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A New Schooner Raven


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14 replies to this topic  – Started by kurigan , Feb 22 2012 09:38 PM

#1 kurigan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:38 PM

Update 7/8/12: to skip straight to the update click here.

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Original post:
Since the loss of Hawk I’ve started a new project to replace her: Raven a schooner. I’ve implemented an entirely new technique to simulate tumble home on this hull. I took the idea from the CGH method, but having only a few hinge pieces in assorted colors I needed to hide them with in the structure. Being a brick built hull she also needed a lot of bracing and internal structure which ruins any chance of a below deck. I also used center stud 1 X 2 plates to “half step” the hull sections, giving her a slightly smoother ventral profile. There is still much to do on her, but I’m so pleased with her progress thus far I wanted to share.

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Her color scheme is my own, it represents a fictions priveteering company in a grander story line I’ve been developing through my MOCs

Edited by kurigan, 08 July 2012 - 07:55 AM.


#2 SirSven7

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:23 PM

its looking good so far, I'm not the biggest fan of grey for a mast but I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

I do however love the colour scheme on the hull :thumbup:
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#3 Frank Brick Wright

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

I must say I think you did great progress in this ship from the last ones. The half stud between the hull sections surely gives her a less blocky look.

Now there are of course some thing to be worked on. While the stern is great the prow needs extensive work. I think the design you are there using looks too straight and blocky — I would go for slopes, curved or not. Also I would extend the prow curve to approach the bowsprit, I think it is too horizontal now. IMO while the cannon design is fantastically detailed although I think the cannons are way too small. Also the pins you used to simulate cannons in the lower deck (they are cannons, aren't they?) need some spacing between them. It would have been virtually impossible to place three cannons in such a small space.

It is nice to see that you recovered enthusiasm from the catastrophe! Keep working, you have a promising vessel here Posted Image

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#4 kurigan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:40 PM

View PostFrank Brick Wright, on 22 February 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

I must say I think you did great progress in this ship from the last ones. The half stud between the hull sections surely gives her a less blocky look.

Now there are of course some thing to be worked on. While the stern is great the prow needs extensive work. I think the design you are there using looks too straight and blocky — I would go for slopes, curved or not. Also I would extend the prow curve to approach the bowsprit, I think it is too horizontal now. IMO while the cannon design is fantastically detailed although I think the cannons are way too small. Also the pins you used to simulate cannons in the lower deck (they are cannons, aren't they?) need some spacing between them. It would have been virtually impossible to place three cannons in such a small space.

It is nice to see that you recovered enthusiasm from the catastrophe! Keep working, you have a promising vessel here Posted Image

Nothing on her is permanent, nothing; she is still in the prototype phase. The masts, bow sprit and even the prow are just place holders ATM. the guns are meant to be so small, she's not a man of war, those are maybe 3 or 4 ponders. They serve as nothing but a precaution, her first weapon of defense will be speed. Those are not cannon on the lower deck; those are where the chains connect through the hull to the chain plate and will extend up to the channels to anchor the shrouds.



#5 Foremast Jack

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:17 AM

I think she looks great so far, for the most part.

I think the cannon carriages could use some love. I think I'd like to see something a tad more elaborate.

I also feel the masts are a bit too large in diameter for this size of ship. However, since 1x1 would probably be too small, I guess 2x2 is the better route to take.

My favourite part has to be the little windlass. I love it! :grin:

Keep up the good work. :thumbup:
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#6 Hiawatha

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:22 AM

I think this is looking good so far and it will turn out amazing. :pir-sweet:

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#7 kurigan

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:50 AM

Though some of it may seem a bit subtle, I’ve made a lot of progress on Raven and want to share.


What’s new?

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For one some more bracing was added below deck when weak points were discovered as I replaced her old all black deck with gray. I know gray is not a favored color for decking around here, but I much prefer it to black and find that only new or well kept decks appear tan or brown. Since Raven isn’t likely to be a very “spit and polish” kind of ship, let’s just say her decks could use a good holystoning.

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The stern has also been completely redone. The old transom hung on hinges to give its characteristic lean out over the water, but this method left an unsightly gap on the sides. The hinges also took up space where I wanted to run a rudder till through in order to string it to the wheel. The new transom fits a lot better without the gap and is wedged in place. The till now runs through the hull and should operate just like the real thing save that the string I used is to slick and won’t grab on the spindle. I’ll revisit this in the future, but for now the ship’s wheel just spins without pulling on the till.

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I abandoned the old technic peg concept for the chain plate and went with what you see now. I’m not as fond of the look, but the old concept just wouldn’t work. As the rigging on this vessel is intended to function as the real thing would, the chains are important. More than that, these chains hold down more than just the shrouds. If the chains were not in place the sides where the shrouds are connected to the channels would collapse inwards with tension on the shrouds.

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The gray and red masts are gone and I’ve opted for white. I was very impressed with Constellation when I visited. I very much liked how clean the white paint on her masts made everything look and because of the contrast of black rigging on the white I was able to see a lot of detail in the rigging plan. I actually learned a lot from my photos of her, that was previously unclear form drafts, drawings and models.

The standing rigging for the lower masts is about complete.


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Connecting the shrouds to the chains are functional dead eyes made from car wheels. They are a little tedious to string but the end result is fantastic. First as Hawk and now as Raven, this project was started as an experiment to solve a lot of the problem I ran into on Snake, such as tension and counter tension in the rigging. Using these car wheel dead eyes has proven to work remarkable well. Using a pair of tweezers I was able to snug up the shrouds without any trouble.

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I also used small technic gears like bull’s eyes or blocks where I didn’t have room for more dead eyes.


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The shrouds do not run around the lower mast, as they should. I did have a plan in place to install them in such a manner, but for the sake of scale and simplicity I decided to pass them through a gap in the lower mast above the cross trees. To have done it right I would have needed to simulate the gap that tends to occur between joined masts on real ships. For future vessels I’ll likely revisit this, but on raven this method works well and looks very clean.

She’s not even half way done, and there is a lot more to figure out once I complete her standing rigging, but I’m still rather proud. I hope to post an update with all her standing and running rigging complete very soon. As always more images on my Photobucket

Edit: You may note that there are some rather unconventional methods put to use on this build. For one the car wheel dead eyes are, as far as I know, my own innovation, and though anyone should feel free to adopt them I would appreciate due credit. The lower masts are in fact wrapped in tape as are a portion of the bow sprit and the transom. On the masts this is simply compensation for a lacking of bricks in any one color as to accomplish the construction with the proper effect. The tape is a temporary measure until I can acquire enough white cylinders to replace the rainbow hidden underneath. On the transom, I found that I would need a brick made with two different colors to accomplish what I wanted to do there. The windows on the stern although of Lego origins are not attached according to that system, but rather are simply adhered to the side of the bricks. I tried many different configurations but found no other way to have windows that don’t look ridiculous and fill the gaps on the sides at the same time. As a policy I refuse to reject non-Lego solutions to problems where the system fails. There were no windows that fit properly, so I went a different route. Note that I do not make these decisions lightly; I’ll only take such measures once I feel all other options at my disposal have been exhausted. If you mean to comment on the project, I’ll thank you to look past these elements.


Edited by kurigan, 08 July 2012 - 09:05 AM.


#8 Dread Pirate Wesley

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:56 PM

Good update Kurigan  :thumbup: Those deadeyes on the shrouds are outstanding!  Really the best Ive seen, I never even thought to be able to string through a car wheel without drilling.  The white color works well with the masts too.  I still think she is a little small though, as a model it looks great but if you add minifigs the deck will fill up pretty quick.  Perhaps that is the intention though!  Either way it's a great looking schooner, looking forward to seeing her completed.

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#9 Frank Brick Wright

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:01 PM

That shrouds Posted Image I can perfectly see why that technique is difficult, it is everything so small… but the work surely compensates, FANTASTIC Posted Image

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A small note: your aft-most mast is quite oblique in comparison to the deck plane, I believe that with sails that angle would tend to be reduced but it won't be totally compensated, IMO it should be more perpendicular

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#10 kurigan

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:59 AM

Simple enough to test, I just grabbed a good old fashioned protractor and my handy-dandy I pad. Rather quickly I found some images of the three most inspirational ships which served as reference for this build and one extra for good measure. Zooming in close and finding the most level point by placing the protractor along the imaginary line between the channels I came up with the following measurements.

Sultana- 80 degrees

Enterprize (Melbourne)- 85 degrees

Pride of Baltimore II- 80 degrees

Calfornian (for good measure)- 85 degrees

I then did the same on Raven, an even easier task what with Legos being inherently square, and found the rake of her main mast to be 85 degrees. No I don’t think it leans back to far at all.

Thanks for the compliments, the dead eyes are indeed handy, but require a very thin cord. I don’t think they’d work on your SoL for instance Wesley. To thread them I have to wick the end of the thread down flat so it will fit the narrow holes. It has to be stiff like a needle as well, otherwise the other lengths block the ends path out and it all just gets jumbled up in side. I use Elmer’s glue to wick and stiffen the thread, making sure I have plenty of slack to trim off later. For cord I use embroidery thread found really cheap at most hobby/ arts and craft stores. Perhaps I should take a moment aside to make a tutorial?


Edited by kurigan, 09 July 2012 - 06:15 AM.


#11 kurigan

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:53 AM

On April 4th, the top sail schooner, Raven suffered a collision with an unknown object, in dirty weather. The impact damaged her hull and dislodged both her masts, bringing all her rigging by the board. Her passengers and much of her crew escaped to safety in the ships long boat with the captain's permission. Captain Michael McBride and two of his mates stayed behind in an attempt to save the ship. With the rudder intact the three men attempted to jury rig a sail to get steerage way on her but to no avail. After listing, half submerged for the better part of the day and night, as the men struggled to salvage what they could, she drifted in to dangerous shoals where a second strike sealed her fate. Mc Bride gave the order to abandon ship. He and his mates climbed into the ships jolly boat, rigged with a single stay sail and shoved off. Shortly after 2am Raven broke up and slipped beneath the waves. No hands were lost though much of her valuable cargo of timbers, fine hats and army uniforms sank with her. Mc Bride and his mates were able to sail the jolly boat to safety. Upon arrival in port Mc Bride was brought before representatives of his employer as well as the town’s magistrate and was acquitted of any wrong doing or negligence. Despite assertions of seeing a large creature in the murk the testimony of his crew assured all parties concerned that the danger was unforeseeable under the conditions and that the actions of Mc Bride and his mates were heroic in the salvation of the crew and attempted preservation of the ship and cargo.

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Ok that was my quaint attempt to hyperbolize the events with in my own story. What really happened is far more mundane. My father was running wire in my basement when he slipped and fell from a ladder. In a way it’s probably fortunate he landed on my ships, as otherwise his decent would have likely have ended on the concrete floor. I had no idea it had happened untill hours later as I was at work. Underneath him were Raven, Snake and Narthex. The damage to Narthex was rather superficial and quickly repaired. Snake, though cherished has been something of a write off for some time as her rigging has never been quite stable (I’ve repaired it countless times) and is slated for reconstruction in the future. Raven took the brunt of the force. Her rigging was smashed and hopelessly tangled. Her hull was broken and smashed in places. Since I had been considering her for reconstruction I decided to turn lemons in to lemonade. I recently started a side project that was to be a prototype for Raven’s reconstruction but ran out of parts. It seemed logical, even serendipitous, to combine the two and skip the prototype. It would mean not having that one more ship for my fleet, but the improvement of an existing one instead. After a few images to record the event I tore raven apart and immediately began incorporating her parts into the new hull.

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The new ship will be a topsail schooner as well but will use my new style of hull building. Below is an image of the new schooner but I will likely start a WIP thread for her when something more substantial is prepared and I’ve a better idea on a name.

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#12 kabel

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

Very interesting to see. Actually I too just started a top sail shooner. It'd be cool if we exchanged ideas!
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#13 Mr. Townsend

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:02 AM

Your new technique is so spectacular Kurigan.  I'm excited to see this, and that dark green looks great.  Its that technique...  It looks sooo good.  It has tumblehome too...

#14 Sebeus I

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:02 AM

Looking good, the technique reminds me of Henrik Hoexbroe but he maintly used it for fishing boats ("modern").
I'd love to see a topsail schooner by your hand with this technique Posted Image .

#15 kurigan

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:46 AM

View PostSebeus I, on 07 April 2014 - 10:02 AM, said:

Looking good, the technique reminds me of Henrik Hoexbroe but he maintly used it for fishing boats ("modern").
I'd love to see a topsail schooner by your hand with this technique Posted Image .

Indeed it is and by intent. I picked up on it when he offered it himself here. The first time I actually saw it was on Cutty Shark but at the time I dismissed it as likely being beyond my scope. When I looked at the the link shared of his fishing boats I realized it was simpler than expected. In fact it pretty much makes use of the most basic of bricks, which is right up my alley. I did a few tests and that lead to Ramcat. I'll assert once again, it's not my innovation, this technique. I've just taken and ran with it. I have made some adjustments to serve my needs but I don't wish to steal credit. Henrik Hoexbroe, as far as I know, was the original innovator of this brilliant technique




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