That’s right! The Master MOCers Series has awoken like a bear from hibernation, and it’s ready to raid your bins and steal your picnic!
We kick-off Series 2 with one of the finest vehicle and diorama builders anywhere in the world, the brilliant Norton74…
Hello TLCB Readers! My name is Andrea Lattanzio but in the international LEGO community I’m also known as Norton74. Why Norton? Besides my passion for LEGO bricks I’ve always been involved in vintage car and motorcycle issues and I have always been fascinated by the style of Norton motorcycles; why 74? It’s quite easy to guess…
I’m Italian and I live in Milan with my Spanish wife and two children. I work in the communication department of an Italian non profit organisation. I’m of course a petrolhead and I like especially classic cars, motorcycles and in general vintage stuff and style. In 1995 I founded – with one of my best friends Mauro Zambetta – Officina Super Sprint, a little garage specialized in classic scooter restoration.
What car do you drive in real life, and what would you like it to be (and who would be in the passenger seat)?
In my real life I drive a classic car too (or better a so called “youngtimer”). My car is in fact a ’93 Mercedes Benz E200 Station Wagon, or “estate car”. It’s a good compromise between my passion for classic cars and the family needs. And it’s perfect to load and carry all my LEGO stuff to the events… I also ride a ’80 BMW R 80/7 and an ’86 scooter Vespa. I don’t like modern era cars, it seems to me they have the same shapes and design. I think the car design reached its peak in the seventies and from that era on the style has slowly declined.
If I could choose any car to drive in my real life….hem the list is very long but probably a Porsche 911 from the seventies is the right choice, better tuned up by Singer Design. But honestly every day I dream a different car to drive, it depends on my mood and weather! In my passenger seat I’d like to have seated the charismatic Porsche guy Magnus Walker, better known as the Urban Outlaw. Magnus Walker is not what you’d call a typical-looking Porsche enthusiast, I like his style and his story. He’s one of the world’s most unconventional Porsche collectors and an underground hero for tuning of vintage Porsche products. But this is another story.
If you were a LEGO brick, which type would you be and why?
Probably a tile, I need a lot to build my MOCs and especially the 6X6 in light bluish gray, the floor of all my garages are made of those big tiles.
What was your first ever LEGO set, and which is your favourite LEGO set or theme?
Honestly I don’t remember my first LEGO set, I remember playing with my older brother’s seventies LEGO City and Technic sets. Fabuland was for sure one of my favourite theme and I still have a lot of characters and utensils. I think Fabuland utensils were so great and I often use them for my current MOCs (i.e. the watering can becomes the jerry can). I loved classic castle theme too and I still have a picture during my 6th birthday with the birthday cake and the yellow castle, really good memories…
From ‘82 on I became a 12V train sets fan and #7740 is probably one of my favourite set ever. Luckily my mum has never thrown away my LEGO and I still have my trains, which are quite valued and sought after these days.
Model Team is at the moment the theme I prefer and I’m collecting the classic sets. When LEGO released the Model Team series I was too old to play with LEGO and it had gone unnoticed. Many years after I bought a used and already built Black Cat for few euros in a toy shop and I started my love affair with this theme. Last year I wrote a “personal” review for the Italian LUG site.
I’m an unconventional AFOL, I don’t buy current LEGO sets. The last I bought was the VW 10220 but soon it was tuned into the “Road Service T1”.
How and why did you get started in the online Lego Community?
At the beginning of 2000s while I was surfing on the net I came across the scaled trucks of Dennis Bosman, I couldn’t believe to my eyes, his trucks were so detailed and lifelike that the first time I saw them they seemed to me to be real trucks, simply incredible. I was shocked about the AFOL community and the incredible MOCs out there. Soon I started building my first white SCANIA and then of course my first Brickshelf page was open. At the beginning of 2010s I started to build scaled vehicles seriously and sharing them on flickr and MOCpages, a little bit later I joined Eurobricks and the ItLUG forum.
I had a problem though; the bad quality of my pictures. I bought a Reflex camera and I learned how to use it. It wasn’t enough, I needed also to learn Photoshop and Illustrator, very important to create custom stickers for my MOCs. It has been a demanding and stimulating path but now when I look at my Flickr I’m really happy and satisfied about my work. 2014 has been the turning-point in my “builder” career with the launch of my first garage, the Volkswagen Service Workshop, which boosted my reputation in LEGO community all over the world.
What’s your favourite creation to date?
My favourite build is probably my Volkswagen Garage, as I said before it was the MOC that helped me to make my work noticed in LEGO community. I also proud of my scooter workshop and the recent ESSO gas station.
About the someone else’s creations it’s a hard question, there are so many outstanding and amazing builds out there that it’s quite impossible choosing one (take a look at the MOCs featured in The Art of LEGO Scale Modelling , I love them all). But if I have to pick one I opt for the FORD GT40 built by The Arvo Brothers. I remember I was so stricken by the cover of Hispabrick magazine #6 with that Ford decked up in Gulf livery surrounded by yellow robotic arms. It was really inspirational.
How do you start a build, and what makes your designs unique to you?
The process of building starts with “a love at first sight”, let me explain. I can do my own best in creating a LEGO MOC if I love the real subject. For example I remember that last year I saw the picture of the Esso Gas Station on a Facebook page and I was totally shocked by that view, immediately I said “yes, this is my next big MOC for 2016”. And this is what happened. I probably can’t build something I don’t really like. Once identified the subject I start searching pictures, blueprints and technical schemes (especially for the vehicles). Luckily on the web you can find practically all you need for building: information and bricks.
I usually build by night because during the day I work and I have to take care of my family. At times it’s hard building by night. I think my design follow two directions: details and clean design. My mottos are “God is in details” and “Less is more” (both mottos are from the German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1886-1969). I try to have a personal style, which means for me smooth design but rich in the details. Even if I love classic LEGO, I prefer not to show the studs. The models seem more realistic in this way.
What’s coming next?
Recently I built something out of my comfort zone, a Classic Space Tank. It was really funny changing subject and scale and the outcome really satisfied my expectations. Probably I’ll follow again this direction. On my wish list there’s also another diorama in the same scale of my previous garages but at the moment I don’t have the right idea to develop.
Where will you put your TLCB Master MOCers trophy?
It’ll be put straight to my Bricklink store… I’m joking of course, this intangible trophy has a immeasurable value for me, it’s like the ultimate award for all my work. Thanks TLCB for this chance and for all the times you’ve blogged my builds. Keep it on!
A huge thank you to Andrea for sharing his Lego story with us here at TLCB. You can check out many of his incredible models via the links in his interview above, and you can shortcut straight to his MOCpage and Flickr accounts using these handy links.
See you soon for Episode 2!