Having rekindled his passion for LEGO at the young age of 56, Hugh's other passion for the Addams Family collided, providing the inspiration for this challenging journey toward his first MOC.
Help us congratulate Hugh on becoming a part of the LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I’m from Canada, but live in the US.
- How old are you?
59 years young.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am a software executive, with a large team of engineers who write software that helps companies manage their energy costs and efficiency.
- What hobbies do you have?
LEGO of course, but also glass blowing and woodworking.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
As a child, I had lots of LEGO, and always built many things. That was in the 1960’s. About 3 years ago, a friend sponsored a FIRST LEGO League competition at our work, as a team building activity. About 100 people (ages 20-60) were thrown into a 10 hour, no preparation event, which culminated in a super friendly and inspiring competition and social event. It was awesome, and it rekindled LEGO brain waves. 18 months ago, after completing the Parisian Restaurant, I completed all 10 of the modular buildings by purchasing them on the LEGO online shop, eBay, and Amazon. My street was complete before I began designing Addams Family Mansion. I also built the The Tower of Orthanc 10237 to get into the creepy space, and re-used many of those bricks in the Addams Family Mansion. I also studied the Haunted House 10228 for ideas.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Parisian Restaurant, and then all the other modular buildings. The Café was the first modular that my wife and I built, which rekindled the childhood joy of LEGO, got my hands in the mortar again, and began my AFOL journey.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
For me, LEGO is a pallet of 3 dimensional creativity. No one element, not one part. It is the sum of the parts, and how flexible these little rigid bricks can be when used artfully/thoughtfully.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
"The Art of Brick" by Nathan Sawaya was an inspirational show that came to Boston last year that I attended. I loved the portraits he did and the “you can build anything” results he showed.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I have been so heads down on my first project, now working on my second one, so BrickLink and Brick Owl are my go to sourcing marketplaces for old/odd or sometimes inexpensive bricks. I also order from Pick a Brick on LEGO.com.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I loved the 1960’s TV series and wanted to do a building that was big and creepy! The mansion is an “end of series” 50th anniversary tribute, coinciding with the April 1966 finale. The Addams Family Mansion consists of three fully detailed floors and the whole building can be split through the center, each of the floor segments are removable. The family looks right at home.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Firstly, the project was a challenge because it was my first MOC. Lots to learn about translating an idea into large implementation. Lots of building, and rebuilding. There was lots of finding out the better way to do something right.
I did the project entirely freehand, from looking at several source materials mostly screen captures from the original TV series on DVD, and one fictional sketch of the rear of the mansion (never shown on TV) that I found. I have no LDD file or drawings.
I started by prototyping the greenhouse, portico and the 45-degree front corner of the mansion. Once I had solid designs, I could layout the whole footprint, and determine baseplate needs. With over 7,200 pieces in the build, sourcing was one of the toughest parts of this project. Most of the purchases were made through the Brick Owl marketplace for the harder to find parts while bulk orders came in through LEGO Pick a Brick. The byproduct of having to order in bulk is that I now have in excess of 10,000 spare bricks, which I am already starting to use for MOC #2.
Also, the amount of detail presented a challenge. Among the many aspects, the mansion features full tile carpeting throughout, a glass greenhouse at the rear, a whole host of furnishings such as suits of armor, taxidermy and a bed of nails. All the ceilings are finished with inverted tiles. You can also find the family automobile out front and all of the Addams Family members as minifigures including Lurch, Thing and Cousin IT (See update #2, he was added using hair from Gloin/Hobbit)).
- How long did it take to complete the model?
I started the planning and sourcing of bricks for this project back in November 2015, then purchased the Addams Family TV show on DVD and began taking screenshots and studying both the exterior and interior shots of the mansion to ensure none of the details were missed. Once I had solid designs, I could layout the whole footprint, and determine baseplate needs, then went in full steam in January and finished April 8, 2016, the 50th anniversary of the last TV show airing. Elapsed time: 5 months, working several sessions every week.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
The most rewarding part of the 50-day process were the hundreds of positive comments and questions. I answered every one.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
7,200 as built. Frankly, your clever designers could provide similar detail and size with 4,500. I was so focused on solving build challenges, and adding all the detail possible, being brick-efficient was not on my mind. I did not start the build even thinking I would submit it to LEGO Ideas. I just wanted to try my own implementation of this really cool building.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Just build what you love.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
I’m a big fan of a bunch of them. I vote regularly as I see new ones, and browse around. I mostly prefer ones that are fully built, not just LDD files. I really like the proof of design that is shown with full builds.
That said, LDD is a wonderful free way to grow design skills, and I wholeheartedly think it is a great option.#1 for me is the 1950’s Diner.
- lego ideas
- 10k club
- hugh scandrett
- addams family mansion