When setting out to design and build my Neo-Classic Space MOC A-83 Exploration Base I decided that I did not want to use the original Classic Space printed computer pieces.
This might strike some Classic Space purists as sacrilege but don’t get me wrong, I love those Classic Space computers! My reasoning is that I see them as being representative of Seventies and Eighties era tech – with physical buttons and switches and small cathode ray or liquid crystal displays – and I don’t think this really captures the level of technology available to the minifigures who would inhabit the Neo-Classic Space era.
Ideally I wanted to have computer screens appear as flat 2 x 2 tile wall panels in the corridors of my base as well as raised consoles, small 1 x 2 panels on equipment and 1 x 2 slope control panels for vehicles. My first port of call was to look through all the available decorated pieces in these sizes on BrickLink. I had also decided that they should be black to contrast and stand out well against light bluish grey and blue (my thinking is they would represent black backlit touch screens.)
My initial search yielded some great stickered 1 x 2 tiles and 1 x 2 slopes. The pieces I found come from 70909 Batcave Break-In and 70142 Eris’ Fire Eagle Flyer, the great thing being that even though they come from unrelated sets (A LEGO Batman Movie set and a Chima set) they are pretty close in visual style and have a colour scheme which ties in really well with the Classic Space palette.
My initial search did not however uncover any black 2 x 2 printed tiles suitable for use as wall panels and I began to think that I was going to have to rethink this idea. That was of course until I was browsing Facebook and saw an image posted in LEGO® Classic Space – Facebook User Group by Captain Mutant which showed wall mounted 2 x 2 dark blue tiles with a black sticker computer interface on them that matched exactly the style of the tile and slopes I had previously found. The tiles were from 71264 Story Pack – The LEGO Batman Movie: Play the Complete Movie and are used as the Batcomputer screens, they hadn’t come up in my search because they are dark blue rather than black. So it was Batman to the rescue yet again! I quickly put in an order for 12 of them on BrickLink.
In the original set they have been used rotated in various ways in an effort to make the repetition less obvious, but when my BrickLink order arrived I tested out the printed pieces and quickly decided that whilst they did work this way, it did look a bit too repetitive for my liking.
It was at about this time that I had printed up some custom stickers for my Former Bendigo Fire Station MOC and was pretty happy with the combination of a glossy label stock and inkjet printing so I thought I might have a go at designing some of my own screen designs to tie in with the colour scheme and visual style of the 2 x 2 piece and the 1 x 2 tiles and slopes.
You can see my six custom screen designs above, I based them on the designs of the five original pieces, the 2 x 2 Batcomputer screen tile as well as other existing LEGO pieces I found in my search with just a hint of Star Trek thrown in for good measure. Working in Adobe Illustrator I created each screen as a vector image so the elements would appear crisp no matter the size they end up being printed. (Incidentally if you would like to print out a set of them yourself, you can get your hands on my artwork here.)
I ended up being so happy with how the designs turned out that I got them custom printed on 2 x 2 black tiles by Edd at BrickSanity in the UK. You can see an image of a few of them in situ in my MOC below and how they work in together with the existing LEGO pieces.