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10K CLUB INTERVIEW: Michael Buffum, The Creator of Welcome to the Black Parade!

Please welcome Michael Buffum aka VNMBricks and his creation - Welcome to the Black Parade! to the 10k Club! This model shows a parade float from the music video of "Welcome to the Black Parade,". The Black Parade is the third studio album by the American rock band My Chemical Romance. Michael grew up with their music and his love for this band and especially this album he would like to share with you through this model.


 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    Hi! I’m Michael Buffum, or, VNMBricks!


     
  2. Where are you from?
    Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona!
     
  3. How old are you?
    21 years old!
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I currently only work as a Team Lead in a fast-food restaurant, but am working to go in the Digital/Graphic Design industry!
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Other than of course designing and building with LEGO, I enjoy playing video games in my free time, as well as I play soccer a few times a week as a goalkeeper!
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I don’t have a website, but I do have an Instagram account where I post mainly custom Brickheadz designs, as well as teasers and update for my Ideas projects!
    It can be found here!
    https://www.instagram.com/vnmbricks/
     
  7. 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 am especially proud of my Pumpkin Cottage design, which can actually be found here on LEGO Ideas as well! It was the first large-scale original design that I had ever worked on, and gave me the confidence to start working outside of my comfort zone of Brickheadz more often!




     
  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I have had LEGO in my life for as long as I can remember! I’ve always had things like DUPLO as a child, and then moved into some of my first System sets through themes like Power Miners.
     
  9. What is LEGO 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.
    Like most people, LEGO is more than a toy for me...it is a way to express my creativity, and share it with many other people with the same interests! I have met so many friends from around the world just by posting my creations online!
     
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    Power Miners has a very special place in my heart, as they were some of the first sets that helped grow my love for LEGO, but my all-time favorite theme is definitely the Monster Hunters line! Halloween is my favorite time of year, and that theme in particular really captured that spooky feeling that I love!
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    Would definitely have to go with Disney Castle! Such a massive and impressive design, with really great figures! I always love looking at all the small details and easter eggs that have been hidden inside the castle!
     
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Any headlight or bracket elements are always my favorites to work into designs! They can always fit into tight spaces, and SNOT (stud not on top) building is always a fun way to get that extra bit of detail into a design!


     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I have been listening to the band for almost my whole life, and many of their songs have helped me through some really tough times! I love the theming and design of The Black Parade music video, and I thought, what better way to share my love for this band, than combining it with my love for LEGO!
     
  2. How long was the process of making the project did, 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?
    It took almost a month to design this project! I watched the music video over and over for hours to get the unique designs of the marching band suits just right for the custom prints...as well as to get all the necessary details of the float just right!
     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The most challenging part of this design was definitely creating all the band members! I only recently started dipping my toes into custom minifigure designs, so trying to get these super iconic costumes to look just right was a really fun challenge!
     
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Reaching the 10k votes was the most mind-blowing day of my life! I actually had a few of the band members (Mikey and Frank!) shout out the project on their Instagrams, and we shot up from around 1,500 supporters to 10,000 in less than 24 hours! I could have never expected to reach the goal this fast when I first released it!
     
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    This model contains just under 600 bricks!
     
  6. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I was scratching my head for a while trying to figure out a nice-looking design for the skull on the front of the float...until I found this pre-molded skull element which ended up being the perfect size for the design!
     
  7. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Other than importing a few specific parts from LDD, I do all of my designing and rendering through Bricklink’s Stud.io!
     
  8. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    There are many custom prints in this project! All of the band shirts are uniquely designed, as well as the guitars, and drums having custom designs!
    I hand-draw all of the prints in Photoshop, and then apply them to the bricks with Stud.io’s Part Designer!


     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    The most important advice I can give is to do something that you are passionate about! I designed this as a total passion project, and never really expected it to get that far, but it has been my most successful project by far!
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I posted the design on Instagram! After that, a few members of the band shared the post, as well as a few magazines and radio stations, posted articles about the project!
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    One of the most unique projects I’ve ever seen is LegoTruman’s Starry Night project, which was actually approved!
    Some other designs which I think need more recognition and support are roller coasters! 
    Wacky Brick’s “Drop Coaster” and Footonabricks’ “Space Race” are some of my personal favorites!
     
  4. 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 that Ideas can make any LEGO fan with a dream into a real designer! It also lets the community have a part in deciding what comes out and can bring some really unique and nostalgic designs to life!
     
  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?
    I definitely have more Ideas planned for the future! I don’t want to leak too much, but I have something in the works with a very similar vibe as my Pumpkin Cottage design which I have planned to release in the Fall! Keep your eyes peeled!
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • 10k
  • lego idea
  • rock
  • rockband
  • mcr
  • black parade
  • band
  • music
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