Tag Archives: BrickForge

Custom Roundup: BrickArms, BrickForge, BrickWarriors & BrickFortress

Spring is upon us and the makers of custom accessories are coming out with more new items to tempt us!

First up, BrickArms just released 10 new guns that run the gamut from World War II to Sci-Fi. Fans will be excited to see the E-11 and DL-44 come to production. Personally, I’m pretty excited about the Mosin Nagant.

Another shot of the BrickArms Spring 2013 Release

BrickForge has a number of new items. These include gas masks, ballistic masks, face shields, tactical masks, night vision goggles and chin straps.

Night Vision Goggles - Dark BleyTactical Goggles - Dark Blueish Gray

Gas Mask - Trans ClearBallistic Mask - Dark Bley

Brickwarriors made Dark Blue and Lime items available.

March 2013 - Dark Blue

Finally, BrickFortress doesn’t have any new items but all of their poseable, stubby legs are on sale for $1.15. They have been on sale for some time now, so this may be the new, standard price. They recently ran a poll, asking which colors people would like, so we may see something new in the future. See our review for an opinion on these items.

mini-action-legs-gray-228x228

Custom Roundup: Crazy Arms, Brickarms, Brickforge & BrickWarriors.

There have been so many new custom items coming out recently, it is almost overwhelming. I’ve been meaning to highlight several of these items and more of them keep coming out!

First on the list is Guy Himber’s Crazy Arms. Guy sent me some of these awhile back but I never got pictures uploaded because my camera was on the fritz and then I forgot. But luckily he has restocked them and they are a lot of fun! They replace the existing minifig arm, allow other “crazy” poses and are currently available in black, brown and white.

CRAZY ARMS info from V&A Steamworks

Brickarms released their Xperimental weapons in October and they look good. I don’t own any but I got to look at a few of them at BrickCon. They definitely live up the standards that Brickarms fans have come to expect. On a side note, Brickarms has reached an agreement with the makers of Offensive Combat. Brickarms will be releasing weapons from the game and some of the Brickarms product line will be appearing in the finished game. I did get some of the prototypes of these weapons and they are fantastic.

By Request, the eXperimental Series

Brickforge has been busy as well, releasing new Shock Trooper armor, Camo patterns and baseball bats in the last couple of months. I haven’t seen the Camo and baseball bats in person, but I got a set of Doomsday Shock Trooper armor in my swag bag at BrickCon and it was pretty cool!

Peek-a-boo!

Lastly, BrickWarriors has been heating up their molds with all sort of new products, including Androids, Demon Armor, Two-Headed Ogres, new plumes and RPGs, among other things. I haven’t picked up any of these yet, but I have been impressed by the number of items they have been putting out lately. I see that some of the items are already sold out, but hopefully they will be restocked soon. Also, BrickWarriors is donating a percentage of each order to Toys for Tots through December 1st.

November 2012 - Dragon Wings, Tail, Lance, and Plumes!

That is all for now, but I will be doing another Custom Roundup this weekend. There was just too much for one post!

BrickForge releases accessories inspired by a distant galaxy

BrickForge has just released a batch of new custom accessories perfect for bounty hunters and scoundrels alike.

BrickForge accessories

They kindly sent me a batch of their latest custom accessories — a pleasant surprise in my mailbox this afternoon. I haven’t been doing too much minifig-building this past year, so I can’t necessarily promise a review before BrickCon (too busy building other stuff), but it’s obvious these are well-designed pieces that take BrickForge in an interesting new direction.

Check out the full line on BrickForge.com.

How-to: Confessions of a minifig customiser – Part I: Getting started

As we say in our AFOL jargon glossary, purism is “a form of religious fundamentalism.” LEGO fandom includes a broad range of preferences for what’s “legal” and what’s not. In the spirit of broadening our horizons, we’re very pleased to bring you the first in a series of posts about LEGO minifig customization by master customizer Jasbrick.

Light Tent TestContrary to popular belief customisation of minifigs is not a dark art and even established purists have tried their hand at slapping some paint around (albeit on the Friends Mini-dolls). Some will never stoop to the mutilation of their favourite brand of ABS plastic, however I do believe that if done properly it can at least be appreciated by all.

The Brothers Brick have given me the opportunity to introduce you to some of the tools and techniques of my trade to help those amongst you that have the desire to walk on the dark side for a while. In later posts I will go into specific techniques that I developed in my time as a customiser. Hopefully you can benefit from avoiding the pitfalls I fell into and get a few projects like these underway:

New Gears of War 3

These minifigs involve more advanced painting techniques and some third party accessories.

Monster Manual Player Power

This group utilises painting, combinations, third-party accessories and printed decals.

Establishing a strong concept design

One tool a customiser must have is a highly developed imagination (something pretty common in the Lego community); everything else is optional.

Off to Afghanistan!Those moments when putting a particular combination of parts together and a perfect fig pops out are wonderful, but about as rare as chicken dentures. The key to a good custom project is pre-planning and a well defined concept. This does not have to be something completely new, as for example computer game concept art offers a rich seam of material to be interpreted, or real life inspiration can be just as good. The minifig on the right was created for a Green Beret Major currently serving in Afghanistan who sent me a photograph of himself to copy.

But if you want to start from scratch then a sketchpad is your best friend. You don’t even need to be good at drawing to develop a decent concept due to the simplicity of the design of our little friend the minifig. As this series develops I hope to be able to share with you some of the concept designs that I have developed and how they become a reality. Alternatively you can sketch your concept over a template like this:

Collectable Minifig Design Interview

Once the concept is set (not in stone, but pretty solid) the next step for me is to determine how much of this can be achieved with standard parts or by utilising third party accessories. I will be delving deeper into how to get the best from suppliers such as BrickArms, BrickForge, Brick Warriors and Arealight later, but I highly recommend checking out these companies as they offer a great range of products that can serve as inspiration in themselves.

Parts Library

As an AFOL who has amassed quite a large collection of minifig parts and accessories I have a library that I can dip into that can make most custom projects a matter of tweaking to get the final effect rather than building everything from scratch.

The following image is a recent group of minifigs that I put together that are without any noticeable customisation. I managed to achieve a lot with just the combination of parts and a few third party accessories thrown in to tie the concept together:

Odysseus Crew need ship

I recommend that you take a close look at the Minifig and Minifig parts areas in the catalog on Bricklink and see which figs / parts speak to you of further opportunities. Developing an inventory of useful parts is essential to allowing you to get projects moving swiftly before your enthusiasm for the concept dies.

New Custom Parts Roundup [News]

We recently have received news about a number of new custom items so it seemed appropriate to cover them together.

First off, I was sent a package of some new items from Brick-Warriors. The new items are high quality and fit well, as did the last batch that we reviewed. The new items represent a fun cross-section of genres. Naturally I’m a big fan of the Medieval/Fantasy pieces, but the modern weapons are very nicely done too. Check out the set in my photostream for more pictures.

Warrior Da Bomb

Three Warriors Modern Soldier Front

Secondly, Brickarms has released four new variants of the M-16. While I haven’t had a chance to see them in person yet, I have to say that the M110 is my favorite. But they all look good and Brickarms quality has always been high. I was also remiss in reporting the awesome Castle prototypes that Will announced at BrickCon back in October. You can check those out in my photostream as well. They are incredible and I only hope that they become production pieces at some point.

M16 Variants & M110

Lastly, there have been some new items over at Brickforge that slipped in under our radar. Their Shock Trooper armor is now available in Dark Tan and Azure Blue (with Alien Defense Unit logos). The Shock Trooper helmets, Tactical Vests and Tactical Helmets are available in those colors as well. Pretty cool stuff!

MAKE interviews BrickForge’s Kyle “Armothe” Peterson

Surrender the BootyOne of the things I love about BrickForge is that they seem to be just ahead of what LEGO ends up producing — from cows, pigs, and crowbars a few years ago to 1×1 round tiles and park ranger hats in the upcoming 2012 LEGO City sets. Does The LEGO Group have a spy in BrickForge world headquarters?!

Anyway, I always like to learn more about the LEGO vendors and custom accessory makes who populate the brick “ecosystem,” so it was great to run across an interview with Kyle Peterson on one of my favorite non-LEGO blogs, MAKE.

I hear some 3rd party manufacturers of Lego accessories recycle old bricks in their ABS, grinding them up and adding them to the molten plastic. Can you talk a little about this?

Obviously the ABS has to come from somewhere. BrickForge deals with very large production runs – thus we use specifically dyed ABS pellets during the self-contained, automated injection process. Other vendors may use a smaller, lightweight injection press for smaller production runs. This requires a manual feed of plastic into the hopper. Either the artisan has to purchase pre-mixed pellets (that match the LEGO color palette) or simply grind up and smelt existing LEGO brick. The first option is expensive, the second option is time consuming (not to mention having to deal with toxic fumes).

Read the complete interview on the MAKE Blog.

New BrickForge Shock Trooper armor & printed accessories [Review]

As readers will have noticed in our LEGO News feed last week, custom minifig accessory vendor BrickForge has just released a new batch of items, including a new “Shock Trooper” armor. We ordered a couple batches, and I managed to find enough sunshine in the Seattle “summer” to take a few pictures.

ODST Squad: 105th Shock Troops Division ODST Squad: <CLASSIFIED> Division

The armor comes in a sort of steel color that’s rather lovely, along with black that has a similar metallic sheen. Neither color really matches typical colors available for minifig legs and torsos, but they combine reasonably well with neutral colors like bley and black. BrickForge also offers two printed variants, with an eagle on the gray and a flaming skull on the black. I’ll be interested to see how other customizers use these helmets and armor, but I focused on their inevitable use as ODSTs from Halo. Armor for a squad of six will run you a bit over $20.

One of the few areas in which BrickForge and BrickArms overlap is in items inspired (a safe assumption, I think) by the Halo universe, so minifig customizers have a bit more choice in this area. I like to mix and match custom parts from everybody, and I have to admit that I personally prefer the BrickArms versions of these sci-fi weapons (including the previously reviewed BrickArms minigun). I think the combination of the BrickForge armor and BrickArms weapons is undeniably awesome — “better together,” as I always say.

I cracked myself up by putting one of the troopers on a BrickForge scooter, which my wife dubbed the UNSC “Shrew”. I was amused enough that I would like to share this little masterpiece with the world. You’re welcome.

UNSC "Shrew" Tactical Scooter

As fun as a couple squads of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers might be, I had the most fun putting together the Avengers — inspired by the blue helmet with an A and the big American shield that begged themselves to be equipped on a classic Captain America. Wolverine (with BrickForge “Savage Mask”) and Thor (BrickForge hammer) quickly followed, supplemented by a HAZEL-helmeted Iron Man, official Spider-Man, and my old Hulk.

Avengers

The ODSTs and Avengers were distracting enough that I didn’t get a chance to do much with the test tubes, bottles, martini glasses, and other new glassware BrickForge has just released. Briefly, they complement official LEGO items nicely, and I’m highly entertained by the idea of minifigs squaring off against each other in tiny bar fights with broken bottles.

Brickforge uncorks some new items [News]

I haven’t gotten my hands on any of these yet, but the new jars, bottles and test tubes look pretty nifty. They borrow from the esthetic of the new LEGO bottles and flasks yet add their take on shapes and colors. I think I’m going to have to pick up some of these.

The bottles currently only come in trans-brown and clear, although I think those trans-blue bottles in the picture look cool.

Brickforge makes Brickcon Castle packs! [News]

The Castle layout at BrickCon is going all out this year! In support of that effort, Brickforge is contributing exclusive packs for contributors to the Castle section at the Con. Gotta love those gold helms…

Lego Brickforge Castle Pack Custom

Quantities are limited, so if you have something medieval, let me know about it. We can always use more Castle goodness.