F-22 Raptor

Hal keeps getting given these Lego sets. Most recently, he’s had a Pirates of the Caribbean thing with a mill-wheel and a bell tower (set 4183-1) and before that it was Mandalorian fighters (set 7914-1) and the Space Shuttle (set 3367-1) as well as a bunch of others I can’t locate.

I pretty much build these as Hal wants the finished product in a hurry but what tends to happen is that he goes for it and pretty soon the toy breaks. Of course it’s Lego, so it’s not breaking as such, it’s supposed to come apart after all…

Recently, after spending a good hour assembling the pirates set I decided that the thing to do would be to glue the parts with super-glue. Not the whole assembly, but those groups of parts that moved or were hinged in some way (the Shuttle’s bay doors only stayed attached to the mother ship for a few minutes under heavy playing).

So, I read up on the Lego forums to find out what the best glue was and did anyone have any techniques for glueing with a light touch to prevent destroying the bricks. I can’t imagine I’m the only dad out there who has had this idea so I was really surprised to read the near universal condemnation of glue in Lego assembly…

So in the end I gave up on the glue and this morning I was playing with Hal and we smashed up the Space Shuttle and I put this F-22 Raptor together. OK, so it looks nothing like a raptor and it’s missing its nose cone among other things but it was really fun to do.

I just never tire of the way a couple of bricks can suggest a familiar profile, a familiar shape:-)

The other kind of interesting thing was that in trying to get the two jet engines as close as possible, I made the main body lift area (the bit between the two turbines) with an odd number of rows. Normally my models are symmetrical but in this instance I had to have a central, single-row brick running down the middle. For some reason this made progress way more difficult. The cockpit glass comes from a dinosaur set and was four rows wide so to fit the nose cone (or make a gap where the nose-cone would go) I had to use flat pieces with uneven numbers of rows on top and bottom (I think they were claws from another animal, with two rows on the bottom but a single, centred row on the top)

So yeah, so do you glue your Lego?