Category Archives: Interviews

BrickWarriors Interview

When it comes to creating LEGO compatible accessories and minifigures BrickWarriors need no introduction, and we were delighted when one of the most talented custom creators and founder Ryan Hauge agreed to be interviewed.

What made you decide to start manufacturing custom designed pieces?

It was a childhood dream, really. I mean, when I was a child I didn’t think to myself, “I’m going to own a small business where I design and sell LEGO minifigure compatible pieces,” but I was always dreaming up new minifigure accessories that I wished LEGO would create.

While I was in college I had a lot of free time and my LEGO collection was back at home, so I decided to get a CAD (computer aided design) program and try to actually design some of the items that I had dreamed about as a child. My first designs really weren’t very good, but with hours and hours of practice I was able to learn how to do the designs that you see in production today.

When I graduated from college my options were to find a job in the corporate world or start a business where I get to do what I love and design minifigure accessories all day. The choice was easy.

Where do you get your inspiration from for new designs?

Inspiration can literally come from anywhere I look. Some designs might be based loosely on video games or movies, while others can just be based on an image I come across on Google images. On the BrickWarriors forums our fans are always posting ideas for items they would like to see, so that’s always a good place to turn to for inspiration as well.

A lot of the pieces that we’ve already released, such as the Minotaur Head, were pieces that I always wanted in LEGO form as a child. Sometimes the best way to think of new pieces is to sit down and think about all the crazy pieces I had dreamed of having many years ago.

Describe the process needed to create a new piece?

Once I have an idea of what I want to create, I’ll search for lots of pictures of it on Google images and try to see it from all angles. Sometimes I’ll just have one or two angles to work with if the thing I want to create is obscure, but the more angles I can find the easier is it to design the piece.

Once I’m happy with the pictures I have, I’ll open up my CAD program and start designing. For most weapons the design process usually only takes a few hours, but for helmets and armor it can take anywhere from about 5 to 20 hours for a single design.

The finished designs get sent to a manufacturer to cut the designs into big blocks of steel. A few months later, I get real, solid, ABS (the same plastic LEGO uses) samples of the pieces that I designed. That is by far the most exciting part of this job!

The samples usually aren’t all perfect, so I’ll tell the manufacturer what needs to be fixed, and then I’ll get samples of the fixed products. This process continues until the products are perfect and ready for mass production.

What are your favourite pieces?

My favorite pieces are ones that I haven’t released yet, but that’s just because new stuff is always the most exciting!

Of the items that I already have in production, I think my two favorites are the Invader Helmet and Gladiator Pauldron. The Invader Helmet is one of my favorites because of all the different variations you can have by just switching the horns. Gladiators have always been one of my favorite things to turn LEGO minifigures into, so naturally the Gladiator Pauldron would also be one of my favorites.

Are you currently on any new projects?

Of course! I have over fifty items designed that are slated for mass production in the near future.

I feel like it’s my duty to the LEGO community to always be coming out with new, exciting pieces for them to enjoy, so I try to put as many new items into production as BrickWarriors can afford!

We would really like to thank Ryan for taking the time to be interviewed and be sure to check out BrickWarriors Flickr and BrickWarriors.com.

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Desert Penguin Interview

Everyday we go on Flickr and check to see which new custom minifigures have been uploaded and we have recently been impressed with the quality of work by Desert Penguin, so we were delighted when he agreed to do this interview:

How did you first get into custom minifigs?

I first got into custom minifigs several years ago, seeing people on Mocpages such as Commander Fed, Commander Fero, and Andreas with their custom clones and such (I was such a noob :P). After a while I saw people posting link on their Mocpages to pictures on Flickr, so I made an account. However, I did not really start posting much on it until around June of last year, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since!

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

I currently get lots of my inspiration from video games such as call of duty, battlefield, gears of war, halo, killzone, Bioshock, and skyrim. I also get inspiration from some great customizes like Saint_Zvlkx, The Chef, McLovin, and Bricker to just name a few. There are many more and if you want to see them all look at the people tagged in this picture.

If there was one character that you wished Lego could produce who would it be?

I think that if Lego could produce one character, I think it would have to be a Big Daddy for Bioshock.

What do you think of the Lego Collectors minifigures series?

I love the Lego collectors minifigures series. While I don’t personally own to many of the figs, I’ve seen some amazing things done with their supremely detailed parts. I would love to eventually see all of Legos minifigures be like these.

Are you currently on any new projects?

I am not currently working on any big projects, but I am always working on a few figs. I would love to do some kind of collaborative project at Brickworld this year though, so if anybody needs somebody, you can always message me 🙂

Do you have any tips to pass onto other customisers?

Really my only tips for other customisers is to try to take as good of a picture as you can. Outdoors pictures seem to work well with natural light and a cool background. Also, you don’t need lots of money to make good figs. You don’t need to have all of the newest pieces from third party customisers to make your figs shine.

You just need to be creative, and don’t be afraid to reuse cool pieces. Also, if people post something negative on your photo, try to not get discouraged by it. Get defensive will not help you at all. Don’t respond unless they leave advice. If they do, thank them for that advice and try to take that into account the next time you post something.

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Interview Liam4242

We came across Liam4242 on Flickr and really liked some of his recent MOC’s (My Own Creation) and painted custom minifigures and accessories, so we were delighted when he agreed to be interviewed:

How did you first get into custom minifigs?

About a year ago, I saw some really cool military figs on Google Images. They inspired me to make my own. They were downright terrible, but they were a start!

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from movies (Full Metal Jacket, A Bridge Too Far), books (Code Talkers, We Were Soldiers), and other customisers (CaptainMatt, Bricker)!

If there was one character that you wished Lego could produce who would it be?

I would have to say Teddy Roosevelt. He was an really interesting guy, plus he would have a very helpful head! I think many others would agree!

What do you think of the Lego Collectors minifigures series?

I think it is a great idea. They have so many unique, useful parts that help customisers a lot! I’m always wondering what they’ll come out with next! I hope the series continues!

Are you currently on any new projects?

Yes. I plan on making some WW2 and Vietnam Marines, plus some camouflage figs! I don’t know how they’ll turn out, but we’ll see!

Do you have any tips to pass onto other customisers?

If you think you can do, you’ll succeed. If you don’t like how your final product looks, do some research, get a reference, and see what can be improved!

Thanks for this interview, I enjoyed it thoroughly!

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Andy Howlin Mad Interview

Here at Custom Minifig we love talking to people who are as crazy about Lego as we are. So we were delighted when Andy Howlin Mad volunteered to do one of our interviews:

How did you first get into custom minifigs?

I’ve always loved Lego. My favorite part has always been the minifigures. They are like bridges that allow fans to cross to a whole world of imagination. One of my favorite things to do is mix up minifigures. I love the USMC and Military (as most boys do) and wanted to mix my two favorite subjects, military and Lego. I searched up the appropriate accessories and began customising.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from many different sources. Most of my ideas revolve around my imagination and I think them up, but what really amazed me are Lego Junkie’s builds, Empty Sandbox, and Andrew Somers, and PA (Semer Fi)

If there was one character that you wished Lego could produce who would it be?

If there was one character I would want Lego to produce, it would be more of a quartet… the A-team! I love the A-Team show from the ’80s and am thinking of customising my own! Those guys are great!

What do you think of the Lego Collectors minifigures series?

I think the Lego Minifigure series is a very good idea. It allows Lego to grow out of certain themes and branch out. The idea is really good, and lots of stores are selling out: also, many companies are liking the whole mystery figure. MegaBloks recently came out with Halo Mystery Packs soon after Lego released theirs.

Are you currently on any new projects?

Actually, I am! For my school research project I am working on the WWII battle of Iwo Jima. I have decided to do the same with Lego and re-inact the beach landing. I will create Japanese soldiers and a USMC Regiment, as well as an AMTRAC and Mt. Suribachi.

Do you have any tips to pass onto other customisers?

I love giving tips and assisting other Lego builders, so here are some tips:

Always believe in yourself. No matter how cheesy that sounds, it is very true, if you try you will at least get a chance of success.

Stick to paint and decals – marker smudges and doesn’t look as great.

Get a good mental picture of what you are doing before you make it.

Don’t be afraid to invest money- it will be a whole lot worth it.

Third party accessories such as BrickArms, Minifig.Cat, Amazing Armory, BrickForge, etc. make great weapons for minifigures

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TheRaconteur Interview

TheRaconteur is a regular customiser of Gears of War minifigures which is a hugely popular theme on Flickr, so we caught up with Josh and he agreed to let us interview him and highlight his work!

How did you first get into custom minifigs?

I first got into customising last April. I used sharpie then and didn’t produce much that was good. Then, in one of my Lego searches I came across one of Mclovin’s photos on Flickr. I instantly thought, “Oh my god He’s amazing. I have to do this.” From then on I just worked my way up experimenting on parts.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

Well, to be honest I don’t really do anything inspired by others. I like to do what I want rather than following someone else. BUT, if I had to say someone I would say Mclovin. Not only is he an amazing customiser, but he is a really nice guy too. Plus, he is the one who inspired me to get Flickr in the first place. 🙂

If there was one character that you wished Lego could produce who would it be?

I don’t know really. They’ve done all they can do within reason. I just want them to produce new stuff, as it gives me more of a range to experiment on.

What do you think of the Lego Collectors minifigures series?

I don’t really bother about them. It kinda just seems like LEGO are running out of ideas for sets so they are bringing out minifigures instead. The only good thing about them is the new parts because, as I said earlier, I like a wider range of customising.

Are you currently on any new projects?

I am actually. I am mainly working on my Jungle Militia Faction. I have managed to produce 6 figs so far, and will hopefully have them uploaded by the weekend. I am also working a little on my first (hopefully) decent MOC. Although, as it is not my strong point, it is not as important as the minifigs.

Do you have any tips to pass onto other customisers?

Hmm… Now that’s a hard question. I suppose one of them could be to put some time into your work. Too many people are producing bad looking figures and they seem to respond with, “It takes too much time.” or “I can’t be bothered.”Put some effort into your work people!

Also, never be afraid to experiment. A lot of people are scared to ruin tiny little bits of plastic. Experiment! You could make something great, and if not, the remains could no doubt be used for something else!

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