10K Club Interview: Chema, creator of the Portal 2 - GLaDOS vs Chell and Wheatley
Please do help us congratulate Chema in the comments down below!
- Where are you from?
My name is Chema, but I’m known as hachiroku24 in the LEGO community.
- Where are you from?
I’m from Sevilla, Spain.
- How old are you?
I’m 27 years old.
- What do you do for a living?
Well, at this moment I’m a YouTuber. I have a YouTube channel where I show how I build my mocs. I created it to show my stop motions videos, but they took me so much time so I started to post my MOCs too, and they became very popular. I have more views than I could ever imagine so I guess that’s my job now. I also studied a year of a Fine Arts degree but I left because it wasn’t what I expected, and right now I’m trying to finish a Physics degree. I never get bored!
- What hobbies do you have?
I like movies, a lot, and I always look for documentaries, books or interviews about them, especially about photography and special effects. Then I use all of that to the hobby I enjoy the most, photography and digital compositing. This is an example of it:
I also enjoy videogames, comics, sketching.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Yes! I post my MOCs on YouTube, Instagram and Flickr.
- 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?
Few months ago I started a series of videos building chibi (or super deformed) versions of Star Wars ships, inspired by the Slave-I from the Cloud City set, and it’s really fun to build them because I can put all the detail I want on them and still have playable functions, to be easily recognizable and fun to see:
Also, Mad Max Fury Road inspired me to create cars in the style of that universe and it’s has been something that defined my YouTube channel and creations since the beginning.
In January of 2019, I made a work-in-progress Iron Man and a couple of weeks later I made the full armour. My favourite parts of this creation are the Iron Man helmets as shoulders.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I got my first set when I was 7 years old, the 6446 Crane Truck. Very simple set but I was amazed. It was a toy that allowed me to create my own toys, I never had something like that. Then I started to get the Adventurers, Harry Potter and Studios (which was probably my favourite theme when I was a kid). I’ve never stopped getting LEGO sets since then, except for a couple of years in high school - the infamous dark ages!
- 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.
The YouTube channel had a big impact on my life, I’m constantly thinking about things I could build because of that. I always like to show my creations to my family and friends before posting them, and sometimes, taking my creations outside to take photos.
- 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’d say Creator is my favourite theme. The best thing about this theme is that you can find anything, from a pirate ship to cars, animals, robots… Also, they always come with a really good number of pieces and colours. And as a car fanatic, I’ve been enjoying the Speed Champions sets.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
That’s an easy question actually, the Sopwith Camel 10226. It was the biggest set I had by the time I got it, but what really impressed me was the working flying stick and flaps. I think this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a LEGO set.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
And this one is a hard question because I must choose between functionality and aesthetics. I’m going to say the new 1/4 arch brick 3x3 65617. This piece was released this year and I’ve used it in a lot of mocs as mudguards for classic cars, spaceship engines, wheels… Even in my latest creation, that I finished as I’m writing this.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Sure! I’m following a lot of designers, like Jonas Kramm and the way he uses any kind of piece or other designers that have started to post their work on YoutTube too, like Tiago Catarino or chubbybots. Jon3lliott is awesome building cars in Minifigure scale, probably the best one.
About official LEGO designers, I really like Mike Psiaki’s big scale Creator cars, they are amazing, and the Blue Power Jet from 2015. Mark Stafford too, who makes sets that maybe are designed to be toys, but they are also awesome display pieces like the Great Hall, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Nexo Knights… Also, Niek van Slagmaat, who has made one of my favourite sets from this year, the Phantom Fire Truck from the Hidden Side theme.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Apart from social media, I like to visit The Brothers Brick and Brickshelf (and Mocpages until it closed). Brickshelf was one of the first LEGO websites I found as a kid and I’ve been visiting it weekly (almost daily!). I like to look for creations from the early years of that website, to see what people used to build around 2000-2005 with a limited number of pieces, designs and colours.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I’m a Portal fan since the first game was released back in 2007. It was a very unique game when it was released, and not only because of the gameplay or the puzzles, they also created an interesting universe thanks to the characters, especially in the second game. I wanted to make a project that focused on these characters.
- 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?
Not too long actually. I knew GLaDOS design very well, and since it’s a videogame model, you can just play the game and see the model and every detail you need.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The biggest challenge I had was with the redesign. I built all the new elements (turret, cube, portals) but I couldn’t figure out how to put all of them together. I tried different versions, like one single base for GLaDOS, the turret, etc. for example, but I realized that GLaDOS had to be a separated model. I think the character is very visually appealing so people should see GLaDOS that way, instead of part of a structure (even if, in the game, she’s precisely that).
- 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 wish I could have posted the project with the portals. They should have been there since the first day, but I couldn’t find a convincing way to create and integrate them into the project.
- 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 was quite fast. I actually think that the final update took more time than the original submission.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It was an amazing experience. I had my camera ready to make a video reaching the 10K!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
It’s close to 500 pieces, around 470.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
GLaDOS head, Weathley and the portals.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Apart from the project itself, one of the most important things are the pictures and visuals. I think it’s a decisive point when you try to reach people with your creation.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
Well, I used my YouTube channel. It worked fine but it was really helpful when I started to make videos updating the project, especially when I did the big and final update. It took the last 4000 supporters in a couple of months.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
Hard to choose one. There have been projects from movies I love, like Back to the Future and Wall-E, but I must pick Pirates of the Barracuda Bay.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
It’s the chance of having an official LEGO set on shelves. There is no way to get something like that except LEGO Ideas. I think someone who wants to upload a project should ask themselves if they would support their project and why, and look for the people and communities that may be interested in supporting their projects.
- 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?
Yes, I want to post another project next month (if I finish it). I’m working on two different projects now and I’m still deciding which one to post. Both of them involve cars and trucks, I want to do something very playable this time.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- portal 2