Category Archives: Feature

The Brothers Brick is not just about showcasing the best  fan builds and bringing you the latest LEGO News, we also love to investigate, interview and discuss!  These featured articles are all interesting articles that you can look back and enjoy reading.

LEGO Creator 10263 Winter Village Fire Station [Review]

If there is any indicator that the winter holidays are fast approaching, it’s the release of LEGO’s annual addition to the growing Winter Village collection. Each year at around this time, we see another charming set hit the shelves, and they’re arguably just as prized to collectors as Modular Buildings like 10260 Downtown Diner. This year’s holiday season brings us 10163 Winter Village Fire Station. The set has 1166 pieces, including 6 minifigures, a baby,  and a dog. It’s currently only available for LEGO VIP Program members, but will be available to anyone starting October 1st, retailing for $99.99 USD.

Click to read more about the newest addition to the Winter Village holiday collection!

How to build a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft from LEGO: Part 2 [Feature]

This article is Part 2 of an ongoing series. Read about the LEGO Grumman E-1 Tracer Part 1 here.

About two weeks ago, I started building a new aircraft model: a Grumman E-1 Tracer. Because some of you might like to know how one might build such a LEGO scale model, I am documenting my process in a short series. In the first part I described why I decided to build such an oddball aircraft in the first place and how I plan a build like this. I also explained that I usually start by building the difficult bits. A few of those are the subject of this article.

E-1 Tracer WIP (9th of September)

The Tracer’s wings are not quite perpendicular to the fuselage. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if the engine pods and the main undercarriage weren’t attached to them. I have built angled wings before, including some rather large ones. In practice, however, it is almost impossible to mount the wings using hinges and also have them carry much of the model’s weight. Furthermore, if I were to build the wings at some weird angle, I would then have to figure out how to align the engines attached to still be parallel with the fuselage. My solution is to attach both engines directly to each other and also to the fuselage using a bridge structure. I built this bridge perpendicular to the fuselage using plates. I then put the actual wings on top of it. By combining 2×3 and 2×4 wedge plates I filled in the gaps where the tops of the engines join the wing. Getting everything to fit nicely involved a lot of trial-and-error, but it works.

Continue reading

How to build a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft from LEGO: Part 1 [Feature]

Question: “How did you build this?” Answer: “By making a plan and sticking to it.” The question is one that many LEGO builders will have had. The answer, in my case, is completely true, but also wholly inadequate. So, in an attempt to give a more fulfilling answer, in the next few weeks I’ll occasionally write a piece detailing the progress on my latest project: a scale model of a Grumman E-1 Tracer aircaft.

E-1B VAW-121 CVW-6 CVA-42

Some builders start by experimenting with a few pieces until they find a combination they like. They then build the rest of the model from there. I’m not one of those people. I plan my builds. “Doesn’t that kill spontaneity?”, you may wonder. Well yes, it does, but if I wanted to build a scale model of a complex object such as an aircraft spontaneously, it simply wouldn’t happen. My brain doesn’t work like that. Furthermore, I enjoy looking at pictures of aircraft, reading about them and thinking about which to build and how to build it. To me this is half the fun. If If I am spontaneous, I’ll build car.

E-1B Tracer WIP (26th of August)

Read more about how Ralph plans and design his LEGO aircraft

Brickfair Virginia: fourteen builders from six countries collaborate to commemorate the Vietnam War [Feature]

Last year, after Brickfair Virginia 2017, over a few drinks Magnus Lauglo, Aleksander Stein and I had a discussion on what to bring for 2018. The three of us have been attending BrickFair for years and have often admired the large collaborative displays at the event, with builders creating something together. Because of this we figured it would be nice for us to collaborate too rather than bringing our own stand-alone models. We soon agreed to build scenes from the Vietnam War.

I suspect that most ideas that come out of conversations in bars lead nowhere and that is probably a good thing. However, earlier this year we found that we were still pretty excited about this idea and we found that more people wanted to get involved. Ultimately, eleven more builders contributed (in no particular order): Peter Dornbach, Stijn van der LaanMatt Hacker, Dean Roberts, Eínon, Evan Melick, Casey Mungle, Corvin, Yasser Mohran, Bret Harris and Brian Carter. Corvin, Aleksander and I are the only builders who don’t live in the US or Canada to regularly attend the Virginia event, but our Vietnam group turned out to be a pretty international crowd. We had builders who live in six different countries: the US, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway and the Netherlands.

We picked Vietnam as the subject because we all watched classic Vietnam War movies when growing up, it is largely novel for most of us and it is far less common for military builds than models from, say, WW2. We considered building a single collaborative battle diorama, but chose to build separate scenes instead. It is hard to find a single battle that is actually interesting to build, as there is usually just a lot of terrain involved and multiple copies of trees, bunkers or vehicles. Separate scenes have the advantage of allowing different builders to give the subject their own twist. I was excited to see what the other guys came up with. The Vietnam War offers a lot of scope for building interesting military hardware, but we could also show some of the history, including the aftermath. Given the wide range of different models on display, we nailed it.

See more details and a gallery of the builds

The minifigure turns 40: a colorful history of LEGO’s most beloved characters

Did you know that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the modern minifigure? In recognition of this very special birthday, the LEGO Group released its party-themed Series 18 minifigures a few months ago, including a remake of the 1978 policeman. The LEGO Group continues to celebrate, this time by reaching into their archives to share some historic images with our readers. Here at The Brothers Brick, we love minifigures and are excited to share the images and history behind the LEGO Group’s versatile and lovable characters.

A system is born, and so is a police officer:

In the post-World War II economy, the LEGO Group began shifting its priorities in toy manufacturing. While the foundation of LEGO rested on wooden toys, Ole Kirk Christiansen saw a future in plastics and purchased the company’s first plastic injection molding machine in 1947. It was with this equipment that the LEGO group first began producing its Automatic Binding Bricks in 1949. These hollow-bottomed bricks were the forerunner of the modern LEGO brick.

LEGO’s earliest sets were fairly basic construction toys, and characters were never packaged with the sets. This changed after Ole’s son, Godtfred, introduced the System of Play series in 1955. “System of Play” referred to the versatility of LEGO bricks to be used by themselves and with a child’s existing toys. LEGO advertised the toy as the perfect companion for dolls and HO (1:87) scale toy trains. LEGO created the Town Plan series, which is populated by brick-built buildings and prefabricated vehicles, to serve in part as an add-on for model railroading.

It was also during this time that LEGO introduced the great-great grandfather of the minifigure, a set of four tiny police officers. The figures were posed in four different positions, designed so they could direct traffic throughout the intersections of the Town Plan. Resembling HO-scale figures, they did not have moving limbs or recessed indentations for connecting to studs but were nevertheless LEGO’s first people manufactured for the System of Play.

Click to read the full history of the LEGO Minifigure

Sustainable LEGO® Elements: 40320 Plants from Plants [Guest Article]

At The Brothers Brick, we tend to specialize in certain kinds of news, LEGO creations, and reviews, but thanks to our partnerships with other LEGO websites, we’re able to bring you more kinds of content. Please enjoy this excellent article that originally appeared on New Elementary.


Here at New Elementary we usually talk about new shapes and colours of LEGO® elements but today we’re looking at a new material from which some botanical elements are now being made. By 2030, The LEGO Group (TLG) intend to use sustainable materials in all of their core products and packaging.

Read the complete guest article after the jump

LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle, 2nd-largest LEGO set ever released [Review]

At 6,020 pieces, the new microscale 71043 Hogwarts Castle is the LEGO set with the second-highest part count ever, exceeded only by last year’s 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon at 7,541 pieces. This massive Hogwarts is part of the new wave of LEGO Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sets, including the minifig-scale 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall. In what is sure also to be one of our longest LEGO set reviews ever, we’re immersing ourselves in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World as we take a close look at this massive set, which retails for $399.99 and will be available on September 1st (August 15 for LEGO VIP Program members).

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle

Recreating the Han Solo movie train heist scene with LEGO Star Wars sets [Feature]

The first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets often appear weeks or even months before the corresponding Star Wars movie’s release, often leaving LEGO fans wondering how accurate the LEGO sets are compared with the “real” vehicles in the movie. On opening day for Solo: A Star Wars Story, we looked back at the first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets from Solo and compared them to the movie we’d just seen the night before. Now, with the release of the second wave of LEGO Star Wars Solo sets on August 1, months after the movie’s release, we’re taking a look at the LEGO sets we’ve just reviewed from another angle, focused instead on how the three latest sets work together.

As we’ve noted in our reviews over the last few days, all three of the new LEGO Star Wars sets from Solo: A Star Wars Story feature vehicles and characters from the train heist scene in the first half of the movie, in which Tobias Beckett’s gang uses an Imperial AT-Hauler to try stealing coaxium hypermatter fuel from an Imperial Conveyex Transport on the planet of Vandor. During their attempted robbery, they face Imperial range troopers guarding the train as well as Enfys Nest’s Cloud-Riders on swoop bikes.

Read more about how the latest LEGO Star Wars sets compare to Solo: A Star Wars Story

LEGO CL!CK – A social media experiment that failed [Feature]

For every successful product or project from LEGO, there are probably many others that you’ve never heard of. The lifespan of these were short and less memorable and they were obviously unsuccessful ventures. However, nothing is ever lost in the pursuit of innovation. Lessons learnt are just as valuable or even more so in the evolution and execution of future ideation. Good ideas that failed or didn’t go so well can be the stepping stones toward future success. In a new series of articles, we’re taking a look at some of the LEGO failures or projects that were simply weird and never really took off.

In this first installment of LEGO Ventures that Vanished, we’re looking back at LEGO CL!CK, a somewhat obscure launch into the social media scene, back when every company tried to get their feet wet with “social media engagement.”

When did it happen?

An inkling of what was to come with LEGO CLICK was first felt during the end of December 2009 with a tweet, soon followed by a press release. But by July 2010, it had all started to taper off, which gave it a rough lifespan of 7 months from what we can trace over time, looking back today.

Learn more about the fascinating history of LEGO CLICK

Building Ninjago City: The Brothers Brick open collaboration [Feature]

Summer is here, and that means there are only about three months left until BrickCon 2018. As we announced in May, The Brothers Brick will be hosting a public collaborative display of Ninjago City open to any full convention attendees. Check out that announcement for detailed instructions on the guidelines and how to participate. In the meantime, we here at TBB have been busy little builders, and have over a dozen city blocks underway, not to mention a massive volcano lair for Garmadon. Today we want to share some tips and tricks to help get you started, as well as some of the building techniques that we have used so far in the construction of the lower levels of Ninjago City. Let us know in the comments below if you would be interested in more detailed guides or additional techniques shown in our city blocks.

Ninjago City is a layered city, with the oldest buildings on the bottom stories, rising to modern, nearly sci-fi architecture at the top. As such, we’re approaching the building of our modules from the bottom up, starting with the oldest, lowest level. Nearly all of the buildings shown here will have additional structures placed on top to complete the upper levels–in many cases several more stories. Look for additional articles as we continue building the upper levels. Each of these modules conforms to our standard to ensure the whole layout will fit together well (except in the few special modules we’ve noted).

Continue reading

“LEGO House – Home of the Brick” on Netflix [Review]

This is a great year for LEGO-loving Netflix subscribers, with two LEGO documentaries being released less than a month apart from one another! You might remember the special LEGO episode of the Toys That Made Us, which we reviewed at its release in May. The second documentary to roll into Netflix’s lineup is LEGO House – Home of the Brick. LEGO House is the LEGO Group’s own museum of play, designed to highlight both the company’s history and creative possibilities of the brick. Seven years in the making, LEGO House was designed by the Danish firm BIG and opened in September 2017. Home of the Brick is a 47-minute documentary that chronicles the journey the LEGO House took from its conception to last year’s grand opening.

Click to read the full review

The TBB Field Guide to LEGO Dinosaurs: A Jurassic World Compendium [Review and Infographics]

When the new wave of LEGO Jurassic World sets came out, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the dinosaurs. The children in us immediately began stomping them around and making roaring noises. Here at The Brothers Brick, we are not ashamed to say we get giddy while playing with toy dinosaurs. We’re also not ashamed to say we are serious nerds. After our dino-dueling escapades, we began to wonder how accurate they are to the real things. As far as scientists can hypothesize, that is. So we did some not-so-archaeological digging — after all, it’s palaeontologists who study dinosaurs, not archaeologists, as Andrew our Editor-in-Chief (and resident archaeology buff) likes to remind everybody!

As it turns out, there is a vast amount of knowledge that scientists have obtained from the fossils of these creatures. That being said, there is a lot of information that they still don’t know, as well as much heated debate on the truth about each one. The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchise has been both heavily criticized and applauded for its attempts at realism. But without getting too wrapped up in the debates, we’ll take a look at the best working knowledge of these dinosaurs. So put on your favorite leather vest or red bandana and paleontologist’s expedition hat, because away we go!

Read on to unlock the mysteries!