The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide – Book Review
When you think of LEGOs, you probably picture handfuls of colorful bricks and expressive mini-figures, but there’s a much more elaborate world of mechanical creation, and it’s called LEGO Technic.
While I’ve not immersed myself in the creative world of imaginative engineering, I hold its fans in high regard for their skill and vision. It’s always seemed like a complicated trade to enter, but The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide by Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec promises to teach you everything you need to know.
The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide
Written by Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec
Product Details: Softcover, 404 pages, 10 x 8 inches
List Price: $34.95
Publication Date: October 2016
Ages: For 13+
Publisher: No Starch Press
Kmiec is a respected authority and blogger on LEGO Technic model building, with an established YouTube presence and working relationship with the LEGO Company. He’s compiled his knowledge and instructions into The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide, a textbook guide to learning LEGO Technic and building over 50 different mechanisms.
Each chapter is dedicated to a different mechanical component, and includes an in-depth discussion of common terms, essential principles, and problem-solving. It’s great for teaching and learning about mechanical science in general, outside the LEGO realm.
As such, the 25 chapters cover transmissions, wheeled suspension systems, motors, pneumatic devices, and more. It’s a great stepping stone for learning how automotive mechanisms work similarly.
For this second-edition printing, the author added 13 new building instructions, 13 updated chapters, and four new chapters.
While you might think that The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide would be better suited to being a hardcover book due to the amount of pages, it’s actually a well-bound and well-printed softcover.
Because of the amount of pages packed between the covers, the binding is reinforced with tape so the pages don’t tear away. Even sustaining wear and tear during my review, it promised to hold up for a long time.
The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide works on two levels: a collection of building techniques for LEGO Technic and a textbook on basic concepts of mechanical engineering.
It utilizes many of the same terms and concepts in easy-to-learn ways. There are plenty of images with diagrams and labels explaining movement, and captions with detailed system descriptions. The easy-to-follow diagrams are reminiscent of the streamlined instructions for official LEGO kits.
It won’t be very helpful or interesting if you don’t already own many of the LEGO Technic pieces it discusses, so it’s definitely for those who already have accumulated a collection and want to do more with it; and since I don’t follow this advanced LEGO system, I couldn’t tell you much about the book’s accuracy.
From what I can assess, The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide is, as it advertises, the most comprehensive guide to engineering plastic machines and mastering tricks of the trade. Its usefulness makes it a text you’ll keep for years if you’re a fan or hopeful. I couldn’t imagine it being any more valuable a resource.
Oh, and the hamster pictures sprinkled in are adorable–reminds me of the one I used to have.
The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, and other online retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.