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10K Club Interview: WEDNESDAY: WELCOME TO OPHELIA HALL by Brickmax

It's Friday, so let's talk Wednesday! Today we meet Maxim, a.k.a. Brickmax, and his wonderful WEDNESDAY: WELCOME TO OPHELIA HALL project. Fans of the hit show will love the amazing job Brickmax has done in creating this set. Tell us your favourite parts here!


 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    Hey everyone! My name is Maxim, but on LEGO Ideas I call myself Brickmax, a combination of my first name and my favourite hobby, the little LEGO bricks.


     
  2. Where are you from?
    I am from Switzerland. 
     
  3. How old are you?
    I will turn 20 this year.
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am starting my mechanical engineering studies this year.
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Besides my biggest hobby, turning my ideas into reality with LEGO bricks, I love skiing in winter and swimming in the lake and riding my bike in summer.
     
  6. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
    I have built many different MOCs over the past years and I have uploaded some of them to LEGO Ideas. I personally prefer to build on the computer rather than with my limited selection of parts. However, it is quite difficult for me to limit myself to one creation, but as I am a very big space fan and very interested when it comes to space travel and the universe, I am particularly fond of my version of the Crew Dragon capsule from Space X. For this project, the shape of the capsule just had to fit and I am very happy with the final result.
     
  7. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    You could actually say that I was raised with LEGO bricks. Even at the youngest age, I played and built with LEGO Duplo and later with smaller LEGO bricks. There were no other toys for me as a child, because if I didn't like something anymore, I simply took it apart and rebuilt it. Especially this flexibility and diversity of the bricks appealed to me not only as a child, but I still appreciate it today.


     
  8. What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    For me, building is a balance to the rest of my life. When I need some peace and quiet or just want to do something different, I sit down at my computer and build. It's a creative hobby and it always makes you very proud when you can see how the idea comes together brick by brick.
     
  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?
    I don't really have a particular favourite theme. As I already mentioned, I am a very big space fan and, of course, I enjoy all sets that go in that direction, such as the Icons (Creator Expert) or Ideas sets. I'm also a very big Star Wars fan, so I'm a passionate collector there, too. However, I wouldn't say that this love of space influences my projects very much. I like to build what gives me pleasure and fun and try to create as many different projects and build as diverse as possible. My Wednesday Model is probably a perfect example of this.
     
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    That's a very simple question, my absolute favourite set to this day is the large LEGO Icons Space Shuttle (10283). It is a rather new set, which absolutely convinced me. I love the way the wings and the nose of the shuttle were built and the small details, for example, that the landing gear can only be extended automatically. But by far the best thing about the set is the Hubble Space Telescope, which comes with a separate stand and amazing silver parts. A wonderful set that gives me pleasure every time I look at it.
     
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Although I love having modified bricks that allow me to build on the side of a wall (SNOT), my absolute favourite brick is the 1x2 Ingot piece (99563). I have used this stone in all my creations so far and I think it adds depth, texture and generally an interesting surface to any smooth wall or floor covered with flat tiles.
     
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Especially on LEGO Ideas there are incredible builders that I have been looking up to since the beginning. Fan designers like @Bricky_Brick, @Brickester, @LeastEnergeticCrooler or @BrickHammer build incredible things and almost every new project looks better than the last one. They set a very high but great standard for Ideas projects and I try to get one step closer to that with every project I upload. They are a great inspiration and motivation for me.


     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I can still remember the exact date when I watched the Netflix series Wednesday for the first time. It was 24 November, the day after the series was released and the day when the first LEGO store in Switzerland celebrated its opening. The same evening after I had finished sorting my new Pick a Brick pieces and I was looking for a way to pass the time, I came across the series Wednesday. I have to admit that I was rather sceptical at first. Wednesday is not exactly the type of series I usually watch. I am someone who likes to see into the future and that also applies to my taste in films and series, but after the first episode I couldn't stop and I watched the whole series at once. I didn't get much sleep that night, but it was still more than I would have a week later.


     
  2. How long was the process of making the project, 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?
    However, I did not have the idea to use Wednesday for an Ideas project that evening. That moment came a week later. I was in the shower and suddenly it came to me like a lightning bolt. When I searched the internet for LEGO models of Wednesday, I surprisingly didn't find anything for the new series and to my even greater delight, the licence had also been deemed acceptable by LEGO Ideas. I usually spend a good month on a project. I always think about the general layout first, make notes and rough sketches of the model and research the internet for accurate photos or reference material before I even start to place a brick. But with this project, it all came together on its own. When I got out of the shower, I actually already knew what I wanted to do and started building right away after a short research. Normally I always make at least two or three versions of a new Ideas model to find the best possible version, but with this model, amazingly, everything almost came together by itself. I managed to finish my model in a good four long days and three short nights, because I really wanted to be first and sleep was no longer a big priority at that moment. In four days I built, printed and rendered my project and, to this day, I would say that those were some of the most stressful days I have experienced.
     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    As the series was brand new, I had a lot of trouble finding reference material, especially at the beginning. Unfortunately, there were no construction plans of the film set or other high-quality pictures of Wednesday and Enid's room. So I had to find all the information I needed from visuals and rewind back and forth through the episodes. It was almost like a puzzle that I had to put together piece by piece to be able to recreate the film set at the end.
     
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    If there was one thing I would have been happy about, it would probably have been knowing how to import files from Bricklink Studio directly into Blender. Because the hairpiece (13784) I use today for Wednesday and originally wanted to use was not in the Mecabricks database and so I had to use a different hairpiece (13750). After many people in the comments asked me about the unsuitable hairpiece, I was able to import the correct hairpiece into Blender with the help of a good colleague who had helped me a lot with all the renderings and with Blender, as well as an extremely helpful comment. I have added the improved Wednesday figure in the form of an update.


     
  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? 
    As I mentioned earlier, it was incredibly quick. I built my version of Wednesday and Enid's room in just a couple of days. Everything went together great. However, I have to mention here that building my model usually takes no more than half the total time. It may not seem like it at first glance, but there is a lot more to a Finished Ideas project than just the building itself. Creating the designs for the parts and the minifigures, printing the parts and especially rendering the images usually takes an incredible amount of time, and especially in the beginning, I underestimated that.

    Thanks to the help of a good colleague of mine, who knows a lot about Blender in general, I was able to take this further step and I am very grateful to him for that. When my Wednesday model was then uploaded on Ideas, after minor complications, I was of course beyond happy as more and more people supported my idea day after day. In just over three months, the project was able to collect 10,000 votes and it was incredible for me to see how the number kept growing every single day.
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It was a very incredible moment. I stood at the train station and watched live as the number of 9996 suddenly jumped to 10,000. I was incredibly relieved to have reached the goal after only three months and incredibly happy about this success.
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    My finished design has around 2586 parts. Like all my models, I always try to use the number of parts as best as I can. Of course, I try not to use parts unnecessarily, but with more parts, I can also include smaller and finer details in my models, which was especially important to me for this model. I wanted to make the interior and the two halves of this room as true to the original as possible and this is in my opinion especially noticeable in the number of parts.
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    One of my favourite details of the model, you can hardly see. It is the wooden beams that run through the whole model. It was important for me to create a good mix between the outside of the tower room and the interior. So I built the roof with black plates and wedge plates and added all the dark brown wooden beams in the interior afterwards. I especially like the arches on the walls, which were built with the help of round flat tiles, clips and brackets.


     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I build all my models with Bricklink Studio. It's the easiest and fastest for me. In the beginning, I also printed and rendered my first projects in Studio, but for the last two years, I have been using Blender. It's a bit more complicated than before, but the result is completely different and definitely worth the extra effort.
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    For the individual prints, I use Inkscape, a vector graphics tool that is rather easy to use. I import the prints for the parts and minifigures and the studio file into Mecabricks. There I put everything together and finally import this document into Blender.


     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?

    "Build what brings you joy"

    Developing an Ideas project is a long journey. In my opinion, it is important to keep morale high and this is usually easier if you have a lot of fun with your project. But that also means that you shouldn't always be satisfied with the first best thing. It has sometimes happened that after days of building, I had to say that I just didn't like the model and had to start all over again. It's a long way, but it seems shorter when you do it with pleasure.

  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    My Wednesday Model was the first time I tried to advertise my project on Reddit, because I realised that it is very important to advertise your model a little bit, so that more people become aware of your model. However, caution is also required here. It should never come across as annoyance or spam, but as a small reference to a great project. This experiment was a great opportunity for my project and I especially enjoyed seeing and hearing what other people outside of Ideas thought about my project. For special milestones, I also recreated new minifigures and small scenes from the series.


     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    As I've already mentioned several times, I'm a big space fan and so this decision is quite easy for me. My favourite Ideas set is the Saturn 5 rocket. It's a very great model that was not only fun to build, but also looks incredible with its height.
     
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    LEGO Ideas offers a place for unique and extraordinary sets, which otherwise might not fit into the "normal" portfolio of LEGO sets. So not only did we get great sets from famous shows and movies, but also great original ideas like the tree house or the maze. All these ideas were created by talented fan designers who turned their dreams and wishes for a new LEGO set into reality. My tip would probably be for someone who wants to start new, to take enough time to look at the pictures or renderings. The pictures are the centre of the project and if they look sharp, harmonious and all in all of high quality at first sight, this will get you one or two more votes. 
     
  5. 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 have. But since these plans change from day to day, I don't want to say too much yet. But what I can reveal is that my currently planned new project may appeal especially to the sense of discovery, adventure and exploration.



     

 

  • 10k
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • wednesday
  • welcome to ophelia hall
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