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More 'Lego Look' than 'Lego Play'
on 22 November 2013
I bought both this book and the earlier published `Lego Ideas' book at the same time. This is much more limited in terms of a general reader being able to accurately recreate these models, because many of them rely on rare parts which are crucial to the build.
Whilst the earlier Lego Ideas book also contained many unique pieces, as I leafed through that book, each page seemed to elicit far more positive emotions, I could look at the models thinking "I'll just replace that part with this one" etc. In stark contrast to that, each page of this book filled me with more and more despair, as the unique parts are not so much window dressing, but fundamental components you absolutely require.
As an example, there's a double page of insect models and every single one is built around an octagonal part which I had never seen before. This part is perfect for creating creatures as it gives them a very organic look, at total contrast to the right angle joints that most Lego blocks create. Another double page of sea creatures revealed almost all of these depend on the exact same octagon part, it's even mentioned in the book as being very useful. Scouring Amazon, I found the cheapest way to acquire this block is to purchase the Galaxy Squad model # 30230 for around a fiver. It's also on the front of the Galaxy Squad model # 70700.
That part is not available on Lego's pick-a-brick website, but many of the other unique parts from this book are. A few minutes on that site plus a few pounds spent, went a long way to restored some of my faith that the models in this book would make it into our living room. My advice would be to purchase the Lego Ideas book first, and if you struggle to re-create the models in that, don't bother with this book.
Perhaps to a casual reader, (or someone with a more diverse and modern collection of Lego than my own) the books will seem very similar, but I found it interesting that my gut reaction as I read each book was completely different.
Having said all of that, there are still some fantastic ideas in this book, the troll under the bridge in particular is a must build. And one of the authors, Tim Goddard is an artist in every sense of the word, it's worth Googling his name just to see more of his creations in full, because they are absolutely awe inspiring.
Just be warned this book is much more reliant on newer, rarer parts than the Lego Ideas book. So be prepared to spend some money on new parts, or get seriously creative fashioning alternatives.