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10K Club Interview: The Kit-Kat Clock by Stargazer

Today we are joined by a familiar face in the 10K Club: Stargazer, a.k.a. Jonathan Brunn. Jonathan is no stranger, having had a successful Idea launched as an official LEGO Ideas product himself! Moving away from his dinosaur fossils, this time he has created a very different, but equally fantastic build. Inspired by a fascination with gears and cogs (and a lack of LEGO clocks available), Johnny has given us The Kit-Kat Clock. What kind of clock would you like to see in LEGO form?





ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    Jonathan Bruun. 


     
  2. Where are you from?
    France.
     
  3. How old are you?
    33.
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a Graphic/Web and Motion Designer in an agency.
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I have plenty of hobbies: drawing, searching for fossils, books, walks, astronomy, writing and, of course, building LEGO sets!
     
  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?
    Of all my creations, I think the one I prefer is the Alouette III Rescue Helicopter, for several reasons. First, I have a very strong sentimental attachment to this helicopter because my father worked in it for almost 20 years. Also, it's the very first helicopter I have seen in my life (I spent a lot of time on the Mandelieu helicopter base near Cannes).

    I created this MOC for my father and it's certainly the project on which I worked the most. I put all my time and experience into it, and I'm quite proud of it.

  7. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I think like everyone it started during my childhood. I inherited my older brother's LEGO collection when I was very young. Since then I never stopped buying, building or selling LEGO sets. My final purpose is to own all the NASA-related LEGO sets (like Curiosity Rover, Mars Conquest, etc.).


     
  8. 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 am someone who is quite stressed in my life and my work, so, for me, LEGO building represents peace of mind. I discovered that by spending time building with bricks, I entered a form of meditation that allowed me to be much more serene and peaceful.

    LEGO building represents the infinity of talent and imagination, it's pushing the limits and developing your creativity.

  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?
    NASA and Space! Space engineering and LEGO is for me the perfect mix; it blends two of my favourite passions.
     
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    That's a difficult question! I hesitate between the 10231 Space Shuttle or the 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V. I own these two sets and they are displayed on my desk at work. My clients are always amazed by them when they come to the office.
     
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Difficult to say. One thing that always amazes me when I build with LEGO bricks is the mechanical parts - spinners, for example. I could look at them rotating all day. It's like magic.
     
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Niels Milan Pedersen and Samuel Johnson, of course! They did such a great job with my Dinosaur Fossils set, it was impossible to not mention them.
     
  13. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    A French website named HothBricks. It's kind of well known in the French AFOL's community. I like the author's independent point of view and he writes a lot of very interesting articles and news.



     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    There are many reasons that led me to create this set: first of all, I always wanted the LEGO company to sell a clock. With the huge number of technical parts available, I always thought it was possible to create one and that it was too bad it was never done!

    I have always been fascinated by watchmaking techniques, and the ability of human beings to measure time with cogs and gears, it's almost magic for me! I chose the Kit-Cat Clock because it's my favourite clock. Simply perfect; it's fun, vintage, known worldwide and reminds me of the best moments of my childhood in front of old episodes of Tom & Jerry, the choice was obvious to me!

  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?
    It certainly was the most difficult and challenging MOC I've created, mainly because I wanted my project to fit perfectly with the spirit and aesthetics of the original Kit-Cat Clock, without any compromise. I wanted everything to be perfectly proportioned, for the mechanism to be easy to set up yet elegant, and for the LEGO version to work just like the original 1932 version.

    So I had to spend at least 3 months daily on the design and realization of the project. I did a lot of research on how to adapt the original mechanism with LEGO elements. It was very complex but also very motivating, and I think I managed to do something right.

  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The pendulum system connected to the engine and the cogs are still only a prototype which is not perfect. It was really challenging and I'm still not totally satisfied with the result.
     
  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? 
    "People believe in your project, and you will get 10,000 votes. Don't lose hope!"

    That's what I wanted to hear when I went through a big moment of doubt before my project took off. I had the same problem with my dinosaur fossils. I know today that my project is interesting for people and that it has a chance, and that is awesome!

  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? 
    It took approximately 3 months for the build (so this project is the one that took me the most time) and more than a year to reach 10,000 supporters, so it was quite fast compared to my Dinos Fossils!
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    I was so happy. It's the second time that one of my projects reached 10k and it's always a huge source of pride! I was really moved to see that my work had paid off! In addition to this, my Kit-Cat Clock took half the time to reach 10,000 votes than my dinosaurs did, which is very promising, I guess!
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Around 1300 pieces.
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    The pendulum mechanism moves the eyes and the tail. In the original model it's quite simple, but with LEGO bricks - oh boy it was something else!


     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I built it digitally first and made physical prototypes. I used Bricklink Studio for the build and render.
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    I created digital stickers for the eyes and the “Kit-Cat” logo. I wanted to keep it as sober as possible, like the original.


     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Maybe this advice is kind of basic, but never stop believing in it! If you really think your idea is worth it, keep showing it to others! Don't hesitate to contact people who can create some publicity. Also, use social media, speak about the potential of your idea, and people will come naturally.
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    Social media, of course. My family/community, and Reddit.
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    The NASA Apollo Saturn V, of course! Can we dream of a better set for every space geek out there?
     
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    Above all, it's the fact that everyone, young or old, can submit a set idea. This is really a beautiful platform where people are kind and encourage you. The critiques are constructive and the team is awesome. What else?

    I don't have really tips to give. Try to really work on your pictures and use 3D rendering software or a good camera - the pictures of your project need to be attractive and aesthetic. This is how you gain the attention of people.
     
  5. 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?
    Yes, I have some Ideas but for the moment I haven't worked on them seriously yet; the promotion of my Kit-Cat Clock took all my time - it's a full-time job!

 

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • kit-kat clock
  • jonathan bruun
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