Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec
Publisher: No Starch Press
“Creating something new and seeing it work the way you intended it to is far more rewarding than building even the coolest LEGO set ever released,” author Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec enthusiastically states in the preface of his book, The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide.
At three hundred and thirty-three pages, this letter-size paperback book is for those “techies” in the world that are fixated and fascinated with LEGO’s Technic building, having a passion and addiction for creating and enhancing toy models. With one page of brief table of contents, any true LEGO hobbyist will be instantly absorbed with the next seven pages that are just the detailed breakdown of its contents before even entering the world of bricks. With the building techniques being the focus, this is not a manual of building finished models but the ins and outs of the internal workings that produce the complicated simulations. Most of the pictures are technical airbrushed drawings with some actual photographs that for some reason, sometimes include a real mouse.
Sariel, a Polish LEGO Technic enthusiast started his twenty-year interest as a child when his parents gave him is first “Toy of the Century,” the LEGO brick. He readily encourages the reader should explore on his or her own topics he omitted from the book, if that could possibly be true with the extensive detail to his chapter discussions.
Broken down into five parts and starting with the basics, speed, torque, power and friction are dissected, moving on to the Technic bricks, pins, beams and studs. Entire chapters are dedicated to the description, use and pros and cons of studs, axles, gears, chains, levers, mechanical solutions, pneumatics, and motors before explaining advanced mechanics such as wheeled steering and suspensions, transmissions, adders and sub-tractors. The final part has model form verses function, scaling and the building process, ending with a seven page index.
One of the more interesting chapters is on building strong models, referencing why things fall apart, how to find weak links, how to understand where to reinforce and the right way to reinforce that include topics on differential casings, worm gear casings and load-bearing structures. When choosing and building a model, the author stresses to ask oneself “can I make it work well, can I make it look good and can I find sufficient reference material to accurately model this object.”
Although this extensive textbook is not for the LEGO Technic novice nor does it have complete step by step instructions, it uses more of the common brick units and pieces for its Technic building and is a good source to go to for learning how to create one’s own model. It is too bad these mechanisms, solutions and systems cannot be made into full-size, workable LEGO cars, trucks, planes, trains and off-road vehicles like the miniature ones shown in the book.
Follow Here To Purchase The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide