The Lego Car Blog Master MOCers series is now in its second season, bringing you the building journeys of the world’s very best Lego vehicle builders. Episode 3 is one of our personal favourites, as we’re joined here in TLCB office by the creator of some of the most incredible historic racing cars ever made from Lego. Over to the brilliant Luca Rusconi to tell us how he does it…
Hello TLCB Readers! My name is Luca Rusconi, better known as RoscoPC since this is the nickname I’ve always used for my LEGO hobby. Well, Rosco P. Coltrane was a (silly) character in the popular TV series ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ when I was a child, and my friends used to call me Rosco as a curtailment of my family name. I’m Italian and I live close to Milan with my wife, our 3 children and 2 LEGO rooms, since also my wife has her own! I’m a mechanical engineer and I work as Project Manager in a private company, after many years spent in the Engineering department.
What car do you drive in real life, and what would you like it to be (and who would be in the passenger seat)?
I drive a Peugeot 508 SW, large enough to comfortably host all my family and our stuff when we go on holiday, but also when I bring my MOCs to the events. It’s not the car I was dreaming for, but it’s perfect for the purpose. If I was single, I would like to drive a compact and lightweight car, like a Lotus Elise CUP for instance: a beautiful car, still at an affordable price, with a decent amount of HP for a pure driving pleasure. Every time I see one on the street I ask my wife if she’s still convinced that our three children are a better option, but although they are growing up fast she always says yes… maybe we are just getting too old to sit in there and enjoy such a lying down position at few millimeters from the ground!
By the way, a passenger in my Lotus? Ok I guess that if my wife is not comfortable, I can choose someone else… well if it was Nicole Kidman I wouldn’t be able to drive, therefore I would like to have Mr. Clive Chapman, to hear directly from him the story of the Lotus cars at the time his father Colin was the owner and chief designer of the team. He was so kind to write me an email years ago about my Lotus MOCs!
If you were a LEGO brick, which type would you be and why?
If I just consider the parts that I use the most, I had to say tiles, slopes and curved slopes, but I think I’d rather be a bracket, since in recent years there are many new variants and they are useful both to create nice SNOT techniques and to keep together structural items. As for myself, I like to find smart and creative solutions to the problems as well as to coordinate and motivate a team.
What was your first ever LEGO set, and which is your favourite LEGO set or theme?
I was just three when I get my first set: 355 LEGOLAND Town Center Set with Roadways! I remember my parents helping me while building this large playset the first time, and then the thousand ways I’ve reused the parts for so many different creations… up to literally destroying many of them like the large blue plates, the road signs, the flag, the antenna, the hinges, the granulated bush… Good memories! That’s why I have two copies of 355 set now: one is open with “like new” parts, the other one is MISB. I’m not a vintage collector, but I really think that this LEGO set (as well as some other Technic sets later on) had a huge influence on the person I am now.
From more recent years my favorite theme is Star Wars, since I like the whole saga, including the related animated series. I collect most of the official sets, and I like to build and put them on display ordered by Episode in my LEGO room in the attic.
How and why did you get started in the online Lego Community?
I came out of the dark age in 2003 when I picked up also a 8455 Technic set for myself while purchasing some Duplo sets for my son. Then I discovered LUGnet by chance, and I was pleased to see that there were other AFOLs in my region and even in my hometown. At that time in Italy the online community was based on a small group of pioneers who met each other in person at informal and private events, but then someone started organizing some large and less informal exhibitions open also to the public. Looking at a MOC while discussing with the author themselves is much more interesting than just watching a picture on the web, and personal relations grew in parallel with the spirit of a new community, based on the same hobby. After many years and vicissitudes I’m still within a group of friends (BrianzaLUG), with no bureaucracy, no money involved, just with the same passion and willingness to have fun.
How do you start a build, and what makes your designs unique to you?
I’ve developed my design procedure since 2005 using MLCad as the main design tool. The whole process is quite typical for a scale modeler, as I scale all dimensions from blueprint drawings using a spreadsheet to convert everything in studs. I simply select the wheels and tires among the few available from LEGO, and put them in the right position (according to the official car wheelbase and track figures), then I build the suspension with the aim to replicate the shape and functionality of the real ones.
After that, it’s time for a robust chassis, together with the engine and transmission, the exhaust pipes, other hidden amenities (like radiators, pedals, fire extinguishers, stabilizing bars, etc.), and finally the aesthetics. I prefer to create the car livery using bricks rather than just adding stickers, as an additional challenge. For the same reason, I like to design my own stickers but at the same time I prefer to limit their quantity to the minimum amount required to identify the model, with no need to hide too many of the bricks underneath.
What’s coming next?
Well, the wish list for additional historical F1 models is still long, but sometimes people asks about a refresh of the cars I’ve made many years ago. While in the past I was quite proud of the result I got at the time of each specific build, in the latest years the production of so many new useful and nice parts makes me wonder about possible improvement or a complete redesign of the older models. As soon as I cannot find a strong motivation and inspiration in a new car, I will evaluate the possibility to make a version 2.0!
Where will you put your TLCB Master MOCers trophy?
On the hood of my Lotus Elise?
A huge thank you to Luca Rusconi for joining us as the fourteenth builder in TLCB Master MOCer series. You can see more of his breathtaking historic Formula 1 cars at his Flickr photostream by clicking here, where several of the exclusive images above preview some new additions due to join his collection in the coming weeks!