Nick Barrett

Lego Mini

The Lego Car Blog Elves, armed with sharpened pencils, can be a formidable adversary. They’re huge fans of our next Master MOCer builder and took it upon themselves to ‘invite’ him into the Master MOCers Club. So here at No.8 in the Master MOCer Interview listings is the utterly brilliant Nick Barrett.

Over to Nick to explain all…

When did you first get into LEGO and what was your first set?
It was a very long time ago… I’ve had Lego since I was very little; some of those old early 1970s sets with build-it-yourself people. I still love those old ‘maxifigs’. I remember my first Technic set very well. Christmas 1978; the 852 Helicopter. I loved it and went on to get most of the early Technic sets.

How did you get started in the AFOL community?
I’d packed away all my Lego in my teens and didn’t touch it for 20 years. When my son was old enough to build them, I dug out all my old Technic sets from the loft. So glad I kept them! He’d build the sets (his favourite was 8848 – the first Unimog – which we know as ‘Mr Plow’) and we’d moc together. That was when I started to unleash my creative urges and build the things I couldn’t when I was younger. I found MOCpages by accident and discovered a world of talent I had no idea existed.

What’s your favourite LEGO set or theme?
Definitely Technic. The 8860 car chassis from 1980 was the ultimate for me as a boy; it inspired a ton of mocs then and now. Model Team came during my ‘dark age’ but I really like those beautifully detailed models. I like the large Sculptures sets and Architecture sets as well.

Who Is Your Favourite MOCer?
There are loads out there who always inspire ; the first two I found influential on MOCpages were Firas Abu-Jaber, for his flawless shaping, and Ape Fight – his Rat Rod was very like the stuff I liked making, but better.

There’s a lot of talented people making vehicles now; Ryan Link springs to mind, and Malte Dorowski, Senator Chinchilla, Bricksonwheels, Lino Martins… the list is endless, and they all build beautiful creations in a distinctive style.

I was lucky enough to display at a show alongside MortalSwordsman – who’s nowhere near as lethal as his screen name suggests – and saw the sheer quality of his builds up close and in the plastic. He’s an incredibly nice guy, too. Another talented nice guy is DeTomaso Pantera, whose transporters for classic race teams were spectacular, as are his bird models on Cuusoo.

Outside of vehicle builders, I’d have to say Matt Rowntree, who was and is a complete gentleman as well as fantastically creative.

What is your favourite MOC ?
A diorama called ‘Yipe’ by Matt Rowntree, which features Wile E Coyote, Roadrunner, an anvil and some dynamite. Lots of dynamite. Great fun.

Favourite vehicle MOC is probably still Ape Fight’s Rat Rod; it was a great influence on my way of vehicle building. Favourite MOC of mine is always the one I’m making next.

What is your favourite brick?
The Technic half pin. Before I had a lot of SNOT bricks, I used these by the bucketload. Still do.

How do you start a build?
By deciding which wheels I’ll use, then scaling it from there. Drawings and pictures are essential, and a die cast model is desirable. I usually start building with the hardest part – on a front wheel drive car that’s invariably the front suspension/steering/drive assembly.

Lego Citroens

What makes your designs unique to you?
I like to create something that both looks right and includes some Technic functionality. It’s also important to me that the Technic parts work well. On my larger cars, I like lots of studs – on a curvy shape they add to the texture; while my small models tend to be studless, still with Technic functions when I can include them. Another thing I like to do is make cars that I’m enthused about, which tends to mean old / slow / French or all of the above!

Who do you think will be a talent for the future?
There’s a lot of promising TFOLs around right now. Harry Gravett springs to mind, and Alexander PashoalettoStarscream Soundwave makes wonderfully elegant MOCs, large or small. I remember looking at Sam the First’s LDD Stratos and thinking ‘someone get that guy a ton of bricks!’

What’s next?
There’s always a list of things in my head I’d like to build. Another Citroen DS (or maybe an SM) with pneumatic self-levelling suspension powered by an on-board compressor. I’m trying to figure out a power-assisted steering system as well. I’ll probably do a big mobile crane soon, with 8860 wheels – I love making something like that work.

Lego Citroen DS

Thanks for joining us Nick and sorry about the Elves, we hope the plasters and Savlon did the trick.

You can see more of Nick Barrett’s incredible creations via the link at the top of this page, or by entering his name in the Search box here at The Lego Car Blog.

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