EBSWF Blog Interview: markus1984

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INTERVIEW: markus1984

Posted ImageToday we’re interviewing Markus, a talented builder from Austria and the winner of FBTB’s recent Steam Wars contest.

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EBSWB: So, how did you first get introduced to LEGO, and why is the Star Wars theme your primary interest?

Lego and Star Wars have been very dear to me even since my childhood! My love for Star Wars persists to this day. Lego has always been THE toy for me! It is and has always been the best and most creative toy in my opinion, where one’s imagination really gets stimulated and one can let his creativity run free in any theme you want. Naturally, I recreated all kinds of Star Wars vehicles during that time (since official Star Wars sets didn’t exist yet back then) in order to be able to play out the battles from the movies using Lego. Thanks to my nephew, I returned to the Lego hobby four years ago (after about 16 years of Dark Ages) and after seeing all the Lego Star Wars sets that you can get these days, I couldn’t help but start collecting the UCS models, which then lead to MOCing.

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EBSWB: We know that you are also a member over at Imperium der Steine. How did you discover EB, and what made you decide to join?

You guys know everything, don’t you. 😀 Yes, in the German-speaking community, IDS is the best forum when it comes to Lego Star Wars MOC’s, info, etc. (and other themes). Eurobricks was the second site after Flickr where I registered. I came upon it through various MOC searches on the web which kept taking me to EB, so as a beginner, I had no choice but to join the forum.

EBSWB: You have built many detailed MOCs and some of them were even featured in the Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary! How did you get this honor and how did it make you feel?

Definitely one of the greatest honors that I have received to date! I still remember buying the first issue and wondering how one manages to get his MOC into a book like that. When I received the message from DK in December, my first response was if this was a joke! But the nice lady soon confirmed the legitimacy of the matter. I then simply sent her the files. Of course, I had to ask why they chose me since there is an incredible amount of great MOC’s out there, some of which were surely better than mine. The answer that Lego had seen my MOC’s and wanted to have them in the book was, of course, totally awesome!! The fact that there is now an official Lego book that is available for purchase worldwide and depicts my own work makes me speechless, but also very proud.

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EBSWB: Where do you get the inspiration and parts for your MOCs? Do you plan them in advance?

Inspiration, phew. From everywhere actually! Various forums, movies, real-life, imagination, and of course also from other users. With Star Wars, I usually try to recreate certain scenes from the movies (EP IV-VI only! 😉 ) in ways that have never been seen before. Which is a big challenge since all the major scenes have already been done in many different variations over the years, so it is my goal to build them in a way that hasn’t been seen numerous times before. 75% of my parts have been bought through Bricklink, some of them from the Lego Shops in Legoland, and a small percentage from my childhood and from all the sets that I treat myself to every now and then. 🙂
I usually don’t plan my MOC’s. When I want to build something, I just start building or watch a specific scene over and over until I’ve registrated and memorized every detail. Whenever I run out of parts, I just order new ones.
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EBSWB: Are there any particular MOCs that you are currently working on or that you would love to build someday?

Last month I was actually just busy disassembling and sorting all the MOC’s that I took to the Star Wars Days exhibit at Legoland. Otherwise I just build small stuff for SoNE and other contests at the moment.
Well, the dream MOC’s that I’ve always wanted to build are definitely a large Hoth diorama and the Emperor’s Arrival. But it’s going to take a while until I have gathered all the necessary white parts and minifigures. 😀 To top Hoth is going to be virtually impossible as there are already about four impressive works based on this epic battle, but that’s not so important to me since it’s one of my absolute favorite battles from Star Wars and I simply HAVE to build it.

EBSWB: Why did you join SoNE, and why the Empire?

I wanted to join SoNE from the beginning, but somehow didn’t have the time or motivation at the time. The main problem was that the stories were written in English, and while I can read and write reasonably well, writing a complex story in English seemed a bit too difficult, especially since all the translators start spitting out nonsense after more than two sentences. 😀 But eventually I got into SoNE thanks to Disco86. We had communicated a lot through IDS and collaborated on various projects such as the B-Tron reunion. He said he wanted a change from Castle and was going to build Star Wars now by participating in SoNE at EB. After a lengthy conversation in the chat, we decided to sign up and make a sort of cooperative project out of it, and I have to say that it’s a lot of fun coming up with the story and taking turns.
Well, even though the Rebels are the good guys and it’s always good to see them win in the end, the Empire is just the Empire. 🙂 Great vehicles, sinister, dark, and the Stormtroopers are definitely the most brilliant combat unit in the history of films. Therefore, it was clear for which side I was going to build.

EBSWB: What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever tried to build?

There are quite a few things. 🙂 My first MOC was a recreation of Anio’s Super Star Destroyer. I found it while browsing the web and was fascinated by that ship and its size. The problem was that back then I had no clue about “modern” Lego and the techniques that were possible with it. Because of this, it was one of the most difficult builds for me.
There was also the Death Star Diorama and the Carbon Freeze Chamber. In both cases I was faced with the callenge of building a large round opening, and especially with the Freeze Chamber I racked my brain about how to make it as authentic as possible.

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EBSWB: Being such a talented builder, are there any builders that you look up to?

Thank you very much! Phew, that’s a tough question to answer. Very, very many. I’d have to make a list of all the builders that fascinate me. Basically, every build and its builder are admirable! Everyone works with the same bricks, but everyone uses their own style and techniques, so when you’re looking at the newly posted MOC’s, all you can say is WOW.

EBSWB: How much time do you spend on LEGO, and what do other people who aren’t LEGO fans think of your hobby?

It depends: often I just need to take a break for a few days, but it’s usually about two hours a day. At first it seemed quite odd and I tried to keep it as secret as possible, but after my first exhibit and various feedback from forums it got exponentially better and now I fully admit to it. Even though people still give me a weary smile from time to time, I know that I have a hobby that most people wish they had. I don’t think there are many that can say that they have a hobby that they wholeheartedly love to do and I am very proud to have found something so fulfilling and also relaxing.

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EBSWB: How has the LEGO hobby changed or impacted your life? Do you have any practical uses for LEGO?

Well, in a way it has changed my whole attitude towards life. It gives me a passion that I can fully indulge in and that is a lot of fun. I believe this is something that’s extremely important to have in our modern stress- and pressure-filled everyday life.

EBSWB: Other than LEGO, do you have any other hobbies?

Haha, yes, a lot of them actually. I am often asked if I even have a girlfriend or a job since it seems like I spend my whole day building, but yeah, I even got married in the meantime. I have been doing external work for a long time and aside from building with Lego, I also like to watch and play soccer. In summer, I also like to play beach volleyball, in addition to the usual workout routine (walk, go to the gym, etc.). Furthermore, films and music are a big passion of mine and hitting it off with friends mustn’t be neglected either. I often ask myself how it all works out. 😀

I would like to thank you very much! This has been a lot of fun and it was an honor to be able to give this interview.

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*All answers translated from German by Oky

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