Home to almost 40 million people, greater Tokyo is the world’s most populous metropolitan area. Space is at a premium, so houses tend to be small and built closely together. To fight fires in the dense urban areas, the Tokyo Fire Department has a large fleet of exceedingly small fire engines. They are narrow enough to fit the streets between the houses. They also have a relatively short wheelbase, so that they can navigate tight corners. In preparation for a visit to Japan Brickfest later this year, I’m building a small collection of Japanese emergency vehicles. I’ve been looking forward to building the fire engine the most, so I’ve kept that for last.
At a first glance, it may not look all that small, especially if you are used to LEGO minifigure-scale builds. However, if you compare the pumper to the two fire fighters, it is obvious that it is a lot smaller than pumpers from Europe or the US. It is only about as wide as a typical American car and not all that much longer. Nonetheless, it has everything you’d expect from its larger counterparts and a little more. It is nice and red, obviously. It has pump control panels with connections for fire hoses, a few ladders stored on top and lots of compartments for tools. Typical for Japanese pumpers, it also houses a little separate wheeled cart in the back. Fire fighters use this to transport hoses down even narrower alleys. The model is like a miniature version of a miniature fire engine.
If you take your LEGO city build and public services seriously, these are the unsung city rescue heroes you need. Steven Asbury has some serious skills that bring these vehicles to life, consisting of a rescue boat that sits four minifigures towed by a truck, along with a proper fire truck ready to pump out some high-pressured H20 to show who’s the boss around here.
This is not just any fire truck, but one modelled after the real-life Scania P410 Fire Truck. The build also features a fully functional boom and extended supports for stabilisation. I like how in absence of the Brick Arch Mudguard elements for the wheels, Builder Robson M still manages to pull off a great looking alternative.
Sometimes the simplest of LEGO creations can be the most lovely. Talented Technic builder František Hajdekr, whose working LEGO chainsaw we featured earlier this year, recently posted an adorable vintage fire truck based on a Czech Tatra 148 from the 70’s. What I love about this is that the builder has incorporated actual vintage LEGO tires from the 70’s into his modern creation.
František quickly followed that up with step-by-step instructions, which you can watch in this video (with complete parts breakdown as well: part 1 & part 2).
I love a good fire engine. While I cringe a bit at seeing a fire truck called “vintage” when it’s from an era I remember well — I clearly recall watching big fire engines go by during the 1979 4th of July parade in Freeport, Maine — this hook and ladder truck by Glaktek is gorgeous to behold. A new take on one of his earlier builds, both builds also fit within the scale, parts selection, and basic building techniques of official LEGO sets, which makes its unique shape all the more beautiful.
Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another round of Friday Night Fights. Since large parts of this blog’s ancestral homeland (Washington State) seem to be going up in smoke this week, we thought it appropriate to turn our attention to mini-fig scale fire trucks.
In the shiny red corner, we have Isaac Mazer and his super-accurate Rescue 134, inspired by an engine from an actual ladder company of the same name, in his native Toronto:
In the even shinier redder corner, Galaktek takes a step away from the real world and goes future-retro with the FutureCity Fire Engine from the planet Incendia XII (which sounds like it probably needs a lot of fire trucks).
As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding, by way of comment, which truck is destined for glory and which is destined to rust in the fire house. On the last edition of Friday Night Fights, Concept Art Ships, Jake nailed it to the wall in an 11-4 showdown against Alexander. Tune in next week for another action packed edition of Friday Night Fights!
So said Malachi Constant in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s “Sirens of Titan“. Malachi would no doubt have been a fan of Alex Jones’s (Orion Pax) latest creation the Seagrave Fire Engine. The model features a number of custom chrome elements, but if you stripped it all away or replaced it with a more purist solution, the model would be no less stunning.
And since it is just after 4:20 here in Vegas, I figured I’d throw in some extra Paxian eye-candy for the stoners out there. Enjoy “Emerald Ivy”
In an odd but awesome twist, LEGO City leaves the, well, city and heads for the hills in 2012. All of the law enforcement and emergency services that form the core of each year’s LEGO City sets are represented by wildland firefighters and park rangers instead.
Looks like there are some interesting new brick…bricks.
Oh yes, there are bears. I am so building a moonshine still out back of this hillbilly cabin.
In the same vein, the firefighters battle forest fires with their bulky wildland equipment.
I wonder if wunztwice will approve of the chainsaws…
After the LEGO Cuusoo Beta launched in English last week, I’ve been keeping an eye on the site to see what people are up to. As announced last week, winning projects have to reach 10,000 supporters, and the winning designer keeps 1% of the proceeds from the LEGO set’s sales.
Projects from several Japanese builders are also available on the English site, including one of Hidaka‘s classic, oft-imitated pianos.
Other cool projects include a Back to the Future Delorean and Macross/Robotech Valkyrie.
Of course, we here at TBB don’t want to be left out! Dan already mentioned his Protype Attack Mecha Alpha Zero design, while Nannan submitted his massive “Mirage” collaboration with Tyler:
I thought I’d go a bit smaller, with a couple of my favorite vehicles — a wildland fire engine and WW2 ambulance:
It’ll be interesting to see where all of this goes!
Bartosz Kacprzyk (the oneman) creates his version of the fire truck from Fahrenheit 451. I love the fitting retro-futuristic style of this vehicle and the plow, which I think makes the creation stand out. The warm lighting also adds to the presentation; we don’t need to see a pile of burning books to know that things are about to heat up.
I was really torn between which of Marin Stipkovic’s vehicles to blog, his garbage truck or lime fire engine. Both had been sitting on my to-blog list for a few days, then I realized that I could do both. Eatin’ my cake.
The fire truck is slightly more glamorous, because . . . well . . . it’s a fire truck.