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Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns Paperback – December 15, 2010
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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About the Author
Martin Hüdepohl, a.k.a. Xubor, built his first LEGO guns in the early 1990s and has been developing ever-more sophisticated models since. He is a freelance programmer living in Germany.
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I really liked the detail of the book. The book features tips from the author on "Lego theory", the author's thought processes and a synopsis for each gun, a description of how the guns work, and step-by-step detailed diagrams to walk you through each model.
In the front of the book is a "master" parts listing that gives the Part ID for each of the different pieces that all of the guns use. Each gun model has its own parts listing that gives the required quantities of each part. What became a time consuming process is looking at a gun's parts list, and then flipping back to the master list to find the Part ID. There were a few things that made this somewhat difficult: (1) while the master listing has a large variety of parts, it does not list every part used in every gun, and (2) a few of the part pictures were different between the master listing and the gun part listing. This wasn't a major inconvenience, as the book recommends a website to order from. The website allows you to search through a parts catalog, so if you see a part that can't be ID'ed correctly, the website becomes a nice reference. I think what would've been even better is if each gun part listing had the Part IDs listed as well. Though, I can understand why the author went with the master listing approach.
As for the step-by-step diagrams, they are black and white photos that show which pieces are required for each step, and the end result of putting the pieces together. The diagrams are detailed to see where each piece fits in. For the most part, the diagrams were easy to follow, and it didn't take long to see where the next piece belonged. The step-by-step layout is similar to the one used in the modern Technic sets, so seasoned Lego veterans will have an easy time following each step. I put together the 1st gun in the book, which was ranked at a "beginner" level. It took me roughly 1-2 hours, which I was comfortable with. There wasn't a point where I finished a step and had to backtrack because I put it in wrong, so I was really happy about that. For the not-so-experienced Lego builder, the black and white photos may sometimes be difficult to navigate through. It really just requires patience, and some ingenuity to figure out how it all comes together.
With regards to build quality, I can only speak on behalf of the 1st gun model in the book since it's the only one I've completed so far. With that said, I was very pleased with how the gun turned out. It looks just like the picture, and the gun feels solid. The moving parts move smoothly, and the mechanisms work as they should. Shooting the gun is also a breeze - it works as a gun should, just pull the trigger and fire away.
Final thoughts: I personally highly recommend this book to adults that still enjoy toys. As an adult that enjoys putting together anything that requires assembly, I thoroughly enjoyed the assembly process of the 1st gun in the book. The fun with Lego is in building models that amaze you, and this book does exactly that. The author put loads of effort into the design, creation, and documentation of each model, and it's nothing short of extraordinary. As for children, I don't recommend it to children under 10 years old, as the models come out quite large (the 1st gun in the book fits my hands perfectly). If the book is intended for a child, I recommend adult supervision (to help with building the models correctly, and to make sure they don't fire the guns in an unsafe manner, as they do shoot pretty hard). I'm really looking forward to building the rest of the models in the book, and definitely await the (hopefully) next book that this author publishes on Lego.
Book well printed on decent weight paper. Spine bound in a way that the book can lay FLAT on the table - an absolute must when actually USING it. Gets a star for this alone.
Speaks to design process and just as importantly, how to get bricks. The section dedicated to Bricklink, how to order & Bricklink brick ID numbers is a must. Very helpful.
As an aside, nothing to do with the book, Bricklink is a nightmare. Twice now lost 300+ part orders in my shopping cart, horrible slow interface, etc. Be prepared, its the most trying part of this process.
Diagrams laid out in a manner that any LEGO practitioner will recognize from the standard LEGO manuals. My only concern with the book comes here, where sometimes dark printing makes distinguishing parts a bit difficult.
5 to choose from, difficult decision. 2 are technic spring operated, 2 are rubber band operated (no joke style) & 1 is battery operated. Nice range of difficulty, part list size, etc.
Replied immediately with a minor question I had - obviously interested in the book & the community.
Fantastic. Fun book, well thought out and quite functional.
Now go put some eyes out.