One of the main things we decided to start BricksFanz up for was to connect with fellow fans and share our combined love of LEGO®. So we are delighted to share our first ever guest article from one of our readers, Daniel Potter aka ‘legobookworm’. Daniel has given his thoughts about one of the most popular LEGO Ideas launched so far. The NASA Apollo Saturn V was an instant hit upon its release back in June last year. Stock outstripped demand and getting hold of a set was near on impossible. So for our very first contributed piece, we are calling Fanz Thoughtz, Daniel revisits the Saturn V and give his thoughts on the set.
Revisiting The NASA Apollo Saturn V
by Daniel Potter
Revisiting the magnificent NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 set released to great fanfare last year is an interesting experience. When the set was first released there was so much demand and hype for the set that the build and the finished model got somewhat lost in the noise. I myself was only able to get hold of the set in December, so it was with great anticipation that I opened the box just before Christmas. I was not disappointed.
Although the Saturn V missed out on the top spot in many fans’ best set of 2017 lists (losing out to equally stunning builds like NINJAGO City and Destiny’s Bounty), the sheer scale and beauty of the set cannot be forgotten. I had worried that the build experience would not match that of grand, intricately detailed sets like NINJAGO City, so I was pleasantly surprised by the reality of the build.
The smooth white exterior of the rocket hides a complex skeleton of Technic and System pieces, ingeniously integrated and utilised by the designers to pull off one of the most remarkable SNOT effects I have ever seen. The designers have used virtually every SNOT brick in the inventory to align the plating of the hull, matching every panel and vent seamlessly.
This would be a remarkable enough achievement on its own, however the rocket separates into each stage, with the box giving a fantastic indication of how the stages fall away during a launch for the moon. The rigidity of the model when constructed and displayed at full length is genuinely commendable, a casual observer would be quite astonished to discover that the bulk of the rocket is attached at only a few points.
One of the few criticisms I could level at the set is that trying to pull apart the stages is a rather difficult and delicate task, as the joins are very well concealed and very solid. I’m sure more than one owner of this set has become an unexpected rocketeer and launched half of the model across the room at high velocity!
The 1969 pieces are used to construct more than the towering rocket itself, with a miniscule crew, Apollo lander and splashdown scene also included.
Whilst the lander can be attached to the rocket, as it would be during a mission, these smaller builds are best when they are displayed next to the gargantuan spacecraft, further enhancing the wow factor of the set when displayed. As you can see in some of the pictures that accompany this piece, the Saturn V dominates a room when completed.
So, as I gazed upon the majestic rocket, newly completed, I reflected on the hype and demand for the set. Was it worth it? Were the weekly searches in John Lewis and the constant checks on the LEGO website warranted? Absolutely. Set 21309, the LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V is hands down one of my favourite LEGO sets ever produced.
Normally, once I’ve proudly displayed a set for a little while, it goes into a plastic box for storage and protection. Not this one. The Saturn V just begs to be placed at the centre of a room, displayed in all its magnificence. It even comes with stands! Ever since December I’ve had the sleek lines of the Saturn V displayed on top of my bookcase. And I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a long time…
I take a lot of photos when I’ve built a model, so here are some more shots of the Saturn V. See ya soon!