Welcome to the final interview of this review period! To round this period off, we meet our newest member of the 10K Club: Péter Szalay, a.k.a. petisz and his dog-tastic DOGS' FUN PARK - PLAYABLE DOG RUN. Inspired by his own dogs, Péter has created a set he hopes to one day play with his newborn son. Give your congratulations to Péter down below!
- Who are you?
- Where are you from?
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am a 3D graphic designer and a project manager in a company which does 3D printing and 3D scanning.
- What hobbies do you have?
Besides the LEGO hobby, my hobbies are 3D printing and art. Then 2 and a half years ago I got a puppy, and another one last year, and they changed my life. We go on a lot of trips and do all sorts of extra activities. Since then, I have spent my free time looking for the connection between these 3 hobbies and LEGO building.
Also, in December 2022 we welcomed my newborn son into our family, so I have the most amazing pastime for the coming period
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
- 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?
On the embankment in Budapest, there is an iconic row of buildings, which I built in minifig scale.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
I've had LEGO bricks for as long as I can remember. I played with them a lot and it was always very fulfilling. I remember asking for LEGO sets every Christmas when I was little. Even back then I was always impressed by how the whole system could be so professionally complex, the quality of the plastic, the fit, the proportions, the construction and variety of the sets and the logic behind the assembly instructions. I definitely wanted to be a LEGO designer. Although it didn't turn out that way, I'm really glad that Ideas gave me the opportunity to try designing a project, so thank you LEGO Ideas!
- 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.
Building LEGO sets is a real escape from the outside world for me. I mostly design digitally these days, but of course manual building is the real joy.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
When I was a kid, I liked the City theme the most. In my teenage years, I got more into Technic. I'm currently collecting Modular Buildings, and I really like a lot of the sets within Ideas.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
The first set that comes to mind is the superstar of my childhood, the 8880 black Technic car, I loved it!
In my current collection, the Parisian Restaurant is my favourite. It was my first modular building that started the avalanche and I've been buying the latest ones every year since.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I'll mention two that can be used to build incredibly lifelike buildings:
Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Headlight.
Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with 1 Stud with Groove and Bottom Stud Holder (Jumper).
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Nathan Sawaya has inspired many of my creations because he thinks outside the box as I try to do.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I was inspired by my wonderful Border Collie, called Stencil. This set really describes me, since it's a build that fits well within the City kits or modular houses, and to evoke the past, it also incorporates elements used in the Technic theme to have moveable obstacles.
My main intention with this set is to encourage the LEGO Group to make more types of dog figures available, with new moulds, and to have a set that is just about dogs.
- 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?
According to the rules of Ideas, you can't use new shapes, only existing ones can be repainted, so I bought all the existing dog figures and looked at which other breeds they most resembled, and for example, the husky became the border collie. I then scanned the selected figures and digitally painted them (image 2.3).
It took about 3 months of designing, all digitally, after which I launched the project. Even after that, I kept creating content so there was always something new and interesting to get votes for.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I loved every minute of the design process. I was conscious of my progress and when I got tired I stopped and continued the next day. But my mind was constantly spinning with new ideas. I also learnt to use new software, but it's probably the animation that I'm most proud of.
- 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?
I wouldn't do anything differently. Honestly, I couldn't do anything differently, since I'm fulfilling a childhood dream. I hope that one day my son and I get to play together with the Dogs' Fun Park set.
- 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?
The planning phase was relatively long, but the promotion took most of my energy. To be honest, this was the hardest part, since as an introverted person who is hardly present on social media, I was now entering a new world that I had to understand and learn. It was a very interesting experience and it was nice to see so many LEGO+dog fans, but honestly, I'm glad the promotional part is over.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It took more than a year, so it took a while to come together. I have no words to describe what I felt when it happened as I was holding my 1-week young baby boy in my arms the night before Christmas. It was an amazing feeling.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
The main characters, the dogs, are my favourites. I have also made prototypes based on the 3D models using colour 3D printing. An exciting initiative is the 3D-printed duck, which became an official LEGO part. Perhaps one day LEGO will 3D print custom doggies, or just like the Minifigure factory in the Stores, you can make custom UV printed patterns, but for a first run, a new injection moulded figure would make me very happy.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I used Stud.io to create the basic design, Mudbox for colouring, 3DS Max for animating, and Keyshot for rendering.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- dogs fun park - playable dog run