Guest MOC interviews series
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Guest MOC interviews series
Jan Baan: I spent 8h a week for 1 year to finish this model. As an engineer I overdid it , but I loved the challenge.
This is one of the best motorized AT-TE MOC in the world. No wonder, as it is made by Jan Baan, an aerospace engineer, that took on the challenge to make the most articulate walking AT-TE. After a whole year of design and redesign, trial and error, joy and frustration, he finally did it.
Which one is your favorite MOC? And why? How long did it take you to finish it?
Well, my favorite MOC is my ATTE from Star Wars. I have it here. I will show it here. If you follow me on Instagram, it’s JBB_777. You can watch the thing in action. It can walk around. So the legs have a very natural movement. It can articulate, so it can steer and the gun can rotate and elevate. So I was able to pack all that in this model. It was quite a challenge. And it took me, I think, about a year to really finish the design from start to finish. And then we are talking about, well, six to eight hours a week. So it is still a hobby.
I saw somewhere that your parents didn’t allow you to watch TV when you were a kid, and that is the reason why you started to play with LEGO®. From this distance, do you feel sorry because of that? ?
Yes, this is true, and I definitely do not miss anything I may have missed on TV! I grew up learning very early on TV is a “box that flashes colors in front of your eyes”. This mentality has always given me the motivation to turn off the TV and live life. Whether that means going outside for exercise, building Lego, making new connections with friends or family. I feel sorrier I stopped building for many years! 🙂
How big of a challenge was it to make it walk?
Yeah, it was a huge challenge. Normally you can… Well, a leg is like a mechanism. And to make it move naturally you want to increase the elements of the mechanism. But that is not possible with LEGO®. It is an increment of studs. You can increment one stud or maybe if you are really clever, half a stud. But generally, it is one stud increment. And then to find the sweet spot where the mechanism moves naturally was really hard to find. And then again, when you have the mechanism, you have to fit it inside the ATTE somehow.
Where do you find inspiration for new MOCs?
For new MOCs, I find inspiration in movies. I already said that. But sometimes also my kids or my contacts I have on Instagram. They challenge me so to speak. So that is a good inspiration.
Name three best features that you look at in any MOC: design, playfulness, building experience, etc.?
I think the first feature I look at is design. I wanted to be as realistic as possible if I build something from, for instance, Star Wars. Or it has to look good if I design it myself. Next thing is sturdiness. I do not like models that fall apart easily, especially because I allow my kids to play with it. And I do not want to repair all the time. So yeah, I want it to be sturdy. I do not care much about the building experience, actually. It is what I create. And I put some instructions online and I hope people like it, but it is not something I keep in mind during my design of MOCs. And I like some playfulness, I like some functions, some hidden features or hatches that can open, that you can store stuff in. So, yeah, that is actually the main thing about the gunship. It has a lot of hatches that you can open, put stuff in, put minifigs in. So that was something to look at there.
Which is the best MOC that you ever saw in your life? And why?
I do not have any specific MOC actually. But I like the stuff that Rich Boy J is doing. You can probably find him on YouTube. He creates this huge Star Wars basis and he has also made some really nice starship. I generally like what he does. There are some others, but that is someone I really follow.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I hope to continue the modules. To expand the Star Wars base. And with more modules all kinds of things. For instance the freezing chamber. All kinds of recognizable features from the Star Wars universe. But also more vehicles and stuff like that. So I think I am going to really continue on the Star Wars theme in the future.
Thank you Jan Baan
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