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.
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!).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: