Today we introduce 10K Club newcomer Vaggelis Ntezes aka Delusion Brick! Veggelis rediscovered his inner-child as he created the Seagull Bay Lighthouse Imperial Fortress; a result of his love for both lighthouses and the classic LEGO imperial soldiers.
Please do help us congratulate him in the comments down below!
- Who are you?
My name is Vaggelis Ntezes. You can find me on LEGO Ideas by the username Delusion Brick.
- Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Athens (Greece).
- How old are you?
- What do you do for a living?
I'm a 3D artist/designer and I work in the game industry as an Art Director.
- What hobbies do you have?
You can call me an artsy person in general. I like to sketch, sculpt with clay, listen to music, play the guitar and of course to occupy myself with LEGO in any opportunity given, either by building a newly bought set or by designing a new Product Idea.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
You can find me on YouTube by the name Delusion Brick and all of my LEGO MOCs are uploaded to LEGO Ideas.
- 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 have created from scratch a LEGO MOC that I am really proud of. The inspiration came from one of my favourite movies, Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”. My idea was to create a design similar to the castle where Edward lives. It took 8000 LEGO pieces and two months to finish it. In order to complete this project, I tried to analyze the setting of the castle, as much as I could, by watching the movie many times, pausing it frequently and making pictures with construction details. You can find the Custom Edward Scissorhands Castle video.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I am the second child of the family; my brother is bigger and since I recall there were always LEGO sets in the house. The first set my brother shared with me was the 1984 LEGO Knight’s Castle - set 6073. My first very own set was LEGO 6265 Sabre Island.
- 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.
As a child LEGO was my best friend, I really loved and still love constructing and creating stuff. I remember myself constructing endlessly different sets by using the same pieces over and over again. To this day, I believe that no other game could have ever given me this opportunity. At the same time, I think that all this has played a huge role in what I do today for a living (3D artist), helping me have a good visual and geometric perception and being able to combine shapes and morphs in order to create my 3D worlds. Basically, LEGO prepared and trained me into what I am today, and I consider it, besides a wonderful game, as the “touchable” 3D.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
My favourite theme of all times was and still is “Pirates”. From my personal view, by using the pirate sets, one’s imagination can fly and by playing with the sets you can achieve something different and unique everytime; castles and ships, stories of the sea and shore, submarine adventures in a tropical beautiful place full of mystery! I consider the 1989 Pirates sets as one of the best LEGO creations, that surely have affected me not only consciously, but subconsciously as well.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
As I have already mentioned, I am a lover of the LEGO Pirates universe and my favourite set is the LEGO 6285 Black Seas Barracuda. I consider, up to this day, after all these years, despite being 30 years old, that this set still remains one of the best designed ever. A really good sample of good design and beautiful colour combinations.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
It is true that during the past years there are many new LEGO elements and selecting one specific element is very difficult for me. But if I had to choose one, I think I would prefer the 2 x 2 brick, The reason is that it is the most recognizable, classic and functional element which can be found in most of the sets.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
I appreciate the work of many LEGO designers and I consider they are doing a really great job. But I think because of my age and through my experience with LEGO all of these years, that I have found my own ways of creating and Ι always try to find my own building technics, which for me is entertaining and challenging like a game.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I like to follow and visit: Beyond the Brick, BrickLink, Arealight Custom Work, Brick Forge, The Brick Fan (FB), Zusammengebaut.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
As already said, my favourite theme since I was little was “Pirates” especially “Imperial Soldiers”. I was influenced by the first LEGO series of 1989 and in addition to my personal preference in lighthouses, this idea was born two years ago; a lighthouse that is also a fortress.
- 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?
It took about two days for the image to be completed in my mind as well as depicting it through sketching. To reach its final form it needed two weeks. My extensive research on lighthouses and fortresses throughout all these years has helped me in the whole process. I have visited these kinds of places as a tourist and I have made many virtual tours as well. At first, I made a collage with the pictures I took and pictures I found on the web. Then, I began to sketch my concept idea. Finally, I started to work with LEGO bricks and LDD.
- What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
During the construction of my model, I faced many challenges. The main challenge was that I didn’t know there was a LEGO light element that I could use at the top of the lighthouse. That is why it’s not included in my initial model. Another difficulty was the spacing between the dock floor planks, which obviously are not attached to each other and need specific spacing. The underground connection of the well that leads to the sea was a huge challenge as well. Finally, the second prison cell had to have an escape hatch for the prisoners.
- 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?
As a guiding voice through the whole process, I would sit by my side and suggest to myself to remember the numerous hours of playing with my LEGO bricks. To bring out that endless fantasy, creation and will I had as a child, in order to take this “journey” to an end. I had no clue or knew about how difficult it is and how much effort is needed every day in order to promote and support my idea through social media. Like a baby taking its first steps, it needs supervision, consistency, patience and care. Additionally, I edited at some point the idea text and that created a problem on the idea rating.
- 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?
The complete time from initial concept to final design was 8 days. The promotion of the Product Idea in order to reach 10.000 supporters took about 3 months.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
The feeling was amazing. I remember that on this specific day my smile was similar to a child’s smile. But that is what LEGO does in the first place, right? Making you a happy child. In a way I felt whole and complete because this was a dream I followed for many years and it became true in four months – it was uploaded in 2nd of April of 2020 and reached 10K votes on the 1st of August 2020.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
On this model, approximately 3000 bricks were used.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My Product Idea includes a lot of techniques but my favourite and the one I love the most is the combination of the reverse assembly in order to create the dock.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
In order to complete this model, I used multiple programs like LDD, studio 2.0, max3DS, v-ray (rendering), Photoshop, After Effects.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
The majority of the stickers used is based on my design. First, I redesigned them (based on LEGO prototypes) and completed them by using Photoshop.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas Product Idea?
My advice is to find your inner child, go back to your childhood LEGO memories, rediscover that limitless fantasy, creation, persistence and patience.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I advertised my Product Idea through social media and there was a team of people and friends who follow and support my effort and they were willing to be part of this process.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
My favourite product Ideas are Paoko Sanchez’s Pirates of Barracuda Bay, and Lendy Tayag Voltron, which I already own.
From designs that are currently gathering supporters, I think four ideas worth mentioning,
A. The Three Investigators - The Headquarters by Valkon.
B. The Working Watermill With Interior & Power Functions by Mind the Brick.
C. Asterix and Obelix by ZetoVince GP
D. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time by GunmanBricks.
- 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 the interface is very friendly and easy to use but it needs improvements and adjustments in terms of finding the effects of the Product Idea. I also believe that there should be a difference in terms of the number of bricks used in each idea.
- 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 always have new Product Ideas in mind and there is not a moment that I do not see the world through LEGO bricks. The next one will be about an island of another era, but I won’t share more at this point...
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- imperial fortress
- seagull bay lighthouse
- delusion brick