Lego has no limits
Bence Gerliczky is a 17 year-old-high school student who built the scale replica of CAF, the youngest tram type of Budapest. The vehicle made out of nearly 9,000 blocks can be seen until 22 December 2016 in the lobby of BKK’s office building in Rumbach Sebestyén utca. How much preparation and work are behind this project? It will be revealed from our conversation with the creator.
When did you start playing with LEGO?
As a small child, I started playing with LEGO at the age of 4-5. At first I started to build from pre-assembled sets, but for past 5-6 years I have no longer used a construction manual, but I implement my own projects.
Have you always preferred transport or are you happy to build anything else?
Transport has interested me since I was 7 years old and somehow it has always appeared in what I have constructed which were mostly cities.
What do your family and friends think about your hobby?
My friends are positive about it, because often they only see the finished work. Within my family opinions are divided, as it is quite an expensive hobby, especially if we are talking about such a big structure like this tram.
Have you previously assembled a big vehicle such as this CAF tram?
Yes, the first was a one-meter-long articulated Ikarus 280 bus, which I took apart and re-built in more detail, but eventually I completely took apart. In addition, last year I put together a 1.1-meter-long Russian metro car, I am certainly not going to disassemble this one.
How much preparation is required to create the tram?
The preparation and design planning took me a total of 50-60 working hours, which is not a little time, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks to the BKK I was able to examine the original vehicle more thoroughly, I even got a visualisation which included many important measurements. First I had to decide how big the vehicle
e should be, because a bigger size can be more detailed, however, the framework will get more load. So I had to draw a line, and convert the dimensions into LEGO size. Then I made the precise side- and top-view sketches, based on which I ordered the necessary parts.
How difficult was it to obtain the appropriate parts for the tram?
Acquiring the parts took the most time. It took at least one full day to browse the internet to find all of them. Some of them I had to order from abroad. In the end, a total of 33 orders from 5 different countries were needed to complete the vehicle.
Altogether how many parts make up the CAF tram?
I can’t tell the exact number, but it consists of approximately 8,500-9,000 parts.
This has surely taken a long time to put together. How many hours were needed?
The construction took about 80 hours, and if we count the obtaining of parts and planning, too, it amounts to 160-170 hours of time spent on the CAF tram.
What’s your plan with it? Are you planning to display it somewhere, or will you take it apart?
I’d feel terrible if I had to take this tram apart and because it features a good number of unique parts, I could reuse only a few of them for new projects. Plus, it looks so good in one piece! Anyone can check it out in the lobby of BKK’s office building in Rumbach Sebestyén utca between 21 November and 22 December 2016.
Are you planning to build any other public transport vehicles from Budapest?
As a matter of fact, I’m planning to build an articulated Ikarus 280T in a similar size and more accurately than earlier with special focus on the passenger cabin. I already have 5 BKV vehicles in total, three of them running on 8-peg-wide LEGO train tracks: the Millennium Underground, an MXA suburban railway trainset and an Alstom metro trainset. I would like to modify these at a few points, as well as build a fourth car for the Alstom trainset.