Grey Magistrate

[MOC] Vampirate ship

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My favorite themes growing up were Space, Castle, and Pirates.  I loved Nexo Knights because it combined the first two, and since the demise of the theme I have been not-so-subtly expanding the story to include Pirates too.  I liked Disney's Treasure Planet and I've always wanted to make a sci-fi style pirate ship.  Hence my latest creation -- a vampirate ship.  I made this as part eight of a running nine-part story, but for this forum, let me walk through the technical details of the ship itself.

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I haven't made a pirate ship in twenty years, so I did a lot of steps the hard way.  Please feel free to propose better techniques!  The colors match the vampirate faction in the last season of Nexo Knights: predominantly black and white, with lime green and chrome accents, and translucent green lighting.

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First, I didn't use a premade hull; instead, I took three 16x16 tiles in a row, reinforced underneath, and used that as a foundation.  Then I added a nine-brick-high wall all around.  Plain brick-built walls made it look like a box, so I tried to disguise the walls with white ribs sticking out and drooping chains, plus a striped pattern on the main wall.  It doesn't entirely work but I couldn't figure out a better way.

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Then I made the captain's cabin a 16x16 floor with a 16x16 roof.  That provided stability but at the cost of looking too boxy.  The captain's cabin slots into the back of the ship, which also gives me a little bit of room to reach below decks.

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The roof pops off the cabin for easy access.  There's a bed and a workdesk, a swivel chair, and fine wood panelling on the floor.  

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I admit, I'm especially proud of the cabin.  I try to make these rooms livable!

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On top of the captain's cabin is the steering wheel and a bank of computers and dials.  There's a curved staircase and a ladder to reach the roof.

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For the main deck, I had originally planned to use 8x8 grates, but I stumbled upon the idea of laying a portcullis on its side.  That also lets me open the hatch for access below decks.

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But that caused a new problem -- the portcullis can hold the weight of a minifigure but not much more.  That forced me to move the masts to the side decks.

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Honestly, I didn't know how to make good masts, and the ones I made are extremely frail.  Each of the four masts is a stack of 2x2 blocks and tiles interspersed with claws and hooks for the "sails", which are just translucent green flags.  I linked the masts together with chains, which looks better but doesn't add any stability; it means that when a kid knocks over one mast, it takes down the others as well, like bowling pins.

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The ship is powered by these two massive engines, plus an upside-down black gate which serves as a rudder.

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I think the rear view looks pretty good, all things considered.

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For the prow, I borrowed the mast from my brother's Caribbean Clipper and tied a rope around it to give it a bit of texture.

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Below it is a creepy spider to serve as the masthead.  Originally I had planned to put a harpoon launcher at the front but that idea proved unworkable, so the spider is static.

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It looks more menacing from the front.

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I'm overall pretty pleased with how it turned out, but I know it could've been better.  Any suggestions?

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...and of course I put this in the wrong forum.  This'll teach me not to post so late at night.  Apologies!  Moderators, please move it to the MOC forum!

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