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Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics – book review

by admin on March 8, 2016

in LEGO Books & Magazines

Some of the most challenging LEGO models to build are LEGO constructions vehicles, working LEGO robots, and functional LEGO guns. LEGO themselves release construction vehicles and other mechanical models within their LEGO Technic line. These sets provide an excellent opportunity to learn advanced building techniques. For LEGO robots there is the LEGO Mindstorms kit to help you get started. However because LEGO has a strong policy against guns, there is nothing directly from the company that you can rely on, so LEGO fans have to create their own resources.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons

While guns are a sensitive topic in real life, understanding and replicating their mechanisms has been a popular hobby for both kids and adults. LEGO guns – like toy-guns in general – won’t hurt anybody, and figuring them out is an interesting challenge and a great way to enhance your mechanical skills. There are a couple of LEGO books I have reviewed previously here; The BrickGun Book by Jeff Boen (review: How to Make LEGO Guns – The BrickGun Book), and LEGO Heavy Weapons by Jack Streat (review: How to Build LEGO Guns that Work!).

LEGO Gun Instruction Books

Today I would like to introduce you to another excellent book for LEGO gun-makers titled Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics by Martin Hüdepohl. Martin (who also goes by the name Xubor) is an industrial designer and freelance programmer from Germany, who has been developing ever-more sophisticated LEGO guns since the early 1990. He is well known within the LEGO fan community for his two previous books; Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns and Weapons for LEGO Lovers. He also runs a YouTube channel where he shows many of his LEGO guns in action and shares building steps and tips for some of his designs. In the video-player below I have included all the videos related to the models featured in the book. It is interesting to see them in action! 🙂

Here is the description of Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics: 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 aluminum 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.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons Story

As mentioned in the description there are thirteen models included in the book. Instructions for each model starts with the specs – which contain the name, number of parts, size, and skill level (from novice to grand-master). Next is the bill-of-materials and the building instructions. For the models with moving functions there is also a “how it works” section with explanations. The thirteen models are: two Spectors (basically cool looking goggles – one for adults, one for kids), Nice-1 (single-shot pocket pistol), Hitman knuckles, KlopSTOCK baton, Panzer Pod (combat helmet), Lovelock handcuffs, Chinahook grappling gun, two Hammerhead crossbows, Dinosaur Superior (fully automatic combat rifle – the largest model in the book), Melody (rubber-band machine pistol), and HK-G3 (a working Heckler & Koch G3 replica).

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons Models

There are not a whole lot of words in the building process sections – only when it’s necessary to explain something that’s essential to understand how a particular function works. However there is a whole graphic story that runs through the book as an introduction to each model. It makes flipping through the pages more fun and entertaining. And at the back of the book there is a very detailed 14-page long explanation on how to use BrickLink, the Unofficial Online LEGO Marketplace. Using Bricklink is pretty essential, if you want to build any of the guns featured in the book and you don’t have all the pieces already. Everything is covered from how to register at the site, to how to create a wanted list, order items, and more.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons How it Works

At the very back of the book there is an interesting section about the design evolution of the more complex models. It is interesting to see how the designs went from bare-bones – just focusing on the mechanism – to complex, then refined to it’s final shape. I think this section is going to be particularly interesting to those who don’t just want to copy the models in the book, but would like to develop their own.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons Evolution

The entire book is 340 pages in total, so there is plenty to look at, build, and learn from. The paper is strong and durable, and the printing is excellent. The step-by-step instructions are large enough to see all the details, so I don’t think you would have any trouble following the steps to build the models. Both standard LEGO elements as well as LEGO Technic pieces are used, and lots and lots of rubber bands. The smallest gun, the Nice-1 single-shot micro pistol is 99 pieces, and the largest is the Dinosaur Superior fully automatic assault rifle is 1610 pieces.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons Instructions

What I particularly like about this book is the variety of models. The guns are very impressive, and you can find both big ones and tiny ones. And there are also two crosspbows, a grappling gun, a combat helmet, knuckles, sunglasses, and handcuffs. The handcuffs are particularly interesting as they are functional and can only be opened with a key. So yes, there are lots of interesting building techniques to learn.

LEGO Book - Elite Weapons Handcuffs

If you want to check it out, the regular price on Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics is $24.99, but you can get it a bit cheaper on Amazon (current price as of this writing is $21.00). You can also get a downloadable digital version for $14.49. They can be found at Amazon at the following link: BUY ELITE WEAPONS FOR LEGO FANATICS ON AMAZON 

So what do you think? Have you ever designed and built a LEGO weapon? Or would you like to give it a try? How do you like the models presented in this book? Which one do you think is the most interesting? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below! Also, if you already have the book, you are welcome to include your own review. 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

rainey March 8, 2016 at 12:19 PM

I just HATE when Legos are tuned into weapons. I fully realize that anyone can build any damned thing they like but I just find it disturbing and ugly.

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admin March 8, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Hm… I do understand what you are saying and I don’t like real guns either, but toy guns never hurt anybody. Nor is there a correlation between children playing with or making toy guns and growing up to be violent criminals. Toys guns are like a game of tag with a bit more reach – thus the popularity of Nerf guns, water guns, and other such toys.

Guns also have an interesting mechanism; they are complex enough to be intriguing, but fairly simple to understand. Pretty much every child from every culture tries to make a shooting mechanism at some point; be that guns, or bows and arrows, or sling-shots. Being able to propel and object far is an idea that fascinated humans from the dawns of time.

Unfortunately due to the state of the world, guns have a very bad reputation right now, and even if toy guns have little to do with the real thing (besides that they can shoot out an object), the loaded emotions towards real guns also gave a bad name to toys and sports that are related to shooting. But they are not the same.

I miss my childhood when we “shot” each other with our cheap plastic waterguns, and it was okay to yell “I got you!” and laugh and pretend to drop dead. It is just something kids love to do. Now kids are detained from school for even pointing a finger at someone…

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BLProductions March 8, 2016 at 2:33 PM

I think guns are the worst invention of mankind ever. Catapults, bows, and slings are all fine, but guns are practically cheating in war. Personally I prefer swords: at least you get exercise while using them. Same with axes.
Toy guns are in my opinion okay, although technically they’re a result of real guns. At least toy guns don’t hurt (generally). I’ve always been “meh” on LEGO guns, as giant brick-built weapons are useless for LEGO minifigs. Plus I tried to build a LEGO gun once, and it utterly failed.
On your last paragraph: those poor public-schooled kids. My brothers and I do that daily with foam swords, and nobody says anything, even if we start pretend shooting. Then again, nobody in our neighborhood seems to care. 🙂

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admin March 8, 2016 at 2:39 PM

Yeah I always felt that guns were unfair too, and now guns are at the level that humans are not even shooting it themselves, but use drones! Anyway, I don’t want to get into politics and stuff. I also like swords, and we practice with them at my martial arts school – although we usually focus on short and long sticks most of the time. And I also really like archery. 😀

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rainey March 10, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Just so you know I’m not completely around the bend, when my kids were small they had weapon toys. But I made sure, for my own comfort level, that it was clear they were *toys*. Their guns were squirt guns. And they looked comical. They had ones that looked like goldfish spitting water.

And when Star Wars and light sabers came along they got long “bending” balloons to use for their light sabers.

Naturally, they pulled out their hands and made their index fingers into barrels. And they played with more realistic stuff at their friends’ homes. That was OK with me. They played. They expressed themselves. I made my POV clear.

It just makes me so sad to see such joyous toys made into things that look so *vicious*. But it’s merely a POV and I recognize that. I’m also grateful when I can put it out there and that’s enough for me.

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admin March 10, 2016 at 12:40 PM

Thanks for sharing that. And your thoughts and opinion is always welcome and appreciated. We can always learn from each other – that’s the beauty of a community. And you just reminded me that I also had a goldfish water-gun. 🙂

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jabber-baby-wocky March 8, 2016 at 5:48 PM

To be fair, the guns in this book don’t even look like any real guns. I mean look at the one on the cover. It is obviously for fun. They are not any different than the fantasy guns in movies and games. Plus from the description it doesn’t look like guns are the only thing in the book. There is also a funky helmet, sunglasses, handcuffs, and other interesting stuff. I plan to check it out next time I shop on Amazon.

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MProoveIt March 8, 2016 at 8:11 PM

I’d be interested in seeing the book. Let’s stop getting into the politics and look at the building techniques and how they might be useful to build whatever you want. Guns are tools for hurling a projectile. So is a golf club.

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admin March 8, 2016 at 8:19 PM

LOL! Golf clubs! You can bring down a grizzly with those things! 😀

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AKGrannymom March 8, 2016 at 8:27 PM

FYI Barnes and Nobel Lego link doesn’t seem to be working.

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admin March 8, 2016 at 8:44 PM

Thanks for mentioning that. Yeah, Barnes & Noble discontinued their affiliation program so their links no longer work. I have removed the link from the side-bar just now. Thanks for reminding me. I will have to also remove some other ones from older posts, but will do those later.

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Challenger March 9, 2016 at 4:10 AM

By far the best LEGO guns book, I think … unlucky for the publisher that it hits the market in a time of exploding political correctness.

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admin March 9, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Yeah, books of this nature can bring up some emotions in these trying times. BTW, it is perfectly acceptable to make LEGO guns in rainbow colors, so they look less like the real thing. I have done it before. 😉

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Håkan March 9, 2016 at 2:52 PM

And, judged by the look of it, also to design a layout in rainbow colors…

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admin March 9, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Naw… once you put on your magic LEGO goggles, the world will look like a rainbow anyway. 😉

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tomasz March 10, 2016 at 9:33 AM

There are even magic LEGO goggels inside, “Spector” availble in 2 sizes 😀

BTW video says the book has 352 pages, not 340 😉

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admin March 10, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Tomasz, that page-count mentioned in the video may have been preliminary before the book was fully finished. I have it right here, and it is definitely 340 pages. 🙂

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tomasz March 10, 2016 at 9:37 AM

If you go to school with a real gun, you get arested, if you go to school with one of these LEGO guns, everybody will admire you for your LEGO skillz 😀

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admin March 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

In the USA if you show up in school with anything that resembles a gun you will be in huge trouble. Kids get dragged through mud, detained, and their story ends up on the front page of the news for pointing their fingers or a pencil like a gun, or making a gun shape from paper or even a piece of bread. So yeah, don’t do it.

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tomasz March 10, 2016 at 3:33 PM

OMG, that’s crazy!

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