A quick count revealed that I built 52 LEGO sets in 2018; one per week–I like that.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2019 is to faithfully report on all my LEGO builds as they happen in 2019. And so herewith, my first completed piece of the new year:

BB-8 (LEGO 75187)

I am not, as you may already know, a Star Wars guy.  But I enjoy the Star Wars theme in LEGO because the sets, particularly the larger ones, have a classy elegance and are often pretty sophisticated in terms of building technique. BB-8 does not disappoint on either front.

Ever since he was released back in September 2017 I was intrigued by this fellow. How, I wondered, is a spherical robot constructed only from square and rectangular parts? The answer turns out to be a clever riff on the sphere-building technique created by Bruce Lowell, with the extra secret sauce consisting of one part unique (movie-based) color scheme and one-part Technic-based innards to make the little guy do some tricks.

It is a quick and altogether satisfying build, despite the innate repetitiveness of making six versions of fundamentally the same thing (top, bottom, and four sides of the body). Slight variations on that theme keep things interesting, as does the creation and then slow reveal of the inner mechanisms. It turns out that BB-8 does two tricks: Rotate one of the side panels and a hatch opens, producing a welder’s torch (non-functioning, as the LEGO website assures us!). Rotate the opposite side panel, and BB-8’s head turns a full 360 degrees. Very fun.