Last year Bricklink hosted its first AFOL Designer Program (ADP), a grand effort to make fan designs come alive and be available for purchase. If you’re unfamiliar with Bricklink, it’s an Amazon-like marketplace for purchasing current and discontinued LEGO products. This includes the sale of individual LEGO bricks for restoring sets or making original models known by many fans as My-Own-Creations, or MOCs for short. The Brothers Brick features fan-designed creations every day, and we often receive questions regarding instructions or if they can be purchased. While ready-made MOC kits are not a new concept, where Bricklink’s ADP program shines is in how it took the needed time to solicit builds from the community and used a Kickstarter-like system for fans to determine which sets would be produced for purchase. Best of all, the program received an endorsement from the LEGO Group.
As of now, all of the sets have been selected and are slated to ship this month to the proud supporters who funded them. Bricklink has provided an early copy of the Wild West Saloon by Jonas Kramm (aka Legopard) to the Brothers Brick. When it comes to the number of supporters, this design ranked second to the Löwenstein Castle we recently reviewed. This set comes with 1496 parts, is priced at US $149.99 before shipping, and does not come with any minifigures.
Click to read the full review of the Wild West Saloon designed by Jonas Kramm
Do you remember that giant awesome LEGO set you always wanted as a kid but somehow never got for Christmas or your birthday? Well, it might not be that easy to get a sealed copy of that set now, but at least you can build an itsy-bitsy version of it! Letranger Absurde brings back the legendary LEGO Western 6769 Fort Legoredo from 1996. As a child I was fascinated by its wooden walls and I was sure it must take a thousand LEGO bricks to build such a massive fort. Now, this copy looks just as exciting with walls and towers made of some of the smallest LEGO pieces. And just when you notice an adorable micro cannon right outside the fort’s gates, you simply can’t help smiling at this tiny beauty.
This wild west scene by captainsmog shows the transfer of a notorious prisoner to federal custody under the watchful eye of the local Sheriff. This is one bandit who won’t be rescued by his posse, hooking up a rope or chain to the side window and yanking the wall right off the jail. His only hope will be an ambush in Rattlesnake Gorge… if his henchmen can rustle up some dynamite, that is. The prison coach, while simple in construction, clearly looks sturdy enough to hold any bandit, and the use of log bricks is the perfect choice for the front office of this classic building.
It’s always nice to see a clever use of those parts that are somewhat specialized, and that many builders have in large supply. If you have ever purchased a collectible mini-figure, or 2, then you probably have a some of those 3×4 plates with studs down the middle. Used here to build a simple slat roof. The builder also created an undertaker’s office which features siding made from angled tiles. By far my favorite detail is the marvelous vultures fashioned from a minifig hairpiece and a hand for the head. There is something strangely spooky about carrion birds made from body parts…
Rockstar’s newest video game, Red Dead Redemption 2, has been a highly anticipated sequel for fans of the first. Maybe it’s the vast open wild west world, with so many ways to create a unique experience. For some players, the greatest appeal for an open world like this is wandering around the wilderness like in this scene by Tuxedo Greedo. The landscape is both peaceful, and hostile in its stark setting. Curved white elements smooth out what would otherwise be a lonely, rocky landscape. Transparent clear bricks in place of more traditional tiles is a great choice for the stream, and white flower elements make the perfect snow-covered blossoms. One more missable details is the quarter-circle tiles wedged between the studs on the pine tree to represent fungus.
There’s something indefinable about this alien sheriff by Patrick Biggs that I can’t help but love. He wears the classic old-west sheriff attire–a long black coat with a dark gray waistcoat beneath–but it’s the small details that really bring this character to life, such as the spurs on the sheriff’s boots, his thumb poised on the hammer of his six-shooter, and the excellent sideburns constructed with light gray feathered wings, just to name a few.
However, I think my favorite part about the build may be the simple use of a Friends star piece as the sheriff’s badge; in other words, using a star as… well… a star, showing that sometimes the perfect part is indeed out there, you just need to find it.
As the last place to buy a few essentials or enjoy a good nights sleep before continuing on your journey, Minnie’s Haberdashery is a key location in Quentin Tarantino’s movie, The Hateful Eight. Marion has built a replica view of the haberdashery in LEGO and it really is an amazing likeness. There are hanging dried herbs and vegetable swaying from the ceiling, a huge assortment of jugs, boxes, barrels, lamps and mugs scattered across tables, shelves and chests of drawers. I love the placement of certain key features; the large beam frames our view to the left and the stool and table are in the forefront with a chest of drawers and open wooden shutters on the right.
Comparison with the actual set from the movie is a must, although Marion has added a few blood spots as we would expect in a Tarantino film.
Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein
The Oregon Trail is a classic videogame, originally released way back in 1974, and designed as an educational tool to teach American kids about the hazards faced by the pioneer settlers of the 1840s. It is notoriously tough to complete, featuring many unpleasant ways for your brave settlers to meet their end. Brickwebster has built a great little LEGO version of the wagon approaching a river — one of the obstacles faced in the game. The brick-built canopy on the wagon is nicely-done, but the river water spilling over the side of the base which caught my eye. It injects a real sense of dynamism and movement into the scene. Here’s hoping these cute minifigure settlers make it across safely. I’m just glad the builder didn’t attempt to depict the infamous “You have died of dysentery” ending…
Continuing with his circle motif, Sergeant Chipmunk has brought us another slice of LEGO adventure. This time, we’re given a glimpse into the old wild west. While the covered wagon, rockwork, and dusty landscape are beautiful, it’s the little details that truly bring this scene to life, like the horses’ reins and bedrolls. Not to mention, the sleeping cowboy on the ridge, with his hat cocked down to block the sun.
Following up on a previous excellent wild west-themed creation, Brick Surgeon brings a very different, less action-packed view of life on the frontier, while keeping the building and composition style very similar. This latest vignette has a very morbid feel to it, with muted colours, dead trees and a freshly dug grave.
There are many details to appreciate here — the trees are excellently built of course, as they seem to be the focal point of the build. Other parts of the creation are not lagging behind much, with the cleanly built tent, very interesting rocks, and a brick-built vulture on one of the trees. An apropriate choice for the background colour connects all this into a very cohesive whole.
Animals are one of the hardest things to build in LEGO, due to their natural shapes and smooth surfaces. Unless you’re opting for robotic versions, you can’t just cover tricky parts up with any old light gray part and call it mechanical greebles! Brick Surgeon has done a wonderful job building a perfectly natural, realistic, and non-robotic LEGO bison. Here it’s being ridden by a warrior named Megedagik, whom we can only assume is too cool for horses.
Don’t miss the excellent use of minifigure hair pieces for the bison’s shaggy head, and assorted plants around the scene. The builder has used olive green minifigure heads as cacti — effective part use, further enhanced with some pretty lavender buds.
It may not be high noon yet, but it seems as thought there are already a few transactions going on at the bank in this Western scene by Paul Trach. The Brick Bank is a handsome building with its clock above the entrance complete with ‘saloon-style’ swing doors. The roof has a water barrel, brick-built signs, and some lovely detailing on the railings. It’s clear that this ain’t no drinking establishment as there are some finely dressed gentlemen exiting with their pocketwatches and bowler hats in place.
My favourite part of the build is best seen in this close-up view of the ground floor. The beautiful glass windows have some fancy metal-work to prevent any outlaws from breaking in and stealing from the bank. These windows are really a stand-out detail for me, but I have to mention the fun use of light bluish grey ingots as brickwork.
No Western scene is complete without a cactus, but since this is a fine banking establishment, Paul has chosen a lovely flowering cactus as decorative flora.
Some classic LEGO themes are wildly popular, but somehow feel underrepresented by custom LEGO models, such as LEGO Pirates and Wild West. At least for the latter we have a new build to enjoy in this frontier train station by Marcel V. With its unique roof and prominent clock, the build looks almost steampunk, but there are no fictional elements to be found.
There are a lot of interesting bits to see here. The semi-circular section’s construction is quite impressive, as is the roof itself. The railroad tracks look very good, done with a technique I am seeing more and more in fan creations. And as a cherry on top, Marcel has sprinkled the creation with all sorts of clutter, from sacks and guns to the local wildlife — all of which breathes life into the scene.