10K Club Interview: Meet James Cox of 1950's Diner
From classic cars to classic buildings - this week's 10K Club member can do a bit of both to great effect. Please welcome James Cox, better known to many of you as pix027, the fan designer of the 1950's Diner; the perfect setting for countless Hollywood movies, whether set in the past, present or future.
As a relative newcomer back into the world of LEGO building, James has quickly found his footing and an interest within designing LEGO models that often have a historic twist to them.
Help us congratulate James on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I live in East London, in the UK.
- How old are you?
29 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am roofer in the family business.
- What hobbies do you have?
Laying down, eating biscuits and building with LEGO bricks. I do a physical job so I like my hobbies to be mostly sofa-based.
^ James shows off one of his exquisite MOCs that's in the works. Can anyone guess what make it is?
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I was very LEGO obsessed as a child but grew out of it when I was around 11 years old. It wasn’t until Christmas 2 years ago that my girlfriend bought me the LEGO Technic 42030 VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader, that got me back into building with LEGO bricks, once I had seen how much more advanced it could be.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
10194 Emerald Night is the set I would buy if it was available today because a really good LEGO set should be playable and displayable and you should want to open and enjoy it even though you know it will be worth more money one day.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The 1x2 curved slope always seems to be in everything I build.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
I am a big fan of Sariel, and whenever I find something really impressive on the internet, it nearly always turns out to be one of his models.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I find Rebrickable really useful for the admin side of LEGO building and trying to work out what I have. But when it comes to inspiration I tend to just come across things on social media or google searches.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I knew I wanted to create a set that had the classy feel of the modular building series whilst keeping it smaller and more affordable than the modulars. So the only choice for a small building for me was to do a 1950's diner as it has so much colour and fun in such a small building. The added bonus with a 50's diner was that it fit in with a modern LEGO city setting as well as the period modulars and various other LEGO themes, hopefully, making it appeal to all types and ages of LEGO fans.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The main challenge was to keep the set small without it feeling cramped or compromised, whilst arranging the interior to flow and look natural took a lot of redesigning. I also wanted to keep the set from having any obviously modern features, leaving it up to the customer if they want to imagine it in a modern, period or even futuristic setting, as 50's diners can exist in many worlds.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
I think about 4 days of solid building in LDD and then 2 days of repeatedly changing the colours of everything until I was happy. A few hours were spent on updates, mostly tweaking the design of the car!
^ LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) was James' go-to tool for mocking up his 1950's Diner.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took around 10 months and the last month went really quickly, so it was really satisfying to watch it creep up each day.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Around 900 pieces all in I think. But there is the possibility to bring the piece count down by removing the car and fuel pump.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Be realistic and think about what people actually want to walk out of the LEGO store with.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
21303 Wall-E is a really great set and sits on our windowsill at home. It's such a nicely designed set. Even the packaging and instructions feel like some real care went into it.
- 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 that you really can just upload something and get to 10,000 supporters based purely on the quality of a design. Besides sharing a few times on Facebook I did basically no campaigning. So a big thanks to the other LEGO Ideas members! I would say it's definitely worth putting your ideas up just to see what happens. It isn't just a popularity contest like a lot of 'user based' websites or competitions.
- lego ideas
- 10k club
- james cox
- 1950's diner