We welcome the seventh builder into The Lego Car Blog’s ‘Master MOCer’ Series, the brilliant Dennis Bosman aka legotrucks. Dennis’ work has featured on TLCB several times in the past two years, he’s collaborated with our second Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, and his latest work marks him out as one of the best builders anywhere in the world right now. Dennis joins us at TLCB to write his Lego journey. Read on to learn his story…
When did you first get into LEGO and what was your first set?
I started with LEGO when I was four years old. Of course I first played with Duplo bricks. My mom helped me with building coaches based on the Duplo carts. One of my first sets I remember was the Miniland fire brigade (set 602) and taxi cab (set 608). More sets followed shortly after and I was able to build my own town.
How did you get started in the AFOL Community?
I actually was active on the internet and attending model shows before the AFOL communities started. In 1995 I met two other Dutch AFOLs (however the abbreviation ‘AFOL’ didn’t exist then) and the year after we attended a model show in the Netherlands in the area of cranes and trucks. The first time I put some MOCs on the internet was in 1998. The only forum I knew then was Lugnet.com and it was quite succesful in that period. In a meantime I was creating my own website and launched it in November 1999. That really was a good basis to get in touch with many AFOLs. A couple of them from the early days I still meet occasionally. I really met many others when Lowlug started in 2003. We were present at some shows in 2005 and 2006 and I also went a couple of times to 1000steine land in Berlin. The last five years I got in touch with quite a few Dutch builders who came out of their ‘dark ages’ and from then on we really have a nice group who meet on a regular basis.
What’s your favourite LEGO set or theme?
The aren’t really favourite sets, but some of them were a good start of my hobby. One of them is Technic set 8860, the super car with the boxer engine. In 1986 I got very exited when the Model Team range was launched. I got a copy of set 5580 and then I started to build my own trucks. I got more or less aquainted in that area and I actually just build large trucks and later also cranes and construction equipment. Realistic models really are my matter of interest.
Who is your favourite MOCer?
Favorite MOC’ers aren’t easy to call by name. I met lots of AFOLs through the years. One of the first were Holger Matthes, Andreas Engel and Jennifer Clark. The last two aren’t active anymore for some years but they really were there time ahead with stunning MOCs. Later I got in touch with Anders Gaasedal, also a truck builder and Beat Felber who was building very heavy mining equipment. Both are also excellent builders and very active around 2005, 2006. The last couple of years I met Dutch builders like ‘Bricksonwheels’, ‘2LegoOrNot2Lego’, ‘Konajra’, ‘nkle’ and many others. One guy I shouldn’t forget is ‘Barman’! We encourage each other to build stunning MOCs and we’re attending shows together which always is fun doing! It’s not just building but also liaise with other AFOLs to make it a fantastic hobby!
What is your favourite MOC?
Actually the one I just posted, the Kenworth K100E Aerodyne with Century Rotator 1140. I’ve a big appeal for these trucks. However there are some more I will not take apart soon this one is quite special. Not just because of the chrome (which indeed is a good addition to the model) but also because of the combination; there aren’t many COEs which such crane bodies. I put a lot of details inside and that was really fun to build. I can say I’m very pleased with the result of this one!
What’s your favourite brick?
My favorite bricks are the ones which allows you to build like ‘SNOT’. Bricks with studs on sides, jumper plates, lamp holders and so on.
How do you start a build?
When I start building a truck I first try to get as many reference material as I need. Then I used start with the drivetrain, the back axles. Then I construct the chassis, front axle(s) and engine. In a meantime I build the cab. The finishing touches usually take a lot of time but that’s the fun part of it. When building a truck I often change a lot. Like with the Kenworth recovery vehicle. The chassis and cab were quite OK at first glance but the crane and bodywork I rebuilt many times. And when it was almost done I felt something was seriously wrong; the chassis was a little bit too short. I disassembled the whole model and stretched the chassis with three studs. It took a while but I only finish a MOC when I’m totally satisfied with the result. It doesn’t matter how much time it takes!
What makes your designs unique to you?
Being on the first large scale truck builder I think I encouraged many others to do the same. I never had any dark ages and I think I inspired a lot of people to search for their LEGO again at their parents attic and start building actively again. I still here this when I meet AFOLs who I haven’t met before.
And about how unique my designs are; I think I spend a lot of time on a MOC to build everything as genuine as possible. Doing compromises isn’t easy for me. As I said I really disassemble a complete MOC to change something on the inside, even when you can’t see it from the outside. All details I can build I really build. Trying to find new challenges is my goal. Even when I build a truck I already have more or less, I try to rebuild it and make it even better.
Who do you think will be a talent for the future?
There are many talents. I’m in a group with AFOLs who are born in the 70s. I don’t think we’re getting aged but I truly believe we are a generation who weren’t gaming when we were kids. It’s different nowadays but I’m very pleased to get a new generation is coming. I think we should encourage younger AFOLs to continue building. And we should give them a chance to display their MOCs on events as well.
The last two years I started building US trucks and I think I’ll continue with it. I will still build European ones as well but I’ve more appeal to older types. The new trucks don’t have character however it depends how they are set up. Trucks will always be my main interest however I will also build some different stuff next to it (like the hot rod I built earlier this year).
Another thing which really drives me is attending LEGO related events with my friends. I can’t do this without them as it’s always good and of course fun to join forces. And for this year I hope LEGO World in the Netherlands will be brought to even a higher level. We were having a great time last year at the Lowlug stand. Hopefully it’ll get more an international character with other LUGs accompanying.
Thanks to Dennis for his words, and welcome to the Master MOCers club! You can see Dennis’ amazing creations by visiting his Flickr photostream here.