The Hedgehog

The Hedgehog

A few weeks ago while I was watching Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, I spotted a large tank that caught my attention. From that I built this menacing ‘bad boy’ full of details and features and wrapped in a total dark gray color scheme.
It’s called The Hedgehog and the reason is quite obvious: dozens of dark tan claws guarantee maximum grip on all types of terrain. And the appearance resembles the small spiky mammal.
The shape is deliberately awkward and a little cartoonish. I added details and features without ever going overboard. The upper part with the turret opens to expose a detailed little interior with such an assortment of armaments and equipment.
Last but not least, the moustached commander looks like he came out of a WW II Panzer.

The Hedgehog joins my other tanks that I have built in recent years, give it a look it’s worth it.
The Hedgehog is heavily and loosely based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Akuyaku, a multi turreted tank appeared in some sketches of the master illustrator. Miyazaki has always been very fascineted by the tanks and planes used in the two world wars. I tried to transfer that style into my latest work too. And I dig it!

Credits:
Miyazaki’s tanks and Tyler’s beautiful Bad Guy No.1 inspired this latest tracked MOC of mine. So thank you!

Fab-Boat

Fab-Boat

While I was rummaging through old pieces, a hull from the Fabuland series caught my eye.
It seemed perfect to build a small fishingboat. By the way, a boat had been on my wish list for many years.
Here is the Fab-Boat, a small fishing vessel equipped with everything you need for fishing at sea.
The boat has a small hold and the engine compartment which you can see by lifting up the captain’s cabin and the front cover.
The captain has already been seen in my recent version of the Stilt House. While the character on the dock appeared in my Theo’s Trabuchet fishing hut back in November 2021.
I had a lot of fun building the Fab Boat, fitting the details into such a small space was very challenging.
And now let’s weigh anchor!

Building the gentle curve of a boat hull in LEGO bricks can be a challenge. That is, unless you find an old Fabuland boat part in your collection like Norton74. He promptly put it to good use as the start of a fishing boat full of the kind of details we have come to expect from Andrea. The simple dock gives a good setting without taking attention away from the vessel. It includes a small cargo hold and a rig for hauling in the day’s catch. Round, white studs give the boat a proper wake in a bed of transparent blue as it approaches the dock at the end of a long day.

(This small LEGO fishing boat is simply Fabu-lous!”  The Brothers Brick – January 14, 2024)

Magda’s Garden Shed (or the Shed with the Tree)

Magda’s Garden Shed (or the Shed with the Tree)

Every time I visit a garden shop I am fascinated by the mixture of colors and shapes of the plants that you can find there. I really like that atmosphere especially in the ancient shacks.

I tried to recreate that kind of location by building a barn-shaped shed surrounded by flowers and plants. The inspiration came from a drawing by a Japanese dioramist that I really appreciate.
The large tree that sprout up from the roof catches the eye and it’s the leading element of the entire scene.
The garden shed is the kingdom of Mrs. Magda (can you spot her?), a friendly Spanish lady who has retired to countryside with her plants and flowers.

The diorama is full of details and strange pieces, have fun finding them. In the next few days I’ll share more “behind the scenes” pictures, so if you want to know more, stay tuned!

“When driving through the countryside, it’s a common sight to see a dilapidated barn in the distance, where nature has taken over. But it is much less common to see nature intruding on a well cared for building. Take this lovely shed by Andrea Lattanzio, for example. While it is clear that the roof has seen better days, the landscape and the exterior of this garden shed clearly receive a lot of love and attention from Magda, the owner. Almost every landscape detail is noteworthy, but my favorite unique part is the Minifig base for Sandman from the Marvel Spider-man franchise, used as a base for the pot to the left of the shed doors.“

(Say Magda, there’s a tree in your shed  The Brothers Brick – July 1, 2021)

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)