Special Interview with Vince Toulouse

We are excited to share our third special interview. Our thrid guest of honor is an amazing builder from France one of the best steampunk / Sci-fi MOC builders in the world, Vince Toulouse. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

Kaplan: We already know you are one of the best LEGO MOC'ers in the world. What can you tell us about yourself other than that. What is your dayjob? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?

Vince Toulouse: I'm Vincent, I'm in charge of video productions in a university. In fact, I devote more time to the music, my other hobby, and sometimes, I can spend several weeks without playing lego. Steampunk and dieselpunk are my favorite universes for building.

K: Do you remember the day when you got your first LEGO set? Which set was it? And How old were you when you started playing with LEGO bricks?

V: Well…it was a few years ago… I started with Lego in the mid 70's (5 or 6 years old?) with sets from my brother's collection (850 Fork Lift ; 853 Auto Chassis, 4,5v train sets …). My first set was the 374 Fire Station of 1978. I think I still have 1 or 2 firemen minifigs.

K: What is your best/unforgettable memory involving LEGO?

V: I remember the first Classic Space set I saw in a shops in 1979. Another memory is the day I mixed all my bricks in one big bag and started to combine parts from Space & Town sets. The Legoland 6000 IdeaBook was a great source of inspiration.

K: If you have to choose, what is your all-time favorite LEGO set?

V: I can't give a specific answer, I usually choose a set due to its inventory (MOCFodder) and you can find interesting parts in every set (yes, even in Friends sets…). I like my old 918 Space Transport because it is one of my first set, but it's a bit yellowed today…

K: What is/are your favorite LEGO theme/s

V: Difficult to answer. As a child, my favorite theme was Classic Space. But the Lego catalog is full of beautiful themes that I found out later :
Time Cruisers for the mix of parts from various themes,
Alpha Team/Mission Deep Freeze & Dino2010 for the color sheme,
Monsters Fighters and last Ninjago sets for their Steampunk vibe,
Fabuland, Galidor, Belville, Scala... for the NPU opportunities! etc...

K: Did you have a "dark-age"? If you had one when did you return from your dark age and how?

V: In early 90's, I was a student far away from home and all my spare-time was dedicated to music. I came out of my "dark age" ten years ago, when my son was 4 or 5 years old (he get 4407 Basic Set for Chrismas).

K: How many LEGO bricks/sets do you own approximately?

V: Approx 100 kg of bricks. I have a lot of parts from Pick-a-brick or Bricklink. My collection is growing very slowly.

K: What are your favorite top three of your MOC's?

V: T5 Prospector - I like the concept of vertical ship and it was pleasant to work on all industrial oriented details to give it a believable design.
Polar Transport – Inspired by the cover of "Popular Science" n°187 released in the 30's. Those old magazines are perfect for retro-future inspiration.
Dark Car - Poison Edition – because I like it.

K: Do you scrap your MOC's after taking photos or displaying or do you keep them? How do you decide which ones you keep?

V: After taking photos, all my MOC's are disassembled as soon as I need parts.

K: You have done great custom figures in the past. What do you think about custom or third party pieces in MOC's?

V: I do not use custom bricks. All my MOCs are built with regular LEGO parts (some exceptions with stickers), but my building techniques are not always regular or stressfree ! For me, it's part of the game, I like to spend hours to explore the different ways the LEGO bricks can be combined. But I admit you can find some excellent custom pieces like chromed parts, and some builders are masters in decals.

K: You use unusual large pieces for some of your MOC's that nobody else used before. Where do you get the idea for using them.

V: I get lot of ideas exploring Bricklink catalog. Sometimes, I start a MOC only with one part because of its shape or color. Once I have one, I try all the combination I can find (position, orientation), the final idea of a MOC comes later. So, finish a MOC takes me a long time.

K: If you choose best three LEGO elements that you think are extremely useful for building MOC's which element you pick.

V: Brackets ! And all the bricks with which you can change the direction of the studs. Structures of my MOC's are full of brackets. And of course, all the curved parts.

K: Do you have any suggestions for the new MOC'ers?

V: I don 't know what to say except keep on playing LEGO. I also suggest to check inventories of new sets (and not only in your favorite theme) for unexpected ideas.

K: Are you currently working on some MOC's or other LEGO related projects?

V: The « Rolling Bug » is achieved, I have to take photos (and perhaps change the name...)
I look for ideas for Machine n°6 (my series of hovercrafts), and also some wip and studies on a HotWheels/dieselpunk car.

K: Are you member of a local LUG? Do you participate in collaborative builds?

V: I don't know the local LUG's in south of France, I discuss with other builders on the web but I'm not very active in web communication and I apologies for that. I really want to thanks the AFOL community for all the positive comments I receive. I try to keep an eye on FlickR galleries but sometimes, I have no Lego activity for weeks and I certainly miss some great MOC's from talented builders. Again, thanks to everyone for your support.

K: And the final question. Tiles or studs? 

V: Tiles! I let a stud visible only if it participates in design.