Special Interview with Jonas Kleinalstede a.k.a. Brick Vader

This weeks guest of honor is Jonas Kleinalstede a.k.a. Brick Vader from Germany. He is known for his great vignettes in mostly historical themes. His creations are full of great building techniques and incredible mini-figure usage together with purist customizing. The texturing and details in his creations are also outstanding as well. 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 real name? What is your dayjob? Do you have any other hobbies or activities?

Jonas: My Name is Jonas and i’m from a small town from Germany. I’m 18 years old, and up until a few months ago I was a student, but I graduated in June. I’m currently working at McDonalds till September when I will go to New Zealand for six months. I also did some little videography gigs in the last couple of months. I'm pretty much interested in most forms of art, from film-making and music to fashion. I also force myself to read sometimes and do some sports.

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?

J: I don’t know, how old I was, but I think it was a holiday day and my sister and I where bored, so my mother took us to the local toyshop and bought the first
„Real“ Lego set, before that I only had DUPLO. It was one of those buckets with a bunch of bricks and those weird Jack Stone Type Minifigures.

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

J: Probably when I found out about the Online Community, which I think was in 2008 or 2009. It was so inspiring to see what amazing creations people all over the world where building. It was a completely different outlook on the whole LEGO Hobby and I started to try to build similar MOC's, which, of course, in the beginning where terrible because of my lack of certain parts and my young age.

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

J: I really like the first Arkham Asylum. Thats the first one that comes to mind.

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

J: I think it would be Harry Potter, the old Forestmen and the Vikings line. I’m not a huge Fan of most LEG themes and haven’t bought a set based of the set for a long time, only if I wanted the parts in it. I think LEGO could do such cool lines but always does either the same over and over again (Castle, Pirates, the entire city line) or makes weird and colorful things for their main target group (Ninjago, Nexoknights). I would really like to see a Steampunk line, or new historic themes, like ancient Rome, ancient Egypt or some fresh medieval stuff.

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

J: Yes I had a lot of „dark- ages“. Best example being the last year, I haven’t really build anything from March 2015 to March 2016. It’s always pretty inconsistent and my passion to build somehow comes and goes pretty randomly.

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

J: I honestly have no idea, probably a lot less than most AFOL's.

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

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?

J: Yes I have to scrap everything sooner or later, because my collection isn’t that big and I want to have access to most of my bricks when I’m building. Otherwise I’m to limited and can’t build to the detail level I want.

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

J: I personally don’t like either and think they don’t look very good. I used to cut a flex tube here and there, but I also try to avoid that at the moment.

K: You build in different themes (post-apoc, western, historical etc). How can you be so good at different themes?

J: First of all, thanks! I only build what I want and what I feel like I can pull of. It’s pretty natural to me. Most of my MOC's are dioramas and I always was interested in architecture and production design for film, which both can be a part of a diorama.

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

J: Thanks, again :D I think a lot of it has to do with composition, I always have in mind, from which angle I want to take the photo and how it will look. I feel like, some people give composition, and the finished look not enough attention, although I believe it should be as important than every other aspect. Its like a frame of a film or a photograph: the composition should be a main thought when making it.

K: You often share only one photo for each of your MOC's and give a link to other sites for more photos. Why don't you share more photos directly on flickr?

J: I want to have a clean and organized feed, where you can see my repertoire of builds at first glance and don’t have to click through endless pages of images to get to the next MOC.

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

J: Just build for yourself and build whatever you like. It’s only LEGO, have fun with it!

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

J: I have some ideas of what I want to do next and already started with some of them, but I doubt that I will mange to finish those ideas soon.

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

J: I am part of the German Imperium der Steine LUG, which is very cool. I will try to become more active in LUG and go to more conventions next year.
I did one collaborative display with Jonas (Leopard) for the Fanwelt 2014 in Cologne which was also my fist and only Convention so far.

K: And our final question in every interview. Tiles or studs?

J: I like a mixture of both.