LFC Blog: Welcome to today's edition of the LFC Blog! I'm Michael, and I am really excited to share another OG members: Dieterich (or D, or the MF Banhammer, as known to close people😁). To me, he is the ultimate master of building ARFF rigs! Follow this link to see unique airport rigs! Enjoy the interview below!
LFC Blog: Welcome! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
DH: Name is Dieterich Herndobler, mainly go by D (Facebook won’t allow single letter names, thus De). Legos have always been one of my favorite toys, they were somewhat shelved in high school. The summer between high school and college, I came down with mononucleosis. I stumbled upon Legoborough, which lead me to St Lego and few of the other originals, this would’ve been 2003. I started in 8 wide and went down to 6-wide.
LFC Blog: Wow! I didn't know that you started out with 8-wide builds! I wonder if there's a chance that we will see an 8-wide build from you in the future.. Hint... Hint... Who/what inspires you to build?
DH: Inspiration, hmm, I lately I have been inspired to build unique things or vehicles that are eyecatching to me. I have also been inspired by things that would improve my abilities and techniques as a builder, or just challenge them, such as the global Striker or my E-One Bronto.
LFC Blog: Interesting! Those rigs are difficult to capture properly on such a small scale! What's in the name Riverwoods Fire Department and why did you settle on the current color scheme?
DH: Honestly, I am not sure where that name came from. I’ve had many names over the years…Lego Springs Fire/Rescue, River Heights, East Heights, Johnstown, just to name a few. The river part comes from my location on the LMFD map, I was next to the main north/south river. Just like the names, the color schemes have changed. As with my inspiration, I was trying to find unique schemes that would stand out among the others….Fishers, IN; Skokie, IL; Gary, IN just to name a few.
LFC Blog: I have found your color schemes really unique! The fact that you apply stickers to match the color schemes is really impressive! The Fishers one comes to mind.. What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
DH: Two come to mind, my Global Striker build would probably be the most technical and advanced rig, however, the Bronto boom rates up there as well.
LFC Blog: Like I mentioned earlier, those two models have many obstacles to overcome! What is your most favorite rig and why?
DH: I have to pick just one, that is cruel! Currently, I would have to say the E-One Titan for Studington. If I could say a second, it would be the ALF snorkel for Johnstown. Even though Johnstown went belly-up, I can’t bring myself to part it out.
LFC Blog: I love both rigs as well! I also love the fact that you don't shy away from rare rigs that most have never heard about! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
DH: I wish there were a larger variety of 6-wide windshields available. I think having more variety of windshields would go a long way to helping in the realism in the builds because each manufacturer has a slightly different angle of glass.
LFC Blog: That is very true! Maybe what we really need is someone who would create a brick printer that will print whatever we want haha! What are your future plans for your department?
DH: Future plans….well, currently, I am trying to find a new scheme because what I used for stripes has been discontinued (Pactra trim tape) and I have not been able to find the variety of widths needed to continue the current schemes I have….I would love to continue the zebra stripes, but as of now, I am not sure that it is possible.
LFC Blog: *Insert sad emoji* That scheme was awesome! I hope that you won't dismantle the rigs though! But either way, I can't wait to see what new rigs you will create! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
DH: It is like a brotherhood. We are a niche group, we help each other out. As the community has grown, it is interesting to see what changes happen and what new groups form. I have formed a few lasting friendships from building fire trucks, and that is awesome.
LFC Blog: Indeed! While we do have our quirks, the bond that ties us all together is our love for fire trucks! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
DH: I will echo what Matty said about the lack of functional compartments. Like him, and many of the older builders, I like to have atleast 1 or 2 operational compartments to stock with tools. I think I am one of the few that builds rigs and actually fills the compartments. I am not a huge fan of the look of the SNOT compartments, I honestly think having all the compartments built that way takes away from the look of the vehicle. I also would like to see an emphasis with the newer or younger builders to focus on quality over quantity. Build a few good rigs, and listen to the advice to the more experienced crowd.
LFC Blog: Functional compartments are one of the things that have bothered me too! I think that a lot of it has to do with the many details builders want to incorporate in such a small scale. But with time and new parts (hopefully), finding the appropriate balance between looks and functionality would be easier to discover! I wholeheartedly agree with you that building quality rigs is always much better than having a gazillion rigs that was not put together well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story D! To those reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed this segment! To get the latest notification of our latest content, be sure to subscribe using the form above!
~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.