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10K Club Interview: "BIG BOY" LOCOMOTIVE by Lassehfl

Another week, another addition to the pool of incredible 10K projects! Coming through with a 'rail'ly exciting build, please help us welcome Lasse, a.k.a. Lassehfl, and his "BIG BOY" LOCOMOTIVE project. Share your support, and read more about the Lasse and his story to 10K below. 



ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    Lasse Hvidtfeldt.

     
  2. Where are you from?
    I’m from Vejle in Denmark.
     
  3. How old are you?
    23.
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I’m studying Communication Design at Design School Kolding. Also, I’m a part-time barista at Espresso House and I run a small photo/video production company.
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Quite a few. LEGO, obviously. I find creating stuff in LEGO super challenging and satisfying. For the past 7-8 years, I’ve been developing my skills as a photographer and videographer mainly on a hobby plan, until the 1st of March last year. There, I started my own production company. Moreover, graphic design has always interested me and I’m fortunate enough to actually study that now!
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I do have a portfolio website but without LEGO.
     
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
    The Big Boy train is my first MOC… If it counts, this is the third iteration, so I’d say I’m quite proud of the previous versions as well. The last one did reach 10K! 
     
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I don’t remember. So, it’s probably not that long ago. And, like many others, I experienced the dark age where LEGO was just a toy for kids, and I was CERTAINLY not a kid anymore. Luckily, I recently became a kid again.

     
  9. What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    Lego has taken quite a turn lately towards the adult audience. I think this is awesome. It means that LEGO is now bringing out complex and beautifully detailed display models. I guess I’ve always been more into bigger display models than play sets, so the direction LEGO has taken I perfect for me. I have bought more LEGO this year than I have in the past 5 years. Just because the models are soooo goooood! I’ve never engaged in the social aspects of LEGO building. Maybe that will be the next step.
     
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    Creator Expert. I Love realistic models. When I was younger, most of my sets were LEGO City, which I kind of funny considering all the big and colorful space-ninja-monster-fantasy sets LEGO has produced over the years. There is just something about that yellow bus from the pizzeria set… Also, the Ideas theme is fantastic. There are so many creative new sets!
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    The creator expert Boeing 787 from 2006. I was 6 years old when it came out and remember being on vacation in New York. I always had my trusty LEGO magazine by my side. I literally slept with it, always opened at the double-sided Boeing 787 ad. It’s still just such an awesome and huge model! It displays the basic LEGO system very well. It pretty much only consists of stacked plates, and I love it. 
     
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    How could I possibly answer this… 
     
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Apparently, LEGO-designers love coffee. I’ve met a few in my short time at the coffee shop. Honestly, I don’t really know any LEGO designers other than Søren Dyrhøj who hosted the Danish LEGO Masters, and Matthew Ashton. They both just seem like really nice guys, and that I believe is the most important skill in life.
     
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    I probably spend more time ordering bricks on Bricklink than designing the model...


     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    My grandfather worked for the Danish State Railways so that must’ve been passed on to my dad and from him to me. My dad used to take me to train museums, model train conventions,  and he even built a model train track in our basement. So, I guess trains have always been a part of my life. The U.P. Big Boy in particular had me interested because of the sheer size and power. It is the biggest steam train ever produced which makes it relevant as a LEGO set since LEGO's release of the Titanic model. I wanted to make this specific train ever since my dad bought a functioning scale model of it.  

     
  2. How long was the process of making the project, and what did you have to research as well? What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
    This is the third iteration I’m designing. Three times, I have designed the train from the ground up. Each time improving the proportions and the “LEGO” features (like deliberately placing visible studs), trying to make it look like something that LEGO would produce. I’ve been very careful to make sure I use only legal building techniques. And most importantly, this version is functional. It can actually run on LEGO tracks. So, I’ve been reusing all the things I liked about the previous model and redesigned those I didn’t like. For reference, I’ve used our Märklin scale model and, of course, the previous LEGO models. I’ve also been researching the real train to make sure it would be as accurate as possible. All in all, I’ve spent well over 300 hours designing, testing, ordering parts, building, creating marketing material, AND, most importantly, replying to comments on the Ideas page ;)
     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Making it fit the standard curved LEGO tracks. It has a lot of wheels… Also, motorizing it turned out to be quite a challenge as the powered-up functions take up a lot of space on the inside. The wheels have a lot of moving parts that can easily catch on something.
     
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    Well, that’s an interesting question, as I kind of can. As I’m writing this interview, I’m reading my old Ideas interview. Last time I wrote: “Maybe test the wheelsets before ordering the remaining 653789 pieces…”
    I can’t possibly give a better answer than that. Jokes aside, my entire process this time has been based on my previous experience. 
     
  5. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters? 
    Well, when I posted the old model on Ideas, it reached 10K a bit faster. And this time I also spend time promoting. I guess I spent about 100 hours designing the model and like, 20 hours on promotion material.  

     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It felt FANTASTIC! AGAIN! It took a little more than 9 months, and I kept track every single day. I guess the fans really want this thing to happen. This time I also received a Staff Pick which gave a huge boost in supporters. 
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    2589. Approximately.
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    The gray panels near the cabin use the studs to mimic the real-life studded surface. How all the outside curved panels interlock and give the model its strength. I’m very proud of the interior, it even has powered-up lights integrated. All the functional stuff, like how it’s able to use just a single motor. And the balance between studs and clean surfaces.
     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Bricklink Stud.io which is just a crazy powerful tool. The renders it can produce are so crisp and photoreal.
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I designed the stickers to look like the real thing (although a bit LEGO-fied). I made them in Adobe Illustrator (I am a graphic designer after all). Then I imported them into Brickling Part Designer to integrate them into my build. For the Real life model, I printed the sticker sheet and got it laser cut on my school.  



     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Don’t do it for the votes. Do it for the comments. The LEGO community is incredible. If you are passionate about your idea, chances are that other people will be too. Other than that, spend your time. Don’t rush the process, enjoy it. 
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    This time I actually did some advertising. Mainly on social media LEGO groups. I also made a 1-minute showcase video on YouTube which did extremely well, it reached 80K views! Along the way, some unforeseen advertisements occurred. The staff pick helped a lot. The craziest thing that happened, was that Union Pacific (the company that created the Big Boy), reached out to me, asking if they could write an article about the project! They made a great article which also resulted in a flood of new supporters. How cool is it, that the actual company itself is interested? (just saying LEGO ;))

     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    That’s an unfair question. Every review round most projects are not approved. I know that doesn’t mean they get overlooked and that’s just how the game works. But there are SO many fantastic projects that deserved to become a set, so yeah in that sense many sets get overlooked.  
    My point is that everyone on Ideas ARE SO GOOD!
     
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The community. The people here are so nice and inspirational. Sometimes I just sit for hours scrolling through ideas, gathering inspiration. You should try that too. Oh, and don’t be too serious. LEGO is fun, remember that.
     
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
    Absolutely yes. I have tons of ideas and absolutely no time to realize them…  



Dear reader, we were so eager to publish the interview about this amazing product idea that we got ahead of ourselves. The standard procedure, as many of you pinpoint, is to publish the review results of one round before continuing with interviews for the next review round. We will not remove this blog post, but please note that this particular submission is part of the next review round. The review result for this particular submission is expected in early 2024. 

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • big boy locomotive
  • lassehfl
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