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(W.I.P.) HMHV Snake Redux


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21 replies to this topic  – Started by kurigan , Nov 24 2010 10:09 PM

#1 kurigan

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:09 PM

HMHV Snake Redux

Last week I was showing my modest fleet of digital and real ships to a friend who recently acquired a mass of assorted bricks and seems to be taking an interest. After comparing my simplistic physical models to my digital designs he all but challenged me to a build off. As a result I decided to tear down my old “Snake” and rebuild her more in the fashion of my digital designs. As I’ve been saying for some time, my supply of bricks in limited and it was quite a task scrounging up what I could and making a lot of the wrong parts work. Though there are some obvious errors and imperfections, I’m quite pleased with the project so far. I’ve only been at about 12 hrs so far, counting parts hunting time. I am happy to say that my hull building technique holds up in live bricks with the addition of only a few pieces, such as the pillars below deck, which I usually omit for the sake of space in the digital environment, where gravity doesn’t matter. She is far from finished and there are many more parts to hunt down.

Seen here is the original, “Snake” a tiny 6-gun privateer, which was never quite finished, lacking a mizzen topmast.
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http://i199.photobuc...pg?t=1290632769

Pictured here is the incomplete new HMHV Snake, now a much larger and closer to accurate 16-gun snow brig, again serving as a privateer.
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http://i199.photobuc...pg?t=1290632842

The design of the new Snake is not unlike Cochran’s HMS Speedy, the real world inspiration for Jack Aubrey’s first command HMS Sophie. HMHV is the British abbreviation at that time for a privateer in the employment of the royal navy (His Majesty’s Hired Vessel)Apologies for the low quality images, better pictures will be taken as the project progresses.

#2 Capt. Stabbin

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 04:38 AM

Nice job so far!  I really like the color scheme.  Can't wait to see it finished.  Keep up the good work.

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#3 kurigan

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:33 AM

I was Finally able to pull out my Legos and scrounge up enough bricks to give Snake a descent set of masts. There is still a lot of work to do, but this was a big step in the process.
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#4 Admiral Croissant

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:51 PM

Good to see that you're starting on real ships again.
I like the curve in the lines on the side and the colourscheme so far.
The masts are also placed in the right position and of the right lenght.

But there are three small things that can be improved IMO:
  • The curve is a bit too edgy (I mean the curve in the widening of the deck).
    I think it will look better already if you make the widest part of the same widt as the part in fron and behind it.
    You could also make it smoother with widening it by 1/2 stud at the time, like CGH did.
  • My other tip is to place the mast parts above the crow's nest a bit forward, instead of just above, the mast section below it.
    On the main mast you already did it, but you can also do it on the foremast and the bowsprit.
  • And on most ships the stern is protruding a bit more (instead of less) than the rudder. I think it would look better like this:
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This may seem like a lot of criticism, but in fact there are only 3 small points. Outside of those I think your ship looks very good.
So keep it up :thumbup:
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#5 Imperial Shipyards

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:11 PM

Yes! 100% Lego; 0% LDD! Thanks a lot, kurigan!

I would suggest using a ifferent technique for the masts, for example technique connectors for the upper section like Admiral Croissant and myself did.
Also your bow is narrowing far to quickly; it should be much wider.
Of course some haedrails and a proper stern with windows and ornaments would be nice too!

But you're doing a good job here, with real Lego!  :thumbup:

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#6 kurigan

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 09:38 PM

Perectionest:
Firstly I’ll thank you to keep comments like that to your self. Frankly I despise such an attitude and find your sentiment rude and insulting. Perhaps you should check out darth yogi’s thread, “WIP HMS Valentine “ where I already made my “soap box” speech on the subject.

I find you‘re off base on all points. This is foremost a “proof of concept” experiment in my own style, there would be little point in utilizing other’s methods where I’m trying to prove the validity of my own, wouldn’t you agree? Never mind my fondness for Vesta and Achlle. I have studied carefully over as many examples of period ships that could, from drafts, to models to photographs of surviving and replica vessels. I have no lack of confidence that the shape of my hull is spot on. This is especially so where the limitations of my brick supply is concerned. Simply put, I am making Snake from what I have available, not what may be necessary. As for head rails, they are honestly a ridiculous notion on a vessel of this size, particularly as it has no head. Something more decorative and period appropriate will be done with the prow to be sure, but head rails, no. The same goes for a sweeping stern gallery. This is simply too small and simple of a vessel for such luxuries.

Croissant:
As stated before, I’m working with what I have, If I had enough center stud plates to make the half steps you describe, it might smooth the hull out some, but since I do not, I’m fine with her as is
As for the stern I take your point but alas I haven’t the pieces I’d like to use to create such an effect, so again she is what she is. I did scrounge up two more inverted roof pieces to bring the over hang out to the edges and it looks better, but still not quite.

To anyone else observing, please keep in mind this isn’t a great man-of-war. Snake is a tiny privateer, likely made from a merchant vessel. She wouldn’t have room for great guns, large internal space or even a proper head. A small snow brig of this type would be cramped and would likely toss about like a cork on even a light swell, but she’d be fast and sail close to the wind. She’s not on the high seas to make war, yardarm to yardarm, exchanging broad sides with frigates and ships of the line. She’s a Pirate, sticking close to shipping lanes, blending in with merchant traffic till she luffs up and bears down on her unsuspecting prey, clearing the decks with carronades and small arms fire.

I haven’t much progress to show this week, I’m not entirely satisfied with any thing I changed, or added. I haven’t the cones I wanted to make the quarterdeck rail, hence the gray place holders, nor is the gun wall anything but awkward. The prow is still just thrown together, still haven’t decided on a design there. The only thing I really have decided on was to use a windlass on the focsle rather that a capstan amid ship, to save on space. Yes this is a totally regular thing for a vessel of this size and period, that being of the very late 18th to early 19th century. Capstans were typically made of heavy metals and or wood, and were anchored down through the decks, adding a great deal to the vessel’s burden. Use of a wooden windlass like this would save on weight and deck space, good for a privateer that needs to move quickly. As it stands, I either need to decide between a good hull and terrible yards, or breaking down and ordering bricks. If I add to the gun wall as I think needs to be I doubt I’ll have enough materials to assemble the rest of the rigging. For the moment I think I’ll concentrate on finishing up the lower portions of Snake and consider cannibalizing parts from other projects later.

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#7 Aalak

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 10:18 PM

View Postkurigan, on 29 March 2011 - 09:38 PM, said:

To anyone else observing, please keep in mind this isn’t a great man-of-war. Snake is a tiny privateer, likely made from a merchant vessel.

I like what you did with the parts available to you ... just a suggestion for the masts, since your ship already reminded me of the Baltimore Clippers, why didn't you try something like that ...

Put the masts on Posted Image and Posted Image and put a plate in between for hinge-parts for the right angle. to stablize is, try to build a small "guardrail" around, something like that:

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(picture by Phred)

Don't know how this "guardrail" is actually called, since I'm a nautic analphabet...

I tried the same construction today for the "The Caribbean Queen" and it does work great... but since my handycam makes blurry pictures too, you would only see black  :pir-wink:

So, hope I could help with a constructed feedback  :pir-laugh:

Edited by Aalak, 29 March 2011 - 10:18 PM.


#8 kurigan

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:04 AM

I finally got some time to work on Snake. I started by shoring up her hull and finishing off the railing/gun wall.  I also placed her guns and then set her lower masts and bow sprit, while starting on her standing rigging.

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#9 Bart

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:17 AM

that 'guard rail'
is called a 'fife rails'
that is when its situated on deck like in that picture
when its connected to the bulwark  i.e. the ships side
its called a 'pin rail'

so far the showing-of of my nautical vocabulary

I think your ship looks good, it looks like you know what you want.
I'm looking forward to see it develop.

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#10 kurigan

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 07:01 AM

I find myself painfully ignorant as to the hierarchy here, so I find I must address this request to whom it may concern. The title of this topic is a mistake, that’s I’ve lamented this many months. It should be “Snake” instead of “Spider”, the latter being a LDD MOC of mine, very similar to Snake. I do apologize for my informality, and greatly appreciate assistance in this matter. This post may also be deleted outright, if the title gets changed.
Thank You

#11 kurigan

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 07:30 AM

With the inclement weather plaguing my area as of late, I’ve had a lot of time indoors to fill, so I’ve gotten quite a bit done on Snake. I’m not entirely happy with all I have so far though. Her standing rigging is about done, but I can’t seem to get it quite right. Tension and counter tension is giving me a great deal of trouble. As can be seen in the picture, for instance, the foremast back stays slacken and sag once the main mast is secured in place. I’m seeking advice on better techniques, than my own rudimentary approach. Perhaps my approach is too simple, but this is perhaps where my nautical knowledge is weakest. I’m unsure about the width of her yards as well. Without canvas they seem a bit to narrow, but I’ll have to just see how best she looks with some quick paper templates later. I’ll appreciate any constructive, input.

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More Pictures of Snake in my Photobucket album


I’ve almost built the entire model from what I have on hand, much scavenged from other builds. I have two bricks I just can’t find one more of and regret I may have to buckle down and just order them :pir-sceptic: . In both cases the offending components occur on the starboard side. One is the all too obvious stern window in gray, the other a white 1X1 brick with side studs on all four sides, the hub on one that side of the windlass.

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Edited by kurigan, 31 July 2011 - 07:04 AM.


#12 cb4

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:33 AM

I think you're doing a great job with a limited parts selection. When I look at the long shot of the model I immediately think small sloop, and all the proportions seem just right. I especially like the fact that she has a considerable beam. I shudder when I think about the metacentric height of the first ship I built.

View Postkurigan, on 30 July 2011 - 07:30 AM, said:

Tension and counter tension is giving me a great deal of trouble. As can be seen in the picture, for instance, the foremast back stays slacken and sag once the main mast is secured in place. I’m seeking advice on better techniques, than my own rudimentary approach. Perhaps my approach is too simple, but this is perhaps where my nautical knowledge is weakest. I’m unsure about the width of her yards as well. Without canvas they seem a bit to narrow, but I’ll have to just see how best she looks with some quick paper templates later. I’ll appreciate any constructive, input.

I never put any foremast backstays on my little schooner, only shrouds. I just ran a stay from the top of the foremast to the top of the mainmast, and then set up a pair of running backstays for the mainmast that I could adjust by wrapping them around railing supports. I'm not sure if it's historically accurate or anything like that, but it meant that I could tighten up the whole rig just with the running backstays. I found that there wasn't much point in trying to get it really drum tight, but just to get the slackness out. In any event, it seems like you need one set of stays or the other to be adjustable without retying knots, otherwise it's like herding cats.

#13 Captain Blackmoor

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 09:47 AM

Would you please resize your pictures to a maximum of 800x600? A link to a tutorial how to resize pictures is in my signature.
Already thanks. :pir-wink:

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#14 qwarek7

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 10:47 AM

Very good job kurigan! Besides your new WIP I only knew your LDD-ships and now I find this one. I really like it. Very good colours and all-in-all also a nice shape.But I agree with Admiral Crossaint on the hull shape. The widest part is a little too short or too outstanding. You made this on your LDD-ships too. On this ship it doesnt bother me cause it´s overall impression is just right and very nice. But on the larger ships you made the shape of the hull curve becomes to sharp.
But anyway, you made a real nice ship with extraordanary details for it´s relatively small size. Also the rigging looks beautifull. I´d love to see your first seabattle between this and your new one

P.S.: I really like your attitude on building. You build for fun and don´t care for people who wanna make Lego-building a stupid competetion.

#15 kurigan

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:46 AM

I was never satisfied with the windlass on Snake, as stated in my previous post. I decided to tear the old one out and completely rebuild since the one on Narthex went so well. The result looks and works a lot better. The greater diameter will make cranking it easier and more effective. There are also more strokes since there are four slots for bars in each hub. The hubs are 45 degrees off so there is potential for 8 different positions rather than just 4. Though I haven’t devised a way to make “cats paws” to lock the axel from unwinding at this scale, the device will work to hoist a cable.

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#16 Bart

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:24 AM

I like your new windlass, great idea to use the barrel to make the hub's offset to each other.
only I think the spears are to long. Regular sticks don't fit in the slots?
catpaws on this scale might even be impossible..

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#17 kurigan

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 03:05 AM

I agree the spears look terrible, but for the sake of the photo they fit. Because the holes are made by matching up two bottoms, there’s no standard Lego piece that fits. Light saber blades are too small and plates and technic axles are too big. I may actually carve some bars from balsa wood in time.



#18 kurigan

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

I’d like to show some updates to Snake. Though I was keeping her under wraps till I had her rigging squared away, I’m breaking the curtain as I’ve made some significant changes to her hull, which some may find interesting.

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Firstly I found the pieces I needed to improve her astern. Using hinged bricks to set the rear most wall on an angle, rather than relying on inverted roof tiles as before. There is still a hitch where the red stripe breaks at the railing, but the overall effect is a definite improvement and I’m sure the Admiral will be pleased.

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At the head, I reworked the prow to be more accurately shaped and sized for this vessel and decided to try out some head rails. I vehemently disagreed with Perfectionist on this point before, but after studying a lot more models and drawing of ships of this type I’ve changed my mind. Though there is still too little space for a head with a convenient seat of ease, it seems it was quite fashionable for vessels of this size to wear head rails as decoration as well as false stern galleries. I suppose they were compensating, trying to make their vessels look larger, like ships.

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Please don’t mind all the stray rope ends, much of the rigging is only belayed in place and the strings have been left long until I’m certain of these placement.

As always, more pictures on my photobucket, linked in my signature.

Edited by kurigan, 26 January 2012 - 10:36 PM.


#19 Foremast Jack

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:39 PM

Thanks for the update.

This is the first time I've actually read through this whole thread and I noticed your completely understandable concern with the slackness in your back-stays. Obviously to solve the problem you need to lay some canvas aloft and let her fill. That should straighten it out straight way. :wink: In seriousness though I should think that if you wait to tie the stays in last that you wouldn't need worry about anything else pulling the masts so as to slacken them.

I did have a question about your bowsprit. I've seen ships use the 1x1's, 2x2's (as you have in essence) and the pre-fab pieces. I currently have the pre-fab's on a WIP of mine but I absolutely hate the variously ill-placed protrusions they have for attaching yards when used as a nominal mast. Whilst I hate this one aspect, I find the starting diameter and taper to be just right for the proportions of my ship. I'm inclined to use 1x1's but since they are employed in the yard-arms it doesn't seem right to use something of the same size for the bowsprit. I was curious if you had any apprehension using 2x2 sized pieces for yours? Seeing how she's a smaller sized boat and your current design looks a bit too bulky, to my eyes.
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#20 Admiral Croissant

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:00 AM

I'm certainly pleased with this new stern! And the rigging looks great too!
I think this is going to be a very accurate model once finished.
Perhaps a bit strange that the side window is bigger than the stern windows, but outside of that it's :thumbup:
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#21 Sebeus I

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

Nicely done, good job on the rigging, I think the costum hull is a bit blocky where it gets thinner but looking at the whole ship it looks pretty good , nice stern  :pir-sweet:
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#22 kurigan

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:16 PM

Having figured what little fervor my projects generate had once again faded, I let the thread dye off forgetting your question, Foremast Jack; apologies. On Snake I used a combination of 2X2 rounds and barrels as they are the bricks of which I had enough. At the time I was quite proud of myself, thinking them a rather clever solution. I have something of a distaste for many of the pre-fab pieces, the black masts being no exception. Though their taper is certainly more like a real wooden mast, they fail me in my efforts to make accurate models of varying sizes. As you state, the protrusions are often incorrectly placed as well, their solid construction limits the overall height of the full mast to some increment of whole sections. Such is the case without the often awkward inclusion of other bricks. I also find that they tend to be on the slender side for square rigged vessels of this size or larger. Though the 2X2 may seem a slight bit too thick, they are still closer to the real thing than the too thin pre-fab pieces. I do not find the lower portion of the bow sprit to be any great detractor, no more than the masts since tapering simply isn’t an option with these bricks. To my eye the difference in thickness between the 1X1 upper portion and the 2X2 lower portion, tricks the eye to some small degree if the audience isn’t studying too intensely. This is the case, as on much of the model, where compromise needed to be struck between method and available components. Being near-sighted I figure, if I see the intended shapes with my glasses off (the digital effect of the bricks being blurred) then I’ve done a good job recreating the aspects of the vessel in such conditions. It is a marvelous thing, what others achieve with more options, making smooth, evenly curved structures. To be sure I would greatly enjoy such luxury, and am certain I wouldn’t fail to take full advantage if it ever became available. I forge on, however, with what I have making compromises and striving to add as much accuracy and detail to my models as I can.



On a somewhat simpler note, the windows are just what they are, Admiral. If I had more of the same type I might consider putting bigger windows on the stern but I don’t even have two of the same color, as is. I avoid photographing the starboard side as the grey widow frame on that side is like a pimple of the ships face. I’ve looked for the piece on brick link but haven’t found a seller without a minimum purchase or enough bricks I actually need/want in their inventory to meet the minimum, in order to get one. I’d just as well go without any windows on the back, save that it looks a little strange and it seems that these would still be useful if not as gun ports then as access to the rudder. In time I may find another solution, but for the moment, I’m going to back up to her rigging and forgetting the windows.



This entire project has been a learning experience for me and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I came into it thinking I knew a lot and expecting to throw an awesome vessel together, only to find how little I did and the vastness of what there was to still learn. Both in terms of ship modeling and Lego building, each new step leads me on path of discovery. Snake and my other ships may not seem the most amazing or fascistic vessels out here, but to me she’s priceless and dear. Thanks to all who have participated and commented on my thread so far.




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