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)

It’s time for Santa Claus to go!

It’s time for Santa Claus to go!

Like every year at this time Santa Claus has to get to work, children all over the world are waiting for him.
In my latest diorama you can see Santa Claus leaving his red cabin at the North Pole to get on his sleigh pulled by two Huskys. He has a long way to go…

This is probably my last MOC for this year and I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“Santa Claus, despite his media persona and the products he is implied to endorse, is not the consumerist type. Sure, he brings presents on Christmas to children, but not the max-out-the-credit-cards-and-refinance-the-house pile of presents that parents are somehow expected to provide. He lives a life of humble solitude, somewhere up in the frozen north (though not the North Pole; what responsible person would build a house on seasonally variant ice?), where he prepares for his annual journey of beneficence. At least, that is what this build by Andrea Lattanzio (Norton74) seems to imply. A delightful cabin, similar to Walden but much redder, rests in a peaceful snow-covered clearing, with deep snow on the roof and a sled ready to go (even though the sled is pulled by huskies, rather than reindeer). The most impressive part of the display might be the collection of parts used to create the snow-covered foliage, from levers and megaphones to minifig hands and everything else white. However, I love the cannon as a chimney — topped by pots, even more. Unicorn horns make for lovely icicles on the eaves (if only they were available in transparent colors!). My one quibble is that the woodpile looks far too sparse to make it through the winter in conditions like that. Santa will freeze to death. Unless he isn’t watching out for the polar bear lurking behind the cabin, in which case he’ll be devoured before freezing. And before bringing me LEGO for my stocking.”

(“What happened to the reindeer?” The Brothers Brick – December 13, 2019)

Mariachi wagon and Mexican house

Mariachi wagon and Mexican house

One of the most vivid traditions of Mexico is surely the Mariachi culture. I’ve been always intrigued by Mariachi musicians and when LEGO released the Mariachi in Series 16 Collectible Minifigures I thought it was really cute and perfect for a Mexican themed MOC.

My latest creation represents a classic Mexican scene: the Mariachi Wagon with the musicians on board ready to play the serenade to the beautiful girl on the terrace. On the right her father with his eyes well opened.
The house boasts a multi-level terrace structure, a couple of arbors covered by flowers and a large patio. Cactus and plants of all kind are all around.

In addition to the Mariachi, I also included in the diorama the Maraca Man (Series 2), Flamenco Dancer (Series 6) and the Taco Tuesday Guy (the LEGO Movie).

“Most Western-themed LEGO creations take their architectural inspiration from the single-street towns of the Gold Rush — clapperboard buildings, usually saloons and general stores. It makes for a pleasant change to see something a little more Southwestern in tone with Andrea Lattanzio‘s build of a classic whitewashed adobe flat-roofed house. And even better, there’s not a gunfighter in sight; instead, we’re treated to a mariachi band arriving in their wagon to serenade the farmer’s beautiful daughter. The house is a visual treat, covered with nice details, from the use of printed 1×1 round tiles on the protruding ends of the logs to the plant-covered arbors that provide shady spots on the flat roof. The use of woodgrain tiles above the windows and doors adds some welcome texture amongst the white. Bien hecho, Andrea!”

(“Jumping on board the Mexican bandwagonThe Brothers Brick – September 15, 2019)

AGIP Gas Station

AGIP Gas Station

Back in the sixties AGIP was the most important Italian gas company. Its logo was the well known six-legged dog still used today by the company and the petrol was called Supercortemaggiore. Most of you probably remember the odd dog as Ferrari F1 sponsor back in the seventies and eighties.I remember as a child the delicious Agip station marked by modernist design and with that bizarre dog positioned everywhere. My build is a little AGIP gas station you could easily find along the state highway of my country back then. The building is marked out by rounded corner and glass walls. A sloped roof completes the period design.
On the left you can see a classic Italian light truck from the sixties, the OM Leoncino decked out in AGIP-Supercortemaggiore livery. A just fueled up Vespa completes this classic Italian scene. Don’t forget to take a look at the back side where old signs and used parts are lying all around.

Hot Dog Stand

Hot Dog Stand

The Hot Dog is probably one of the most famous and delicious street food all around and I love it, especially with mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and sauerkraut. When Lego relaesed the Hot Dog man in the Series 13 Collectible Minifigures and then the Hot Dog vendor in Serie 17, I thought they were really cute and perfect for a street food themed MOC. And here it is my classic Hot Dog stand featuring many details both outside and inside the kiosk.

In December 2018 the HOT DOG STAND was selected by The Brothers Brick – probably the most popular LEGO blog around – and included on the shortlist for The Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2018.

Bugatti Barn Find

Bugatti Barn Find

As a petrolhead I’ve always dreamed about finding a classic car hidden for years in an old barn or shed. And that is what is called “Barn find”. My latest build showcases two car-hunters discovering a classic Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix in a barn. Close to the blue machine you can see the old farmer with his dog showing the treasure, even if he doesn’t know its real value. And the french beauty looks really in shape.

The Bugatti Type 35 was the most successful of the Bugatti racing models, the famous “pur sang”. Introduced at the Grand Prix of Lyon on August 3, 1924 the Type 35 was phenomenally successful, winning over 1,000 races in its time. You can easily build your Bugatti Type 35 following the instructions below.
In November 2017 a 1925 model has been sold for over €1.4 million at the Artcurial auction in Paris.