#190 Q&A with a Master Builder: Answers from Chris Crowley

Updated: May 1

Today, Master Builder Chris Crowley, who specializes in Star Wars MOCs, will be answering your questions from last week. Here they are:

"Have you ever used “Illegal” building techniques or found ways to use pieces that weren’t thought of before?" Answer: "I've never used "illegal" building techniques but there are so many different types of Lego parts that there's a solution for almost any problem, you have to think outside the box sometimes and not look at the obvious, for instance minifig hands can be great for holding pieces together when you're stuck for space"

"If you wanted to start building mechs as a beginner, what parts are the absolute must have or parts for a starter kit?" Answer: "Personally I don't build mechs, but check out this link for some advice: http://thebrickblogger.com/…/building-lego-mechs-the-basics/ "

"How long have you been building and working on MOCs?" Answer: "I've always had Lego as a child from City sets to Star Wars sets , but Christmas 2015 I received The Tumbler from my girlfriend and the Christmas after that I received the Millennium Falcon (not UCS). When building I thought Lego could have done a much better job with the gaps on top so I set about fixing this and ordered another millennium falcon using the parts from that to make my one look more realistic and movie accurate, so from the start of 2017 to now I've built all my MOC sets and I've 1 or 2 in the pipeline.

"Do you jump straight into the parts and build, or do you spend time considering your direction?" Answer: "I spend a lot of time with considering what parts I need and Google images is your best friend, fortunately I've images of the models used in the original trilogy so they're a great help, but if your building a shape with angles and just getting the overall structure to look correct is 90 percent of the struggle once you have that down it's more aesthetics and greebling, but yes take your time and don't rush into it is my advice."

"Do you use any designing program, like LDD or Stud.io, or you just jump straight into the build and come up with techniques and things on the way?" Answer: "I don't use LDD or any programme as I much prefer to deal with the physical bricks as there are techniques that just don’t translate to LDD. I find it's much easier to have the bricks in your hands, but I might try and figure out how to make a PDF instruction for my A-Wing MOC but we'll see."

"What were the most useful sets for learning techniques and ideas for Star Wars type MOC building?" Answer: "I don't think there's any one set that I could say has helped, but the Saturn V has some great little builds in it. Sometimes you have to just try something that's never been done, as Lego can be a bit conservative in their builds, which is why you see many MOCs that look much better than the official sets."

"As a beginner, would it be easier to do smaller scale to get a hang of making MOCs, or is going bigger easier?"

Answer: "I'd recommend start small, maybe a small starfighter if it's Star Wars that you're into or an AT-ST, before moving onto the bigger stuff. Starting small can also allow you to see if something will work on a bigger scale."

"What's your "building environment" like? For example, when I'm working on SW MOCS, I've either got the soundtracks or one of the movies going. Sometimes I've got company, sometimes no. Sometimes I build in the basement, sometimes I build in the living room. Are you consistent in your situation?"

Answer: "When I'm building I usually tend to have a Star Wars playlist on Spotify on in the background, as for building environment it's usually just my bedroom or the office room, somewhere without any distractions is best. Sometimes you can get into a flow of building, and there I've many boxes with all my different colours assorted so it's much easier to find what I need."

Thanks for answering those question Chris, and for those who missed out the Q&A will return on the last Saturday of January.

You can check out Chris' Flickr account here, to follow him for updates of his MOCs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/153182633@N04