The Lego Build-It Book: More Amazing Vehicles
by Nathanael Kuipers and Mattia Zamboni
$15.90 at Amazon ($9.99 Kindle)
I’ve reviewed a number of Lego books recently, and they’ve all had the same problem: not much in the way of step-by-step instructions. While I can see the value in books of ideas and concepts, I enjoy following the instructions to put together a model, and it’s been difficult to accomplish that other than by buying more Lego sets. Until now.
This book (like the first one in the series, which I haven’t yet read) contains instructions on how to build ten different vehicles, from a hot rod and roadster to an excavator and big rig. The instruction quality is essentially what you would expect from a Lego set; I’ve been putting together Lego 10214 Tower Bridge and the instructions here are of similar quality and detail. Each model has photos from several angles, a complexity rating, design notes, and technical specifications, making it easier to decide what you’d like to build. I doubt I’ll build all of them, but several look interesting. There’s a little bit of theory at the beginning, but for the most part this is just a set of plans for 10 different models, as promised.
One decision I didn’t care for was the use of Lego 5867 as the base, as I found that to be a somewhat boring set (as well as being difficult to find at a reasonable price, being discontinued); it would have been nice if the authors could have picked a set that’s currently in production. Still, I imagine that when they started working on the book it was readily available, so I don’t take points off for that. Additionally, there is a complete parts list at the front of the book (though not for the individual models); while it doesn’t list the part numbers, these are mostly common parts that should be easy enough to purchase separately if you don’t want to buy the complete set.
Overall, I’d say this is the best Lego book I’ve looked at so far, although I could be biased due to my engineering background. While I’m sure it wouldn’t sell as well, I would love to see a similar book using one of the larger (and currently available) architecture or Star Wars sets. (I wanted to say Space Police, but we seem to be between versions again) I feel like having the extra model instructions really adds to the value of the set.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.