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10K Club Interview: PNEUMATIC STEAM LOCOMOTIVE by Alfred Boyer

It's Friday and we're back with a new interview! Introducing our newest member, Alfred Boyer a.k.a. alfredboyer and his elegant PNEUMATIC STEAM LOCOMOTIVE. This is one for the train fans among us, just like Alfred. Give Alfred your congratulations in the comments!



  1. Who are you?
    My name is Alfred Boyer.

  2. Where are you from?
    I am from France and I was born in Paris. I now still live close to this beautiful city. 
  3. How old are you?
    I’m 25-years-old.
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I graduated as an engineer 2 years ago and I am now a mechanical engineer in a laboratory that studies turbomachinery and energy harvesting systems, such as wind turbines or water turbines. 
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    LEGO building, of course, since I was a child. Also, I practice piano and photography. Paris is a nice city to practice street photography so I love to just take my camera and capture what is happening in the streets. 
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Yes, I have a YouTube channel since I started to build my own creations with LEGO bricks. You can see the evolution of my builds, from messy buildings, to robust and reliable machines. However, I always tried to have unique ideas for my builds and you can see it in almost all of my models, I hope.
  7. 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?
    My steam locomotive is the MOC I am the most proud of, from afar. But I also like the Wall-E robot I built, because I think I succeeded in making it look cute. Also, my LEGO Orrery, because of all the mechanical design thinking and calculations I did before building it. 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    Like many people: since my childhood. It always has been so satisfying to build a model from scratch. There is so much fun in building and playing with a LEGO model that I became a fan of LEGO products forever. 
  9. 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.
    The LEGO hobby is what brought me to like engineering. I think it played a big part in why I chose this career today, especially thanks to LEGO Technics. Today, it is a hobby I do in my spare time. It allows me to be creative and it makes me feel like I can build anything that I want with no limits.
  10. 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 LEGO theme is LEGO Technics. It is smart, fun to play with and good for understanding how machines and vehicles work. In all of my own creations, I attempt to do the same.  
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    I will pick two:

    The Excavator 8043. I remember feeling admiration for how this model was made, with a really smart mechanical design. 

    The LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V 92176. I love the history of this rocket and to see it beautifully made in LEGO bricks just made me fall in love with this gorgeous rocket again. 
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    My favourite LEGO element is the differential gear. When using this element, I understood that LEGO bricks are not just toys; they can teach you complicated things like gearboxes by making them simple and fun. This part is exactly like that: it seems complicated at first but you can instantly understand how it works when you assemble it and try it on your model.

  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I like Markus Kossman as a LEGO designer. He made awesome models and I like his three goals when making a model: Authenticity, Functionality, Challenging building. 



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    It comes from the fact that I love steam locomotives. They are gorgeous machines. We all have in our mind a reference to a steam train: it’s represented in a lot of movies and books, so I loved making it in LEGO form.

  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?
    It took me months, if not years. I started as a teenager but at this time I didn’t have enough LEGO parts to build a huge model like that, and I didn’t know really how steam locomotives work. I then learned more about these trains, watching documentaries and looking at pictures. I started to build a locomotive in 3D on software that can assemble LEGO parts. During the lockdown, I decided it was time to make it physically: I bought the parts I needed and built this big locomotive after hours and hours of work.  
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The biggest challenges were fitting everything into the model. I wanted a working engine, breaks and a whistle, and it should all fit inside the boiler of the locomotive!
  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? 
    “Don’t be scared to restart from scratch” I would have told myself. In fact, I re-designed and rebuilt from scratch many times, but I was so scared every time that I couldn’t rebuild as well as before: it wasn’t true; the model was only getting better when I was restarting from scratch.

  5. 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? 
    It took several months to have something I am fully happy with. Promoting it took a long time too, I made videos of the train, explained how the locomotive works on online forums and tried to promote it on every social media. It was long but I succeeded! 
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It took approximately a year and a half, I think. It felt awesome. I remember looking every minute at my laptop to see the model get the few votes it was still missing. 
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    About 2600 if I count all the little technic pins.
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I like how I managed to put pistons and mechanical parts in the boiler of the locomotive. I didn’t want to use parts in a way LEGO Ideas don’t allow - the so-called “illegal builds” - so, as they did on some technic sets, I used flexible axles on which I put the technic beams to create the round shape of the boiler. That way, there was room inside for hiding important elements.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used “” to build the locomotive digitally before building it in real. The real version slightly differs but the software was a very useful tool



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Try making something unique, something that is linked to your other hobbies. That way people will see something new in your build and will probably like what you propose.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I think making a video is a good idea, mine got a little success on YouTube with more than 100 000 views and it helped get some votes. 
  3. 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 one is the NASA Apollo Saturn V, as I said; it’s a beauty.
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    I love how anybody can propose something or interact with other LEGO fans. You can build your model physically or with software - you can make anything you want and it’s great! As a tip, I would say: try to make great photos or renders of your model; it’s the first thing people see.
  5. 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?
    Yes. I would like to make a pinball machine with LEGO bricks, using only LEGO parts, of course. I think there is something cool to make in this field.


  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • pneumatic steam locomotive
  • alfred boyer

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