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10K Club Interview: THE ALPINE REFUGE by TheCastleFan

Please welcome to the 10K Club, Diego (a.k.a TheCastleFan) and his stunning THE ALPINE REFUGE. This beautiful build is inspired by the beautiful architecture in the surrounding areas of Diego's home. Let Diego know how what you think down below!



  1. Who are you?
    Hello, my name is Diego. TheCastleFan in the LEGO Ideas community. 

  2. Where are you from?
    I am Italian and I live in the Veneto region. 
  3. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am an engineer. 
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    I always had the LEGO hobby. I like to build them, but above all I like to design them digitally. I like travelling and I love nature. 
  5. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
    In addition to my latest MOC, "The Alpine Refuge", I am particularly proud of the project "The Walking Bridge". With this idea, I managed to recreate a walkway supported by tie rods, made of LEGO elements, with the same principle as real structures of this type.

  6. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I started being interested in LEGO products as a child when my first sets were given to me.
  7. What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    Building LEGO sets is a very relaxing pastime for me. Furthermore, designing them digitally allows me to express my imagination and creativity to the fullest. I like the satisfaction of creating something that originates from the sum of many small parts that, taken individually, have a limited meaning.
  8. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    As my alias, TheCastleFan suggests, my favourite theme has always been Castle. But there is also the Pirates theme which is certainly no less interesting.

  9. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    It's hard to tell. I think my favourite official set has always been "Eldorado Fortress".
  10. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    My favourite LEGO element is the gold coins and the chest that contains them. I wish they were still being made.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I live a stone's throw away from the beautiful alpine landscape. I like architecture and this project is inspired by the style of a typical building that can be found in our mountains.

  2. How long was the process of making the project, 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?
    The design process took about a month overall. The initial phase was to decide and imagine what to represent: the building with the refreshment point and lodgings, a cellar for the storage of typical products, a terrace for outdoor dining, a stable, a woodshed, etc. I wanted to create a realistic model and throughout the creation process, I tried to use the pieces and colours in a way that best simulated materials such as stone and wood. 
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The somewhat frustrating part of the whole design was certainly having to respect the limit of 3.000 pieces. It is very difficult to reconcile the desire to create a large number of details and being able to do it only with a pre-established number of pieces. Unfortunately, a LEGO set cannot be gigantic and this, too, was certainly an inspiring design challenge.
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    At the beginning of the whole project, I didn't imagine how complicated it would be to promote the project and give it the widest visibility. This process took a certain amount of time. 
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    The high level of detail that I wanted to give to the project required the use of a large number of pieces. To create the model I used 2.998 pieces, so I used almost all the pieces I had available.

  6. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    My favourite technique was to best simulate some real materials: the stones of the building's walls with coloured tiles, and the wood of the facades with slope curved. Furthermore, wood is a non-homogeneous material, and from this fact derives the use of several shades of brown in the various architectural elements.
  7. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    The entire design phase was performed digitally on the Studio application.
  8. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    In the model I used many wood texture tiles already in the database. For some beams and window balconies, I made prints using the Part Designer application. The "Alpine Refuge" sign was also made with the same technique. 



  1. 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 LEGO Ideas set is definitely "The Globe". Who would have thought you could make a round ball out of bricks?
  2. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    For those who are considering uploading their own creation and have the ambition to reach the final goal, I recommend never being trivial, and always looking for alternative uses for the pieces, other than those for which they were originally conceived. Even by simply changing the standard colour of a piece, its meaning and purpose of use can totally change.
  3. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?
    In this period I'm evaluating new ideas to present on LEGO Ideas. Now I'm at the beginning of this reflection and, for this reason, I can't express myself precisely

  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • the alpine refuge

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