Today we have something for space and science enthusiasts. A model of 6 of the spacecraft: Juno, New Horizons, Cassini–Huygens, Pioneer 10/11, Galileo, and Voyager 1/2 launched by NASA and the ESA to explore the worlds of the outer solar system. Please welcome Seth Pincock (aka Geroditus) and his creation Outer Solar System Explorers.
Help us congratulate him and learn more about him and his creation.
- Who are you?
My name is Seth Pincock.
- Where are you from?
I am from the state of Idaho in the United States.
- How old are you?
I am 26 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I have a degree in astronomy and physics. I have been teaching middle school science for the past year, but I’m on the search right now for the next thing to do.
- What hobbies do you have?
I love writing science fiction stories, which hopefully someday will become more than a hobby!
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I am @blocket_science on Instagram.
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
I created a more modern take on the 6891 Gamma-V Laser Craft set, which was a part of the old Classic Spaceline. It ended up being quite a bit larger than the original set, but I think it still has the same feel as the original set, but at the same time looks more sleek and functional.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
I’ve been playing with LEGO for pretty much my entire life. I have always had an overactive imagination, and playing with LEGO let me put that imagination to good use. I think I fell in love with the fact that LEGO doesn’t have any rules. The possibilities are literally endless!
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
For me, it’s all about creating something new. I have always loved making new things, whether that be art or writing, or building a LEGO model. And now that I have kids, my new favorite thing is playing with LEGO with them and watching them learn and explore with bricks all on their own.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
I would definitely have to say the Classic Space theme was my favorite. The handful of old Space sets are what got me into LEGO in the first place (although I don’t think I ever actually knew what sets they were—I always just built my own ships for the little astronauts to fly).
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
That’s a tough question. I might have to give that title to the International Space Station. It wasn’t the biggest or most complex build I’ve ever done, but it was definitely one of the most fun. It’s a beautifully-designed model of a beautiful spacecraft!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
When I was a kid, I always loved the little 2x2 grey tiles with the yellow arrows that came with the space-themed sets. I was never sure what they were for, but I loved them.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
My wife and I have been fans of Tyler Clites before we even knew who he was. We built both his Iron Giant and Baby Groot MOCs, and then later figured out they were designed by the same person!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Rebrickable always has an endless supply of inspiration and amazing MOCs. It’s a part of the reason I got into MOC-ing!
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have always been fascinated with outer space for as long as I can remember. I guess I never grew out of that fascination because I went and got a degree in astronomy and physics. I remember growing up watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on TV and being in awe at these images sent back from the very edge of explored space. So this project started as a way for me to combine my love of science and space exploration with my love of LEGO.
- How long was the process of making the project did, 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?
I worked on it off-and-on for a few months. There was definitely a fair amount of research involved since I wanted all of the builds to be minifigure-scale (or as close as possible) so I had to figure out how large these spacecraft were, and then somehow convert that into bricks. I also had to find images or models of the craft from multiple angles so that I could make sure the builds were accurate and easily recognizable.
- What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Every single one of these spacecraft was very different, and so they all brought their own challenges. One of the biggest challenges was trying to fit the amount of detail I wanted but being so limited by the size of the spacecraft. And these spacecraft are all very strangely shaped, so trying to get the specific shape I needed or get things to hang off at weird angles was definitely a challenge and forced me to experiment with some new building techniques that I hadn’t ever used before. One of the most difficult parts of the build was trying to figure out the Juno spacecraft, first with making the hexagonal body, and then with trying to make sure the long solar panels were stable.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Really, I think my past self would have liked to hear just how popular this project was going to be. It originally just started as a little personal project, something for me to do for fun in my free time. But eventually, my wife convinced me to post it on LEGO Ideas. She was always sure that it was going to do really well, but I wasn’t convinced. In the end, it turns out she was right!
- 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?
I worked on it off-and-on for a few months during my free time. Some of the spacecraft I finished up pretty quick, but some of the trickier ones like Juno and Voyager took a couple of weeks each. It took a little more than a year from the time I posted it and the time it reached 10,000 supporters. Even then, I continued tweaking some of the models and adding new details during the time it was gathering support.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took a little over a year for it to reach 10,000 votes. I honestly never thought it would ever make it to 1000 supporters, let alone 10,000, so this has been a huge, wonderful shock. It is an incredible, unbelievable feeling, and I am so grateful for all of the love that my model has received over the past year. I am still pretty new to MOC-ing, so I feel a little unqualified to be a part of the 10K club with all of these other amazing master builders. Still, it’s exciting to be here!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There are about 1200 bricks in the model.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My favorite part was designing the different astronomer minifigs to go along with each model, especially the Carl Sagan figure.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I built and rendered everything in Stud.io.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I made all of the spacecraft's info plaques using photoshop. I also made a custom face for Clyde Tombaugh, and a custom torso for Carl Sagan so that he could wear his iconic turtleneck. I made LEGO-like versions of the Pioneer and Voyager plaques, which was a lot of fun. I used the diagrams on the actual plaques as a basis and traced over the images in photoshop to create simplified versions that would look good shrunk down onto the LEGO tiles. I also photoshopped out the human figures on the Pioneer plaque and drew in a couple of LEGO minifigs.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Whatever idea you have, just submit it. It doesn’t matter how you feel about your idea, it’s definitely not going anywhere if you don’t show it off!
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I would occasionally share the idea on different social media platforms. I tried to focus on pages that I thought were a good fit for the model, like space-themed LEGO pages and groups.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
LEGO has always been about encouraging creativity and I think it’s amazing that the company offers a way for ordinary users to not only share their amazing ideas but potentially leave a permanent mark on the world of LEGO. My advice for anyone who is hesitant to post their work: do it! I wasn’t sure I wanted to post mine, but my friends and family convinced me. And look how it turned out! I am proof that a rookie MOC-maker can make it to 10,000 supports! If I can do it, you can, too.
- Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
I do have a couple of other models I’ve slowly been putting together. Similar to my Outer Solar System explorers model, I’ve started building a collection of spacecraft that have explored the planet Mars.
- space exploration
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea