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10K Club Interview: THE OLD TRAIN ENGINE SHED by Mind the Brick

Please give a warm welcome back to second-time 10K member, Maria Kalaoglou (a.k.a. Mind the Brick) and her THE OLD TRAIN ENGINE SHED. Inspired by a book on trains, Maria has created an impressive tribute to the 50s vehicle! Show Maria some support down below!



  1. Who are you?
    Maria Kalaoglou.

  2. Where are you from?
    Athens, Greece.
  3. How old are you?
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I studied Jewellery Design & Making and I currently work as Freelance Designer and Maker. 
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I draw, paint, watch movies and obviously build and collect LEGO sets.
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I share my builds mostly on my facebook and on Instagram
  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 started MOCing about two and a half years ago, and I’m still building up my bricks inventory, so I have a couple of designs that are waiting to be finished. The MOCs that I’m particularly proud of are my two African-style Adorned Masks which won the Lego Ideas “Create Art to be Enjoyed by All” competition and are currently exhibited in the Billund Campus. 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    It all started when I was about 6 or 7 years old when my neighbours and close friends got their first LEGO sets. We used to play together after school and they initiated me into the world of the Brick! That is when I first started MOCing and creating my own ideas (they still accuse me of 'wrecking' their LEGO sets.).

  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 want to quote one of my favourite female artists Louise Josephine Bourgeois whose mantra was; “I Do, I Undo, I Redo” which I find similar to the LEGO moto; “Rebuild the world”. LEGO building, for me, is a way to get in touch with the child hidden within me, a way to decompress, a way to have fun, a way to communicate with other AFOLs and so much more.
  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?
    After my Dark Ages, I started buying Τechnic models. I was intrigued by the way everything was assembled together. My favourite LEGO themes currently are Icons and Ideas, which have mainly inspired my recent MOCS and Ideas submissions. But in general, I collect many different LEGO themes. 
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    I really can’t choose, there are too many. But, emotionally, I would have to say the 42055: Bucket Wheel Excavator as this is the first set I built when I emerged from my dark ages.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    I particularly love the 1x1 modified brick with studs on 2 sides. I use it a lot on my builds, as it enables me to create 3D textures and effects.
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    My favourite official LEGO designer is Dimitris Stamatis, who happens to be one of the designers of the Ninjago Theme. 
    There are many fan designers that I look up too, this list is long! My dearest friend, Delusion Brick, with whom I’ve shared many LEGO Ideas moments. My friend, Patgeo, whom I admire for his persistence. Our LEGO RLUG ambassador, GunmanBricks, who was the first to encourage me to upload my designs on the LEGO Ideas platform and a superb “free” MOC designer. My dearest Brickester who I met through the platform and I look to for advice and guidance sometimes! And last but not least Bricky_Brick and Brick Dangerous
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    I would say Bricklink and Brickset. The first, to check for bricks I need, and the second, to read news about LEGO sets.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    The other day I was having a conversation with Brickester and we were discussing how memories impact us as designers. Well in this case, my love for trains began back in 1984 when I was 4 years old. We used to go on holidays to my aunties house in Corinthos (Greece). The train tracks used to run right in front of her home, and every now and then, a train would whistle and pass by. 

    Recently, a very good friend of mine miballas lent me one of his train books. As I was flipping through its pages, I found this little character: a small yellow service vehicle that was used in the 50s in Central Europe and looked like a minion. This was it! I had to make it with LEGO bricks!  

  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?
    One thing led to another, and a small diorama was designed in a couple of months. I did a lot of research on the internet looking for images of old train engine sheds, mostly situated in Europe. Then as the design developed, I had to look into cranes and a variety of machinery trying to be as accurate as possible. 
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The most difficult aspect of my Idea, which took the longest to put together, was the two big doors. I also had to go back to my original design and redo the roof. I realized that the access to the interior was limited and it had to be re-done.
  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? 
    To always follow my heart no matter what journey it takes me on, and believe more in myself and my abilities. 
  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 me roughly two months to finish my model, and I was quite happy when it was done. It took me about 4 months to reach the 10K milestone. That was roughly 2 times longer than building time, but much faster than I anticipated! 

  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    I was super happy. No words can describe the feeling I had! Also, I felt that all the time spent building and promoting was worth it! 
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    I used 2881 LEGO Bricks 
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    That would have to be the 2 big semi-curved industrial glass doors, for which I’ve used a special technique.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used Studio and a little bit of LDCad. The finished model was rendered in Studio and slightly modified in Photoshop (lighting and backgrounds).
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    For the ones I designed myself, I used Illustrator and Part Designer which I then exported in Studio. The rest were found in Studio and Mecabricks. 



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Just by improving one’s building techniques, you will be able to create more coherent designs. So keep on building, my LEGO friends!
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I created small updates and videos of stories, trying to show the playability of my set, which I shared on the LEGO Ideas platform as well as on Facebook. 
  3. 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 set by far is Voltron! 
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    It is a simple and friendly platform. I would tell them to go for it!
  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?
    I have been talking with a very good friend of mine from my RLUG, Patgeo, and we are seriously discussing doing a collaboration on a Product Idea. We finally believe it is a good time to take up this challenge and I’m very excited as I have not done this in the past. Stay tuned!


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  • 10k club interview
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