- Can you introduce yourself to our readers? How all this began?

- My name is Łukasz Leon Grzywacz, I was born and I live in Poland, I am 45 years old and I work as an IT specialist. I am also, as we usually call ourselves, AFOL (eng. Adult Fan of LEGO). Online I am known as Seymouria. My adventure with LEGO began, similar to most adult LEGO fans, in my childhood. Here I am not an exception. As far as I remember, I got my first LEGO sets when I was about 7 years old, but throughout my childhood I owned only couple of them. The sets were very small and very simple, so there were not too many LEGO bricks in them. Here we have to realize how luxurious were LEGO bricks in Poland at the turn of 70’s and 80’s. It was the time of a big economic gap between east and west of Europe, therefore, the only way to get LEGO in Poland was to bring them from abroad or to buy them in special shops with foreign goods. However, Prices of LEGO bricks in comparison to salaries in Poland were so high that for most LEGO bricks were just a mere dream. That is why today I greatly appreciate the effort and costs that my parents have incurred to get them for me in those difficult times. When I got them I was very happy. When, after couple of years next two sets of LEGO Technic: 851 Tractor and 854 Go-Kart were added to my collection, more serious adventure with technic models have begun. Over the years I have built hundreds of different machines and vehicles from these two sets, I knew these bricks by heart. I can boldly say that Technic series strongly shaped my technical sense at that time. After years, an adult life began - studies, work, family and... 20 years without LEGO bricks. Everything changed when I bought first LEGO sets for my son. The fascination returned, at home we had more and more bricks, a collection, a workshop and my homepage, which I intend to constantly develop, have started. Coming back to LEGO bricks after the years made me use software CAD, that allows me to build and present virtual constructions in the form of 3D models. This has changed the way I approach building my models today.

- What software do you use? Do you like one more than another, why? Since when you use them?

- I use them from the beginning, that is, from the moment when I picked up designing from LEGO bricks again. The software I use depends on the stage that I am currently on with my design. The tool that I use the most in the process of creating a model from the scratch is LEGO Digital Designer (LDD). It is a program created by LEGO company. It is generally available on the official website of the company. Its great advantage is its intuitiveness and simplicity. It is very important, because in order to focus on the creative process we should not involve ourselves too much in the tool that is used. Other programs created for the same purpose such as: LDraw or Stud.io, are used by me to complete models with bricks that are not in the database of LDD. This also applies to the implementation of connections between bricks, which LDD does not allow, but which are possible in reality. We need to remember that a virtual project has its own rules defined by a certain program. If the project is to be transferred into a real object in the future, built with real bricks, we have to always remember that. Work on the project in later stages is similar, where our goal is, for example, to create a manual or visualization of the model in the form of a photo-realistic graphics. Rendering software in which we define a scene for our model, can use projects downloaded from one program an use brick models from the data base of a different one. If we include file format converters, we can have several programs working at the same time. If the technical aspect of the models is to come into play then you have to reach for other tools which capabilities will allow us to virtually run the designed mechanism and see if it works according to our assumptions. There are a lot of more or less advanced programs-tools, it's a very wide topic.

- When did you start doing MOCs (eng. My Own Creations) and talk to us about your workshop section?

- Practically from the beginning I was more interested in designing than reproductive assembling of the ready LEGO sets. When I set my website in motion, its main initiative was to share my own ideas with others. In the Workshop tab I will put small technical fixes, while in the MOCs tab, I would like to put all of my projects in the form of CAD files. It is a very ambitious goal and I hope that I will have enough determination and time to complete it. On the other hand designing and building MOCs gives a lot of pleasure and satisfaction. In order to build a model reflecting a certain vehicle, machine or item you have to know something about it, you have to look into technical or photographical documentation, have a lot of knowledge about LEGO bricks, their types, availability and colors. You also need to have an interesting idea, of course. The rules that we impose on the project are also important, here constructors’ approach can be very different. Some people, for example, use gluing and painting of the bricks. For me such things are a profanation. My approach is classical, I only use techniques of bricks’ connection and measures which are applied by LEGO company in their sets. I also do not use any non-standard elements, that were not produced by the LEGO company. I put a lot of attention to the fact that the models should be maximally consistent and durable. All kinds of fragile, unstable solutions focused only on the visual effect are not my style. I am also very careful in using chrome elements and stickers.

- I’ve seen on your website a lot of links to online and offline tools. The world of bricks is more complexe that anyone can thought. How did you react when you discovered all those possibilities?

- Taking in account my technical education as an IT expert, I do not have any problems with using these types of utility programs, it is quite natural for me. In any case, programs that we can use to realize our LEGO projects, those we use to construct, to generate documentation, to render, have different levels of difficulty and I would define most of them as very easy to use. You just have to try, start with the simplest things and do not get discouraged. In addition to the programs, there are all kinds of useful databases, comparisons, calculators, converters, tests and reviews available. The authors of them are usually people who represent a higher level of knowledge on a given topic. I think it is worth using this knowledge as well as available projects shared on the Internet. Personally, I really like to analyze models built by other authors. You can compare and notice how others solve similar problems differently. It’s very educational.

- How big is your real collection? Mostly official sets or MOC? Where do you buy your sets or bricks?

- Currently, my collection consists of about 150,000 LEGO bricks, contrary to appearances it is not a big amount. Part of this collection creates about 70 LEGO sets of various sizes, the rest are bricks bought by piece or by weight on different types of auctions and online shops. I’m not a collector of the sets and I am inclined to buy them only by the fact that they have a certain interesting set of bricks. Some of the bricks are unique or very rare in terms of shape or color, they are often distributed in only one LEGO set or were produced for a short period in the LEGO history, very often several dozen years ago. Acquisition of such elements is a big challenge, very often also financial. Then, buying an entire collectors’ set is the only way of getting them. A similar situation is with new elements which are only available in the new sets. Over time, when the collection grows, it is easier and easier to collect necessary bricks for your own projects, then, I only buy those elements, which I have short supply of. Generally I try to buy as little bricks as possible.

- You seem to focus on vehicles mostly, do you work on any others kind of Lego?

- Yes, I think the most satisfactory part for me is building vehicles, mainly cars. I suppose this interest comes from the fascination with motorization that most boys have in their childhood. Apparently it is still alive in me. Most of the times I pick classical cars, mainly sport cars, which were the icons of motorization history. It was the cars I first took to my workshop and successively try to share them in the form of 3D models on my homepage. Of course, I design other things besides cars, many of them are not even finished models, but only some stylistic or technical solutions, that I can later use to create something more specific. It is one of the advantages of designing in virtual reality space, when hundreds of different ideas can be stored in a single file. At the moment I’m working on models including cameras in 1:1 scale. I would love to make a small series out of it. As a model I have chosen some of the best known cameras in the world, such as Canon A-1 or Polaroid 635. Besides the attention to details in the external appearance, I try to reflect elements as the optical system, the matrix, the battery as well as light-sensitive material. I think that in a short time you will be able to see the first results.

- Did you ever try to sent MOC to LEGO Ideas ?

- LEGO ideas is a very interesting program, it gives our own project a chance to be released as a commercial, official LEGO set. It’s a tip of the hat to all those people for whom designing from LEGO is a true passion. There is probably no author who would not like his project to meet such an honor. Of course, I dream about it as well. Until now, I have admitted one proposal to the program. I have built a chess set, giving chess pieces a classic, tournament form. The chessboard is foldable and creates a box that holds all the elements of the set, which makes it very practical. The entire idea is complemented by a decorative ornament, that can be arranged in many different ways, according with ones own aesthetics. I hope that this project will appeal to LEGO fan community over time and that it will be moved to the next stage of verification.

- What is your favorite Lego Set?

- The LEGO theme, which I definitely like the most is Model Team, which was produced from 1986 to 1999. It included a lot of interesting vehicles reflected on a bigger scale. They are characterized by a very realistic representation of the models with a lot of attention to the details and technical aspects, such as, for example: a working steering system. Their aesthetics are beautiful and I would describe their appearance as classic LEGO. There are a lot of rare bricks in this theme such as chrome elements or windows in a unique transparent color. This makes these sets even more special and valuable. I have two favorite models from this theme: 5563: Racing Truck and 5541: Blue Fury. I do not have them in my collection yet, but I hope that over time I will be able to acquire them as a whole set or complete them from single parts.

- Do you have a special room for your Lego ? How are you organized ?

- A well-organized workplace is crucial. My workshop is intended for this purpose, there are big tables, proper lightning and a computer. The bricks, which are more often used should be quickly accessible, I keep them in drawers near my work-table. There are several hundreds of them. These bricks are sorted according to my criteria developed over several years of work and correspond to the division from the database of a program I use for design. The bricks, that are used rarely, fill many different drawers and containers. They are sorted according to their type, color, quality. The last group consists of unsorted blocks, they are kept in lots, of several kilograms. It may seem quite surprising, but even though my collection consists of hundreds of thousands of pieces, I can state with a high probability whether I have the brick I need. My son and his excellent memory are also an Invaluable help.

- Feel free to add anything you would like to share :)

- Finally, I invite everyone to visit my website and try their strength as constructors of LEGO bricks. I want to thank my wife especially for her patience and forbearance, the passion is always time-consuming, the one related to the blocks as well. Thank you.

solidarity with UKRAINE
World Art BRICKS Magazine No.3
March-April-May 2019
"Les petites voitures de Seymouria"

World Art Bricks Magazine