Brick by Brick: An Interview with Custom LEGO Lightsaber Designer Demonhunter Bricks
Adam Gladwin, creator of Demonhunter Bricks, designs and sells custom, full scale LEGO lightsaber kits. The kits are modeled after popular Star Wars movie lightsabers. He sells the custom LEGO lightsaber kits, which use genuine LEGO pieces, in his Etsy store, on eBay and on the Demonhunter Bricks website.
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In addition to creating LEGO lightsaber kits, Demonhunter Bricks also develops custom Star Wars blaster kits as well as custom LEGO minifigures of characters from Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and other movies, TV shows, and video games. Demonhunter Bricks is based in the United Kingdom.
SaberSourcing interviewed Adam Gladwin about Demonhunter Bricks and his custom 1:1 scale lightsaber kits.
How did you get into making custom LEGO sets and minifigures?
Around four years ago I was watching an episode of The Walking Dead and my eyes drifted off to the left of me onto my LEGO collection and it just clicked, ‘LEGO Walking Dead would be awesome’. So I did a little bit of searching online and no-one had really done anything like it so I started designing figures, ordering parts and custom bits then found a company to pad print onto LEGO pieces for me and started selling them.
Over the next few years I designed around fifty different characters until I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the cinema. It re-ignited a spark in me for Star Wars so I went and purchased all of the LEGO Force Awakens Star Wars sets! I then wanted a replica lightsaber and what better way to get one other than to create one myself out of LEGO, and that’s how it started.
How did you decide to design 1:1 scale LEGO lightsaber sets?
I decided on the 1:1 scale because I wanted it to feel genuine and movie like, I actually ended up purchasing a replica Graflex lightsaber which was modelled after the movies and copied each detail on it to try and get my LEGO version as close to it as possible.
Can you describe your LEGO lightsaber design process from concept to completion?I start with either one of my replica lightsabers or pictures online and check out details on the overall model and think about what LEGO techniques I am going to use to recreate it. I then normally break it down into sections like each end and the middle. I use the program Lego Digital Design to then start putting together a rough build. I will normally re-design a section three or four times until I am happy with the way it looks. During this process I always try to bear in mind the availability of parts/colours and the stability of the overall model.
Once I am happy with the overall design I will then order enough pieces in the make one. On many occasions after building it for the first time I then realize there is a piece or section that doesn’t quite work so I’ll re-design it again ending with the final model.
What’s the most challenging part about completing a new lightsaber design?
The most challenging part is always the stability and availability of parts. When I made my first lightsaber I never added any support axles throughout so the second I picked it up and pretended to be a Jedi it fell apart and smashed to bits all over the floor. The availability of parts is always a tough one. When I want a certain piece in a certain colour but I can’t get it, its quite frustrating so always bearing that in mind can be tough.
Since your sets are shipped unassembled, what are some building tips for completing the lightsabers?
Take your time and enjoy the build. The instructions I make are not LEGO high quality which have a whole team working on them. Mine are screenshots and step by step guides generated through LDD [LEGO Digital Designer] so they might not be as clear throughout. Think logically with the pieces you have and it will all come together in the end.
What are some additional lightsabers you’d like to design in the future?
I’d like to do some larger ones like Darth Maul’s but stability is an issue. I am focusing more now on blasters from the Star Wars universe.
All 5 of your current LEGO lightsaber sets are 1:1 scale. Have you considered releasing any scaled down ‘mini’ lightsaber sets?
I have considered doing mini ones but I prefer the looks and feel of the 1:1 scale.
What’s your favorite lightsaber from Star Wars Canon or Legends and why?
My favourite lightsaber is the Graflex. It was Anakin Skywalker’s Lightsaber, which then passed down the Luke who then lost it on Cloud City. Then Rey found it in The Force Awakens. It just has so much history attached to it that it will be always an iconic lightsaber to me.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is designing more interesting sets, I’m working on a DH-17 Blaster and also a large Fell Beast/Nazgul from the Lord of the Rings.
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Demonhunter Bricks LEGO lightsabers on Etsy [AFFILIATE LINK]
Demonhunter Bricks website
COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Demonhunter Bricks
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