Remember Chris McVeigh, our Bricks Culture Year 1 Guest Artist? We have just received a copy of his first LEGO® book, published by No Starch Press. It’s called The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book, and it’s exquisite. No surprise there though – Chris is no ordinary LEGO fan. He’s a consummate professional in every aspect: the quality of his builds and his instructions, which he also designs himself, are of the same quality that you would expect from an official LEGO set.
There’s no fussing about; you just get straight down to building beautiful ornaments to hang on your tree for the perfect LEGO Christmas. The first six are objects associated with Christmas, such as a wreath, a gingerbread house and a wrapped present. The next five are traditional-style tree ornaments of abstract design, like the one shown below. These seemingly simple geometric forms are remarkable models that are easy to recreate with Chris’ superb instructions. Once complete, tweaking them to your own design is easy and exciting to do. Finally, there are four non-traditional ornaments to build: miniature versions of a camera, computer, arcade game and even a burger! These will add wacky fun to your tree but frankly, we’re just building them to sit on our desk at work all year round.
Each model starts with a parts list including the ID number of every piece required, so that if you don’t own them already, you can easily search for the required parts on websites like BrickLink or LEGO Pick a Brick. This is the only criticism we can find to say about the book and it is a tiny one; it is not explained what these numbers are for, so novices might not figure it out… but don’t worry, LEGO Christmas is not ruined! Quite the opposite; it is great that Chris went to the trouble of including them in the first place.
Unlike some other unofficial LEGO instructions books, the step-by-step instructions are of a generous size so that you aren’t squinting to make them out. The book is 214 pages long meaning each model’s instructions are on average 14 pages long, which gives you an idea of how generous the layout is. Chris also ensures that the steps which his 3D program outputs do actually make sense to humans! Sounds simple, but so many authors don’t bother to take the extra design time to ensure the end product is of the absolute highest possible quality.
The book is a testament to Chris’ varied building styles and skills and we can’t recommend it highly enough as a LEGO Christmas present or, even better, in advance of December so that there is time to source the parts and build the models before your tree arrives. With those final, fun models included too, the book makes for excellent building all year round and is bound to inspire everyone with its clever techniques and classy style. Despite the genius required to create them, the small size of the models and the quality of the instructions ensure that this book is suitable for all LEGO builders except perhaps the very youngest. I’m sure that families lucky enough to own the book will be using it again, year after year, to ensure every Christmas is a LEGO Christmas!
The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is published on 30 September 2016 and is available to pre-order now from the usual online booksellers. Read more about the book on the No Starch Press site: nostarch.com/legochristmas and discover Chris McVeigh’s amazing work at chrismcveigh.com
Another great LEGO Christmas gift: Bricks Culture
Read our interview with Chris McVeigh in issue 1 of Bricks Culture; the beautiful LEGO pop-culture magazine delivered to you every quarter. Over its 140 high-quality pages, Bricks Culture features fascinating articles about the latest and greatest LEGO artists, innovators and entrepreneurs such as Chris. You’re bound to meet unusual and inspiring people in every issue. If you love LEGO magazines, you’ll love Bricks Culture. Available exclusively online from Republic 66 Media: