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The LEGO Neighborhood Book Review

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We’ve recently received a new book to review from No Starch Press called The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own Town! by Brian and Jason Lyles. Brian runs Brick City Depot where he publishes instructions for LEGO modular buildings and if it sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen an ad to their site on our right sidebar beneath the categories.

No Starch Press is known for their AFOL-centric books such as LEGO Space: Building the Future and The Art of LEGO Design which we’ve also reviewed before. The LEGO Neighborhood Book is geared towards people who build LEGO cities with modular buildings. It contains 204 pages and retails for $19.95 but you can get it cheaper at various retailers like Amazon. The book has a high quality softback cover and the images in the book are very nice which is what we’ve come to expect from No Starch.

Since the highly popular LEGO Modular buildings were released back in 2007 with the Cafe Corner (10182) which have continued with eight more Modular sets, LEGO fans have been creating their own MOCs of the buildings to grow their city The LEGO Neighborhood Book is basically split into two halves. The first half of the book contains six chapters and it takes a look at some of the foundations of what a modular building consists of.

The first chapter gives you an introduction to the standards of a modular building like the base size and the depth and height. This is what the authors call the “Cafe Corner” standard which The second chapter focuses on the design process which includes choosing the appropriate colors for your buildings. The third chapter called “Bricks Everywhere” explains how to visualize real buildings as LEGO parts. The next chapter discusses how to make your buildings unique and gives you some ideas on how to build windows, cornices, lights, and more. Chapter five goes through the interior of the buildings and shows you a number of furniture examples. The final chapter is a gallery of different modular buildings that the author has created. The instructions of these buildings are available for purchase on their website.

The second half of the book gives you instructions for four differnt modular builidings. The first one is a “Corner Drugstore” which recreates a very recognizable building in American history. The instructions are very easy to follow considering all the details the building consists of, both the inside and out.

The rest of the book are instructions to build three residential houses: a Parisian-style, Colonial-style, and a Dutch Canal Ring one. They give you instructions to build the base of these building which includes exposed studs on the face of the building so you can change the different facades at your leisure.

The parts required to build it is right before the instructions and you can even download a PDF parts list on No Starch’s website. There are also bonus instructions for a truck that fits in with the Corner Drugstore loading dock.

Overall, The LEGO Neighborhood Book is a very good resource especially if you’re new to building modulars. Even if you’re already familiar with the modular building, you can probably learn something new that you didn’t know before. Again, The LEGO Neighborhood Book is available on No Starch Press and on Amazon.