There are many genres and themes that AFOLs build. Some people build castle, some build space. You may find that characters or dioramas are your thing. But there's a coupe of builders that specialize in making things big, detailed and most of all accurate to the real world counterparts. This is the realm of LEGO scale modeling. And now there's a book from No Starch Press to highlight these magnificent builders and their MOCs.
The first impression of the book is it's smaller than I expected. I know this is an odd observation, but I fully expected this to be a classic "coffee table book". After all, it's packed with tons of pictures of very large and detailed LEGO models, pictures that cry out to be big and beautiful. But the book is only 10"x 8", smaller than a piece of copy paper. There it is below being totally obscured by a LEGO club magazine. That being said, it's of the quality I've come to expect from No Starch. It's printed on heavy, high quality paper, hard bound in a matte cover with glossy imagery. And a binding that feels like it will last a lifetime (that's getting more rare than you might think these days).
The models featured are truly jaw-dropping. As you thumb through the book for the first time I guarantee you'll be thinking "oh wow, that's cool...whoa...holy moly" or something along that lines. There's something for everyone in it too. The book is organized into categories, starting with trucks and ending with race cars, with everything from boats and motorcycles to cars and heavy equipment in between.
Each model has an introduction, with a little history of the real vehicle, and a brief paragraph highlighting some of the models features. It's just enough info to give you some background of the model and the vehicle it's based on, but not so much as to detract from the books real strength, beautiful photographs.
The last chapter is "How it's Done", with a behind the scenes look at large scale model building. I have to say this is my only disappointment in the book. I thought this section could be way more in-depth, but it just glosses over the subject. I'm genuinely interested in this type of building, since I don't do it myself, but I found the chapter a pretty light on content. I would have liked to have seen more work-in-progress photos and had more information on building techniques and methodology. But it's a pretty minor gripe.
Overall, I'm impressed with the book. While it may be smaller than expected, it's positively packed with fantastic photographs of amazing builds. Some of the models in it are so well done you will likely take a second glance to make sure you're looking at a LEGO model and not the vehicle it's based on (yeah, some are that good!). It will make a fine addition to any library, be you a builder or not. I give it 4.5 out of 5 Nerdlys.
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