A-Frame Cabin

A-Frame Cabin

An architectural icon from 1950 to about 1975, the A-frame is one of my favourite rural homes ever, a triangle-design built for lounging on outdoor decks and staring at nature.
I built this cabin inspired, in part, by Harlan Hubbard‘s book Payne Hollow, about living a simpler life in a hand-built home. The author is considered by many a modern-day Thoreau.

“Two brothers, Dan and Ethan, burned out on modern working believed that stripping away modern comforts and living more simply in nature would lead to a more spiritually an creatively fulfilling life. They looked for a cabin in the woods and finally found out this old wooden A-Frame Cabin. They fixed up it and now they live there happily.”

It’s not my first cabin in the woods but it was very funny building the A-structure and trying to add many weird details. I also played with the light to let the scene as deep as possible.

“We are mid-way through October, and autumn, as well as spooky season, is in full effect, Andrea Lattanzio’s cozy LEGO A-Frame home located amongst some beautiful fall-colored conifers is the perfect build to capture the moment we are in. The key to the main architectural build here is definitely in the tiling – we’ve got plenty of tiling on the roof, tiling for the deck, and more tiling to cover the house’s base structure. Printed tiles also help render the lumber packed away in the left, maybe for firewood. I love Lattanzio’s use of tree limb elements arranged in such a way to create pointed evergreen trees – different colors are also utilized for that autumn color-changing aesthetic. Perhaps the most interesting example of parts used in this work would be the hammer minifigure utensil which is applied in multiples to compose the foundation of the home. Many small details in this build are eye-catching, including the broken stairs leading up to this shack-like a-frame dwelling. Even if some home-improvement is needed on this little getaway house, it still looks like a great place to escape to on an autumn weekend.“

(A-Frame Bringing the Autumn A-Game  The Brothers Brick – October 18, 2020)

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

This Moc was on my wishlist since a long time. My goal was to recreate a welcoming room full of plants and flowers while using many pieces from the Scala, Fabuland and Belville series.
I have been collecting these kind of pieces in the past few months, and have finally placed them in my Winter Garden.
If you look carefully you’ll notice many Scala pieces like the award ribbon, the watering cans, the cloth rug, the chairs, the wicker baskets and the suitcase. The coffee-table legs are linked via the Scala towel bar, a piece I had never heard of, but very interesting. I also added a couple of Fabuland utensils: the camera and the jerry can on the cabinet.
There are many plants and flowers and I used different kind of utensils to create the plants supports (hockey sticks for the cactus, brooms for the ficus).
It was very funny building it and it’s something different from my usual “comfort zone”. Hope you like it!

Joe’s cottage

Joe’s cottage

Joe is a lonely guy. He lives in his tan wooden cottage somewhere in the woods. His mates are birds and chickens. He loves driving his tow truck and he always helps people who are in breakdown on their way.
My latest creation was inspired by a Japanese model maker who makes little cottages and shacks in the woods.
I added few npu like the speargun as light holder, pistons on the electricity pole, Ninjago hat on the chimney and some other even on the tow truck.
I tried to photograph the scene making it alive and warm, it seems to me there is a nice atmosphere due to the light sideways.

Below few snapshots while I was building the cottage during the lockdown and the usual sketch of the build.

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)

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)

Into the Wild and the Magic Bus

Into the Wild and the Magic Bus

A couple of months ago I built the Walden Cabin inspired by the the book “Walden; or life in the woods” written by Henry David Thoreau.
Walden and others books of authors like Leo Tolstoy and Jack London were the inspiration for Chris McCandless‘s journey back in early nineties.
My latest work is the most rapresentative scene of the movie Into the Wild that is an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Jon Krakauer, and tells the story of Christopher McCandless indeed, a man who hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s.
McCandless’s intention was to live in harmony with nature, being self-sufficient, and rejecting the excess of material wealth and societal pressure. Unluckily his story ended differently than that of his predecessor Thoreau…
I saw the movie many years ago and recently I saw it again and I found it very inspirational and a little bit sad.
I recreated the “Magic Bus” that became the home for Alexander Supertramp, that’s the new name of Chris, in the middle of the wild nature, as you can see in the movie and as it really was back in those years. The bus is an old 1946 International Harvester K-5 used by the Yutan Construction Company to provide remote accommodations for the construction crew from Fairbanks that worked on road upgrades in 1960–1961. It contained beds and a wood-burning stove, which still remain today. 
I could tell you many stories related to the film but I don’t want to reveal anything to you, since maybe you haven’t seen the film or read the book yet…
Today would be Chris’s 52nd birthday and I think it’s the right day to share my Magic Bus. Happy birthday Chris!

“In honour of Chris McCandless’ 52nd birthday earlier this week, 2019 TBB LEGO Builder of the Year Andrea Lattanzio build a stunning recreation of the “Magic Bus” from the end of McCandless’ life, as documented in the book and film Into the Wild. This creation is a fitting tribute. The landscape looks like the clearing on the rugged Stampede Trail, featuring various elements representing rocks, plants, and mushrooms. My favourites are the tree built out of brown stud shooters and the grey homemaker hairpiece as a large rock. Framed inside its wild Alaskan surroundings, is the bus itself. The design is spot on and includes clever use of a dish with a spider web pattern as old and aged headlights and a stack of 3×3 dishes as the bus’s grill.” 

(“Go into the wild on the magic bus”  The Brothers Brick – February 16, 2020)