10K Club Interview: Meet Robert Bontenbal of Old Fishing Store
The beautiful Old Fishing Store is what happens when several big passions collide.
Today we have the pleasure of introducing the very talented Dutch fan designer Robert Bontenbal, a.k.a. robenanne - this weeks LEGO Ideas 10K Club member. Ahoy Robert! Robert's professional approch to his project consisted of lots of design preparation and continual updates to his project based on feedback that he received. He shares much more about his experiences in this 10K Club Interview.
Help us congratulate Robert on becoming a part of the LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
- How old are you?
I am 51 years young.
- What do you study or do for a living?
- What hobbies do you have?
I like fishing, photography, LEGO.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
When I was young I loved to play with LEGO bricks, and I remember that my first set was the Firetruck 336 (pcs:77 1968-1970). After getting my two sons, my interest rekindled and we enjoyed playing together with Lego. Especially the super heroes sets are a favorite of my sons. Our storage room has been turned into a LEGO room for the boys. Don’t ask my wife…
^ Don't ask Robert's wife about his LEGO room. But do mention it to other LEGO enthusiasts because it's a beauty!
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
The Ultimate Millennium Falcon 10179. I enjoy building the big sets and this set has a lot of details and is not simple to build.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
That’s a hard question. I think the 2x4 LEGO brick which is one of the older bricks and can be the basis for a lot of designs.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Probably Angus MacLane who designed Wall.E (set 21303). This set was really fun to build.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
BrickLink and MOCpages.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Fishing has always been my hobby. From fishing in the Caribbean, where I lived for a while, to fishing in Holland. My interest in fishing and my job as an architectural draughtsman came together in this model. I got my inspiration from the HO train model houses, the LEGO Christmas houses and sea villages.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Initially I created the building. After submitting it, people commented and asked about the inside of the building. This was the moment where I could get creative and designed the inside. This was a lot of fun. And it also got me thinking, that the building could have a seasonal design with different faces for the winter and summer.
^ Robert shows off his workspace. Looks like he's a Batman fan as well!
- How long did it take to complete the model?
It was a complicated model and it took some time to design it and adjust it. It probably took me a couple of months to get it completely as I wanted it to be.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
I was totally excited that it only took six weeks to reach the 10,000 votes! It was also a lot of fun to read the comments and read that people were interested in the model and indicated that they would like to buy it.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
The first design was about 2160 LEGO bricks. However, after adding the interior, it grew out to be about 2480 LEGO bricks. But it could be less in further development.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Inspiration is very important for the model and a theme that can help develop the model. It is good to put the sketches on paper, maybe use a mood board, to determine the details and color schemes. Especially the use of the right colors has been important in my design.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Merchant’s House by bigboy99899.
- You have other projects on LEGO Ideas, what is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
When you start out, the fun part is the idea that your model might be chosen to be developed as a LEGO set. But after submitting my model on the platform, the waiting, the comments from other LEGO Ideas community members and checking out how your model is doing is very exciting. It makes me want to check regularly on how things are going, but also to see what other cool designs are uploaded to the platform.
My tip for people who are considering uploading an idea, for starters: just do it! Use your creativity and have fun. Even the more simple models get votes. And who knows what happens.