Today's 10K Club Interview showcases Orbiter88 and his fantastic Concorde creation. Born of a fascination of technology and the Concorde, Daniel set about recreating the iconic aircraft in LEGO form. Read more about his journey here...
- Who are you?
My name is Daniel. In Lego IDEAS my name is orbiter88.
- Where are you from?
I come from Germany.
- How old are you?
I am 33-years-old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am a psychotherapist.
- What hobbies do you have?
I like to go out into nature. I also like to go swimming and, of course, I love to think up and build new LEGO models.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
Unfortunately not yet.
- 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?
Of course, I am proud of my Concorde. It is my first IDEAS entry with 10.000 votes. I managed to build it in real life, which makes me particularly proud. Another model that I also like very much - but so far only exists as a digital model - is the Kölner Dom.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I don't remember exactly when I first came into contact with LEGO bricks, but it was probably a box of LEGO bricks that my grandparents gave me. I was maybe four or five years old at the time. Then came the Voodoo Hut (#6262) set.
- What is the LEGO hobby 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.
LEGO building is a form of personal expression, just like painting, music or other art forms. That's why I like LEGO Ideas so much. You can see the personal touch in the constructions. I often think to myself, "Ah, the builder interpreted it this way or understood it that way." What I particularly like about LEGO building, is that you have to think about how best to realise your ideas with a limited number of parts (and in my childhood, when the number of parts in my brick box was very manageable, this was particularly tricky). Not everything is possible right away, and that's where creativity comes in.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
That is a very difficult question. I like some of them. But the Islanders theme is probably the one I like the most. It is only a small series and has not been repeated, but it makes me dream. It is so exotic and like it's from another world. I would be very happy if there was something to come from that theme again.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
I think the Saturn V. The set combines so much: aesthetics, knowledge transfer, functionality, playability and a construction method that I thought was impossible until then.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The 2x4 brick. It is like a good friend: solid, not so much in the foreground and always there when you need it!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I like stonewars very much.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have always been fascinated by the Concorde. It is probably the most famous aircraft in the world. Since I have always been passionate about technology, the Concorde is naturally one of my favourite objects.
- 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?
I started with the first designs in spring 2020. First I looked at the delta wings. I assumed that they would be the most difficult to realise. And so it was. I experimented a lot and researched building techniques. At times I thought it couldn't be done. But then I found a solution for the wings that I liked. From then on, it was still a long way to the finished model. I also kept looking at plans of the real aircraft. I put length, width and height in relation to each other and tried to implement this for my LEGO model. I studied some specifications of the Concord in technical literature; for example the painting or the mechanism of the retractable nose or the undercarriage. This helped me in the development of my model.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
Besides the difficulty of finding the right shape for the wings, assembling them was also a challenge. Everything had to fit together. This made some major and minor changes necessary. Sometimes, even a complete redesign of certain sections. Finally, the front and the rear were a big challenge. There was not much room to manoeuvre with the scale chosen, and at that point it is especially important to look good. But it also had to be stable. So finding a visually appealing and stable solution was very difficult.
Finally, it was very complicated to install the undercarriage. I had to find a mechanism that would fit the scale but also the specifications of the real Concorde and would also be reasonably stable. Until then, however, the model existed only digitally.
The next challenge was to realise the whole thing in reality. And there was a rude awakening. I noticed that the wings were not stable enough and were bending. Of course, you don't notice the physics when you build digitally. That meant a fundamental redesign of the wing again. I added cross elements to give the wing more stability. But in view of all the difficulties, I am also very proud that I succeeded and that I was able to reach the 10,000 votes. Sometimes I felt like a constructor because of the difficulties that I had on a small scale; I'm sure the designers of the Concorde also had on a large scale.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Nothing, actually. I had fun fiddling around and trying things out. That's precisely the attraction for me in building. I didn't want to miss that.
- 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?
I started the project in spring 2020, but only as a digital model. When I had that ready (after about three months), I started the LEGO Ideas campaign. The first two months were pretty depressing though, as I only got two or three votes a day. But in August 2020, my model got the 'Staff Pick‘ and the votes went through the roof. This gave me new hope and I set about making the model a reality. But that took about a year because of the difficulties with the wings. I finished the model in September 2021. During this time, the model also changed - especially the wings. They became narrower overall.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
For a long time, I didn't think it was possible that I would reach 10,000 votes, precisely because things went so slowly at the beginning and because my model took quite a long time overall. But I also experienced a lot. I took the finished model to a fair. I then asked the Technikmuseum Sinsheim if I could exhibit it there. They agreed. With my model, I was then allowed to sit in the pilot's seat of the real Concorde. That was something very special.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There are exactly 1441 for the Concorde itself, and then another 150 parts for the stand and the Rolls-Royce engine.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
A very special construction technique that I used for the first time on this model is the one shown in the picture. I had to use this technique because I needed a very specific distance for the leading edge of the wing. I could only achieve this with this technique.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I used mecabricks. At this point, a big thank you to the developers of mecabricks! It is a free platform. And it's just great!
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
Mecabricks offers an editor for creating stickers. I used that.
For the real model I used Keynote. There I made designs, printed them on transparent, adhesive foil and stuck them on the model.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Have a good idea; a lot of passion for building and do the marketing.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
On Facebook, there are many fan groups on many different topics. Of course, my association Schwabensteine 2x4 has also helped me. They helped me to publicise my campaign. Thanks to you, guys!
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
There are so many great ideas. It's hard for me to pick just one. If I have to choose one, it would have to be petisz's "MINIFIG ART GALLERY" The set is small, but so clever and full of humour.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
Having the chance to become a LEGO designer is so exciting. That's the greatest thing about LEGO Ideas for me.
A tip: Take your time building. It's better to tinker more often than to publish too quickly. The contributions on LEGO Ideas have become so good over time that it's hard to get noticed with your idea.
- 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, as I also have a great passion for historic buildings, I would like to enter a Gothic town hall in the competition. At the moment I'm still working on the final details.
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