It has been three years since I last built my Lego Saturn V Rocket. And in that time I have read seven books about people who have worked around or taken a ride in a Saturn V. Of those only a few were by men who had actually ridden in the rocket and even fewer had spent time in the Lunar Excursion Model, or LEM, or as LEGO calls it, the Lunar Lander.
This kit was released in time with the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 2019, and it’s a kit I’ve had in my possession for some time, but the opportunity to build it has only just occurred and it was vastly different from the Saturn V, yet still an enjoyable time-travel back to my youth, when I frequented LEGOs much more often as a means of amusement and entertainment.
As far as the build goes, I will give props to the design team for the fact that you have to build the “lunar surface” plate that the lunar lander will rest on first, after all, the Moon was there before we even attempted to leave our own atmosphere.
Beyond that, the Saturn V build helped prepare me for some of the more innovative joints that these new Creator “expert” level builds contain. These are not the same bricks from my youth, except they are, but there is much more to them. The ball and socket joints are not just the snap these two bricks together kind of connections I was accustomed to back in the day, but they also allow for a build like the Saturn V and this Lunar Lander.
The instructions come with a little history lesson and even during the build some pages contain little facts about the sections of the craft you are working on.
I completed the whole build in less than three hours at a relaxed pace and was, as was the case with the Saturn V, really satisfying. The designers get a lot of credit for not only designing the build in a detailed way, but in a way where the process by which it comes together is logical, and why wouldn’t it be? They’ve done some builds that make this look like, well, it is child’s play, so let’s just leave it at that.
So, I would recommend this set, as I did the Saturn V, because if you enjoy LEGOs and outer-space exploration, this is our past you are building, and perhaps these sets will inspire the next generation of engineers, explorers, and dreamers to go beyond the Moon.
Sure we’re heading back to the Moon, and a Mission to Mars is already on the books, but I hope we don’t spend another few decades afterward being content with where we are. Let us keep pushing.
In the meantime, I have one more set to build. While this Lunar Lander will pair nicely on my mantle with my Saturn V, and the Women of NASA set that is already there, a friend recently gifted me the International Space Station which is probably going to go somewhere in that same living room, but perhaps on top of a bookcase, because let’s face it… The ISS should be in an orbit all it’s own.
Have you built any of the NASA inspired creator sets? Have you gotten back into LEGO at all?
I’m trying to keep my distance… I don’t have the money, and I really don’t have the room to keep on building these… Though the 1960s Ford Mustang did look enticing, I’ve been trying not to think about it too much…