Happy 2019 to everybody! We kick off the new year with one of my good friends TJ Brammer! Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome to the blog TJ! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
TB: My name is TJ Brammer and I’ve started building in late 2011, and I did it heavily until 2015 and then life happened and it pulled me away from legos. I’ve recently started to get back into building.
LFC Blog: I know what you mean! Life has its way of taking the things we enjoy most haha! Who/what inspires you to build?
TB: The people who inspired me the most to build was people like Bob K, Anthony V, Paul B, Martijn, and Sven J. There are a lot more. I saw most of their builds on Youtube and they talked their creations and MOCpages, which sent me over there and I started to post my builds in early 2013.
LFC Blog: Those are some awesome builders to be inspired from! What's in the name Blockburg and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
TB: I heard of the name “Blockburg” on Youtube from a stop motion film channel called “Gearheadtheman” and the other town in this guy’s series was called “Blockburg.” I liked the name an it stuck with me. Originally the department’s color scheme was going to be Black over Blue with a black stripe and I do have a couple of rigs going along with that color. However, one Christmas I got around 20 pounds of random bricks as a present and there was a ton of white bricks in it. I got bored one day and started to build another department, but once I got the rig done, I liked the colors and the rig too much so I had to add it to Blockburg. That’s how Engine 12 was born and the all white with a black stripe color scheme stuck.
LFC Blog: That's an interesting story of where the white rigs came from! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
TB: The most challenging rig I’ve ever built would have to be Truck 7, which is a 2015 International 7500 with a Seagrave Apollo II 105’ Platform. What made the build so difficult was making sure that I had the body tall enough so that the ladder would rest on the cab, and also I spent a long time waiting for parts.
LFC Blog: That is a really beautiful rig! The colors go so well on the truck! What is your most favorite rig and why?
TB: It’s hard for me to decide my favorite rig, I really like Truck 7 and the new Engine 3. I really like Truck 7 because of how different it is, and the color scheme matches it perfectly. I really like Engine 3 because of how many details I put into the truck such as the ladder rack and how I used the 1x8 plates to even out the top of the body without shrinking the hosebed.
LFC Blog: The rigs that we hold dear are the ones we spent the most time on. It's evident why you like both rigs! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
TB: One Lego piece I wished that would be manufactured would be a stackable 1x2 grille piece so that builders wouldn’t have to glue or wiggle in a tiny tiny piece of paper to build grilles for a Spartan or HME.
LFC Blog: That would really be helpful, but until then, we're stuck with the glass windows and antennae to hold the tiles together haha! What are your future plans for your department?
TB: My future plans for my department is to build a new and smaller fleet to match the departments in my area, which is older and more commercial cab based.
LFC Blog: I love how many people are downsizing their fleet to match what's local to their area. That makes each builder unique! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
TB: To me, the best part of the LFC is seeing how people of all ages use Lego to build real life things and put their own spin on it. And I like it how people can build a fire truck of their own for less than $500K.
LFC Blog: Haha that is true! Lego is a pricey hobby, but buying a real fire truck would be really expensive! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
TB: I would like to see the LFC grow better by showing how it used to be. Back when MOCpages and Emergency bricks were the main places to go, the drama wasn’t really big like it is on facebook/insta. It did happen on MOCpages and Emergency bricks, but most of the interaction we had was good and it gave builders new ideas and techniques that could solve their building issue and improve their creations. If all the new builders saw the LFC how it was a few years back and when the builders that we call veteran builders or even legends were in action and were still active in the LFC, we’d have one good community.
LFC Blog: I agree with that sentiment. Too many great builders have left because of said drama. What we can do now is to learn from the past and not do or say things that will hurt other people. Any tips or advice for new builders?
TB: My advice for the new builders is to not get involved in the facebook/insta drama like other groups have. The LFC wasn’t designed for that nor needs it. The LFC is a place where people build a cool truck and show it off. Also, give credit where credit is due, the original creator knows what their designs look like, don’t think you can get away with it.
LFC Blog: Credit is such an important element when posting creations, and it doesn't even take all that long to acknowledge who/what inspired the build. Well, thank you TJ for taking the time to be apart of the LFC Blog, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for you! To those reading this blog, thanks for reading this edition of the LFC Blog!
~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.