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10K Club Interview: Meet So Youn Kim of Lego Store Modular Version
If you're a LEGO fan, which we're pretty sure you might be if you're hanging around this neck of the woods, then you'll surely have to look carefully as we introduce this week's 10K Club member. Please welcome So Youn Kim, a.k.a kashaka, the book designer turned serious AFOL, who created the dream Lego Store Modular Version that includes everything from a Pick-A-Brick wall to Wall-E, packaged in an intricate exterior design.
Help us congratulate So Youn on becoming a part of the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I am from Seoul, Korea.
- How old are you?
I am 45 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I used to be a book designer but I’m currently a serious AFOL.
^ So Youn stands proud with her 10K LEGO Ideas build, the Lego Store Modular Version
- What hobbies do you have?
My favorite hobby is obviously building with LEGO. I love paper cutting as well. Both of them make me concentrate on creating very complicated outputs from extremely simple materials. Besides this, I am also a serious movie buff.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
When I was around 7 years old, my dad brought a big box of LEGO products home but my three brothers didn’t show that much interest. I felt lucky since I got fascinated with it.
However, I had not been serious about LEGO until I bought 10211 Grand Emporium in 2011. With it, I rediscovered my interest in LEGO products and started to buy other modular sets.
Four years later, I started to build my own creation for the first time. This project is my second one built in 2016.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
It is 10185 Green Grocer. I actually love the old modulars in the series since they are very attractive purely from the architectural perspective of their exterior.
Among those old modular sets, Green Grocer is the best in terms of its detailed exterior with beautiful sand green brick walls, a strongly impressive black roof top and fire escape ladders that moves up and down in the backside.
Whenever I see all modular sets that are displayed in my study, Green Grocer stands out.
^ A collection of official sets and MOCs that any AFOL would get excited about! Can anyone spot the Hulkbuster?
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
It is transparent bricks with no color. Since their quality is so nice, they look like real glass sometimes.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
It is Jamie Berard, who designed 10182 Café Corner and 10185 Green Grocer. I believe that it is extremely hard to design the prototypes, which can be a guide for the following products. I think he successfully set up the standard of modular buildings and other large-scale LEGO building products. Therefore, I do believe that he deserves respect.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I often visit Brickfinder and MOCpages. I also visit flickr.com to find the most trending LEGO images as well.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
All LEGO lovers, including myself, always want more LEGO bricks and LEGO products. We sometimes dream of owning an entire LEGO store with a beautiful Pick-A-Brick wall. One day, I just decided to make that dream come true, partially, by building my own LEGO store with LEGO bricks.
^ The early stages of the building phase of the Lego Store Modular Version
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I faced challenges when I initially designed the rooftop. I wanted to avoid the similar roof top design of other typical LEGO buildings and make up a unique one since it can dictate the overall image of the store.
My initial idea was to make the roof top look old but very distinctive but I failed with bricks that are typically used in modular scale buildings.
By accident, I found some technic gear bulk bricks from Star Wars products and thought it would be interesting if I used them in decorating the rooftop. It really worked in the end.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
It took a few days in sketching with pen and paper initially, followed by a few months in sourcing all the bricks I needed. After I finished the sourcing, actual assembly took only two weeks.
^ So Youn's detailed concept sketches shows how her model evolved into the final version. Can you spot the differences?
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
WOW! Literally, I got overwhelmed since I had never expected to get 10K supports. Even when I got 8K supports, I was not sure if I could get 2K more. Therefore, I felt like flying on a cloud when the number of supporters reached 10K after 7 months from my submission.
Most of all, I felt so much happy by the fact that LEGO fans all around the world love and respect my project.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Frankly speaking, I have no idea since I didn’t use LDD and manually assembled the model based on my concept sketches. However, my estimation is around 1800 bricks since it has only one story unlike similar sized official LEGO modular sets with minimum two stories with over 2000 bricks used.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I am confident that concentration on the subject you are really interested in is extremely important. Successful creations come from the details, which cannot be easily achieved with subjects you are not familiar with.
Continuous trial with the same subject is highly recommended.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
It is 21302 The Big Bang Theory since it captures the essence of humor well and includes many detailed and unique items from the actual show in a very tight space.
^ So Youn's favourite LEGO Ideas set might be The Big Bang Theory set, but it appears it was micro Wall-E who won the selection for the coveted window display placement
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
Active interaction with all people who left any kind of comment is essential. I have replied to every single comment and sometimes got detailed feedback with improvement ideas on my project.
Continuous updates with interesting tweaks or features are a plus. They don’t have to be significant or serious. I actually posted a new update whenever I got additional 1K supports and was happy to see my supporters and followers really enjoyed those updates.