Tag Archives: Book

The Brothers Brick isn’t just about bricks! When we’re not building with LEGO or writing about LEGO, we enjoy reading about it, too. Thankfully, there’s a plethora of page-turners ready for our perusal.

The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling [Review]

In the last two years, my fellow Dutchmen Dennis Bosman (Legotrucks) and Dennis Glaasker (Bricksonwheels) have been working on a book titled The art of Lego Scale Modeling. It is one of a number of new titles released this fall by Nostarch Press and currently costs $21.74 on amazon (down from its normal list price of 29.95).

"The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling"

Both of these guys have been building scale models (primarily of trucks) for years and are long-term members of the LEGO community. For their book they have enlisted the cooperation of no fewer than 22 other builders, from all over the world, to present high-quality photographs of some of the best Lego scale models of vehicles you’ll ever see. I got my copy just before the weekend, because I was lucky enough to be able to contribute some of my own models for this title. I obviously cannot be completely objective here. Then again, no reviewer ever is.

The excellent photographs of the models themselves are accompanied by short bits of text, giving some information about the real-world vehicle, and the builds. These are interesting, but the photographs are the stars. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will already have seen a fair few of the models, such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, by Nathaneal L.. The top-notch photography shows them in a new light.

Ferrari 458 Italia in Art of LEGO Scale Modeling

Although there probably are other scale models out there of similar quality, the Dennises have made a really nice selection of trucks, including a few by the authors themselves, cars, motorcycles, race cars, cranes, aircraft, military models and ships. A few models were built specifically for the book, such as the wonderful Scania by Ingmar Spijkhoven (2LegoOrNot2Lego).

Model Scania 143M Torpedo by Ingmar Spijkhoven

If you are expecting a detailed explanation of how to build models like these, this book will disappoint you. There’s a brief section on how to build them, with a few useful pointers, but a look at the biographies of the builders included in the back of the book will tell you that most of them have been at this for years, if not decades. You can’t learn to build models like these by reading a book; it takes experience. If you’re looking for instructions, you’re not going to find them either. The instructions for some of the individual models alone would be enough to fill most of the book’s 204 pages. You will find plenty of inspiration, though.

As usual with LEGO books from this publisher, the cover and binding seem pretty sturdy. The pictures are nicely printed in a matt-gloss finish and are printed on decent quality paper. This is what you would expect from what’s essentially a coffee table picture book. What I didn’t expect is the size of the book. I would have liked to see it a bit larger (it is about 20 by 25 cm/ 8 x 10 inches). This size was probably chosen to keep the book affordable. The pages are still large enough to give you a good view of the models and to appreciate most of the details, but some would definitely look even better on a larger canvas. This is a minor niggle. If scale models of vehicles built out of LEGO are your thing (and if not, why not?!), this is a title you definitely do not want to miss.

Medieval LEGO [Review]

Medieval Lego is a book written by Greyson Beights that combines major events in medieval history with illustrations in Lego. Specifically, the book features condensed summaries written by experts in the subject about events that took place in England and Scotland from the 11th century to 15th century. Each chapter is accompanied by photos with content made entirely out of Lego by fan builders. This interesting combination will no doubt appeal to Lego fans and history buffs, but you don’t have to be either to find the book approachable in its simplicity. Below is a video of my review:

Beautiful LEGO: Wild! [Review]

Beautiful LEGO: Wild! is the third title in a series of best-selling coffee table books by Mike Doyle. Like its predecessors Beautiful LEGO and Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, this edition features a carefully curated collection of LEGO creations by some of the community’s top builders.

Compared to its hefty hard-backed cousin DARK, this slimmer book is more reminiscent of the original Beautiful LEGO. Like DARK, its builder profiles are kept to a minimum and the focus is squarely on the photographs. Otherwise the format is the same, with images organized into categories and carefully labelled with info such as title, builder, year and part count.

To differentiate each new volume from the last, Mike has chosen to assign them over-arching themes. And while DARK was ambiguous enough to allow for a pretty diverse range of builds, WILD is necessarily more constrained to subject matter in some way related to plants, animals or nature. And since it doesn’t feature any of the nature-themed builds already used in the first two books, sections like the ones on bugs and dragons end up relying on some slightly less polished builds than readers of the earlier books might be used to seeing.

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Review: Brick Wheels by Warren Elsmore

Brick Wheels: Amazing Air, Land & Sea Machines to Build from Legois the fourth book by British builder Warren Elsmore, who, together with his wife Kitty, is also the driving force behind the Afolcon/ Brick LEGO events due to take place later this year in Birmingham and London.

Brick Wheels Review

This is a substantial book, with 258 pages. It is crisply printed on sturdy semi-glossy paper and it has a flexible cover. It looks and feels like a quality product, which, given the low price point of just £12.99 in the UK, is pleasantly surprising. The US edition, called Brick Vehicles, costs only $13.

The book consists of five chapters. The introductory chapter covers such topics as names for parts, where to buy LEGO, on-line resources and sorting. This is probably mainly useful for builders who are just discovering that there are more people like them out there or as a guide for parents whose children are getting into building. The other four chapters deal with, respectively, road vehicles, trains, ships and flying vehicles. This is where things get more interesting, with pictures of inspirational models built by Warren himself and by friends of his, including about a dozen by yours truly, interspersed with pages of instructions for mostly smaller models that readers can build themselves.

Brick Wheels Review
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“Oh, please don’t go—we’ll eat you up—we love you so!”

I grew up with Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. hI got my copy when I was very small, and that Christmas I got one of the Wild Things, too. The one with the long red hair. It was an amazing Christmas. This book has SUCH a place in my childhood, and was one of my favorites.

Max Pointner gives us this wonderful tribute to such an amazing book, right from its pages.

Where The Wild Things Are

via Bricknerd

His Cadillac is vulgar, but that’s how he likes it

There are many similarities between Europe and the United States, but yet I never feel quite as European as when I’m on the other side of the Atlantic. US car culture, for instance, is completely different from what I’m used to. Even a fairly standard American tow truck, full of little lights and chrome, can look pretty garish to me. Fellow Dutchman Dennis Glaasker (bricksonwheels), however, is totally down with US car culture. His latest creation, a pimped-out lowrider Cadillac, is downright vulgar.

Cadillac Fleetwood Le Cabriolet 1/10 in Lego

I mean, just look at it! The are chromed parts all over it, it has custom printed parts, horrible gold-coloured rims and a totally chintzy white interior. The ride height is completely messed up too. Even the name is cheesy: the Fleetwood Le Cabriolet, as though using some French can save it from being tacky as hell. In other words: it’s perfect!

If scale models of real-world vehicles (from gaudy to utilitarian) interest you, the upcoming book Dennis has written for No Starch Press, together with Dennis Bosman (Legotrucks), may be just your thing. It is titled The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling and highlights models built by some of the best LEGO scale modellers from all over the world. It will be released in September and we will be reviewing it then, but you can pre-order it now.

The Little House on the Prairie

In 1869, the Ingalls family left Wisconsin and went west, eventually settling in Kansas near what is now Independence, Missouri. Like many families moving west, the journey and new settlement was full of adventure and danger. Eventually the family went back to Wisconsin, then west again.

Laura Ingalls Wilder turned her experiences into the Little House on the Prairie, cementing herself into literary history.

SeigneurFett brings us this gorgeous diorama depicting Plum Creek from the books and TV series, which captured the hearts and minds of viewers of all ages.

I encourage you to explore the diorama and get lost again in the story!

Plum Creek - The Little House on the Prairie

All grown-ups were children first (but few remember it)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 novella Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is a profound allegorical study of human nature, disguised as an illustrated children’s book. And it’s the 2nd best-selling book in modern history – topped only by the Lord of the Rings series. So it’s quite surprising I’ve never come across any LEGO interpretations of this book …until now!

 

Hong Kong builder Andy Hung has created this clever diorama featuring the titular prince on his asteroid, surrounded by the planets and stars – all built from standard LEGO pieces (including a lot of black!).

The Float – A Waterside Hotel

David Frank is working on a beautiful series of models depicting scenes and locations from the novel To Whatever End (Echoes of Imara Book 1), by Clare Frank, his wife.

Chris posted the first in the series last week. David is planning on having a total of eight models finished in the next six months.

This build depicts The Float, a port-side hotel, which the main characters, Cecily and Daro, frequently stay at when traveling. Just the massive size of this build is impressive but the detail for which David is known shows up all through-out. I love the shingles on the roof, the subtle tudor-styling and the outward projecting walls. The wrap-around deck on the third floor and the overhanging 4th (3rd and half?) floor really gives the building some character.

I had the honor of being a beta-reader for the book and I enjoyed it immensely. A fantasy novel, it follows the main characters, veterans of a recent war as well as husband and wife, as they are forced to find their way as a variety of people and events pull at their loyalties and attempt to use them as pawns. The characters are very believable and genuine. I was really pulled into the world and can’t wait for the story to continue. The locations in the story are interesting and unusual. Also the system of magic used in the book is refreshingly unique and doesn’t overwhelm the story or characters, as happens all to often in the fantasy genre. I’m excited for the series to continue but I’m also looking forward to rest of David’s series. David and Clare worked closely on the book, but she did the writing. They are now working closely together to plan these builds, which David is constructing. It’s quite an interesting collaboration!