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You are go for launch with LEGO Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V [Review]

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The Saturn V moon rocket is a masterpiece of engineering and remains the largest rocket ever successfully launched. Between 1967 and 1973, thirteen rockets left earth, taking us to the moon and building Skylab, the United States’ first space station. So it’s fitting that LEGO Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V is the largest Ideas set produced to date, clocking in at a massive 1,969 pieces in an homage to Apollo 11. When countdown ends and the rocket set launches on June 1, 2017, it will retail for $119.99. Included is the Saturn V rocket in three stages, the command and service module, lunar lander, and command module with floatation device.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The Box (and instructions)

Like other Ideas sets, Saturn V comes in a black box, with the model on the front and the LEGO Ideas branding. Unlike other Ideas sets. the box is not made of the thicker, sturdier cardboard, likely due to the size, nor does it have a hinged lid that opens and reseals easily. Our box, sadly, arrived a little worse for the wear.

The box features a beautiful picture of Earth below and a starry sky above. The front has blue schematics of the model made to mimic blueprints, giving the scale and physical size of the model. The back of the box shows the model in its finished sub-models, along with a launch sequence and iconic pictures from Apollo 11. A map of the moon shows where each Apollo mission landed.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The instruction book is just as beautiful as we’ve come to expect LEGO Ideas books to be. It’s bound like a book and 182 pages long. The cover features a white-line drawing of the rocket leaving Earth.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

When you open the cover, you are greeted by historical photos from NASA of Saturn V, the command module, the moon rover, and members of the crew in front of a training lunar lander. The opposite page contains a brief history of Project Apollo, focusing mostly on Apollo 11 with brief mentions of the other missions. Turn the page to see the LEGO version of the rocket broken down into each of its parts, giving names for the engines, stages, and modules. Included are photos from the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building, along with descriptions of how the command and service modules docked with the lunar lander.

The following pages give a visual timeline, from launch to lunar landing of an Apollo mission, complete with photos (where available) of different stages along with more photos of the program. Flip the page one more time to learn about fan designers Valerie Roche and Felix Stiessen and LEGO designers Michael Psiaki, Carl Thomas Merriam, and Austin William Carlson.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

 

The Build

This is a long, luxurious build. Overall, the model took more than 5 hours to construct, and each moment was spent uttering things like, “oh, that’s clever” and, “Wow. Really? In an official set?” Practically the entire rocket makes extensive use of some of the most complex SNOT techniques to ever grace an official set.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The set comes with 12 bags: Bags 1-8 make up the first Stage (the business end of a Saturn V); Bags 9 and 10 make up Stage 2. Bag 11 contains Stage 3, while Bag 12 completes the rocket with the launch escape system, command module, service module, and lunar lander.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The rocket comes together from the bottom up and inside out, then circles back around: most of the first Stage is complete before adding on the F1 engines that the entire rocket rests on. Despite being a 39″ tall tower, the model is bottom-heavy and relatively stable. A good push will knock it over, but its sturdy enough to stand alone while building.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

One point of difficulty comes from attaching some of the sub-builds to the core of the model: the tolerances for getting studs lined up is very tight and on more than one occasion, I had difficulty snapping pieces together. This is particularly noticeable on Stage 1, since the sub-assemblies are so long. Part of the issue included a mistake I made early on: the instructions were unclear on precisely which studs the sub-assembly was supposed to attach to. This was due to the point-of-view angle in the instructions, resulting in my sub-assemblies being misaligned by one stud. This was the only place there was an issue; all other instances of attaching long sub-assemblies had easier visual references.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

A number of unorthodox techniques are at play in holding the exterior panels in place, including brackets turned at 45° angles, as well as clips and Mixels ball joints. In some instances, the designers have even exploited the geometry of unusual parts like the 1×2 plate with vertical bar (in green) to hold segments in place.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The Parts

Like all Ideas sets, there are no stickers to be found around here. There are tiles that say “United” and “States”, printed 2×3 curved slopes with U, S, and A, along with four printed curved slopes with American flags on them. There’s also a single 1×8 white tile with black rectangles to add detailing. Additionally, there are printed elements on the lunar lander and command module, as well as the 1×2 clear tile with the flag used for the vignette of the lunar lander.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The set comes with four micro astronauts (one is an extra). They are all identical, so it’s up to you to choose who gets to be Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, or Michael Collins.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

Saturn V does not feature any new element molds; it does, however, feature some parts in new colors. My favorite part in a new color goes to the half large barrel, appearing in Pearl Dark Grey for the first time. The texture on it works perfectly as the F1 engines. It also includes the new 1×1 round tile with bar (aka inkwell) in both black and white. White is currently only otherwise available in the Collectible Minifigures Series 17 Dance Instructor, while black has only just shown up in the Speed Champions Bugatti Chiron.

You’ll also get 144 2×3 curved slopes in white, not counting the printed ones, plus 144 brackets in various styles and colors.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The Finished Model

This model is stunning. It’s impressive to behold, standing 39 inches tall. The iconic black and white checkered patterns stand out, with enough details worked in to help the rocket avoid looking like a bland pillar. Putting your micro Neil Armstrong at the base of the rocket gives a sense of just how massively large these rockets really are.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V
21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

Once assembled, the rocket fits the lunar lander above the third Stage. Unfortunately, the landed command module does not fit inside the finished rocket.
21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V
21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The very top of the rocket is made up of the service module, command module, and launch escape system. There are a number of changes here from the original fan model to the set, most noticeably on the launch escape system. The fan model used a 2x2x5 lattice support brick in white, which has been changed to columns of white taps here. The overall look is streamlined, and works quite well on the final model.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

Each stage is connected using clips, creating a very sturdy connection that’s still easy to separate for transport or display. Stage 1 uses four sets, while the other stages use two sets each. Much of the most complicated SNOT work is used to put the clips into place in such a way they stand up to the force necessary to separate the stages.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

This is a big set, and I knew that after reading the press release, but nothing quite prepared me to stand next to the finished model. The large Stage 1 section stands taller than my cat.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V
21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

For reference, here’s Saturn V standing next to 10231 Shuttle Expedition. The shuttle has 1,230 pieces, and stands an impressive 17.5 inches tall, and was formerly the largest NASA LEGO set. It includes the fuel tank and booster rockets. The shuttle and rocket are not quite to scale with each other, but they’re close, with the shuttle being just 3 inches shorter than it would be at the rocket’s 1:110 scale. Nevertheless, the shuttle looks tiny compared to its predecessor in manned spaceflight.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

With all this talk about large rockets, let’s not forget about the smallest of the builds: the command module and the lunar lander, the reason for the rocket’s existance. After all, that giant rocket is merely the propulsion system for this tiny lander.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The lunar lander is adorable and instantly recognizable. It’s a simple construction, without using many parts.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

A printed 2×2 round boat tile is used to great effect as the hatch.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

Smallest of all is the command module, floating in the ocean after returning to Earth. The whole thing uses just 10 pieces, with eight orange hinges for the floatation ring. The ring simply rests snugly around the module with no official connection.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

The Verdict

The set will appeal on many levels: it’s a solid build with excellent techniques. It’s got a good selection of parts, and it’s a scale model of the most iconic launch vehicle of the 20th century. The Saturn V deserves a place on any LEGO or Space fan’s shelf. Plus, even if you just want it for the pieces, it’s a bargain at just over $0.06 per part, roughly 40 percent lower than most LEGO sets average.

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V will be available June 1, 2017.


The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The post You are go for launch with LEGO Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V [Review] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

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slubman
12 days ago
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Sergy, France
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New career play: Galileo's Planet Pack first big endeavour

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As I’m getting ready to send a manned expedition to Eve in my standard career, I started to play an heavily (for my standard) modded KSP installation.
Instead of playing in the stock solar system, I decided to get a fresh experience in KSP. This career is played with the beautiful and intriguing Galileo’s Planet Pack.
Since I started playing this career, I have not played to much in the stock-ish one.

After the initial grind for science and money, I had enough to start some buildings of my own. One of the contracts I was given was to have a Iota outpost. I decided for once to try to build an expandable ground outpost.

Below is the outpost after the first two modules installation: a science lab and an habitation module.

An ISRU is now also installed

Yep, the solar array finally arrived, but just as the sun was being blocked by the terrain, so basically useless for the time being.


With the sun back (at least according to the solar panels), the first crews have arrived to the outpost grand opening.



Some of the kerbals were there just for the inauguration, and are now heading back to the small Iota research space station.

And have arrived on the space station.


In order to have a functionnal outpost for the long (~11 days) Iota night a nuclear reactor was brought to the outpost. Standing alone some ~400m away from the habitation part, this reactor is just the first module of a full power plant that will be built there. The resources are shared using the Simple Logistics mod.

In the meantime, a contract to expand the outpost was received, and completed. Now with more living space.

Decided to try to have a workshop to build vessel at the outpost using Simple Construction, so an ore storage was added to the outpost.

The workshop require way more storage that I had planned, so a metal and rocket parts storage module is now there, as the first resource module of the outpost
Also after some tests, the workshop output docking port is not correctly oriented to be useful.


Now baring the addition of an improved EPL and of other resources module in the future as needed, the habitation and workshop part of the outpost is done.
Top view
Left view
Right view


With the habitation/workshop kind of complete, tt’s time to build the power plant next to the lone nuclear reactor.

The truss segment was built on site, and I reused some of the tugs to deploy it. This is the only useful onsite vessel built by the workshop.


While the truss segment was being built, 2 battery and solar arrays modules were sent from Gael, and brought to the surface one truss deployment was done, to complete the power plant.



With that the Iota outpost is now more or less complete. My eyes are directed toward Ceti now anyway.




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slubman
13 days ago
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Sergy, France
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Which is worse?

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slubman
13 days ago
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Sergy, France
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Lunch Order

4 Comments and 16 Shares
GO FOR LUNCH, REPEAT, GO FOR LUNCH.
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slubman
14 days ago
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Sergy, France
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4 public comments
GuuZ
9 days ago
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:)
Covarr
14 days ago
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Shouldn't a lunch order have details, such as what lunch is being ordered?
Moses Lake, WA
astw56
14 days ago
It seems they're in the mood for Russian today, Covarr.
Covarr
14 days ago
I wish there were a way to like replies.
satadru
13 days ago
Time to put in a feature request!
ameel
14 days ago
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:D
Melbourne, Australia
alt_text_bot
14 days ago
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GO FOR LUNCH, REPEAT, GO FOR LUNCH.

Débat, combat, coups bas

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Rediffusion de circonstance

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slubman
18 days ago
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Sergy, France
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Survivorship Bias

5 Comments and 24 Shares
They say you can't argue with results, but what kind of defeatest attitude is that? If you stick with it, you can argue with ANYTHING.
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slubman
31 days ago
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Sergy, France
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5 public comments
FarrelBuch
31 days ago
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Survivorship bias is just the beginning. We humans love stories, particularly about just one person. Alas, only systematic review of ALL the data is the only hope of seeing effects that are not random chance and seeing how big those effects are.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
CallMeWilliam
31 days ago
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Applies to actively managed funds too, of course.
dukeofwulf
31 days ago
Basically just another lottery.
elwillow
31 days ago
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Applies to jobs search too.
Ottawa, Ontario
alt_text_bot
31 days ago
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They say you can't argue with results, but what kind of defeatest attitude is that? If you stick with it, you can argue with ANYTHING.
Covarr
31 days ago
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I'd rather see speeches about how it's okay not to be a massive success. "Statistically, kids, some of you won't ever make it significantly above the poverty line. But you'll keep going, and raise a family, and when you look back on your life in the end, you'll realize that at least you were a more likable person than Justin Bieber.
Moses Lake, WA
sfrazer
31 days ago
Such a low bar, and most of reddit will still fail to meet it.
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