Of Kayaks and Pultrusion

My next guest in the velvet-lined smoking lounge at Manifesto headquarters is Bruce Quillis: builder, connoisseur of fine cannabis and kayaking enthusiast!  This colorful micro-scale vignette caught my eye as I scanned the matrix this evening on my never-ending quest to bring you quality distractions.  The earth-tone strata look great and even though it’s not my favorite technique the 1×1 trans-rounds for water looks pretty good here.  The kayak design is simple but effective (like most quality micro-scale builds) and I really dig the decorative oar Bruce incorporated into the black frame, it really classes up the joint.  Kayak oars typically have two paddle-blades so it might have been better to put two oars back to back with a connecting element like a Technic pin.  Since I’m complaining anyway, I kind of wish there were some rocks mixed into the water but then the scene would have to be a little bigger to give the rocks scale and that way lies madness;  sometimes less is more.  What can I say, it’s roasting here in the wasteland and I’d rather be kayaking down some nameless river far from here.


I was not previously familiar with the work of one Mr. Quillis so I took a leisurely stroll through his brief but entertaining catalogue that stretches back about 2 years.   One model stood out from all the rest and immediately captured my imagination immediately.  Predictably it’s a diorama…a very clever and no doubt accurate diorama that depicts Mr. Quillis’ place of employment.  I can’t possibly explain it any better than the builder himself, directly from his Flickr Page:

“Fiberglass Pultrusion Line.  I know that probably no one will understand this, but this is my stupid job.  Making fiberglass products by pulling fiberglass rovings and mats through resin and then a die that heats and shapes it. Makes me wanna blow my brains”

…out?  I think most of us can empathize, I know working retail on Christmas eve made me fantasize about all manner of unspeakable acts. The main reason I’m such a big fan of this diorama is because it demonstrates a process and it does so quite effectively.  It’s like a workplace motivational poster: “Safety is no accident!”  Bruce, if you’re reading this you might as well try to inject some levity into this bleak situation.  It wouldn’t be too hard to turn this image into a workplace safety poster and hang it up in the shop one day without explanation. Think about it, your co-workers would probably dig it.

There is nothing like art born from painful personal experience, but I hope your job pays well, brother.  I especially enjoyed the saw and the dripping red dye, where is the first aid kit?  Seriously, that might have been a nice detail, but maybe not accurate?


I also found a couple of funny images in my wanderings through the house of Quillis and they seem like a perfect way to conclude our daily conversation.  What can I say?   I enjoy the comedic stylings of both Cheech & Chong and Harold & Kumar.  Until next time, constant reader, remember to stay hydrated (it’s a wasteland out there), stay cool and always pass the dutchie on the left hand side.

4 thoughts on “Of Kayaks and Pultrusion

  1. Would you do it for a Scooby snack? I second your emotion regarding the use of the Fiberglass Pultrusion Line MOC as a safety poster… right there on the wall… next to the fiberglass pultrusion line. People ignore stuff, but when they see something they know about or that they like, in Lego form… then BANG… suddenly it has meaning! Most safety posters suck ass. This would make a great one.

    I’m also taken with how effectively Quillis captures the notion of “process” with that build. But Shaggy and Scooby checking out the herbal happiness? No hate on the herbs… or on Scooby Doo!… and yea… I could hear Shaggy saying “Like check it out Scoob!” But as Lego efforts go… I gottah say that is a bit of clone on a plate.

    Keith, I think your love of the Halfling leaf has clouded your vision… on the left hand side


    1. Clone on a plate….hmmm….maybe I should just embrace it and make it a regular feature. Clone on a plate is arguably the single biggest category of LEGO fan building and perhaps it’s time to recognize that. Recognize! I debated about posting the shot of that dank, dank nugget, but there are many ganja references throughout Bruce’s photostream so I figured it was integral to his outlook on building. Ganja and LEGO might make for a good topic one of these days…on the left hand side.


  2. To be honest, I hate the 1X1 trans rounds for water. My reasons however are that we in VLUG used the unholy fuck out of them in the two monster collaborations for Brickworld 2014 and 2015. It looked okay and here it’s not bad, but it really is sort of lazy and uninspiring. At least in our collabs we could show a complete waste of money in bankrolling the endeavor because of the sheer ridiculous amount (I think they all reside in a tote that is about 16 cubic feet.) Here it works better smaller and it calls for something NOT built. They look like rapids.

    I think dutchie might be some type of drug thing, I wouldn’t know.


    1. Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of that water technique either, although it has one advantage over competing techniques, it catches the light like crazy. Did you guys do snow-angels in all those trans-rounds? Because you totally could have. If nothing else, VLUG has deeeeep pockets and a willingness to use them and I admire that, but I don’t think I’d want to be the guy who has to store 16 cubic feet of trans-rounds.

      Winners don’t use drugs!


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