“Barrels out of Bond” by Jon Schulz

Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) and community member, Jon Schulz took his “Barrels out of Bond” MOC to Brickalaide earlier this year and was a favourite for a lot of visitors. Measuring two 32×32 baseplates wide by 8 32×32 baseplates deep, this 40,000 piece creation took about 80 hours to build over 4 months and includes around 50 minifigures.

Jon was introduced to LEGO in the 1970’s with the Classic Space and Castle sets. Like many AFOLs, his ‘dark ages’ in his mid-teens and early 30’s but rediscovered a passion for LEGO building when the Star Wars and Fantasy Kingdom sets were released.

Here’s a bit more about Jon and his amazing MOC.

What is it about LEGO that you enjoy the most?

I enjoy building some sets, but mostly I am thinking, “How can I change this to make it better?” I now enjoy crafting scenes or thinking up sub-themes in Castle/LOTR and Space/Star Wars. I enjoy the ability to make what you can imagine and the problem solving and creativity that is involved. I am also inspired by with other AFOL’s and TFOL’s come up with.

Do you have a specific place (e.g. a room) where you build?

I have a loft in my house which was a pool room that has become the LEGO room. Over time, I have added IKEA shelving to keep my growing collection and also to house my sorted parts that I use when building (also all the tubs that need to be sorted… Grrr).

Where did you find your inspiration for the MOC?

My MOC is the scene from the second Hobbit movie, Barrels out of Bond. While I thought the part in the movie was a bit over the top, I thought it would make a great MOC. I also had a look on Flickr to see a couple of MOC’s that a few others had done.

What was the most difficult part of the creating process and how did you overcome it?

I had to take screen grabs and study the design of the battlements and then take some of the different parts of the 8 minute scene and translate them into something that doesn’t move. Also the fact that I was trying to do a scene of barrels going down a fast flowing river, which meant there had to be a large degree of fall from one end to the other.

Are there any elements/parts that you think are used in a clever way that people may miss?

All the parts underneath that you can’t see. Probably more bricks underneath than there are on top. You have to look for a while as there is a lot going on.

What part of the MOC are you most proud of?

The fortifications and the river. Trans studs give the best effect, but you need a ton of them… about 20, 000. Also the foliage and trees.

What was the best part of displaying at Brick-a-laide 2015? that experience?

Just seeing people’s expressions, especially the kids makes it worth while.

How do you want people to feel when they look at your MOC?

I want them to be taken back to that scene or the passage in the Hobbit.

Are you planning on expanding/adding to your MOC or will it stay as-is?

I am changing the way it looks by putting more of the larger trees on the rear, making the smaller trees actually branch out over the edge of the MOC and adding another 2 plates to the end of it.

What three tips would you give someone wanting to build a MOC like yours?

  1. Planning is the key. A long lead time to allow for gradual buy of minifiguress and parts. I probably had the first idea for this MOC in 2013 and began to get the things I thought I would need. Sort parts ahead of time.
  2. Putting aside an amount of cash into a LEGO account every month helps when you get near the end and you have to go crazy on Bricklink to get the parts you need to finish.
  3. Giving yourself enough time to finish. I gave myself six months from when I began to plan how it might be set out and four months to build it. Sometimes you need a break, just so you can come at it from a different perspective. Don’t be afraid to break and rebuild if you are not happy with the result.

Southern Bricks LEGO Users Group is a community of LEGO fans from Adelaide and across South Australia.

Southern Bricks Admin

Southern Bricks LEGO Users Group is a community of LEGO fans from Adelaide and across South Australia.

  • Ervin Sim

    Definitely one of my favourite displays at brickalaide, thanks for doing an interview. Do you have any internal shots of the support structure? Your comment on most of it being unseen is definitely something I agree with for landscape heavy mocs.

    • Wolvarie

      Hey Ervin, Jon here, I do have quite a few if you are interested. I’ll put them up on my Flickr feed in the next couple of days in a Moc Building folder.
      I want to do another one with just as much with even a bigger slope so I have been buying up on supports on BL.