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Sunday, February 21 2016 22:50

Review: The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling

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One of my favorite books from this past year, THE ART OF LEGO® SCALE MODELING (No Starch Press) is a fantastic look at the incredible work being done by hardcore LEGO enthusiasts as they create remarkably-detailed scale models of all manner of vehicle. Penned by Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman (both skilled scale modelers based in the Netherlands), the book showcases not only some of their creations, but those of other builders from around the Globe - all working from their own designs.

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Broken into sections, THE ART OF LEGO® SCALE MODELING includes trucks, ships, aircraft, race cars, heavy equipment, trains, military vehicles, motorcycles, and, of course, cars. 

While the book is neither authorized or endorsed by LEGO Group, the final chapter, "How It's Done," features tips and tricks on how to get started, along with details on design, part acquisition, and customization methods - along with the new-ish ability to create custom parts thanks to 3-D printing and the like. They even do recommend some sets for would-be scale modelers that are official LEGO offerings, and noted to be great starting-off points. The Volkswagen T1 Camper Van (#10220), MINI Cooper (#10242) and Maersk Line Triple-E ship (#10241, though now retired) are all highlighted as excellent entries into the commercially-available LEGO Creator line.

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It's important to note that this book does not contain tutorials or plans for these builds, but it's a beautiful gallery presented as a perfect coffee table-worthy hardcover collection. Each entry, from chromed-out Harley-Davidson bikes to sleek rides like the Ford GT, all include detailed information about the history of the real-life counterpart in relation to the scale model. What's particularly interesting to me as a "toyographer" (my toy photos being a regular thing here on the site and my socials) is that this book contains a sizable amount of that as well, with some of these models taken out into the real world for some wonderful perspective work.

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Rock Father-approved, and available now from Amazon or the No Starch Press website.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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