The Beginnings of a Major Lego Project


For the past couple of weeks, I have considered playing with Legos bricks again. I had a lot of fun assembling the Midi-scale Millennium Falcon, because during that build, I returned to a kind of concentration and elevation from worry that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. It is the same kind of joy that I felt when I was much younger and I would assemble my own space themed creations with the numerous sets that I had accumulated as a child.

In the past, I particularly enjoyed building and combining my Castle/Forestmen sets with Classic Space sets. The Forestmen hideouts were fantastic bases for my spacefaring heroes.

I don’t have those old sets any more–thrown away long ago when I was desperately trying to out grow myself. So, how do you figure out where to get back into the game, so to speak, without breaking the bank?

I decided that I should focus my Lego building to something that interests me now, but that I could rely on some Lego-made sets to supplement what I would like to build. After racking my brain for a week, I decided to build a much-scaled-down model of the operations side of Kennedy Space Center. The main objectives are to have the main launch pads, the vehicle assembly building, launch control, and an airstrip.

My project is beginning to come together. I got 6396 International Jetport and 1682 Space Shuttle Set for a very good price on, an auction/seller site exclusively for Lego products. This gives me one of my Space Shuttle orbiters and the airstrip with some ground crew and a control tower. I also won an auction for 6458 Satellite with Astronaut on ebay.

Today, I substantially added to my brick collection in preparation of constructing the vehicle assembly building. I answered a craigslist ad for a person selling Lego bricks by the pound for a very affordable $5/pound (much cheaper than ebay, and without the shipping). Granted, this friendly, retired autoworker lives an hour away from Kent, but I can confidently tell you that the trip was worth the time and fuel. My visit to his house was like going to a Lego museum. He must have had nearly every set from the 1990s including a number of very early sets still in the boxes, unopened. And spare bricks–whoa. I bought 13 pounds of white bricks, and 5 pounds of black, red, and blue bricks, too (see picture above). Also, I picked up 10 extra minifigs from the various space and system lines. He offered me very fair deals on two more Space Shuttles, but I told him that I will have to come back another time to get those. Next time, I will have to ask him if I can photograph his collection, at least in part.

Now the fun begins with building. I will take some time each day to de-stress with my Lego project. It is my hope that I can drag out the project for awhile and get a maximum amount of relaxation from building something tangible with my hands. I would do some work work, but I can’t think of anything that Yufang and I really need built at this time. However, I would jump at the chance to build a hefty set of bookcases for a friend if they supplied the materials!

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.