We haven’t done any interviews for a while, so there is no better place than to start with Richard Goff aka G-Bricks who has been wowing the Flickr community with his amazing custom minifigures.
How did you first get into custom minifigs?
After being into Lego as a Kid, I rediscovered my love for Lego after buying my daughter a vintage Lego castle (the same one that I had as a kid). I accidently stumbled across the Customminifig website whilst looking for some additional figures and I saw some figs by Natsty and Geoshift that just absolutely blew me away, as I had no idea that people were doing this kind of thing with Lego. After missing out on the whole Warhammer scene, I knew that I really wanted to give custom minifigures a go.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?
My ideas come from the same sources as most other people: Computer games, films, comic book characters, TV shows, Military footage etc. I like to change genres every now and again, in order to keep things fresh and to avoid from getting stuck in one genre too much; however most of my figs do tend to have a military aspect. Also being an AFOL, I tend to have ideas about characters from slightly older material knocking around in my head.
I draw inspiration from lots of other customisers that I see on Flickr, to name drop a few: EclipseGrafx, Geoshift, Giovanni, McLovin, Natsy, Pecovam & Pedro (Brick affliction) Tuminio, Toxic, etc, etc, etc. There are many more, but I could be here all day naming them.
What process do you go through when creating a custom minifig?
My design process starts with identifying a character, for example “Terminator”. Then I’ll Google image “Terminator custom Lego fig” to see what has been done before; If there are hundreds of images with some excellent customs that I don’t think can be improved upon or approached differently, I generally leave it alone. If I think I can do something with it, then I’ll start researching the character, to find the best source images. Then I’ll look at obtaining a near colour match for the base figure and head and get whatever 3rd party items I need (usually just guns). I then prepare the base figure and construct or sculpt any pieces required. The whole fig then gets painted and assembled and any further details/finishing touches are applied. Finally the finished fig gets a coat of matte varnish to seal the painted pieces.
What are your favourite minifigures you have made?
I think my favourite customs are “Post Apoc Victor Fernandez”, “Which King” and “Gurlukovich Soldier for different reasons. “Post Apoc Victor Fernandez” because I’ve never seen anyone else do a fig like this, “Witch King” for the fabric work; I just really like the old, dusty look of this fig and “Gurlukovich Soldier” for the technical work that went into the handmade helmet and NVG’s.
Do you have any tips to pass onto other customisers?
My tips to any would be customisers, is do lots of research when doing your customs and try to work from the source material as much as possible, rather than other peoples versions of the character. I think you gain a lot more knowledge and a much better skill set, when you approach the fig in your own way. It can also often lead to unique ideas that nobody else had thought of. That said, occasionally asking for advice doesn’t hurt.
Do you still do commissions?
I still do the odd commission or gift for friends and family and I still intend to put some more figs on FireStar Toys (eventually) but I’m selfishly enjoying doing figs for my own collection at the moment and I think that most people will say the same; that replicating figs is just not as much fun as making the original, even though the second or third version can often be better than the original.
Many thanks to Richard for a great interview and be sure to check out his photo stream on Flickr.