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Local LEGO® Masters Build Green Line LRV

Lego Masters Stephen Joo and Stephen Cassley

LEGO® Masters and City of Calgary firefighters Stephen Joo and Stephen Cassley.

This September, two City of Calgary firefighters, Stephen Joo and Stephen Cassley, were featured on the LEGO® Masters TV show, where 12 teams of hobbyists compete to build captivating LEGO® displays for a cash prize of $100,000 – but more importantly, for the right to be called LEGO® Masters.

Following the show, Green Line was fortunate to be able to work with the two-man team, who were up to the challenge of miniaturizing Green Line’s Urbos 100 Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) into a LEGO®-scaled model. Green Line provided the team with some LRV renderings and schematics, from which the two developed their own creative design. It turns out, scaling something to LEGO® is easier said than done.

“Hands down, the most complicated portion of this build was going to be capturing the details of the conductor’s cabin and the forward piece of that front portion of the train,” recalled Joo. “One of the other challenges that we had to deal with is most LEGO® trains are built eight studs wide as a measurement. But to capture all the internal details that we wanted from this project, we had to go ten studs wide.”

As a result, the two men found themselves in a technical tangle – a wider train chassis meant a custom-sized build, as now they couldn’t rely on pre-made LEGO® tracks and other systems. On top of that, the team had to go scour the world for some specific and rare pieces, including the train’s wheels, as noted Joo, “We had to pretty much buy out the world supply at the moment, available on the secondary market, to be able to get this train to work functionally.”

In addition to these technical and sourcing challenges, the two were adamant in recreating the small details of Green Line’s Urbos. They spent hours scaling down, printing, and applying the correct decaling that will be featured on Calgary’s newest LRV. In total, it took the team some 250 hours over 7 weeks to build and finalize, including a 15-hour stint to ensure the model was ready for its unveiling day. Seated on its track and hedged by a conceptual station canopy, the entire model spans an extraordinary 11 feet.

But for the two Stephens, the massive build was no chore, but rather a labor of love. “This has been an extremely unique honor. This is an opportunity we never thought would ever have come our way,” said Joo. “We’re born and raised Calgarians – this makes it so cool to be involved with something that says City of Calgary on it, and this is something we're going to see going down our city streets in the not-too-distant future. And that's going to be a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling – to know that we were part of something like that.”

If you or your young ones want to embark on your own LEGO® building journey, the team has some advice: “Any time you want to build a custom creation, you have to decide what is important to you. The details that are most important are the things that you're going to be happiest about. So, you need to make sure that your model focuses on that. Once you have a concept of what is important, then you need to figure out the scale.”

This spring and summer, keep an eye out for Green Line’s LEGO® LRV for a chance to see it in person. Sign up for our newsletter here for updates.