If any of you read my article in issue 16 of BrickJournal you know I spent nearly a year in London in 2010-2011. You'll also know that one of the things that kept me sane was spending time with the guy that became my best mate across the pond, Pete. We drank a lot of tea, built a lot of MOCs and did a lot of photography. He introduced me to the world of Neo Classic Space and I shared lighting tips. He's an awesome builder and an excellent guy, and I'm very happy to let you all get to know him a little better.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started in the hobby?
My name is Peter Reid, I'm 38 years old, and I've been a LEGO fan since I was a child. I didn't stop playing when I passed the upper age limits on the sets, and in those pre-internet days I thought I was the only one. I had to keep the hobby quiet for a few years, but I'm glad I didn't give up, or sell anything.
What is your earliest LEGO memory?
My first town layout was a beautiful thing. Mostly unmodified, out of the box sets, very little MOCing. I loved that town. A single polaroid photograph is all that remains. It was such a cool layout.
What drives you to create?
I'm not sure. I don't particularly enjoy the act of creation. It doesn't come easily. I second guess myself the whole time and models often end up unfinished or abandoned. Also my knees tend to hurt a lot more as I grow old and feeble. And I'm quite a lazy person.
When a model goes right, though, it's kinda cool.
For the last two years I've been developing a top secret project with Tim Goddard, Chris Salt and Ian Greig. It's a book, called LEGO Space: Building the Future. It's out at the end of October, and I'm really looking forward to it.
What kind of models do you build?
I mostly build sci-fi stuff. Robots and spaceships are my thing. I also like building spacey wall sections, then putting all those things together for a nice, carefully lit photo session.
Would you call yourself a purist (no cutting, painting, knockoff)?
Mostly pure, yes. Many years ago I sculpted and painted a whole bunch of alien heads. I try not to damage LEGO, as a general rule. I'm not really into the third party stuff either.
Do you have any favorite parts?
I'm currently really loving the latest CMF accessories (particularly the paint roller handle). Cool pieces are coming out faster than I can find uses for them.
Who are your favorite builders?
Tim Goddard, Jeremy Williams, Andrew Hamilton, Jamie Berard, Mark Stafford, Nnenn, Pierre E. Feischi, Andrew Lee, Keith Goldman, to name just a few. There are so many talented builders out there.
I particularly enjoy the work of Chris Salt.
Do you ever look back on old MOCs and say "if I only…"
If only I hadn't invested so heavily in old grey. If only I'd kept that model in a sealed container, away from the window. If only I hadn't taken such a bad photo. My AFOL history goes back quite a long way. I try and avoid my own Brickshelf gallery. The photography makes me sad.
Tell us about your building area.
My LEGO room is cramped and messy, but contains some seriously cool parts. I've been buying LEGO for a long time and my girlfriend, Yvonne, is also a hardcore LEGO fan (and an excellent builder). We are both hopelessly addicted to the product, and years of collecting have turned the entire house into a building area.
Do you listen to music while you build?
Yes, I usually have some cool 70s vibes happening. The greatest hits of Supertramp should be required listening in everyone's building area.
Do you keep all your MOCs? If so, do you display them?
I do keep quite a few older models. My Neo Classic Space fleet is huge, and looks great when it's out on display. The models have to be carefully bagged and boxed between shows. The shelves in my house attract an insane amount of dust.
What is your all time favorite LEGO set?
Galaxy Explorer, without a doubt. Such an iconic ship.
If you could pick a single creation of yours for permanent display somewhere notable, what would it be?
The Turtle Factory
Which of your creations would you say personifies you?
Perhaps the Wasteland diorama? It's a bit different to my usual stuff, and gives a glimpse into my black and empty heart.