Next to LEGO Set 920 – in the US sold as LEGO Set 483 Alpha-1 Rocket Base – which I described in an earlier post, LEGO Set 6970 – named Beta-1 Command Base – is the other early surface base available in the early 1980s. The third is LEGO Set 493, the Space Command Center. Of all three, the Beta-1 Command base is the largest one, spanning two crater plates.
Again, I got mine on eBay, took it apart and cleaned it first before reassembling it again. Not quite following the instructions, I established the ground floor of the command post as well as the supporting structure for the launch pad first.
This set is – as far as I know – the only set that comes with some sort of “living quarters” for the space men – all other sets don’t seem to worry about where astronauts might sleep (although this set seems to suggest they must be sharing their bunks with the other shifts…)
The other side of the command post is reserved for work, as it seems – two computers, a desk, two chairs and a large monitor showing a rocket on a launch pad.
The row of digits above the monitor reads “LL 2079” – possibly a reference to LEGO Land and the year 2079 (the set was sold in 1980 but I am sure the design would have started in 1979)… the launch tower and the rocket, by the way, closely resemble the Alpha-1 Rocket Base.
The completed building features a support structure for a large antenna on top, complete with a hinge-mounted antenna dish.
The far end of the mono-rail (which, in the above image, does not have its rails yet) ends at the glider launch pad – a platform with a hinge-mounted support element on which a glider can be mounted.
All in all, a truly “spacey” layout with lots of room – way back when, two crater plates made a huge difference for a boy collecting the space station stuff.
Time to bring some life into the still empty station – it comes with four classic space astronauts, two white, two red.
The image above shows them all “at work” – and includes the famous “Space Flag” that – to my knowledge – is unique to this set (not the flag pole itself bit the classic space logo sticker).
With the station, we did not only get the glider and the mono-rail transport platform but also a simple moon buggy for additional transport (and gameplay) options…
The glider, finally, was a large open ship with two rockets mounted left and right of the pilot. It featured vertical wing tips and a large slope brick with a big Classic Space Logo.
All in all a very nice set, one of the real classics of its time and one that I really enjoyed having back then… a significant element of every boy’s moon base back then.