The Guardian of the Abyss and the Wolf Fenrir

The Guardian of the Abyss and the Wolf Fenrir

My latest creation is loosely inspired both by the story of the writer Xavier Liras, creator of the Spiral Universe, and by the illustration of the artist Alexander Shatohin.
Below you can read a very brief summary of Xavier’s story that describes my creation well.

The story goes that the Guardian of the abyss lives right on the edge of the abyss. His job for generations has been to explore the Abyss and its mists and gain insight into what is happening in the world.
The Abyss has many levels, it is the manifestation of the psyche of humanity.
There is a terrible war going on in this world now that could plunge us into extinction. The Guardian must lure Wolf Fenrir to the surface and be devoured. But the wolf will not be able to kill him completely and, back in the abyss, he will be forced to spit it out. Only then will the initiation of the Guardian into the deepest Abyss begin.

It is the first time that I have built an animal made of bricks, in this case the head of a wolf, and it was fun and challenging. I think I can still improve the shape but for now I’m happy with that. I hope you enjoy!

“Beer Wagon” designer Tom Daniel talks about his creations and his career [Special interview for Norton74]  

“Beer Wagon” designer Tom Daniel talks about his creations and his career [Special interview for Norton74]  

Few years ago I built the Lego replica of the “Beer Wagon”, a radical Show Rod built by the legendary car designer Tom Daniel in 1967. Then I built another Tom Daniel’s vehicle, the “Paddy Wagon”.  

Those vehicles, known as Show Rods, and many others, were built from the ground up, were distinguished by an unconventional design, brilliant colours and amazing craftsmanship. Their engines were extremely powerful, yet they rarely touched the road. In other words, these cars were meant to be looked at, not driven. Yes, Show Rods were paradoxical. 

The Show Rods phenomenon peaked between the 1960s and 1970s in the United States and Tom Daniel was one of the most representative designer of that crazy era. Between 1967-1975, Tom designed 75 cars for Monogram Models. These were iconic models that are still top sellers today like the Beer Wagon indeed and the Red Baron. His designs were so influential that custom car builders sometimes crafted full-size versions of his kit designs, often commissioned by show promoters. 

But his work wasn’t limited to just model car kits. George Barris called him on a Friday night wanting a design for a TV show involving a family of monsters. Overnight Daniel dreamed up the Munster Koach for Barris, although the credit for the design by Daniel often gets mis-stated. He also designed the Bat Cycle for the 1960s Batman television series. It consisted of a Yamaha 250 and was linked to Robin’s sidecar, which was a detachable go-cart (source: Fuel Curve). 

After building the Paddy Wagon I got in touch with Tom Daniel asking to chat with him about his career and his famous vehicles. If you’d like to know more about Tom’s creations and Show Rods phenomenon this interview is a great resource.
Fasten your seat belts, wear your helmet, let’s go! 

Hi Mr. Tom Daniel, thanks for accepting to have a chat with me. Just few questions about you and your creations. 

N74: When your interest in cars and Show Rods started and why? 

TD: Soon after WWII was over – in the late 1940s – returning GI’s began building hot rods and customs (“Show Rods” as such were still in the future), and I was just in High school – and starting to draw custom cars. 

N74: Can you tell me a little bit about your background? I mean, are you a self-made car designer or did you study design or something like that? 

TD: During late high school years, I discovered the Art Center School during a field trip to the original campus on 3rd Street in west Los Angeles. After graduating high school in 1955, ACS accepted my portfolio (which I created during my senior year in high school); then began a tough 4-year grind learning to be an industrial designer – (Transportation Major; Product design minor). 

N74: In a few words, if possible, tell me which are your career milestones. 

TD: Graduating high school; then ACS with a BPA Degree; then being hired by GM to join their Styling Staff at the GM Tech Center north of Detroit, Michigan; Flying with the U.S. Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis; Working as a design-engineer on the APOLLO MOON Project (with) North American Aviation at the Space and Information Systems in Downey, California. 

N74: Why and when did your cooperation with Monogram start? And what it represented for you. 

TD: This came about as a result of my long time “Off the Sketchpad” articles and drawings for Rod&Custom Magazine (as well as other “car” magazines.) The Monogram people liked what I was designing and drawing.  The BEER WAGON was my 1st model kit design for Monogram – and it was a hit right away… then came my Red Baron – and LIFTOFF! 

N74: As you know I built the replica of your Beer Wagon and Paddy Wagon; can you tell me where the inspiration to build them come from and when? 

TD: Childhood remembrances. 

N74: Any curiosities about the Beer Wagon and Paddy Wagon? 

TD: Monogram said they wanted a design of a hot rodded Beer Wagon in 1:24 scale.  When I started the designs, It was HUGE, and I had to shrink the entire design down to about ¾ size. 

N74: Which are your favourite creations? 

TD: WAY too many to delineate here.  LOL! 

N74: Have you been influenced by other car designer? If yes, which ones? 

TD: I have admired many of the Italian and German car designers (of the 1950s era) – as well as some Americans, but my designs are my designs…. Done strictly for my pleasure. Just so happens, LOTS of people also like them to this day – some 50 + years later. 

N74: Are you working on something new or are you just enjoying your time? 

TD: I am working with ATLANTIS Toy & Hobby in New York – who now have a good selection of the (former) Monogram Models/’TD’ tooling.   

N74: Recently I built also the “Fire Truck” designed by Chuck Miller. The Fire Truck and the Paddy Wagon look having the same source of inspiration. Is this correct? Have you ever known Chuck Miller? 

TD: The only thing those two designs have in common is the ubiquitous “C” Cab designs used in the late 18th century.  Under contract, he built the 1st 1:1 version of my RED BARON model kit design Monogram Models manufactured in 1968. He did a pretty nice job – but NOT accurate to my original design in many detail aspects. 

Many thanks for your time Mr Tom Daniel, it has been an honour chatting with you and I’m sure LEGO fans, and petrolheads in general, will appreciate the interview. Keep it up! 

More info about Tom Daniel works: www.tomdaniel.com

Crazy/Bus unreleased pics

Crazy/Bus unreleased pics

Let’s take a look at some W.I.P. photos of the craziest Bus all around!
The C/Bus is composed by 4 single modules, you can easily separate them and choose the ones you want to connect, it’s easy and fun! Do you remember the Mini C/Bus? it was composed by the first and last modules that actually were the front and back of the Bus.

Scroll through the images and find out the 4 modules the Crazy|Bus is composed by. Have fun!

Mini Crazy Bus

Mini Crazy Bus

A few days ago I showed you my latest and strangest creation, the Crazy Bus.
With a few simple steps you can connect Module 1 with Module 4 to create the MINI CRAZY BUS, which is even more bizarre in this way.
Hope you like it!

Crazy Bus

Crazy Bus

The Crazy Bus is the funniest, weirdest, and strangest bus out there.
I built the Bus these days when I was forced to stay at home alone (!) and the thermometer touched 40 degrees, I felt like I was in hell!
I was probably a little “dazed and confused” when I thought about it, however here it is.
It is a sort of post apocalyptic refuge where two survivors, after yet another environmental disaster caused by human beings, find shelter to spend their days waiting for a new era.

In some ways it can be considered as a continuation of my previous Floating Dystopia, they have many things in common (and also some parts of the MOC itself).

The front and the back of the bus can be connected with two simple technic pins thus forming a mini bus. This way it’s even more bizarre! In the next few days I will show you the Mini Crazy Bus with some new brand photos, stay tuned!

There are a lot of tools, objects and weird parts, check them out and have fun spotting them all. Enjoy!