For April I decided to give myself an interview. Who is the mind behind FireBricks and the Stony Creek Fire Department...
Tell us about yourself. Who is Karl E?
Who am I? In the Lego world I am the creator of this blog and the under construction Lego fire department of Stony Creek. In the real world; I go by Krazzy Karl to friends (don’t ask, it started during my college days). By day I manage product design and development of exhaust systems for automotive and commercial vehicles, a dad to my adorable 8 month old daughter, and I compete at the amateur level in cross country mountain biking racing in the state of Michigan.
How did you get started with Lego and how long have you been building? Did you have a Dark Age? As a kid I loved Lego! I had Lego’s coming out of my socks. My brother and I share the hobby together, building mostly sets. We had Main Street, the Police and Fire stations and construction vehicles. We even combined the classic space sets to protect our town from my brothers StarWars collection….the imagination when we were kids. In my teens I went into the so called Dark Age, ventured to BMX, girls, eventually cars, girls and sports. But, I never forgot about the coolest toy ever; Lego. I thought maybe one day I’ll build my own city. Fast forward something like 24 years; while my wife and I were sorting our basement I can across “the tub”. The one filed with Lego’s. We spent the week sorting and organizing brick after brick. I was unsure what to start building and hit the net and thats when the light came on...I stumbled across the trucks of Matt Jacobsen and Steven Asbury and was sold. Since then I have been completely stuck to building fire related mocs.
Any other hobbies to speak of? Besides the 24 hour responsibility and joy...and sleepless nights...of being a father, my passion of cycling has been a part of my life since the training wheels came off. I train in the offseason with gym work and cross training. Come warmer weather, the training turns to countless miles (can range from 50-175 miles a week) and two races a month from April to October. For 2011 I am sponsored by Cycle to Fitness bike shop.
Any lego groups and forums are you a part of? I am a moderator in County 60 Command. I was a member of MichLug, but have become an inactive member as I have no time to contribute to the club and its function. Plus it is waaaay more involved than what I am thought. These members create pure art with their creations and I just do not have the time to contribute.
What made you want to focus your lego building to fire related mocs? My intention was to build a town not just focus on fire apparatus.
Is there a relation to the real world fire community? Not really. Other than always seem to live within a mile of a station? When I started college my degree course was in fire science. After my first semester, i changed direction to design and engineering. If possible, I would love to be in producr design and development for one of the fire/rescue manufactures (E-One, Suthpen, etc).
Do you create anything else besides fire related mocs? Not yet, but a good chance in the future I will.
How much time do you spend devoted to the lego hobby? I used to spend about an hour a week, now I am lucky if I get 30 minutes a month to build anything. It’s hard enough to manage the blog some weeks!
Tell us about the Stony Creek Fire Department:
-What’s in the name? Stony Creek is a metropolitan park that I train at weekly on the mountain bike. Plus I wanted to avoid the over used brick, lego, etc.
-What was your inspiration for Department? Thomas D and Bob K are the inspiration for wanting to create a department. Two of the best designed departments out there.
-Was there a real life fire department that you follow for structure? Not really. I looked at different Lego and real life departments for ideas. The history of Stony Creek is loosely based on the Royal Oak Fire Department of Michigan.
-How long have you been building your department? About a year.
-What is the future of Department? The sky is limit! Well, time depending. I have a couple more rigs to build, before I turn the focus on building stations. Once my department is functional, I will still build apparatus for fun.
Tell us about FireBricks,
-What’s in the name? I had about 5 different ideas, but FireBricks sounded the best. I wanted to use a Lego related term combined with something fire related.
-Inspiration and reason for the blog? I was inspired by Brick Town Talk. But, I also enjoy Lego blogs as they show case some of the best Lego builds respective of the blogs theme. Seeing how the fire community is hardly recognized, I thought it would be a good idea. I'm sure that if I can attract the followers, I can connect with other big name Lego blogs and give the community more exposure.
-What is the future of FireBricks? Hopefully it keeps going! Seems like it is getting decent traffic, hopefully members of the fire community are sharing a link to help promote the blog. I would like to add more to the blog with helpful pieces for building and understanding actually fire standards and equipment. Starting this month I will have monthly agenda I will follow. Once a month interview, a build of the month, and a theme for posts (i.e. 1 month Towers, next month Rescues)
What future projects or goals do you have in mind? Besides completing my department, I would like to create a small town to represent Stony Creek.
What advice can you share with the fire community? Patience for the new builder!! When I first started I got carried away with wanting to create everything, and have a town the size of Texas......whew. I overwhelmed myself. Take your time, critique your skill and style and have fun. I am more interest in what you have built then what you want to build. What good is it to compile a list of 20 trucks if you only build 2?
As a long server member to the fire community, what would you like to see more of? And for that matter, less of? I would like to see more creativity with picture’s and set ups. As a Flickr surfer, there are some really cool shots of real fire apparatus, incidents, etc that I would use for this blog. See this posting of Lee Crowder for an example of what I mean. As for less of.....LDD models and the over sized, not built departments as I mentioned above.