LFC Blog: Welcome to this week's edition of the LFC Blog! Today, we are honored to have Maik, the owner of Feuerwehr Farnheim. He specializes in 4-wide creations, which is a rarity due to the ever so popular 6-wide windshield! Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome to the Blog! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
MW: I'm Maik and in the mid fourties. My dark ages ended in 2009 on that day when I bought a set, that I owned when I was a kid (#6650). Building it brought back the same magic building moments I had during my childhood days. As a teenager (I am a classic town kid) I unfortunately offered all my Legos at a flea market. Later (during the 1980s an 90s) I started 1/87 scale modeling, especially fire trucks for a fictional city that I call Farnheim ever since. Then, in 2009, almost 20 twenty years after this hobby had come to an end, I decided to combine both: building rigs with Lego for my old Feuerwehr Farnheim (Fire Department Farnheim). Btw, the Feuerwehr Farnheim celebrated it 30th anniversary in 2017.
LFC Blog: Fascinating history behind your department! Congratulations on 30 years! Who/what inspires you to build?
MW: Real fire apparatus and equipment are a great source for new ideas, but also (every kind of) MOCs from others builders - mostly cars and trucks. A really good source inspriation are the MOCs by the latvian native builder de-marco. He has also built a few fire trucks.
LFC Blog: Looking at real life rigs is definitely one of the best ways to get inspiration! De-marco is a fantastic builder as well! What's in the name of Feuerwehr Farnheim and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
MW: Let me first explain what Farnheim is about. It's a fictional city in Germany located on the shoreline of the North Sea where almost 571,000 minifigs work and live. The municipal fire department has got six strategically distributed stations throughout the city. The volunteers support the professional fire brigade with 16 more stations. The whole Feuerwehr Farnheim owns more than 250 engines, ladders, ambulances, containers and trailers to fight any kind of incident adequate.
The color scheme in Germany is traditionally based on red. Because it is required by law that 75 % of the fire truck's visible parts have to be painted in red/bright red/luminous red. The rest can be painted in white or yellow or what other materials basically may have. The scheme of my rigs reflect that. The yellowish details symbolizes the typical retro reflective side markings. The rescue service has its own scheme for a better visability through daily traffic. The cars are mostly white with a c-shaped red contour. I also use some different paint schemes for my other fire departments (airport and refinery).
LFC Blog: Thank you for the extensive insight into your department! I see that you have put much time and effort into it! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
MW: The telescope handler. It bothered me for almost two years to create such an apparatus in 4/5 wide and with its full functionality. I haven't had the right idea to get it done or for some reasons important parts were missing. But lately, all in all, it just took me one evening chatting with others builders who helped me with their own and essential suggestions to complete it.
LFC Blog: That is actually my most favorite apparatus from you! The functionality on that scale is impeccable! What is your most favorite rig and why?
MW: The most favorite rig usually is the lastest creation. But actually it is the water rescue truck. Because of the special mixture of 4 and 5 studs width and the level of detail.
LFC Blog: I love your water rescue truck as well! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
MW: There could be a few, but I don't really have that special one on my mind that I could need so badly, because I am always trying to get the things done just with the parts I own or which are available. Every building process is a compromise. Especially in 4 or 5-wide. For me this is the essence of building.
LFC Blog: Interesting take! I guess it shows just how creative one can be with available parts. What are your future plans for your department?
MW: There are several plans. First, keeping my rigs updated from time to time. The water rescue truck was one of these, that got a structural update. I actually have a huge tanker truck in the works. Furthermore there is the idea of a scenario with a huge fire of an industrial compound which shows a realistic firefighting infrastructure (water supply, the use of foam, hose laying, firefighting measures, etc.) in combination with the old Monorail cruisin' around. I also keep an idea on my mind, to build every single rig that the Feuerwehr Farnheim owns. So they're still a few to build.
LFC Blog: Oh wow! Those are extensive plans! I, for one, cannot wait to see your new creations! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
MW: The huge amount of new builds and the high building level are amazing. The worldwide connection with people that have the same special interest is awesome. I am also a member of a german LEGO community called "1000steine", but there you can find MOCs throughout every kind of theme. The LFC is special. I like getting in touch here with others from all around the globe. And finally, it helps me to improve my english skills... ;-)
LFC Blog: Indeed, it's amazing to meet people around the world who share the same passions! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
MW: I would love to see the LFC grow more by reaching more builders of other parts of the world. Maybe from the far east, like Japan and/or Australia, New Zealand.
LFC Blog: That would be really cool too! Any tips or advice for new builders?
MW: Get inspired by other builders MOCs and the techniques they used. Try rebuild it on your own. That helps to improve your personal skills. Try to find other capabilites of the parts. Know the parts. The more you know about, the better you see through tricky building techniques. And of course for your own projects get inspired by the real life. Simply walk around with open eyes.
LFC Blog: Thanks for your words of inspiration Maik! To those reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed this interview! I highly encourage you to check out Maik's own website by clicking on this link! Stay tuned for more exciting content in the near future!
Blog Updated: 06/20/19
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
Michael P. - Owner of Castle Beach Fire Department, Studington Fire & Rescue Station 11, and Los Angelego County Fire Department
How to get on the blog
There have been many requests to be on the blog; while we are more than happy to be receiving much interest, there are several criteria which must be met for consideration. Each point is as important as any other points.
1) The build itself must be an original, outstanding creation (ie: not purchased from someone else, not a modified LEGO set). Do take great pictures! We certainly don't want to see your messy room or pet cat in the pictures. The focus of the picture should be the rig. Use this link to help you take better photos of your LEGO creations! We also tend to feature brick built rigs. While there have been notable exceptions, they have been far and between.
2) Builder must display exemplary character. Yes, we understand that no one is perfect and disagreements and mistakes occur. How such issues are resolved tells a lot about the traits of the person. In addition, crediting other people is a very important aspect that is always addressed. While you don't see that with many of the OG vets like Bob K or Tom D, they actually have a valid reason why: there was no one to credit. However, in this day and age, there are so many places on the web to get inspiration, and not giving credit where credit is due is a lazy act that really does not build your reputation. While some can argue that there are only a couple ways to put two bricks together, there are some design aspects one did not think about until seen in someone else's creation. So take the time to credit and thank those who inspired the build. Honestly, it can be done in 30-60 secs; you won't lose sleep doing so.
3) Builder must display positive influence on other people. Let us be clear: this does not refer to number of Facebook/Instagram followers or YouTube subscribers one has; rather, we are looking for people who help others become better builders, and more importantly, better human beings through positive reinforcement. For example, a comment such as "This needs work." without any tips on improving is not seen as helping others out. However, something like "Might I suggest using this kind of brick for this purpose.." is much more helpful and nicer to other people.
4) Do not ask to be featured. While this sounds counterintuitive, the contributors and editors discuss future topics and builds. Chances are, if you post your creation on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, or even MOCpages/Emergency Bricks, we will have seen it. Just because you posted it 6 months ago does not mean we won't contact you about featuring your creation.
5) Lastly, just have fun! Don't be bummed that you haven't been selected yet. Do the things mentioned above and I can guarantee that you will be featured here someday!
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.