This is not the page for LEGO purists. From heavily customized minifigures to LEGO pieces chopped, painted, and stickered to within an inch of their little plastic lives, this is where you’ll find some of the most creative uses — and abuses — of LEGO anywhere.
ChromeBricks is a longstanding Bricklink store that sells custom chromed Lego elements. I reviewed a sample of their products several years ago, and I recently received some of their new items for a review. Below is a video of the review along with a summary of pros and cons.
Flawless quality of chrome paint. I love the deep shade of chrome red.
Same clutch strength when used with regular Lego elements.
Two-toned chrome weapons are unique and awesome.
Underlying color of Lego element has similar color to chrome paint.
Chrome parts are expensive due to their quality and cost of production.
Connections between minifigure parts and accessories are tight, requiring effort to swap.
In conclusion, ChromeBricks offers top quality chrome elements for those with a budget for them. Their crimson red chrome is eye-catching and their unique two-toned weapons are outstanding. The tight connections between their chromed minifigure parts might diminish the play value, but I suspect most buyers will not subject them to heavy use.
I am a stickler for scale models and I love comparison pictures between the model and a photograph or a line drawing of the real thing. It will come as no surprise then that the beautiful BR 55 steam locomotive by Ronald Vallenduuk (Duq) caught my attention.
The comparison shows that the proportions are spot on. I also had the fortune of seeing this black beauty and its many details with my own two eyes at a Lowlug meeting last weekend. Since photographing a black model is not easy, the details are a bit more difficult to see in photographs, but I can recommend looking at the flickr set. The locomotive is powered by a Power Functions L-motor carefully hidden in the firebox, with a battery box and IR receiver in the tender. The locomotive is 8 studs wide, which may be bigger than many LEGO train lovers like, but it can navigate normal LEGO train curves without any difficulty.
As an interesting side-note, the connecting rods are custom pieces made by Benn Coifman from Railbricks. The surface finish of the parts suggest that they were 3D-printed, as they are not completely smooth, but the fit is impressive.
LEGO designer Adam Grabowski (Misterzumbi) is obsessed with cars. Adam has taken a break from posting photos of beat-up Fords to post some rather excellent custom LEGO cars from the Mad Max series of movies.
Adam isn’t afraid to sticker the heck out of his builds, nor to paint a brick here and there if it isn’t available in the correct color. The end result is gorgeous — Max’s Interceptor.
The Ford Landau from The Road Warrior is covered in paint, about which Adam says, “The paint will never come off. Those bricks are ruined.”
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.
BrickForge has a number of new items. These include gas masks, ballistic masks, face shields, tactical masks, night vision goggles and chin straps.
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.
Minh Pham (Tuminio) created a series of highly-detailed custom minifigs Iron Man suits including the Hulkbuster armor. You can see more photos of these minifigs on Minh’s Flickr photostream along with dozens of other custom minifigs from all sorts of influences.
Apparently, these custom minifigs were made (rendered?) by someone named Gregos Thomas. Trying to trace back through various blog posts hasn’t helped me find the artist, though. I’d love to find this guy, so I can tell him that these are awesome.
Someone said recently that we don’t feature enough scenes — just models. That seemed like a fair criticism, so I’ve tried to keep my eye out for interesting LEGO photos that don’t necessarily feature a model, as such. This photo by Hayden certainly fits the bill.
We’ve gotten so used to highlighting “well-lit” models on “clean” backgrounds (our words, and how subjective they are!) that I suspect we’ve passed over some nice atmospheric shots like this one.
Adam Grabrowski has just worked up a couple of beautiful little World War I tanks, tan and olive green Renault FT-17s. This tank first saw use in 1918 and revolutionized tank design at the time.
World of Tanks fans will recognize these as the first tank in the French Tech Tree. Adam’s design is very true to the original and is a great build. But of course we expect greatness from Adam, so this is no surprise.
Before anyone gets all excited about the olive green parts, both tanks sport custom paint jobs. The olive green version is completely painted and the tan tank has a custom-painted turret. I’m really liking these awesome little tanks!
Many of you may have noticed some recent creations featuring leaves in colors that Lego doesn’t produce. They come from a custom vendor called altBricks, who sent me a sample of their products to review. The parts are inexpensive and are sold in bulk, but their reduced quality may be of concern to some. Check out the video review to see what I mean.