If I heard what I thought I did on the tube last night, someone is coming out with a plastic kit in the near future of this, some 800 pieces I believe they said. Saw a ditty in todays newspaper about the rover and model kits etc but nada about a large 800 piece plastic kit. Anyone else hear anything about one?
It's the Lego one. 840 parts. Small son got one for Christmas, and I built it over about 8 hours. It looks pretty good, considering it's made from standard Lego Technic parts. (As I understand it, Lego has pretty tough rules about introducing any new parts -- not more than one or two per set, and you, as the designer, have to show how they might be used in other future sets, too). There _were_ a few bits I haven't seen before, but my Technic collection is by no means comprehensive.
Comes out about 14" x12", with a wheel diameter of about 2". Steering works, as does the sampler arm, and a trigger mechanism opens the folded solar array.
A less detailed Mars Rover is free and down-loadable at:
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If you do not already have Acrobat, get it. It is a vey useful program to have because lots of information on the web is now showing up as .PDF files. For example, IRS tax forms. Acrobat will save you a trip to the tax office just to pick up the forms.
You also need a color ink jet printer, some cardstock, an X-acto knife, a cutting board and some white glue. In a pinch, scissors will work, but using the knife with a straight edge and/or french curve will give you more accurate cutouts of the parts.
So if you want a Rover Spirit as a quick and dirty build, to satisfy your "curiousity of the moment" urge, this could be the solution. Build it quick and then get back to that Academy F-18 project. The cardstock Rover is a nice enough model that will delight all but the most advanced AMS sufferers.