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10K Club Interview: Meet Tamás Kovács of Merchant's House

This week's 10K Club member, Tamás Kovacs a.k.a bigboy99899, built the beautiful Merchant's House project that uses advanced building techniques to create an elaborate structure that really offers up a unique mood. Being a lifelong LEGO fan, Tamás has refined his skills over many years and has even gone on to create designs using digital software, such as LEGO Digital Designer (LDD).

Help us congratulate Tamás on becoming a part of the LEGO Ideas 10K Club!


About Yourself

  1. Where are you from?
    I'm from Hungary. I live in a small town is Southern Transdanubia.


  1. How old are you?
    I'm a 41 year old AFOL. I’ve built with LEGO bricks since I was 6, rediscovering it in 2013.


  1. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a teacher of mathematics, physics and computer sciences at a high school. I like teaching, but nowadays it’s getting more and more difficult. New methods are needed and LEGO is outstanding to help carry out pedagogical work.


  1. What hobbies do you have?
    My hobbies are of course LEGO, both building digitally and physically with bricks. I like to design websites and printed media. Science and creative things are my main areas of interests, and, recently, I’ve enjoyed cooking (it is a creative activity with practical benefits).


  1. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I received my first ever LEGO set when I was 6, I spent a lot of time building with it. From that point, LEGO was the primary and only toy for me. As an AFOL LEGO bricks are not just a toy, they’re a form of expression.



  1. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    3844 Creationary. It is a lot of fun! You can play with children and/or adults, with family, and with people of all ages. It improves creativity especially, as it challenges you to build with a limited set of bricks.


  1. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    1x1 brick with 4 knobs (Element number 4733). With this brick, you can change directions, fit shafts and tools. It is a must have.


  1. 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 find inspiration in the work of any builder: building techniques, composition, humor or just the thing that I call the WOW effect (some builds are just stunning). But if I must highlight someone I would say Matija Grugric’s work inspired me very much, and Gabor Pauler's stunning builds impresses me the most.


  1.  Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    There are more of them.
    - Flickr
    - MOCpages
    - Pinterest - LEGO related feeds
    - Brickset


About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    It was a challenge to create a set where classic castle and history meet with nature in an artistic approach.


  1. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    It was very difficult to design the special roof tiles in LDD and combine them into a complex roof structure. Another challenge was to create intersecting arches.


  1. How long did it take to complete the model?
    Creating models at this size can take months: preliminary data mining, collecting images of contemporary buildings, building the raw structure (1 month in my case), continuous refinement (2 weeks) and finally the rendering/ publication (1 week).


  1. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
    Three years after registering on LEGO Ideas and posting a lot of projects on the way, it is a mind blasting feeling to be part of a very exclusive club. It was a dream since my childhood. It took half year to reach 10,000 votes. I'm very proud for my project's viewer/supporter ratio: about every sixth viewer supported this build.


  1. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    A total of 4400 bricks. Without the tools and Minifigures it is around 4300. The house itself (with interior) contains around 3000 LEGO bricks.

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    High quality images are very important. Good renderings and well lit photos are needed. Most importantly, you must put your love into the project you build; it should reflect your personality.


  1. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
    There are so many outstanding projects on LEGO Ideas. I can't select any of them, but I remember which one was my first favorite: RESEARCH LAB SUBMARINE (Modular with interiors) by GRusso.

    That one inspired me as it was playable, well built, good looking, had outstanding renderings, was very detailed and had a realistic interior. It is scientific and educational, which is important to me. A similar outstanding project is the Apollo 11 Saturn-V by saabfan and whatsuptoday. I try to follow their principles in my work.

  2. You have other projects on LEGO Ideas, what is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The great thing about LEGO Ideas is that you never really know which topic will attract the magic 10,000 supporters. The best strategy is keep on trying and enjoy building. If you enjoy it, maybe some others will also enjoy that. That’s how you can jump to the 10,000 supporters
  • lego ideas
  • 10k club
  • tamás kovács
  • merchant's house

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