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Tiny Lego Wonders

Tiny Lego Wonders Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2016 Title Tiny Lego Wonders
Author Mattia Zamboni Publisher No Starch Press
Published 2016 ISBN 9781593277352
Format 196 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $24.95


Years ago, our IPMS club in Albuquerque, New Mexico, would volunteer to judge the scale model entries at the New Mexico State Fair. This was an annual show that was a fun event as we'd get behind-the-scenes access to the exhibit hall before it opened to the public. One year, the fair staff asked if we would judge the Lego models as well. That caused a bit of a stir because several didn't believe that models built from Legos should count as scale models. While that became a fun topic to light-off these folks, we not only judged that event, we judged each year afterwards and were amazed to see what folks could do with Lego bricks. The Lego phenomenon has since expanded to include feature films, music videos, and even amusement parks made using Legos!

Last year we had a look at an interesting title from No Starch Press called The Art of Lego Scale Modeling which was a nice tutorial for developing some intricate models using Lego bricks. Here's the latest off their press which will appeal to aspiring Lego modelers of all ages: Tiny Lego Wonders. Where the previous title had some great information to help you dive into the art of Lego, this title comes at the subject from a refreshing point of view - very little text! Instead, the authors/illustrators have taken 40 different subjects, each of which is not very complicated, and show you what types and color Lego parts you will need and with amazing graphic details show you how to assemble those parts to replicate that subject. This step-by-step tutorial is so well done that you can sit a child down with the book, show them how to do one or two of the examples and soon they will be able to tackle any of them.

Where The Art of Lego Scale Modeling might be the master's level course for Lego artists, this title is really Lego 101 and language is clearly no barrier with the beautiful illustrations. By the time you've tackled one or more projects out of each category to see how they're accomplished, the reader will have a greater understanding of the possibilities that are sitting in a given pile of unassembled bricks. To give you an idea of the categories of projects presented here:

  • The Train Station
  • The Airport
  • Fire!
  • The Construction Site
  • The Car Dealer
  • The Race Track
  • The Harbor
  • The Aircraft Carrier
  • 3, 2, 1, Liftoff!
  • The Moon Army

Where the previously mentioned title covers projects using hundreds (or more) bricks in a given project, the projects shown in this title involve a few dozen parts (depending on complexity) and each project has an illustrated table showing how many of each type and color part will be used in a given project.

This is a great title not only for the aspiring Lego modeler, but as a tool to sharpen the young mind with shape, orientation, and assembly skills that will develop their future engineering skills. Those of us who are old enough to remember Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs will relate to how we developed our own young skills.


My sincere thanks to No Starch Press for this review sample!