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The Pickle: Now under sail


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39 replies to this topic  – Started by Dread Pirate Wesley , Apr 04 2011 03:26 AM

#1 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:26 AM

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Allow me to present my latest creation, HMS Pickle.  Pickle was a topsail schooner of 8 guns who has the honor of being the smallest ship present at the Battle of Trafalgar.  She was also the first ship to bring news of the victory at Trafalgar (and Nelson's death) to England on November 4th, 1805, 14 days after the battle.

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This is my first attempt at a historical ship.  The inspiration came from one of my favorite Caldercraft wooden kits so I decided to build my own version out of Lego borrowing some details from various other interpretations.  Although the ship is well known and represented in the art community, there is surprisingly little information available about her.  I sketched out some of the details I wanted, most important of which were raked sails and a sloping, non-digital deck and stern.

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I also wanted to incorporate many techniques I had been experimenting with, including using only one prefab bow piece.  The overall shape came out quite nice and I really enjoyed figuring how to get this little ship to look as accurate as possible.

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The raked masts were tricky, but by connecting them near the top by a rigid 3mm tube and hinges at the bottom the angle was fairly easy to adjust.

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I've always wondered why she was named Pickle, but Ive grown quite fond of her despite the odd name.

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She would have had a complement of around 40, here the crew are preparing for action against a Caribbean privateer.

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And finally, a scene from the aftermath of Trafalgar.  Pickle rescued 200 French crew from the burning Achille before she exploded.  Please excuse the terrible attempt at photoshopping  :pir-blush:

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She is still a WIP, so comments and criticisms are most welcomed.  The ratlines will be refined a bit more, and sails will be added once I finish refitting the Praetorian, but the hull and masts are mostly finilized.  More shots on Flickr and Brickshelf Thanks for looking!

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Persephone                           The Pickle


#2 Brick Tamland

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:02 AM

Great job!  You really captured the look of the real thing.  Can't wait to see it completed with sails.

#3 JopieK

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:18 AM

No, that is not a pickle, it's a cucumber :p and a nice one too!

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#4 Aalak

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:11 PM

Great work you've done so far! I love the colorsheme on deck, the red is great. The way you combined the winch for the ancor with the bowsprit! nice work there!!!

ok what is missing... first of all, the boom on the first mast  :pir-cry_happy:  you need it for the sail.

You could also add another anchor! But  in the end she is a beauty aready!

#5 Admiral Croissant

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:33 PM

Beautiful ship!
Go to Classic-Pirates.com

It looks very smooth and professional. The colours are nice and it has the right proportions.
I especially like the red deck details and the windlass. The drawing is also quite nice.
My only small idea for improvement is to place the brown sticks on the sides (where the white ropes are attached to) just above the black line instead of beneath it. Outside of that it looks good.
Are you going to add sails? Would look great too.

By the way, wikipedia says she resqued 200 men at Trafalgar. Must have been quite crowded! Well..perhaps they were brought to other ships.
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#6 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:15 PM

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From Aalak: ok what is missing... first of all, the boom on the first mast   you need it for the sail.

Actually, it is not needed.  As you see from my original sketch I had intended to make one, but it looked quite short to fit between the two masts.  After more research I found that 2 masted schooners actually did this quite often, perhaps the best example is La Recouvrance:

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Since she is gaff rigged, most of the work is done from the top of the sail.  I admit it seemed strange to me at first too but it will make more sense once she has sails I assure you!

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Persephone                           The Pickle


#7 Capt.JohnPaul

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:50 PM

What a beauty! You have done an excellent job. The curve at the back is really cool and I like the stern. Do you mind if I steal borrow the design?  :pir-blush:

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#8 Captain Becker

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:58 PM

Lovely vessel, the mast are looking great, and the colours are very nicely chosen. I also like the brickbuild hull over there. Only things wich i would change is to fill those two big holes at the back of the ship, IMO it looks a bit weird. Also there are a bit too much gunports, and the cannons looks a bit small. If possible, use normal Lego cannons whit out the wheels. And may i ask you what rope you used on the anchor rope? Looks very good IMO and realitic. Great work whit this beaty :pir-wub:

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#9 Bart

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:04 PM

that's really a nice ship, it has great looks,
but I've got to agree with Captain Becker that the canons look a bit small compared to the gun ports

Bart

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#10 Aalak

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 01:21 AM

View PostDread Pirate Wesley, on 04 April 2011 - 01:15 PM, said:

Actually, it is not needed.  As you see from my original sketch I had intended to make one, but it looked quite short to fit between the two masts.  After more research I found that 2 masted schooners actually did this quite often, perhaps the best example is La Recouvrance:

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Since she is gaff rigged, most of the work is done from the top of the sail.  I admit it seemed strange to me at first too but it will make more sense once she has sails I assure you!

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Ok, thanks for the education - I'm still a nautic rookie :pir_laugh2:, but I'm learning a lot lately. Didn't now that one until now, my suggestion came from this picture of the HMS Pickle Replica from Wikipedia. As I worked on the Caribbean Queen I used a lot of pictures for references of the rigging and yards (The Pikle as well as the Baltimore Clippers...) and all got the boom, too... So I didn't know that It could work without it.

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But I'm allways open for feedback!
There you can see the boom ...

#11 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 01:48 AM

Yup you're right Aalak! Some have it some don't.  I didn't use the replica Pickle for inspiration very much since it doesnt really seem to fit the specifications of a ship of that period.  There are no actual plans for the real Pickle, nor even a correct displacement, so everything is a guess.  My chief inspirations were the Caldercraft kit here:

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And Geoff Hunt's fantastic paintings which both represent a more accurate and period correct version to me, both sporting only the gaff on the foremast and no boom:

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EDIT: it's kind of hard to tell in that painting, but in the full version the gaff is being lowered, or perhaps raised into position.

If anyone knows why they would prefer one rig over the other Id be interested to know.  I always guessed it was easier to pull the sail out of the way when heading into an engagement, no boom in the way, but that's mainly an assumption.

As to the cannon I agree with Captain Becker, they do seem small.  I have mixed information on the armament, but most seem to concur on 6 x 12 pounder carronades, though others say 8 x 6 pound cannon.  I went with the cannon since Im still struggling with developing a small accurate carronade.  Standard Lego cannon though takes up almost the entire ship so it looked a bit ridiculous.  Something in between is what Im trying to develop while still having room on the deck.

Thanks for the comments everyone! Always appreciated  :pir-grin:

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Edited by Dread Pirate Wesley, 05 April 2011 - 01:52 AM.

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Persephone                           The Pickle


#12 Bart

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:21 AM

View PostDread Pirate Wesley, on 05 April 2011 - 01:48 AM, said:

If anyone knows why they would prefer one rig over the other Id be interested to know.  I always guessed it was easier to pull the sail out of the way when heading into an engagement, no boom in the way, but that's mainly an assumption.

there are multiple reasons why there wouldn't be a boom there
1 - there is no boom there for safety reasons, this way the boom cannot hit people from the deck, when the sails would jibe when turning head in the wind.
2 - there is no boom to accommodate a bigger sail, the bottom part of the sail is longer then the space between the masts, when there would be a boom this would make it impossible to change tack. the same way as modern yachts use a Genoa instead of a jib.
3 - there is no boom in that position to keep an easy passage in to the cargo hold.

Bart

Edited by Bart, 05 April 2011 - 08:22 AM.

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#13 Aalak

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:47 AM

View PostBart, on 05 April 2011 - 08:21 AM, said:

there are multiple reasons why there wouldn't be a boom there
1 - there is no boom there for safety reasons, this way the boom cannot hit people from the deck, when the sails would jibe when turning head in the wind.
2 - there is no boom to accommodate a bigger sail, the bottom part of the sail is longer then the space between the masts, when there would be a boom this would make it impossible to change tack. the same way as modern yachts use a Genoa instead of a jib.
3 - there is no boom in that position to keep an easy passage in to the cargo hold.

Bart

@Bart That makes a lot of sence :D As I said I don't know that much about sailing, never got my sealegs ...


About the size of the canons, and the gunports. I understand what you where saying but I don't think that there are much ways to improve it, without using SNOT to make them smaller in width. But that would change the clear look of the hull, too. But you could add one or two more tan plates one under the tile and one above, under the black line. I don't think that the canons are to small in size for 8 pounders [if we believe that the "standard" lego cannon has a caliber of 12 to 16 pounds. (I allways imagine them as 16 pounders)], even if they could also work as swivel guns if you mount them on the railing of larger ships. I personally would change the cones at the end to round bricks.

#14 Big Cam

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 03:05 AM

Awesome ship, I really like the rigging and the white rope in the front for the anchor.

It looks like a picture perfect example of the drawing.

#15 Dan the Brickman

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:59 PM

Had to stop by and say this is cool. I laughed at the name at first, but its cool that it was an actual ship!  :pir_laugh2:

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#16 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 01:54 AM

Thanks for the blog Admiral Croissant!  And thanks to everyone else for the comments.  I've been playing around with cannon designs to find something a little more suitable for this ship based on some suggestions.  For a 12 pounder carronade, which is quite small in real life, I came up with this design (looks simple but took me a while to think of it!):
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It is actually shorter than the current cannon, which to me represents smaller cannon in the 4-6 pound range.  I also tried a more conventional looking carriaged 8 pounder cannon which turned out to be a little too long, especially in the narrow part of the sloped deck.  Here are some shots for comparison of size, you can see all three cannon types:
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Here's a shot from the starboard side.  I also tried closing up the gun ports to make them seem smaller.  Personally I like the original looks better but thats probably because Ive been working on it for so long:
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More comparisons on Flickr and Brickshelf Let me know what you think!

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Persephone                           The Pickle


#17 Bart

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:18 AM

Well I have to say your carronade design is just genius.
about the canons, yeah you got a problem there, with space ... difficult ...
and the gun ports, yes the old ones will look better, maybe you could replace the cones with a normal round brick.

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#18 Bonaparte

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:40 AM

Wow, what an amazing ship  :pir-wub:

I love to see all the frigates and ships-of-the-line that people are making, but it's nice to also see a 'smaller' vessel like your schooner.

The shape and colors look fantastic, simply a masterpiece  :thumbup:

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#19 Aalak

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 01:18 PM

Wow, the caronade has a nice design! :pir-wub:  All 3 guns could work, :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:    (even if the standard version is a bit to big for the narrower parts of the deck.=

I'm with Bart on the new gun ports, even If I suggested it - the old ones look better! But your choice. It's nice to see you still try to modify her!

#20 Dread_Privateer_Roberts

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 05:59 AM

Thats a great ship!  And great screename btw...   :pir-wink:

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#21 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:05 PM

Thanks for the compliments again!  I think I will outfit her with carronades as this seems to be correct for a schooner of this period rather than small cannon.  I dont think a ship is ever truly finished.  Ive been working on my frigate Praetorian for almost 2 years now and a ship-of-the-line project for about 6 months and still think of new ways to improve them.  Thats the beauty of Lego, easy to tinker! Ive begun working on the sails this weekend:

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My first time doing sails so we will see how they turn out!  Stay tuned  :pir-classic:

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#22 Horry

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:27 PM

I really admire your understanding of how to translate the forms into Lego (especially with the guns). I'd be really interested to see a bomb vessel equipped with a mortar made by you - the Pickle might be just the right template for that kind of ship.
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#23 Captain Blackmoor

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:16 PM

A magnificient and inspiring build! There are a lot of smart new things in here. The hull looks great, the colours are realistic and on top of that you're planning to place custom sails on her. Tops! :thumbup:

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#24 Lord Brick

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:29 PM

This Is the most beautiful small ship I've ever seen! I have lots a huge ships, but not a lot of small ones. This certainly is the case where "cute" cannot be avoided. Great Job!
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#25 Nightshroud99

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:42 AM

Nice job!

But I have to wonder why anyone would name a ship "The Pickle"  :pir-tongue:
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