About Rod

Rod likes building stuff, particularly steampunk and microscale. He's built for a number of the Dorling Kindersley LEGO books, including LEGO Play and the Awesome Ideas book. When he's not building, he writes, and has published a trilogy of old-fashioned adventure stories. To pay the bills he works in innovation and marketing for one of the world's biggest brewers, inventing new beers and ciders. This is clearly the best job in the world.

Posts by Rod

Hands-on with LEGO BrickHeadz 40377 Donald Duck & 40378 Pluto & Goofy [Review]

Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy — famous and much-loved, and yet somehow always relegated to the second-division of Disney characters behind Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Sure, the Disney Empire is The-House-The-Mouse-Built, but personally I’ll take Donald’s edgier attitude over Mickey’s slightly bland wholesomeness any day of the week. As for Goofy, he’s a classic clown, good for causing chaos and taking a painful pratfall — he’s always been one of my favourite of the Disney gang. Along with Pluto, Mickey’s pet dog, these are the latest Disney-themed releases in the BrickHeadz line of blocky figures. This new pair of sets will allow Disney fans to put together a wider BrickHeadz family of their favourite characters alongside the previously released Mickey & Minnie.

Goofy and Pluto will be available on 1st February and will be priced at US $14.99 | CAN $19.99 | UK £13.49 while the single build Donald Duck will be going for  US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK £9.99

What did we think of this latest addition to the BrickHeadz range? Check out our full review…

Click to read the review and follow the building process

Meet the happy couple – LEGO BrickHeadz 40383 & 40384 – Bride and Groom [Review]

The LEGO BrickHeadz line introduced a wonderful way to build yourself, your siblings, or your friends, with the 41596 BrickHeadz Go Brick Me set. Now there’s another opportunity for depicting yourself or your chums in the brick — this time in celebration of a wedding. 40383 Bride and 40384 Groom allow you to build a happy couple to mark any upcoming nuptials. It’s a nice idea, and feels like it would make a great wedding gift for a LEGO-loving couple. But what are the sets actually like, and how many options are there for customising the figures?

The Brothers Brick are delighted to request the pleasure of your company at a wedding…

LEGO 40383 BrickHeadz Bride contains 306 pieces and is available now for US $12.99 | CAN $16.99 | UK £11.99. LEGO 40384 BrickHeadz Groom contains 255 pieces and is also available now for US $12.99 | CAN $16.99 | UK £11.99

Read our full hands-on review of the happy couple

London children’s hospital built in 60,000 LEGO bricks

Hospitals have been a mainstay of the LEGO City theme since its very beginnings, but there’s never been an official set on the scale of Gary Davis‘ huge model of the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London. Gary knows the real building well, having visited it many times as a volunteer with Fairy Bricks — the charity which provides LEGO sets for children in hospital. He and Kev Gascoigne (‘Chief Fairy’ at Fairy Bricks) came up with the idea to build the model to celebrate the Evelina’s 150th anniversary.

The model took two months to design, a process which saw Gary poring over photographs and architects’ drawings, and given tours by staff of back-of-house areas to ensure the details would be correct. It took 60,000 bricks, and three months worth of building to put the model together — and somehow Gary also managed to move house during this time! The model is quite an achievement, managing to capture the distinctive shape of the real-world building, and stuff a detailed interior with minifigure action spread across examination rooms, offices, intensive care units, staff rest areas, and the atrium coffee shop and play area.

Take a look at more photos of this wonderful model

The Brothers Brick Explore: LEGO Classic Space [Feature]

Classic Space – one of the perennial LEGO building genres, ever-popular amongst fans for its nostalgic nods to iconic official sets of the past, and the opportunities it presents to depict an optimistic expansionist vision of humanity’s intergalactic future.

This building genre takes its primary influences from the LEGO Space sets released between 1978 and 1987, and the follow-up themes released during the late-80s and beyond, when factions like Futuron, Blacktron, and the Space Police were introduced to the universe.

But the genre is about much more than just the official sets. Take a trip with The Brothers Brick as we blast off on our grand tour of LEGO Classic Space…

Click to read our in-depth overview of the Classic Space building genre

A brick celebration of sci-fi designer Syd Mead 1933-2019

Syd Mead, the designer behind the iconic look of Blade Runner amongst other movies, has died aged 86. Chances are, if you’re into sci-fi and LEGO then you’ll have tried to recreate one of his famous designs — The USS Sulaco from Aliens, the light-cycles from Tron, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, or this, the famous Police Spinner from Blade Runner.

Blade Runner Spinner

Click to see a selection of LEGO models inspired by Syd Mead’s work

The Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2019 [News]

Putting together a shortlist of the finest LEGO creations of 2019 was a tough job, but narrowing it down to a single “best creation” proved an almost impossible task. Every model which made our shortlist was excellent, and there was much debate amongst the team. However, after a considerable amount of “robust discussion,” The Brothers Brick is delighted to announce the Classic Space Moon Base by Chris Yu as our LEGO Creation of the Year for 2019.

LEGO Classic Space Moon Base

Click to see more photos and our thoughts on the LEGO Creation of the Year

The Brothers Brick LEGO Builder of the Year 2019 [News]

Every day the team here at The Brothers Brick brings you the best LEGO models from the global community of LEGO builders. We love how each of their creations make us smile and prompt us to reach for our own bricks. However, there are a handful of builders whose work offers genuine inspiration — displaying mastery of technique and creativity across different building styles.

The Brothers Brick is delighted to name Andrea Lattanzio as our LEGO Builder of the Year 2019.

Click to see a selection of Andrea’s models from 2019

Shortlist announced for Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2019 [News]

For nearly fifteen years The Brothers Brick has been highlighting the best LEGO creations, and 2019 has seen builders across the world put together some incredible models. To celebrate a year of great building, The Brothers Brick team has looked back over everything we’ve featured, and pulled together a selection of the finest LEGO creations of 2019.

Take a look at the fantastic models we’ve shortlisted, and stay tuned for the announcement of our LEGO Creation of the Year 2019 on New Year’s Eve!

Be sure to check out the LEGO Creation of the Year 2018, LEGO Creation of the Year 2017 and LEGO Creation of the Year 2016 to see what honourable company this year’s nominations are keeping.

Click to see all of 2019’s nominees

We got lucky with LEGO Brick Headz’ new 40436 Lucky Cat [Review]

The Maneki-Neko, or “Beckoning Cat” is a symbol of good fortune, originally from Japan, but commonly referred to as a Chinese Lucky Cat due to its frequent appearance in shop, business, and restaurant entrances in China, and in Chinatowns across the world. With Chinese New Year approaching at the end of January, LEGO is introducing a Lucky Cat to its Brick Headz range. Read on to see what we thought when we got our paws on a set…

LEGO Brick Headz 40436 Lucky Cat has 134 parts and will be available from 1st January 2020 US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK £9.99

Click to read our review of this fortunate feline

Black Falcon flies again

Between 1984 and 1992, the Black Falcons were one of the lead LEGO Castle factions, alongside the Crusaders. The sometimes fractious relationship between these two factions defined an entire era of LEGO Castle. The Crusaders might have had more official sets released during this time, but the Falcons were “outnumbered but never outgunned” — what was never in doubt was the quality of their castles. 1986’s 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress is widely acknowledged as one of the finest LEGO Castle sets to be released, and was honoured with a LEGO Legends release in 2002. In a nod to that fine fortress heritage, Marcus Aspacher has put together an impressive castle of his own for the Falcons to defend…

Single-colour castles can sometimes suffer from “big grey wall syndrome”, but there’s more than enough texture built into the masonry here to prevent that. The fortress is impressive in its scale, and in the level of detail around the crenellations and towers. I particularly like the brick-built banners hanging on either side of the gatehouse.

The rockwork is well done, and the path leading up to the gate is smartly put-together from a good mix of angled plates. The castle is equally impressive from the rear, with a cool little bridge leading to an outlying tower. The rear view also showcases the excellent landscaping, and the attention that’s been paid to foliage and the transition between rock and walls…

Fill it up at the LEGO 60257 Filling Station [Review]

No self-respecting LEGO City is complete without its fair share of vehicles cruising the streets. But this prompts important questions: Where do these cars get their fuel? Where do the drivers grab a hot dog and coffee? And what’s to be done about all those emissions? LEGO’s new Filling Station — set number 60257 — provides some of the answers. Read on, and see what we think of this new addition to the LEGO townscape.

60257 Filling Station has 354 parts, and features 2 vehicles and 4 minifigures along with the filling station’s buildings. The set will be available from 26th December in the UK and EU, and 1st January in the US and Canada US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99

Click to read our hands-on review of this new LEGO set

It’s all grist to the mill

Bakers were the unsung wizards of medieval times — taking the base material of the fields and transforming it into sustenance by the manipulation of the energies of water and fire. If that wasn’t the advertising campaign of the Bakers’ Guilds then they were missing a trick. Marcel V.‘s LEGO mill is a great example of the Castle building style applied to something other than castles or military scenes. The subtly-textured walls are broken up by some smart wooden trim, and there’s nice parts-usage and building technique on display if you go in for a closer look. Don’t miss the book used for the little roof above the window, the stonework around the door, and the dark brown spears as edge trims. The tiled roof is good too, although it might have benefited from a smattering of some other colour. My favourite touches of detail are easily missed in a casual view — those flour sacks out-front are lovely, and the dark tan axles as straw in the horse’s manger are excellent.

Sofia's Journey - Ol'Zeke's Water Mill