Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide

Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide
Allan Bedford
September 2005, 344 pp.

View a sample chapter, Chapter 6: Microscale Building: More Than Meets the Eye

What exactly is a slope? What's the difference between a tile and a plate? Why is it bad to simply stack bricks in columns to make a wall? The Unofficial LEGO® Builder's Guide is here to answer your questions.

Focusing on building actual models with real bricks, The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide comes with complete instructions to build several cool models but also encourages you to use your imagination to create your own fantastic creations.

Inside, you'll learn:

  • The best ways to connect bricks and creative uses for those patterns
  • Tricks for calculating and using scale (it's not as hard as you think)
  • The step-by-step plans to create a train station on the scale of LEGO people (a.k.a. "minifigs")
  • How to build spheres, jumbo-sized LEGO bricks, micro-scaled models, and a mini space shuttle
  • Tips for sorting and storing all of your LEGO pieces

The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide also includes the Brickopedia, a visual guide to nearly 300 of the most useful and reusable elements of the LEGO system, with historical notes, common uses, part numbers, and the year each piece first appeared in a LEGO set.

The firm foundation for your LEGO hobby starts here!

Author Bio 

Allan Bedford is a lifelong LEGO fan and builder whose most ambitious model to date is a 5,000 piece replica of Toronto's famed CN Tower. He is active in the online LEGO community, having contributed ideas and discussions for several years.

Bedford works as a business analyst by day and spends his spare time cycling, designing board games and, of course, building with LEGO bricks.

Table of contents 


Chapter 1: The LEGO System: Endless Possibilities
Chapter 2: Back to Basics: Tips and Techniques
Chapter 3: Minifig Scale: Oh, What a Wonderful Minifig World It Is!
Chapter 4: Miniland Scale: The Whole World in Miniature
Chapter 5: Jumbo Elements: Building Bigger Bricks
Chapter 6: Microscale Building: More Than Meets the Eye
Chapter 7: Sculptures: The Shape of Things to Build
Chapter 8: Mosaics: Patterns and Pictures in Bricks
Chapter 9: Technic: Not as Technical as It May Seem
Chapter 10: Putting It All Together: Where Ideas Meet Bricks
Chapter 11: Beyond Just Bricks: Other Things to Do Besides Building
Chapter 12: Sorting, Storage, and Sitting Down to Build Something
Chapter 13: Making and Using Tools for LEGO Projects

Appendix A: Brickopedia
Appendix B: Design Grids: Building Better by Planning Ahead



"ULBG is a clearly written and informative resource, an essential for any aspiring brickmeister whether adult or kid. By not intimidating casual builders, this resource empowers these readers to take the next level on their own."
—GeekDad (Read More)

"We were so pumped by The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide . . . All aspects of Lego building are covered, using principles found in other walks of life — which is actually a good way to solve any problem."
— (Read more)

Interview with Allan Bedford on Canadian TV network

"A must-have book . . . once your kids have devoured this book, they will be clamoring for more Lego bricks. Future engineers, architects, artists, and designers will have a field day with the possibilities this book presents."
—Eclectic Homeschool (Read more)

"This re-awakened how much I loved LEGOs as a child and how I don't want to lose that aspect of my inner child . . . This book will be excellent in assisting anyone who is interested in enjoying the most brilliant toy in the world."
—Utah Valley Linux Users Group (Read more)

"A nice introduction to the LEGO world . . . this book should be useful for many years to come."
—The Other World blog (Read more)

Podcast with Allan Bedford
—BimPCast (Download and listen)

Q&A with Allan Bedford
—Millionaire Playboy (Read more)

"This guide is full of the techniques that will help you and your kids build those and just about anything else."
—Power To Learn (Read more)

Podcast interview with Allan Bedford
—Bricks in my Pocket (Read more)

Interview with Allan Bedford on Internet TV show (starts about 13:30
minutes in)
—CommandN (Watch)

5/5 Stars: “would recommend this book to almost anyone… I must warn you
though - this book will inspire you to build something after picking it up.”
—BAMCAT (Read more)

“We purchased a copy sight unseen a few weeks ago and were very impressed, so thought it especially serendipitous when we got the opportunity to speak to Mr. Bedford.”
—Next Brick (Read the interview)

"A meticulously detailed how-to manual for plastic brick architecture."
—Nashua Telegraph (Read more)

"This sweet and extremely practical guide will delight any person of any age who, upon spying a few errant Lego pieces, finds themselves clicking them together almost without thinking."
—800-CEOREAD (Read more)

"No, Lego does not have much to do with advanced computing systems, but I think it’s cool, and I’m betting a fair number of you do, too. This book is cool."
—;login: (Read more)

"I've often read that building a scale model using LEGOs is difficult, but I've found a very useful book that would help me along the way."
—Operation Gadget (Read more)

"Going beyond simply supplying instructions for building particular models, this useful guide provides information, tips, and techniques that empower readers to make their own fantastic creations."
—Book News (Read more)

"A great gift item for anybody interested in learning how to design and put together solid and interesting LEGO models."
—BZPower (Read more)

"This is the single best reference I've read to understanding how to create successful and sturdy and most of all cool Lego models."
—Bully's Book Club (Read more)

"Podcast includes book review: "I can't talk highly enough about this book... An awesome reference. If you're an AFOL (Adult fan of LEGO) and you don't have this book or if you're a child who loves to build and you don't have this book, go out and buy it."
—BricksInMyPocket (Read more)

"I love this book... All written and presented in a tone genuine in its generosity and warmth for plastic components and the varying degrees of creativity gifted to us all through them."
—Outside Left (Read more)

"While there have been project books written over the years which detail a couple of finished models, Bedford’s book is like an encyclopedia of LEGO and possible models to be built."
— (Read more)

"The book's light tone is inviting to young hobbyists and the young at heart."
—Planet Utica (Read more)

"AFOLs will want to add the book to their collections, and non-AFOLs and families will benefit greatly from the book, as it will allow them to move to the next level."
—Brick Journal (Read more)

"All of this information is organized in easy-to-follow chunks, with accurate illustrations, and straightforward and understandable writing."
— (Read more)

"If you like building with Lego bricks, this is the book for you."
—Teddy the Bear blog (Read more)

"The author has done a good job of mixing the levels of information to allow the book to reach to a broad audience."
—Brick Journal (Read more)

"If you're a fresh-minted AFOL with no previous Lego experience, or a precocious youngster wishing to absorb some formalized knowledge of the system, Lego Builder's Guide fills in the gap."
—Ink19 (Read more)

"It's a terrific book, and I honestly think it'll be one of the most successful AFOL books to date."
—Bricks on the Brain (Read more)

Podcast interview with author Allan Bedford posted
—Network World (Listen here)


Page 42:
Figure 3-5 has been updated to correct the part counts in the Bill of Materials for the train station model. The updated image now shows 18 light gray 2x2 tiles rather than just 1. A single light gray 1x1 tile has also been added to the image. If Figure 3-5 in your copy of the book doesn't show these parts and quantities, please download the updated version here.

Page 269:
The release dates for the 2x2 wide plate with slick tires should be 1994/1991/1996.