[WIP] - HMS Providence - 38 cannon frigate

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Posted (edited)

Hello guys!

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

Pictures are here on imgur:

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


Please be adviced that this is a work in progress-Project (WIP). This means that things can change at every time.

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

Stay continued and follow me.


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 38
                Lower gun deck: 11 cannons each side
                Quarter deck:     07 cannons each side
                2 hunting cannons
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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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!

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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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