I have mentioned a number of times (see links at the end of this post), that one of my favorite LEGO customizers is BrickWarriors.com. While other LEGO customizers follow the minimalist and form-fitting style of older minifigure accessories, BrickWarriors makes chunkier armors and weapons that are more in line with modern LEGO accessories, introduced with recent themes like LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Nexo Knights. In other words, they make your minifigs look awesome. 🙂
BrickWarriors accessories are exceptionally well detailed and accurate compared to the original inspiration – be that historical items, or from movies and games – while also remaining true to the aesthetics of LEGO. The colors are a perfect match to LEGO’s own color-palette as well, so you can mix and match the items with regular LEGO accessories.
BrickWarriors carries a great variety of LEGO minifigure accessories; mostly historical armor pieces and weapons, as well as modern and sci-fi items. So if you want to put together a legion of Roman soldiers, Samurai warriors, gladiators, hordes of trolls, or steampunk adventurers, there are plenty of items to choose from. And while you can use these custom accessories as they are, you can also customize them further, if you wish.
Minifigure customization has become sort of a dying art ever since LEGO has been putting so much effort into highly detailed minifigures and accessories. In the past, there was a limited variety of official minifigure pieces and accessories to choose from, so if you wanted to build historical or film/game accurate armies and weapons, you had to customize them yourself, or find a customizer who would do them for you. However there is still room for exceptionally skilled customizers to create the best of the best.
As I mentioned earlier, BrickWarriors accessories are beautifully detailed, but because they are moulded in a single color, and with no printing, those details can get somewhat muted. However with a little modelers’ paint you can bring out those details to make them more eye-catching. I found that silver, gold, and copper paint are particularly good for highlighting a few dots, lines, and other details, and are just enough to keep the pieces in line with LEGO’s own style.
And, if you are really talented, you can unleash your model painting skills on BrickWarriors accessories for some truly unique effect. I recently ran across the work of an artist who uses miniature-painting techniques on BrickWarriors accessories. His name is Dimitris Chondrogiannis, and I found his work in the flickr gallery of another LEGO fan, George Adamidis. Take a look at the Viking warrior below. The helmet, the horns, the armor, the shield and the axe are all standard BrickWarriors accessories (see picture above for unpainted version), but now you can really see all those intricate design details! This is actually the first time I have noticed the buckles around the round chest armor piece, even though I have been using this armor myself.
And how about this medieval knight? Again, the helmet, armor, shield, and sword are standard BrickWarriors accessories (see first picture above for unpainted version), spruced up with some paint. I believe the knight’s skirt is from Arealight, another one of my favorite LEGO customizers, who makes soft plastic clothing pieces for LEGO minifigures (amongst other things). It is particularly clear on this minifigure why BrickWarrior’s accessories are perfect for further customization; the fine details are already moulded into the pieces, so all you have to do is follow the lines as you paint them over. In fact, the paint just naturally seeps into the patterns and crevices as you apply it. So, even if you are not a master model painter and are not familiar with advanced shading techniques, you can achieve some wonderful effects.
The glowing red eyes of this Orc are particularly menacing as he peers through his metal helmet. The helmet, armor, axe, and shield are all from BrickWarriors, and they already come in colors that would make your Orcs look very fearsome (see second picture above for unpainted version). However with a bit of metallic paint, you can really highlight the dreadfulness of the character. This is one of my favorite helmet/armor combinations from BrickWarriors that I use for my troll army.
And now something different; a steampunk character. The helmet, trench-coat, and rifle are from BrickWarriors (see third picture above for unpainted version), and you can see how just dabbing in a bit of paint in the crevices of the coat makes it so much more real. And the bronze highlights on the gun and helmet clearly shows that this guy is from the steampunk era.
While Dimitris is clearly a very talented miniature painter, and we may not all have his skills, I would like to emphasize again, that some of these effects you can achieve yourself with just a bit of modeling paint, as BrickWarriors already did the work of designing the finer details. So don’t be afraid to give it a try. In the worst-case scenario, you will mess up the paint a bit, but you can just simply remove it with a paint-remover like nothing happened. Minifig customization is a wonderful hobby, and if you are at all artistic, I think you will really enjoy it. BrickWarriors accessories are some of the easiest and most rewarding pieces to practice on. You can check out their full selection at BrickWarriors.com.
If you are wondering what kind of paint to use, there are different ones in different countries, and there are also different qualities. Personally I use Testors enamel paint; they come in small bottles, they are inexpensive, the colors are brilliant and durable. I mostly use metallic colors that match LEGO’s own metallic colors well, but they have a rainbow of regular colors also (and you can always mix your own). You can find them at the model painting or die-cast car painting section of most art and craft stores, and you can also get them online from places like Amazon. Another popular brand with customizers and miniature painters is Citadel, but it is a lot more expensive than Testors. Here are the links if you want to check them out:
What do you think? How do you like these custom painted LEGO minifigures? Have you ever tried customizing your own LEGO minifigs or minifigure accessories? Feel free to share your thoughts and own experiences in the comment section below! 😉
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