Where is home?: Mexico City
How long have you been collecting Star Wars Lego?: Not long, actually. I had lots of Lego when I was a child, but that collection disappeared during one of those “I’m all grown up” things.
About 10 years ago I saw a SW set for the first time and loved it but didn’t purchase it. The idea got stuck in my mind like an inception thing, though.
I’m a professional wedding photographer, and 5 or 6 years ago I saw this picture on line with Lego Stormtroopers and it was love at first sight. I started to buy Stormtroopers but didn’t get many since the only way I could get them was by buying the whole sets. By early 2014 I only had about 12 figures, including Darth Vader, Boba Fett (my favorite) and a shadow trooper. My GF saw them once and for Xmas she gave me 3 of those small sets so “my figures could have company” and that jump-started the whole thing. In less than a year now I have almost 350 different figures and a large army.
What are your favorite sets?: I’d say the ones from the Original Trilogy. I love the X-Wing, the TIE Fighter, and the Millennium Falcon.
Your Echo Base is incredible! How long have you worked on it?: Thanks! The Battle of Hoth is my favorite part of the original trilogy,
At one point back when I started my collection I decided I was going to have 2 dioramas, one being the Battle Of Hoth so I could “play” with it and my camera. So after getting around 50 Stormtroopers, my focus shifted to get both sides of Hoth troopers.
In Mexico is very hard to find most of the Lego sets, we don’t have Lego Stores or specialized Toy stores like in the US or the UK. And the department stores and small toy stores carry just part of the catalog. So you have to buy a lot of second hand sets and on line, but locally since importation and shipping costs are very high and it increases a lot the cost of everything you buy internationally. I could find one rebel here and one snowtrooper there (snowtroopers were way easier than rebels). Some times at a very expensive price (specially when I started, now I know better) and 3 months ago I finally got the Echo base set. I was so excited!!
White bricks are almost impossible to find, and when you do, most of the times they are very damaged. Whites are the most delicate bricks because they get very dirty and change color to yellow, so after months and months of trying to find enough bricks to make my base 100% Lego, I decided I was going the other way and got the exterior of the base and the landscape custom made so I could fill it with Lego.
Since I’m a photographer most of my work is on weekends, so I change or add something to the base every day.
I actually was building 2 bases, the one you see in the pics and the other one 100% Lego using the Echo Base set, but don’t having enough space plus the difficulty to find white bricks made me decide to combine them.
I think I already finished the rebel base part, so now I’ll begin with the empire part, the attack. I finally have enough snowtroopers and just need an extra AT-AT to finish it. I hope you see photos of it complete very soon.
What is your next diorama project?: Due that lack of space I can’t do many, but my original idea, when I started buying so many stormtroopers was to build the emperor’s landing, when Darth Vader welcomes Palpatine to the Death Star and there are hundreds of empire soldiers in perfect formation (The Return of the Jedi).
Any advice for those interested in scene building?: Decide what you want to build, think about space since this things tend to be larger of what you plan. These things usually are huge, larger than you imagine. I first thought my Hoth diorama was going to be around 60 cms long, but it was impossible. Now it’s 160 cms!! And had to split it in 2.
Also think about cost and parts availability. Don’t buy the first things you see. Research for lower prices. Specially if you don’t live in countries without Lego store or Toy’s R us. There’s always somebody selling at a lower price.
And most important of all, have fun! I’ve found building this works great as relaxation therapy, plus it makes you take your eyes away from computer and smartphones’ screens for hours, so it’s also good for your health and creativity.