The Hispabrick magazine team has sent me a copy of a new book that's just been published by the Arvo Brothers and which contains instructions for building Kaneda's bike.
Before receiving the book, I was aware of the model (I think it's been featured in the magazine) but it didn't really mean anything to me because I am unfamiliar with the source material. Apparently, according to Gizmodo, Kaneda's chopper from Akira, a 1988 Japanese anime film, is "the most famous bike in sci-fi comic and cinema history" so it seems like a worthy thing to model and judging by the feedback on various AFOL sites, as well as Gizmodo, the Arvo Brothers model has been well received and has now resulted in this book being produced.
The 180-odd page 28 x 19cm paperback book, printed in Spain, is extremely high quality, semi-glossy and heavyweight paper. It contains four chapters. The first discusses the original model from the film and the thought process behind translating it into LEGO. The second chapter considers the design and construction of the model. The bulk of the book, the building instructions, make up chapter three and finally the last chapter contains a lot of cool photographs of the finished model.
The instructions themselves are second to none: very clear and concise. At the back of them, a full bill of materials is provided for the 1091-parts used in the model, broken down by colour and type.
The model would not look the same without the stickers, so it was fantastic to see that a sticker sheet is included with the book, tucked into the back cover.
There's no doubt that the bike is a stunning model and this is an equally stunning book. Should you wish to construct the bike, buying the book is a no-brainer given that it's being offered for a very reasonable €19.99 + shipping.
I have nothing negative to say about the book at all. My only concern is the practicalities of actually sourcing the parts for the build. The key part, one that set the scale for the model, is the red X-Pod lid which has been out of production for 10 years and is not currently available on BrickLink. Six are needed so if you don't already have them, you're out of luck.
Nevertheless, it's a joy to flick through, to learn design and construction techniques, and it makes a very nice coffee-table book. It even caught my wife's eye, and she's normally not interested in LEGO books.
If you wish to order a copy you can do so directly from the Arvo Brothers, arvobrothers[at]hotmail.com.
Thanks to Carlos for providing a copy for review.