Microscale Space Fleets

When I was a kid, everything could be used for a make-believe spaceship. Soda bottles, pen caps or even the TV remote control could be envisioned as a spaceship. With LEGO it was also the same. Throw some bricks together and you could swoosh anything through the living room or the backyard. All you needed were some thruster looking pieces and you were good to go.

In my opinion the 3959 “Space Gun/Torch” element is one of the most classic minifigure elements of all time. It always looked great, whether it’s in the hand of an astronaut or attached to the nose cone of a spaceship. In my head it also looks like the end of an engine thruster. I’m sure others have thought the same, but I’d never sat down to build a microscale spaceship before. It was time to change that.

When people see microscale LEGO builds I think most would say that they look simple and easy to make. They would be wrong, because they are far from it. Microscale is a completely different game. You have to stop looking at parts for what you think they would be used for and really get abstract with them.

These little fighters are a total nod to Blacktron. 

I did think about colouring the Space Fleet blue and light gray, but it just didn't work with what I was going for. However if/when I grow the fleet I am sure there will be some Classic Space versions or even Space Police 1 or 2. It might be a stretch, but the littlest ship with the fleet is supposed to resemble a Firefly class cargo ship!

The overachiever in me was not going to be happy with just one spaceship so a fleet started to emerge. 

I decided that certain elements would need to be consistent across all the spaceships so there is some sense of reason why things look the way they do - thrusters, windows, airlocks, etc. This was no longer about just building microscale spaceships, it was about creating a universe that they existed in.

At one time I would have called myself a "LEGO Purist". Honouring the bricks as LEGO intended. However, in the last few years I have become more of a Mad Man. I am no stranger to cutting baseplates, dying windshields, removing printing and even chemically bonding parts together. Originally I was just going to use the antenna base to represent some sort of weapon, but the voice inside my head said, "Go on. Do it. You know you want to cut the antennas." Before I start getting hate messages, I will let you know I have planted 10 new antenna seeds for every antenna I cut down.

Monochrome Habitat

Next I turned to the philosophy of "build what you know". So I went with a Monochrome Habitat.

Oddly enough the confines of using a familiar type of building gave me just enough juice to come up with something. 

I packed in 9 of the tools; 5 as they were originally designed to be used and 4 repurposed as something they were not designed for.  The New E admin had suggested we create one "non-space" build, and I feel this MOC could easily be a manufacturing facility in a future setting!

READ MORE: Last week Thomas Jenkins explored the air tanks and shovel

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  1. Love the 'family' feel of the microscale fleet - very cool!

  2. I'm hard pressed seeing the axe as a "space" part although it apparently appeared in 6929 Starfleet Voyager and 6930 Space Supply Station...

  3. Great builds. What are those "short levers" in the lever bases of the space fleet? First I thought it was forced perspective, but it obviously isn't.

    1. I guess you mean the antennas. They're cut down ordinary antennas, as mentioned in the text.

  4. So when did TLG switch to the softer material for the robot-arms? I thought it was just my imagination, but the ones I found in sets after my "dark ages" are more rubbery, and unfortunately their anti-stud also has a lot less clutch-power...

    1. When the Ideas exo-suit came out, they realized the clutch power was very weak for that element because they were still using in the original 1970's mold in the 2010's! So, they cut a new mold to replace the one that was way past retirement date and it seems to be better now. Mark Stafford had said something about this in a BrickJournal (or maybe it was Brickset?) article around that time.

    2. sorry, mistyped. It was the original 1980's mold, not a '70's one.