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Is ship building the hardest MOC?


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19 replies to this topic  – Started by natesroom , Jun 13 2012 12:47 PM

#1 natesroom

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

I have to say i am a castle/historic lego collector only and the Pirates line is part of my desired collections.

On that note i think that MOC'ing a ship seems to me the hardest type of MOC and i am truly in awe of how you guys design and build these ships. I am amazed when i see your new ideas on every ship and it leaves me speechless

#2 natesroom

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:08 PM

View Postnatesroom, on 13 June 2012 - 12:47 PM, said:

I have to say i am a castle/historic lego collector only and the Pirates line is part of my desired collections.

On that note i think that MOC'ing a ship seems to me the hardest type of MOC and i am truly in awe of how you guys design and build these ships. I am amazed when i see your new ideas on every ship and it leaves me speechless


I was hoping those here that MOC both would be able to comment on whether or not it was any harder then MOC a building or castle.

#3 Sebeus I

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:20 PM

Hi, I mostly build ships, in a way a ship is like a mobile castle, the foundation is replaced by a hull and there's a big focus on dynamic.
The hardest MOC in my opinion are mocs I don't like to build, ships are my favourites, I enjoy making them and that makes it easier to come up with something decent.
Since you are comparing with castles I have to say, I haven't been able to make a decent castle yet, I find them harder to build than ships  :pir-classic:

#4 jed_barabrian

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:49 PM

I would say that a ship is more difficult than castle, because a ship has alot of factors that a castle doesn't, such as rigging. A castle has alot of (easy) "stacking". This is coming from someone who has attempted ships and built castles.
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#5 soccerkid6

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:36 AM

I would say that ships are harder in general (I have built lots of castles and will be doing my first small boat soon) but you can make castles that are just as hard. That being said it really varies from MOC to MOC, and what your interests are. After building a fair amount of castle creations I am quite confident in that theme, I'm sure after I build a few ships I will be confident in that as well.
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#6 RocketSeason

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:39 AM

It's all in how you do it.  LEGO hulls help a lot, but the organic angles, the tumblehome, and the attempt to create a convincing size and shape in Minifig scale add to the complexity of the build.  The biggest challenge for me is to get that organic shape and have a full interior at the same time.

#7 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 12:51 PM

View PostRocketSeason, on 15 June 2012 - 01:39 AM, said:

It's all in how you do it.  LEGO hulls help a lot, but the organic angles, the tumblehome, and the attempt to create a convincing size and shape in Minifig scale add to the complexity of the build.  The biggest challenge for me is to get that organic shape and have a full interior at the same time.

I agree with this, mostly.  For me, Lego was designed to build houses and castles and structures of sorts, not complex curving shapes.  In my AFOL life I've mainly built ships but always admire people who build things that at first glance are not apparently Lego.  I think any MOC that accomplishes this was difficult to build and separates a good MOCer from an average one.  Attention to detail, research, and innovative techniques are not required to build a ship, but it is required to build a good ship.  I think the same can be said about most outstanding MOC's.  

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#8 streifen

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

MOC a ship will mean having to get the right angle, size and shape for the hull. In that small width of the ship, you will need to squeeze in some interiors, rooms, furnishings and ship accessories.

All of the above is a bit beyond me i.e. too complicated for me.

A castle is indeed easier (no disrespect to castle MOCers).

Alternatively you may want to get a LEGO ship e.g. Queen Anne's Revenge or the Black Pearl and use the ship as a start to MOC the interior and deck instead of brick-building a ship's hull from scratch.
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#9 Frank Brick Wright

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

I never were really into castle but I think each one is hard in its own way.

Building a castle or a village is very parts consuming because it is hard to get a natural look; if you just pile out bricks it won't really seem natural, you must integrate plants and create textures.

Shipbuilding aims at another target. What is hard there is to reproduce faithfully the ship's lines: the curves, the tumblehome, the sheer, the prow and stern. It involves trying to recreate curved surfaces with square bricks.

Both are incredibly detailed. Often shipbuilding is accompanied by an obsession for historical accuracy and usually custom production, such as sails and rigging: it isn't as much as a free build, as a castle or so; that too requires time. None can said to be "harder", each being different and having its own style.

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#10 Morthen

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:40 PM

depends at the person, but i get your point, when building a castle, you can add so many baseplates you want, and mage a enormus enviroment, and wide castles, ships arent that way, when you have build the hull, you have to stick to it, you cant just add something along the way, (atleast not without demolishing most of what you've already build)
i build in diffent themes, but mostly ships, the whole challence with a ship, is that you have to stuff so much as you can into it, without its looking odd, it has to look elegant, and smooth, so yes, i think its harder to build a ship than a castle, because of the restricted base, i know you can build your own hull, but you still have no more room than that,

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#11 -DoNe-

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:35 PM

Sence I have been building most classic themes (+world war 2) I have experianced most kind of the base technics used for most of the themse and I have to say that I persoanlly think that ships are by far the hardest of them all to make. Not just becuse you need to knwo of key-technics to get it right you also have to think of the dimentions all the time during the build, which is the two mian reasons it´s on of my 2 favourite themse.   Posted Image

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#12 Captain Blackmoor

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:40 PM

It depends on how detailed and realistic you want your MOCs to be. Building a castle can be a simple job indeed by just stacking bricks, but if I built a MOC I always create a challenge for myself. Every MOC becomes more detailed and accurate, also because your knowledge about architecture, shipbuilding, rigging systems, brick creativity etc. improves.

Not to mention your stock of bricks. I never tried to built a castle as I didn't have the bricks, but I did build cliffs and rocks. On a certain moment I had collected enough of these to build land-based MOCs, especially castle themed ones.

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#13 Imperial Shipyards

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

Building ships is probably one of the hardest disciplines in MOCs, if you take the (custom) rigging and sail making effort into account, it's quite possible the hardest; but then again that's not Lego.
I think this is an important point that has not yet been mentioned: rigging and sailmaking regularly takes more than half of the time that's needed to build a ship (though only a small portion of the costs) and also a great deal of skill and creativity, but it's strictly speaking not building Lego.

Why do I think building ships is so difficult? Well I guess it's a number of factors:

- There are curves everywhere (in 3 dimensions) and we all know that bricks are straight.
- Ornaments on historic ships can be very elaborate and are often impossible to make with lego. You can try and imitate the overall impression, but it's quite tricky.
- There isn't much space: sailing ships have always been cramped and putting all of that detail into a MOC is impossible; even in minifigure scale, so you end up with a fraction of it that's still difficult to make.
- The rigging makes it difficult to make your ship modular, the only viable options are to make either the sides or topdeck removable both of which compromises the rigging and build quality in some way.
- Even Minifigure Illusion Scale (=prefab) ships are rather large compared to other MOCs which incresases construction time and also costs. No true minifigure scale ship has ever been finished, but Captain Blackmoor comes closer every other day.
- For building ships you need many specialised parts, which further drives both build time and costs.
- You'll also need a ton of very specialised techniques that can't possibly be all invented by one person, so one way or another you'll have to copy some from others before adding your own touch (in the past I've tried keeping track of credit, but given it up by now due to lack of interest :pir-sceptic: ).
- Then there's the rigging thing; take Vesta as an extreme example and you'll immediately know that that's hard.
- The same applys to sails.

Of course for instance building vehicles in Minifigure scale or with integrated technic functions is also a very hard discilpine that I have great respect for, but you don't have that rigging madness.
I also have to agree with Captain Blackmoor that a lot depends on the amount of detail you want to achieve, however a mediocre ship looks like a house with masts while a mediocre castle still looks like a castle.

By the way, I'm currently into the rigging process on 8 ships  :pir-blush:
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#14 Morthen

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:54 PM

and when a beautiful design isnt enough, then you can start put some very very advanced mechanic feathures in it, as i did,

in my Golden Whale, i have RC cannons and hatches, and RC light, in a rather large beautiful ship,

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#15 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:34 PM

Well, I tried to build a tree today....and some hours later I'm still not happy! :pir_laugh2:

Ships to me are the easiest to make (and not just sailing ships), but that is also because I know quite a bit about them and they have been my favourite subject for more then 20 years now.
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#16 Styrbjorn

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 04:52 AM

To build a ship with hull pieces is not so hard but so build a ship in the way anders t do is much harder :pir-classic:
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#17 Admiral Coco

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:39 AM

As stated before ships have many curves. This means that if you don't own the right pieces (Jumper plates, hinges, etc.), then you can't make the best of ships. As for castles, all you need is a bunch of 2x4 bricks and voila!  you have a castle.

#18 Captain Blackmoor

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:54 PM

View PostAdmiral Coco, on 26 June 2012 - 01:39 AM, said:

As stated before ships have many curves. This means that if you don't own the right pieces (Jumper plates, hinges, etc.), then you can't make the best of ships. As for castles, all you need is a bunch of 2x4 bricks and voila!  you have a castle.
Unless you are willing to make it really complicated, round towers for example instead of square towers, interesting roof techniques. Stone and woodwork, and a bunch of details. :pir-classic:

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#19 Rotaser

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 10:29 PM

So the essence would be:

Depends on grade of detail.

There are the "easy" ways (huge hull parts for ships and the wall sections for the castle) and the "insane" way (brick built hull and "real" proportions in minifig scale / round towers and details like from a tiny sculpteur)

Best would be to try out ^.^

#20 halfpenguinhalflego

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:04 PM

Well, it depends upon builder in my opinion. I love building ships, starting a MOC ship is a bit daunting, but once I get my bearings it's easy. But other MOCs, notably castles, that I've attempted don't look really good. It is mainly brick dependent, ships cost a LOT of bricks, as do castles.
So it's not that it's hard, you just need enough bricks, or know how to use what you got.

Personally, I think castles are the hardest, anyone can build a plain castle, it takes skill to make one that stands out from the crowd.
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