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The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide

Book Description

In The Unofficial LEGO® Builder's Guide, readers will discover everything from how to craft sturdy walls and a basic sphere to more advanced concepts such as scale and design. Illustrations demonstrate construction tips that can be applied to a wide variety of original creations made from real bricks. Includes essential terminology and an overview of different types of LEGO pieces.

Table of Contents

  1. The Unofficial LEGO® Builder’s Guide
    1. What the LEGO Community is Saying about the Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide
    2. Preface
    3. Acknowledgments
    4. Introduction
    5. 1. The LEGO System: Endless Possibilities
      1. A Brick Vocabulary
        1. Sizing Up the Elements
        2. The Stud
        3. The Tube
        4. The Brick
          1. Using Various Brick Sizes
        5. The Plate
          1. Using Various Plate Sizes
        6. The Slope
        7. Specialized Elements
        8. Technic
        9. Arch Pieces
        10. Tiles and Panels
        11. Cylinders and Cones
          1. Cylinder Plates
        12. Baseplates
        13. Decorative Elements
      2. Precision, Geometry, and Color
        1. Why Precision Manufacturing Matters
        2. Fun with LEGO Geometry
        3. The Colors
          1. For the Color Challenged
      3. Review: The LEGO System
    6. 2. Back to Basics: Tips and Techniques
      1. Decisions, Decisions: The Best Ways to Connect Bricks
        1. Stacking
        2. Overlapping
        3. Staggering
      2. Building Walls
        1. Connecting Walls
        2. Straight Bricks Can Make Round Walls
      3. Bracing: Unseen but Not Forgotten
        1. Bracing = Beams + Columns
        2. Beams
          1. How Not to Build a Beam
          2. The Right Way to Build a Beam
        3. Columns
          1. The Simple Post
          2. The Compound Post
          3. The Chimney Pattern
          4. The Keyhole Pattern
          5. The Hybrid Column
      4. Review: Basic Building Principles
        1. 1. Build big but think small.
        2. 2. Pick the right bonding pattern.
    7. 3. Minifig Scale: Oh, What a Wonderful Minifig World It Is!
      1. Scale: It’s All Relative
        1. Calculating Scale
      2. From the Ground Up: Creating a Minifig-Scale Building
        1. Building Two Versions of the Train Station
        2. Bill of Materials: The Parts You’ll Need to Make This Model
        3. Step by Step: Train Station Construction Details
          1. Step 1
          2. Step 2
          3. Step 3
          4. Step 4
          5. Step 5
          6. Step 6
          7. Step 7
          8. Step 8
          9. Step 9
          10. Step 10
          11. Step 11
        4. Submodel: The Train Station Roof
          1. Step 1
          2. Step 2
          3. Step 3
          4. Step 4
          5. Step 5
          6. Step 6
      3. Substitution: When Other Parts Will Do
        1. Substitute Walls
        2. Substitute Arches
        3. Substitute Windows
        4. Substitute Roofs
      4. Review: Building Techniques and Alternatives
    8. 4. Miniland Scale: The Whole World in Miniature
      1. Miniland Scale: Bigger but Still Small
      2. Creating a Basic Miniland Figure
      3. The Best Bits: Useful Pieces for Miniland People
      4. Basic Miniland Figure
        1. Mix-and-Match Parts
          1. Heads and Hats
          2. Shirts and Skirts
          3. Lots of Legs
          4. Arms and Accessories
        2. On The Run: Making Miniland Figures Come to Life
      5. Miniland Buildings
        1. Creating a Scene: Combining Figures and Buildings
        2. Street Life: A Simple Downtown Scene in Miniland Scale
          1. The People in Your Neighborhood
          2. Building the Buildings
          3. Behind the Scenes
      6. Review: Miniland Scale, Big Possibilities
    9. 5. Jumbo Elements: Building Bigger Bricks
      1. Scaling Up: How It’s Done
        1. The Walls Are Closing In!
        2. Other Parts, Same Technique
          1. 1x2 Plate—Instructions for the Jumbo Version
          2. 2x2 45-Degree Slope—Instructions for Jumbo Version
        3. Building with Jumbo Bricks
          1. Best Solutions from the Simplest Plans
      2. Other Scales: What Scales Work, and Why
        1. Picking the Right Scale
        2. Approximation
      3. Review: Jumbo Bricks Are Just the Start
    10. 6. Microscale Building: More Than Meets the Eye
      1. Microscale: Small Scale with Big Possibilities
      2. Getting Started: Ignore the Details
      3. Translating Ideas into Bricks
        1. Recap the Technique
      4. How Do I Know What Scale I’m Using?
        1. Decide on a scale before you begin building.
        2. Figure out the scale after you’re done building.
      5. Replacing Full-Size Parts with Microscale Stand-Ins
        1. Microscale Wheels
        2. Microscale Windows
        3. Instructions for Microscale House
        4. Recap of Replacement Parts
      6. Review and Suggested Subject Matter
    11. 7. Sculptures: The Shape of Things to Build
      1. Spheres: Round and Round They Go
      2. Divide and Build: Two Sections Means Twice the Fun
      3. Beyond Spheres: Sculpting Other Subjects
        1. Choosing a Subject
        2. Getting Started on the Sphinx
        3. Analyzing the Angles: Building the Head
        4. Special Features: Special Techniques
          1. The Nose
          2. The Ears
          3. The Paws
          4. The Headdress
        5. Building the Foundation Last
      4. Review: Sculptures—In the Eye of the Builder
    12. 8. Mosaics: Patterns and Pictures in Bricks
      1. Two Types of Mosaics
      2. What Can You Do with Mosaics?
        1. How Big Should a Mosaic Be?
      3. What You Need to Make a Mosaic
      4. Designing a Studs-Out Mosaic
        1. Geometric Patterns
        2. Copies of Pictures
          1. Print and Trace
          2. Converting to Pixels Using a Computer
      5. Designing a Studs-Up Mosaic
      6. Design Grids for the Studs-Up Technique
      7. Mosaics on Edge
      8. Review: Mosaics of All Sizes and Shapes
    13. 9. Technic: Not as Technical as It May Seem
      1. Technic: A System Within a System
      2. Technic Pieces: An Overview
        1. Bricks
        2. Studless Beams
        3. Gears
        4. Pins/Axles
        5. Bushings
        6. Couplers
      3. Getting Started with Technic: Assembly Notes
        1. Gear Trains
          1. Basics of Gear Ratios
        2. Going Vertical
      4. Technic Meets Basic Elements
      5. Putting It All Together: Building a Technic Model
      6. Review: What Is Technic?
    14. 10. Putting It All Together: Where Ideas Meet Bricks
      1. Thinking Like a Model Designer
        1. Limit Your Scope
        2. Getting Started: Pick Your Subject
        3. Work from the Bottom Up
        4. Let Reality Guide Your Design Decisions
        5. A Different Perspective
        6. Pick a Scale, Any Scale
        7. Color Concerns
        8. Elements of Design
          1. Shape
          2. Color
          3. Proportion
          4. Repetition
      2. Bringing It All Together: The Final Design
        1. Step by Step: Shuttle Construction Details
          1. Step 1
          2. Step 2
          3. Step 3
          4. Step 4
          5. Step 5
          6. Step 6
          7. Step 7
          8. Step 8
          9. Step 9
        2. Something’s Wrong: Redesigning Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed
        3. After You’re Done
      3. Review: Taking On the Role of Model Designer
    15. 11. Beyond Just Bricks: Other Things to Do Besides Building
      1. “I Give It a Nine Out of Ten”: Writing Reviews of LEGO Sets
        1. A Simple Review
          1. Basic Set Review Form
          2. Sample Review
        2. Sharing Your Review
      2. How It’s Made: Creating Instructions for Your LEGO Models
        1. Step-by-Step Pictures
        2. Computer-Assisted Instructions
      3. Having Fun: Making and Playing Games with LEGO Pieces
        1. Games You Already Know
        2. Original Games
        3. An Example of an Original Game: Connect-Across (Basic Rules)
          1. Setting Up
          2. How Is It Played?
          3. Playing the Game
          4. Winning the Game
        4. Designing Your Own Game
      4. Review: Enjoying Every Aspect of LEGO
    16. 12. Sorting, Storage, and Sitting Down to Build Something
      1. Sorting vs. Storing: What’s the Difference?
      2. Sorting Bricks: Divide and Conquer
        1. Small-Sized Collections
        2. Medium-Sized Collections
        3. Large-Sized Collections
      3. Storing Bricks
        1. Start Small, Keep It Simple
        2. Containers with Compartments
        3. Shoeboxes: Not Just for Shoes Anymore
        4. Keeping Track of the Little Pieces: Tackle Boxes to the Rescue
        5. Reuse Containers You May Already Have: Tubs and Buckets
        6. Deep Storage: Taking Care of Larger Quantities
      4. Setting Up a Building Area
      5. Review: Unique Solutions for Every Builder
    17. 13. Making and Using Tools for LEGO Projects
      1. Presser Tool
      2. The Ruler
      3. Pin Stand Tool
      4. Brick Separator
      5. Non-LEGO Tools
      6. Other Useful Items
      7. Review: The Right Tools for the Job
    18. A. Brickopedia
      1. Brickopedia Breakdown
      2. Review: Bricks, Plates, and So Much More
    19. B. Design Grids: Building Better by Planning Ahead
      1. Downloading the Grids
      2. About the Grids
        1. Design Grid #1
        2. Design Grid #2
        3. Design Grid #3
        4. Design Grid #4
      3. Using the Grids Effectively
        1. Same Model, Different Views
        2. Sketching or Planning
          1. Colorize Your Ideas
        3. Description and Date for Future Reference
        4. Drawing on Grid #1
        5. Drawing on Grid #2
        6. Drawing on Grid #3
        7. Drawing on Grid #4
      4. Review: From Grids to Bricks
    20. C. Companion Website
    21. D. Updates
    22. Index
    23. Colophon