For your second tasty morsel of steampunkery today, feast upon Eric Druon’s (BaronSat) armored skyboat. It employs a brick-built hull, and the age-old technique of employing exposed studs as rivets looks particularly good on this machine.
Who doesn’t love a sleek steampunk flying machine, resplendent with leather wings and giant wooden propellers? This snappy gyrocopter by Dwalin Forkbeard is a fine example of just such a craft, and needs only a pastoral floating rock berth to be the quintessential go-to of steampunkery.
Your minifigs might or might not be under the influence of certain substances if they encounter this castle, but just ignore that and admire the lovely bricks in Simon Schweyer’s rainbow fortress.
While it was definitely the humour that caught my eye (not to mention the cute little frog), there are actually a lot of fantastic build techniques he’s used in the bot itself. From the brilliantly illegal shoulder joint connections, to the marvelous finger connection – this bot just fantastic.
The drone bandwagon keeps rolling, with the past week seeing a number of particularly nice examples of the genre.
Paul Meissner (legosamurai) pays homage to the artist that launched a thousand drones with this superbly accurate reproduction of a well-known piece of concept art by StTheo. And be sure to check out the rugged tactical variant, too.
The first official images have surfaced of the second wave of Mixels, LEGO’s new popular cute miniature creatures line. The first wave consisted of three colored factions of red, yellow, and black, representing Fire, Electricity, and Stone, respectively. This new lineup comprises orange, brown, and blue as creatures of Undersea, Monsters, and Air (or at least, that’s my best guess as to what their themes are). At any rate, they’re just as ferociously adorable as ever. While they’re all lovable, my favorite has to be Jawg, because it reminds me of Harry Potter’s growling Monster Book of Monsters. I also love the helmets used as eye-sockets on Slumbo.
One of the things I’ve loved about Citizen Brick from the first time I encountered their custom minifigs is their sense of humor. Joe and his crew at Citizen Brick make things you’ll never be able to buy in a LEGO set. Yes, you can buy usefully realistic military accessories, too, but they won me over back in 2011 with minifigs like “Botany Enthusiast.” Their latest batch of custom minifigs is titled “Dragon Sword Fighter Force,” which itself is hilarious, much like the over-the-top book series and premium cable TV show that clearly inspired these minifigs (obviously Game of Thrones).
I don’t generally quote ad copy, but the product blurb on the back of the three-minifig blister packs proves my point:
Dragons! Knights! Totally inappropriate family relations! Join the adventure as these brave fighters cross swords with some of the most fearsome foes in the realm. Whether defending their kingdom or clamoring for the crown, these minifigs are ready for a battle royale to the death. Horde the complete series of stunning figs before every character you like is killed off. Your honor is at stake!
It’s not just their sense of humor that attracts me to Citizen Brick, it’s the subversiveness of choosing to depict fairly adult subject matter in repurposed LEGO minifigures — “totally inappropriate” pretty much captures most of the Citizen Brick catalog, and “totally inappropriate” has a special place in my heart. (There’s also a strong disclaimer on each Citizen Brick product indicating zero affiliation with, endorsement by, or approval from LEGO.)
Citizen Brick sent me a batch of the “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs recently, and I wasn’t disappointed. They arrived in three-minifig blister packs with the aforementioned description on the back, plus a 13th bonus minifig of some guy who looks like a fishing boat captain titled “Sir Typesalot” (which you get when you buy all 12 custom minifigs at once).
As amused as I am by Citizen Brick’s subject matter, what keeps me coming back is the quality of their design work. Each custom minifig includes unique printing on nearly every available surface — face/head, torso (both front and back), arms, and legs. Many of the “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs also come with custom cloth accessories and weapons. The printing is indistinguishable from the printing on official LEGO minifigs, and the designs themselves don’t feel out of place from the world of LEGO (thus the big disclaimer, I suppose).
At $55 for a three-minifig pack or $220 for the full set of 12 (which also includes the George R.R. Martin-esque author minifig), these aren’t inexpensive, and I suspect they’re not the sort of minifigs you’d just fold into your Castle/medieval collection for use in a crowded display at a convention. No, these are serious collectibles for the dedicated A Song of Ice and Fire fan. That said, they are certainly wonderful Castle/medieval minifigs, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of the cool parts from these figs on “hero” minifigs quite a lot (I just wouldn’t bury them in an army). Citizen Brick minifigs range from $15 to $25 (these are $16-18 depending on whether you get the three-packs separately or buy the whole set at once), so prices are well within the range of what other vendors are charging for custom minifigs.
Now that so many vendors are producing custom-printed minifig elements at reasonably high quality, the distinguishing factors boil down to subject matter, design, and price rather than just availability and quality. Since price and quality are now somewhat less of a comparative factor, what continues to distinguish Citizen Brick minifigs is their often-humurous subject matter and consistently great design.
Although a bit on the pricey side as a complete set, I can definitely recommend Citizen Brick’s “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs to every Game of Thrones fan out there, because we certainly won’t be seeing an official LEGO Game of Thrones Collectible Minifigures series anytime soon.
“Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigures are available on CitizenBrick.com.
The Croc Swamp Hideout 70014 is one of the Lego Chima sets released in August 2013, it contains 647 pieces and retails for $69.99. The set is currently available on Amazon. Below is my review of the set.
- An above average selection of olive green and earth-toned parts
- Decent number of play features
- No unique parts or minifigs (unique means exclusive to the set)
- Not a good-looking model to display
This set is clearly meant to be a playset and has little value outside of this. It has a variety of play features as I’ve shown in the video, but most of them are standard except the rapid-fire shooter, which I think is the most well-designed functional feature of this set. The other aspects of the set are not so appealing, especially the lack of unique minifigs for one of the largest Chima sets. As for builders, there aren’t any unique pieces to the set. Taken together with the minifigs, this set seems like a remix of existing Lego parts and figures, which doesn’t add much to the its novelty. I would not recommend buying this set at retail price unless someone really wants a croc base to play with.
I wish that Hollywood would stop making watered-down renditions of Eighties classics, no matter how slick they are, and would instead focus on something new.
However, Marin Stipkovic‘s rendition of Robocop looks like a classic to me.
While this pirate model by Dylan Mievis (sparkytron) is top-notch all around, it’s the face and beard that really sell it. There are good parts usages, and then there are ones that are crazy and perfect, and using the large constraction fig head from Chima’s Laval for a pirate face is absolutely in the brilliant category.