General Store: behind the scenes

General Store: behind the scenes

Let’s take a look at some unreleased WIP snapshots of my latest creation, the General Store right from somewhere in the heart of America.
At first I had chosen dark tan/tan as a color combo, then I ventured for an unexpected and unusual yellow/reddish brown combo. And the outcome rocks! The ground comes from my previous Into the Wild diorama but is wider and longer.
The first prototype showed more details and objects but there was also too much confusion; I took something away to make it more enjoyable.
As usual I drew a sketch of the idea I had in mind and then brick by brick I created the General Store.
And a big thank you to my daughter Claudia for the nice drawing of my creation.

General Store: a time capsule

General Store: a time capsule

General Stores were very common in the US back in the 18th and 19th century, especially in rural areas or in small towns. Actually, there are few of them along old nearly-forgotten interstate highways, they are like old treasures to preserve. Their main feature was carrying a general line of merchandise to remote populated places where mobility was limited and a single shop was sufficient to service the entire community. In the early twentieth century general stores often sold gasoline too.
My latest diorama represents a classic general store depicted in a sixties scene somewhere in the heart of America with many elements easy to spot back then.

Take a moment to appreciate all the small details that all add up to this vintage scene; the rusted pump abandoned on the ground, the phone cab, soft-drink dispenser, the gumball machine and many others.
The old white-bearded man sitting in his rocking chair keeps watch carefully who arrives helped by his loyal dog. On the left a little shop for quick repairs equipped with different utensils.
All around I added many details like the water tower, the phone box, the gas pump and so on.
I’m very satisfied with this creation even if it’s much better live than depicted by a photo.
It was very funny building this and even more catching the details to insert via period pictures spotted on the web. Hope you like it!

“This month’s cover photo, from Andrea Lattanzio, brings us this blast from the past with an incredibly detailed LEGO general store. The diorama is littered with items you might find at a remote general store, and luckily Andrea provides a close up look at the details (see below). Candy machines, phone booths, tools, and gas, this general store has you covered no matter your needs.
Here’s that closer look at some of the items you’ll see surrounding the general store. The water tower is a clear standout, but some of the other details like the power pole, the cable holding up the chimney pipe, and the cat going after that bird nest. This entire scene is a delight to take in.” 

(TBB cover photo for June 2020: The General Store with Everything  The Brothers Brick – June 1, 2020)

“The General Store can be the last bastion of civilization before heading out into the wilderness. The calm before getting mixed up in a dark forest, or getting lost in the desert. A scene that has played out hundreds of times on film and television. This Lego General Store is created by Norton74. Inspired by these classic small town and rural American locations. A place where you can find a little bit of everything. You can fill up gas, buy some tools, pick up a soda, and make a phone call all in one place. This Lego diorama has a bunch of fun features. A really creative flag built with Lego 1×1 clips, the old time gas pump with a sea shell on top (shell gas), and the slightly uneven yellow siding on the main building. With a nice old man watching over everything. There is also a collection of Lego animals helping to fill out the scene, you can spy a pig, a cat, two dogs, a bird, a few chickens, and a skunk. This is a very busy store.” 

(Grab A Soda At The General Store, A Lego MOC  everydayBRICKS – May 14, 2020)

Classic Van | Instructions and part list

Classic Van | Instructions and part list

Build your own classic Van
I used this classic Van in a few of my past creations and recently I enjoyed taking “step by step” instructions pictures.
Here the plans to build this classic pick-up decked out in a cool livery.
Generating this kind of instructions is a very time-consuming activity and you probably could make instructions faster using one of the many SW availalble. But the outcome of photo instructions is something unique and in my humble opinion it’s a little bit artistic too. That’s why I spent a lot of time taking pictures and preparing the “step by step” instructions.
Now you can build it following the “step by step” pics below. Enjoy!

The Van has previously appeared in some of Norton74’s creations, below the complete list:
1) Life’s a beach (August 2019);
2) Chevy Delivery Van (June 2019);
3) Christmas 2018 (December 2018);
4) Stranger Things | Chevy Van (December 2018).

Brick Journal No. 61 features Norton74 Food Stands

Brick Journal No. 61 features Norton74 Food Stands

Super article about Norton74’s famous FOOD STANDS on April issue of Brick Journal. If you like my street restaurants you can’t miss issue No. 61. 9 pages of hi-quality pictures and the complete story about my street food-themed builds: from the first Hot Dog Stand to the Coffee Stand and the last Hamburger Stand. In the middle also the Agip Gas Station. The article focuses the attention to the possibility to build different scenes using the same base, and that’s what I did in the past two years.
It’s not the first time Brick Journal features my works: back in 2015 the first 8 pages piece about the well known Scooter Shop and then in 2016 with an article focusing on my Hot Rods and vehicles in general.
Brick Journal is one of the most popular LEGO-themed magazine throughout the AFOL community. Run by Mr. Joe Meno is available here. Don’t miss it!

The builds featured on the magazine:
Hot Dog Stand (February 2018)
AGIP Gas Station (June 2018)
Andy’s Coffee Stand (February 2019)
Andy’s Hamburger Stand (June 2019)

Brick Journal previous Norton74’s features:
Scooter Shop (BJ US #35 July 2015)
Scooter Shop (BJ ITA #2 November 2015)
Hot Rods (BJ US #38 February 2016)
Hot Rods (BJ ITA #6 October 2016)

Thanks again Joe Meno for this great chance, always an honour being featured in BrickJournal.

Gypsy Wagons

Gypsy Wagons

Gypsy wagons have been around for a very long time, having primarily been seen with travelling circuses, before being adopted by gypsies.
The “Horse drawn, painted, one roomed house on wheels with a stove” is believed to originate in France in the early 19th Century. Gypsies themselves adopted them around 170 years ago.

Its Romanesque characteristics, its baroque carvings and bright colours are likely to have been picked up from wanderings in Central and Eastern Europe. The Gypsyes’ name for their wagons is a “Vardo”, from the Iranian name vurton, that means cart.
There were different types of wagons and they were made of oak, ash, elm, walnut and pine. Most caravans were pulled by draft horses.

I’ve always been intrigued by Gypsies Wagons and in the past few weeks I built a couple of them. Inspiration come mainly from a coffee table book my wife gifted me, “Les Roulottes, une invitation au voyage”, a big source of colourful and funny caravans. It was very funny designing and building these caravans and also choose the right Minifigures from old sets and Collectionable Series. If you are wondering why Jack Sparrow is in the MOC the answer is that I think he has the perfect look of a yesteryear Gypsy.

LATCHO DROM!

“Two brightly-coloured wagons are home to a band of travelling folk in Andrea Lattanzio‘s latest LEGO model. Life on the road has never looked so inviting, with the bold colors of the mobile homes enhanced with bursts of flowers, and the scene stuffed with functional-looking details. I love the hanging tassels, the little chimney stacks, and the clutter of bags and lanterns and buckets. Don’t miss the use of minifigure hats as flower-pots, and the catapults used for the legs on the fortune teller’s table.” 

(“Life on the road”  The Brothers Brick – March 29, 2020)