Brick City: LEGO for Grown-ups
In the US, the book is called Brick City: Global Icons to Make from LEGO and is available already from Amazon.com.
Warren is a well known and liked AFOL based in the UK who calls himself an 'artist in LEGO bricks'. He organises The LEGO Show and AFOLCon and displays at many other exhibitions. This is his first book which, as the title suggests, is perhaps unusual among LEGO books in that it's targeting 'grown-ups' rather than kids.
Furthermore, it's been written with 'grown-ups who haven't touched LEGO since they were kids' in mind. The introductory pages cover the story of LEGO, useful bricks, where to buy bricks, building tips, building to scale, CAD modelling and LEGO colours, all of which will be familiar to most of us, but provides useful information for newcomers to the subject.
The bulk of the 254-page paperback book (which is slightly smaller than an iPad) consists of a virtual tour around the globe from west to east, starting at San Francisco and ending in Auckland, taking in around 30 cities along the way. At each stop, landmarks and other icons from the cities are recreated in LEGO form. There are two types of model covered: those you can build yourself using the instructions provided, and larger, more complex ones that are shown for inspiration, such as the Lincoln Memorial (right). Some of the large models have been built by Warren while others have been made by builders who, I have to admit, I am not familiar with, such as Spencer Rezkalla and Arthur Gugick. Regardless, they are all superb, and are all photographed to a high standard.
Instructions are provided for about 60 models. They tend to be either Architecture-style models of buildings, such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (left) which is one of my -- and Warren's -- favourites, or small models of something else associated with the city, such as a New York taxi, Bica funicular (Lisbon), or penguin colony (Cape Town).
The quality of the models varies somewhat. Many, like Sagrada Familia are excellent, but others, like the White House, are just a bit too simplistic. However they do, I suppose, illustrate what can be achieved with just a handful of bricks and a bit of imagination.
As for the quality of the instructions themselves, generally they are very good and anyone familiar with the LEGO parts palette would have no problem at all in building the models. Some are a little on the small side but I think with a bit of care and attention they could all be followed. However if you're new to LEGO, it might be more challenging, particularly if you need to identify the parts from the bill of materials provided, and then source them. Update: the parts lists are available from Warren's website, which make it much easier.
Another thing worth mentioning is that models of buildings, by their very nature, can be repetitive and thus use hundreds of the same part. The Petronas Tower, for example, needs some 700 round plates, 1 x 1, in trans-clear and 660 in light grey which might not be so difficult to obtain given they turn up in PAB from time-to-time, but 158 tan arch-windows and 158 plate hinges, 1 x 4/2 x 2, for the Colosseum might be more challenging to source!
Overall then, this is an excellent book that will appeal to fans of LEGO Architecture in particular, and to non-AFOLs who have an interest in becoming one. Even if you don't, or can't, build any of the models, it will provide inspiration and ideas for tackling your own projects and might encourage you to start modelling your own local landmarks.
You can order the book from Amazon: