Monday, January 24, 2011
Book Review: Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns by Martin Hudepohl
When Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the LEGO Company in 1932, I seriously doubt he ever thought that one day there would ever be a book titled Badass LEGO Guns. Actually this is Martin Hudepohl, a.k.a. Xubor’s third instructional tome on how to build real working guns out of LEGO bricks. Badass LEGO Guns shows us how to do five of them.
Mind you, the guns will only shoot rubber bands or LEGO bricks, but the author notes that they can be “modified.” Hudepohl is nothing if not creative with the names. They are called, in the order presented: "Parabella," "Liliputt," "Mini-Thriller," "Thriller Advanced," and "Warbeast."
With Mini-Thriller and Thriller Advanced we are actually shown how to build crossbow pistols. These things look mean. Even if they “only” shoot LEGO bricks, they could cause some serious damage. I think the author’s own description of Parabella says it best: “Parabella is the ideal weapon for covert operations: It’s nasty, brutish and short.” The fact that he named it after a famous Advanced Geometry puzzle is a nice touch.
Then there is the Liliputt: “This tiny but terrifying semiautomatic pistol packs a serious punch with its nine-brick magazine.” The Lilliput really does look badass from the photos, but does not hold a candle to Warbeast. Again, in the author’s own words: “The Warbeast is a fully automatic assault rifle.” It is definitely the most advanced model, with 895 individual parts, including twin electric motors.
As something of a bonus, Hudepohl has included details on a little item called the Magic Moth. It is a primitive butterfly knife, which does not have an actual blade. “Despite that obvious limitation, it is my favorite model: There is no greater fun than brandishing this gadget, and learning tricks with it,” he says.
To be honest, I found the very idea of building guns out of LEGO bricks amusing at first. But after reading this book, it is a little frightening to see what can be done with such simple materials, and a little ingenuity. I have yet to attempt to build one of them, but I might - just for fun. The instructions and parts needed are very clear, as are the step by step photos included
Who knows? Maybe building some Badass LEGO Guns with my boy would be the ultimate father/son bonding experience. And in a few years he might come up with something like “Building LEGO Nuclear Warheads.”
It would most likely be published by No Starch Press, who have made a bit of a cottage industry with their "Finest In Geek Entertainment" philosophy. Besides Badass LEGO Guns, they offer 18 other LEGO books, including the wonderfully titled Forbidden LEGO: Build The Models Your Parents Warned You Against.
Fun, scary, ingenious, or all in one? I’m not sure, but how do you resist a title like Badass LEGO Guns? I know I certainly was unable to.