15/04/2012 - 22:46 Interviews


Mindrunner ... You have already seen this nick if you frequent the forum BrickPirate. But in the end you know very little about the person who oversees the proper functioning of this space for meeting, discussion and exchange around which we all gravitate.

In a few questions, here is something to get to know a little better this sympathetic, discreet and devoted character whose MOCs and work in progress are visible in his gallery: Mindrunner Web Gallery (Don't miss its MoonBase 2012 project, it's heavy).

Mindrunner - Assault of the second company of the third regiment of the Imperial Tauran on an outpost of the light cavalry of Deneb

Hoth Bricks: BrickPirate, ex LEGOpirate, has become the center of the French TFOLs / AFOls community. In a few words, what is the history of this forum, when was it created and how has it evolved over the years?

Mindrunner: Legopirate was launched in January 2006, as far as I know. Nicolas (legopirate) then went around the sites and forums to promote its forum, as many others did for theirs elsewhere. Originally Legopirate was a personal site associated with a forum, on the theme of LEGO and manga. I myself arrived in October 2006, I was the twenty-seventh member. I quickly became a moderator, then an administrator. I've been playing this role for a long time now, the departure of Nicolas formalized things.

HB: You are the administrator of the forum, can you tell us a little more about this "work"? How much time do you spend on it per day?

M: I am the administrator of BrickPirate but also its webmaster. My main responsibility is to maintain BrickPirate in optimal working order: Deployment of software, maintenance of databases, modification of the code according to our needs, contact with our host, especially in case of server failure ...

As an administrator, my role theoretically consists in making the decisions. In practice, BrickPirate is led by a united and very capable team, we take decisions together. It is also the administrator who promotes moderators and grants the corresponding permissions. And then, I am also the moderator.

How much time do I devote to it? It is mainly based on my professional availability. A lot of my free time I would say. And when I do something else, MOCer for example, I still have a tab open on the forum.

HB: You are a very active member of the community, yet you remain discreet. Isn't it sometimes frustrating to work behind the scenes so that the community can benefit from a space for discussion and exchange?

M: Well actually, no. I would even say that I like it. It's in my character I guess.

Mindrunner - Troop Transport UST 02 S. Mallory

HB: You have seen the community evolve over the years through the members of the forum. What are the most significant changes in the profile of these AFOLs / TFOLs who frequent the forum?

M: What strikes me most and comes to my mind first is the increase in the number of LEGO fans. The enthusiasm and motivation of the internet community has compensated for the lack of communication of LEGO and assos (associations, editor's note). In France anyway. People have rediscovered LEGOs, are interested in them again and many have gone from nostalgic to AFOLs. Far from me, moreover, the idea of ​​minimizing the role of associations, but we must admit that their communication on the web has long been very limited. It is, however, an essential vector. The existence of the two big forums that are BrickPirate et SeTechnic allowed many people who thought they were isolated to meet virtually, to share their passion, to discover the AFOLs community, its essential sites and its tools. And subsequently, sometimes, to end up irl (in real life: in real life, editor's note), participate in exhibitions and join associations. We have complementary roles.

To come back to AFOLs, another thing has also changed a lot: They are much more uninhibited, they take more responsibility for their passion, I think. And the level has generally evolved, especially thanks to emulation. Talented MOCeurs have made themselves known in the French-speaking community, before being rightly noticed by the international community.

HB: You are obviously drawn to the Space Classic themes and your Moonbase Project is progressing steadily. What are your television, cinematographic or other influences?

M: Most of my influences are not visual, they are novels. Essentially SF. But certain films have influenced me a lot in one way or another. Alien, Aliens the return, Dune, that of Lynch, Star Trek until tenth, Starship Troopers. Series also: Cosmos 1999, Space Beyond and Above, Galactica (The original series), San Ku Kaï. And a lot of anime, starting with Albator, and a few video games.

Mindrunner - MoonBase 2012 / Command module

HB: Can you explain to us in a few words what the standard called "Moonbase" corresponds to?

M: It goes back a few years already, 2002 I believe, the goal is to design all interconnectable modules to create, often in exhibition, a collaborative lunar base. In order for this to work, a number of standards have been developed. Dimensions and locations of junction points, corridors, surface (by 48 x 48 plates), etc ... I have summarized the key points on this topic from the BrickPirate forum: Moonbase standards

One of the big advantages of this system is that you can, during exhibitions, build a large, even very large moonbase with complete strangers. I must however specify, that I do not use the current Monnbase standard, question of size and ease of transport, only. Maybe someday. The other advantage is modularity. You can modify, enlarge, develop your base by arranging the modules differently, by adding modules.

HB: Do you plan to exhibit your creations including the Mallory and the Moonbase this year, and at what event?

M: The S. Mallory has already been exhibited. Twice in 2009, in Cholet (49) and in Fanabriques in Rosheim. But he will come back to the exhibitions. This year if I have the chance, later if not. And he will be accompanied by an escort frigate this time around. I started its construction ten days ago, it is already well advanced, I hope to finish it by mid-June.

04/04/2012 - 11:57 Interviews


You already know the character if you are a regular member of the forum BrickPirate. Excellent MOCeur (see his blog), LEGOmaniac also gives of its person to organize multiple contests which generally bring together a good number of participants on a wide variety of themes.

We had the opportunity to discuss face to face, and I really appreciated the calm and thoughtful side of this always deserving and often militant actor within the French community. So I had to ask him some questions to which he provides interesting answers below. Good reading.

By the way, go vote for his project presented as part of the competition organized at dwell (Click on the image above or go at this address).

Hoth Bricks: Hello LEGOmaniac, when did your passion for LEGOs go back?

LM: I've grown up with LEGOs since I was a kid. I am from the Space Classic generation and as much as I remember I never kept a set assembled! Everything was mixed in a big wicker barrel and I spent afternoons building anything and everything.
For my son's 4th birthday a friend gave my son 6187. The set followed us during the holidays and Little LM "modded" for 15 days with 300 pieces. Back from vacation, the little one was infected and I was nostalgic. This marked the start of a great adventure and everything has happened very quickly for 3 years.

HB: You are the instigator and organizer of the now classic MOCs competition called L13. How did you come up with the idea of ​​launching and running this series of competitions?

The idea comes from there: https://www.defi13.com/
My wife has been participating in this competition for years and I find it original to "impose" a subject, it forces participants to develop new techniques and to widen their minds. When I got back to LEGO, after registering on the forum, I said to myself that a small monthly topic could push people to create and boost personal production. Little by little, I told myself that if certain subjects could be sponsored by large MOCeur, it could even more push people to participate. The most astonishing was the reactivity and the kindness with which these Moceurs responded! The choice of sponsors is very personal because it reflects my “heroes of the brick”, the people I particularly appreciate for their work and their ability to adapt to any subject.
I believe that since its creation I have 12 classic editions and 6 special editions. Beyond that, it allowed many members to compare their creations to the rest of the community and to give a certain vision of the French touch in terms of LEGO.
What gives me the most pleasure is seeing the level of creations go up over the editions, the interest that members have in this competition and that people contact me to propose to illustrate the L13! The next guest should please a good number of members.

Batman Returns by LEGOmaniac

HB: You yourself participated in many competitions this year, especially on the Super Heroes theme. How do you go about creating your MOCs? Some advice for the youngest?

LM: I really enjoy participating in contests on the net when I have the time. I find it a way to confront his creations and try to surpass himself every time. The participants come from all over the planet and it is also the way to forge links with certain MOCeurs.
When I decide to participate in a contest I try to do something that I have never done before and often I make an idea board: an A3 sheet where I note my colors that I will use, real details drawn from the net, or atmospheres that make me dive directly into the intention I want to put there. Then it's hands in the tubs and forward, a glance from time to time on the board to properly reframe the mind.
For the youngest, the only advice I could give them is to give free rein to their imaginations and to feed on comments or other creations. The technique is a plus for sure but it does not do everything and it will come according to the obstacles they will encounter during their creation.

HB: One of your MOCs will be on the cover of N ° 20 of the Brickjournal. A Frenchie in a leading English-speaking newspaper, how does that inspire you?

LM: To be on the cover of BrickJournal is for me a kind of “recognition” of the community. The most rewarding being that this creation was not doomed to be presented for a contest, it was really a personal challenge fueled by the work of Avanaut (https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanaut/) or Shobrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/47018679@N02/). Knowing that he has been noticed and appreciated gives great satisfaction. However, you should know that the MOC has been completely redone for the cover because Joe Meno and the publisher deeply wanted to have Batman face to face for the cover (how to refuse him?) Concretely I do not know if there will be a real impact on my work ahead, I will continue to do things as I always have.

HB: What are you preparing for Fanabriques? In 2012, a new project you would like to tell us a few words about?

LM: Fana 2012 will be like the previous year the way to build with 6 hands with people that I particularly appreciate for their sense of creation. Capt'n Spaulding (https://www.flickr.com/photos/-captain-spaulding-/ and its techniques, each as eccentric as the next) and 74louloute (https://www.flickr.com/photos/74louloute/ who has a superb and so original way of staging the minifigs) are people who inspire me a lot and the meeting between our 3 universes was a real pleasure as much in the creation as in the meeting. For 2012 we will do it again. The idea is there, but we still have to lay it all down and release the first modules. For the subject, it will be a surprise! We are more the type not to do like everyone else and to stand out so we will maintain our reputation! To laugh
For 2012 on the superhero program, the L13 with a special edition beyond our borders, and other projects adapted from TV series.

15/02/2012 - 18:47 Interviews

Artifex Creations & productions: The interview

Following the publication of the video reviews ofartist, many of you have written to me to ask me how this man proceeds to produce these high quality sequences which allow us in a few minutes to go around a set and discover all its secrets.

So I contacted Max alias artist to ask him a few questions which he kindly agreed to answer. I will transcribe my questions and answers below.

This first interview launches a new series of articles on Hoth Bricks which will allow us to have some answers to the questions we all ask ourselves from emblematic players in their field and in the vast universe of AFOLs.

 Hoth Bricks: How did you come up with the idea of ​​producing these reviews as stop-motion videos?

Artifex: The idea came to me while watching videos produced by other directors. I thought it would be more fun to add camera movements and special effects to these sequences to dress them up and make them even more enjoyable to watch.

HB: How long do you need to create a 2 or 3 minute video review, including filming, post-production, etc ...?

AT : This will vary depending on the size of the set, the number of parts and the time required to assemble it. The production of the review can then take from 6 hours to a full day.

HB: What equipment, hardware and software do you use to create these sequences and make them look really professional?

AT : I am using a Canon 5D digital camera and the editing is done with Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. But hardware and software equipment are not the only important parameters in the creation of these reviews. The different shooting techniques that I experiment with are also very important. If you watch my older videos you will see that they are of poor quality. Over time, you will notice that I try different new techniques. This way of working is very similar to the one that can be implemented in the creation of MOCs. If you try out different techniques and use a wide range of elements, your model design will be greatly improved.

HB: Your concept is really unique, do you think, like some of us, that these videos send the classic photo reviews back to the prehistoric stage in this area?

AT : Ideas and concepts are recycled: What is new sometimes becomes outdated and vice versa. With the evolution of technology, older concepts may be reborn in more modern and varied forms and styles. I think that reviews in the form of photos will remain relevant for a long time to come. It is always interesting to discover a set from all angles before deciding to buy it.

HB: Your website http://artifexcreation.com offers a new section called Comics. Can you tell us more about this project?

AT : This section is intended for my personal creations which I usually present in comic form. I plan to transfer the comics already made since my MOCpages space toward my website. This space is still under construction but will soon be operational.

HB: Will you continue to offer this type of video review in the future? Do you have any other plans to announce to Hoth Bricks readers?

AT :  I will continue to produce these reviews, no doubt about it! It's always great to share these videos of these sets, especially since it's impossible to acquire all the sets that LEGO produces. Thus, everyone can visualize the assembly of the set, see all its functionalities, learn the different new construction techniques implemented and discover the new parts produced. It is particularly exciting and informative for OMCs like me.

The next reviews will be carried out on themes from the LEGO range as varied as Superheroes, StarWars, Ninjago, City, Lord of the Rings & Monsters! I always try to get my videos online within a short period of time after the affected sets have actually been marketed.

Regarding upcoming projects, I am planning a series of stop-motion animations on the LEGO Batman theme which will be broadcast on our youtube channel. A series dedicated to LEGO Star Wars will also see the light of day. The LEGO Ninjago Spinjitzu Battle range will also be in the spotlight.

My MOCs planned for 2012 are: The Batwing from the movie The Dark Knight Rises, a new version of the Tumbler (current version visible here, editor's note) and the Batcave. If I have time, I would also go for a Star Wars-themed creation.

I would also continue to improve my videos by experimenting with different new techniques. Thanks to everyone who supports this project, I hope you will continue to enjoy watching my videos. Max.