In today's 10k Club interview, we introduce Jonas (JonasKramm), the creator of LEGO Viking Longship. His ship is an accurate replica of a ship that the Vikings used to roam the seas in the past. He believes that a successful product idea may not have many bricks but a well thought out design.
- Who are you?
- Where are you from?
I’m from Germany.
- How old are you?
I’m 25 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
Author and designer for a LEGO News Blog.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
You can find my LEGO builds on Instagram and Flickr.
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
I’ve built many models in the past years that I’m very happy with, but one that I’m particularly proud of is my MOC of a LEGO room. Which is part of a series of brick-built rooms: https://www.flickr.com/photos/legols/albums/72157715496941981
I tried my best to capture the essence of what a LEGO room from a fan’s dream would look like. Most fun I had with building all the little copies of official LEGO sets which are popular in the AFOL community. Unfortunately, the actual LEGO room I’m building in isn’t as big and tidy as this one, though.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
As a toddler, I started playing with LEGO Duplo. Then I discovered the LEGO of my older brother until I eventually got my first own LEGO sets. Building my own creations and creating a world from my imagination was always the focus. As a teenager, my friends lost interest in the bricks, but I had already made my first contact with the LEGO online community and knew there were adult fans, so I didn’t see any reason to stop building.
- 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.
LEGO is a big part of my life, as it is part of my job and my biggest hobby. I really enjoy the creative things I can do with the bricks, designing my own builds, discovering new techniques, and sharing all of this with fellow enthusiasts. It’s a great feeling to build something new from scratch and to be able to show it to the community either online or at fan events in person.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
My favourite theme was LEGO The Lord of the Rings. I love the world that Tolkien created and how the iconic scenes were recreated with bricks. True beauty is the Minifigures depicting the characters, even though there are still some missing so I wouldn’t mind if the theme returned!
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Not an easy question as there are several sets I really enjoyed building. Currently, it’s Ninjago City…
… Gardens (71741) Sorry Nick Vas!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
Brackets are a type of element that I have used often recently. Especially with the addition of 1x1 brackets in up and down variants, the building possibilities exploded. Brackets also allow making builds sturdier and therefore were used in my LEGO Ideas submission too.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
There are many fantastic builders out there in the fan community who inspire me with their creativity. Most credit I must give to Markus Rollbühler who went from being a talented fan to working as a LEGO designer and is responsible for some exciting official sets!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
RogueBricks.de to hang out with talented builders and join building challenges
NewElementary.com to stay up to date with new LEGO moulds, techniques and colour changes
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have always been interested in historic themes and wondered why LEGO only made a Viking theme once over a decade ago. The final push for my project gave the beautiful Viking Minifigure that was part of the Collectable Minifigure Series 21.
The Nordic warriors are well known for being explorers on the sea and their unique ship designs, so that was a natural choice to choose as a subject for my submission.
- 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?
I was very patient with the model to make sure all the details are right and didn’t rush it. So the full building process lasted about half a year until I was finally happy with the result and ready to submit it.
Over the months I built several iterations: Bigger, smaller, and wider versions to find the perfect size and include all the details. The last step was designing the instructions, that I made available for free to promote my Viking Longship and to prove that it is realizable.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
My Viking Longship reached the last milestone much earlier than I had ever imagined, so I was glad the model was so appealing and reached the goal that quick. Thanks to everyone who supported the ship on its journey!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
With about 500 bricks the piece count of my ship isn’t even close to the limit on LEGO Ideas. With my project, I wanted to show that smaller submissions can be successful too and that a good model doesn’t necessarily have to consist of many bricks!
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I like the front of the ship very much. The decorative figure makes it stand out from ordinary ships and gives the boat the true Viking spirit. Also, the transition to the ship’s body with the 4x4 quarter round tiles right next to it is quite satisfying.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
The Miller’s Bakery by MGibarian is worth a look! It’s the perfect combination of a beautiful building with clever play features and lovely details.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview