I understand why there are rules for Neo-Classic Space, they exist so that the range of Neo-Classic Space MOCs out there can be displayed together and look like a cohesive theme, so what do you do when you want to build a Neo-Classic Space MOC but you disagree with some of the established ‘rules’?
When planning and building my Neo-Classic Space MOC A-38 Exploration Base I did a lot of research into what was out there, I joined all the Facebook groups and read everything I could in terms of what the established conventions were. One day I came across a set of ‘rules’ for Neo-Classic Space MOCs on NeoClassicSpace.com and whilst a lot of the rules made sense to me, some of them seemed pretty strange, or at least based on one person’s personal choice with no justifiable reason why they would be that way (and certainly no basis in the original Classic Space sets).
I have been a member of various LEGO Facebook pages and groups and am aware of the spectrum of views on LEGO canon and how LEGO ‘should’ be done. I came to the decision that as I was setting out to build a MOC for my own enjoyment I didn’t really need to adhere to these rules if I disagreed with them, after all as a child I never asked anyone how to correctly play with LEGO, so why would I start doing it now?
I do believe that a set of guidelines can be important in creating cohesion and consistency if you are going to display your MOCs together with someone else’s work, however I think it can be just as valuable to come up with your own rules for the world within your own MOCs… this is the direction I chose to go in.
I have listed below the ‘rules’ from NeoClassicSpace.com that I disagree with and why, but I guess what I am trying to get across is that you definitely can and should make up your own rules.
One of the first things I read on the Neo Classic Space website is that the minifigures should use authentic skintones rather than the traditional LEGO yellow. I am not sure if they are doing this because they think it adds more realism or to be more inclusive but I personally like the traditional LEGO yellow as a skintone precisely because it is not exclusive and represents everyone. Another point of note is that the LEGO group only uses the authentic skintones in licensed sets eg: Harry Potter and Star Wars.
According to the rules of Neo-Classic Space wingtips should have green lights on the right and red lights on the left. I have looked through the Classic Space sets and most sets seem to have red lights on both left and right wingtips. The green lights on the red and green lights on the right convention actually comes from international conventions for navigation lights, you can find out more about them here. In my MOC I decided to only use green lights on my wings, this is purely for aesthetic reasons.
In the Neo Classic Space rules they specify only white and red space suits. I have used red, white, blue and yellow to represent different roles of minifigs in my base (and because I have a personal affinity for the blue and yellow figures), my colour choices are completely arbitrary, I originally set out to use yellow for scientists, blue for technicians, red for pilots and white for command, but in the end I just mixed them up. I think from an aesthetic point of view they also help tie the whole MOC together visually.
Light Grey vs Light Bluish Grey
In the rules of Neo-Classic Space they say that you can use either Light Grey or Light Bluish Grey but suggest that you will get more ‘respect’ for using Light Grey. I understand why they think this way but I personally believe it is much too limiting in terms of part availability (and the fact that they have not made any more Light Grey parts since 2004.) I have chosen to use Light Bluish Grey as much as possible, but where a piece only exists in Light Grey I have used it anyway.
Rightly or wrongly I see the Classic Space ‘bumblebee’ stripes on the wings of space craft as a representation (albeit in 8 bit) of the common black and yellow safety or hazzard stripes and since we now have access to great printed LEGO tiles with black and yellow safety/hazzard stripes on them I have used them on my ships instead.
Red Wheel Hubs
In the Neo Classic Space rules they say that wheel hubs for ground vehicles should be red. I disagree with this one as the only reason that Classic Space sets had red wheel hubs is that all LEGO wheel hubs were red at the time (at least until 1984!) It wasn’t a design choice to use red, those Classic Space set designers had to use wheels with red hubs. I tried red wheel hubs on my rovers but felt that they stood out too much visually and drew too much attention, so I changed them to light bluish grey in my MOC.