Once more, we return with another entry to the 10K Club Interview. Welcome to Baron von Barron and their fantastic WORKING LOG FLUME – FAIRGROUND WATER COASTER. Find out more about this exciting creation down below!
- Who are you?
Baron von Barron.
- Where are you from?
Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I’m a technical writer.
- What hobbies do you have?
Apart from LEGO building, I like riding my quad, programming, and cooking.
- 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 of it and do you have a photo of it?
Nothing really presentable, I’m sorry.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
As far as I can remember, my first toys were DUPLO sets, and after that, I naturally upgraded to LEGO sets, which I’ve been more or less continuously spending my money on or asking for, even until now when it comes to events like birthday or Christmas, and having friends and family rolling their eyes, though.
- 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.
It’s basically just a hobby for the evening and the weekends; I often come home from work, build one or two hours, mostly as relaxation, and then continue with the so-called real life.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
It’s definitely the Freight and Crane Railway (4565) from 1996, this set has everything: rad design, enormous playability, clever functions, and high modifiability. I never could afford it as a kid, so it has always been my white whale, but I finally got to buy it last year; haven’t opened it since then though, that is going to be a build for a really special moment.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
That really is a tough question, but I’d go for the minifigure, in general. LEGO creations just wouldn’t be the same at all without it to me.
- 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 admit I’m not quite familiar with the official designers behind the sets, and about the fan designers, I’d find it not very fair to emphasize one or two here, there are just too many very talented around these days.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
From time to time, I visit stonewars.de and promobricks.de, mostly for the extremely detailed reviews of new as well as old sets, the editors there do a really great job on this.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Well, log flumes were always one of my favourite fairground or theme park rides, and although having various roller coasters released, the LEGO Group have never carried a log flume, neither working nor at least a diorama one, so that’s basically the whole idea behind it.
- 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 simply started building the cars, then I tried to figure out the drive chain mechanism – obviously the most complicated part. After the technical concept and structures were basically developed, I continued with the design and the details, having myself inspired by several images and videos of log flumes all around the world.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The hardest part was definitely the drop chute itself: First I built the two semicircles, then connected them with the escalator, so now the opposite distance to be bridged has been clearly defined, and that’s where the struggle began, since I wanted to have a fairly curved instead of just a straight drop. The problem here is that you can only use the fixed angles of the connectors and hinges, I literally spent hours on finding a combination of angles and distances where everything a) looks rather curved and b) snaps together properly in the end.
- 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?
Good question. Some have commented that the boarding platform should have been on the other side, and I ultimately agree with them, it’s not very realistic to splash quasi-directly into the boarding platform, and that’s an aspect I’d definitely solve differently today. My motivation back then was to keep things as compact as possible, but now I agree that the realism argument outweighs this approach.
- 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 spent one to three hours nearly every evening, plus the weekends for roundabout a month to build it, plus a few evenings for the visuals. I didn’t do much promotion, see next section, question 2.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took 67 days and it was indeed an enormous relief, that’s for sure. However, the curious thing about it was that staff pick the day right before it finally hit 10K: I was really astonished because I thought that projects at that advanced stage don't get picked anymore, but this was a very pleasant surprise and a great honour that helped to speed up the final sprint, too, of course.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
That’s pretty hard to say, but I kind of like the mix of technic connectors and system bricks to achieve all the angles and contours. Also, I like the swordfish on the rooftop of the boarding platform, but enough of the self-praise now!
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
BrickLinks’s Studio 2.0, it’s awesome.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Oh, I’d rather not give any advice from my side. The log flume was my only build that was successful, my other ones just meandered more or less along, although I was for example pretty convinced that the UFO impact build would run way better than the log flume; so you see, I don’t have any real clue about successful ideas – apart from the ones that are clearly driven by social media, but that’s not my kind of approach, see also the next question.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support for your Product Idea?
I’m really not familiar with social media, so I just posted it once on the generic LEGO and the specific IDEAS subreddit; and of course, I rallied my closer environment to support, but who doesn’t?
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
There are a lot indeed, but as for the fan designer question above, I’d find it rather unfair to emphasise one or two in this format, there are just way too many awesome designs.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
It’s the basic democratic principle: Anyone, no matter the background, has the equitable chance to propose LEGO ideas, and that’s a fantastic thing. Plus, the variety of all the creations that have been uploaded there is unparalleled by any other platform I know.
- 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’m indeed currently working on the next projects, which maybe I will have already submitted when this interview is published, who knows? But, it most likely will be a project that deals with the element of water again.
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- 10k club
- working log flume
- fairground water coaster