None really teaches you how to build Lego sets when you are a toddler because kids figure it out by themselves through several attempts. As you grow up, the sets become bigger, with more pieces and more challenging.
If your interest permits and you improve Lego building skills, you get the enthusiast or expert-level sets that are more difficult but rewarding at the same time.
However, the entire building process might become monotonous and often boring, especially if you tend to build models from the same category.
For example, building the 42083 Bugatti Chiron model and the 42115 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 model can be too repetitive with the Lego Technic bricks because there might not be something totally unique to challenge you.
At the same time, experts and seasoned Lego builders will fail to gain interest if the building experience gets predictable. Sets that are designed as upgraded models of the old ones or have the similar design like the Porsche 911 RSR 42096 and Porsche 911 GT3 RS 42056, can be too easy to indulge in, although some new elements will be there.
Have you ever heard of Clint Perry, the master builder of the Legoland Discovery Center from Michigan? Well, a former Eagle Scout, he has an office filled with over 250000 Lego pieces, all of them sorted according to color and size. To put it simple, he earns from building different Lego structures, for example, the Detroit city, mostly in front of an audience. His creations are unique, advanced and praised by thousands of visitors.
Clint uses his skills learned from scout days like engineering, model design and sculpting into forming the structures and his interest or creativity never wanes. To rekindle your interest in Lego building and make the experience full of creativity, here are some advanced Lego building techniques to follow –
Add A Pro Look With Unique Usage Of Colors
Your 1989 Batmobile 76139 set will not look good if some other color scheme than black is used, although what makes the Dark Knight’s favorite vehicle stand out is the usage of grey and white Lego pieces for the cockpit and grappling hooks. Landmark models like the Colosseum 10276 or the Statue of Liberty 21042 should always be created with the realistic color scheme as in real.
Therefore, the exterior structure of the Colosseum is made of yellow ochre bricks while the travertine road surrounding it is in grey color scheme while the Lady Liberty is created with olive green bricks. Proper colored brick used in models look more eye-catching when you light up Legos.
Also, a pro tip is to concentrate more on the exterior section or the sections visible to the audience, especially if you are short on bricks. The interior sections that will never be visible can be created with any colored bricks for that matter!
Focus On The Real-World Scale While Building
Even if you are all for showing your creativity and adding details to Lego structures, make sure you always follow the scale ratio of the structures in real-time. That being said, you should make sure that the size of the Lego Luxor Hotel, Bellagio Hotel, Encore Hotel and Stratosphere Tower look perfect side by side in the Las Vegas 21047 model just as seen in Las Vegas strip.
In this context, one of the most important Lego building techniques is to make sure that the accessories for the Minifigures are created in the same scale that you see in real world.
The seating areas, bed in the bedroom with telephone nightstand and stove in the kitchen of the Townhouse Pet Shop & Cafe 31097 set are to be created according to the size of the Minifigures to give a realistic look. Again, the blaster pistols, lightsabers and bowcaster in Mos Eisley Cantina 75290 should not be too large to fit into the Minifigure hands.
Create Curves Out Of Lego Pieces
Among the pro Lego building tips is creating curves with the Lego bricks that are known to be mostly rectangular and square shaped. As you grow skilled in Lego building, you can try out this experiment with a round object like a bowl or cap of a jar and a graph paper. Just trace a large circle onto the paper using the round object and follow that grid pattern while assembling the pieces. You can try this method for sets like Voltron 21311, Yoda 75255 and R2-D2 75308. Use angles or rounded edged pieces to create curvy outlines.
Going Slight Astray Of Instructions Can Be Exciting
When you are experienced enough and have multiple sets from a particular series, mix and match will be a perfect way to build your extensive models. Use your creativity to create new stories or scenes from the movies, series and shows like the Lego Movie 2, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Batman, Jurassic World and more.
Each set comes with comprehensive building instructions to make the building process easy. However, there is no hard and fast rule about sticking to each instruction.
From Minifigures to accessories, everything can be mixed up and utilized in a different way according to how you want the storyline to proceed.
For example, the Hogwarts Castle 71043 can easily be combined with the Hogwarts Whomping Willow 75953 or Hogwarts Express 75955, Hogwarts Astronomy Tower 75969, Hogwarts Clock Tower 75948 and Hagrid’s Hut: Buckbeak’s Rescue 75947 sets, to name a few.
Repurposing Different Pieces
Unusual pieces from a Lego model can often be used for another set, whether as substitutes like using magic wands from any Minifigure, say Hermione for another Minifigure, say Malfoy from another set in the Harry Potter series. Using blaster pistols and lightsabers from Jedi warriors of one model for other Star Wars characters in a different set is also common. According to Clint, a master Lego builder is nothing but an artist with overactive imagination to find inspirations from anywhere.
Therefore, his Lego tips and tricks include having good observation so that you can understand that the wheels from your Lego train can be used for the turbine engine with blades from the 1989 Batmobile 76139 set or the binoculars of a Minifigure can be used as the horns on dump truck.
Quick Tips For Beginners
So far, if you think you the above-mentioned techniques are a bit too advanced for you or you do not feel much confident about applying those tricks, here are a few simple methods that you can try to make the building process easier –
Organize Your Bricks
When you are all set to mix and match the Lego pieces to create something out if your mind, keep the pieces according to color and type i.e. a bin full of 1x1 bricks in white color, 2x8 blue bricks in another, 2x2 red bricks in another and so on. In case of unique pieces like windshield, tires, rims, lampposts etc, you can keep each type together irrespective of color. You can also keep small boxes filled with hinges, doors, coffee mugs, shovels, lightsabers, pistols, binoculars etc separately in a way whenever you need any one of them, there is no need to shuffle through various types of bricks in a large box.
Maintain Color Contrast
One of the common Lego tips for beginners is to create color contrast to highlight particular sections or knowing how to use proper shades for different scenes. For example, when you are building a Hidden Side models like Mystery Castle 70437 and Ghost Train Express 70424, or Stranger Things models like The Upside Down 75810, consider using darker shades like black, dark blue, dark grey or brown. On the other hand, while creating something cheerful like Heartlake Summer Pool 41313 or Rescue Mission Boat 41381 from the Lego Friends series, make use of various vibrant colored bricks.
Snots refer to studs that are not on top and you can add these pieces on an elaborate structure like a building or architecture to give the effect of a four dimensional model. Snot bricks, eyelet bricks and L-shaped plates are some of the many pieces that you can use to create snot structures.
Keep Balance Between Studs and Tiles
Not all structures look good or interesting with studs and/or tiles even though in many Lego sets you will notice both. Just as mentioned above in the illegal (unconventional) building technique by not following the instruction manual, here, you should follow your mind on which set requires tiles and which ones studs. Considering these Lego Technic tips, you should not use much studs while creating a car because that will make it appear bumpy and uneven, unlike the original vehicles. On the other hand, using suds for building interiors like a carpeted floor will give a stunning look.
Add Lights To Lego Sets
The journey from a beginner to an expert in Lego building takes lots of experience and experiments with different pieces, building approaches and types of sets. Once you have created a model following your heart, just consider adding some Lego lights to make the new structure more eye-catching. Briksmax and Lightailing are the leading Lego LED light providers currently in the market and you will get custom handmade LED lighting kits that anyone above 6 can install by following the illustrated instructions from manuals.
Installing the Lights while passing delicate connecting cables between the studs will give you more insight to the model. You can even use lights from one model for another structure, for example, the Lego Technic lights for Liebherr R 9800 42100 can be used for a customized version of 4X4 X-treme Off-Roader 42099 and even models from other categories or a model designed by you.
Instead of relying on default pieces like drawers, chairs, cabinets etc, take a step further and create your custom accessories like reclining chairs, sliding door wardrobes and more. Consider adding small yet significant details like Chip (the talking cup) in the Beauty and the Beast scenario from the Disney Castle 71040 model to make your structures more appealing.
For adding lights, always test each accessory properly before connecting to main power so that electrical hazards can be kept at bay and defective materials can be separated and replaced. Being a master builder does not necessarily mean you have to go for complex building methods, but having a balance between complexity and simplicity.