I made mention in my post of Peter’s mecha that I really appreciate all the great minifig head designs that LEGO has been putting out. Well that sentiment can be taken one step further with respect to minifig parts in general. And I can’t think of anyone that makes that any more obvious than Hammerstein NWC.
I know some people tend to look down on fig-only creations, but I think minifigs can be great fun to fiddle with, and also challenging to come up with unique combinations. By mixing and matching the vast assortment of both official minifig pieces and the odd third-party accessory, he truly creates some fantastic characters with a tonne of personality. I am always impressed by the unique choices he makes. I have told him that he needs to build vehicles to go along with them, but even if he doesn’t listen to me, I am still happy to look at just the figs.
Both of the companies in this review have been flying under the radar and I am very happy to highlight them here.
First up is Brick Fortress. They are a new customs maker and currently only have one item on the market. It is a rather exciting one that fills a significant gap in the LEGO product line. They are selling articulated mini-legs! I recently bought some of their offerings and I was impressed. They fit very nicely and are constructed quite well. The clutch power is good and the legs move well. They are currently available in 5 colors: Light Gray, Tan, Black, Brown and Dark Blue. They are slightly taller than the official short legs by LEGO, but the color match is good. The legs are also interchangeable with official LEGO legs, so you can use your normal hip pieces for color changes. My only complaint is a minor one. The plastic feels very similar to the plastic we have been seeing in the collectible minifigs. But that is an issue with many of the custom makers and isn’t a deal-breaker for me. I am really liking these articulated mini-legs and will be buying more.
The second company, Cape Madness, has been around for a few years now but has mostly sold their products at BrickCon. They started small but have consistently expanded their product line. Currently they only sell online at the CapeMadness Bricklink store, but a new website is under construction. I have kept an eye on their quality from the beginning and it is spot on! I can’t tell the difference between their plain capes and my official LEGO ones. However the real draw of Cape Madness is the patterns, colors and special shapes they offer. At BrickCon this year, Dave (the owner of Cape Madness) let me dig through his products and it was hard to decide what to review. There are so many different items!
The fabric and treatment feels just like official LEGO capes. The capes and flags with heavy printing, such as the Blacktron cape, feel stiffer but it wasn’t an issue when putting it on a minifig. They also stand up to use quite well. I have some flags that are a couple of years old and they show no signs of fraying.
The capes come in four sizes, with the second-to-the-smallest being the same as the official LEGO cape. The two larger styles wrap around the fig for a cloak effect. The largest size also is available with a pointed collar variation. There are also trench coats, ponchos, togas, paldrons, and three styles of flags currently in production. The printing on the capes is very crisp and there is a wide range of available patterns and styles. There is everything from various camo patterns to the insignia of your favorite sci-fi regiments to medieval heraldry. Dave also offers a service where he will print your own logo or pattern onto a cape or flag (an additional fee applies). I highly recommend Cape Madness. The items are high quality, they stand up to wear, there is a wide range of products and Dave is a great guy to work with. You can see more pictures in my Cape Madness set on Flickr.
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.
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.
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!
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.
That is all for now, but I will be doing another Custom Roundup this weekend. There was just too much for one post!
Paul Janowski recently posted a wave of custom minifigs each matched with a display case and printed background. The Iron Man and Silver Surfer stand out from the crowd because they were custom chromed using vacuum metallization. Even better, Paul has donated both minifigs to this year’s Creations for Charity fundraiser! UPDATE: and they’ve been sold for $150 each!
Custom-painted Lego creations are rare due to the labor-intensive process but more so due to its blatant violation of purism. But when done properly, it can look gorgeous as demonstrated by this Maschinen Krieger inspired hovercraft by VolumeX.
This is long overdue, but Ryan from BrickWarriors sent me some of their new pieces for review awhile back. Unfortunately I dropped the ball. But now, along with the cool new items, he has just released new colors that look rather snazzy. As I’ve said in previous reviews of the BrickWarriors products, the quality is very good and the line of items consists of some really unique items. Go check them out!
Oh, October. There are many, many things I adore about you. Your cooler weather. Your vibrant colors. The build up through the month to Halloween, and everything that comes with it.
And Jamie‘s annual Halloween figures.
Updates will be sporadic this year. Adds a bit of mystery to the whole lot. Keep an eye on his photostream for his amazing custom figures along with their presentation and back-stories.
You can also check out last year and the year before!
BrickArms is partnering with U4iA Games to make custom minifig weapons from the upcoming Offensive Combat game. You can read more about it on PRWeb or check out the designs on Flickr. Let us know what you think about the start of customizers creating officially licensed products.
We so rarely feature custom figures on here, and it’s high time to highlight one. Minh Pham creates exceptional custom figures, so the hardest part is actually picking one. The level of detail on this, like everything else in his portfolio, is just stunning.
Gotham’s reckoning indeed.
Julian Fong (levork) is a minifig customiser that I greatly admire… his designs always capture the essence of the subject whilst also making the transference to Lego style perfectly.
This group of custom minifigs based on the Streetfighter computer games are absolutely fantastic:
He has also submitted this to CUUSOO which in my view would be a project that definitely deserves your support.
Levork this is a K.O. “You Win!”