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10K Club Interview: The Dojo by SpaceBrick54

Today's 10K Club Interview introduces us to SpaceBrick54, and his wonderful Dojo. Inspired by a love of Oriental culture and the Ninjago Movie, SpaceBrick54 presents to us his wonderful project. What do you think of The Dojo?

 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    SpaceBrick54.
     
  2. Where are you from?
    Pisa, Italy. 
     
  3. How old are you?
    I’m 29! 
     
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    LEGO building, of course! Movies, games and entertainment media in general. They are an important inspiration for my creations!  
     
  5. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Yes, you can find me as Spacebrick_Lego on Instagram and just Spacebrick on Flickr!
     
  6. 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’m proud of all my MOCs, but if I have to choose just one I’d go for the Shrine of the Golden Dragon that I created for a Chinese New Year competition! 

     

    I’m particularly proud of it because I built it in just an evening, without much planning. I just collected all gold pieces in my inventory and start creating! 
     
  7. How and when did your interest in LEGO come about?
    I’ve always been a LEGO fan since I was a kid, but the true love for bricks come back in 2015 after a trip to Germany, when I entered in a LEGO store and I was fascinated by the Volkswagen T1 model!
     
  8. 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.
    Good question. First of all, for me LEGO building is creativity. It is a way to give birth to your fantasy, and it’s challenging to create something from the palette of all LEGO builds. Then, I love to share my creations with the world. I bring them to many local events, but thanks to social networks I can also reach everyone in the world! I’m also part of an LUG, Orange Team of Pisa. My LUG friends have been incredible in helping me with this project, and many others, so I want to say thanks to all of them!
     
  9. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    Well, I think that LEGO Ideas definitely caught my interest from the beginning, when it was still LEGO CUUSOO. At that time Ideas was maybe the most AFOL-oriented theme, and it was great to see and study creations made by other AFOLs. I have to mention also the Ninjago Movie theme, which gave me the inspiration to build an entire oriental traditional town – the Dojo is part of this bigger diorama. You can see it on my social channels! 
     
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Impossible to answer! There are too many. Being myself a huge fan of Star Wars, the Millennium Falcon 75192 is for sure one of them, but also some older models like Emerald Express or Imperial Flagship are definitely in my top 10 list. From recent models, I would like also to mention Pirates of Barracuda Bay and Hogwarts Icons.
     
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    In general, all the pieces that permit a SNOT technique, and in first place, the brick 1x1 with stud on side.
     
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I’ve recently discovered many inspiring builds from fan designer Ranghaal, which are incredibly realistic and so well textured. I think that in my next build I will steal some techniques from him!
     
  13. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    Yes, I’m a member of the unofficial LEGO Forum in Italy, where I started my online activities with the nickname of Spacebrick. I got to know many great builders and friends there!

     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I’ve always been a fan of oriental culture, Japanese in particular, and I was very excited when The LEGO Group released the Ninjago Movie with the related sets. The Ninjago City in the beginning, and Docks later, were so inspiring for me. I purchased the Docks first, actually, and I decided to move it back in time and transform it in a traditional fishermen village. After that, I expanded the model to a bigger diorama and more buildings were necessary. I built a lighthouse, a pagoda, a tea house, a canal with cherry blossom trees’ market and, of course, the Dojo.


     
  2. How long was the process of making the project did, 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?
    As I told above, the Dojo was just a part of a bigger diorama. And it was the part I did in the shortest time, because I needed to complete the diorama for an exhibition. I think I made it in no more than 2 or 3 evenings. It was just a draft at that time, clearly, and later I improved it a lot and transformed it into the final model you can see now. During the process, I searched for some pictures on the web to get inspiration of the shape of the courtyard. It looks like many typical buildings you can see in Manga or Anime! 
     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The construction itself is not very complicated. Maybe the tree was a bit challenging because I wanted to make it as realistic as possible. In the end I decided to make it with flower pieces, without removing them from the blister, to have a denser crown.


     
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
    I would say: “Hey, make the building a bit bigger!” In the end I didn’t find enough space to include a nice staircase to the upper floor. This is something that I should address in future revisions of the MOC! 
     
  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?
    As I told above, the building process was extremely quick, but differently I spent many months in promoting the project, mainly on social networks. It was quite effective, because I reached 10,000 votes in just 8 months. I think it’s a good result considering that the time left was still about one year and half! 
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    See answer 5.
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Since I made the model physically, I do not have the exact number, but I made an estimation of about 2700-2800 pieces based on the MOC’s dimension and weight. The build is not small but the vast majority of it is “outdoor” environment, and the model does not develop so much on the vertical plane, so the piece count is not too high.


     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I have been inspired by the water technique used in set Ninjago City, and I made it mine for this MOC. Since the town represents a small port, the green background below the transparent tiles used for water fits perfectly.

     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Yes! Just do something that you love! You can’t build great models if you’re not the first fan of the model you are building. So, build for your own pleasure, and then if you are satisfied with the result, just put it on Ideas!
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    Almost only social networks... Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Flickr. Just post the project in many groups and, if people will appreciate your proposal, it will be reposted in many more websites! 
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    I’ve seen many proposals of Bag End from the Hobbit in many past reviews. Even if it’s something that LEGO already proposed in the past, I’d love to see it on shelves again with an AFOL-oriented design. Such an iconic place for every Tolkien fan!
     
  4. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?
    I have already submitted one more project, the Dodo Airlines from Animal Crossing. It was born as a small MOC for my LUG and it received a lot of interest in many exhibitions. Also, the game it is inspired from is quite popular, so I thought it was a nice proposal for LEGO Ideas! 

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • spacebrick54
  • the dojo
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