Lego building tips for the family
Lego is a Christmas staple. Anyone with kids aged between 5 and 15 will likely be purchasing some this year. There might even be a few mums and dads who treat themselves to a cheeky slice of Lego pie. However a standard box of Lego bricks can be an intimidating sight to many dads who are relatively rusty on their Lego skills.
Such is the case, that helping a kid through a serious build can be a true Good Christmas experience. What better picture of family can you think of than father and son crafting themselves a master Lego creation? But where to start? What sort of masterpieces can a simple box of standard Lego create? Fear not, Pocket-lint is here with a quick guide to Lego construction.
The Tardis and Daleks
Doctor who has become the 10-year-old's equivalent of Made In Chelsea. With that in mind, we thought it best to cook up some sort of means for Dalek production. Throw in the Tardis and you have a build that is guaranteed to make the eyes of any child glow.
The really great thing about this one is that it doesn’t require a large number of bricks to complete. The Daleks can be a bit tricky as they require slightly more unusual parts, but ultimately it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to put together.
When you first discover Back to the Future as a kid, it can be a quasi-religious experience. We became instantly obsessed with the Trilogy and have since watched the movies more times than we have had hot dinners.
Why not capture a bit of that magic, whilst spending some quality time with your kid, putting together the most iconic vehicle ever to come out of a movie? Sorry Optimus, you came close. This is a bit more of a complicated build than the Daleks, but the final result is a near perfect copy of the one from Back to the Future II, complete with hook for hitting 88mph.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Apart from the constant singing, which to be honest, after years of Christmas viewing is starting to drag now, CCBB is a classic. The car almost touches the Delorean on the iconic scale, but will perhaps be better known by those with younger kids. We personally would build both and race them. Obviously in real life there is no way Chitty would even touch Marty at 88mph, but in the world of Lego, anything can happen.
There is a lot going on in this build, so we suggest divvying things up. It keeps the family spirit going whilst avoiding any potential boredom at the sight of an over complex build. Get your young one to put the carriage together, while you get your head round all the niceties of the chassis. Stick the pair together at the end and there you have it, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Lego form.
Space is a big talking point for the under tens. How big is it? How many stars are there? Where do Klingons live? Those sort of questions are all commonplace. What do you get in space? Rockets of course… and the cooler looking the better. Sat right at number one on the top of the pops of rocketry is the Space Shuttle. The reusable star tractor that, sadly, is no longer sadly in use.
The only way to bring it back to life is to use Lego and this handy model designed by one avid space fan. It looks great, isn’t too complex to build and is quick enough to put together that even the littlest of Lego fans will keep themselves occupied.
Glados and a Portal gun
Okay, so your kids might not be hugely into Portal. Say, just for arguments sake, you had played the game through with them, we can pretty much guarantee they would have loved it. No character could be more memorable than the game's very own evil robot, Glados. A bit less straightforward than the others, but just as rewarding, this build is quick but tough.
You need a lot of parts from things like Lego Technic to put this bad boy together. The Portal gun less so, as it requires fewer joints and small pieces. Both look just as good, so if you cant manage one, give the other a go.
You might have noticed that a lot of these videos appear in a sort of 3D design simulator for Lego. It is a piece of software called Lego Digital Designer and a single search for it on something like YouTube will turn up a vast number of possible builds. The real treat with Lego, and what will get you more involved with your family than following any set of instructions, is try to come up with ideas yourself.
One gentleman, Duncan Titmarsh, is a certified Lego professional. Like Jedi, he is one of only 13 in the World. Given his title officially by Mr Lego himself (we think), he is in charge of creating some truly outstanding models. Use his website to get the family inspired and thinking about what sort of Lego creations they could come up with. Not everyone likes the usual Doctor Who or Back to the Future, some young ones might be more interested in bridges or skyscrapers, so let them try building it!
Good Christmas is all about doing things with your family you would never normally do. We want you to get inspired with your kids and enjoy building Lego with them. In writing this we discovered a whole community of Lego fans who build and share plans across the Internet. A really good family thing to do could be searching through and picking out favourite ideas, then sticking them together. For a few pointers try websites like Brickish, or Lionsgatemodels, both feature plentiful ideas for you to try out.
Have you any fave Lego plans you fancy sharing with us? Let us know in the comments below...
A big thanks to all the YouTube users and their Lego designs for this one.
At internetmatters.org parents can find all the advice they will need to keep their children safe online. Designed specifically for parents, the site offers a wealth of up-to-date, unbiased information and advice about how to deal with online safety. Parents can learn about the latest issues and technologies, get great tips on how to talk about online safety with their children and get the best advice on dealing with issues and taking action. Created with experts, Internet Matters provides detailed information, but also signposts to best-in-class resources from individual expert organisations. Our goal is to ensure parents can always access the information that they need, in a format that is clear and concise.