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MOC - LOTR The Corsairs of Umbar

ship boat LOTR Middle Earth Tolkien

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#1 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

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Umbar was once the chief southern port of Gondor, but after the fall of Numenor and ages of strife, Umbar became an independent rival state under the control of the Haradrim.

The Corsairs of Umbar were nominally privateers, though their fleet included more than 50 capital warships, more interested in destroying Gondorian vessels to exert dominance than raiding them for the sake of simple profit.

I've been meaning to do a ship for some time now, and I've also been on a bit of a LOTR kick of late, so the Corsairs of Umbar seemed like a good way to kill two birds with one brick.

I debated for some time as to what the ship should look like.  The Peter Jackson film envisioned a boat with strong eastern influences, like a junk or a dhow but I know many history buff and fans of the books who firmly avow that the ships are clearly dromonds while still others avidly argue in favor of caravels.  After much internal debate, it suddenly dawned on me that, while Tolkien's work was clearly informed by history, it was in no way constrained by it and that, rather than trying to cram an accurate model of an historical ship into Middle Earth, I should just build something with lanteen sails (the only feature all the candidate ships and the text itself had in common)that looked both cool and intimidating.

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Hopefully it's pretty clear that this is a warship, long keel, narrow beam,  battering ram just below the waterline; why even pretend to be a cargo ship?

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I was really going for something that looked like it could slice through a ships hull as easily as it cut through the waves. The raised afterdeck is so the helmsman can line up a clean shot over the heads of raiders waiting to board the enemy vessel.

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The top of the ram's base is just visible above the waterline on the bow.

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A bank of oars (11 per side) helps to put on the extra head of steam for ramming speed (and backing away afterwards)

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The elevated stern affords a commanding view of the surroundings.


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The rigging (or entire lack thereof) could use some work, but overall I'm happy with how things came out.

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Happy sailing....


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#2 soccerkid6

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

Impressive ship! The only thing that bothers me is the wheel you used, other than that great work :thumbup:
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#3 TheLegoDr

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:16 PM

Brilliant MOC. I love how you envisioned this. I won't pretend to know a lot about ships, but this one looks good. I'm sure TLG would release something different though, but this wasn't meant to be an official model anyway :wink: . Keep up the good work!
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#4 Brickington

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

Great ship, but I think it would be better if it was a mini-fig scale.

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#5 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:18 AM

View PostCommander Law, on 08 December 2012 - 09:19 PM, said:

Great ship, but I think it would be better if it was a mini-fig scale.

I'd like to do one at mini-fig scale, right now she's about half that.  She's 53 studs long overall (39 at the waterline) which makes her about comparable to the Black Pearl (give or take a bowsprit) but not nearly so "tubby"    Rebuilding her to minigifure scale would double the length and the beam and use roughly four times as many bricks.  I'm not opposed to that idea (I rather enjoy big builds) I'm just running a little low on black and dark bley parts at the moment so I had to scale things to match parts on hand.


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#6 ZCerberus

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:19 PM

LEGO pirate ships aren't anywhere near minifig scale, so I wouldn't stress about that.

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#7 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

View PostZCerberus, on 11 December 2012 - 02:19 PM, said:

LEGO pirate ships aren't anywhere near minifig scale, so I wouldn't stress about that.

Even at "minifigure scale' official LEGO offerings tend to skimp a bit on the whole 'true to life' proportions.  For example the real USS Constitution has a beam of 43ft and length of 175ft at the waterline.  Assuming that an average minifigure would be about 6 ft tall in real life that means that a 'scale' model for Constitution should be 160 studs long at the waterline and 40 studs wide.  Queen Anne's Revenge (historically a renamed Firgate, The Concorde, of a very similar size and layout to Constitution) as rendered in LEGO is nowhere near this.  Not only is she scaled down, she's disproportionately skewed at less than 1/3 the length but only about 1/2 the beam, making it a lot more "tubby" than the real ship would have been.

If I were to make a scale version that could fit minifigures without looking ridiculous (as they would on this current model), the engineer in me would force me to keep the proportions (which, of course would translate into a LOT of parts - more than I have at the moment)


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#8 Rogue Angel

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

You've done a beautiful job with this ship!  I really like the lines of the aft deck, and the ship as a whole is very smooth and realistic in appearance.  Great MOC!

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#9 yys4u

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

Awesome ship! What did you use for the sails? Are those black pearl sails our did you custom make them?

#10 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

View Postyys4u, on 15 December 2012 - 09:20 PM, said:

Awesome ship! What did you use for the sails? Are those black pearl sails our did you custom make them?

Thanks.  The sails are custom.  I tried using the headsail from the Black Pearl but it was too small for anything but the smaller sail on the mizzenmast (the one by the stern).  In the end, I settled on using two plies of heavy weight construction paper, laminated together with rubber cement.  Fabric sails would be nicer, but shy of cutting up a T-Shirt, I decided to go with the materials I had on hand.


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#11 Balthazar

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

Excellent designed ship! Very good work, I haven't seen so good Umbars ship!

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#12 Propicz89

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 10:05 PM

Great work, very good in terms of likeness to the movie!





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