Today we wlcome back the familiar faces of Max Brich and Castor Troy - this time, with a double, double submission! The well-known collaborators are here today to introduce MOTORIZED STEAMPUNK SKYSHIP and WITCH HOUSE. These two fantastic sets are bound to appeal to any LEGO fan! Show your support for them in the comments below!
- Where are you from?
Max Brich: Paris, France.
Castor Troy: I live in a small village in the middle of France.
- How old are you?
Max Brich: By the time this interview is published, probably 37.
Castor Troy: I am 48-years-old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
Max Brich: Software engineer.
Castor Troy: IT manager.
- What hobbies do you have?
Max Brich: I play the violin. I’m part of a video game modding team (as a programmer). I love swimming. I like to do 3D art… and it all started with LEGO Ideas!
Castor Troy: I play with LEGO bricks, I play drums in a band (with friends), and I like spending time with my loved ones (my daughters, my family and friends). I am a big fan of Prince!
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Castor Troy: You can follow me on: facebook, Flickr : Castor Troy | Flickr and Instagram : lego_castor_troy
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
Max Brich: I loved LEGO building as a kid, but I completely stopped in my teenage years. My interest came back two years ago, when my elder son became old enough to play with LEGO bricks. I was looking for parts on the internet to restore some childhood sets, when I stumbled, by chance, upon LEGO Ideas. I immediately liked the concept, and I installed some digital design software to give it a try.
Castor Troy: I have been playing with LEGO bricks since the age of 7 with the bulk of my uncles' bricks. Then I asked for LEGO sets as a gift for my birthdays and Christmas until I was 18. I took up my passion again in 2006 with the birth of my daughter Lilou.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set?
Max Brich: My favourite set is the Carribean Clipper 6274. Building it with my dad when I was a little kid is one of my fondest childhood memories.
Castor Troy: I had the opportunity to buy the 1989 Batmobile on Brick Link. Each page is a technical feat.
If you believe that you are a great designer and that you are able to compete with LEGO designers, then build this set and you will understand who the masters are.
Max Brich: Haha, now that I think about it, Ninjago Gardens 71741 had the same effect on me! Such an amazing display of techniques and creativity.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Castor Troy: In fact, one of my favourite pieces (as I get older) is the plate 1x1. The more you progress, the more you work with small parts.
Max Brich: I really like bricks that add some texture, like the grid tile (2412), the fluted brick (2877), the brick with log profile (30136), and of course, the masonry brick (98283).
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Castor-Troy: My favourite designers are all the designers; all those who, 3 or 4 times a year, take out their creations to show them at exhibitions.
Fewer and fewer of us are creating because you are more likely to have likes on the networks by photographing yourself with a box than with a creation. It's very sad. Also, when you spend 3 years on a project like LEGO Paris Steampunk, the mainstream media pick up your images and videos and make millions of views. They earn a lot of money. But what does a designer gain?
The worst part is that we have no rights over our own creations. Some don't mention your name or steal your identity to get likes. That's why I want a place dedicated to creation, highlighting those who play with LEGO bricks like a child. Those who instinctively dismantle the set to create their own universe. This is the goal of the House of Brick and Diorama
For me, the best creator remains Derfel Cadarn: whatever the current medieval MOC, you will find one of his techniques.
Max Brich: I am always amazed by the quality of official sets (even more now that I tried to design sets myself), but I’m not very aware of official designers. On Ideas, I feel that there are so many talented designers. Those that come to my mind at the moment are Ralf Ranghaal, Bricky Brick, BrickHammer... and, of course, Castor-Troy!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Castor Troy: We really like the YouTube channel of our friend Brickmitri.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Max Brich: I discovered this model on LEGO Ideas! Back then, it was Castor-Troy’s first submission. It was awesome, but the renderings did not really do it justice. At that time, I was experimenting with some ways to improve renderings for one of my own projects (never published). I had learned a few tricks already, so I offered Castor-Troy my help. It all started that way. What was supposed to be no more than a kind gesture to help him promote his project, and turned into a full-scale collaboration.
Castor Troy: I discovered the theme of LEGO Steampunk 10 years ago. I wanted to make a flying boat that travels around the world and hunts vampires. This steampunk ship is one of the elements of a triptych diorama: "The Castle of the Vampires", "The Vampire Hunters" and "Paris 1889". With Max, we decided to review this warrior aspect and give another use to the ship: to travel the world and discover it.
Castor Troy: For this project, we wanted a house in the wooded countryside. The first idea was inspired by Snow White's project with a thatched roof but it was really too similar. Also, we were partly inspired by the shape of a very famous MOC by Derfel Cadarn. The house is also much smaller and we wanted something fun, bright and cheerful (less dark and without the illegal techniques). We stuck to the idea of ​​a “friendly” witch, but everyone can put their own figurines: farmers, sorcerers, elves, and modern vacationers “back to nature”. We still added the pumpkins, the cauldron and the black cat. The objective is clearly to display it with the most beautiful LEGO Ideas set: MEDIEVAL BLACKSMITH (which was very inspired by the work of Luke and Cesar Soares)
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Castor Troy: Integrating the motorization.
Castor Troy: The real challenge was to use this very particular technique for the walls and the roof (which I have been using for several years) while respecting the maximum volume of pieces. We also wanted to have a version with the waterfall overflowing from the shelf. And in the end, we were very happy with this creation with less than 2500 parts. It can make a very nice set at a reasonable price to complete the medieval theme.
Max Brich: Making the interiors accessible for human hands proved to be quite challenging. We had to make a few modifications to the walls and roofs to make the whole house modular, and the interiors more accessible. The placement of the fireplace was especially critical.
- How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time?
Castor Troy: For the first version, which is almost the definitive one, I built this boat as if I had instructions, very quickly. In less than a day I made this MOC.
Castor Troy: The idea of ​​a Witch House has been on our list for a very long time. I created one for a personal project but it exceeds 10,000 pieces. Max wasn't totally convinced and we had another finished project ready to go. I started making some models on Stud.io and Max was very inspired.
After the first phase with a raw result, we spent a lot of time lightening and refining the result.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes – again- and how long did it take?
Max Brich: It felt especially great this time because the project actually failed to reach 10000 votes it on its first submission. Two years later, we submitted it again with a few tweaks and greatly improved renderings, and there we are! I always thought this project had a lot of potential.
Castor Troy: It is always a great joy. It is not because you think you have made a beautiful creation that it is won. It's always a question, and reaching 10k is a great satisfaction and also offers the pleasure of drinking a glass of champagne.
Max Brich: It felt great once again! Besides, with only 42 days, this is the fastest 10K we’ve ever got. We got especially lucky because our project was launched just when the fan vote for the Target program opened. At that time, traffic on LEGO Ideas was though the roof, and we got so many supporters.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Max Brich: About 2500 bricks.
Max Brich: 2350 bricks (our smallest project on LEGO Ideas).
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- This is your fifth 10K project. What’s the secret formula to your success?
Max Brich: I think the formula is more or less the same for any project: a good build, good renderings, and good advertising! The proportions may vary depending on your project. If your project is based on a very popular IP, advertising will be very important. If your project is not particularly out of the ordinary (for example, a castle or a classic building), you will need excellent build and renderings.
In our case, I think part of what makes our duo successful is that we have complementary skills. Castor-Troy, obviously, is extremely good at designing models, while I’m more specialized in renderings. But we both intervene in both aspects of our projects. Other than that, Castor-Troy does most of the advertising, and I draw the minifigs and the decorated parts.
Castor Troy: Luck. We are 2 lucky guys, so far. Also, we always try to do something different and to surprise. We would not feel comfortable submitting the exact same project several times with no changes. I hope we still surprise you with our next 2 projects (if my account remains active).
- What is it about the LEGO Ideas platform that attracts you and makes you want to keep posting new projects?
Max Brich: Well, I don’t think anyone here will disagree that having his own project become an official set would be a dream come true! We also really appreciate all the support we get from the community on our projects.
- Are you already planning further projects?
Max Brich: Absolutely! We always have a few ideas in mind.
Castor Troy: We have 2 pending projects that are finalised. We only create sets that we could buy. I think part of the community expects that from us. At the premiere, they must say to themselves: Hey, it's the new Castor-Troy & Max Brich!
- Which upcoming LEGO Ideas set are you looking most forward to?
Max Brich: The Viking Village (1st version) by BrickHammer. Hopefully, it gets selected for the Target program! I’m also looking forward to the “A-Frame Cabin”, which will make a great set.
Castor Troy : A-Frame Cabin!
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- witch house
- motorized steampunk skyship
- castor troy
- max brich