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[MOD] 31109 Pirate Ship Mod of Combining 2 Sets

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My Lego collection consisted mainly of SW sets and its MOCs, I was tempted to get the 21322 Barracuda Bay when it came out in April but decided to save up for the UCS A-Wing, which I still haven’t got around to build yet, I have been modify the 75175 A-wing.

49998623677_09fb430cfb_c.jpgA-Wing Mod by R Y, on Flickr

I wasn’t too keen on the 31109 when I first saw its photos, especially the brick-built sails. During the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, I was reading posts on OZLUG of buying multiple sets to make it a bigger ship; that grabbed my attention as I mod all Lego sets where possible after I figured out Bricklink. However, at RRP of $160 AUD each, I might as well just buy the 21322 for $300 AUD; then again thanks to OZLUG, I realised that they are $119 at Kmart, meaning $238 worth of investment, no brainer! I quickly read up on reviews from Brickset and Brother’s Brick, how the completely brick-built design is its selling point, instead of using specialized boat hull pieces. My local Kmart had no stock, so I went to the next nearest one, nothing on the shelves again and a store girl told me all they have is already on the shelfs even though the online stock check shows limited availability. Disappointed, I was about the leave the store empty handed before I talked past the customer service counter, there was only one person in line so I decided to wait and check. The service girl was very helpful and checked the stock room for me, it turned out they do have three at the back, which I gladly picked up two; she told me apparently people try to steal Lego all the time, so they keep the good stuff at the back.

I had to wait for my baby to settle and sleep before started building that night. As the original model is built in 3 sections: bow with forecastle, waist, stern with captain’s cabin; I decided to build 2 x waists sections and have 3 masts. I always build repetition sections step by step simultaneously instead of finishing one section and start another, personally I find this method quicker. My aim is to stick to the original Lego design and finish the hull asap, redesign the masts into foremast, mainmast and mizzen mast, and use the remaining pieces to touch up and make the 2 waists transition smoothly.

49995440207_d52a386677_c.jpg31109 Long Side View by R Y, on Flickr

I wanted to rig the ship from the bowsprit to the stern flagpole, I had to move the “Plate Round 2 x 2 with Pin Hole and 4 Arms Up” to the mainmast beneath the lookout so the arms are equal distance to the diagonal spars from the foremast and mizzen mast. I spent more time on the foremast and rigging than any other sections. I tried a few different arrangements before settled down on the current layout, where the rigging goes down to the bowsprit from the upside-down diagonal spar. I used light bluish grey Technic Bush instead of the yellow ones provided. The hose piece is still slightly short and the bowsprit is pulled upwards, but the jib sail hides most of it. Overall, I was happy that I achieved my goal.

49995441107_13e3a93318_c.jpgMasts and Rigging by R Y, on Flickr

I added a 1 x 2 red brown plate to each of the gun port openings so they are not too close to the waterline, I initially wanted to add 2 pieces per opening, but they were too high and affected the guns inside.

You can tell where each of the section ends with the breaks from the 3027 6 x 16 plate in dark tan secured with 2 x 2 blue round tiles. I made sure the 1 x 4 special plates overlap the gap to secure the sections. The alternating red and light orange strip along the deck worked out perfectly, I was initially worried that I may get a double up of same coloured plates with my MOD.

49998012277_da3bf35de4_c.jpgJoins of the Sections by R Y, on Flickr

As Lego only gives half the number of guns compare to the gun ports, having 2 sets gives me 4 guns to fill up the front gun deck, squeezed 2 minifigs inside with torches.

49995440747_58beb1eec8_c.jpgGun Deck with Baboon by R Y, on Flickr

I plated over the opening next to the gangways on the 2nd waist, to make it look like a quarterdeck, but not really raised due to the limitation of my skills in the mod. I really like the brick-built rowing boat from the alternative Skull Island bult, I made it longer using 2 x 2 slopes at the stern and made other changes as certain parts were already used in the main ship built. I also built a boat rack with 4 cheese slopes and some plates. The rowing boat fills up on the empty quarterdeck perfectly, I really like how it turned out.

49995440592_c395265b38_c.jpgRowing Boat by R Y, on Flickr

With the 2 sets of 3 human minifigs, I swapped around their outfits, brought in a pair of black legs to swap out the peg leg. Now I have 6 different minifigs, I left out the epaulette for the officer to differentiate him from the captain.  

49995186381_8840d5bccc_c.jpga9 by R Y, on Flickr

49995186471_f84971e4de_c.jpga8 by R Y, on Flickr

I built the red/green parrot and blue seagull according to the instructions, again had to use some different pieces due to availability. Lastly, I added the pet baboon hanging off the shroud, it’s a really fun build where its arms and waist are twistable to get a good pose.  

49994668348_cc923e27b8_c.jpgBaboon by R Y, on Flickr

I really liked how this MOD turned out, this is probably the cheapest and easiest way to get a Lego 8-gun full-rigged-ship (three or more masts), even the 21322 only has only two masts. It’s around 58cm long from the tip of the bowsprit to the edge of stern flag, around 36cm tall from the tip of mainmast to the bottom of the hull, 19cm wide at the horizontal spars. With the elongated waist, it makes the forecastle and poop deck seem small in comparison, a bit out of proportion to be honest; but at this stage, I don’t have the skills to design and make them bigger.

49995186266_6aea7edd03_c.jpgSide Front View by R Y, on Flickr

49994668678_f5162415dd_c.jpgTop Front View by R Y, on Flickr

49994668533_f8b8e4fb60_c.jpgBack View by R Y, on Flickr

Edited by Wurger49

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I like your mod! I bought only one set but agree that the entire brick built nature of this set opens up more modding possibilities. 

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37 minutes ago, Merlict said:

That's rather nice, how many bricks were left over?

hundreds of bricks were left over, I built 2 sharks as they are cool. 

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It definitely feels like a complete ship. Maybe just the forecastle feels out of place now, could be modded a bit larger now.

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55 minutes ago, GeoBrick said:

It definitely feels like a complete ship. Maybe just the forecastle feels out of place now, could be modded a bit larger now.

My thoughts too, but haven’t figured out how yet. There are only 2 studs of space left to play with then there is the gun deck opening; can’t really go taller as it’s already quite narrow.

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On 6/13/2020 at 1:46 AM, Wurger49 said:

I was tempted to get the 21322 Barracuda Bay when it came out in April but decided to save up for the UCS A-Wing


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Since Lego pieces are not glued down, there is a constant urge inside me to modify and improve on my models. With the additional waist section of the ship, the forecastle and poop deck are slightly out of scale in relation to the whole ship. The poop deck and the captain’s cabin are very hard for me to mod, so I decided to concentrate on the forecastle.

I started with closing off the front façade, utilising spare pieces from the 2nd set: using red and gold bricks, plates, studs and window panes to create the wall; then brown bricks, plates and round top window pane to create a door in the middle.

50009216666_11592e9883_c.jpgFront by R Y, on Flickr

50008687758_b139d718f9_c.jpgBow by R Y, on Flickr

I used inverted slopes to create a flight of stairs from the forecastle, I added it to the starboard side to balance the port side one on the poop deck. I tried to make it go down towards the stern initially, but there was no space so had to make it go down to the port side. For the railing on the stairway, I used Slope Curved 4 x 1 No Studs to cater for the step down and it mirrors nicely with the one on the poop deck. On the port side of the forecastle, I had to use my own tan plates to increase the deck by 2 studs deep. On the first version, I also included a balustrade made up of 1 x 3 black plate and two 1 x 1 gold cones to mirror the one on the poop deck; but I removed it in the end as it’s too crowded.

50009216706_56151cbc6b_c.jpgForecastle Top by R Y, on Flickr

50009216741_e46d68861e_c.jpgForecastle Starboard by R Y, on Flickr

50009216941_93d6326eba_c.jpgForecastle Stair by R Y, on Flickr

The sides of the forecastle walls are widened by adding one extra window, 2 studs wide, replicating the original design, finishing with a cheese slope each side on top of Plate Special 1 x 2 Rounded. I had to take the two 2 x 2 slopes from my rowing boat for the base of the window. As I was removing pieces for the new shorter railing going down the hull; I optimised the use of plates, overlap where possible, and use long plates instead multiple of short plates.

50009478877_0c35906378_c.jpgAnchor in the right position by R Y, on Flickr

In the first mod, I only had one anchor even though I had a spare from the 2nd set, I completed forgot about it. To make the anchors sit horizontally as how they suppose to be while sailing, I swapped the gold stud on the bow with a black cheese slope, the anchor bar can rest in between the cheese slope and the horizontal brown bar that holds the hose.

50009478767_a454f03152_c.jpgBrown Cheese Slope replacing Gold Stud by R Y, on Flickr

50009478182_2b4b8fddcb_c.jpgTwo Thirds View by R Y, on Flickr

50009478407_4b420d9397_c.jpgPort Elevation by R Y, on Flickr

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