Today, we introduce Dániel (HP_Brixxter) and his architectural creation - Ancient Greek Temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The source of inspiration stems from visiting Greece and his interest in history. His intentions are to draw attention to the theme of antiquity.
- Who are you?
My name is Dániel Kurucz.
- Where are you from?
I am from Hungary.
- How old are you?
I’m 29 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I work as a health economist in a Hungarian pharmaceutical company.
- What hobbies do you have?
Quite obviously, LEGO is my main hobby. I also like modeling and making industrial music.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Apart from LEGO Ideas, not really. I upload most of my creations I deem worthy of sharing there. I do have some MOC-s on Rebrickable though.
- 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?
I am really proud of my Modular Gothic Church. It is a small abbey church loosely based on Kylemore Abbey, Ireland. I really like gothic architecture and I tried to be as historically accurate and realistic as it is possible with LEGO bricks in minifigure scale.
I am also proud of my latest MOC, a minifigure-scale Class 80 shunting locomotive. It was hard to get the shape and details right with up-to-date parts in available colours, but I think it turned out quite nice and realistic. This is also just a digital model, but it’s one I might actually build.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
As for many AFOL-s, my interest in LEGO roots in childhood. I think I was 5 or 6 when I got a big bucket of LEGO bricks so I got the hang of creative building quite early. I also still remember the first set I got: it was the 6535 Dumper Truck.
- 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.
LEGO is part of my life in two ways. First, it is a creative hobby. I mostly build using Stud.io, but I also have a medieval diorama built with real bricks that I am expanding periodically. Secondly, I collect Star Wars sets that I display in a cabinet.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
In general, Castle is my favorite theme as I am a big fan of medieval history. If I’d have to pick a subtheme, I think I’d say Kingdoms, as the minifigures were superb and I really liked the two opposing factions. Oh, and I also love Star Wars.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
6296 Shipwreck Island. This was my favorite childhood set. It had really cool parts, especially the accessories and special stuff like the barrel, chest, mast, and pirate weapons. And also the minifigures!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The 2x1 brick with masonry profile. You can give really nice texture to walls of historical buildings with it.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
I think my favorite official LEGO designer would be Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. Star Wars is the theme I mostly collect and I think he and his team made an excellent job with improving the details of the sets. You can really see how far they got since the first sets of 1999. I am especially impressed with the 20th-anniversary sets and of course with the UCS sets also. And by the way, he also designed my second favorite childhood set: Rock Raiders’ 4940 Granite Grinder.
As for fan designers, there are a lot of very talented people in the community. If I’d have to pick someone, I think I’d say Bricky_Brick. His creations are always very inspired and packed with loads of details.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I do use Bricklink quite a lot to buy parts for my own designs or check the availability and price for parts I use in my projects in progress.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I love history and I’m particularly interested in ancient history, especially in the period of Greek city states and the late Roman Republic. Consequently, I am also a great fan and admirer of Hellenistic architecture.
I visited Greece in 2018 and stumbled upon the ruins of a beautiful ancient temple on the island of Aegina. I was completely amazed by the building itself, but also by its location: on top of a rocky hill looking over the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. That happened to be also the source of inspiration for this LEGO project as well, although the ‘Eureka’ moment took some while to come as I only started designing it in 2020 November.
- 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?
Making the whole project did not take more than 3 weeks, as I remember. Prior to designing the build, I did some research on ancient Greek temples and architecture (e.g. the structure of classic Greek temples, the style of columns used in the period, etc…) and also the interior of such temples, the way shrines were built, for example.
The design process was quite organic. First, I designed the main building itself. Then I felt like it needed some context instead of standing by itself, so I designed the environment around it.
- What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Getting the Ionic columns right was the most challenging. It really called for some out-of-the-box approach with mixing Technic parts with bricks and plates. Fun fact: the primary reason because the base of the temple is elevated (apart from aesthetics) is that the columns are held in place via Technic axles pushed into 4x4 round bricks.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
“Remember to make the interiors first”. I made the interiors when the walls and everything were already in place and it was quite frustrating (I know, there is a hide parts function is Stud.io, but still).
- 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?
Building the model from the first bricks to the final touches took around 2 weeks. I also did some post-processing for the rendered pictures that took around a week or so. I spent way more time promoting it.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took almost exactly 3 months. I was surprised that I reached the 10K milestone so quickly and of course, I was very happy about it.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
The model contains around 2500 parts, including minifigures.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
The columns. Those were the most challenging on this scale and I think that they look good and relatively realistic.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I used Stud.io to build and render the model and GIMP for some post-processing.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
My main advice for future 10K club aspirants who wish to submit a historical-themed project: take your time and do your research. Read articles, look for photos and illustrations of the real thing. Getting things right is the first step towards success. Historical accuracy was a recurring thing in the comments from the people that supported my project. Also, pay attention to the little details and put your build into a context, by which I mean, also create its direct environment. Adding a tree, rock or some ruins here-or-there adds a huge deal of plus. This is also something I learned from the feedback of my supporters.
Another thing, which, I think, was already mentioned numerous times: always upload high-resolution, photorealistic renders of your model. Sure, it takes way more time than rendering it in LDD, but there are dozens of new entries every day and your project has to catch people’s eyes if you want it to have a chance to reach 10K.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I mainly advertised it in Facebook groups: not only LEGO fan groups, but also thematic groups and pages for ancient history fans.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
My favorite Product Idea that reached 10K support recently is The Castle of Brickwood Forest by poVoq. It looks awesome and is very cleverly made. I love the interiors also.
I also love Hugo Rouschop’s Don Quixote and I do think it is sadly overlooked. It is pure awesomeness and should have reached 10K by now for sure!
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I think it is a great platform to share your creations and get feedback from fellow LEGO fans. My general tips would be: be creative, share your creations, listen to feedback (especially constructive criticism!), and develop. You will get to the 10K club eventually.
- 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 a new project in the pipeline. A hint: it will be a historical build, of course!
- ancient world