sales (1 of 1)-12 (002)With the news that Red Dwarf Series 11 is on the cards (Thursday 22nd September, exclusive to Dave) we thought we’d interview Bob Turner, who has built a fantastic Red Dwarf playset and was so happy with it, he’s submitted it to LEGO ideas. Now that he’s on the journey to 10,000 supporters, lets find out a little bit more about his project, and what makes him tick when it comes to LEGO.

Hi Bob, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found your LEGO hobby?
I’m 34 years old, married and have a 4 year old daughter and I work as a Sales Manager for an Architectural Ironmongers. I started building when I was 4 years old right up until my early teens but got back into LEGO last year after completely restoring and selling my old sets through the Facebook and Twitter groups – Bob’s Vintage Lego. The money I made helped me to fund the parts used on the Red Dwarf set.

So you’ve built a set based on one of my favourite sci-fi programmes, Red Dwarf. How did you decide this was the right project to launch on LEGO Ideas?
I was and still am a big Red Dwarf fan, I’ve even met some of the cast. When I first heard about Lego ideas, I couldn’t believe no one had pitched a Red Dwarf themed set on the ideas website. Someone had attempted a scaled down version of the ship but that was about it. I discovered a company called were already selling custom made Red Dwarf mini-figures so I decided to contact them and ask if they’d like to be partners on the project. Nick and Caroline from the company have given me fantastic support right from the beginning.

Being someone who has watched each episode at least 10 times over I knew the show inside and out. I knew that little touches like the Holly Hop drive and Talkie toaster would go down great with the hardcore fans. The show has always had a cult following, but I never dreamed it would achieve over 6000 supporters in its first 3 months.

How has your Ideas journey been so far? What have you learned?
It’s been brilliant, I knew I’d receive some criticism from old school Red Dwarf fans and new younger fans but I’ve tried to honour both in my set. But to be honest, the bulk of the support I’ve had from Red Dwarf fans and Lego fans is amazing – I’ve had a lot of positive messages about the set, a recent follower said he’d be willing to give his Kidneys in exchange for the set! Unreal.. but I was very flattered.

Do you have plans for any more builds for the Red Dwarf fans out there – maybe a minifig scale Starbug?
I’d love to do Starbug next, but I’d like to see if my current set gets approved before investing more money and another 7 months in a new project. I’d love to add some more characters too such as Kochanski. I have a few ideas up my sleeve on creating Starbug with some great nods to Season VI if I decide to go ahead.

When you’re not out showing off your amazing Red Dwarf model, what other LEGO themes do you like to collect and build?
I mainly build the Vintage sets from the 80s and early 90s such as Pirate, Space and City as I restore and sell these. As far as collecting for myself, I have the Ghostbusters Ecto 1 and a few of the new Star Wars sets.

If you could choose any current retail model to build today, what would it be and why?
I’ve just finished building the Star Wars Force Awakens 75105 – Millennium Falcon as I’m a big Star Wars fan too but I’d love to own and build the now discontinued and very rare 21103 – Delorean if I can ever find one cheap enough! I love all things 80s.

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring LEGO builders out there that might want to start up a LEGO ideas project?
Yes, be very patient! The Red Dwarf Lego idea took 7 months in total to complete, 1-2 months of that was purely planning and ordering parts. I spent night after night going through parts lists on various websites trying to find the perfect part, but even then it didn’t always work or look right!
Lots of trial and error, i’d factor in 3 things:

1. What was most accurate to the source material.
2. What looked best in Lego.
3. What was actually possible to make using Lego.

Then I’d meet somewhere in the middle! The sliding door alone went through 4 different versions. So stick at it and don’t give up.

We’re looking forward to seeing Bob’s model in the flesh at Block Con, Hull. If you would like to support this awesome project, you can find Bob’s Red Dwarf project on LEGO ideas here.