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We are welcoming this Friday with another addition to the 10K Club. Meet Aaron, a.k.a. CTDpower, and his WESTERN RIVER STEAMBOAT project. Inspired by memories of paddle wheels cruising on the Mississippi River, Aaron has designed this inspiring project! Show your support, and find out more below.


  1. Who are you?
    My full name is Aaron Hall. 

  2. Where are you from?
    I am from Alton, Illinois. A small town in the Midwest, United States. 
  3. How old are you?
    I am 37 years old. 
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a police officer by trade, but studied architecture and design homes for a second income. 
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I am a husband and father of two and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. Biking, camping, radio control cars, and of course LEGO on all the rainy days! 
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I do not.
  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?
    I am most proud of this steamboat, for reaching 10k supporters. I have created many MOCs over the years, but one that sticks out in my head more than others was a small truck I created for a single minifigure. My brother and I perfected that design over many years between the ages of 5 and 10. Mine was white, and his was yellow. We used them to pull campers, go hunting, and explore all over the house. 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I can’t remember a time without LEGO. It is almost the only thing I did as a kid and is certainly my biggest childhood memory. 
  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.
    I’ve never stopped building LEGO. I thought I was going to take a break when I had my first kid, but realized I just needed to switch to Duplo. As soon as my son was old enough (probably 3) I moved him over to standard LEGO. Since then, we have built many of my childhood sets that I still have, as well as many new ones. Currently, he enjoys collecting the 8 block wide speed champion cars. He is 10 now, so those aren’t very challenging, but we both appreciate the difficulty of designing that level of detail on such a small scale. He has so many models on display, including his own MOCs, that we don’t know what to do with them all! 

  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?
    This is a tough question. When I was about 6, I remember getting the original Black Seas Barracuda (#6285) for Christmas. I had it built within hours. That was a great set and really left an impact. I also really enjoy Technic, especially when many functions are packed into a very small space. But more recently I am drawn to the Creator theme and sets with great detail but still scaled for minifigures. 
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Wow, this is a hard question too! I immediately know what it is though, Model Team Giant Truck #5571 (black cat semi)! I still remember it, I was 10 or 11 years old, kneeling in the aisle of Toys-R-Us with the flap of the box open, staring at every piece. I wanted that set sooooo bad, but I never got it. I always keep my eye out at auctions and garage sales…. Maybe one day. 
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    It might be the LEGO differential part #6573. I first saw it on the Rebel Wrecker (#8858), and it blew my mind LOL. Learning those mechanics was invaluable. 
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I have to say, my son. I could watch him build for hours. His ideas are endless, and his ability to learn and adapt are amazing. It is so rewarding to witness this stage of development. 
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    I don’t have a favorite website, but I do enjoy watching LEGO videos on YouTube. It can be reviews, MOCs, experiments, doesn’t matter! 



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Inspiration for this model came from two places. First, the Black Seas Barracuda (#6285). This set solidified my love for LEGO boats, especially all the rigging for the masts and sails. Secondly, growing up along the Mississippi River, I’ve seen paddle boats from a young age and always had an interest in them. 
  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?
    After I have decided what I want to design, in this case, a steamboat, I will usually search the internet for pictures to inspire the build. Once I have selected a few pictures that represent my vision, I will then choose a handful of LEGO elements that I know I want to use to accomplish specific parts of the model. Sometimes this determines the overall scale of the model. However, for this project, I knew I wanted it to be scaled for minifigures and I wanted to pay homage to the old LEGO pirate ships by using the modular boat hull bases.  

  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Although I have faced many frustrating challenges with MOCs over the years, I have to say this one just fell together. There was very little struggle with the design or scale. By far one of my smoother builds. 
  4. 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? 
    This project only took a few days to complete. Typically, a model this size would take me a few months to design, but this one came together very easily. I did not promote my Product Idea, except to my very few FaceBook friends, because I don’t really do social media and don’t know how to promote it. I originally submitted the project in 2018, and it gained 3800 supporters before expiring. I submitted it again in 2021, and a year and a half later, here we are! 
  5. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It felt great! Gathering support for this project was a 4-5 year wait in total, and it felt unreal to finally be over. 
  6. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    At the time I created this project, the rules stated a limit of 3000 bricks, and I used them all! However, without the interior and/or with some creative building and access to other pieces, you could reduce this number significantly. 
  7. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    Personally, I like all the rigging. I think this adds a realistic touch which helps make this set stand out. 
  8. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used Lego Digital Designer to create the set and if I remember correctly I used a POV-ray converter to render it. 




  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    I know it is hard, but try to have an original idea. Do your research online to make sure it hasn’t already been done, and if it has, make sure your design is significantly better. 
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I didn’t use any. I’m not really social media savvy. I think I tried once to promote it on a FaceBook group, but it was removed for violating their group’s guidelines LOL. 

  3. 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 set to make it to production is possibly the Fender Stratocaster. I’m not musical by any means and have no interest in guitars, but there is something about the final look of that set, the packaging, the colors, it just catches my eye. It could not be more perfect. 
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    I love how this platform inspires so many people of all ages to imagine, create, and share new ideas. My only tip for uploading is make sure you have a catchy cover photo. First impressions make a difference; don’t allow people to scroll past J.
  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?
    Many more plans to come! I’ve had requests for a tug boat and barge set, but the very next submission may be something that flies… 
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • western river steamboat
  • ctdpower

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