Great to meet you Jonah! Many avgeeks love legos and they love building things too. Some lego sets offer aircraft. But they aren’t really that accurate. What is supposed to be a DC-9 airliner kind of looks like a kids toy. You took a different approach. Tell us about your store and why you decided to start Plane Bricks.
Plane Bricks is currently a place to get the most accurate Lego aircraft available and also where you can get a commission done by me, but it all started out as just a hobby. Up until launch my work had mostly just been on Flickr. I had been building throughout childhood and then really started honing in on my technique around age 18. In 2017, Brick Universe came to Oklahoma City for the first time and I barely made it in before the deadline. I was able to set up my planes for display that weekend and I got such a great response. Many people asked if I made kits, several others thought they would sell if I entertained the idea of doing so. I had never thought about doing that, but I did know that I wanted to somehow make money doing what I love to do, which is build with Lego. Later that year I decided I would give it a go. In Jan of 2018, I launched Plane Bricks and have been working since. Currently I have an online store where you can buy full kits, electronic instructions, custom stickers and custom minifigs.
Have you always loved Legos? What things did you build as a kid?
Since I was seven, I’ve been addicted to the brick. I say brick because my first set wasn’t even Lego. It was a Megablock A-10 Thunderbolt! I love History. My grandfather flew the TBF Avenger in the Pacific in WWII and was the only one of his squadron to make it out. If you have ever seen that famous picture of the five TBF Avengers in formation, he is the second one from the bottom. Learning about him and his flight career and that set, really sparked something in me. After that, I started collecting actual Lego as much as I could. I used to build trucks and cars mostly. My mom runs an online homeschool support group in our area and we hosted Lego Club for so many years and still does since I have five other siblings. With that club I was able to spend a lot of time building with people of all ages. We became known as the Lego family in our homeschool circles. When I was about 14, I entered a Lego magazine contest with one of my trucks and it won the little gift card you get for those.
Around 15, I started focusing on airplanes but didn’t really start being more complex and detailed until around 18. I also was a part of a contest here, called the Great OKC Build, where we gathered a team of four to represent our group. We were able to build a building that resided downtown and won in our division so our model became a part of the buildings representing OKC. With each experience I had, I knew that Lego would be a part of me forever. Now, I’m 22 and still making planes. I get commissioned to do a lot of planes in addition to what’s on my site. I’ve also been contacted to build other things and am about to launch a page for commissions that will encompass anything they’d like to see built.
What was the first aircraft template that you decided to do for Plane Bricks?
The first plane I crafted was the B-17. I had done it a couple of years before I launched so it was an easy starter kit.
And how many models of aircraft do you currently sell?
Currently, I have 11 aircraft, a fuel truck and trailer, and about five aircraft sitting in my office waiting to be released.
Are all your aircraft military or do you have civilian aircraft too?
We only have military aircraft at this time, but one of my models waiting for release is a civilian aircraft. I plan to do more civilian aircraft in the future. We welcome requests that we place on a list, which helps determine what plane we do next.
What if a fan of your store has a request? Do you put together custom plane sets?
Commissions are very welcome! If you’d like an aircraft, or something completely different, I invite you to contact me. I am able to offer a pre-done model, an electronic file only, a print book, and a full kit. The combinations can be made to work for you.
What does the future look like for Plane Bricks?
Plane Bricks hopes to flourish in the years to come, with the expansion of our product line, securing of licenses needed for certain companies, and building up the commission side of it all. We are currently not selling Lockheed Martin aircraft due to licensing fees. We are still fairly new and couldn’t justify the expense at this time, so in the interim, we are offering those digital instructions for those planes for free. We would appreciate you all spreading the word about Plane Bricks/Jonah Padberg. As a new business on the block, getting your name out there can be challenging.
And we heard you have a special offer for readers of Avgeekery!
We would like to extend a special offer code for your readers! Come visit Plane Bricks and use code AVGEEKS for 20% for an entire month from the publish date of this article.