10K Club Interview: Meet Ben Pitchford of Medieval Watermill
For the last 10K Club Interview of this review period, we travel to the USA as we introduce this week's 10K Club member, Ben Pitchford a.k.a. fishingtwister, the castle loving creator of the Medieval Watermill! His MOC might be better known to some convention goers as a central piece of his large Robin Hood diorama.
Help us congratulate Ben on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing his story with us!
- Where are you from?
Fond du Lac, WI, USA.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I'm a Property Manager/ Real Estate Investor.
- What hobbies do you have?
Brazilian jiujitsu, scuba diving, and of course building with LEGO bricks.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I was a big fan of the city, castle, and pirate themes as a child growing up in the late 80s but got out of it around the age of 11. It wasn't until 2012 when I had kids of my own that I got back into the hobby. I went from building sets with my children to creating huge MOC's with them.
^ The Medieval Watermill situated centrally in the Ben's Robin Hood diorama.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
There are so many it's hard to pick but I would say Forestmen's Crossing 6071 because it was awesome and nostalgic.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The 1x1 brick with stud on 1 side because it's my "go to piece" for architectural or landscaping SNOT technique.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
I follow a lot of different fan designers such as Luke Hutchinson, David Hensel, Cesar Soares, Mark Erickson, Sean Mayo and Grant Davis to name a few on Flickr.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Flickr, Bricklink, and Brickpicker.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I'm a fan of the castle theme and would like more of these sets. Especially, some more organic looking sets with the "ramshackle" look and odd angles. The Medieval Watermill is part of a village scene in a massive Robin Hood diorama.
The other medieval buildings are the https://ideas.lego.com/projects/b93bb535-f874-4734-8b38-3ad7156b67b0, https://ideas.lego.com/projects/18227e07-a9f0-495a-8553-601db2225734 , and https://ideas.lego.com/projects/041a9b53-0b50-47d0-b9af-b97c25e73599.
Hopefully, one day we will see instructions for this style of building.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The most challenging part was designing the roof to look dilapidated while keeping it sturdy. The inside area has a large support structure for the roof and walls which give the much needed clutch power to hold up over time. Also, adding the power functions box and motor proved tricky because I wanted to give access to the box while hiding it inside the model.
^ The Medieval Watermill in progress.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
It took less than 1 month to design and build. I already had all the pieces so it was a fairly short process.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
As you can imagine I was really excited when the project hit 10K and grateful that so many people took the time to support it! The process took 5 months to reach the finish line.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There are approx. 2,300 - 2,500.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Build what you like to instead of what you think other people will like. Also make sure your lead picture is strong and catches the viewers attention. You want to present your idea as a realistic one especially the piece count. When I submitted my 1st project I was not clear enough on the piece count and gave a misleading presentation. This caused a great deal of confusion and could've been avoided with better photos/description.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
I can't say I have a favorite but one that stands out would be the Old Fishing Store by RobenAnne. It has a great design, color scheme, and packed interior for playability. I also really liked Merchant's House by bigboy99899 which uses some of the same techniques I like to use.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I like the platform because it gives fans the ability to decide which sets go on shelves. I also appreciate that our MOCs have the potential to get reviewed by official LEGO designers once reaching the 10K milestone. My advice would be to just keep building/designing while discovering all the great ideas that are already out there.
- lego ideas
- 10k club
- ben pitchford
- medieval watermill