10K Club Interview: Meet Firas Abu-Jaber of Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
10K Club Interview: Meet Firas Abu-Jaber of Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
Over the past 3 months, we've been very fortunate to have heard fascinating stories from all 10K members from the Second 2016 LEGO Review. The insights and tips they've offered have been truly enriching and motivating and has given us all a better idea of the people behind the otherwise anonymous usernames.
The last 10K Club member of this Second 2016 LEGO Review period hails from Jordan, and his burning passion for cars is only outdone by his love for LEGO bricks! In fact he's well known in the LEGO community for his detailed LEGO supercars. Please welcome Firas Abu-Jaber, a.k.a Firas_supercar, whose mean looking Lamborghini Veneno Roadster won over the hearts of 10,000 car enthusiasts.
Help us congratulate Firas on becoming a part of the LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I’m from Amman, the capital of Jordan.
- How old are you?
I’m 36 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I work at my father's company. He owns a party and event organising company.
- What hobbies do you have?
Besides LEGO (obviously), I like sports in general and bodybuilding in particular. I used to be a gym trainer in the past.
^ Firas attended the STACK event in Dubai in 2016 to showcase his collection of car MOCs. Carl Greatrix, fan designer of the Caterham Seven 620R, also happened to be there exhibiting his models.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
My parents used to bring me LEGO sets when I was a very young kid. I used to play with LEGO DUPLO sets when I was around the age of 2. Things became serious with my LEGO hobby at around the age of 10 when The LEGO Group released the great Model Team product line, at which point I became obsessed with LEGO. Before that, I was mainly a LEGO Space fan. I especially loved the M-Tron and Space Police sets.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
I should mention two sets here. The great Model Team set number 5590, that was responsible for my obsession with LEGO at my young age, and the great Ferrari FXX 8156 that was responsible for getting me out of my dark ages regarding my LEGO hobby.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I'd consider any smooth slopped element. For example, the 1x2, 1x3, & 1x4 slope with no studs. My absolute favourite element is the cheese slope, 1x1x3/4 slopes, and 1x2x3/4 slopes. I think I need these in any of my car builds.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Honestly I don't know any names of official LEGO designers, but if I had to choose one I'd go with the guy who designed the old Ferrari FXX 8156 official LEGO set, because this set was the main inspiration for my supercar LEGO builds.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I usually visit some sites that aren't official LEGO websites, but not particularly specific for sharing LEGO creations. These include Flickr (No. 1 for me), Facebook, Instagram, MOC Pages (that one is pure LEGO though).
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
In a short answer, I'd say "cars". I am a huge car fan. I love anything that runs on 4 wheels and this love came from a very young age. I love LEGO as much as I love cars, maybe even more. So I combined the love of the two and now use this combination to build my models. So these models are come from a passion - the passion of cars and LEGO. Since Lamborghini is my favourite automobile company, I decided to present this model as a project on LEGO Ideas.
^ Firas shows off a wide collection of LEGO supercars - from differet Lamborghini's to an AC Cobra
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I'd say the whole car was a big challenge. Before I started with this particular model, and when I was searching the web for pictures of the actual Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, I said to myself that it would be nearly impossible to translate this into LEGO. I started to study the car's angles and dimensions for a long time before starting with my build. Then I started from the front end of the model working my way to the rear end, and fortunately I proved myself wrong. There's absolutely nothing that’s impossible with LEGO bricks. I should mention though that the headlights area was the toughest and most challenging.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
Usually my car builds take me between 2 weeks to two months or so. Even if I finish my models earlier, I keep looking and updating it until I'm fully satisfied with it before sharing it online. This particular model took me about 3 weeks, without the black coupe version of course.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
To be honest, it felt better than when I got my Master’s degree! Just to see how much love came from the LEGO related community and car enthusiast websites and blogs is just amazing. I'll take this opportunity to say: big thanks to all who supported and helped spread the word for my project, it's really very appreciated.
^ We've never actually seen a physical 10K finish line built, but Firas' Lambo certainly did cross it!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
It's somewhere between 700 and 800 pieces, considering the differences between the roadster and the coupe versions.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
First of all, I'd say the best advice is to believe in yourself and the things you can do. Focus on details, even the smallest details can make a big difference. Sometimes I add something as simple as a licence plate on my car and it makes the whole front look better. Also, don't present your idea as soon as you finish it, keep looking and ask more people to look at your work, and keep updating your model over and over again before you post it. Almost none of my builds were released before they got at least one update after it they were done.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Fortunately, my favorite LEGO Ideas project was released as an official LEGO set. It's the great Caterham Seven 620R by Carl Greatrix. And, fortunately again, I have a signed copy from the original designer.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
Just thinking of the idea that my work would be seen by LEGO themselves is great, and more than enough for me to consider this site one of the best ever!Since any idea depends mainly on the votes to reach the official LEGO Review stage, when you intend to present a potential project, try to think of something that would grab the attention of audiences that aren't only LEGO fans and builders. This is because a lot of support would come from non-LEGO related sites. In my case, for example, I decided to build a very popular car that would interest a lot of car enthusiasts and car related websites - and there are a lot. I mean, the LEGO community is VERY important and it is what we aim for when presenting a project, but the votes will stop at some point of the project lifetime. Therefore, you have to find more audiences for your project outside of the community itself.
^ Firas' "trophy" cabinet is filled up with his MOCs. Can you identify all the different cars?