A couple of years ago I showed you a series of LEGO books by Warren Elsmore (see: LEGO Brick City, Brick Wonders, Brick Flicks). The first book we discussed that time was Brick City: Global Icons to Make from LEGO, the second Brick Wonders: Ancient, Modern, and Natural Wonders Made from LEGO, and the third Brick Flicks: 60 Iconic Movie Scenes and Posters to Make from LEGO. Since then Warren published two more books in the series; the first one is Brick Vehicles: Amazing Air, Land, and Sea Machines to Build from LEGO, and the second is Brick History: Amazing Historical Scenes to Build from LEGO. These are the ones I will show you today. 🙂
I have introduced you to the author in my last review, but just briefly; Warren Elsmore is a freelance artist and author, who creates unique, one-off, LEGO models for individuals and corporate companies. Living with his wife, Kitty, in Edinburgh he works worldwide for organizations including LEGO, DELL, BBC, WPP and Visit Denmark. Warren has been a LEGO fan since the age of 4 and has been building commercial models for the last 5 years. As an adult LEGO builder he is world renown for his creations. After spending 16 years in the IT business, Warren now concentrates on LEGO models, building from a studio that would be any child’s dream! When not building LEGO, he’s organizing events such as The LEGO Show. You can check out his website for more info at warrenelsmore.com.
➡ BRICK VEHICLES: AMAZING AIR, LAND, AND SEA MACHINES TO BUILD FROM LEGO – this is the fourth book in the collection, published by Barron’s Educational Series in 2015. I should mention here that all five books have been released by the same publisher, and they are all the same size and format. So if you are into collecting matching books you will like these. Just like in the previous books, the introduction gives you a brief history of LEGO, some tips and tricks for designing and building your own models, taking care of your LEGO collection, online resources, and more. While some of the information discussed in the introduction is similar in all five books – and sometimes exactly the same – there are also new subjects discussed, or similar subjects from a different angle. For example Brick Vehicles includes the same tips on sorting and storing LEGO elements as Brick Wonders, it also includes a section on the history of LEGO wheels, not found in the other publications. So whether you only get one book in the series, or all five, it is worth reading the introduction as it is very interesting with valuable information that both new and seasoned LEGO fans can appreciate.
Under the front and back covers of the book there are two large 24″x17.5″ posters that you can take out. They are really high quality; one featuring a blue racecar with its team, and the other a massive LEGO cruise-ship. Unfortunately because the posters are folded, the creases would probably be impossible to iron out. But they are still a very nice touch and would look great on display.
After the introduction, the book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter features all types of land vehicles; like an old style bicycle with the big wheel at the front, motorcycle with side-car, scooter, rickshaw, ancient chariot, old style cars, new style cars, race-cars, a cable car, and big vehicles like a snowplow, fire truck, fuel truck, school bus, double-decker bus, tractor, harvester, and more. From the 24 models featured in this chapter, more than half come with step-by-step building instructions, which is one of the most valuable features of the book. The second chapter covers trains; including a steam locomotive, roller coaster, underground train, freight train, high-speed train, monorail and more. Here also several of the models come with step-by-step instructions. The third chapter is about all types of ships; cruise ship, container ship, warship, fishing boat, hovercraft, airboat, submarine, ferry, tugboat, catamaran and more. As many of the ships are very large, only instructions for the smaller models are included. The final chapter is about various aircrafts, so you get samples of hot air balloons, parachutes, helicopters, airplanes, and even spaceships. Many of these models are also very large, so step-by-step instructions are only included for the smaller models, or some parts of the larger ones.
The entire book is over 250 pages, with about 70 different LEGO vehicles, so there is plenty to build and get inspiration from. This is definitely a hands on book that will keep you busy for a long time with various projects. As I said in my last review, I wish these books were a slightly larger format with larger text and larger pictures for the instruction pages. The colors are crisp and the text is clear, it is just that you have to hunch over to see some of the details of the instructions. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with people with great eyesight, but it might be a good idea to check out the book in person to see if it bothers you. The normal price of the book is $18.99, but you can almost always get it for less on Amazon. See here: BRICK VEHICLES ON AMAZON
➡ BRICK HISTORY: AMAZING HISTORICAL SCENES TO BUILD FROM LEGO: This is the most recently released book in the series, and interestingly, I ended up with two versions. The one published by Barron’s Educational Series includes two posters, while the other published by The History Press doesn’t. And while the books have the same size, the covers are different; the Barron’s Educational Series version has a wide lime-green band at the front, and The History Press version has a red band. The pictures on the cover are also different. My understanding is that The History Press version was specifically released for the UK market, and this is the only book in the series by two publishers. Just something to keep in mind if you collect these books.
Brick History is similar to the previously released Brick Wonders. They don’t just feature great LEGO creations, but also walk you though history, so the books are an interesting read. While Brick Wonders focuses on wonderful historic creations from the past and present, as well as natural wonders, Brick History goes through history starting from the Big Bang and the extinctions of dinosaurs, all the way to the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
The book features all the major historic events broken down to four chapters: “Prehistory and the Birth of Civilization”, “Renaissance and the Age of Empire”, “19th Century”, and “20th Century and Beyond”. Each event is highlighted with a short summary as well as beautiful LEGO creations. There are also step-by-step instructions for 30 smaller buildable projects. This book is also $18.99, but you can get if for less on Amazon. See here: BRICK HISTORY ON AMAZON
From the five books publishes so far in this series, I would say that Brick City and Brick Vehicles goes well together and they are perfect for LEGO City builders. They also offer the most building instructions, even for larger models. Brick Wonders and Brick History also make a perfect pair. They are both interesting reads on historical events, civilizations, and creations. The LEGO dioramas presented for each topic are wonderful, but instructions are only for some of the smaller models. Then there is Brick Flicks, which sort of stands on its own. This is the only book that doesn’t come with posters, and it is also about a hundred pages shorter than all the others. It is more of a picture book with summaries of some of the most iconic film moments and characters of all time with matching LEGO creations. The book does have some instructions, but the projects are not nearly as interesting and useful as the ones found in the other books. So if you can only get one or two books, I would choose some of the others. Or if you really like them you can get all five on Amazon: See here: LEGO BRICK BOOKS COLLECTION ON AMAZON
What do you think? Do you have any of the books from this series? How do you like them? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to share your own thoughts and review in the comment section below! 😉
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