I recently asked great vehicle builder Firas Abu-Jaber about his fantastic car scenes. Here are his replies.
Thanks for this opportunity for making this interview and post it at your great Blog, and of course it's my pleasure to answer your questions any time.
So, let's start with your first question:
Q:How long do you spend on a creation of yours?
A:Well, I can't give you an exact limit for the time that I spend in building my models, but I can say that the minimum time that I spent in a car is 5 days in average of 2-4 hours working per day, well in the beginning I build like a "sketch" of the overall shape of the car that I want to build, this takes me one day usually, then the rest of time I spend will be in updating this "sketch", update after update till it "can't be any better" (for me)… and I think that you need to know that there're some cars took me almost a month to got it right, for example my Lamborghini Reventon.
Q:Which creation to you favor the most?
A:My favorite own creation is the "Shelby GT500 Super Snake"; which has made it to several sites and blogs(you could find some of them at my Home page on MOCpages), also it has made it to be one of the best LEGO creations in the year 2008 as what comes in LAMLradio #72-year in review , it's also one of the hardest models that I built by far, besides... KITT is also one of my favorites (the real one and my LEGO version as well).
Q:You are known for your great vehicles, do you ever wish to
A:Well, I love cars so much, and I love LEGO as well, so I always try to build my favorite cars in LEGO, and I don't think I'll ever quit building vehicles, there's something make me feel good in building cars with LEGO, and I'm very satisfied with the results that I got by far.
Q:Where do you take inspiration from?
A:Usually I get my inspiration from real life cars in the street, TV car shows, cars from movies, cause it's the most favorite thing for me is to build real life cars with LEGO.
Q:Do you have any advice for readers who want to design
vehicles like yours?
A:There're a number of things I would like to tell to builders that like to build real life cars, before start working on your model, "study" the car that you want to build; and that's by looking for pictures of the real car, or may be get your self a model of the car from any toys store around you(this could be better than only pics), then study the angles of the car very well, and try to find solutions for all the angles of the car in your head, then head to your bricks and start your build… usually I start with the front end of the car then I make the rest of the chassis and the frame, then I make the windshield and the roof, and this is my hardest part(I mean the roof with the windshield and the rear window)…, at the end I add the interior and engine, and then as I said before; updating your build many times could help to get a good result, finally make a little comparison between your car and the real thing.
Q:When would you say a changing point is from when creations
become art (or your own term for it) over a children's toy?
A:Well I think LEGO isn't like any other child toy in the world, I don't think that there's any toy that makes you use your mind, or your creativity or to make improvements in your skills and techniques like LEGO do! For me I just realized that LEGO is far beyond to be just a normal toy when I was a kid; to be more specific to you, when I got my first Model-Team set No. 5590 and created the Lincoln Town Car Limousine from it.
Thanks again for this great opportunity to be in this interview, and I promise that there're some good models coming up soon from me.
Also see the post below for some other fantastic vehicles created by Firas.