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6455-1: Space Simulation Station
Published 1 month ago
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The build is 98% exact; the most noticeable is a missing part #30343 4x10x2 Double-Slope Window Roof, which I had to replace with bare white bricks for the Main Building's roof. Other absent parts are mostly decorative.



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This set no. 6455 'Space Simulation Station,' also known as 'Space Port Astronaut Training Centre,' came out in 1999 as part of the Town's "Space Port" subtheme—the latest Lego collection dedicated to space exploration.

The subject previously appeared in the Lego world, actually on several occasions. First off, Town had the "Launch Command" subtheme in 1995-'97, which served as the blueprint for later collections and introduced a basic line-up: a launchpad scene, a cargo airplane transporting the shuttle, ground response team, etc. The "Launch Command" also debuted the Lego's fictional space agency logo, only slightly updated and restyled for the "Space Port."

Before the "Launch Command," a few individual Lego models came out, such as the set no. 1682 'Space Shuttle' in 1990 (sporting the NASA emblem and the USA flags instead of a fictional logo), or the 'Shuttle Launching Crew' no. 6346 released in the Town's "Flight" subtheme in 1992.

Lego models typically don't credit a specific designer, with few exceptions (like "Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series" models, which had detailed interviews and background info in the instruction manual). But in our age of free data exchange and social media, it became easier to allocate the creators of specific Lego sets. There are CV's and portfolios online; most veteran Lego employees are hardcore AFOL themselves, active on forums, and well familiar with popular databases.

Recently I added the set no. 6740 'Xtreme Tower' from the "Island Xtreme Stunts" theme on Mecabricks, and found out about Bjarke Lykke Madsen, a Lego designer who's been working for the company since Aug 1997. Madsen kindly submitted a comprehensive list of his creations to Bricklink—over 125 sets with personal notes! What an excellent source of insider's trivia and first-hand details.

According to Madsen's commentary, the 'Space Simulation Station' was the third Lego set he ever designed. The original idea to include a Training Center in the "Space Port" line came to Rick Siegrist, a Lead Creative Designer at the time, who even started a sketch but had to pass it to Madsen due to his workload. (Richard Siegrist, unfortunately, passed away in 2009, only 41 years old).

Madsen developed and improved the g-force simulator, added a small test rocket, and created the rest of the scene. When a manager asked if he would need any graphics for his model, Madsen suggested some yellow-and-black warning stripes. Since Bjarke just finished the internal illustrator's course, he ended up making this decal himself: https://rebrickable.com/parts/2431pr0017

Twenty years later, it's still in production and appeared in over 80 sets. It was Madsen's first and only opportunity to apply his illustrator skills, so not too bad for a sole contribution!

The Command Center building is surprisingly simplistic for the late 1990s (resembling some of the early 90s or even late 80s "Classic Town" builds). Nevertheless, it's elegant and well-designed, with a couple of "space" dashboards on the second floor and a glassed sunroof (unfortunately missing in my build). A clean and spacious white room matches a general look and feel; with a bare desert landscape, this station might as well be standing on the moon's surface! A few exterior details include pressurized gas tanks and a toolkit at the baseplate's opposite end.

A g-force simulator stands on a separate 16x16 baseplate (attached to the larger baseplate with just a 2x2 plate). There isn't much about the design, but the centrifuge itself is unique, and I really like how Madsen used 2x4 cross-hinge plates to mount the astronaut's seat and a counterweight. Epic!

The "test rocket," which I thought was just a flight simulator at first (on a moving platform to provide haptic feedback to the training pilot), is actually an aircraft, albeit a miniature one. So the tilting platform acts as a launchpad.

The "Space Port" subtheme only lasted for one year. Lego followed-up quickly, though, with Space's "Life on Mars" subtheme in 2001 (portraying the only peaceful interaction between humans and aliens in Lego history). Next came a "Mars Mission" in 2007—this time, astronauts battling evil Martians. Since then, most "City" generations, including the 2019-'20 season, had a "space program" subtheme or individual models.

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More sets designed by Bjarke Lykke Madsen

3309-1: Head Stand (1998)

2963-1: Extreme Team Racer (1998)

6740-1: Xtreme Tower (2002)

7035-1: Police HQ (2003)

4511-1: High Speed Train (2003)
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1 month ago
Awesome job! I actually have this set! This is so cool!
132 models | 3.6k views
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