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10K Club Interview: Introducing Nicola & Gabriele of the Planet Express Delivery Ship

In the immortal words of Professor Farnsworth, 'Good news everyone!' It's time for Nicola Stocchi (and also Nicola Stocchi on LEGO Ideas) and Gabriele Zannotti (a.k.a. gabriele.zannotti on LEGO Ideas) to talk to us about their model, Planet Express Delivery Ship!

About Yourself

  1. What are your names?
    Nicola Stocchi

    Gabriele Zannotti

    ^ Nicola with one of his creations

  2. Where are you from?
    Nicola: I’m from Parma, a city in northern Italy.

    Gabriele: I’m from the center of Italy, in Le Marche region.

    ^ Gabriele Zannotti doing his magic with a floating Planet Express Delivery Ship!

  3. How old are you?
    Nicola: 23.

    Gabriele: I’m 26 years old.
  4. What do you do for a living? 
    Nicola: I work in a company which makes food processing and beverage industrial machines, my job is about making technical manuals for these machines.

    Gabriele: I’m a graphic designer.
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Niocla: I’m involved in an acting course and I like making large parties during summer and new year. I used to play the drums as well, but recently my main hobby has remained designing my own LEGO models.

    Gabriele: My three main hobbies are: driving my 1968 Fiat 500, analog photography (I’ve got a darkroom) and… play with LEGO!
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Nicola: Yes, you can find me on Instagram as ns_legoart or on Flickr.

    Gabriele: This is my Flickr page, dedicated to my renderings:
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
    Nicola: Yes, by now my main creations are the Thunderjaw (a robot from videogame Horizon Zero Dawn) and 5 vehicles from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (War Rig, Elvis, Nux Car, Gigahorse and Doof Wagon).
  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    Nicola: I have always enjoyed playing with LEGO, but what really brought my interest to the next level was discovering platforms like LDD and Bricklink.

    Gabriele: I was very young when my parents gave me a box of no-brand plastic bricks. I loved them and I build I don’t know how many things. Unfortunately their colors and shapes were limited, so when I discovered Lego bricks was pure love!
  9. What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    Nicola: LEGO is the tool I use to express myself and my love for a particular character/vehicle/concept. I used to create virtual models playing music loud for hours. This activity relaxes me while also being challenging. Working on new techniques/designs for so long and eventually building the physical model, is always extremely satisfying. 

    Gabriele: I think LEGO is the best game to improve creativity. My approach with LEGO is mainly virtual and digital: I realize 3D renders of MOCs. Then I always love to see what other users can create.
  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?
    Nicola: I find the creator expert series inspiring, every set always brings clever techniques.

    Gabriele: I love LEGO Classic Castle theme because I always loved Middle-Ages.
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?`
    Nicola: Without doubt the haunted house from Monster Fighters. I love the spooky feel of it.

    Gabriele: LEGO Technic Coastal Cop Buggy (8230), because it was my first LEGO set.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Nicola: Probably the pair 23443 (bar holder with handle) and 11090 (bar holder with clips), because I work a lot with bars. They’re good for both small structures and detailing.

    Gabriele: LEGO Black Handheld Camera with Left-Aligned Viewfinder (30089).

  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Nicola: There are a lot for sure. I can name people like Jason Allemann, Jonas Kramm, Aaron Newman, Inthert, Tyler Clites and Marius Herrmann. They’re all extremely talented.

    Gabriele: I’m a big fan of JK Brickworks because they mix great models with the 4th dimension: time, because they move!
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    Nicola: I follow variouss LEGO related people/pages on Instagram.

    Gabriele: I very often use Flickr to get inspiration.

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Nicola: Of course from the Futurama series, it is my favourite cartoon series.

    Gabriele: I think I started watching Futurama when I was 10 (OMG I’ve just realized so many years passed) and I continued till I completed university, so I can say we grew up together!
  2. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate? 
    Nicola: I started collecting images from the web, especially blueprints. The design phase in LDD took about 8 days to have the first complete version, but I kept updating it during the next few months. Some other modifies were made while building the physical one.
  3. What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Nicola: The main challenges were 3 I think: building the curved shape, making the rear fins with the right angles and finding the technique for the cockpit windscreen.

  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Nicola: Of course it was amazing! This project took 37 days to reach the magic 10K.

    Gabriele: It was quite strange because we reached the 10k goal in only 37 days. We were absolutely impressed by the feedback of the web!
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Nicola: Almost 1700.
  6. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    Nicola: The Planet Express logo made of bricks, because I don’t like stickers.

    Gabriele: It was quite strange because we reached the 10k goal in only 37 days. We were absolutely impressed by the feedback of the web!
  7. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Nicola: It was designed in Lego Digital Designer and rendered with Mecabricks and Blender.

    Gabriele: After Nicola created the digital model on LEGO Digital Designer, we imported it in because this online building tool allows to export high quality 3D parts. Then I rendered it with Blender, an awesome 3D free software.

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project? 
    Nicola: Don’t be afraid to push your idea to the limit, make modifies and updates until you are 100% satisfied. Choose wisely the pictures, especially the main one, that’s what has to catch the eye.

    Gabriele: Try to imagine a story around your creation and tell it, in the model description and/or with some images. Add cool features you can interact with, it’s always so fun to discover them!

  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    Gabriele: Because of the short time to achieve the 10.000 goal, we only did a basic promotion of our project. We created some renderings of the model, showing its features and its interiors, then we asked the help of some blogs and websites, in order to reach as more Futurama fans as possible.
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    Nicola: My favourites are Wall-e, the Ecto-1 and the Flinstones. About not approved ideas I liked Stitch and the blues mobile.

    Gabriele: So difficult to choose, but I would say LEGO HeroQuest by KingGloriousSquirrel
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    Gabriele: I love to scroll down and down to admire users’s creation, they are so different from each other and it’s always a surprise. Because of the feed is really cool, you need to focus on the cover image: I really think it’s very important, that’s your chance to catch the user attention!
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
    Gabriele: Not at the moment, but my brain is looking for the next idea!
  • 10k club interview
  • 10k club
  • planet express delivery ship
  • futurama
  • nicola stocchi
  • gabriele zannotti

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