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10K Club Interview: TWILIGHT: CULLEN HOUSE by LobsterThermidor

Happy Wednesday - it's the middle of the week and that can only mean another new 10K Club Member! Meet Nick Micheels, a.k.a. LobsterThermidor and his TWILIGHT: CULLEN HOUSE. Fans of the famed vampires; rejoice - this might be the LEGO Ideas project for you! Leave a like to show Nick some support.



  1. Who are you?
    My name is Nick Micheels.

  2. Where are you from?
    I am from Sacramento, California. 
  3. How old are you?
    I am 30 years old. 
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I work at a school by day, and I am a working drummer/percussionist by night. 
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I love to keep myself busy with creative projects as much as I can.  I am a working musician and do a lot of work in musical theatre communities, which I love.  I sometimes like to pretend I am good at chess.  I am a fan of many forms of photography. And of course, I have the LEGO hobby! 
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Yes, I have very recently created an Instagram account called @LobsterThermidorBuilds, and at the time of this interview I have zero followers, so go check it out!
  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 really proud of my Twilight Build for sure, but I am also really happy with how my entry for the A-Frame challenge turned out.  I built a scene depicting a landscape photographer atop a woody station wagon.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to get the car looking right at an 8-stud wide scale, but I am happy with how it turned out. 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I loved building LEGO sets in my childhood, and I came out of my dark age fairly recently when I came across 10270 Creator Expert Bookshop during COVID lockdown.  I was blown away by how advanced the building experience was in comparison to what I had remembered from my childhood and I became hooked. 

  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 find building LEGO sets as well as designing MOCs to be a very calming experience.  I enjoy building sets and displaying them in my home.  And my kids love playing with the modular buildings and building sets with me.  I've even persuaded my wife toward the addiction with the LEGO Wildflower set that matches the flowers we chose for our wedding.  The LEGO hobby is a contagious hobby, and I hope to infect all of my loved ones. 
  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?
    My favorite themes are Ideas and Creator Expert/Icons.  I am inspired by the modular buildings and how creatively the designers are able to use LEGO elements to achieve complex shapes and representations. 
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    As a child, my favourite sets were 4560 Railway Express and 3053 Emperor’s Stronghold purely for sentimental reasons.  As an adult it is so difficult to pick just one, so I am going to name a few: 10270 Bookshop for bringing me out of my dark age, 21046 Empire State Building for using such a cool building technique to represent the interior steel construction, 21334 Jazz Quartet (based on fan designer Hsinwei Chi’s idea) for being the set I am currently building and thoroughly enjoying.  They are all so good!!
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    My favourite LEGO element right now is 31561 because it is so useful both functionally and aesthetically.
  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 am inspired by the amazing submissions I see on the Ideas site every day.  There are so many amazing creators out there that are demonstrating how dynamic the LEGO system is.  I am also inspired by the expertise of official LEGO designers and teams and their ability to translate these models into final products that fit within the much stricter standards that the LEGO Group holds their designs to.  I am fascinated by the entire Ideas process, from fan design all the way through marketing the final product.  It’s truly such a great time to be a LEGO fan.
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    I visit Bricklink from time to time, as well as Brickset. 



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I just thought it would be so funny to translate this movie and these characters into LEGO form.  I am a huge fan of the LEGO Batman Movie and how it demonstrates a masterful ability to infuse humour into otherwise melodramatic themes, and I thought that Twilight would work so well in a similar way. 

    Just as with LEGO building, I came out of my Twilight dark age as an adult. However, I was not a Twilight fan as a child.  At some point, I started to find myself always suggesting Twilight as a movie option with my wife and our friends, to the point that they knew it was coming every time.  My wife and I had a phase where we would watch the movies on repeat to the point where I could recite the film script as easily as reciting Shakespeare. 

  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?
    I started with the facade of the second floor of the model.  The “Hoke House” which is the actual house that was used for the films, and is a stunning piece of architecture. I think the second floor is a major focal point in the design.  I studied the actual house in as many ways as I could online, as well as the films’ representation of the house which of course is going to be different.  I then had to plan my own interpretative blueprint for how to represent the most important aspects of the building at a minifigure scale while staying within a 3,000-piece limit.  I thought of scenes from the movies and knew I needed the staircase with room for the graduation caps, a piano, Edward’s room, the kitchen, and the library, so a lot of the design effort went into deciding how I could creatively squeeze all of those scenes into a much smaller blueprint.   
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    I’d say the biggest challenge was in keeping the parts count below 3000 while trying to include as much detail as possible.  I also had a bit of a think with getting the angles of the balcony railing to work.
  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?
    I would tell myself to think twice about making Carlisle so pale, even though I thought it was hilarious at the time.  Then I probably still would have done it, because it is hilarious. 

  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? 
    I started the model quite some time ago then stopped when I was not yet too far in.  When I started up again it took a few months to get it all done.  To my surprise, it took much longer to design and build than it took to promote and reach 10k for this. 
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It was pretty unreal to witness this project take off.  The idea went live on February 3rd in the morning and reached 10,000 midday on the 4th.  I was finding it being shared on TikTok, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.  There was just a huge and amazing community of supporters that I didn’t even know was out there. 
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    The tiny grand piano and Minifigure-scale werewolf are my favourite parts of the model, as well as the custom prints for each of the book covers made using LEGO parts for the graphics.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used to build and render this model.
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I used Photoshop to design the custom prints for the minifigure faces and some of the clothes.  I also used Photoshop to create the prints for the book covers on the wall, which are made up of renderings of LEGO parts. 



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Build something you truly love and will want to spend loads of time working on.  Don’t give up on an idea even if it feels like you are hitting a wall technically or mentally.
  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    My favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea is Spaceballs by Bricktory Lap.  I love it so much.
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    Spend a lot of time on your images.  And do not underestimate the power of the description section of your Idea — if you can engage a visitor beyond just the pictures, it might be enough to turn someone from voting and leaving, to voting and sharing with their friends or community.   

    Also, marry an extremely supportive partner who will put up with your computer screen lighting up the room until 2am every night.
  4. 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 do have plans to submit more ideas in the future.  I am working on one now that I am very excited about, and hopefully, by the time this interview is published it will be live.

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • nick micheels
  • twilight cullen house

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