Legostone

Tutorial: Building Masts

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Hello everyone! As nobody else seems to be interested in making a tutorial for building masts, I'll have to do it myself! If you happen to have more techniques for making masts or just want to thank me for it - off course only after reading the full tutorial - go ahead and either show them or do what you think is necessary!

This topic is just about building the masts, not the ship, ship, sails, sails, sails or the rigging, all those have separate topics. If you feel like there is something missing from this topic just tell me.

Edit 1: Further tricks to stabilise connections between mast sections by Ejred: click here

So, lets start:

Lets begin in the year 1989. The Black Seas Barracuda just got released. It contains some interesting pieces, which I'll show first:

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Some of these parts were released later, but still fit well with these masts. Lets see what one could do with these masts:

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One could simply combine the different Mast sections, or:

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Stack them above each other. Could also be combined with another technique I show later on.

Then there are the new Mast parts - first released with the 4+ Pirate ship which can also be combined with other techniques:

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And, as expected, one can just stack these above each other:

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I'll not show more of these, if anyone wants to show all the possibilities these give you go ahead!

Now, on to parts that are useful to custom Mast building:

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Technic axles. There are also a 16 stud long one and a 32 stud long one, I didn't put those on this picture though.

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Technic bushes. All kinds of them. These can be combined to form the upper part of a mast:

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Just lengthen these sections and put them ontop of your bottom mast part - or use them where ever you see them fit. If you want to reinforce the round ones you can use flex tubes:

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Which are available in many colours and length, but they are, as the name suggests, flexible.

Other parts that can be used for masts are these:

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I'll go into more detail with the 2x2 and 4x4 round ones now, as those are the most interesting ones for the biggest part of the mast.

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One can use a 32 long technic axle to get a decently sized mast going. But what if that isn't enough? Or maybe that is not exactly the length you want? Then the next part might be the solution for you:

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For this example we'll use two sections of 15 2/3 studs height and 3 platforms; this technique can be applied to any sensible size. I recommend at least two platforms to make it sturdy though.

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As you can see a 32 stud long axle is not exactly fitting for this kind of mast - the mast would just break of right above it.

So, you ask, what do we use instead? Flex tubes? Those are both flexible and not exactly cheap to acquire in decent length - and you might even have to cut them. No, we'll use this instead:

25589161883_021ddfa376_c.jpg

You need some round 1x1 plates in a colour that doesn't clash with your existing design, a pair of scissors (which won't be used to cut pieces nor will it be build into the mast), a technic pin, a technic axle of your choice (I'm using an 8 stud long one here, but you can use any length you like and a bit of string with a diameter of around 1mm. Warning! If you use this technique the technic pin and maybe one of the 4x4 round bricks with technic holes might be damaged.

Next you take a bit of string that is a bit longer than your mast:

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I've taken a bit to much here, but rather take to much than to little.

Next, you tie it to the technic pin:

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It just needs to be tied around in a way that the string won't move away if you pull on the string.

Then you just pull it through your mast:

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Note: the technic pin is at the upper end, not connected to anything, just hanging there. Now you put the mast back together and pull the string tight.

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Next we use the technic axle to fix the string at the bottom and also give us a way to mount this mast really securely in our ship. Don't cut off the remains of the string just jet. While pushing the technic axle in, pull a bit on the string.

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Now, the part which might hurt some of you: You have to pull the string (which you just tightened with the axle) around to insert the technic pin into one of the pin holes on the round 4x4 brick with pinholes. Don't losen the technic axle for this, the string is a tiny bit flexible which should still allow this.

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Now that we've done this, it is time to check if this mast is already strong enough for our course:

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Well, this isn't strong enough for me(it might be for some of you - this already takes a bit of force), so lets go on and use some of those round 1x1 plates that I said to have ready:

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You see this gap? That is where you'll place your 1x1 round plates. It doesn't exactly matter if you go side by side or around, just place 4 of them. It should look like this now:

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In my case, this was sturdy enough. If it isn't in your case, just add those plates to the top platform too.

Note: There are alternative solutions to the technic pin; for me it is the easiest solution - especially as both parts at risk are quite cheap.

I've given some examples at how to built the upper mast, but if you feel like adding more examples go for it - I don't know everything about masts either. Also, excuse the bad lighting in some of these pictures - I hope everything is still well visible.

Edited by Legostone

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Very nice design on these mast! This form will come in handy! THANKS! pirate_classic.gif

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Great tutorial. I would also add that after you finish with those great vertical masts, you can make nice (horizontal or xebec-like) masts using those studless technic bricks that are around for some time. Very sturdy.

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Wow! Great tutorial!

One of my problems is I don't have enough matching 2x2 round bricks to make a considerable stack. I have experimented with plates, but maybe you have some more experience in this area?

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Very nice design on these mast! This form will come in handy! THANKS! :pir-classic:

Great it is helpful! Thanks!

The more we learm the more we know. I'm glad you show masts of different years.

Thanks! I'm sure there is more to this, these are just the techniques that I know - if anyone has any more techniques I'll gladly include them or link their post in the first post!

Great tutorial. I would also add that after you finish with those great vertical masts, you can make nice (horizontal or xebec-like) masts using those studless technic bricks that are around for some time. Very sturdy.

I never thought about using those parts for masts, but that sounds interesting for sure! I'll see on the weekend how I can add this to this!

Wow! Great tutorial!

One of my problems is I don't have enough matching 2x2 round bricks to make a considerable stack. I have experimented with plates, but maybe you have some more experience in this area?

I've already used to alternate round 2x2 bricks and plates which works rather well, but still requires a significant amount of each part. The easiest solution tends to be just finding some source of them - which I know can be difficult if you are not a fan of ordering on Bricklink or elsewhere. I'll see on the weekend about technic brick masts which could work well for some ship types!

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Great tutorial--some very interesting ideas!!

With mine, for the lower mast I used 2x2 rounds (or the 2x2x2-2/3 octagonal bricks) with axles

My concern was the weak connection points between axles. I bracketed these gaps with 2x2 bricks with pin and axle-hole, and then connected the pins with technic liftarms (you can see part of this at the top of the picture below). It is a bit clunky looking, but not too bad, and got the job done. But your string method is quite ingenious, and would probably have ended up looking nicer.

For the upper masts, which support a lot less weight, I used the round technic pin connectors, friction pins, and pushed 4L bars through the pins, crossing their gaps, for added rigidity. Hose probably would have been better.

One thing--if you are stepping the masts, then any given length of mast isn't quite so long. The stepped portions are doubled, so quite strong. For these I mostly used 2x4 technic plates with the holes, as can also be seen in the picture.

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EDIT: One other thing--I know this isn't a rigging tutorial, but rigging can help make up for a certain amount of flex in the masts, just as in real life. The masts of Enterprize are very secure and strong once the stays, shrouds and backstays are attached. You can easily lift and move the ship without any problems. Probably even "swoop" it, if I wasn't afraid of dumping it off its base.

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But with just some of the stays unsecured, it looks like this: :pir-laugh:

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Thanks for sharing!

Edited by ejred

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New member here. Looking info for MOCing some Pirates ships.

I hope the original poster could fix the images...pretty please... :blush:

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7 minutes ago, goostersson said:

New member here. Looking info for MOCing some Pirates ships.

I hope the original poster could fix the images...pretty please... :blush:

@Legostone

I guess the images are gone since the update of Flickr a few months ago?

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On 10/25/2019 at 5:27 AM, Maxim I said:

@Legostone

I guess the images are gone since the update of Flickr a few months ago?

@Legostone I get the same flicker says image is unavailable ... Do you have means to load them to brickshelf perhaps?(assuming you still possess the photos) 

It would be ashamed to see this tutorial fall by the wayside as you have a lot of good effort and techniques

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