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.



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.



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.



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.



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.  



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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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



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.



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.



It looks more menacing from the front.



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




...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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