Review: The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide, 2nd Edition


Jetro - Posted on 20 November 2016

The LEGO book publishing business is flourishing. Hardly a month goes by without a couple of new titles being released. There are titles for every type of fan: from step-by-step instructions for just about anything you can imagine to collections of MOCs, from mini scale to LEGO MINDSTORMS.
 
 
In the segment of books dedicated to LEGO Technic there are two household names: Yoshihito Isogawa and Sariel. Both of them have not only written go-to manuals for this theme, but are also respected builders and part of the international AFOL community. Of course, HispaBrick Magazine has reviewed their respective titles. Back in 2013, we published our review of the first edition of The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide and the conclusion at the end of the review stated that this was “Probably the best Technic book for any builder, independent of their level. A must have for your collection.”
 
 
If you are a Technic builder (or would like to become one), read no further – go get your copy of this book and start studying it! If you already have the first edition of this book, let me give you a couple of good reasons why you should consider getting the second edition.
 
 
The second edition of this “bible for the Technic builder” contains 70 pages of extra material. There are several reasons for this increased page count. For starters, the second edition contains four completely new chapters. “Part I: basics” now has a chapter dedicated to wheels, which in a sense is an expansion of the already existing wheels chart on Sariel’s website.[1] It explains reasons for choosing one wheel over another and even ventures into non-LEGO alternatives..
 
 
“Part III: motors” has a new chapter about the LEGO RC system. The chapter not only explains how the system works, but also how it compares to Power Functions. Although the system was only used in a few LEGO Technic sets and was discontinued over 10 years ago, the addition of this chapter really completes this section of the book.
 
 
The final two additions are chapters 21: planetary gearing and 22: 3D printing custom pieces in part IV: advanced mechanics. Also in this case, the additional information really rounds off what is available and possible in LEGO Technic at this time.
 
 
These four chapters combined only make up 28 pages, meaning there are an additional 42 pages of new material to be found in the book. There are updates and additions to 13 of the original 21 chapters. A lot of the text has been revised and rewritten to make it clearer, adding tons of information.
 
 
A case in point is chapter 6: gears and power transmission basics, which virtually all the illustrations have been updated to make them clearer. It now also contains a table with gear ratios for quick reference. Throughout the book new LEGO elements have been included in the descriptions and explanations and there are additional step-by-step instructions for a number of mechanisms, like a small and a large virtual pivot steering system.
 
 
If you are a Technic fan or build with LEGO Technic elements (e.g. for use in MINDSTORMS), The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide, 2nd edition should be at the top of your shortlist of must-have titles.
 
 
[1] http://wheels.sariel.pl/