After a brief hiatus the Boilerplate & Beyond interview series returns with another baker’s dozen of builders from around the planet. This time around we’re starting in Brazil with Gilcélio Chagas who brings a much needed breath of fresh air to the hobby with his diverse mix of building skill, sense of adventure, Latin good looks and as this interview will illustrate, a way with the ladies. I recently sat down with Gilcélio, rocketing across the Third Bridge towards his home town of Vila Velhas. We talked about the Treaty of Tordesillas, Pele Vs. Messi and how Vila Velhas earned its nickname “the land of green shins”. We also talked about LEGO.
KG: A perusal of your photo-stream on Flickr makes it clear that you love building large-scale cars. How do you approach building vehicles and which vehicle has been the most challenging to build?
GC: I don’t have a rule to make my builds, I always start with the difficult part of the car, that way I expend less time if I can’t make it. Of course it’s more common for me to start from the front, that in most cases has more details and requires more attention.
The most challenging vehicle for me comes from a movie called Gran Torino, directed by Clint Eastwood, the car gives the movie its name, and every time that I see the film I get crazy to make it in LEGO, the curves gives a difficult special touch in this adventure.
KG: When working on a difficult model, how much advice from other builders to you typically ask for, or do you prefer to go it alone? When you give building advice, do you consider the builder’s feelings or try to be as honest as possible?
GC: Sometimes it is important to ask for a second opinion, who is riding puts a bit of feeling in the assembly and it ends up getting in the end result, the second opinion can be used exactly for this, take away the sentimentalism part and assess impartially.
I think I asked for advice twice, the first was the Dodge Charger that I asked the opinion of Lino who gave important tips for the project and the second time was my most important project in the island desalination that I counted on help from Nannan who was a very important aid.
Thanks Lino and Nannan.
Giving this kind of advice is very complicated without knowing the inventory of the builder. Imagine that you request to modify some point of the project without knowing if they have the required piece or not. When I’m gonna give a tip I try to be honest, of course every project must have the characteristics of the builder.
KG: You have drawn inspiration from the ultimate video game system, the Atari 2600. Is it just nostalgia that drives you to build in 8-bit style or is there something more? Also, what games would you like to tackle in the future?
GC: When I started with Atari 2600 project, I had in my mind the idea to immortalize in Lego pieces the Atari games that a lot of people have never heard before, and I couldn’t let this important part of my childhood die in this way.
What made the Atari so good was the fact that if you wanted to play with someone you had to go into the house of a friend. There was nothing online, it was all in someone’s home and that made the game even cooler this interaction and simplicity of the games. “If you die it’s my turn.”
And that’s the reason that I’ve made my projects so simple, without many resources because Atari was like that, simple and captivating.
KG: Describe LUG Brasil. How did you come into contact with the LUG and what happens at a typical meeting? Both the United States and Brazil are among the most racially diverse countries on the planet, but unfortunately most American LUGs do not reflect this diversity. Can the same be said for Brazil?
GC: The LUG Brasil is an excellent place for Lego lovers like us, we have great builds there, challenges, meets, tips, and things related with this hobby that we have in common. My contact is basically by the internet and face to face meeting when it’s possible.
We have a good diversity of the Brazilian population, here you can find all kind of races, sex, religions etc. But the LEGO in Brasil is very expensive, sometimes the price is so high as to be 4 times greater in other countries, which makes LEGO access more difficult to the people with less purchasing power.
Read the full interview after the jump!