Today, we have the distinct honor of featuring my dear friend @Sponki25, who is the creator of LEGO NYC. You may have seen his truly captivating work over on MOCpages, Flickr, or Youtube! Enjoy the interview below!
1) Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
I'm Sven, a 36 years old AFOL from Germany and was always dreaming of building something really huuuuge XD. I build Lego ever since I can remember. I started to build mocs very early because I always loved to build things I know from my personal life/experiences, as example the truck my father was driving, a airport terminal with all the details a terminal needs and much more. Had a really big town with many nice stuff in there. When I grew older interests changed and I gave all my Lego to my nephews. I started collecting car models in 1/87 and 1/18 scale but was limited with my creativity. After some years without Legos I bought some new parts and started building something with it. And the great feeling came back. I bought more and started to build a highrise. That was the start of LegoNYC XD During that time I was watching a TV show called "Third Watch" and loved it instantly. Due to that I got addicted to NYC's emergency vehicles and it was clear that I wanted to build some of them with Legos. The first models turned out okay but I wanted more. Away from handpainted decals to better ones, better and more details so that the models look like the real deal. I could tell you much more but for that I would need several hours. Now I cut this short and continue below XD
2) Who/what inspires you to build?
Actually? So many talented builders, especially from the LFC. But all started with Sean Kenney and Mocpages. He was the first one I used designs from because he built some really nice NYC related stuff and that was exactly the stuff I needed for my city. Over the years I got so much inspiration from so many very nice and talented builders, developed my own very high standards and building techniques. It's hard to say with a list of names. I can say, all my Mocpages favorites inspired me a lot.
3) What's in the name LEGO NYC and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
FDNY - Fire Department City of New York. Self explaining XD
4) What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
Regarding the building techniques it's my L-5. Regarding my decalwork it was the 150th anniversary truck. Spent hours and hours to get all the stickers attached XD
5) What is your most favorite rig and why?
I love every single rig of my collection but there are three rigs I connect special memories with.
First is TL-13 because of this rig I made friends with a firefighter who is working on the real one. He saw pics of the model on Mocpages and sent me a message because he really wanted this rig for the firehouse. After some mails I decided to send it over to NYC for almost free. Only wanted some shirts and stuff from them in exchange for the model. They received the model, I received my shirts and much more. They gave the model away to a colleague as a special gift for his retirement. That was awesome! Last year I was able to visit the firehouse and my friend FF Jason S. in NYC. That was an awesome experience. I got a fantastic tour of the real TL-13 , could enter the drivers seat and much more :) Spent some really awesome hours there and I'm still in friendly contact with Jason.
Second one is E-54. Built it after I accidentally ran into a bunch of firefighters at FDNY firehouse E-54, L-4, Battalion 4 on our first evening in NYC. Had some great talks, got a apparatus tour from FF Jose Prosper, a really nice guy from E-38 who was there that day.
And the Third one is Chicagos E-98. This was built as a giveaway for the awesome surprise day I had with the firefighter of E-98. Our USA trip started in Chicago and on our first day there we were heading to John Hankock Center. On our walk I spotted CFD E-98 and Battalion 1 parking in front of the firehouse. Instantly decided to change the plans to get some nice pictures of the rigs. Very funny fact is that I always wanted to build CFD units beside my FDNY units. And I started with Battalion 1. Sven first time in the US in a big city with lots of firetrucks and then it's exactly the real version of his first CFD Lego model he spots there on the first day, LOL. Unbelievable how small the world can be. Okay, long story short. Got instantly in touch with Battalion Chief 1 and the ff's of E-98. We got a house tour, a truck tour and finally they decided to put me in the complete turnout gear of a CFD firefighter. I couldn't belive it and my heart was bumping heavily... I can tell you, that was absolutely awesome. I'm still in touch with the guys especially Battalion Chief 1 and I'm invited to come back to the firehouse at any time. Ps: They really love their surprise gift they got from me.
6) What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
Not one Lego piece. It's a whole model. I would love to see some US firetrucks as sets and not only the European versions.
If only a part, a new designed SCBA would be great or a new rollup door or tools or a new ladder or... okay I stop it now XD
7) What are your future plans for your department?
That's pretty easy. Building more FDNY units :D
8) What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
You guys. All the very nice, friendly, awesome people who belong to the LFC. Have many friends over there and I really enjoy all the beautiful models they build, the inspiration I find in other models and much more. A big thank you to everyone for the great friendship, all the help, the tips/suggestions and critique. Highly appreciated! Because of you I improved my work a lot.
9) How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
I would love to see a new site where you can chat with the guys in real time from time to time. Or a reactivation of the existing page (Emergencybricks) which was a very nice place. Finally I wish we all had a bit more freetime to be able to chat etc. Being busy the most time is one the main reason for such a inactivity beside that many moved over to other sources like Facebook (I personally don't like/have Facebook)
10) Any tips or advice for new builders?
Hmmmmm, very difficult. Most important for me is being friendly. Don't mind asking a experienced builder for help. And if something isn't working, never say die!
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
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.