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on May 27, 2012
My experience with LEGOs is primarily building Star Wars ships with my son. For a number of years we would travel to his grandparents house for Thanksgiving, go looking for a large model to build on Black Friday, and spend the weekend working on it. The LEGO enterprise has continued to expand and grow, and covers many more areas now than mundane earthbound transportation and the Millenium Falcon.

Although some will not be happy that one can build guns out of LEGOs, I won't address that here. Judging by my experiences with my son, guns can be made out of almost anything! The four guns that are presented in the book are the Desert Eagle, AKS-74U, Jungle Carbine, and SPAS 12. The author makes clear that though the cover states these are working replicas of the guns, "working" in this instance means able to shoot LEGO bricks propelled by rubber bands. "Working" also means that some of the functional parts of a gun are modeled, including a safety mechanism, magazine, movable trigger, and firing mechanism and slide. The design of the LEGO guns models the actual gun in amazing detail.

The building instructions are largely pictorial, with occasional textual directions added for clarity. The illustrations are black and white, which can make interpretation of some of the drawings challenging but not impossible. But the cost of making color illustrations for a book this size (353 pages) would be prohibitive. The book contains advice about building techniques, and gives several sources for obtaining the necessary LEGO pieces to complete the projects.

This is a book that accomplishes its aims well, and would make a great gift for certain children. An occasional adult mght also enjoy it. The pictorial guides to construction are particularly well suited to the target audience, in this case, a picture is worth more than a thousand words! Recommended.
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on July 14, 2012
When a LEGO book comes with a warning label, you know it's going to be good. And so reads the back cover of Jack Streat's, book, LEGO HEAVY WEAPONS: "Be particularly careful when handling these models in public because they can be mistaken for real guns."

Streat's 353-page instruction manual offers adult builders the opportunity to create four realistic renditions of some of the world's most interesting guns. And it gets better. Three of these guns actually shoot. Using LEGO bricks as plastic bullets, these guns ratchet, clack and recoil with amazing realism.

For each of the four unique models, Streat offers meticulously crafted step-by-step instructions and interesting side notes that help you feel as if Streat is at your side helping you build. The two-toned, photo realistic instructions make sure you don't miss a step, and the bill of materials provided in each section makes preparation a breeze. Of course you will need a healthy dose of LEGO Technic beams and bricks at your disposal, but numerous online shops make parts acquisition easy.

The four guns Streat has chosen for this volume offer unique building opportunities beyond just their iconic looks.

The Desert Eagle handgun offers builders the opportunity to build a tight, well-engineered handgun and learn about trigger mechanics.

The AKS 74U is an optical beauty in it's own right and offers a great learning experience for building a brick-bullet magazine plus a heavy-duty folding stock.

The Jungle Carbine is fun because of its bolt-action design and long barrel accuracy.

The SPAS 12 shotgun includes an intricately designed firing mechanism that Streat --and the resultant builder-- can certainly be proud of. Note: This model only shoots one brick at a time rather than a spray of bullets, but this in no way diminishes the cool-factor of this machine.

While this book isn't for everyone, it's definitely for the serious LEGO fan or action hero enthusiast who wants to learn something new. Streat even provides X-ray views of how his creations work, so that your combined handiwork can be appreciated from the inside out.

A small but important aspect of this book that many builders will find useful is that the book will lie flat (and on the correct page) while you build, thanks to the publisher's choice of a RepKover binding.

Builders may wish this book featured more models, and for that I originally thought about giving this book a four star rating. But after I experienced how well Streat laid out his instructions and how far he takes each builder in explaining his craft through more than 300 pages, he gets five stars. This book should indeed be on the shelf of every serious LEGO fan. And these fans should heed the warning.
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on June 8, 2012
I just finished building the AKS-74U and it works great. The instructions are very well presented and I appreciate the hard work that was put into it. I'm thinking of getting the binding replaced by rings though so it's easier to hold open while building. If there was a way I could get this on PDF for use on my iPad that would be even better, but I don't think I'll take the time to scan it.

I used Bricklink to gather the necessary parts, which took quite awhile, but it was worth it. This is about the coolest LEGO model I've built and it's crazy how well it works. Can't wait to start on the other models.
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on September 12, 2012
The first time my son showed me Jack Streat's work, I told him "Lego needs to hire that guy". So when I saw he had a book out, I ordered it without hesitation. My son was very impressed with the photos/cutaways/details of the book and gives it 5 stars. The AKS-74U he built looks impressive and works well (shooting Lego bricks).

I would say this book is for more advanced builders...especially since you need a lot of Legos. But the author was even thorough enough to help you source them.
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on November 16, 2012
This book gives great instructions for building. The models that come out are both sizable and functional.

It should be noted, though, that many of the pieces suggested, especially for the long blocks, have been selected because that was what was available. Other pieces would do just as well in some situations.

I would heartily recommend this book to any fan of lego who wants to step up their game.
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on March 10, 2015
I bought this for my young boys and didn't realize how involved these replicas are. This is a thick book. If you are looking for something that kids can build on their own, you may want to look elsewhere. If you are really into detailed replicas, then this book is for you.
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on November 21, 2013
This book was purchased as a gift. Since it's not packaged, I gently opened it up to peek thru. Yes, this is a good book. Detailed, diagrams and parts list with parts help list. I chose this book over the others for a couple reasons. One being that this shoots Legos. The second, which should not be thrown to the wayside in my opinion, is that this book is from a regular joe (or Jack, I should say) who knows his Legos. His videos are on YouTube and tutorial would certainly be available. Happily, I purchased this book. Bought this book as a father and son type gift and I am certain it will get good use.
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on March 1, 2013
I recently just returned from LegoLand California hoping to find all the pieces to build some of these sweet builds. But was very unsuccessful. I estimate each gun at least over a hundred dollars easy. So if you love building and already have thousands of dollars of Legos already. This should be a fun book to work from.
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on January 29, 2015
AWESOME BOOK for the lego/gun lover. This is a perfect combo of both. IT HAS A WARINING LABEL! it has to be good if it does! This will shoot legos, so keep that in mind. I will buy other books like this. GREAT BOOK. Buy it. Now. right now.
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on April 6, 2015
The only reason I haven't built any of the guns within yet is because I don't have all the bricks required. However, Streat, in the introduction, provides a site that is like a market for LEGO bricks, bricklink. I've used bricklink from then on, because not only is it more expensive to get the pieces from LEGO's pick-a-brick, LEGO also doesn't have some of the pieces listed. I'm sure that when I do build the guns within the book, they will be quite functional, and I may even be able to use them as props.
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