Instructions for Lego sets are downloadable as PDF’s from Lego . This is a great service; as your collection grows you can probably build sets you haven’t bought from the parts you already have. Unfortunately the resolution TLG have used is too low, and it’s frequently difficult to see what’s going on – especially in the darker colours.
In addition to the resolution problem, there are some mix ups in the colours. I’ve noticed this especially in the axles. My last grumble about the Lego downloadable instructions is that they have not been saved at the original page size resolution – so even if I zoom the PDF to “Actual Size” the size guides for beams and axles are not correct. I’m wondering if the quality of these PDF’s was a deliberate trade off a few years ago when internet download speeds were much smaller.
I’m building 8436 Truck at the moment and this problem with the instructions is really bugging me. Another site, lego.brickinstructions.com has scanned pages (for older sets) which are a little better. It’s easier to see the correct placement of parts due to the improved contrast. However (and perhaps this is the same for the printed instructions for this model) the colours don’t match the set inventory. I note several other sites have identical scanned pages (some even with their own watermarks) but it’s not clear to me who the originator was. I guess they are all breaking TLGs copyright. For newer sets they are just re-hosting the Lego PDFs and splitting them up as pages.
The very best way to access instructions is on your tablet using the Lego Instructions App. In addition to being able to zoom and spin the model, all the tricky moves are animated so you can see things sliding into place. Unfortunately only a small selection of recent Technic models are represented, but I’m hoping this grows in time.
So in order of preference, my instruction source preferences are:
- Lego Building Instructions app
- Paper version
- Brickinstructions images
- Official Lego PDF