Welcome to today's edition of the LFC Blog. In this issue, we are joined by Ben C. Many of you might know him as Brickwater Fire Department. Some of you have even purchased a rig, or two.... or ten from him :p Anyway, enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome to the Blog! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
BC: For those who don’t know me, I’m Ben 19 years old, from Canada. Like many others featured in this blog, I have been building since I was a kid. For a long time it was just the sets without any changes from the instructions. Since I was about 10 I have attempted to build custom trucks. Most just looked like squares with wheels and a ladder. I have combined my lifelong love of firefighting and LEGO into one great hobby!
LFC Blog: That's great to hear! Who/what inspires you to build?
BC: There isn’t one particular person that inspires me to build. It’s been a combination of a handful of veteran LFC members who have inspired my techniques with building, new styles, ideas. Even rigs to build. Many have also talked me out of building 8 wide…. Which when I look at the bank account I thank them…
LFC Blog: But you can have so much more detail when it's 8-wide.... Haha just kidding.. 8-wide is more expensive, but it might be worth looking into. What's in the name Brickwater Fire Department and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
BC: The name kinda comes from the area I live in which is surrounded by a few beach area such as Clearwater, Bluewater and Coldwater. Originally it was going to be Brickwater Township Fire & Emergency Services. But that resembled my real life too closely for my liking. I mean, I still do build my departments rigs all the time and am working on completing the fleet by the end of 2020. Brickwater's fleet on the other hand, will be forever changing as I am never 100% happy with any of the rigs built or completed.. I always try to find something to change about it. Current colour scheme is just a standard White over Red with White striping. I went for that look to feel like a more “War Wagon” look.
LFC Blog: Updating rigs with new techniques and innovations is a good thing! Also, taking pictures of all your rigs helps show how you have matured as a builder! I'm loving the latest batch of war wagons! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
BC: One of the most challenging rigs I have ever built would have to be Manhiem Township (EDEN VFD) truck 204. It was one of the first tillers I had built. It was challenging to get all of the little details correct and proper to the scale, while not leaving things out and trying to make it structurally stable.
LFC Blog: I can empathize with you on that :p Achieving the proper scale for a tiller is difficult. But the end results are usually worth it haha! That yellow tiller is great! What is your most favorite rig and why?
BC: This isn’t an easy question to answer… I like all of my rigs equally… I can’t say for sure that one build is my all-time favorite. I mean, now that I HAVE to choose. I would say It’s got to be my Hyattsville VFD Rescue Squad 801. It was the first rescue I designed on LDD in that style and what got me hooked on those rescues in the first place. Ever since then I haven’t built another style rescue for myself.
LFC Blog: Two-door dual-axle rescues are really cool rigs to build! Hyattsville, in particular, has a very nice rig! I can see why you got hooked with them! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
BC: I wish they made either a 1x3 Profile Brick or a 1x1 Profile Brick. Its nearly impossible for me to get a Tower Ladder with roll ups to be accurate due to the size…
LFC Blog: Very true! A variety with grill bricks (Both in size and color) would be nice. What are your future plans for your department?
BC: I plan to have 12 stations in total. 5 for Metro Brickwater, and 7 halls in the Greater Brickwater Area. There will be 5 volunteer/ Paid on call separate departments and two that are a surprise. All in all, Metro will have 4 Frontline engines, 1 Rescue Engine, 3 Trucks, 1 Tanker, 1 Rescue Squad and a few other misc. units.
LFC Blog: Well, we can't wait to see that plan come to fruition! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
BC: The best part of the LFC is being able to enjoy being in the company and friendship of people who share a common interest and lifestyle. It really is nice to be able to interact with so many individuals who understand it and that there are now so many of us across a few different social media platforms.
LFC Blog: I know right?!? I've gotten to know quite a few guys and girls through Legos, and I'm so glad to have met them. I don't know what I'd do without them! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
BC: I believe a lot of growth would come from people’s attitude towards each other changing. It currently seems like if you suggest something to someone or give them some constructive criticism they take it personally and try to attack you and everyone else who suggests anything. That is a large reason why we aren’t growing successfully and a big part in me keeping my mouth shut most of the time.
LFC Blog: Being humble enough to accept correction/criticism is difficult, but admitting that I was wrong is a huge step to not only making better replicas, but also becoming a better human being. Any tips or advice for new builders?
BC: Quality over quantity! 100% I would rather have 4 Amazing rigs than 7 Mehhh not so great rigs. But also when you do copy someone’s design to give them credit to show that it isn’t just a blatant rip off of a design which frustrates a lot of people really fast. When you do scenes, avoid LODD’s 100% of the time. It is with no doubt the quickest way to lose a lot of respect from the community and not get it back. Don’t get me wrong. I love to see new builders and people coming out of the woodworks to start building again, or building a different style than they have before. It’s great to see. But the attitude of most new builders needs to change and become open to suggestions.
LFC Blog: Credit wars have always been around, unfortunately. Yes, there is only a few ways to put six 2x4 bricks together. I take that back... There's actually 915,103,765 ways to put those bricks together...... All jokes aside, a simple thank you in the form of credit earns a lot of brownie points. Well, thanks Ben for taking the time to have this short interview! We hope to see more rigs from you soon! To those reading this blog, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more amazing content! If you haven't subscribed yet, take this opportunity to sign up using the form on the sidebar!
~Committed to presenting outstanding LEGO firefighting MOCs from around the world!~
Blog Updated: 01/28/21
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.