The LEGO building system is an extremely versatile system for building all kinds of things, whether it's a statue of your favourite character, a miniature house or a car or boat. Learning to use LEGO helps if you have the instructions, but the system is very easy to use. It does help to learn some of the terminology that comes up when working with the system, whether it's bricks, plates, studs or Technic rods.
- Skill level:
Open your LEGO set instruction manual to the first step. If you have lost the instruction manual, you can look them up on the LEGO website (see Resources). You can either type in the name of the set or the 4- or 5-digit number, if you have it. The site will return a PDF of the instructions.
Arrange the bricks and plates as depicted on the first page. When placed so the open bottom of the piece is down, the a brick stands about 1/2 inch high, while a plate of the same length and width will be a third of that height. A base plate will be a large piece which is nearly completely flat. Arrange the base plate, plates or bricks as they appear on the instructions.
Assemble the second step of the directions. Find the bricks or plates depicted, and attach them so the open bottom of the part fits over the studs on the bricks below. Studs are the round knobs on the top of LEGO pieces, and are what keeps the system together.
Attach Technic parts when directed. In models with moving parts, you may encounter Technic rods and connectors; you will see them depicted in the step. You can slide gears, connectors and other parts onto the rods--the long black sticks. Technic rods are measured in studs: the number on the directions refers to the length of the rod in studs. A four-stud rod will cover four studs on a brick.
Repeat the process of building according to the pictorial directions. If you encounter a call-out, which is a small box with an arrow pointed at the model, build the parts in the call-out before going back to the main model.
Arrange your model and any minifigs, the small people included with LEGO models, how you would like to play or display the set. Mini-figs are posable and can hold a large number of objects. You can clip some prop objects into their hands and they can hold plates. They can fit one studded part on their heads and each hand, and can stand or sit on studded parts.
Tips and warnings
- The visual instructions that come with LEGO are the best way to learn how to use the building system. If you don't have a set with instructions, try to build the house depicted in the LEGO site instructions with any parts you have, or the Mario statue at the Wii Love Mario site (see References).
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