Still more book reviews.
LEGO Heavy Weapons by Jack Streat, 2012, No Starch Press.
I have very little to say about this book. That's in part because it isn't really my thing, and in part because the book is exactly what it sets out to be. The subtitle is "Build Working Replicas of Four of the World's Most Impressive Guns", and this book is essentially a series of detailed instructions to make these four guns.
There is a little bit of background on building LEGO, how to buy pieces, designing with CAD programs, and Streat also gives some background on each of the weapons featured. Streat then launches into the heart of the book, detailed step-by-step instructions to build your own. The pictures are all in black and white, but that's okay, since you would probably build these out of black anyway. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. When completed, these guns are rubber-band driven to launch bricks. I haven't actually built them, so I can't tell you how far they shoot.
As I said, I don't really have much to say about this book. I fear it's a little dismissive to say 'If this is the sort of thing you like, then you will like this sort of thing,' but that's my honest response. If you want to make life-size weapons, this book is perfect for you. If not, pass it by. I suppose I could go on and on about gun play in general. I'm writing this review in the aftermath of the horrible school shooting in Newton, so anything with guns seems wrong right now. But I also know that I spent my childhood making guns out of sticks and shooting squirt guns, and later 22's at camp. Now my son loves sticking about five DUPLO bricks and calling it a shooter, and we bought him a Nerf dart gun for Christmas. So I'm not going to act all holier-than-thou on the subject of toy weapons. Boys, and to a lesser extent girls, fairly naturally gravitate to toy guns (or bows and arrows, or swords, etc etc), and building them out of LEGO is a pretty natural thing. Anyway, as I said, this book is aimed at a pretty narrow market, but perfectly hits that market. Make your purchasing choices accordingly.
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