Perhaps the single, most important purpose of the LEGO brick is to continually challenge us with creations that push our creativity and design skills. This is particularly true with the most daunting (but definitely fun) builds that includes construction vehicles, fully functional robots, and mechanical toy guns. These builds in particular are excellent examples of learning tools that can help you master certain basic and advanced building techniques necessary for more complex builds later on. LEGO has a couple of building guides as well based on the Technic line, and the LEGO Mindstorms kit is one cool example of a learning tool that combines basic engineering techniques and computer programming.
However, when it comes to guns, LEGO has made it clear that the company is not into that sort of thing or builds. While in real life, guns are a very real and sensitive issue, it’s hard to deny the appeal that it has in terms of its mechanical complexity and design. Allow me to point two things before I proceed further: one, I don’t own a gun and most likely will not purchase one in the future; and two, this will not be a discussion on the merits (or the lack of it) of owning a gun. I simply admire the complexity and sophistication of its mechanism and how its parts work together similar to how a clock maker admires the inner workings of a timepiece.
With that out of the way, allow me to introduce a pretty neat book that I stumbled upon at TheBrickBlogger.com. “Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics” by industrial designer and freelance programmer Martin Hüdepohl showcases some of the most impressive and functional LEGO builds that I have ever seen. Martin also published two previous LEGO how-to books, namely “Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns” and “Weapons for LEGO Lovers”. He is quick to mention that even though his interests lie in making weapons out of LEGO, his creations do not pose a danger to anyone, nor they are life threatening. They’re virtually harmless, much like a NERF gun or even a water pistol.
Here’s the description of his book as seen in Amazon.com where it retails at $20.99 for the paperback variant, and $14.49 for the Kindle downloadable version:
The last LEGO brick weapon construction book and design guide you’ll ever need, Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics features building instructions for thirteen fully functional LEGO masterpieces, including the monstrous, 27-inch-long Dinosaur Superior, a fully automatic combat rifle that can puncture aluminium cans, and a highly detailed HK G3 brick replica. Also featuring a helmet, a baton, handcuffs, sunglasses, and a grappling hook gun, which allows you to retrieve distant objects without ever leaving your seat, Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics includes a chapter on how to find the LEGO pieces you need and a comic book story featuring a hero using the weapons in action. LEGO fans of all ages and skill levels will find a treasure trove of models, including:
• Hammerhead Jr., a single-shot crossbow and it’s big brother, the heavy-duty Hammerhead Sr.
• Panzer Pod combat helmet
• KlopSTOCK baton
• Melody, a rubber-firing machine pistol
• Nice-1, a pocket-sized pistol that packs a punch
• Chinahook harpoon gun
• Sunglasses, in two different models
• A functioning Heckler & Koch G3 replica in LEGO bricks
As mentioned in the description, the book comes with how-to guides to build 13 fully functional models. Each example features a set of instructions, inventory of parts, size, and the skill level required (labelled as novice to grand-master). Other than the mechanically impressive guns, the book also includes instructions on how to build a KlopSTOCK baton, a pair of Spector sunglasses, a knuckle buster replica dubbed the Hitman, the Panzer Pod combat helmet, and a pair of handcuffs ironically called as Lovelock. I appreciate the complexity of these builds, however, I have to say that I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the Hitman and KlopSTOCK as any child can get quickly absorbed in a role playing game using these.
Nevertheless, with 340 pages, there are plenty to look at and learn at the same time. There’s also a neat section on how the models were developed, with pictures that chronicles the evolution of these replicas before you see them in their final form. The way Martin presented his creations were also helpful, giving pieces of building tips and techniques along the way. He also offered a how-to section on making the most out of Bricklink – the world’s largest online marketplace to buy and sell LEGO parts, both new or used – considering that most parts used in his builds were ordered directly from the site.
Perhaps as a supplement for the book, Martin also runs a YouTube Channel (Xubor) where he showcases some of the builds mentioned in his book. Check out this promotional video for “Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics”.
Overall, we give a two-thumbs up for Martin and his book. In terms of design and difficulty levels, his book offers a healthy challenge to test anyone’s LEGO building mettle. So what do you think about Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics? Do you think you will get yourself a copy? Share us what you think.