Keeping Bricks Together

I recently got an email from someone out of the blue who said that her son was having trouble with his [tag]LEGO[/tag] models falling apart, and asking about using glue. This entry is based on my reply to her, since I figured that others might have the same concern…

LEGO brand models don’t usually have that problem, but the other brands like Mega Blox often do. Of course since they are only held together by friction it is possible for them to fall apart. When that happens there are two choices: put them back together, or take them completely apart and build something else.

Some people view LEGO as just a model you can build from the instructions. But it can be so much more than that. Ever since I was your son’s age, I have always taken the attitude that LEGO’s instructions are a good way to get started, and that you can learn good techniques from them, but the true power of LEGO comes when you design your own things.

Now a seven-year-old can’t be expected to build the kinds of sophisticated models that adults make, but there’s a lot he can do if he’s encouraged to invent his own spacecraft, houses, animals, or whatever. So rather than thinking of a broken LEGO model as a source of frustration, try to think of it as an opportunity to create
something new and different!

But if you really want to glue them, there are certain types of glue that work better than others. I’ve never done it (in fact, most LEGO fans that I know would never glue, paint, or cut their bricks), but another adult LEGO sculptor I know has: Eric Harshbarger. According to his FAQ he uses “Oatey, All Purpose” glue. If you try it, be sure to use good ventilation!!!

BayLUG display at Stoneridge LEGO Store

Today I met with other members of [tag]BayLUG[/tag] to set up a new display at the Stoneridge mall [tag]LEGO[/tag] store in Pleasanton, CA. We had a display there for the past month with a Christmas theme, but I wasn’t involved in that. The new theme is miniature models of [tag]San Francisco landmarks[/tag]: I made [tag]Transamerica Pyramid[/tag] and [tag]Lombard Street[/tag] models, which are now on display along with a Coit Tower model from Russell Clark and a waterfront scene by Paul Sinasohn that included a tall ship and the car ferry Sausalito.

My wife Holly took photos of the event and put them on Flickr. UPDATE 21-Feb-2006: Photos also now available on Brickshelf.

Lombard Street

Transamerica Pyramid