Anyone even remotely familiar with hot rodding knows that the quintessential dream project is the ’32 Ford roadster. They’re always a favorite at car shows and Ian Ying pretty much reached hot rodding nirvana with this LEGO version. I can assure you, they didn’t look like this off the assembly line but with a bit of imagination and elbow grease, customizers back in the day would turn their Grandpa’s jalopies into these hot little roadsters. The classic black with red trim, whitewalls and flames is the pinnacle of perfection. Copious chrome and gold doesn’t hurt matters, either. Ian is proving to be an automotive LEGO-building legend with a penchant for shiny bling. Click in the blue link there to see what I mean.
It is moments like this that make me love this whole Brothers Brick gig. We find something cool while surfing the interwebs such as this custom LEGO Deuce Roadster by Yvan Bourdeau. We share this cool discovery with you. You, in turn, shower us with likes and comments and then maybe you are inspired to build something yourself. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. This custom roadster looks to be dropped, channeled and lowered, giving it a low and aggressive stance. Burnt orange and a light blue makes for a neat flashy color scheme and the exposed exhaust pipes are not without their charms. Throw in a cleanly built base and retro gas pump and you have yourself the makings of a day made just a little sweeter. If you’re like me, vehicles in general would make your heart go pitter-patter so enjoy clicking through the archives.
For a long time, I didn’t really get the point of car customization. I can understand why people might want to make some changes to improve performance. Manufacturers aim their products at a particular market segment and operate under constraints such as environmental regulations. So, if you want to use your car differently, say to tear up the drag strip, some changes make sense. Rebuilding older cars using newer components to improve comfort or handling also makes sense to me. What I didn’t get were things that make a car worse in objectively measurable ways: such as stanced wheels and ill-fitting body kits. However, after building my latest car model, I think I finally get it. It’s a Nissan Skyline C110, modified in a Japanese style popularly known as Bōsōzoku (暴走族).
Trying to distinguish between the many different specific styles covered by his name is like an obscure form of zoology. They all do share some features, though. Modifications can include multiple rear spoilers and a deppa, which is the huge front-end splitter. Externally mounted oil coolers, with lines running through the radiator or a headlight mount, are also popular. This stuff is all race-inspired, but none of it improves the car’s performance. The cars usually have large fender flares, with small wheels and negative camber, particularly on the rear wheels. This reduces the ride height to the point of scraping the road and probably ruins the handling. The cars can also have a lurid paint job, often involving purple or magenta, and oversized exhaust pipes, called takeyari, inspired by bamboo spears. It is all very much over the top. And that is the point.
Japanese society is full of rules on how to behave in order to maintain harmony or Wa (和). But more restrictive norms seem to lead to more extreme rebellion. Bōsōzoku cars aren’t about improved performance or about making the cars look pretty. They’re about being different from the norm to the point where it gets obnoxious.
In addition to excellent custom minifig parts and minifigs inspired by the likes of the Beastie Boys and Bob Ross, our friends at Citizen Brick have begun producing their own injection-molded items. For Halloween 2020 the CB team have released a bevy of creepy custom minifig parts for you to mix and match with your LEGO.
We’ve said before that what’s so awesome about Citizen Brick products is that they’re the sort of thing that LEGO themselves will likely never release, while remaining compatible with LEGO. This makes custom parts produces like Citizen Brick distinct from knockoffs and clone brands that compete with LEGO and are often of inferior quality. Because CB has earned our respect with printing quality that’s indistinguishable from LEGO’s own, it’s exciting to see them branch out to custom parts, allowing LEGO fans to go beyond the confines of the staid bricks from Billund. Let’s take a look at what the mad scientists of Chicago have cooked up.
This month’s cover photo, from Aaron Newman, features the Gods of Olympus. From Hades to Zeus, Aaron has recreated these Greek Mythological Gods in LEGO, while capturing the essence of what makes each of these mythological characters unique. Hit up Aaron’s blog post to learn more about his approach to each minifig.
And if you’re looking for even more Greek minifigs, Aaron has also recreated some of the most well-known Mortals and Monsters from the pantheon of Greek myth. I’m a big fan of Icarus, who looks to have just flown too close to the sun, but honestly, these all look great.
From the incredible detail to the creative forced perspective execution, this build from collaborative team Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, and Micah Beideman, does not disappoint. With every glance, you’ll notice something new (oooh, look at that AC unit and that awning made of 1×1 cones), which is one of the many reasons we chose it for our February cover photo. Read our original article to see how this trio used LEGO to bring a painting to life.
Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and submit your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.
We expected a lot from Disney+ and The Mandalorian. We knew it was going to be a gritty western-style drama set in the Star Wars universe and starring a no-nonsense bounty hunter but perhaps we didn’t expect him to win surrogate father-of-the-year in some heart-warming hijinks with an adorable “baby Yoda” (not really Yoda). I’m one of the few holdouts waiting to see the series at a later date, but week after week the internet is apparently delighted with the relationship between “Mando” and his 600-month-old infant ward. I’m sure Omar Ovalle is much more attuned to their weekly shenanigans than I am as evidenced by these neat constraction figures. Here we see The Child in his spherical bassinet, The Mandalorian in his custom painted helmet and chest armor, and a nicely built speeder bike.
It is a safe bet that Omar enjoys building custom figures. Here is a previous time he customized Technic figures into Star Wars characters and another time he customized constraction figures as the cast of Game of Thrones.
Do you love the X-Wing but think those round engines have a bit too much sass for your parochial, straight-laced sensibilities? Do you fancy yourself as a square peg trying to fit in an increasingly round world? Then consider yourself and my odd premise vindicated, Jeb! Your day of reckoning has come because Sam K Bricks has answered your prayers and outfitted this X-Wing with honest to goodness squared-off engines a Shaker could have designed. In the Star Wars universe many ships, Rebel ones in particular, were pieced together from whatever they could find so it would make sense someone would customize their X-Wing in this manner. I bet the pilot is a real straight-shooter with a name like Rusty or Dwight who loves his mama and apple pie but probably wouldn’t try anything weird like focaccia bread. Even the Astromech droid has a head as straight and flat as an Illinois wheat field.
I really like the flashes of sand green and marigold yellow but I am someone who stays up past sundown listening to that rock and/or roll the kids like so much so you should probably take my opinions with a grain of salt.
Our friends at Citizen Brick have been cooking up a new batch of brand new, pad-printed, custom minifigures for Black Friday this year. They kindly sent us the full assortment to share with everyone ahead of their availability on Friday morning. One of the things we love about Citizen Brick is their cheekily named product names, and this batch is no different, with “Party Rights Enthusiasts,” “Painting Enthusiast,” and many more — all cleverly named but instantly recognizable.
Anyone who’s seen The LEGO Movie knows LEGO is a highly sophisticated interlocking brick system. But it’s more than that, and sometimes we LEGO fans have a tendency to get caught up in what is and isn’t allowable when playing with our favorite plastic toys. Then along comes someone like Stijn van der Laan to shake up our expectations with a brilliant model like this that defies the normal bounds of what’s appropriate to do with LEGO. Stijn has transformed his excellent Peregrine drone model that we covered a few years ago by giving it a camouflage paint job.
Stijn actually recreated the design first using all red elements. Then he gave it a base coat of grey, and then carefully masked and airbrushed the modern camouflage design onto the model, as if it were a traditional cut-and-glue model kit. The result is fantastic, highlighting the striking design of the drone even more than Stijn’s original color scheme.
Now, you’re not likely to find me airbrushing my own LEGO creations anytime soon, but I admire the craft that goes into designing this, and it’s good to have our minds expanded a bit from time to time on just what is possible with this brick system we all use.
Last November, we reviewed the Brickmania F-4C Phantom II Jet custom kit, and designer Cody Osell is back again with the massive 1033 F-14 Tomcat Supersonic Air Superiority Interceptor. The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic Cold War jet fighters, featured in movies like Top Gun and The Final Countdown. The Brickmania kit includes 1,607 LEGO pieces and two custom-printed minifigures with accessories. We’ll also be taking a look at the NAS Miramar Action Pack add-on that includes four more custom minifigures.
Our friends over at Citizen Brick have cooked up another batch of cool stuff for this year’s Black Friday, along with a new holiday promotion tin.
The Negligent Parents “Abandoned Child / Home Invasion Holiday Fun” set of three minifigs lets you reenact all your favorite scenes from Home Alone.