LFC Blog: Welcome to today's edition of the LFC Blog! I'm Michael, and I am really excited to share another OG members: Dieterich (or D, or the MF Banhammer, as known to close people😁). To me, he is the ultimate master of building ARFF rigs! Follow this link to see unique airport rigs! Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
DH: Name is Dieterich Herndobler, mainly go by D (Facebook won’t allow single letter names, thus De). Legos have always been one of my favorite toys, they were somewhat shelved in high school. The summer between high school and college, I came down with mononucleosis. I stumbled upon Legoborough, which lead me to St Lego and few of the other originals, this would’ve been 2003. I started in 8 wide and went down to 6-wide.
LFC Blog: Wow! I didn't know that you started out with 8-wide builds! I wonder if there's a chance that we will see an 8-wide build from you in the future.. Hint... Hint... Who/what inspires you to build?
DH: Inspiration, hmm, I lately I have been inspired to build unique things or vehicles that are eyecatching to me. I have also been inspired by things that would improve my abilities and techniques as a builder, or just challenge them, such as the global Striker or my E-One Bronto.
LFC Blog: Interesting! Those rigs are difficult to capture properly on such a small scale! What's in the name Riverwoods Fire Department and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
DH: Honestly, I am not sure where that name came from. I’ve had many names over the years…Lego Springs Fire/Rescue, River Heights, East Heights, Johnstown, just to name a few. The river part comes from my location on the LMFD map, I was next to the main north/south river. Just like the names, the color schemes have changed. As with my inspiration, I was trying to find unique schemes that would stand out among the others….Fishers, IN; Skokie, IL; Gary, IN just to name a few.
LFC Blog: I have found your color schemes really unique! The fact that you apply stickers to match the color schemes is really impressive! The Fishers one comes to mind.. What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
DH: Two come to mind, my Global Striker build would probably be the most technical and advanced rig, however, the Bronto boom rates up there as well.
LFC Blog: Like I mentioned earlier, those two models have many obstacles to overcome! What is your most favorite rig and why?
DH: I have to pick just one, that is cruel! Currently, I would have to say the E-One Titan for Studington. If I could say a second, it would be the ALF snorkel for Johnstown. Even though Johnstown went belly-up, I can’t bring myself to part it out.
LFC Blog: I love both rigs as well! I also love the fact that you don't shy away from rare rigs that most have never heard about! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
DH: I wish there were a larger variety of 6-wide windshields available. I think having more variety of windshields would go a long way to helping in the realism in the builds because each manufacturer has a slightly different angle of glass.
LFC Blog: That is very true! Maybe what we really need is someone who would create a brick printer that will print whatever we want haha! What are your future plans for your department?
DH: Future plans….well, currently, I am trying to find a new scheme because what I used for stripes has been discontinued (Pactra trim tape) and I have not been able to find the variety of widths needed to continue the current schemes I have….I would love to continue the zebra stripes, but as of now, I am not sure that it is possible.
LFC Blog: *Insert sad emoji* That scheme was awesome! I hope that you won't dismantle the rigs though! But either way, I can't wait to see what new rigs you will create! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
DH: It is like a brotherhood. We are a niche group, we help each other out. As the community has grown, it is interesting to see what changes happen and what new groups form. I have formed a few lasting friendships from building fire trucks, and that is awesome.
LFC Blog: Indeed! While we do have our quirks, the bond that ties us all together is our love for fire trucks! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
DH: I will echo what Matty said about the lack of functional compartments. Like him, and many of the older builders, I like to have atleast 1 or 2 operational compartments to stock with tools. I think I am one of the few that builds rigs and actually fills the compartments. I am not a huge fan of the look of the SNOT compartments, I honestly think having all the compartments built that way takes away from the look of the vehicle. I also would like to see an emphasis with the newer or younger builders to focus on quality over quantity. Build a few good rigs, and listen to the advice to the more experienced crowd.
LFC Blog: Functional compartments are one of the things that have bothered me too! I think that a lot of it has to do with the many details builders want to incorporate in such a small scale. But with time and new parts (hopefully), finding the appropriate balance between looks and functionality would be easier to discover! I wholeheartedly agree with you that building quality rigs is always much better than having a gazillion rigs that was not put together well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story D! To those reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed this segment! To get the latest notification of our latest content, be sure to subscribe using the form above!
Welcome to today's edition of the LFC Blog! I'm your host, Michael, and I am honored to present to you one of the OG members of the Lego fire community, Russ C! Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome to the blog Russ! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
RC: I am an AFOL and have been building with Lego’s since 1978. My first Lego set was given to me at the age of 4 and it was the Lego Fire House set 590. I still have it built and on display on one of my shelfs.
I started building Lego Fire trucks in 2000 after I joined Bay Ridge Vol. Fire Co., in Queensbury NY. I found it was a way to deal with the stress after being at a “Bad Call”. I didn’t really get to heavy into building though until after Memorial Day weekend 2007 after losing my younger brother.
For me Lego building has always been therapeutic. It helps me relax and focus. However building Lego Fire trucks took it to a new level, try to make them as detailed as possible while keeping them within the constraints to be usable by MiniFigs.
LFC Blog: Sorry to hear about your loss! But it's awesome to hear how you used Legos to cope with life! Legos are a fantastic medium to express a variety of feelings! Who/what inspires you to build?
RC: I got inspired by Sixby Fire and by various builders on the mocpages. I was also inspired by Sean Kenney. His detail for the FDNY truck was really awesome. Today I get inspired by a lot of the builders in our group. They have some terrific building techniques.
LFC Blog: Indeed! There are so many talented builders out there today! What's in the name Brick Ridge Fire and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
RC: Brick Ridge Fire was named after my real department. My department is Bay Ridge Vol. Fire, so I figured why not Brick Ridge Fire. The color scheme is White over Red just like Bay Ridge, however as I added more stations to my department each station had its own color scheme. I have black over Red, all black and also all blue.
LFC Blog: Your blue fire trucks are among my favorites! That's a color you don't see everyday! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
RC: My most challenging build to date is not a fire truck. It is my new station that I built. I wanted it to be a 3 bay station that connected to an inside corner building which housed communications and offices. The 2nd floor of the apparatus bays contained the living quarters for the members. Trying to get the inside corner building to work with a tower was challenging.
LFC Blog: Fire Stations are ambitious projects, and yours is really astounding! What is your most favorite rig and why?
RC: My favorite rig is my original mid-mount tower. It was my first tower design that I did and it was functional. The outriggers supported the weight of the truck when the bucket was fully extended and working off the side.
LFC Blog: Awesome! Completely functional ladders are a challenge to replicate in Lego due to the scale. What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
RC: I want Lego to make a inverted Slope 30 1 x 1 x 2/3. I like to use these for the wheel wells for the rear of the trucks. Currently I use SNOT to do it, but it would be nice to have them.
LFC Blog: Now that is a new kind of brick that would be great indeed! What are your future plans for your department?
RC: Future plans for my department is to add a Marine Rescue Unit and also Wildland Firefighting Unit. I want to build a side by side with different skid units for Fire, Rope Rescue and EMS.
LFC Blog: Awesome! I personally can't wait to see those new rigs! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
RC: I thought about this long and hard. I use to think that the best part was seeing everyone’s creations and getting inspired by everyone’s builds, but as I sit back and really think about it, I think the best part is the friendships that have been made. Yes most of us have not met each other, however we are all brought together by our love for Lego Fire trucks.
LFC Blog: You're totally right! When I got into posting my creations on the web, I never knew that I would meet some really cool and down-to-earth people! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
RC: I think the way LFC is growing is great, we have a tight group of serious builders who want to push the envelope on how much detail can be put into a Lego Fire Truck and the scenes that are created are fantastic. I like the fact that each one of us in the LFC is there to help each other out if they get stuck or need a suggestion on how to do something. As long as we continue being that type of group, we can grow by getting more people involved.
LFC Blog: It's been an honor to have you with us today Russ! We look forward to seeing more of your creations in the near future! To those reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed this edition of the LFC Blog! If you haven't done so already, be sure to stay up to date and subscribe using the form on the right side of the page!
~Committed to presenting outstanding LEGO firefighting MOCs from around the world!~
Blog Updated: 04/21/20
Welcome to the Lego Fire Community Blog! Presented here are outstanding builders who captivate their audience with their MOCs (My Own Creation). The purpose of this blog is to educate others of exemplary builders both past and present.
This blog is dedicated to Eric S. McDonald, the Fire Chief of the original Lego City Fire Department who died unexpectedly on Aug. 21, 2002. His vision is what started the whole LFC, and for that we are eternally grateful.
About the moderating team
Chief editor - Michael P. - Founder of Castle Beach Fire Department and Los Angelego County Fire Department
This website is not affiliated with The Lego Company, or any real life fire department for that matter. All builds presented here are original works by the respective builders who gave strict permission to utilize the photos on this website. None of the photos were/are kept for personal use.