2013 Roundup & 2014 Plans
Summary of yet another year of building and plans for the year ahead.
2013 left me with impression that I need much more time for building than I currently have. My full-time job is the problem here, and I’m looking at several possible solutions right now. If any of them succeeds, I will finally be able to produce several large and complex models this year.
2013 brought a total of 17 models, and for me it was a year of focusing heavily on videos and YouTube. I have put a lot of effort into making my videos better, acquiring a Tamron lens for my camera, a Camrock camera slider and a Hero GoPro 3 Silver Edition camera along the way, and experimenting with color grading. I am thinking about filming in FullHD now, because technically I could, but it may have to wait until I can afford to upgrade my PC – right now it needs about 6x longer to render a FullHD video than it does to render a HD one. In any case, I think it’s safe to say that the effort paid off, as the year closed with 5.1 million video views and with more than doubled number of subscribers. Somewhat surprisingly, the most viewed video of 2013 turned out to be that of my Floating Crane, closely followed by that of my KZKT 7428 Rusich tank transporter. Personally, I’m particularly proud of a couple of videos from the last quarter of 2013, and if I had to point one that was most interesting to work on and which turned out to be most pleasing to me, it would be my Trophy Truck video:
As for my 2013 MOCs, I’m not satisfied with their complexity – while there was a higher number of MOCs than back in 2012, most of them were simple, with the Rusich being probably the most complex one. This is the result of my overall lack of time, which prevented me from starting to work on more time-consuming models, with the exception of the A-10 Thunderbolt model which has been under development for a couple of months now, and which is still incomplete.
I didn’t manage to finish a single model until March, which brought a rather simple Komatsu truck, and a long-postponed K2 Black Panther tank, which I was very pleased with. I have immediately proceeded to work on the transporter for the tank, but it wasn’t complete until May, and in the meantime I took a break building the Floating Crane. Next was the Peugeot racing car built for speed records, which came very close to being faster than my Pagani Zonda, but ultimately failed. Shortly after, I have finally finished my first model of a plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, which looked well but was dead simple. It was met with a warm welcome though, which convinced me that the area of Lego planes is definitely worth exploring. I haven’t finished another car until October, experimenting a lot in the meantime, which resulted in, among other models, the Bat. The October car, the Dakar Truck, turned out to be a disappointment, and I felt much better when a month later the performance of my Trophy Truck has exceeded all expectations. I have spent December fooling around a bit, building e.g. the Minigun, but also working really hard to finish a model that was under development for a better part of the year: Ferrari Enzo. This model turned out to be an interesting and educative challenge, but it also left a lot to be improved in my next supercar models.
2013 was also the year when I fully ebraced the bad habit of building several models at the same time. While this may be frustrating to follow, it helps me to be more creative and it can result in a couple of models being finished one right after another. That habit was taken into account when my website got partially revamped, with the Future Projects section and the Downloads section becoming clearer and more visual. At the same time I was forced to reduce the number of widgets on my website to absolute minimum, because all the incoming traffic was overloading the server.
As for the 2014 plans, I definitely want to build more and to build diversely. I love cars of all kinds, but I want to experiment with other models as well, including planes – such as the A-10 on which I’m focusing now, but not limited to it – or even submarines. I have done some preliminary planning and measuring and I think I can build a 60 cm long model of a WW2 submarine with a fullstud body and a couple of motorized functions. It won’t be able to go anywhere near water, of course, but it should be interesting nevertheless, especially since the first submarine I want to build is the Polish ORP Orzeł, a very advanced WW2 sub with a fascinating history. Once the A-10 is finally complete, I intend to turn to WW2 era planes, specifically to the legendary P-51 Mustang, which I want to build at a relatively large scale. There will be, of course, regular cars too – including Audi R8 which I want to be my next supercar after Enzo, and my third attempt at modelling the Hummer, which was already started at large scale (see below), using the newest suspension pieces. The Hummer will be fitted with a nice fullstud body in red, perhaps with some fragments in dark red and with a certain number of stickers.
Other plans include the 2013 Dodge Challenger, this time with a studless body, as opposed to my old 1969 Dodge Charger, a huge Liebherr LTM 1250 mobile crane with an interesting outriggers mechanism, the M35 wrecker truck with tan fullstud body and a very complex drivetrain, the Warhammer Stormblade tank, which should be a nice change from the real-life tanks thanks to its heavy ornamentation and a barrel which will be probably illuminated with EL wire, and finally Lamborghini Reventon which has been waiting to be built for a long, long time now, and which still has a chance to be my first NXT-controlled supercar.
As you can see, I’m planning a lot, and I’m also keeping in mind the models I wanted to build last year but didn’t manage to. This is going to require plenty of time, and I’m actively searching for ways to have more time than I did in 2013. Of course, there is no guarantee I can carry out this whole plan, at least not until I quit sleeping 😉 One of the possible obstacles that may interfere with my plans is the new Xbox and a couple of games that are coming, but at the moment I can’t even afford it, so all is safe.
2013 was also the year when my book, written originally in English, became available in German and Polish. I can safely say that there is more to come in that area. At the same time, it was the year when LEGO asked me to review their new sets, which I did with pleasure. I hope they will come again with 2H2014 sets, but only LEGO knows if that is going to happen.
All in all, I can promise that 2014 is going to be interesting and it will probably bring a few nice surprises.
Happy New Year 2014!