— The LMFD intergalactic fire station is on its way to the NASA launch site in Florida.
The LFMD, the winning model in the astronaut-starred LEGO Masters season premiere aired on FOX Wednesday (September 21), was judged the best personalized spacecraft among the creations of the 12 competing teams. Firefighters Stephen Joo and Stephen Cassley designed the vehicle, which will soon be on display as the winning model at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Cassley said in an interview with collectSPACE. “It’s a surreal feeling knowing it’s on display for thousands of people to come and see.”
With just 13 hours to build a spaceship that could dock with a larger LEGO brick space station, but also show the judges something about their team, Cassley and Joo designed the LMFD – or LEGO Masters Fire Department – so that it resembles an iconic symbol associated with their profession.
“We settled on a very iconic image in the form of a Maltese cross that is featured on all firefighter uniforms around the world,” Joo said on the show.
Constructed primarily of red brick with yellow and translucent parts as highlights, the LMFD required construction techniques that were a first for the two Stephens.
“That connection has to be Technic,” Cassley said, referring to LEGO’s line of more advanced kits. “That’s the only way we can draw strength from it.”
“It’s not my wheelhouse, so I’m a little reluctant to use stuff like that,” Joo said as he and Cassley continued to build.
As the hours counted down, host Will Arnett and Brickmasters (and LEGO employees) Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard had a few surprise guests for the teams. At the T-5 hour mark, the show joined via video NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn aboard the real International Space Station (Marshburn was last aboard the orbiting outpost from November 2021 to May of this year).
“We’re excited to see what ideas your LEGO Masters are working on today,” said Marshburn.
Attendees were also visited on set by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir.
“She ended up coming over with the judges and Will and just checking out what we’re doing. Mostly observational, but she gave us feedback at the time and we incorporated a few of her ideas on how to have people inside [the LMFD] and having stories and stuff like that,” Joo told collectSPACE.
Those details became clear when the team described its setup on the show.
“Flying faster than any hook or ladder, this spaceship shaped like a Maltese Cross puts out fires across the galaxy,” Joo said.
“In between calls, onboard firefighters can have some fun playing darts or fetching with our lovely donations,” added Cassley.
The LMFD competed with other teams’ builds, including spaceships resembling a doctor’s doctor’s bag, an intergalactic garden, a dance club, and a mango, and was chosen for its creativity and engineering strength.
“They held together a huge model. The fact that you brought these beautiful shapes together really showed us who you are as a team,” said Berard.
Both Joo and Cassley, who are based in Canada, hope to see their LMFD again when it is displayed at NASA.
“That’s my game plan,” Joo said. “I have three kids who are very active and interested in the hobby, my wife too, so I’m hoping we can take a family trip to Florida.”