Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you build Lego models without using the instructions?

Hello! I was wondering how many other people like to build their new Lego sets like I do - as a Puzzle using only the photo on the front of the box as a guide?

It's my favorite way to build models which are ~500 pieces or less, generally Architecture sets. I enjoy the challenge of building the parts that I can see well by looking for clues such as the gaps between bricks, then having to guess how to put those parts together and how the backside of the model should look.

I just posted an article on my blog describing my process for building models without the directions. I would be very interested to who else does this, and hear what approaches or tricks you use.


(SPOILER ALERT: The blog shows details of how to build the now discontinued Architecture Series model of Sungnyemun, so be warned.)


  • mressinmressin Member Posts: 843
    As a kid, I used that way to build the models my parents wouldn't buy me, only that I had to go by catalogue pics. Safe to say, I rarely got anywhere.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium Member Posts: 1,956
    Oh yeah, I did that with my #10179. Just kidding! (I don't even own a 10179...)

    That is seriously cool, though. I always used to try to make the 'alternate models' that they used to have (until about the '90s) like that, but I was always fairly useless at it. But I'm also fairly OCD/perfectionist, so if I started, I would have to finish, so I would sit for hours and hours until I had got it absolutely perfect....
  • yuffieyuffie Member Posts: 92
    er, no ...
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    Sometimes I "build" the model in my head, without using the bricks.
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    I build this way all the time. Pretty much all of the smaller sets, and sometimes at least some parts of larger sets. Another fun thing to do is to build a set from instructions, then take it apart, and try building it again from memory. Quite fun!...(c:
  • rancorbaitrancorbait Member Posts: 1,842
    Yes, I do. I've done it with #4483 kind of as a memory test :-P see if I can remember the correct way to build it, I've probably done it with most of my sets.
  • BrewBrew Member Posts: 183
    I used to be able to build my Yellow Castle #375 from memory when I was a kid. I'd have battles and would have to reassemble it all the time.
  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Member Posts: 279
    I used to enjoy assembling my Technic sets using just the blueprint that came with the very early sets, not always successfully... although I can still build #853 from memory; I was always crashing it.
  • SchwallexSchwallex Member Posts: 121
    You people are crazy. The good kind of crazy, I guess, but crazy nonetheless. You must have too much time. Or too few sets. Or both.

    Never mind sets. I can't even build my own MOCs from memory. That's why I always make instructions, or at the very least take tons of photos of the most crucial bits. Or just never disassemble anything, that's the fastest method.

    (Pre-emptive snarky comment: yes, I did just say "my own my own creations". Except I didn't. So deal with it.)
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 651
    @Schwallex said: (Pre-emptive snarky comment: yes, I did just say "my own my own creations". Except I didn't. So deal with it.)

    I'm good with that, but shouldn't you have used quotes within quotes? That is, "my own 'my own creations' ". :)
  • plasmodiumplasmodium Member Posts: 1,956
    @Schwallex. I regularly talk about the Sahara Desert and RAID arrays (not to mention PIN numbers). You are forgiven.
  • SchwallexSchwallex Member Posts: 121
    @LegoMom1: Well they are creations and they are my own, so no quotes for me, thank you.

    But here are some free single quotes for you. I'm generous today. Suit yourself.

  • DJ_Pon3DJ_Pon3 Member Posts: 93
    I built my #10211 with no instructions.... Why does it look like my old #6285? lol
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    ^ Is it because there is a sale on?
  • plasmodiumplasmodium Member Posts: 1,956
    CCC said:

    ^ Is it because there is a sale on?

    Ba-dum tshhh...
    Ladies and Gentlemen, he's here all week.

  • BastaBasta Member Posts: 1,259
    I never thought about doing this, but after reading this thread and picking up #30253 Chima Poly for $2 I gave it a go. Obviously it wasn't really hard as it only has 30 pieces but I'm sure I will try it with a larger set at some point.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 728
    In the 90s I used to be able to build the #5590 Whirl and Wheel Super Truck from memory. Wish I hadn't had to sell it before going to university!
  • woony2woony2 Member Posts: 336
    ^ Not quite as impressive due to much smaller piece counts but as a child in the late 70's early 80's I could build #918 One Man Space Ship and #854 Technic Go-Kart without instructions or pictures.
    I may try again next time I build them, although I can feel a big fail coming on.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 298
    I almost completely built the Smart car from a couple years back with out the instructions
  • DoubleDDoubleD Member Posts: 488
    I can build the mini figures with no instructions as long as they don't have a cape.
  • BastaBasta Member Posts: 1,259
    I thought I'd give it a try with the LR Stage Coach. Yeah I built the figures no problem but didn't get much further. Instructions promptly opened :)
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at or Amazon?

Please use our links: Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.