10K Club Interview: Meet Kai Einfeldt of The Blues Mobile
After a short summer break, we are back to celebrating the talented LEGO Ideas members whose projects are currently in review, with results coming in the fall of 2017.
Today's 10K Club member has had a life long passion for the cult classic movie The Blues Brothers and since LEGO bricks play a big role in his life, there was no better model for him to build than The Blues Mobile. Please give a warm welcome to its creator Kai Einfeldt a.k.a Eini (Kai Einfeldt).
Help us congratulate Kai on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing his story with us!
- Where are you from?
I’m from Germany living in the north of it.
- How old are you?
I’m about 45 years old but still a child on the inside.
- What do you study or do for a living?
First, I started an education to become an electrician, then an education to become a radio- and television technician and then an industrial technician.
At the age of 33 I decided to go back to school and get a degree in electrotechnology and an education to become a State Certified Engineer of Science and a State Certified Instructor for Education.
But now I’m retired due to cancer and psychological damage caused by the cancer. During the last 3 years I have spent most of my time at the hospital.
What hobbies do you have?
I have many hobbies. I have to decide which hobbies I can spend my little time on.
But LEGO is my favourite hobby. I’m a musician, too. I love my 25 year old BMW 520i E34 and spend a lot of time and some money on it.
^ Kai shows his expertise at building LEGO cars
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I was 6 years old when I realized that LEGO was the toy for me. From the beginning I liked the little minifigures and the possibilities LEGO bricks gave me to create many MOCs. However, at the age of 16, my interests led me away from LEGO.
At the age of 28 I saw some small LEGO sets at a Shell Station and I bought some of them. That was the moment my dark ages ended. During my childhood I wasn’t able to get a lot of LEGO sets and never got a set at a price over 50 Deutsche Mark, because we were a poor family. But as an adult I broke these limit and bought a lot of LEGO sets.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
I can’t define a favourite set because The LEGO Group have made so many sets that I like very much. If I have to choose one I think it’s the Ultimate Collector Edition Millenium Falcon, but I never earned enough money to get one of these great builds.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Oh, it’s impossible to say this or that is my favourite element. Every element can be usable or indispensable for a MOC. But I especially like all SNOT elements, which help to build in all directions and not only on the top of the element.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I’m a member of the group 1000steine.de. There are many creative members and from time to time I see something that I like and sometimes I use it as inspiration.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
At the age of 9 I saw the movie and from the first moment I liked the story and the old police car. Since that day I wanted to create the Blues Mobile but I never got around to creating it. When I saw the Ecto-1 in the LEGO Club magazine I knew I had to have it, so I decided to get two of that set. As I looked at the model I was reminded of the Blues Mobile and decided to build it.
^ Kai poses with his brick built Blues Mobile in front of his impressive display of MOCs
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I wanted a model where both the Blues Brothers could sit on the front seats as well as have the great speaker on the roof. I decided to do the Blues Mobile at the same scale as the Ecto-1.
The most difficult part was the front of the car. I wanted it to be as close to the original as possible and it was hard work to design the front air inlets. I wanted it to be as good a build as The LEGO Group builds official models. I also wanted the trunk to be open for storing equipment, while the big speaker on the roof needed to be easily removed to play the scene in the aqueduct or even to enable opening the roof and trunk.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
I built it in one day. I think it took about 10 hours.
The next day I was looking at it for hours and thought about which parts could be designed better. I set the windscreen 1/3 of a brick lower to get a better proportion. On the third day, I created all the stickers using Photoshop, printed them and put them on the Blues Mobile. The “Stars” and “P1” were made using an airbrush. The last step was the little stand for the guys. It was a very hard work to design the faces of Elwood and Jake but I think they are good.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
I think I should be happy about reaching the 10K mark but a lot went wrong in my life that I’m a pessimist. So I can’t be happy.
It took one and a half years to reach 10,000 supporters. There are many projects in that time which reached 10K much faster than my project, but it has reached it and so I hope The LEGO Group produces it.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
I don’t know. I never count the elements I use. I only count them if I want to create something and need a defined number of elements for it.
But I tried to design the project for the lower price area, so many fans of LEGO and the Blues Brothers can get it for round about 50€. I think there are about 350 to 500 elements used.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
All projects should be made of LEGO elements. LDD or other digital projects are not as beloved as real models.
Do not create too big models. There are many projects on LEGO Ideas using more than 1000 LEGO elements. These are models that would be too expensive for many LEGO fans.
Good photos are needed. Take many but use only a few for LEGO Ideas.
Search LEGO Ideas for any projects which are similar to what you would like to create, so you can be inspired by them or see how much supporter the projects get.
Projects should be strong enough to be playable for children.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
The Addams Family Mansion.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
To see what other LEGO fans create, how my own creations are accepted, and to see what other people think about my creations.
And last but not least, if it is produced by LEGO I would get money from it. So why not share a good creation as it’s possible that it could become an official LEGO product.
I think it’s the best thing a LEGO fan can get - to be a designer of an official LEGO set.
Besides our usual questions that we ask our 10K Club members Kai wanted to share something extra about what LEGO means for him and his life:
There are many bad things that have happened to me, but any time that I feel down I grab my LEGO boxes and start building. It’s as though I travel through a magic mirror and leave all the bad things behind me. I'm in the LEGO world or better, I'm part of this fantastic world.
There I can free my mind and be the architect of whatever I want, and after finishing a model I can look at it for hours, days, months. Every time I look at the model I go back in time to the moment I was building the model and it makes me feel good.
LEGO bricks are not only toys. Oh no LEGO bricks are so much more. It's something like the brushes and paint colors for creativity. But it's easier to use and helpful for building up creativity and skills.
^ A small view into the LEGO building talent that Kai possesses.
- lego ideas
- 10k club
- kai einfeldt
- the blues mobile