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10K Club Interview: Footonabrick's Thrilling Gold Rush Mine Train Roller Coaster​​​​​​​!

Introducing Chris P, aka Footonabrick on LEGO Ideas, the creator of Gold Rush Mine Train Roller Coaster! This fantastic product idea will be part of the next review, here's hoping Chris has struck gold!

Please do help us congratulate Chris in the comments too :)

About Yourself

  1. Who are you?
    Chris P.
  2. Where are you from?
    Derbyshire, UK.
  3. How old are you?
  4. What do you do for a living? 
    Chartered Mechanical Design Engineer.
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    My spare time is very limited now I have two young kids, but I always manage to find time for LEGO. My kids are a great excuse to buy lots of new Duplo and LEGO that I would have loved as a kid! Oh and I also love collecting LEGO minifigures. Iron Man and The Hobbit are some of my favourites as you can see:

  6. 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?
    Yes, my next LEGO Ideas project, Space Race Roller Coaster - Alpha v Omega. I’ve tried to take this next roller coaster one step further with 2 racing roller coasters, a double chain lift and a demonstration video :) 
  7. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I was always playing with LEGO as a kid, and I like to think it played a part in choosing to become an engineer.
  8. 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.
    LEGO = fun times! It’s both relaxing and a great educational toy that get kids thinking. I love to see what crazy and creative builds my 4-year-old comes up with. It’s so easy to turn kids into zombies with tablets and endless TV series, so it’s good to get them doing something ‘constructive’. I also think all the LEGO films are great for ‘grownups’ and kids alike.
  9. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    Definitely Star Wars. I have always been a huge Star Wars fan, and every year my passion for the saga grows with new content and movies being released. A close second would definitely be LEGO Ideas. So many amazing sets have come out of this theme, with sets like the Saturn V being some of my favorites in my entire LEGO collection. It’s also always a fun surprise because you truly never know what you’re going to get out of LEGO Ideas. One year LEGO can release the Central Perk from F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and the next an awesome Pirate Ship! As for inspiration, Ideas also takes the cake because the projects are so different, so many different building techniques and styles are used which can be very helpful when creating my own MOCs :)
  10. What is your favorite LEGO theme?
    I think the newest Harry Potter LEGO sets are brilliant. I cannot wait to get hold of Diagon Alley 75978 when I can afford it. Perhaps there will be a Knockturn Alley, Azkaban or Ministry of Magic……??? The LEGO Lone Ranger train set 79111 inspired my water tower, which I modified to tilt. 
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    That’s easy - Eldorado Fortress 6276 because it is awesome. I had the pirate ship 6268 too, so there were a lot of epic battles. I’d have loved more sets from that genre.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Such a tough question. As a kid I always wanted more 1x1 clips (4085), as I kept breaking them. I’m always wowed when I see new pieces that weren’t around in the 90s. I like any parts that allow building in multiple directions, like the brackets 99781 and 44728.
  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 can’t say I know the names, but everyone involved in the latest Harry Potter sets…and the superhero sets…and the Lord of the Rings sets…and the Ninjago sets…
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    Almost every day I check out bricksfanz and brothers-brick to look out for all the upcoming LEGO sets and look out for any cool minifigures. Brothers-brick is particularly good for LEGO Ideas inspiration. Bricklink is great for buying minifigures and I bought a lot of my Space Race Roller Coaster pieces from there. 

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I was impressed by the big LEGO roller coaster 10261 and just wanted to have a go at modelling my own on LEGO Studio 2.0. I don’t think LEGO hasn’t done a mine train roller coaster (yet?), so I thought I’d give it a go. 

  2. 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?
    The whole thing took about 6 weeks, spending a couple hours a night whenever I could. It just kind of evolved as I went along, starting with the mine train, then the track, the queue, the mine, the waterfall, the shops, the toilet and finally the arcades. I know LEGO produce their own much improved version, so I sacrificed the chain lift for style and compactness to cram in as many ideas as possible. I checked out a few mine trains online for inspiration, along with some LEGO western sets. 
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Modelling all of the support structures for the track were particularly time consuming and would have been much quicker with real LEGO pieces. The air hockey table and ‘DYNA WACK’ probably took the most iterations to get right.
  4. 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?
    I’d have invested in lots of roller coaster track, which I’ve now done for my Space Race Roller Coaster. The track has its limitations, hence understanding them early on would have helped to optimise to design and incorporate a chain lift. 
  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? 
    The design time was about 6 weeks and I didn’t do any promotion myself, but it was kindly shared on and on Instagram at built_with_lego, so a massive thank you to them. Getting a mention in the LEGO Ideas weekly email just after the halfway point generated 538 votes within 24 hours, smashing my previous daily high of 275 early on!
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Fantastic. I am most honored to have joined the 10k club. I could be wrong but I think it might be the first roller coaster to reach 10k, which is very cool if that’s the case. It took 131 days to reach 10,000. Lockdown vastly increased the number of people voting on LEGO Ideas, to whom I am most grateful! 
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    About 2200.
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I like the mine and the waterfall. I added a classic LEGO trap door in the mine, which is always a fun feature, like the one from King's Mountain Fortress set 6081.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used Bricklink Studio 2.0, which is very easy to use. I spent so long using it that I kept getting all my mouse clicks wrong on the CAD software I use at work. Rendering the images on my average laptop was often very frustrating, as it took 2 to 3 hours to render an image, only to find that I had made a mistake or forgot to hide something. 
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?I designed the stickers on CorelDRAW X5 and attached them to the bricks using Bricklink Studio PartDesigner, which easily exported them to Studio 2.0. 


About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Presentation is paramount regardless of the idea. Look at the presentation of the LEGO Ideas that have reached 10,000 votes. This is the standard that you must try and emulate in your own idea. 

  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked? Brickwest Studios by Bricky_Brick, which seemed to reach 10k in record time. He has so many great builds that are expertly presented and in a league of their own. I don’t know where he finds the time! 
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea? 
    LEGO is part of so many people’s childhood. The fact that LEGO Ideas provides a potential opportunity to turn your idea into a real LEGO set is incredible and too good an opportunity to miss. 
  4. 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 have Space Race Roller Coaster is now open for voting! I have one more novel roller coaster idea that I’m considering, but after that I think I will try something different!

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