Special Interview with Andrea Lattanzio a.k.a. Norton74

Today's guest of honor is Andrea Lattanzio a.k.a. Norton74 from Italy who is known for his great, realistic vehicle and garage MOC's. His amazing creations were featured numerous times in various Brick Magazines. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

Kaplan: We already know you are one of the best LEGO MOC'ers in the world. What can you tell us about yourself other than that. What is your dayjob? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?

Andrea: First of all thanks for considering me as one of the best MOC’ers in the world… My name is Andrea Lattanzio also known as Norton74 in the international LEGO community. I’m Italian and I live in Milan with my Spanish wife and two children. I work in the communication department of an Italian non profit organization. I’m a petrolhead and I like especially classic cars, motorcycles and in general vintage stuff, toys and style. I also love design and graphic design.

K: Do you remember the day when you got your first LEGO set? Which set was it? And How old were you when you started playing with LEGO bricks?

A: Honestly I don’t remember when I got my first LEGO set, I remember playing with my older brother’s seventies LEGO City and Technic sets. I started playing with LEGO bricks when I was four or five years old. My very first memories were also linked to Fabuland theme that I really was fond of (I still own a lot of characters).

K: What is your best/unforgettable memory involving LEGO?

A: I perfectly remember my 6th birthdayparty when my parents gave me the yellow castle, I still have the picture of that day, really good memories….

K: If you have to choose, what is your all-time favourite LEGO set?

A: From ‘82 on I became a 12V train set fan and #7740 is probably one of my favourite set ever, I still have the one my parents gave me for Christmas. Another set I remember I never stopped to play with it’s the auto repair shop #6363, looking at my Flickr now I can say it really influenced my current builds. :)

K: What is/are your favourite LEGO theme/s?

A: As I said before 12V train theme and classic castle series. ModelTeam is at the moment the theme I prefer and I’m collecting the classic sets. When LEGO released the Model Team series I was too old to play with LEGO and it has gone unnoticed. Many years after I bought a used and already built Black Cat for few euros in a toy shop and I started my love affair with this theme. Last year I wrote a personal” review for the Italian LUG site.

K: Did you have a "dark-age"? If you had one when did you return from your dark age and how?

A: I stopped playing with LEGO when I was about 15 years old but I stored all my sets and bricks in my country house where I also built a very big 12V train display on the attic. Actually I never forgot my love for the bricks. I come back to LEGO when I was about twenty-five years old but I started building MOC's seriously only in the middle 2000's when I discovered the incredible LEGO community out there (and I was thirty-five).

K: How many LEGO bricks/sets do you own approximately?

A: I don’t know how many bricks I own. About the sets I own mine from my childhood. I rarely buy current sets.

K: What are your favourite top three of your MOCs?

A: My favourite build is probably my Volkswagen Garage which boosted my reputation in LEGO community all over the world. Then the Vespa Repair Shop and the recent Esso Gas Station.

K: Do you scrap your MOC's after taking photos or displaying or do you keep them? How do you decide which ones you keep?

A: I tend not to scrap my MOC's, especially the ones I like more, but at times I must take apart some of them because I need bricks and especially room.

K: You use lots of chrome pieces in your creations. What is your general opinion about custom or third party pieces in MOC's?

A: I think third party/custom pieces must be used “carefully”. I only use chrome bricks and custom stickers for my MOC's and rarely electric wires for the Hot Rod engines.

K: Your creations were featured several times in various LEGO magazines? How does it feel to be famous? :)

A: Only few years ago I couldn’t think that one day my MOC's would be featured in so many magazines and blogs (and not only LEGO related). It’s like a dream come true and of course I’m very proud of this.

K: Since you are a very talented builder who is known for amazing vehicle MOC's. (I also like your space themed creations very much :) Do you plan to build MOC's in other themes like castle?

A: Recently I built something out of my comfort zone (Classic Space and Futuron Tanks) as you already said and in a few days I’m going to present a new MOC that is not related at vehicle theme. It’s really funny changing subject and scale and the outcome really satisfies my expectations. Probably I’ll follow this direction again. So the answer is yes, something different will be added to my portfolio.

K: If you choose best three LEGO elements that you think are extremely useful for building MOC's which element you pick.

A: Tiles, bricks with studs on sides and bricks with curved top.

K: Do you have any suggestions for the new MOC'ers?

A: Follow your passion, enjoy yourself and build what you like. Last but not least, start with little MOC's you're sure to complete otherwise the building experience could be frustrating.

K: Are you currently working on some MOC's or other LEGO related projects?

A: Yes, of course. One MOC is ready and is waiting to be photographed. I'm also working on another, but I need more time to end it. I never say what I’m building till the MOC is finished and showcased on flickr.

K: Are you member of a local LUG? Do you participate in collaborative builds?

A: I’m a member of ItLUG, the Italian LUG, I attend the events once or twice a year. I’ve a dedicated topic on the ItLUG forum where I showcase my build. At times I write article/review for the ItLUG site. I don’t participate in collaborative builds.

K: And the final question: Tiles or studs?

A: Tiles. Even if I love classic LEGO bricks, I prefer not to show the studs. The MOCs seem more realistic in this way.

K: Thank you again for participating.

A: Thanks Tiles or Stud for this chance and for all the times you blogged my builds. Keep it on!