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Interview with Nathanael Kuipers
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Hi Nathanael, I'm the first, who ask a few qestions. If you build a creation and then you take it apart, can you built it again later, do you remember the order or the system of the bricks, or you make istructions or an LDD file, or you don't take your models apart (it would be difficult with the Creator sets :D) ? Thank you in advance for the answer.
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| October 19, 2011, 3:38 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Gabor Horvath
If you build a creation and then you take it apart, can you built it again later, do you remember the order or the system of the bricks, or you make istructions or an LDD file, or you don't take your models apart?

Sorry for my late response, but I was away for a few days. Regarding your questions, I can not remember exactly how I built the alternates, especially because I have done so many of them. Some I didn't take apart for years, until I decided to make a back-up copy in (ML)CAD, so I could potentially build them again if wanted. (Although so far this has hardly been the case, because I seem to prefer creating new stuff.)

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| October 24, 2011, 8:06 am
Nathanael,

Have you ever considered writing a SNOT tutorial? I can imagine you'd have a lot to share that people like me could really learn from. I consistently learn a lot from your alternates when I try to build them from the photos. I'm nearly finished sorting 60 pounds of LEGO that I bought at a yard sale, and now have quite a very nice collection of SNOT-specific pieces that I am dying to use!
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| October 24, 2011, 12:35 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Andrew Mobley
Have you ever considered writing a SNOT tutorial? I can imagine you'd have a lot to share that people like me could really learn from.

Some have already shared generic SNOT tutorials, and in most of my models I basically use the one fundamental and best known relation that 5 plates = 2 modules. But perhaps showing HOW certain parts could be used and the way I integrate SNOT into my models might be of interest.
A reason why I do not like to share all the internals/ secrets just like that, is because I want to challenge people to think creatively.

At the moment however I am thinking about making and publishing a booklet on how all the alternates I made from 5867 are built with tips, tricks and insights. As I would consider this a premium service, some compensation would be asked. Question is if there would be a decent interest for this...
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| October 25, 2011, 11:04 am
... I for one would be interested. Andrew have you seen this http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/185487 it is not exclusively about snot but details the ratios between bricks and plates. Very useful and beautifully presented.
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| October 25, 2011, 12:45 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting MortalSwordsman .
... I for one would be interested. Andrew have you seen this http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/185487 it is not exclusively about snot but details the ratios between bricks and plates. Very useful and beautifully presented.

This is indeed a perfect example! (Although some of the solutions presented are not 100% legal or officially allowed.) And nice to know you would be interested. :)
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| October 25, 2011, 1:20 pm
Quoting Nathanael Kuipers
Sorry for my late response, but I was away for a few days. Regarding your questions, I can not remember exactly how I built the alternates, especially because I have done so many of them. Some I didn't take apart for years, until I decided to make a back-up copy in (ML)CAD, so I could potentially build them again if wanted. (Although so far this has hardly been the case, because I seem to prefer creating new stuff.)

Thanks for the answer! Legal/illegal techniques: I made an LDD file for my 5867 limousine. Please look at it. The program doesn't allow to join the two pieces, which are near the car. Their place is behind the engine. Oh, and do you know a file on the Net, which contains illegal building techniques? SNOT building is a real challange. I tried it first in my Lancia behind the seats to accomodate two minifigs. And it is a great fun to build another builders' models. I began it recently. :)
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| October 25, 2011, 6:40 pm
Great link, MortalSwordsman! That is exactly the kind of tutorial I am seeking. Thanks so much!

And yes, Nathan, I would be very interested one day to view such a guide that you might make. And it would certainly be worth more than internet gratitude.

Sometimes learning these advanced techniques is a lot harder than it could be. I feel like I'm learning to paint, and I have a full set of paintbrushes and paints, but it's hard to find someone to teach the skills and I have to rely on observing completed masterpieces and sort of reverse engineering them from photos. But that is not to sound whiney, as I really enjoy the challenge and the "ah ha!" moment when I figure out something new that I can do with LEGO.
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| October 25, 2011, 7:10 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Gabor Horvath
I made an LDD file for my 5867 limousine. The program doesn't allow to join the two pieces, which are near the car. Their place is behind the engine. Oh, and do you know a file on the Net, which contains illegal building techniques?

Search for 'Stressing the elements', a presentation by Jamie Berard, which explains legal/illegal solutions. I contributed to this presentation when I still worked at LEGO. You will find your example in there as well.
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| October 26, 2011, 4:22 am
Quoting Nathanael Kuipers
Search for 'Stressing the elements', a presentation by Jamie Berard, which explains legal/illegal solutions. I contributed to this presentation when I still worked at LEGO. You will find your example in there as well.

Great presentation. "There is the potential for elements (and children) being stressed." hahaha. Very interesting techniques on both sides, I have definitely used some illegal moves in the past. So as long as the bricks are not under stress, and they are level with each other, then it appears legal. I canít believe that Lego allowed the TT to be distributed.
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| October 26, 2011, 12:11 pm
Quoting Nathanael Kuipers
Search for 'Stressing the elements', a presentation by Jamie Berard, which explains legal/illegal solutions. I contributed to this presentation when I still worked at LEGO. You will find your example in there as well.

It's a very interesting presentstion! Thanks! I learned a lot from it. I have never thought that a technique is illegal because of the word LEGO. How do the designers plan a new element?
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| October 28, 2011, 12:07 pm
Hi Nathanael, I'm here again! I don't want to be impolite, but when you were lego designer, did you play with lego all day, or there were other works, too? How many models did you make and how many of these were published as a lego set? :)
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| February 18, 2012, 5:25 pm
Hi Guys. Hope you are all well. I would also like to know how many models you designed. I know (and have) your technic ferrari F1 model.
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| February 18, 2012, 5:35 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Gabor Horvath
When you were lego designer, did you play with lego all day, or there were other works, too? How many models did you make and how many of these were published as a lego set? :)

Building with LEGO is just one of the many tasks. It's also not like you can build anything, but have a proper briefing with a list of requirements regarding the model. First different conceptual models are built and tested, before the final portfolio is decided on. Then optimising a model so that it's within budget, easy to build and fun to play with takes most time. In this stage there is a lot of communcation within the group to discuss the process. I have had some influence on quite a few Technic models between 2006 and 2009. The ones I can take most credit for are 8674, 8271, 8272, 8292, 8261. Furthermore I have done a few alternates for Creator sets, like the truck of 4939, the bobcat in 4993, and the hovercraft in 4997.
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| February 19, 2012, 6:55 am
How many technic designers were there when you worked with Lego? Did all of them work in Denmark, or did any work elsewhere? Thanks in advance.
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| May 27, 2012, 4:55 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Halhi 141
How many technic designers were there when you worked with Lego? Did all of them work in Denmark, or did any work elsewhere? Thanks in advance.

Somewhere between 5 and 10 designers for Technic (and on average per productline), and yes, the complete development happens in Denmark.
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| May 28, 2012, 4:58 am
Quoting Nathanael Kuipers
Somewhere between 5 and 10 designers for Technic (and on average per productline), and yes, the complete development happens in Denmark.

You designed Technic sets! What sets did you design?
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| May 28, 2012, 7:30 am
Quoting Nathanael Kuipers
Somewhere between 5 and 10 designers for Technic (and on average per productline), and yes, the complete development happens in Denmark.

Thanks for the fast reply. Aside from the. Sets that you have listed (and the go-kart), were there any other sets that you helped with?
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| May 28, 2012, 9:32 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Halhi 141
Thanks for the fast reply. Aside from the. Sets that you have listed (and the go-kart), were there any other sets that you helped with?


There are other models that I helped with, some more involved, some less. Often I was asked to help out designers when they had a (small) technical problem. I can't remember exactly the amount of occasions, but I seem to recall that it involved several product lines, like exoforce, mars mission, power miners, star wars, creator, and of course technic.
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| May 30, 2012, 3:45 am
Hello! Do the lego designers regularly look at the lego-pages on the Internet, for example Mocpages, Brickshelf?
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| June 15, 2012, 7:42 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Gabor Horvath
Hello! Do the lego designers regularly look at the lego-pages on the Internet, for example Mocpages, Brickshelf?

Some do, others don't. Really not much else to say about this.
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| June 16, 2012, 6:48 am

I noticed that 8271 is very similar, in both looks and size, to 8453. Were these similarities done on purpose? In what ways are these two sets different?(I only have 8453). In what ways are 8453 better? In which ways are 8271 better?
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| June 19, 2012, 11:32 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Halhi 141

I noticed that 8271 is very similar, in both looks and size, to 8453. Were these similarities done on purpose? In what ways are these two sets different?(I only have 8453). In what ways are 8453 better? In which ways are 8271 better?


Well, first we wanted to go for something a bit different, but that didn't work out well, so then we decided indeed to go for something similar like 8453. 8271 has an extra added geared function for tipping the bucket, which is nice on one side, but it's not so easy to getting used to the controls, due to some interference with the arm lifting function. The way the steering works is different as well; 8271 can be considered more of a city loader, whereas 8453 looks more like a mining version.
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| June 19, 2012, 2:11 pm
Hi Nathanael! You didn't post a creation for a long time! Are you working on something big?
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| November 22, 2012, 2:39 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Gabor Horvath
Hi Nathanael! You didn't post a creation for a long time! Are you working on something big?

Hello Gabor. Thanks for expressing your interest and concern. Actually I'm not building anything specific at the moment. I lack a bit of inspiration to be honest. Any suggestions? Also I have other projects/ priorities at the moment.
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| November 24, 2012, 4:12 am
Well, I haven't got any suggestions, but I tell you that i'm now working on my third tiny RC!
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| December 19, 2012, 4:56 pm
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