10K Club Interview: Péter Dankó, creator of Trabant 601
Let's meet Péter Dankó (aka pedankopet), the creator of Trabant 601 and our 10K Club member in focus today. With inspiration for his submission coming from his childhood memories of one of the most iconic cars of that era, Péter created a wonderful LEGO replica of the Trabant 601.
Please do help us congratulate Péter in the comments down below!
- Who are you?
- Where are you from?
I'm from Encs (a lovely town in Hungary) but I live in Budapest.
- How old are you?
- What do you do for a living?
I have worked in the financial sector for 13 years and now I study landscape gardening. In this job I can be creative and working in nature is really wonderful.
- What hobbies do you have?
I like playing football and also visit the national team's matches. I collect LEGO products and minerals. I'm also interested in esotericism and inexplicable phenomena.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Yes I have, please check my almost "newborn" Instagram account.
- 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?
Every stage of my life had its favourite creations, but at this moment I'm really proud of my LEGO Ideas projects.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I first met with LEGO at about the age of 3. My brother had a LEGO Fire Station set (6382) and a Fire House set (6385), so we had a lot of red items. Therefore, every castle, spaceship and even the Star Wars AT-ST was designed in this colour.
- 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.
I think that LEGO is the most creative game in the history of mankind. I really like building and I have also taken part in exhibitions. I collect minifigures, Creator Expert and Star Wars UCS sets.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
When I was a child, the Castle theme was my favourite one. In Hungary there a lot of castles, and we visited them frequently with my family. Maybe that is why I always admired and built Castle sets. Beside this theme nowadays I also like Creator Expert and Star Wars (especially the original trilogy sets).
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Set #6075 Wolfpack Tower from my childhood because of its playability and #10256 Taj Mahal from nowadays because I love historical buildings. The original palace itself is also impressive, and this has been perfectly handed over in the set as well.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Slopes and tiles in all quantities. On the one hand, I like building without studs, on the other hand, I love curves and shapes and these elements are the perfect way to form something really lifelike.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
There are many great builders but if I have to name some I would say Mike Doyle and Ekow Nimako. Their creations have a really special atmosphere.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. I can get to know each set better, and also the experiences and opinions of others. And of course, I frequently visit Bricklink!
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Trabant is one of the most iconic cars from my childhood. In my family, there was also a white one, so I have a lot of good memories thanks for it (campings, trips, beach).
- 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?
It took me almost 1 year from the idea to the last photo taken of the car. I visited Trabant related sites, used photos and blueprints to make it as real as possible from LEGO. I have also read its history and gathered more and more backline information.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
As the first step, I had to find the perfect windows and wheels as the base elements. Then I had to fit all the other parts to them in order to build a scale version of the Trabant. Only a limited number of type of parts are available in medium azure colour so it caused me some sleepless night to find the best solutions.
- 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?
When I thought that I was ready, the day after it, I always changed my mind and found something I should have redesigned. So from the first idea, it took me approximately 1 year to reach the final version as you can see it now. I promoted the Trabi in FB groups 3-4 times in the whole "gathering supporters" phase.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took me 1,5 years to reach the finish line. I was at my parents' home with my family, we could meet finally after a long pause (caused by the pandemic), so it was the perfect time to reach 10K. We opened a bottle of Champagne :)
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
I used about 700-800 bricks.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
The dashboard, equipment and all the car lights.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I tried to use Studio 2.0 and maybe I will use it sometime in the future. The construction itself is one of the greatest experience for me, so I still vote on the traditional method.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I got help from Forwart Sticker team. I sent them some pictures of my car and which stickers I wanted for which parts and they posted me the unique sticker sheet in a few days. Thanks again!
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
The best creation will be what you build with passion. Try to imagine your idea from LEGO bricks and when you start to build it, just follow the flow and never be afraid of redesigning it. Until you find anything you would change to make your project look better, do not submit it. Be patient to feel the perfect time for it :)
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I shared it only in FB groups but I will try Instagram as well for my next project. I got a lot of help from these groups and also a lot of useful advice as the Trabant 601 is my first project ever on LEGO Ideas :)
- 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 ones are the Old Fishing Store and the Pirates of Barracuda Bay from the former reviews. I also wanted to see on shelves the Knight Rider - KITT from the previous review.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
Show us what you got! :) At first, I was really afraid of submitting my idea and later sharing it, but the LEGO community is really kind and curious about everyone's build.
- 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 just submitted the Lada 1200 project, and a Cadillac from 1933 still needs some support :) There are currently about 5 ideas swirling in my head to be chosen as my next project. I'm sure of one thing: it will not be a car! ;)
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- peter danko
- trabant 601