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10K CLUB INTERVIEW: The Princess Bride: The Guilder Frontier by Daniel Metcalf

Let's meet Daniel aka FSLeinad! Today he will present his LEGO Idea named The Princess Bride: The Guilder Frontier, which is inspired by the film of the same name from 1987. This movie has won the hearts of many people, including Daniel.

 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you? 
    Daniel Metcalf


     
  2. Where are you from?
    East Tennessee (United States)
     
  3. How old are you?
    17
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I’m a high school student.
     
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Obviously, I really like building with LEGO, but I also really like a range of creative things such as playing piano and drawing. Along with that, I really like science. I am actively involved in lots of citizen science stuff in my area and am part of a Science Bowl team. I am also actively involved in my church.
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Yes! I have accounts on Flickr
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/192393562@N03/ and Blockheads

    https://blockheads.builders/FSLeinad and I’ve been trying to put some of my work there.
     
  7. 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 have been building with LEGO for quite a while, so there are lots of creations that I’m proud of. I think my favorite creations, though, are ones where I go out of my comfort zone. 


     
  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO products come about?
    We have had LEGO bricks around my entire life. Before I was old enough to play with LEGO, I played with Duplo, and before that, I played with Quatro, which isn’t even made anymore. Basically, I’ve just always been a LEGO fan.
     
  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. 
    I think the biggest thing that LEGO is for me is a form of creative expression. You can build anything that you want to if you set your mind to it! That’s definitely not the only thing, though. It’s really great to build with friends, and LEGO can also be really great for display, be it your own creation or an official set.
     
  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?
    LEGO IDEAS is probably my favorite theme, although many themes are really great. IDEAS just has such a varied range of topics, and such interesting building techniques. The fact that the sets are made by LEGO fans just makes it even better!

    I don’t know that one particular theme has inspired my building style; I like to think it’s a mix of styles and techniques from all the stuff that I’ve seen: official sets, MOCs, anything!
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    My favorite set is definitely 70816: Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! 

    I’ve always really liked the Classic Space theme, and this is a great modernized return to it. The LEGO Movie was also amazing, so the fact that it is also from that makes it even better. I think the biggest reason that it is my favorite is that all of my siblings pooled together to get it for me for Christmas, and it was at the time the biggest set I had ever gotten. It means a lot to me personally because of that.
     
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Although I didn’t use any in my Princess Bride project, I think that 4697 (the pneumatic T-piece) is my favorite. It’s probably not objectively the most useful, but it is really useful in many situations, and I find myself using it quite a bit.
     
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    The designer that has inspired me the most is definitely my older brother Timothy. Although he hasn’t posted many of his creations, he’s the one that made me think, “Wow, you can really build some awesome things!” 
     
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    The two LEGO-related sites that I like the most would definitely be New Elementary and The Brothers Brick.

     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I have been wanting to make a LEGO IDEAS for The Princess Bride for a very long time. It’s one of my favorite movies and seems to lend itself perfectly to becoming a set. I really wanted to do it justice, though, so it took me a while to make something I was satisfied with.
     
  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?
    I had been considering it for several years, but when I finally started on it, I finished the model within about a week. To get everything as close to the movie as I could, I looked at lots of stills and supplementary material. The Minifigures took about a month, as I didn’t have much experience at all with graphic design, and I wanted to get them just right. 
     
  3. What special challenges or frustrations did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate? 
    I think the hardest part was getting everything into a relatively compact space to make it feasible as a set while also including as much playability and detail as I could. Over a few years, I started several models, but none of them went anywhere. When I saw the IDEAS project “The Legend of the Bionicle” by Sokoda, I thought to give it a round design, and from there it developed into my final submission. After that, the other challenge with designing it was the Minifigures, which I hadn’t ever done before. After a while, though, and lots of trial and error, I finally got them to a point that I liked.




     
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    Assuming I couldn't do any time-travel shenanigans and could only talk about my project, the biggest thing I wish that I had known earlier was that I needed to try to promote it on social media. I started out mostly just riding its popularity on LEGO IDEAS and not putting in much effort anywhere else, and I only started promoting it outside IDEAS when it started to drop in popularity. 
    I’m confident that it would have gone much more quickly if I had been working to promote it from the beginning.
     
  5. 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?
    Coming up with the idea took years. The actual build took about a week, but it took another month before I had finished the Minifigures and the renders. Promoting it took quite a bit longer, as I had to actively do it until the end, and it was something I hadn’t had any experience with before. I really learned a lot doing it!


     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    I was honestly dumbstruck. I’ve been watching projects reach 10K ever since it was CUUSOO rather than IDEAS, and it was honestly surreal to reach the number myself!
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    I actually got it to exactly 1,000 parts. (I added a few parts just to get it there.)
     
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I am really pleased with how the circular base turned out, and particularly with how I managed to integrate part 6232 into the fire swamp so that you can have a flame coming out of the ground.
     
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used Stud.io from Bricklink.
     
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I used Paint 3D, which came built-in on my computer. It’s probably not the best software to use, but it worked for me. To make the designs, I just did my best to make something that successfully looked like the characters while still fitting with LEGO. It took a lot of trial and error.

     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Build something that you really love. If you do that, you can hopefully make a project that others will love just as much. Respond to comments and appreciate the people who love your project! Make sure to start promoting it wherever you can as soon as your project is up. Don’t give up!
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    At first I mostly just asked some friends and didn’t do much else. When the initial support started to decline, though, I started doing everything that I could think of - I made several social media accounts and posted frequently, I contacted several blogs that I thought might be interested in covering it. I reached out to various people who were involved in the movie. Not everything worked, but I just kept going and tried more things.
     
  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 current IDEAS project that I think is not getting nearly enough attention is “Relativity (M. C. Escher)” by @Tijscoman https://ideas.lego.com/projects/4529c602-b73a-4ff5-8e11-7ea09aa5aa64. It is one of my favorite projects on IDEAS right now, and I’m very sad that it has gotten so little recognition.
    Of the released sets, I honestly think my favorite might be the recent Winnie The Pooh set (21326) by Ben Alder, although so many of them are amazing.
     
  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 think it's wonderful that fans of LEGO can actually have their creation considered for production. If there is something you want to be a set, go for it; The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't reach 10K, and that’s okay. You can always learn from it, and try again!
     
  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 plan to submit more in the future and I have a few things I’ve been thinking about. I want to make sure that I submit something that I really think could be a set, though, so it might be a while. 
  • 10k club
  • fantasy
  • product idea
  • 10k club interview
  • 10k
  • the princess bride
  • movie
  • adventure
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