10K Club Interview: Meet Connor Yako of Acclamator Class Assault Ship
This week's 10K Club member, Connor Yako a.k.a. Lucero, has a love for Star Wars and found a challenge in building the lesser known but highly feared Acclamator Class Assault Ship; a must have ship for anyone serious about maintaining peace in the galaxy.
Help us congratulate Connor, in the comments below, on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing his story with us!
- Where are you from?
I am from the small town of Boxford, Massachusetts, but am currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- How old are you?
I am 22 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am currently studying mechanical engineering and working in R&D at an artificial heart and lung device company. This fall I will be going to graduate school to study robotics, kinematics, and mechatronics.
- What hobbies do you have?
Aside from LEGO bricks, I enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee, playing the piano, and doing any sort of outdoor activity like biking or hiking. I also enjoy tutoring, and volunteering to teach engineering to young kids!
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I have been playing with LEGO bricks, mainly the Star Wars sets, for as long as I can remember. My interest in Star Wars grew when my grandparents gave me their VHS set of the original Star Wars trilogy. From there, LEGO bricks let me bring my favorite characters, vehicles, and ships to life.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Set 4483, the AT-AT, is definitely my favorite. I was obsessed with the AT-AT from the films, and just needed to build it! I also think this set had a huge influence on my building style, which largely features hinged elements attached to plates.
What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
My favorite LEGO element is the hinge plate 1x4. It lets me achieve all of the tough angles that I want to capture.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Thomas Benedikt. His designs are so realistic it is unbelievable. And they are massive!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I drew interest in this model by watching the Star Wars the Clone Wars TV series. The ship was briefly featured in the prequel trilogy and in my opinion is a symbolic representation of the transition from the Republic to the Empire.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The most difficult parts were to create all of the appropriate angles (especially on the underside of the ship) and to include internal features for playability while still maintaining the shape of the ship.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
The model took about 60 hours of designing to complete, about 30 hours of redesigning, and the step-by-step instructions took about 100 hours to create.
I actually had submitted this model on LEGO Ideas before, and it did not make it. I decided to redesign it by adding colour, creating better turrets, and most importantly by adding internal features for playability, all of which was feedback from my fans.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It felt amazing! And it reached 10,000 with about 20 days left. This is a dream come true for me, and there is nothing more exciting than having a model I designed be considered as a possible LEGO set. Nothing would make me happier than seeing my idea being built and shared by LEGO fans all across the globe.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There are 4087 bricks used in this model.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
The best advice I can give is to choose a project that you are passionate about, something that you are truly inspired by. Everything after that comes easily; ideas and creativity will flow unobstructed. Also, be sure to listen to the feedback of your fans because the best creations usually come from group efforts!
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Although it was not approved, I loved the NBC’s The Office project! I am a huge fan of the show and loved all of the details that were included in it. They referenced so many memorable scenes from the show!
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
The overall idea of this site is just fantastic. I mean, to have the LEGO Group consider something you made to become a set for people across the world is amazing!
For people thinking of uploading something to this site just remember to choose a project that you are passionate about, and also be sure to listen to the feedback of your fans!