Special Interview with Paul Trach a.k.a. Disco86

Hello everybody. This week we are happy to share our special interview with one of the best builders in the World; Paul Trach a.k.a. Disco86 from germany. He is known for his great Sci-fi as well as historical creations. 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?

Paul: As my dayjob I am working as a corporate lawyer at a local energy Company. After finishing my work there, I mostly enjoy a good meal and beer with friends. Besides that I am going to the gym and love to climb. Actually there are no more Hobbies needed than that, while building MOC's is really time consuming.

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?

P: I don't really remember everything that clearly, because it is a lot of years ago, may have been when I was four years old. Maybe I have played with my father's collection before I got my first set. But thinking about the sets I received first, it must have been 6672 Safari Off-Roader or 6671 Utility Repair Vehicle. The printed parts of both sets were my favorites at that time.

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

P: The best memories since being AFOL are the conventions. Especially Meeting my LUG at the Bricking Bavaria in Munich last year was an awesome experience. When I was a kid, it was unforgettable when I built submarines with a friend.

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

K: What are your favorite LEGO themes?

P: As you may have recognized, I prefer Castle and Space. While creating my own realistic figures when building Castle, I love to revive old Space themes like Blacktron and Ice Planet when it comes to Sci-fi. And of course I also got a favor for Star Wars.

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

P: When I grew up, there were a lot of intersting activities, so I stopped building at the age of eleven. Coming back to Lego was a spontaneous Action, when I was around 26. I saw some of the actual Star-Wars-Sets at the TV. Couple days later I bought a used 4483 AT-AT to place it in my living room for decoration. But building it was ultimate fun, so I bought more, feeling like all my dreams as a kid coming true, because I could afford every set I wanted.

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

P: Counting them is impossible, so I can only guess. May be 140 sets, but while buying mostly at Bricklink and the Pick-A-Brick-Wall I have over half a million bricks.

K: What are your favorite top three of your MOCs?

     Jurassic Collab built together with Markus 

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?

P: After taking Pictures or displaying the MOC just once, I always scrap everything. The builds are too parts consuming and start to bore me after I finished them. The only MOC I ever kept, was the Microscale Apoca AT-AT from Episode VII, that I built last year in may. I donated it to Creations 4 Charity, so it's may only MOC that is still alive, and hopefully will be forever.

K: What do you think about custom or third party pieces in MOC's?

P: When I started to create my own builds, I was inspired by the different leaf colors of AltBricks, so I ordered some and used them. Opening new possibilities with new colors seems reasonable for me. But using completely different parts is against the fundamental idea of building with a limited Palette of bricks. Besides that I understand, that Military fans need custom weapons and custom printed figs, even if I think These are mostly too expensive.

K: You build both historical and Sci-fi creations. This is not very common among expert builders. How can you be so good at different themes?

P: First of all, in my opinion, the builders who focus on only one theme, are better at what they are doing. I am especially thinking of Derfel Cadarn and Peter Reid here. But back too me it is no problem to switch between themes, because basically it is all about composition and attention to detail. Another factor is the experience and I had times when I built more than one MOC the week, so I earned a lot of experience at different themes, that is always helpful. My first attempts at new themes never have been that successful by the way.

K: Your MOC's always look clean and complete together with perfect lighting. How do you manage to do this?

P: The clean look is the result of my main techniques when building. I always try to avoid studs, set some parts SNOT and there has to be a composition between parts with a lot of details and those with lower details. Also my equipment helps to improve the clean results. Most bricks I use were bought at a new condition, they are stored seperately to prevent scratches and cleaned regularly. A light tent and day light bulbs combined with a tripod and a infrared camera Trigger guarantie high quality Pictures.

K: You always use flesh colored minifigures in your MOC's. Don't you like the yellow minifigures?

P: In my opinion the MOC's have to look as realistic as possible, I don't want them to look like toys. And that's why I actually don't like yellow minifigures, because they make it look like a funny toy, while most times there has to be a serious or at least realistic mood in my builds.

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

P: The most important point is to start small. Most beginners see these big Displays and want to do this on their own, while not having the collection, the patience and the skill to fulfill. If you start small, you could focus on details. After learning how things work together you can think it bigger, while your collection is growing. Another important point is Patience to gain experience. Nobody ever was perfect, when he started something. The real skill comes with repetition and just stepping a little bit beyond the own limitations every time.

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

P: After completing the Jurassic Park Diorama with Markus I felt really exhausted. Work and private life took their parts of my free time and so I built nothing since then. But I got something on my mind, maybe I start this Weekend, after cleaning my building table. Maybe I wait until the weekend after...

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

P: My LUG is called Imperium der Steine, it is based on a Forum about Lego Star Wars, so we are more national than local, having members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And I am also in contect with my local LUG called Brickfans Rhein-Main, which is obviously local oriented in the Rhein-Main area around Frankfurt. Participating in collaborations with too many people is not my favorite style of building. Harmonizing everyone's ideas and styles is mostly complicated, that's why I only collaborated with my friend Markus so far. We are both having the same style of building, love the same themes and are even on a similar skill level. But I am looking forward to participate in one of these Moonbase collaborations, they seem to be fun and you don't have to think about the others builds, if you match the outline rules.

K: And the ultimate question. Tiles or studs?

P: Tiles, or even better snotted bricks, just no studs please !

K: Thank you very much for being a guest here in tilesorstuds.

P: Thanks for the opportunity to give this interview !