Interview with designer Katya Hodgson (comrade_katya)

In this series we want to introduce some of our designers by interviewing them. Today we will be talking with Katya Hodgson, also known as comrade_katya on instagram. Katya designed several World War 1, World War 2 and Cold War era models for OmahaBricks. While working with us at OmahaBricks she also released several models at BrickMania, so there is a big change you have heard of, or seen her work.

Katya, thank you for doing this interview and helping us to learn a bit more about you. Could you start with telling a bit about who you are in real life?

Sure! I’m currently 22, but i’ll be 23 this year. Up until recently I lived with my mum, but now I live on my own in my own flat, which is in the United Kingdom.

You only recently started living on your own? Cool. How is do you feel about that?

It was very strange at first! I am used to a house full of many people, so even though I am glad of the peace and quiet I almost feel a little lonely at times. It is good to have my own space though, and I have a very kind friend nearby who has helped me a lot.

I see a cat in that picture of yourself, is it living with you in your own flat?

Her name is Sturmtiger, she lives at home (not in my flat with me), her brother is called Jagdtiger.

Since you are just 22, almost 23, years old, it was not long ago that you where just a kid. Did you play with Lego’s when you where a kid to? And can you remember what your first set was?

I’m not quite sure which was actually my first set, but the first set I remember going into a shop to buy was Star Wars set 7133 Bounty Hunter Pursuit, I remember my mum helping me build it!

Oh, that is a very cool set. Awesome speeders and it still had yellow heads if I remember correctly. What was your favorite fig in that set?

It would definitely be the figure “Zam Wessel”, such a cool bounty hunter figure! Her outfit was the rare sand-purple colour, and she’s one of the earliest figures to have a double-sided face.

Is Star Wars also your favorite theme when it comes to sets Lego releases? Or do you have a other favorite theme?

My favourite theme currently is probably Star Wars, i’m quite a big fan although I don’t tend to buy official LEGO sets as much anymore, usually MOCs and fan designs. There were a whole bunch of themes in the past i’d love to see return, such as a lot of the old Space lines, and also Adventurers!

You say fan designs. Can you name one, or more, fan designs you own and are very satisfied about?

Well, I have been really loving Star Wars again recently, and I built the T-70 X-Wing fighter designed by Jerac for Brickvault, and it’s one of the single coolest LEGO things I have ever built!

With all that Star Wars, you make me wonder how did you end up in the wonderfull world of military Lego?

I got interested in tanks many years ago after watching the anime “Girls und Panzer” and since then I kept trying to make them out of Lego. After going through a period of giving up Lego and making plastic model kits, I discovered Bricklink’s Stud.io program, and started messing with it. A couple of years later and here I am!

I’m always curious, can you remember what the first model you designed in studio was?

Well… it was actually quite a terrible looking armoured car haha, i’ll include a photo for people to see. But I think I have definitely improved!

Although I don’t think it is terrible for a first design, I do agree you improved a lot. A lot of your models at OmahaBricks are awesome. How did you end up with OmahaBricks?

It actually happened when I made some improvements to an existing Omaha Bricks design, and this got noticed by one of the owners, who messaged me to ask if I would be interested in helping out. After a bit I ended up fully joining the team.

Since you designed a lot of models by now, is there any Lego part you like to use the most in your designs?

Honestly this is such a tricky question, maybe bracket pieces or cheese slopes? To be honest though it’s hard to pick a favourite since you can’t really manage with just one type!

But if you had to choose one, just because you like to use it so much, which one would it be?

Fiiiine if you really push me, probably cheese slope pieces (54200), super useful for getting nice angles in many places!

Dark Bluish Gray is clearly the most used Lego color in all our designs, but which other color do you like to use?

If I can I do love to use dark green, unfortunately it’s often too expensive or rare, hence the large amount of dark bluish gray. I am also very fond of Sand Green, although I am yet to produce a model for OmahaBricks that actually uses it. And of course both Tan and Dark Tan are excellent also!

Like said in the introduction, you designed a lot of models for OmahaBricks from different era’s, which one of those is you own favorite?

I’d say probably my M3 Stuart, and specifically the British version in desert camo. I love that little thing!

That Stuart is indeed pretty cool. Can you tell a bit more about the model? How the design came together? And which features it has and such?

Funnily enough, the Stuart actually began when I was poking around with the old Brickmania M2 light tank. Brickmania had just done an early M3 Stuart (my favourite variant) and whilst it was a lovely model (great work Mary!) I wasn’t quite happy with the size, felt like it was a little too big. So I decided to try and build one to scale well with the old Brickmania M2 and M3, and it came out really well! I’m especially happy that I was able to do the British desert camo, although I wish I could have had some blue in it. As for features… well it doesn’t fit figures inside, but you can fit a figure in the commander’s hatch, and it also has a detailed engine with opening rear doors.

And finaly, can you give a little spoiler of one model you are going to release at OmahaBricks in the near future?

Well it’s not a tank, but it might be based on something I have already done!

Thanks Katya for this interview, we are pretty sure that your next release will be as awesome as all the ones you already designed for Omahabricks.

In the next interview we are going to talk to our designer Ryan.

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