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10K CLUB INTERVIEW: Fantasy Castle by Joshua Whitehouse

Today's 10K Club interview is dedicated to our new 10k Club member, Joshua Whitehouse (LEGO Monkey). The theme of castles is very popular in the LEGO Ideas community, and Joshua, with his original idea - Fantasy Castle, contributed to this collection. His aim with this project was to make a castle that is fun to build, playable, and looks great on display.



  1. Who are you? 
    Hi, my name’s Joshua Whitehouse (or Josh – I don’t mind!)

  2. Where are you from?
    I live in South Africa, but am originally from England.
  3. How old are you?
    I’m 16 years old but was 15 when I built and submitted this model.
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am currently finishing my GCSEs (end of secondary school).
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Although LEGO is my main hobby (obviously), I enjoy cycling, art (like drawing and stuff – although I consider LEGO art) and have had fun playing Minecraft as a way to interact with friends during lockdown.
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Yes, I have a YouTube channel where I post LEGO Mocs, building tips and speed builds LEGO Monkey and an Instagram page, where I also post my latest models  lego_monkey_
  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?
    When I was 10 I built this humongous castle on top of a mountain that was almost as tall as myself! I was super proud of it at the time. I’m also very proud of my entry to the ‘Replicate Your Heroic Minifigures in Battle’ contest which although it sadly didn’t win (I think I misinterpreted what the contest was asking for), I was so pleased with what I accomplished! Here’s a short speed build of it:

  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
    I got my first LEGO set when I was 5 (set 6090 the Royal Knights castle). I loved it, and used to build it and rebuild it into many different things – and I guess that’s where my love of castles and LEGO came about!
  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. 
    It's definitely a way to express my creativity. I’m not really a collector and sets I get only last a few days before they get taken apart and used for something else.
  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?
    Castle obviously! The Castle theme style certainly influenced my earlier castle builds, especially ones like The Kings Castle Gatehouse (check my profile), but I think my more recent builds are influenced more by current sets and building styles.
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    That’s easy. The Attack on the Mill (set 7189). It is such a brilliant set with so many amazing parts. Although I think recent LEGO Ideas sets like the Tree House, Pirates of Baracudda Bay and the Medieval Blacksmiths come pretty close next (although I only have the Treehouse of those three).
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    That’s not so easy! There are so many that are super useful in every model I make, like tiles, SNOT bricks, cheese slopes – the list could go on! If I had to choose a single element from my collection to be my favourite though, it would definitely be my monkey!
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I find @User_391271 Ranghaal ‘s models incredibly inspiring! He uses such amazing techniques and textures, and I just love his style.
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    I visit Bricklink a lot, to buy parts, research sets and share my models. Apart from that, I use Eurobricks, Mecabricks and Rebrickable, but all less frequently.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Well, you probably know by now that I love castles, and so it seemed only natural for me to build a castle here for LEGO Ideas. Because of my love for castles, and would love to see LEGO make more Castle sets!

  2. How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
    This model isn’t based on anything particular, so there wasn’t any research or prep – I just got an idea of a base castle design in my head and started building really! I think it took about 1-2 months in total, building it first in real life, and then digitally.

  3. What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate? 
    A particular challenge was the pyramid-shaped roof on the top of the main tower. It was rather tricky to get the shaping right while still making it stable, but I was pleased with how it turned out in the end.
  4. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
    I think it was a relatively short time, to be honest. When I started building, I had quite a clear picture of the final model I wanted in my head, and so it all came together quite easily. I spent a lot of time promoting it, as well as time before it was submitted, making a digital version as well as a video for it to help the promotion. I probably did spend longer on the promotion side, because I put a lot of effort in those first few months, but after that, when the support slowed down I left it until I started nearing 10K.
  5. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    WOW. It was absolutely amazing. The whole family was up till about 11 o’clock refreshing the page every 5 seconds! Such an amazing achievement that I will never, ever forget! It took 11 months in total to reach it.
  6. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    The model contains 2250 parts (I built it digitally to check the piece count).

  7. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I really love the rounded tower, where I used the same technique that is used for the LEGO Ideas Tree House to create the rounded shape. Overall I love the different angles, shapes, and colours the castle is built with which really helps make it stand out!
  8. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Although I built it physically first, I then built it digitally on, and also rendered it there.



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes, and keep improving your models and presentation, and don’t give up. That was definitely what was most influential to me in reaching this amazing goal. Obviously, a good model, a good idea and a good presentation are important, but how will you learn those things if you don’t give it a go and if you give up when your first project only gets 50 supports?
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I quite literally advertised it in every place I could think of and had access to! I shared the digital model on Bricklink and Mecabricks, as well as sharing it on Eurobricks, making a video for my YouTube channel, and even making my Instagram account for the purpose of advertising my model! However, I think the most influential place for me was LEGO Ideas itself. Just being friendly and active in the community will help get you supports, as people will visit your profile and hopefully support your projects! Entering activities and contests helps get your name known on the platform, which will in the long run help you get supports. I mean, it worked for me!
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    There’s so many! Currently, though, I’d definitely say Land Ahoy and Living on the Edge, by @User_391271 Ranghaal. I want them sets now!
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    I really love the idea of being able to do something big, something amazing with my passion for LEGO. I first heard about it when I was 12, and immediately knew I wanted to join. Sadly I then realised I had to wait a whole year before I was able to submit anything! XD
    I’ve always seen LEGO Ideas as an opportunity to do something big with my LEGO. When I was 13 I planned on being the first 13-year-old to create an official LEGO set, and although that didn’t work out very well, I did get a model sent to be displayed in London due to LEGO Ideas, which was pretty crazy!! Although I think it’s unlikely that this model will become a set, I’m still so pleased I’ve made it this far! And if I don’t, that just means I have the opportunity to try again!
  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? 
    I do have an idea yes! Keep an eye out for another product idea from me soon – in a somewhat different theme and style to my usual models!
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • 10k
  • castle
  • castle theme
  • fantasy
  • minifigure
  • medieval
  • building
  • product idea
  • lego idea
  • modular

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