This review is a little off topic, but I’ll post anyway as it vaguely relates to war gaming, particularly if you’ve ever tried Brikwars!
I’ve been aware of Brickarms for a while now. They’re a US company that manufacture third party weapons for Lego Minifigs. I hadn’t ordered from them until recently as they don’t ship outside the US. However a Makeblog post rekinkled my interest and it seems they have an Australian reseller which I missed before.
I couldn’t resist picking up the World at War pack to add to my Lego Indiana Jones figures. At $20aud for a small pack of plastic pieces they’re not cheap, but after spending a couple of hours playing with them last night with my five year old son I figure it’s probably money well spent. Here’s a quick review of the Brickarms pack.
The pieces arrived in a small baggie and include the set of weapons you see above. I’ve photographed them next to several bonafide Lego pieces for scale. The Lego pieces are the standard shovel, the grey plastic revolver and the Star Wars blaster rifle to the far left. Overall the quality of the Brickarms pieces is excellent. They’re cast in the same hard ABS plastic that Lego is made from. This means they have the same weight and general feel to them as Lego pieces, down to the finish too. It also means they should have the same excellent long life as normal Lego pieces.
The sculpting on the weapons is superb and despite the fact some liberties have been taken to make them work with Minifigs, most of them should be instantly recognisable to any WWII buff. It was the M1 Garand and Panzerfaust in particular that compelled me to buy this pack. In fact many of the weapons are more finely detailed than their Lego equivalents which is obvious from the above photo when you compare the grey Lego revolver to the various German and American automatic pistols. A particular high point for me was the fact the Lewis gun has been sculpted with a clip at the bottom which will fit a standard Lego lever holder. That means you can easily mount the weapon on a Lego vehicle for AA protection.
In terms of casting they’re also very good, although unlike Lego pieces you may have to do a little clean up with an Xacto blade to remove rough scraps of plastic where the pieces have been detatched from their sprues. The weapons can be used without clean up, but the anally retentive modeller in me had to spend five minutes just tidying them up so they’re perfect. That’s really the only comment I have about the casting. Like Lego pieces they do have fine, almost unnoticable mold lines and pin ejection marks, but you can mix them with Lego pieces without any visible difference, which is a sign of quality casting.
Here’s another scale shot of Lego Indy and Henry Jones Snr ready for action. You can see the weapons look great on the figures and as I mentioned my young son has already had fun with them, conducting terrible warfare across our kitchen table as all manner of hell was unleashed. The more politically correct amoungst you (I doubt many of my visitors are but who knows) may mutter something about glorifying war etc, however as many Lego ranges already come with weapons (Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Star Wars, Lego Agents etc) I’m going to happily ignore you.
To close, Brickarms weapons are excellent and although a little pricey compared to normal Lego are well worth it, particularly if you’re already a Lego fan and want a little more variety in your Minifig armory.