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This took me a few months to complete, for a few reasons. I decided to post this, even though I technically haven't finished this project, but this past week I decided to post this weekend if I couldn't think of anything new to add. The genesis of this project was my modding of my Brick Bounty (nothing much, just some improvements here and there), and I wanted to create something more substantial. To be clear, this is my first ship MOC, as well as my second large MOC. I don't say this in hope for leniency (go ahead and bash me), I just want to give some context. I recognize this as a learning project; indeed, you can see some progress (albeit not much) in the pictures below. I'm already doing MSP Phase II, which incorporates a few techniques that improve the design quite a bit. This project was divided into two batches: Batch 1, which is a Supply Ship and a Armed/Converted Merchantman; and Batch 2, which is Frigate, a Prison Hulk, and a Sheer Hulk. I wanted something that gave me more than just a warship, and I think I covered my bases fairly well. In addition, this project (and to a lesser extent Phase II) is a kind of a bridge between official Lego sets (in my case, the Brick Bounty) and bigger and better MOCs (such as the beautiful specimens here on Eurobricks); as such, I wasn't too concerned with making great MOC (or even necessarily a good one), but rather a decent one that would go fine with Lego's ships, and perhaps (hopefully) wouldn't look too out of place alongside proper MOCs.

 

Batch One:

The first ship up is the 'Supply Ship', a.k.a. the Tub. This is meant to be a ship used to move troops, equipment, or victuals to wherever they're needed. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done. I started off by making sure a minifigure can stand straight up inside (5 bricks tall). I've kept this throughout this project, but I have changed to a smaller height in Phase II. I also used the 1x2x3 inverted slope for the hull sides. This is a real thing, though it's more used in modern times than in the Age of Sail (a flare, as opposed to a tumblehome).

This shows the inside, and probably the main point/draw of this batch- the anchor system. You can see the channels for the anchor chains; string might be better, but I wanted to use chains like Lego does (there's a couple reasons why, mainly because chains are more readily available to me).

45808987625_daec166616.jpg'Modular Ship' (Supply Version) #4 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

Here's a look down the inside. The two Technic connectors under the Technic plate are meant for the chains. The end of the chains are attached to the top one, and wound in between the two, similar in concept to what's on the Brick Bounty (sort of).

45808988585_2aa7a6d81c.jpg'Modular Ship' (Supply Version) #5 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

A more overall view of the ship (with Bosun Bob at the helm). I wanted the ship to have some kind of defense, so I put some some carronades on top.

45808916355_1a5a6a7a48.jpg'Modular Ship' (Supply Version) #1 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

A top down view of the deck. Besides the anchor, the only real feature is the grate/cover.

45808949645_33d7d5cb19.jpg'Modular Ship' (Supply Version) #2 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

A view of the stern area. The bracket is meant for a nameplate or something similar (the inverted slopes around it can be removed and replaced to widen it if necessary).

45999759554_a509d25af9.jpg'Modular Ship' (Supply Version) #3 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

 

The second part is the Armed/Converted Merchantman', a.k.a the Lumberer (I don't know if it would actually qualify for a 'HM_'). This is basically an 'upgraded' version of the Supply Ship, armed with cannons and carronades to help defend, and comfortably keep pace with, various convoys.

A view of the bow; not much, but the bow mount (modified plate) gives me some options.

45888220715_657aa687a5.jpg'Modular Ship' (Converted Merchantman) #2 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

Here's a view of the gunports; also a better view of the bow mount.

31861798357_3d23ce8589.jpg'Modular Ship' (Converted Merchantman) #1 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

I think Lego's cannons look better; it's probably because the ship's a bit chunky.

32927682158_ac4685086c.jpg'Modular Ship' (Converted Merchantman) #3 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

 

Batch Two:

The third ship (and the pinnacle of Phase I) is the Frigate. In the British system, which I base most of my information and inspiration from, it's actually not a frigate, but rather a 'Post Ship'. Many Sixth Rates were of these types, but all were commonly called frigates anyways, and so that's what I labeled this as. I found a picture early on of HMS Euryalus that I took a lot of inspiration from, if not direct translation of some design elements. This is also the only ship that's actually modular; the rest are built in a way to make it easy to make it modular, but also easier to build in the first place (I admit a bit of laziness probably crept in there, but I wanted to move on to other stuff).

Here's the ship, piece by piece, form bow to stern. There's 20 pictures, so I put it here to shorten the post a bit.

 

The fourth and fifth 'ships' aren't really ships- at least not anymore. These are what are called hulks (specifically a prison hulk and a sheer hulk). They were once warships, but once they were too old to be really useful anymore, they were converted into some kind of hulk. I've searched on here before, but I haven't found anybody who has made either one of them. I'm sure the talented shipwrights here could have a much better crack at such projects than I, but even if I just spread the idea around, that would be enough for me.

The fourth ship is the Prison/Accommodation Hulk. These were used as floating prisons to keep prisoners of war, mutineers, or just overflow from the regular prisons on land.  Accommodation hulks were like floating barracks; used in a similar way to the prison hulks.

Spoiler

The main striking feature is probably the roof, which has given me some interesting ideas for some future Castle MOCs.

46316103154_264a448f66.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #1 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

I replaced the opened gunports with windows, and I think the effect isn't too bad.

46316103094_343a197649.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #2 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

Here you see the support beams and the tops of the stoves; plain and boring, but hey- it's a prison.

46316103004_a891e9c3b8.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #3 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

Forward area with one of the cells and some benches.

33164907648_4448f08b3f.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #4 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

Rear cell, with a small guards' quarters.

33164907488_3e63c6130c.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #5 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

A better view inside the cells; thank you @Imperial Shipyards for the stove design (still love the Achille).

32098427247_cbbd12e86c.jpgModular Ship (Prison Hulk) #6 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

 

The fifth and final ship is the Sheer Hulk. These craft were floating cranes, usually implemented in putting masts onto new ships (or replacement masts for those ships that lost theirs in some way, shape, or form). After the Age of Sail, though still in the 19th Century, purpose-built sheer hulks were made to help increase maritime construction.

Multiple capstans were used to power the crane, and the sides/railings of the ships were usually cut down near the deck.

46316102244_eec0c17b78.jpgModular Ship (Sheer Hulk) #1 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

I've found many photos of different sheer hulks, and all have some different kind of combination (rigging, number of crane arms/booms, etc.), but I tried to build what was sort of the average of what I saw in my reference photos. I didn't end up finishing this one, as I couldn't really make the crane fit together quite right. If anyone can think of anything, feel free to make your own (just make sure to send me a link :grin:).

46316101854_76152a5e3f.jpgModular Ship (Sheer Hulk) #2 by Jonathan Wallace, on Flickr

 

This has been my Modular Ship Project (Phase I). I haven't made instructions for this (mostly I don't feel it's really a MOC worthy of it, but also I'm busy/lazy), but I do plan to make them (*ahem* eventually :tongue:). Phase II has already begun; I'll still be using prefab hulls, and I plan to make a Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Rate. I've already discounted a First or Second Rate, but I'm holding out on a Two Decker. Although I will work on a Three Decker a bit in my Testbed before I close Phase II.

Any comments, suggestions, or critiques of any kind are welcome; I await the feedback!

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It seems fate or some other force lead me back here tonight. I didn’t pull this thread knowingly, but here I am. I’m sure I'll come to regret it, but I'll take up this mantle and chime in with the best I can offer and let the chips fall where they may. 

 

It has been my hard-won experience that people here rarely actually want advice, criticism, or input. Most who show up here are looking for a “pat on the back” and a “good job” expecting or hoping that they will astonish everyone with their grand works. The few that may actually be genuinely interested in a peer review tend to handicap themselves such as you’ve done. You open with a paragraph of excuses and self-deprecation then continue on throughout the post to specify exactly what it is you don’t want to hear. To be clear, I am guilty of these bad habits myself from long ago, so when I proffer my advice know it comes from genuine experience and a place of self-reflection. There is value in what I say even if it is inconvenient. 

 

Pick a path and stay on it. Either accept the criticism of the community as it is offered, or keep your work to yourself. You're not going to get good advice by trying to force the hand of your judge and there is no glory nor honors to be won by being “the best”. Often the best advice comes from those with wildly different goals and ambitions than you. For one, they often come from a similar starting point and have developed along with their skills and experiences. It also helps to consider the ideas generated in differing pursuits as it may lead to something new and innovative to your own method. When you say what this “IS” with such certainty as to exclude all other possibilities a lot of builders throw up their hands and back away, not wanting to intrude with their own ideas. Much of what you’ll get in advice will be pointless and useless in your own idiom. Suffer it for the sake of the rare gem or don’t bother. Ask yourself, before you think me the villain, had you spent years building up your knowledge, skills and technique, came and offered it freely, would you appreciate in turn being told that your particular brand was not welcomed on a particular thread?  

 

Also and furthermore, if you so appreciate and respect the builders and works you’ve observed here, why do you feel it necessary to explain what it is you have on offer as if they can’t make it out for themselves? Keep it short and sweet. If they touch on a sensitive point or one of no interest, “nod and smile”. They didn’t have to bother, but they tried to do you a kindness. 

 

In all this one thing relating to the actual build, rather than the presentation stood out to me. While they seem just a bit short, the artillery on the deck of your supply vessel do not seem at all like carronades, but rather smooth bore, muzzle-loading long guns. In fact, the design you used was invented by users here (I don’t recall exactly who, but likely one of our old veterans since they’ve become fairly conventional) to represent long guns. It’s just this kind of over explanation that can lead to a bad reputation and make you look like, well... a butt. Again, I know, done it myself. (I’ll check back and if I find you edited that, I’ll edit this out so you can look cool again😉 call it a kindness from one megablocks to... well let’s reserve judgement just yet) 

 

Standard disclaimer: I only bother because I'm intrigued. It’s not that I'm anything like “the great man” that my opinion is so invaluable. Instead, your work intrigues me, thus I feel a certain comradery that I feel is best served by honesty. As a ship builder, you show good merits and great potential, so I'm inspired to take a chance and extend my hand. It's no small thing to sit up late at night and compose a reply as such, so understand if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother. 

 

Dave 

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@kurigan I said any feedback, and I meant it (the truth may not be what someone wants/likes, but they should still use it). Being self-deprecative is just part of my nature; I love history, and of course Lego, and seeing some of the ships on here made me want to really make my own stuff. I highly doubt I'll ever be the 'best', but I still want to try to keep improving my MOCing skills. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, but if I do see something I like and/or I think is better than what I was currently using, I will put it in instead (and give credit as much as I can; sometimes I don't see any names). I admit that a 'pat on the pack', so to speak, is nice, but only if something deserves it; I feel most creators want gratification on some level for a creation that they're proud of.

I'm pretty much completely new to MOCing (the most I've done before is modding different Lego sets), and I wanted to learn as much as I can. There's only so much you can take away from pictures, so having feedback is worth a lot. As far as your comments on advice go, I kind of take the quote of 'If everybody's thinking the same, then nobody's thinking' to heart; different perspectives allow for improvements or ideas that you otherwise wouldn't have. And when I say something 'is' a certain thing, I don't mean for that to be specifically concrete, but rather what I had built it as; this is kind of hard to put into words, but what I mean is I started out with a certain idea/construct in mind, and I built it with that as a guideline, not a set in stone rule or interpretation. I said that one ship is a 'Frigate/Post Ship' because I had built it and interpreted the design as such- hopefully that makes sense. I do apologize, as I did point out/caption the pictures (it's a habit from elsewhere); I'll remember in the future that it's not needed.

Thank you for the feedback; I consider it invaluable because A) it's an honest assessment, and B) I consider you a veteran/experienced member of this forum, and therefore someone who's comments/advice, in my opinion, hold a certain weight because of that experience.

 

As far as the carronades/cannons, I labeled them as carronades as they seemed to small to be actual cannons (in my mind at least), and I used them with that intention in mind; because of that, I won't edit it, but I do acknowledge what you're saying. I'm not completely sure who made them either, but the picture I used to build them was by Brickdoctor, and he said on the Flickr description it was inspired by SlyOwl. The carronades I've seen pictures of usually are on a slide mount (which I wasn't sure how to make), while some were in carriages. I admit that the shape is more indicative of a cannon, but I didn't really have anything else on hand at the time.

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Well it looks like I'm still reply bane.. sorry bout that. Can't expect too much of the MOC forum these days anyway.

I think you misunderstand me on labeling. If you built a duck, call it a duck, by all means. What I'm referring to is what I call the "just" defense. "Go easy on me because it's just a toy". It just goes hand-in-hand with accepting the criticism on offer. Enough of my personal crusade, though.

My advice always starts off fairly generically. Start small. Do one thing well and build from there. In this 21st century there is no lack of (free) information it just takes patience to build. After the better part of a decade of experimenting, building and rebuilding I had only a tiny cutter as my master work. Two years later I tore it down to parts and rebuilt it twice before calling it anything like done. Let's look at what you have here though.

*sigh*... I've added to this and deleted it so many times. I just can't commit to anything I come up with. I don't want to "out nerd" you, filling a page with corrections and specifications. I also don't want to force my values on you. The only advice I can come up with is generic and vague. I had really hopped someone else would have come along by now. The truth of it is I don't really like them. While I get that you're tying to capture the dynamic shape of a wooden ship and that pleases me, I find your approach direct and exaggerated. Pick your favorite builder and tell me that the beauty of their technique isn't suitability. Wooden ships are nuanced things, curving and changing gradually across their entire structure. Even CGH advises with his famous tutorial, that there's a limit to how much you can really add to a pre-fab hull before it looks distorted and I find that technique pretty direct in its own right (not bad nor wrong, don't lynch me). 

It also seems that the pre-fab hulls are holding you up. Frankly I hate them as they do not produce a realistic ship shape. They wind up making hot dogs (or bananas when sheer is forced through progressive plate stacking) when ships are really shaped more like ducks, or at least their bottom halves.

 

I think it boils down to this; if you want to do history, get off pre-fab hulls. If you just want to make "Lego Ships" there's still no reason to re-invent the wheel.

 

All that aside I do appreciate that you did a sheer hulk. It's an important piece of the history that is often overlooked in modeling, especially in Lego.

Dave

 

P.S. I too have (im)famously taken inspiration from SlyOwl, pretty clever guy that one :wink:

Edited by kurigan

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@kurigan

Yes, I was a bit confused on the labeling; as far as the "just" defense' goes, I feel a MOC goes beyond its medium- just like a regular model ship is more than a piece of wood, a MOC isn't a toy (though of course it can be used as such, and I usually have something like that in the back of my mind) just because its medium (Lego) is. I acknowledge that starting small is best (I do think my Gunboat is better than anything in this project), but one of the intents of this project is seeing how capable I am in size, with a Frigate being something of a midway benchmark. I do recognize the pre-fab issue (while looking down on the sheer hulk, the word 'pencil' kept popping into my head), and I've seen it discussed before. You'd never fit a three-decker (or probably even a two-decker) on them properly, but as this project is a stepping stone from what Lego makes to 'true' MOCs, I'm content with using them here. I am tinkering with a two-decker on a pre-fab hull, though technically the side of the hull isn't on the pre-fab pieces themselves; the main issue/problem I find with them is putting the center, for the lack of a better term, 'bulge' on a ship. With something like a Frigate or Corvette, you can get away with a more even-sided hull (granted, larger Frigates probably need a bit more of a curve), but anything larger needs the bulge.

Right now I'm going to stick to pre-fab hulls (and therefore the smaller ships), though as I make bigger stuff, I'll switch over. I believe the bow curve, especially the area where the deck meets the bowsprit, is where I need the most help, as all my current tries are terrible. I want to make both 'Lego ships' and historically based items (a long time goal is making the USS Constitution), but I don't feel that I'm particularly prepared to make accurate historical models just yet. Because of this, I'm going with stuff that would fall under the Lego 'Pirates' theme for the time being.

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