Today we re-introduce a familiar face and familiar set. Welcome Henk Van der Linde, a.k.a. MOCturnal, and his delightful THE A-TEAM: I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER. Henk previously submitted this project, which was not selected in the review, but it is it back, new and improved. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? Let us know if you think this should be the next LEGO Ideas set!
- Who are you?
Henk Van der Linde.
- Where are you from?
I am living in Pretoria, Gauteng province, South Africa.
- How old are you?
I am 43 years young.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am a Senior Data Scientist for a prominent insurance company.
- What hobbies do you have?
Travelling, mountain biking, and within the midst of the lockdowns, I rediscovered an old favourite hobby of mine; creating LEGO MOCs.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Instagram, Flickr and Bricklink.
- 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?
There are a couple of LEGO MOCs that I am particularly proud of.
My First LEGO Ideas Submission to achieve 10K support, The Knight Rider: K.I.T.T and the F.L.A.G Mobile Command Unit. My main idea was to create a line of Iconic TV and Movie vehicles on an 8-wide scale. The other was a passion project which directly sparked the idea of creating the Knight Rider: KITT and FLAG Mobile Command Unit and The A-Team Van, was a project that I knew I would not be able to submit to LEGO ideas due to IP restrictions.
I am big a fan of the Back to the Future movies and after being introduced to the new 8-wide Speed Champions sets, I could not help but wonder what the DeLorean, Doc Browns Van and a couple of the other memorable vehicles from the movie would look like on this scale.
Special Mention: My 8-wide VW Beetle Herbie Edition MOC.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
LEGO building has been part of my childhood as far back as I could remember. However, in my mid-teens, my interest in LEGO buidling was subdued due to other sports, academic and cultural activities at the time - only admiring the sets in my display case, in the passing. By the time I finished school, I had left for new adventures abroad and all my remaining MOCs and favourite sets were packed up and stored away. All to be rediscovered by my son in late 2020.
After the discovery, my kids wanted to see what my sets originally looked like, so we made it our family weekend project for the following couple of months to restore each of these sets to their original form. In this process of finding set instructions and missing elements, I discovered a whole new world of Bricklink, Stud.io and LEGO Ideas.
By the time all restorations were done, I found myself tinkering with new ideas on Stud.io. Wanting to build more, I end up buying my first LEGO set (76895 Speed Champions Ferrari F8) after 20-plus years. The rest is history.
- 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.
I found LEGO building to be a great medium for my kids and I to socialise, play and learn at the same time. The idea that you can take a random pile of bricks and turn them into any amazing new creation that you can imagine, plays an important part in their development, helping us to think outside of the box in order to find our own creative solutions for the random challenges that life will throw at us. Personally, I found LEGO building to be therapeutic. After a challenging week at work, building and creating new MOCs helps me to unwind as well.
- 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 have a soft spot for the classic Space themes, Ice Planet, Blacktron and Space Police in particular.
With my rediscovery, I became a big fan of the new 8-wide Speed Champion range. I just love the look of these sets, their close-to-realistic proportions, and the fact that they are in scale to fit Minifigures. In my opinion, it is the perfect cross-over theme that attracts all generations; those who love more detailed vehicle builds and those who love Minifigures.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
My first big LEGO set as a kid was the 6973 Ice Planet 2002: Deep Freeze Defender. I just love the modularity and playability of this set. Without any IPs connected to it, it still managed to capture the imagination of my 6-year-old son more than 30 years after its release.
Being a kid from the ’80s, one of my new favourite sets is the 10302 Transformers Optimus Prime (with some of my own modifications) and it fits in quite well with the rest of my 80’s themed 8-wide MOCs.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I still can’t pick one. I do enjoy incorporating SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques to create more interior space and better-suited angles in my designs, so bracket and hinged elements are essential to my builds.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
My original inspiration for my early MOCs came from the designs of Jørn Thomsen, who is responsible for bringing to life many of our classic space themes and designing many of my favourite sets as a child. 6973: Deep Freeze Defender, 6989: Mega Core Magnetizer, 6895: Spy Trak 1.
With my rediscovery, Christopher Stamp and his team’s new 8-wide Speed Champions creations have been the main inspiration in my new direction of MOC designs and with each of their new set releases, I found new alternative building techniques that I learned and adapted to incorporate in my MOC’s. I am especially happy with Chris’s new direction with the introduction of iconic movie and TV vehicles into the Speed Champions line. Now, all we need is the A-Team Van, K.I.T.T from Knight Rider, and a New DeLorean Time Machine and my mission to get Iconic Movie and TV vehicles on an 8-wide scale will be complete. I do have a few design Ideas that I am happy to share.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Apart from the many amazing MOC artists on LEGO IDEAS, I also got inspiration from sites such as Bricklink and YouTube channels such as Beyond the Brick, Tiago Catarino, JANGBRICKS, and RacingBrick to name a few.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
As a child of the 80s, I was lucky to grow up in the time of Iconic TV shows and movie vehicles such as Knight Rider’s K.I.T.T, the back to the Future DeLorean, Ghostbusters Ecto1 and The A-Team Van, just to name a few. Back then, I use to build many LEGO MOCs of those Iconic vehicles with the LEGO elements available back in the day. With my recent rediscovery of LEGO bricks and my introduction to the SPEED Champions sets, I wanted those Iconic vehicles in an 8-wide format and thought that it would be amazing if the LEGO Group could produce a new line dedicated to iconic Movie and TV vehicles. To promote this idea I wanted to showcase the potential with MOCs of a couple of Iconic Movie and TV vehicles but with a version of the DeLorean and ECTO1 already previously produced via IDEAS, the next logical iconic vehicle on my list was Knight Rider’s KITT and The A-Team Van.
- 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?
This is the second time The A-Team van has been submitted to LEGO Ideas. After both my Knight Rider and A-team projects reached 10k support and were not approved in the 2nd round of 2021, I started to receive a lot of messages from fans to resubmit these projects on LEGO Ideas. Though Knight Rider became a restricted IP, The A-Team was still acceptable. With the original submission, my goal was to design a set that adults and kids can both play with and proudly display. I did research by collecting images of all angles of the A-team Van that was available on the net. I then started exploring the LEGO elements available on Studio to find elements that would closely match the exterior design of the A-team van and added them to my pallet shortcut on Stud.io. After that was done, I scaled down the measurement of the original Van and converted it to a stud count to use it as a frame of reference to keep the design as close to the real one. Once this scale was set, I started constructing the design. In the Second submission, I made a few tweaks to the exterior design.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I wanted to incorporate a functional sliding door. After a couple of digital attempts and not being satisfied, I decided to build a physical prototype. The traditional Van door mechanism did not incorporate so well with the smaller design as it interfered with the external design. I then started playing around with Technic arms and manage to create a functional door mechanism with a Technic pin, 1x2 brick and a technic arm.
- 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?
With the second submission, there was a bit of doubt that the idea will not reach 10K spports so easily. With this project reaching 10K for the second time all doubt was removed. If I had to go back a couple of months to give myself advice. I would inform myself to let go of all doubt and to submit. This is yet another opportunity to showcase that there is a big market for a line of TV/Movie vehicles on this scale.
- 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?
With the original submission. I started designing the A-Team van on a Friday evening and got the green light from my kids on a Sunday afternoon. With my second submission, I made a few tweaks to the exterior and did new renders, this was all done on Friday afternoon.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
I was very happy to see that my project reached 10K supports for a second time. It took 140 days from the submission being approved to achieve the magic 10K support required. There was a period between 5K and 8K where this project received much less support. We did see a noticeable increase in the daily support after 9K. My kids did a countdown on the last 20 supports required to get to 10K. The day the project achieved the 10K support, I took my kids to our local LEGO shop to celebrate by getting a couple of new sets.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Within Stud.io I used 500 elements.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
The whole design was fun, but figuring out how to create a functional sliding door was my favourite part of the design process.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
Bricklink Stud.io 2.0.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
I designed and created decals in CorelDRAW and applied them via Studio Part Designer.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
If it is your first time, Read the LEGO Ideas House Rules and Guidelines, to ensure that you have a good frame of reference to which Ideas would be accepted. Do your research on past Ideas submissions, and what type of ideas regularly achieve 10k support. Can you envision your Idea on shelves and would you buy it if it was not yours? Try to avoid submitting an idea that is similar to the Ideas that have been approved in the past as their likelihood of approval is very low. Rather spend your time and effort on a new concept, and if it happens to be similar to an idea that did not make it, make sure that your idea is better in all aspects than the one that came before. Most importantly ask yourself if you are passionate about your project and if you are willing to spend up to 2 years promoting it, in order to get the support required. If the answer to both those questions is “Yes ” then please submit your Idea on LEGO IDEAS.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
Mainly Facebook. I have received great support from the AFOL community on Facebook and from SAFOL, our local South African LEGO AFOL group. To thank them for their amazing support, I created fun updates that I sent out at every 1K support segment achieved.
- 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 sets are those that both my kids and I can enjoy. So, the set should have a great amount of playability and look great as a display piece as well. My favourite Ideas submissions in this round, apart from my own, are the Motorized Steampunk Skyship from Castor-Troy and Max Brich and also Ratatouille – Let's Open the Doors by Brick Project.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I Love the idea that the LEGO Group, created a platform where fans could submit and share their own ideas and creations, with the possibility of that idea becoming an official LEGO set. I also enjoy visiting the platform to see what amazing new ideas the other members came up with.
- Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?
Yes, definitely, I have become a fan of modular buildings and would love to see future modular play sets that can accommodate 8-wide vehicles. I have incorporated that idea in my latest submission which is called The Vintage Service Station. It is a collaboration project where I wanted to challenge myself to only design a building with an interior, so I asked my good friend Jan van Laar who is fantastic with designing vintage vehicles on an 8-wide scale to design all the vehicles for the project. It's currently still gathering support so please go check it out and please show your support.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- i love it when a plan comes together
- the a-team
- henk van der linde