In today's 10k Club interview, we introduce Daniel Van Zonneveld (poVoq). His passion for castles and their architecture led him to create another successful project - The Castle of Brickwood Forest. Learn more and leave a comment to support him!
- Who are you?
My name is Daniel VAN ZONNEVELD.
- Where are you from?
I live in Charmes-sur-Rhône, in Ardèche, France.
- How old are you?
- What do you do for a living?
After working 10 years conducting maintenance and rehabilitation projects for a social housing company, I chose to quit the job to do something very different but with a very important purpose for me. I now work for a French Bible publisher.
As to the building projects, I’m very happy to be able to continue exciting creations with the LEGO bricks!
- What hobbies do you have?
I’m very active in my local church, especially with the music group. I play drums and the bass guitar. My passions can sometimes overlap because I’ve been able to use my LEGO creations during a Christmas church service to tell the story of Jesus birth.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
This was one of my biggest MOCS. This project was a big challenge because of all the angles in the landscape.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
As a kid, I always played with LEGO and I continued building until I was 21. When my wife bought me my first big LEGO Castle for my 30th birthday I just started to build castle MOCs again. I was very happy to be able to share creations with my boys and it just became a hobby that got bigger and bigger.
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
I think LEGO is the best toy to express your creativity in 3D. Every kid or adult can create something completely unique. The possibilities are endless because there are just so many different parts and colors.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
I like all the historic themes but my favorite theme has always been Castle. Castles always have a very interesting design and they also have all kinds of clever defensive mechanisms.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
My favourite set is the LEGO Ideas pirates of barracuda bay. I think it’s really impressive in its size, the way it’s detailed… There are many great building techniques. I hope we will someday get a LEGO castle that will be just as impressive.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
There is just too much but to mention one of them I can say the 1x2 brick with the masonry profile. I use it in all my castle builds and in many other constructions.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
The creators of a LEGO stop motion movie called Bound really amazed me. This family worked together on their project for 5 years! It has a lot of special effects, the buildings and landscape are really beautiful, and they have a very special message to share.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Besides some English channels on YouTube, I follow the LEGO news in French on www.hothbricks.com and the channel “Brickmitri” on YouTube.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
At first, I planned to resubmit my previous project “the castle in the forest” after it was rejected in the review phase. But I didn’t want to do so without any modification. The one thing I really wanted to add was a round tower.
When a started to work on the design, I got a lot of inspiration and I redesigned the whole castle.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I was really afraid not to be able to finish the castle within the 3000 parts limit. The first part I designed with the large round tower the model had already 1000 parts. As I created the rest of the castle, I had to continually watch the part count while I was making guesses about how many parts I would need to finish the castle.
When I finished, the part count was just over the limit but I could find some ways to reduce the part count to make it exactly at 3000 parts.
- 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?
It took me 3 months to design this castle.
Compared to my previous projects I consider it was not so long.
I’ve spent some time promoting my project for only a few weeks because this project was very popular on LEGO Ideas.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took only 3 weeks to gather the 10000 supporters for this project.
To get to the 10K for the 2nd time was a wonderful and exciting moment.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
The final count was 3000 parts.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My favourite section is the round tower with the spiral staircase inside. I’m very proud of the building techniques. The design is very complex with portions of walls going from 3 to 4 studs wide. At the base of the tower, the build has to be made upside-down. All the hinge bricks are placed upside down.
In addition to this technique, the rounded wall can open to show the spiral staircase inside.
I’ve built this part with real bricks and I made a YouTube video about it to show it really works.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I used stud.io to build and render the model.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I created the torso, printed bricks, shields, and even printed helmets with Partdesigner.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
You would need something original. The idea itself or the way it is built.
Once you have your idea take your time to make it as good as you can. Include some interesting building techniques. Choose the right size.
The play value is important, but the display value is even more important.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I placed comments on different forums on the internet and I shared my idea with people I know.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
My favorite LEGO Ideas project is “The Old Barn” by Johnny_Thunder97.
I to mention some projects that I think have been overlooked:
“Blacktron Renegade Raiders” by HP_Brixxter
“Classic Corn Mill” by shortbricks.
“Pneumatic Steam Locomotive” by alfredboyer
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
The possibility for a LEGO fan of creating something that can become a real set is very attractive.
If you think about uploading an idea, you need to show you’re passionate about your idea. Many people who will see your project will not click on the support button unless you can convince them of something special.
- 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?
I’m not sure for now. If I do another project it’s going to be something medieval that’s for sure. I first need to find something special and unique to give me the motivation to work on it for 3 months.
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