*DISCLAIMER* This episode contains some language which may not sit well with some readers. Viewer discretion is advised.
LFC Blog: Welcome to LFC Blog! Today, we are joined by Olivier Laporte, who primarily runs the Fire Department of Laporte City. Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome Olivier! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
OL: I’m a 23 YO mechanical engineering tech working at the Eastern Canadian E-One dealership. I have been building with Lego for 18 years-ish. I come from a firefighting family and always loved fire apparatus. From as far as I can remember I have been building my department and firehouses out of Lego. Since I started I have expanded my Lego building area to town and specialized vehicles and then to small cities. I have been joining Lego exhibitions for about 6 years now both in group and as a sole builder.
LFC Blog: Cool! Now I see why you love E-ONE so much ;) Who/what inspires you to build?
OL: Who: Obviously as most guys my age, I saw the original veterans of the LFC evolve quite a lot (Bob K. Tom D. Mike L. Paul B. Steven A. Jeff C. and all the others from the LMFD) When I started going on MOCpages, I discovered CC, James K, Bruce B., MM, Zak O., Lee C. and basically followed them quite a lot as they were very active in the LFC back then. Following all these guys through various platforms pushed me into publishing my own work. I had already been building for a few years, but never had the guts to put it out there.
What: I would say I’m a volatile builder. I build because I want to, because I need to escape in my own world, because I like a truck I saw, reasons just keep appearing in my head really, but mostly, I would say I build because it’s addictive and challenging. To see so many people do so many projects is quite motivating. I always want to build better rigs because I’m proud of improving my work and because I enjoy a good challenge.
LFC Blog: That's great! Building with passion is what drives excellence! What's in the name Fire Department of Laporte City and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
OL: My department is the FDLC or Fire Department of Laporte City (at least the main one). I also run the Moose Paw volunteer Fire Dept, the Elk Creek Vol. Fire Co., the Brick Daniels Fire Company and (with the help of Keelan O’flaherty) the Rose Mill Fire Department.
I don’t go for color schemes because I enjoy building actual replicas of real life apparatus. Therefore, I go with the excuse that every one of my stations gets to choose their scheme. That way I can build many trucks with similar colors and group them into stations. I am a strong advocate for uniqueness in Lego Fire Apparatus. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a fleet with a scheme and a structure, it projects a strong image, but personally, I just like exploring new ideas, unique vehicles and various color schemes.
LFC Blog: I actually like the diversity you have in your fleet as it shows your technical skills! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
OL: I faced my fair share of challenges building wise. Once again, being a fan of unique apparatus makes for awesome building challenges. Both of my Montreal E-Ones demanded extensive detailing work and I would have to say that these 2 rigs are amongst the most challenging ones I have ever done. Otherwise, the older apparatus I have built as my museum fleet all presented a good challenge as well.
LFC Blog: Indeed, classic rigs do take some serious planning to execute properly! What is your most favorite rig and why?
OL: That’s a tough one. I always went with my heart for building. Therefore, if I don’t like a truck anymore, I scrap it and build something else with the parts. However, I would have to say that my Montreal E-Ones are the ones I am most proud of. I do have a weakness when it comes to my older Spartans and Duplexes from the 80’s and 90’s as well
LFC Blog: Those are all awesome pieces! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
OL: I think there is so much room for improvement if I look at the firefighting aspect when it comes to Lego. To make it short, here’s a top 5:
LFC Blog: I agree with all your points! I would especially love to see newer kinds of gear/helmets! What are your future plans for your department?
OL: I have so many new rigs I would like to add to my fleet in the future. Mainly, I am looking at new aerials including: a 135’, a 137’, a bronto, 2-3 platforms and a few ladder variations as my aerial fleet is in dire need of newer apparatus.
Otherwise, I love to let things go with the flow and build what I want when I’m feeling like it. I have a hard drive with about 8gb of apparatus pictures in a file called Building Data so you can imagine there are several projects in the future.
LFC Blog: Woah! That's a lot of aerials! I can't wait to see them built! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
OL: The community spirit itself. Yes, we had a lot of issues and we still do. No Lego group is different from the LFC, people don’t always get along, but in the end, the main core, the people holding this community together are such amazing individuals that good always wins. It’s a strong, resilient community that always knew how to hold together in times of need.
LFC Blog: That's absolutely true! The community itself is what makes us great! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
OL: There are so many improvements the LFC should go through. They all really happen through the individuals though. There is a strong lack of respect in many spheres of the community. People with personal interest try to use the more naïve members of the community for their own gain. It is very difficult to pick your battles in the LFC because there are so many different opinions at all times and it’s just quite the mess. I think the best way to improve is by following the leading example of guys like Steven A., Sven J. and many others that simply post their stuff, stay out of trouble, credit when credit is due and really just love building. They are the perfect example of how it should be done they have passion and right now that probably is what the LFC is lacking the most of. A passion for building new trucks and trying new things with all the awesome new parts that are coming out every year from the Lego Factory. I think that with passion comes novelty, with novelty comes uniqueness and with uniqueness comes endless possibilities.
LFC Blog: The Lego Company has been coming with some really great new pieces! Hopefully, they come out with more! Any tips or advice for new builders?
LFC Blog: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today, Olivier! To those reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed the interview! Be on the lookout for the first special feature, which will debut this weekend!
Blog Updated: 04/04/19
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
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.