Soon after the LEGO Adventure Book, I found out about The Big Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Book by Oliver Albrecht (*Olly*) and Joe Klang (-derjoe-). I guess it must be Christmas or something as that left me with two LEGO books I wanted. Sensing my desire, Joe Klang sent me a copy of the book which means I am now able to review it for you all.
The tl;dr version can be summed up simply: buy this book (or from Amazon.co.uk, or in its original German) if you like great LEGO town models, great models in general, mini/midi scale LEGO models, or nice books about LEGO.
This book is a little more focussed than the LEGO Adventure Book, and arguably more tailored toward adults than children (although older children and teenagers who are still into LEGO would love it). It is mostly a collection of instructions for models at regular minifig scale (six-wide car scale for those who care), and at “midi scale” (see right) where cars are two bricks wide and everything else is scaled accordingly. In between the very, very many instruction sets, there are tips and tricks on building, mostly at a fairly advanced level.
This is a book for ‘serious’ modelling and the technical level is higher than LEGO sets. The models are of a very high quality, with a focus on looks rather than playability. Which I love but may not be for everyone. But Joe and Oliver are excellent builders so this is unsurprising.
One aspect of the book that I found very nice is that the instructions are usually presented in a very common colour (often red), and then examples are shown in alternate colour schemes. I think this is a great idea, allowing more people to build them straight out of the book, but offering more exciting variants. On the whole the instructions are very clear, and are made with LDraw, which in my opinion makes better printed instructions than even LEGO’s in house software. I found the steps pretty easy to follow too.
The English language book has some amusingly quirky translations from the original German. But it does not suffer from them (personally I like German-English) and is entirely readable. On the whole I really have to recommend this to people who are ‘serious’ about building LEGO towns, or just like to see what really good builders can do with a bunch of bricks. Be warned though, that if buying for a young child you will have to help them. Overall it’s an excellent book and I’m happy to have it in my collection and would guess that if you’re reading TBB, you would too.
You can buy it from Amazon.com and help support TBB.