Special Interview with Bob De Quatre

Today's  guest of honor is Bob De Quatre from France who is known for his great Sci-fi MOC's with incredible shapes. He is also a Sci-fi section moderator in popular LEGO fan community forum Eurobricks.com. Photos from the work of our guest will be presented between the questions.

Kaplan: In our opinion, you are one of the best LEGO Sci-fi 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?

Bob: I'm a software engineer, living in south of France (a few kilometers away from Vince_toulouse). I'm part of the Eurobricks staff as Sci-Fi Moderator. I enjoy watching movies and reading books, mostly Science-fiction.

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?

B: I don't remember it precisely... I think it was a castle set, back in the early 80's. My older sister got some Duplo and Fabuland sets, so I guess it all started with these.

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

B: It's a dual-part memory. The first part is when I built the XB-13 before entering my dark age, back in 1997... And the second part when I recovered it from the box under my bed at my parents' place after my dark age in summer 2012. I took some (dusty) pictures of it before dismantling it. 

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

B: 6981 Blacktron II Aerial Intruder! Such a good set, and still enjoyable by children today! I still have it built at home, along with all my other Blacktron II sets, and display it at conventions.

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

B: Blacktron II, M-tron and Technic are my favorites. But I have a soft spot for Pirates and Castle themes too. And sometimes I mix them all in my builds!

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

B: As I said, I entered my dark age in 1997, I was 17 years old... In 2012 I saw pictures of an UCS-style Super Star Destroyer, and thought it would look cool at home... But I wasn't satisfied with the model, so I learned how to use LDD and started designing my own SSD...

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

B: I think I own a few tens of thousands bricks, but not much compared to other AFOL's. Regarding sets, not much. I usually don't buy sets and prefer to order bricks on Bricklink or Shop@home.

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

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?

B: I usually scrap my MOCs just after taking pictures. Unless I feel attached to a MOC... I also built a few MOC especially for display, like my UCS B-wing. Also, for Andromeda's Gates we "have to" build a new MOC every week, so I took the habit of making a rushed build on Sunday, building, taking pictures and scraping a MOC in a couple hours.

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

B: I'm not very fond of it, but why not, especially regarding custom Technic parts... That said, I don't use them...

K: You are especially great at building sci-fi creations. Your techniques and presentations are awesome. What is your secret?

B: I think the biggest "secret" is getting inspired. Looking at others builds and trying to copy a technique or part of a build is a good way to progress and acquire new skills. I use LDD a lot, to try shapes, techniques, color combinations... This kind of software can't replace building with real bricks, but it helps a lot. Looking at Nick Trotta's builds in LDD could always teach me a thing or two! I also tend to start my MOCs with just the idea of a shape in my head, sometimes I sketch it, and then I try to build it in LDD or with bricks.

K: Your photograpy skills are really impressive. Can you give us tips about light setup, background selection etc?

B: I use a simple 80 cm lightbox (bought on Amazon for a few bucks), three white light sources and some large paper sheets. It's pretty simple and cheap setup, but it works well with models under 50 cm. A good camera is a must-have, but I don't have one... So I compensate with good photo-editing skills, but simply adjusting levels is often the only thing needed. My secret for larger MOCs: I take the pictures in my bathroom! A small white room, with a bright white light... A few paper sheets on the ground and that's it!

K: You participate in Eurobricks Andromeda's Gates RPG. What can you tell us about it and about your part in it?

B: My part in it is... well I created the game, and I enjoy participating as often as I can. It's been launched almost two years ago, and we're closing to the conclusion of the first era. AG2 will launch in a few month, with updated rules and stories...

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

B: Just build what you want, however you want! Keep looking at builders you like. Try and experiment with shapes and techniques. 

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

B: I've always something on the work. These days I've taken a liking to experiment with Power Functions motors, so you can expect some moving MOCs in a near future.

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

B: I'm not really part of a LUG, but that's something that may change. Collaborative builds is something I'd like to do more. I've participated in the last Eurobrick's display at Brickworld Chicago and enjoyed it.

K: The ultimate question. Tiles or studs? :)

B: Studs!!... No, I'm kidding...

K: Thank you very much for the interview.

B: Tahnks again for that opportunity.