DISCOVER Magazine #7

Build your own tug (1:100)

Published in category: Heritage & Culture

One hundred hours, 1160 Lego blocks, and a lot of patience. That’s what it took for Lego designer Edwin Korstanje to turn Damen’s ASD Tug 3212 into scale models. “Lego makes standard bricks and Damen makes standard boats. It’s a match made in heaven.” Damen Magazine had three questions for Korstanje, for whom shipbuilding and Lego go hand in hand.

How did you become interested in Lego?

“It started when I was a kid. I lost interest in it as a teenager, but about three years ago I took my five-year-old daughter to the toy shop because she’d been pestering me for a Lego Technic set. We set it up at home and since then I’ve rediscovered my fondness for Lego. Shortly afterwards I started to design Lego structures – cars and trucks at first, but I soon switched to ships. My father worked in inland shipping, so I fell in love with ships at an early age.”

Damen and Lego: an ideal combination?

“Without a doubt. Damen’s formula – modularisation, standardisation and building from stock – also goes for Lego. For example, the original bricks from back in the 1960s still interlock perfectly with the blocks produced today, and as a designer it’s important to have a huge stock of blocks to work with. In addition, Lego – like Damen – is a quality leader. The parts have a long shelf life of dozens of years. And both Lego and Damen are family-run businesses that have expanded into international companies. The model I’m most proud of is the SL Gabon, a Damen Stan Tug 4011. It’s made of no less than 38,000 Lego parts, is almost a metre and a half long and weighs 40 kilos. It took me more than 300 hours to build – a huge undertaking, but still much faster than building a real ship!”

How do you go about designing a Lego ship model?

“I usually ask the shipyard or shipping company to provide the lines plan for the relevant ship. The next step is to calculate the scale and to convert the outcome into blocks. The search for the right bricks usually takes up the most time. I order them online from BrickLink, an online Lego marketplace that has millions of Lego products on offer. Some designers build their models digitally first, but I like to get down to the real work right away. It’s not just about stacking bricks. For the Tug models, I also used other techniques, for example ‘SNOT-ting’ (Studs Not On Top), which involves placing the blocks on their side.”
The scale model of the Damen ASD Tug 3212 (1:100, 750 grams) is available in the webshop for EUR 185,-.

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