One of my first attempts at making a serious Lego James Bond model, something that was more than just a toy to play James Bond with, came in 1999 when I bought the Lego Lunar Rover. The moment I saw the box on the shelf for Lego’s version of a moon buggy, I knew it would serve as the bare bones of the moon buggy our favourite spy stole from Williard Whyte’s desert testing facility.
The 1999 Lego Lunar Rover
Find on BrickLink
I brought home the small Lego model put it together per the directions. Let it sit intact overnight. The next morning I tore it apart and began piecing together the Moon Buggy from Diamonds Are Forever.
After much building, rebuilding, re-rebuilding… you get the idea… I finally had my own Lego Moon Buggy 1.
While I stated above that my James Bond Moon Buggy started as Lego Lunar Rover, not many pieces survived to the final model. The tyres and wheels are the most significant survivors. The chrome-gold hemisphere that I used for the dome on the cockpit made it to the second to final incarnation before being removed for a transparent green version of the same piece that I picked up from BrickLink. Unfortunately, Lego has never made a clear dome in that size; transparent green is actually the best substitute. In some odd way, the transparent green dome makes the model look more like what Lego might have done if they had ever had licencing to make James Bond products.
After finally putting a dome that you could see into atop of my Moon Buggy, I then suddenly in need of a driver. Because of structural issues I did not have room for the standard Lego minifig. Going by what you could see in the movie, all I really needed was head and shoulders, but even there a standard minifig just would not fit. An original Lego minifig part came to the rescue. I dug up from my collection a torso from mid–’70s figure, back before the little Lego men had arms. Since shoulders were all I needed—and the old torso had shoulders—I simply added an appropriate head and hair and my driver was ready for action.
Another problem making this model was creating a satisfactory red sphere for the back end. The model just didn’t look correct with out it. Early on, I use one of the big ball heads from a Homemaker figure that came out in the mid- to late-’70s. I spray painted the head red, and, while it looked good, it just wasn’t a kosher. After trying a few different solutions, I again turned to BrickLink and bought a couple of small red domes (essentially red R2D2 heads). I put them together with a small Technic axle. It now looked good and satisfied my need to use proper Lego parts.
The instructions are in PDF format and can be viewed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The instructions are fairly straight forward, and a complete parts list is on the last page of the instruction booklet.
Also on the last page are two different versions of a sticker to put the large number 1 on the front of the Moon Buggy. I will leave it up to the builder to decide what method of applying the number one works best for them.
The simplest way is to print the page with the stickers on to an adhesive-backed sheet. Then trim out the the grey sticker from the sheet and place it on the front of the slope on the front of the cockpit area. A problem with this method, printers vary so widely in printing accuracy that the grey of the sticker may not match the grey of the Lego parts.
This is where the white background sticker may come in to play. This sticker can either be printed onto a matching grey sheet of paper or a transparent sticker.
If you are not using sticker-backed material, be sure to use an adhesive that won’t clump or bleed through the paper. I recommend a repositionable spray mount or adhesive film.
Those adept with an X-acto knife may choose to trim the 1 out to its edges rather than use the entire rectangle.
Some notes: The photos show the Moon Buggy with claws from a Doc Ock minifig (part no. bb10) instead of the wrenches used in the direction. In the end, I went back to using the wrenches as they make more accurate hands. Though the beauty of Lego is that the hands are easily interchangeable. At one point I had one hand as a wrench and on as a chainsaw blade (part no. 6117). (Perhaps Bond would have had an easier time of it if his Moon Buggy had been fitted with a chainsaw.)
Also if you’d like to get a three-wheeled ATV or two to chase your Moon Buggy, Lego model 6324 (Chopper Cop) has great cycle for the job.
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