Whether you’re a novice at building LEGO cars or you’ve been around the racetrack a time or two, we think you’ll learn a lot from BrickResales’ resident car builder, Greg.
Tell us a bit about your previous MOCs – which vehicles have you built?
Some of my previous builds include the General Lee Dodge Charger from the TV show ‘The Dukes of Hazard,’ the time-travelling DeLorean from ‘Back to the Future,’ the Ecto-1 from ‘Ghostbusters,’ the Special Pursuit Interceptor from ‘Mad Max,’ Batmobiles from both the ‘89 ‘Batman’ film and the ‘66 TV show...
As you can probably tell from the era of these builds – the 80's – they were inspired by my teenage years. I was into pop culture (technically, nerd/geek culture) before it was a thing or before it was cool, and as a teen I re-watched these movies and shows repeatedly because I was fascinated by the cars and vehicles in them.
How long do they typically take you?
The builds generally take several hours per day over many days... so how long is a piece of string? Each one is different, but it could be said that 20 hours of actual build time would be normal, with many weeks of research as well.
What’s the biggest car you’ve ever made? Which is your favourite?
The biggest car I have made is probably my large-scale Kombi, affectionately known as ‘Kombizilla’. It weighs in at over 2.5kg of LEGO and was built as a companion piece to the large-scale VW Beetle that LEGO produced.
My favourite build would be the ‘66 Batmobile. I used to watch that TV show when I came home from school and, being age 10 or so, I thought it was the coolest. The car, boat and helicopter were awesome!
What’s your dream car build?
My dream builds were actually both the Batmobiles I already built, but I am in research stages for my next project – a C2 Corvette Stingray 1964 model, to go along with the 69 'vette I have built. My ‘pie in the sky’ dream build right now is not so much a car build, but a large diorama of a car factory production line. This would be on a standard display table and built to showcase at LEGO fan events.
What are your favourite sets for building or MOCing vehicles?
I don’t have a favourite set to build from, outside of using the Creator sets like the Ford Mustang or VW Kombi Camper for the wheels.
What are the pieces you should absolutely have before starting your MOC vehicle? Beyond wheels, obviously!
The scale of a build comes from the wheels – once you decide what size the wheels are going to be, the size and scale of the build comes from that. Having a strong frame is important in a vehicle, so using Technic beams to give strength to the chassis is important.
Do you have a go-to method when building your MOC vehicles, or do you tend to make it up as you go along? If you have a method, what is it?
All builders differ in their methods. When building cars, I start on the front – the grill, bumper, bonnet, etc. – and work my way back. My build always begins with research, looking at pictures of the car from all sorts of different angles, seeing what LEGO designs may be out there already to get inspiration and picturing how it will come together in my head. By the time I actually start putting together the bricks for real I have a good idea of how I want it to look, but ongoing problem solving is required as you progress through the build.
Do you prefer to build cars that look amazing, or ones that are functional? Or both?!
Looking amazing is the goal – if you want functional or practical you could build a Volvo station wagon! However, I do try to include actual functional aspects like having opening doors, a bonnet that opens to show details of the engine and the ability to see interior details like the seats and dashboard.
How do you find inspiration for your MOC vehicles? Are there any specific builders you admire?
Being a member of LEGO groups online, specifically Facebook and Instagram groups geared towards cars, gives me an idea of what is being created. A few of the ones that inspire me are Norton74 with his large-scale garages and VW Kombi builds, Dave Slater who has built an amazing ‘89 Batmobile and ‘69 Corvette Stingray, Orion Pax who built a DeLorean, among other cars, and Firas Abu-Jaber who knows how to bend LEGO bricks in ways I can only dream of. The two ‘Dennis’s, Dennis Glassker and Dennis Bosman, build large-scale trucks and are also amazing.
Where do you go for helpful information or instructions?
I look online at groups or do searches of the specific topic I am after. For example, if I search "LEGO Mustang MOC” I will spend hours looking down a rabbit hole of LEGO designs for Mustangs.
What is your top tip for aspiring MOC vehicle builders?
My top tip is simple: build! Just build and see where it takes you, drawing on things that inspire and interest you. If you love a certain car, then build it. My initial creations were all things that I had loved as a kid and teenager – when I returned to LEGO as an adult and had time and money to spend on it, I built the cars that had been in my imagination for many years. It is trial and error in a lot of ways and what works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else, but having passion for a subject goes a long way in being able to follow through with it.
Anything else you want to add?
The ways to use LEGO as an art form are unlimited – building vehicles out of LEGO is just one small aspect of what LEGO can be used to create. If it exists it can be recreated in LEGO, and if it doesn’t exist... then it can be created in LEGO as well! The only limit is your imagination. I see so many different and amazing builds, from an entire recreation of Hogwarts to a city diorama, a Lord of the Rings battle, a lenticular mosaic of Batman/Joker that changes as you walk past it, a theme park with a rollercoaster... there are so many options to be creative with LEGO.
Don’t be afraid to let people know you’re into LEGO. I’m an out and proud AFOL – my friends and family all know I’m into LEGO, that I build and am involved in LEGO groups that publicly display LEGO builds. It also probably helps that my job is LEGO!