[MOC] - HMS Providence - 34 gun frigate

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Posted (edited)


Ready MOC In Post "Update III"

Hello guys!

Since christmas 2017 I am working on my first LEGO ship MOC.

In the first process I will create a 3D model of the ship and after that build it in real life.

New albums with new pictures of updates are being addet to my album feed:


I'll update the album as soon I make developement.

You can give me advices so I can improve my work.

End of project is earliest in summer 2018. (Edit: Don't know when it ends :D)


Specs about the ship:

Name: HMS Providence
Type: Frigate
Rate: 5th
Cannons: round about 30
                Gun deck: 11 cannons each side
                Quarter deck:     04 cannons each side
                2 carronades
Measure hull:  Length: ~100cm
                       Height:  ~50cm
Others: Minifig fit in decks (i hope -.-)
             Rudder will be operative

Edited by Robin_IV

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Looking good.  The hull shaping is really nice, and I love those lanterns!  Looking forward to seeing more.  :classic:

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When finished I will going to build the ship in real live and I will make an instruction you can download.

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Looking good. :thumbup:

Custom made cannons is the way to go, and I really like your lantern.

My experience is that the lower hull is more than half the work on a model like this.

You already have this down, so just have fun with the rest of it.:pir-classic:


On facts. -Sorry this is geeky and lengthy-. Ignore if you want to.:pir_wacko:


The HMS Surprise portrayed the HMS Providence from PotC.

HMS Surprise is a replica of a 6th rate post-ship. (small 20- gun frigate)


The number of guns is a tricky one.


Guns on main gun-deck(s) count 1 each.


For some reason guns on secondary positions: quarterdeck, forecastle… count as a ½ gun each.

Swivel-guns and such does not count.

The reason could be these guns:

·         Were usually lighter than the guns on the main gun-deck.

·         Were subject to weather conditions.


Another tricky thing about guns. The main gun deck(s) usually have secondary positions for guns fore and aft.  


Rating-system at a glance.

Ships of the line

1st rate three deck ships approx. 100 guns

2nd rate three deck ships approx. 90 guns

3rd rate two deck ships approx. 70 guns

4th rate the smallest ship of the line. Two decks with approx. 50 guns.


5th rate heavier frigates 30-40 guns.

6th rate lighter frigates 20-30 guns.

Smaller vessels were unrated.

The rating system was a guide to assess the relative strength of a ship in battle. However, it could be misleading and was in many cases. Just like any other assessment-guide.:wacko:

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I really like where this project is going! I almost spilled my milk when I saw all those little cheese wedges!

@Anders T

It is very geeky, but I do appreciate the information. :wink:



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Posted (edited)

@Anders T

No. It's not geeky at all for me. :)

Thanks for the information. Yes, I did know before that the rate system and the count of guns was not defined. It should just be a guideline to estimate the strength of a ship as you said.

But new for me was that the guns on the quarterdeck and on the forecastle count only 1/2 each gun
although I knew that they (the quarterdeck guns) were smaller as the cannons on the main gun deck.

Anyway the name "Providence" of my ship was my own invention because I liked it and the sound of the word fitted to the charakter my ship should have. This name was actually the reason why I started this MOC.

I've just looked up the name in the PotC Wiki (
I know the movies and I love them but I really didn't know that Captain Barbossas ship had this name while he was under British flag.

My intention actually was to create a fantasy but historical accurate frigate. ^^
But it seems someone beat me to it (the creators of the movie). -.-

My MOC should be a heavier frigate and at the first time I wanted to make a full going throug upper gun deck (the deck opened to the sea). But it was not like they where build in the past. There was always a hole in the middle to split the forecastle and the quarterdeck that you saw a part of the main gun deck below. The problem following with this insight leaded to a problem with the space and the counts of guns I usually planned. ^^

Well. I have to correct now the rate number of the profile I posted here.

On 21.3.2018 at 8:09 PM, Anders T said:

Another tricky thing about guns. The main gun deck(s) usually have secondary positions for guns fore and aft.  

What do you mean excactly with this? Do you mean they had hunting cannons on the fore and two stern cannons?

Edited by Robin_IV

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And here is another wall of text.*huh*


The count of ½ gun is not official, but the only way I could make sense of the source material, I have researched so far.


On the design of gun-deck:

Gun-decks tended to close off as better gunpowder was developed.

Early small frigates could have an almost open gun-deck. Like seen on a sloop or brig.

On later frigates the gun-deck could be almost closed off just like on the HMS Lively or HMS Macedonian.


More on rating:

On your color-scheme, I see that yours is a post-Napoleonic ship.

On late large- frigates, the upper gun-deck could go all the way through.

These frigates were from a period where the frigate took over from the ship of the line as the main battle ship of a fleet.

These frigates could be so large that the rating system I mentioned earlier did not apply. Some of them were even classified as 1st raters.

If your intension was to build one of these behemoths. Your ship could indeed be a 4th rater.:blush:


Secondary positions:

There was always a balancing act of having maximum firepower and smallest weight. The guns were some of the heaviest equipment on the deck.

The main gun-deck(s), held the largest cannons on the ship.


On ships of the Line, there was a real threat of being outmaneuvered by a smaller opponent.

Therefore, there were gun ports aft. However, these gun-ports were not permanent gun emplacements. Instead guns from elsewhere on the ship were placed here.


On a frigate, the name of the game was speed.

Therefore, there were gun ports fore. In the same manner as on the ship of the line, but in this case as an offensive option.


The guns on the forecastle and quarterdeck were placed as the captain wished.

Usually the alternative gun emplacement rule applied here as well.

Sometimes there would be dedicated chase-guns. Especially if the ships main armament was not long-guns.

However, these chase-guns usually had two gun-ports. This meant that they could be added to the ever-important broadside.

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Posted (edited)

This is the direction of the hull shaping i want to reach.

Important for me is the poop deck with the rudder and the stairs to reach it. Without them I would be very disappointed. The ship would get too small for me (like a  sloop which O don't want) and they are a distinctive attribute of a sailing ship for me. You see them in every pirate movie.

Whether I lower the waist (as in Picture) or not ist left opened. I depends on the way I am able to implement this in reality.

As well as the railing at the waist.

[Images missing]


Edited by Robin_IV

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The features you describe places your ship before 1750’ish.

Before that, there was even two deck frigates (rare:pir-sceptic:) and sometimes 4th rate frigates (even more rare:pir_wacko:).The frigate design was (more or less) set after that, and a frigate would rarely have a poop deck later than that.

In the age of sail, the helmsman would usually be placed on the quarterdeck. Some ships even had him below on the main deck.

On smaller vessels, like a sloop (much favored by Pirates:pir-sweet:), the quarterdeck could be the only elevated deck on the ship. This is probably why fiction places the rudder-wheel on the poop deck.:pir-wink:


The fantasy bit gives you freedom to do anything, and you should go for it. :pir-grin:


Some fantasy designs I have made, would sink the moment they hit water.:pir-murder: (With the helmsman firmly placed on the poop deck):laugh:

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Posted (edited)

Update I - 24.07.2018 - designing the ship - hull [c] - stern [ip] - front [ip] - deck [p] - mast [p] - other [p]
([c]=complete; [ip]=in progress; [p]=pending)

It's time to update my work. After my posts in March I had stress with exams and a huge brick-blackout over eight weeks :wall:, which prevented me from working at my LDraw files.

It's important to notice that I am aware of that fact that there is actually a ship named "Providence". But I gave the name before I knew that. -.-  So my goal is not no rebuild the Original one. I want to make my own creation (MOC) in all in means.  
But two weeks ago I eventually started again to stack virtual bricks together! :pir-grin: So now I have some results for you.
I want to go along with you through my "little" project.

(If you do not want read endless jabbering just watch my pics in my Imgur Album:look:

  1. Design - Hull [c]
    The last posts further up are made with the old hull shaping. But after you gave me hints and helped me (thank you so much @Anders T for your help!) I made a rethinking (and research) process and rebuilt the complete hull from the scratch. It's hard to describe but to see a real ship hull on pictures and to really build one are two complete different things. I very often slipped in producing a shape which was not accurate. Just stacked bricks like a steamroller. But after consult one's pillow I sat down again and again and now I have a hull I am happy with. :) It's not perfect but the biggest challenge was to get the curves of the cross sections like they are in real ships.
    This is a direct shot out of MLCAD from the front. As you can see it's not easy to get this bowy wave at the sides like on the right pic.
    From Behind you can see the slope side walls more detailed because from the front the section with the cannons looking at you cover them. The stern (where the black parts starting and upwards) is WIP so it's asymmetric.
    Here are some 3D views so you can get a overlook over my ship:
    You see that I put all bricks on each other which created rows which would not be stable in the real model. This is only for the designing process. So I can easer move the bricks around in groups. As you can see the hull is complete hollow. So there is much work to do. :hmpf:
    The single cannon on the last picture from the side marks the height of the upper deck. I will put a whole in the deck where the cannon is sitting like on real war frigates. So the gun row on the upper deck is interrupted.
    Also you can see my lanterns (Which became famous for all my viewers :) ) first time in action! I hope the hinges and clips will be strong enough to hold them. :look:
  2.  Front [ip]
    The front part is actually ready. But I have to put the small cannons there instead of the fat springloaded LEGO ones. Also I have to make holes for the anker rope. But how to handle this is written in the stars.
    Also you can see the transition from the vertical wall to the sloped side wall. Here is the upper left black tile (the one over the gun port) salient a bit. So this was the reason you saw this edge on the first pic from the front. It was the best result I could get. But nothing can be perfect right?
  3. Stern [ip]
    The stern part is my little child of sorrow. No Ldraw file of all have so many versions and reedits than this one. My main problem is that the captains cabin is always ending up too high. It always looks like a Vasa stern style. (Fun fact: The galeon "Vasa" was so heavy and unstable that it sunk 1300m after it's launching). This is also not made easier through the fact, that I haven't enough space over the rudder to build. Right after one plate height I have to put the hinges which hold the stern wall. Thought about Technic bricks instead of bricks. But this will be just another file version.


    But why just one problem when there can be two? The windows in the back are integrated in the wall which is held by many hinges.

    But the side windows are a real pain in the a♥♥. On real ships they are sloped in two ways if not three. Just watch my attempt.


I think you know what I am talking about. :)

  1. Deck [p]
    When I completed the walls and stern I will pull in a deck for the first time ever. This will be the second ordeal for my ship after the hull.
  2. Mast [p]
    Mast and riggings are right now in the far future. I have my first concepts tough. But I want first complete the ship design itself before I really go into it.


Hope you like my little journey.
Objective and kind Help and Feedback is always welcome!

Edited by Robin_IV

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Great work so far. Brick building those curves is of tremendous difficulty. Also nice work on those cannons and lanterns!

My only fairly insignificant remark is that in my opinion, the cannon at the upper deck sticks out a bit too much (if you leave it like this that is) but I don't know if that is realistic or not. Keep up the great work and keep us entertained! 

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Thank you for your feedback.

This cannon is just for scale help. Like a ruler for me. :)

I'll move it in a bit later on. This will also be easier for me to build the railing.

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Update II - 03.08.2018 - designing the ship - hull [c] - stern [c] - front [ip] - deck [ip] - mast [p] - other [p]
([c]=complete; [ip]=in progress; [p]=pending)

I don't want to congest this post with images. So you can look at them in this album:

Click on the images to get full size.

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Update III - 18.08.2018 – ship design complete! - hull [c] - stern [c] - front [c] - deck [c] - mast [c]
([c]=complete; [ip]=in progress; [p]=pending)

Hello back again. The last month I worked nearly day and night at my frigate. This happened not because I wanted to finish the ship. I waited for this moment since I was a kid. So I really enjoyed the work to experiment with new building techniques and go to my limits. I really like to build sailing ships and after I had finished this tiring work on the hull design things like the masts, the boats and attachment for the rigging were really fast built. (I literally started 4 complete new hulls (after completed the one before) before I got the result I wanted. This was not very motivating.)

I will as you like it guide you trough my working progress and try to explain different things at my ship. Pls. be lenient with me. It’s my first MOC. :’)

HQ pictures in the album.


Before I start I want to thank to all modders out there for their building techniques. I invested so much time on the web to find pictures, plans, models of ships and different techniques and so on.

Special thanks to

- @Anders T for your help with historical informations

- @Horry for your very helpful tutorials about sailing ships

- @deckard9 for pics of your dinghies which based on models of @Anders T

- @Dread Pirate Wesley with your bow design of your Man-o-War and your anchor

I mention them now and not at the end so that you can recognize them when you see the pics :)

General Information

The statistics of my ship changed during my building process because of limitations of space and of Bricks in the right colour. (Oof. You can’t imagine how less space you have on such a ship)

I also wanted it to be determined. Now I carried together some additional informations and found a consent.

Name: Providence
Type: Frigate
Rate: 5th rate
Armament: 34 guns
Launched: 1770
Operator: Royal Navy


Dimensions (rounded):
Width:     87 studs; 70 cm; 27 in
Length: 204 studs; 162 cm; 64 in
Height:  180 studs; 142 cm; 56 in

- Single Deck frigate
Gun deck, Quarterdeck, Forecastle (Quarterdeck and Forecastle were not counted as actual decks)

Main battery         22x   12-pounder
Quarterdeck         8x      6-pounder
Aft                        2x      9-pounder aft guns
Forecastle           2x      9-pounder chase guns
                            4x      24-pounder carronades






The hull

I’m very happy that I have finished the hull so far. The only thing missing are the segments of the lower hull (mainly the brown part until to the black 2x3 Slope Brick Curved) which need to be filled with bricks. I think I will take some Duplo bricks for help. But the gun deck and the quarterdeck is finished after a couple of corrections. To get access to the gun deck the side walls can be removed. Also small parts of the decks can be lifted out to get access from above. The aft and the bow can be removed from the middle section complete with only removing some tiles from the upper decks. They are hold at place with axles and pins. Really straight forward. The guns in the gun deck are fixed to place by a 1x6 Plate and a 1x2 Plate with Offset-Peghole between the carriage. In this way they won’t move around when I carry the ship around and will safe me from a lot of frustration. Also the gunners will have a stud to be placed on. I will anyway attach some ropes to the cannons for design purpose. It was an important feature for me to build the ship in segments to easily dismantle different pieces. It will be complicated due to the sheer size of the ship to transport it or put the minifigs back to their place without the ability to remove some pieces. Because of this reason there are emerging a lot of structural weaknesses trough the hull I have to compensate. I’m not 100% sure though if I can build everything in this way I want it.

The decks

First I didn't want to have an opened waist. I had to be disabused. ^^
Now I am really happy with the result and it looks much more realistic. :P

On the quarterdeck I placed 4 guns each side. I wanted to place another row on the height of the steering wheel but the swivel guns had to be put somewhere as well. The brown box in front of the Mizzenmast is the cover for the stairs down to the gun deck. I also placed two stairs right at the beginning of the waist.

On the forecastle I placed 4 carronades instead of 2 because it looked better to me. (Love big guns!)
The two chase guns are placed in a 45° angle but can be positioned completely to the sailing direction to hunt down the enemy!





The gun deck is going completely trough the ship and is mounted with 11 guns each side. Due to the width of the carriages (3 studs + 2 for the wheels) it was not possible to move together the guns to get 12 guns each side. You always have to decide between design and stability because the columns and pillars have also find their place right?




The grid behind the Main mast and the plates next to it can be removed. The crane on the right side of the ship will carry a white dinghy but I removed it for now for better visibility.




One of the creations I wanted to build before I even started the ship was the bell. But I waited until end to keep the motivation! And it helped. I can recommend for you to build your MOC in the order from “I don’t like it” to “This is why I started this MOC”. The bell itself is in Chrome Silver.



Between the bell and the Foremast there is the anchor spill. It’s actually working with technic axles and gears. The ropes will be going trough the technic 1 x 2 brick in the bow. In the third picture I have opened the bow section. There you can see the gears and next to it the string reel drums.




The figurehead is a dummy for a mermaid torso. I’m actually really happy how it turned out. My brother was not happy with the version before. So I started completely new. Originally I wanted a mermaid with a tail. But this piece is too high. I really like the addition with the two fishes. They are actually very old pieces and only available in Dark Gray. But this gives more aesthetic.

The Pearl Gold part was very complicated to built because of lack of space and elements. I’m not sure if the hoses can be bend so much. But I already replaced some of the black clips with a ring plate (4081b).





The masts

The masts are really straight forward and build them on one day. First I wanted a Reddish Brown colour but I have to consider the colour scheme of a ship. So they turned out Tan and on the upper part in Black. The problem is that the Technic Pin Connector 2l is not available in Tan. I am really looking forward to attach the rigging. :)





For the 12-pounder gun and the 9-pounder chase gun I used my originally self-made cannon. I recognized that I am missing some Carronades. So I build them. The first tries were really tall. This is the final version so far.





This beautiful model is not my creation. (→ Credits) But I loved it so much that I had to use it.






The railing is attached with pins to the deck. The walls below are held with hinges to the railing. It's a simple but effective technique.






With the side wall at the stern I had really to struggle. (→ See also Update II)

The railing itself was actually very complicated to build. No ship has the same railing than an other. But my railings always looked unrealistic (esp. the colour scheme). So I decided me for this way with a two Plates high tan going trough the quarterdeck. I also considered to attach some anti border nets. Another problem is that quarterdeck on real life ships is curved. It’s sloped which is not very Lego friendly. ^^

When do you start to build it?

To be honest I have no clue. At the moment I really have no money to buy anything. Also the order process will take several days to organize which bricks I am going to buy from which seller. I’ll buy the Bricks on Bricklink. But I am really looking forward to start it.



I think I have mentioned everything important. I hope you like my first MOC. I am really a fanatic of LEGO, Guns and sailing ships. To combine this is very satisfying.

For the real model I will add rigging etc. But there will be no sails. They always look ugly, don’t have this bloated effect from wind and are covering too much of the ship. I will put some small fabric pieces like the sails are take in.

I thank you very much for your feedback.


View more pictures in the gallery.

Edited by Robin_IV

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