By Paweł “Sariel” Kmieć
Reviewed by Ryan Traynor, Editor-in-Chief
Published by No Starch Press
Recommended for ages 13 and older
Yes, I have been a Lego builder my entire life and reviewed Paweł “Sariel” Kmieć’s first edition of The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide. So most people would expect that, even with my rave reviews of the first edition, I wouldn’t be that excited about the 2nd. That is, unless you don’t know much about the author Paweł “Sariel” Kmieć, a Lego Builder and blogger who has more than 40 million views of his YouTube channel that features LEGO creations and LEGO set reviews. Who else to learn LEGO design techniques from than the expert himself?
In this second edition, readers will see 13 new building instructions, 13 updated chapters, and 4 brand-new chapters than the first, making the investment in this book well worth it. Kmieć still presents some building basics that will let you have a good foundation to let your creativity flow. Basic physic concepts, like torque, friction, and traction are discussed to help readers design their own creations. Along with these basics he provides instructions on mechanics to make the creations come alive. He then layers on higher levels of development including motors, suspension systems, and even 3D printing, so that even the most advanced builders will find some important information for future builds. Instructions are found on how to build sturdy connections, re-create specialized LEGO pieces, picking the appropriate motors for your vision, combining building styles, and also moving on to the more advanced remote-controlled vehicles, lighting systems, motorized compressors, and pneumatic engines. The book ends with a detailed description of the modeling process. Almost every page includes an illustration or picture to demonstrate the instructions clearly. Kmieć has also added new motors, gears and other new pieces introduced in 2016.
I will warn you that this book is not for the light-weight LEGO builder. These are serious designs that will excite even the most advanced engineer. Who knows how many future engineers will be inspired by this work? I know for me, I was temporarily transported into the world of creating moving physical objects instead of moving writing. It all is so challenging, and yet, until you pull away, you don’t really fathom how much engineering and building knowledge you have absorbed.
The illustrated instructions will create a child-like enthusiasm for building again as you easily grasp more complicated instructions and let your mind’s imagination soar. You’ll turn the first page and find hours have gone by before you are pried away from the information. Be sure to pick up this new LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide for your holiday gift-giving (or maybe just for yourself!)
To purchase this book or to find more information, you can head to their website or find it in your local bookstore.