This weekend the munchkin and I have been heads down in some serious Lego Star Wars. He's been asking me for the X-Wing fighter for a while, so finally I sat down this weekend and worked it out.
First I collected *all* his Legos together from his Mom's house and here, then went through and got rid of all the big "bricks" to get them out of the way. Actually we built a pretty big "castle" with them (otherwise known as a box) which was fun since it was so big. Once we did that - all the flat pieces, angular, rounded and spaceship style pieces were left to build the cool stuff with.
Over the past few years of birthdays, Christmas's and general purchases, we've got a pretty good collection of Lego parts. But they are from fire engines and fire houses, rescue helicopters and cars mostly. Many of the parts translate shape-wise to Star Wars nicely, but not all of them, and definitely not the color. Lego seems to like adding in random triangular pieces and specialized connections into their kits - and the "new" Star Wars seems to think brown is the color of the future. :-) But that's fine, Alex doesn't care about the colors, and I've been able to be creative when needed with the parts.
The instructions we're using are from the Legos called "Mini kits" - and are actually included in the Lego Star Wars video game as bonuses as you go through levels. Once you've collected all the parts in each level, a particular kit is displayed floating outside the Cantina in the game... It's pretty amazing how much work they've done to make sure the instructions that come with the real kits match the virtual ones in the game! They're identical! You can click a button and watch them being built and they're exactly the same.
And like I posted before, all the kits are available online. First, here's a link to a list of the Star Wars Mini kits. Once you have that list, then you can look up the kit number on this site and get the PDF of the kit's instructions. For example:
I took a picture of the results, all posed on stands. Pretty cool, hey? The colors are all wonky, and some of the pieces are definitely a bit of a stretch (the Falcon, for example, has a pretty small top), but they're still not bad. I love the fact that I can just go online and snag the instructions. I learn tricks from just about every one I put together... It's pretty astounding how many types of pieces there are, how many you can collect with just a few kits, and how many ways they can go together. Putting this stuff together is quite cathartic as well. Once you figure out a work around or two and then present the finished product it's quite a nice sensation.
Legoland is *definitely* on the list of things to do in the next year, believe me.
Update: Steve Litchfield pointed out his Legoland Windsor Survival Guide, which will be good to have on hand. I'll be going to the one in California... but you never know. :-)