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About Quotenotto

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    Pirates of Barracuda Bay

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  1. Hello! I would like to start this topic to discuss the typical structure of pirate ships designed by Lego and compare them to historical ships. I have drawn a quick sketch, it represents the biggest, usually two-mastet pirate-faction playset. Being sets designed to play with, they do have their limitations in design and accuracy, but some of the earlier ships capture the essence of actual ones quite well. It is however hard to put them into a fitting historical frame. The original Black Seas Barracuda fits in somewhere in the late 17th and maybe early 18th century. In my opinion, its silhouette resembles actual ships of that timeframe closer than any other lego ship. Here is an example of an actual ship from the early 18th century for comparison (althoug it is rigged with only one mast): The Black Seas Barracuda has a similar hull shape and its stem and beakhead try to imitate actual ones with the limited possibilitys of a playset from that era. You can clearly see the inspiration for this model were actual ships. Subsequent models, especially those after the original theme look more like stylized versions of the Black Seas Barracuda rather than actual ships. They lose key features like the beak and the aftercastle develops more into some sort of cabin like on some modern cargo ships. Developing ship mocs is a difficult task, due to the many curves a ship has and the huge amount of details in their designs and there are a lot of sources for inspiration. There is a huge variety of different historic ships and a lot of fantasy designs aswell. Creating a moc is a personal task and everybody should always do what feels right for them, Lego is a toy to express creativity and not just something to recreate reality. That said, I personally like to draw inspiration for my mocs from real examples. For ships, that isn't as trivial as one would think, because there are many inaccurate examples from pop-culture, just google "pirate ship". A good place to start for actual ships is with model ships, as they are usually build with actual plans from that era, like the examples on this website: https://www.modelships.de/ Some key features for a typical "pirate" ship (2-3 masts, square-rigged, late 17th - early 18th century) I try to incorporate are as follows: A proper beakhead with curved rails and a fitting stem, the bowsprit isn't connected to the stem and angles upwards (smaller ships can have a bowsprit that is fixed on the stem and no beakhead), optionally with a spritsail A small raised section on the bow (forecastle), but not to pronounced A continous gundeck The foremast is a little shorter, the main mast (2nd mast) is not to near towards the rear (somewhere between the middle and last third of the ship) The quarterdeck should not be to short, usually it would start behind the main mast, ideally the ships sides start to raise here aswell towards the stern The captains cabin should not be to high, it can have side pockets, side pockets are usually connected to the rear mirror (but not always) The most ornate parts of the ship should be its beakhead and rear mirror What are your thoughts on this subject, what do you think about Legos designs and what are design features and philosophies you try to adhere to?
  2. Quotenotto


    A lot of amazing creations! Main building Category Saber Island 2023 by TomSkippy Cross Bone Clipper Remake by Elephant Knight 6278/6292 Enchanted Island Remake by Danny_Boy4 Short Pork Island by Yoggington 6244 Armada Sentry Remake by Brickshipyard Mini Set Building Category Treasure Surprise Remake: Rum Rock by Fraunces Shark Cart by TomSkippy King Kahuka's Outrigger Boat (Mini Set) by kritch Treasure Island by Oky Sloop Windy (Mini Set) by Marooned Marin
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    Thank you, I'm a terrible photographer. Yes, the sails are handdrawn, but I have scans of them and I'm gonna get some help to properly digitalise them. Before I put the instructions on Rebrickable (or some alternative), I need to figure out, how property rights work with those kinds of builds, because I remade an original Lego creation. Worst case scenario, I'm just gonna sell the imperial corvette version and everybody who has purchased that, can message me and I'm gonna send them the instructions of this set with parts list aswell. But first, I need to make some corrections to my instructions and highlight some difficult parts and then I'm gonna testbuild this moc again, before I can make them available.
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    Finished the build and sails, final update is in the main post.
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    By some miracle the missing parts have arrived! Now the race to finish the build and make some pictures is on.
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    A ghost- or skeleton crew would be an interesting option, together with torn sails, a few holes in the hull or something simlar, I think I'm gonna try that down the line. If TLG would produce something like that, I fear nowadays they would just have one ghost- and one normal side (like the terrible lastest fluffy design from the Harry Potter set).
  7. Quotenotto

    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    Unfortunatly, it is not easily possible to exchange the hull colour pieces, so a two in one variant is not really an option. The imperial corvette is just another project of mine, for which I used the structure i developped, because I think it it quite customizable. I totaly understand the criticism concerning my colour choices, but I stand by my point, the rugged, worn down look is something I wanted to capture, it should be quite period accurate, because pirates had little to no acces to extensive maintanace and would just capture the next best ship and abandoning the old one. As for more colours, in design theory, three main colour types are optimal, anything more can be irritating (yes, accent colours are possible, but I chose not to use them and the pirates are quite colourfull themself). Here is a good explanation of the concept (starting at 4:13): For design, capturing the shape and silhouette is the most important part and that was my main goal. Big mocs can often be really detailed, but a very fine level of details can distract from the overall picture. Therefore, Lego-sets often use details sparingly and in fitting places (like the brick detailing in the new eldorado fortress), something I try to recreate in my designs. I have used the standard Lego hull pieces for mocs, but they are to rigid to work with for my taste. the biggest Lego ship (10210) uses two bow pieces on front and back and four hull pieces. That was for a flagship, I wanted something smaller. With the usual numbers of 2-3 hull-pieces, the ships do look more like swimming bathtubs than sleek and fast sailing vessels and don't get me started on those high stern castles, they remind me of modern cargo ships with masts, but not pirate ships (as mentioned before, there are ships from the 16th and 17th century with beautiful high stern castles, but they rise up more gradually and dont look like somebody placed a castle on the back of a boat). I know that a lot of period art does depict ships in that way, but that has different reasons, for example, the stern of a ship is quite an identification mark and for artists depicting the ships, it was important that they were recongnisable, therefore they accentuated those parts, but in reality, ships build in that way would capsize pretty easily (there are even real examples of ships capzising without looking that ridicoulus like the Mary rose or the Vasa). If you compare them to actual period plans or models, they look really different. But that shall be enough ranting about ship depictions for today. My hull is actually as long as the new black seas barracuda, but a little slimmer and with the tapering towards the stern sleeker. I wanted to create something that is a little smaller an therefore better sizes up with the eldorado fortress. Unfortunatly, my missing parts havn't arrived yet, therefore I am going to create some more renders for the final presentation, also with more details. In my opinion, Stud.io renders don't present colours acurately, or if somebody knows how to adjust the settings, tips are greatly appreciated.
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    [MOC] Imperial Corvette

    This is not for the contest, it simply is a "byproduct" of my skulls eye schooner. If I might build this down the line, there is some crew already waiting for a vessel to command in my collection (the pirates chess set is really usefull for that purpose). Sails are definatly something I have to create, but they are not my favorite thing to make (I have already two other ships waiting in line to be equipped). But if the missing parts for my skulls eye schooner arrive soon, I am going make some.
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    How to design hulls

    A good way to start with custom hulls is, as @boeing_787_8_dreamliner showed, to use lego bricks sideways (= snot: Studs Not On Top). There are a lot of different curved pieces that can be combined in different ways to create the desired shapes, the tricky part is to combine them in a stable fashion. Therefore, it can be helpfull to learn, how different snot pieces (Brick modiefied, headlight bricks and brackets) fit together. Another possible way is to incorporate hinges. you dont have to use the classic Lego hinges, there are many ways to achieve such an effect. Another good approach is to print out an outline in the size you want to build the ship and then start to fill in the oultline with plates, this way, you can create a skeleton on wich to build the rest of your ship. There are many possible ways and it is an interesting challenge to try to achieve such organic shapes with a building system that is based on squares.
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    [ENTRY] Sloop Windy (Mini Set)

    Nice little boat! You can use either of those pieces as a rudder: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=3835#T=S&O={"iconly":0} https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=44676#T=S&O={"iconly":0} and this piece for the mast: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=476#T=S&C=11&O={"color":"11","iconly":0} You can attach that piece with a balljoint connection and use clip pieces to attach the spars. Using those pieces, you can save some others for more details and have a movable sail as a play feature. Also, the mast would be collapseble, a neat feature to row under bridges.
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    [MOC] Imperial Corvette

    Thank you One of my goals with those brickbuild hulls is to more accurately recreate actual ship hulls. The Lego hulls are nice for easy building and to some extend modifiable, but if you compare builds on Lego hulls to massive builds with entirely brickbuild hulls, they tend to look rather simplyfied. Another goal was to achieve a size of hull that is smaller than the current Lego options (with the older ones, there are smaler ones available, but they are less customisable with their dedicated bow and stern pieces). I do like big, epic builds, but they don't go well with my bank account and building just digitally is not an option, because I want builds that are actually viable and have a certain amount of structural integrity, I want them to still be playable and having a function beyond just decorative purposes. Therefore, this hull design is actually possible and quiet sturdy (based on my previously build sloop, this version is mostly just elongated). Espacially challenging was the stern cabin and in the pictures above there is still an error in that design, wich I have already corrected. The hull is build with an odd number of studs in width to accommodate the one stud wide stem (to studs wide looked verry odd for the hole ship), but the cabin is on an even number of studs (as is the stern mirror). Another version of this ship I might want to try out would be with a flush single deck and a fully enclosed gundeck, but for that, I want to build this version first to experiment with its design physically to maintain playability. But before i build this colour version, I am going to build my skulls eye schooner. Structurally, if there are no more design errors in the skulls eye schooner, this one should be buildable aswell, because the differences should only be "cosmetic". I have tested what parts ordering via bricklink would cost (including used parts, because the shrouds I used are discontinued since 2004) and it was about 150€, so not as expensive as I have preveously thought. Building this might be earlier than I initially considered (but I don't think this year).
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    [MOC] Imperial Corvette

    This corvette is obviously a slight variation of my skulls eye schooner remake (hitting to ships with one shot, as a pirate might say). The hull structure is exactly the same, only the mizzen mast has a more modern rig with a gaffe sail and some variations on the stern build. Therefore, inspiration-wise there is nothing much to add, this is simply an alternative version with a more navy-like colorscheme (instead of typical english colors, this time I chose red for the gunports, but the possible color variations are very easily achieved). Corvette build 1 Corvette build 1_2
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    I have finished an instruction file that I might sell. But first, i want to create custom sails and create some image files for them aswell, so that I can attach those to the instructions. And I am not quite sure yet, how I might want to sell those instructions, I have to look further into the possibilitys.
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    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    This is going to be my presentation setup for the finalized set design. The bickbuild sails are just for the rendered version (althoug they are technically possible, they would probably bend the masts with their weight), a first batch of parts has arrived, but I'm still waiting for a second order containig some structurally importent parts. I'm gonna try to create the sails and building instructions in the meantime. Skulls Eye Schooner Remake presentation render Instead of some soldiers as antagonists, I opted for just Pirates, as the original contained just 9 pirates aswell. Therefore, there are 9 minifigures in total, physically i am going to use some different ones, because I don't have all of those torsos. For some added drama, the pirates are currently marooning one of their own on a tiny, deserted island, who knows what he might have done to upset the rest of the crew? Hopefully, he can reach this little piece of land, before the shark catches up to him! The former inhabitant left a bottle of rum for him, hidden under the rock. As for more added play-features, the plank is on a hinge and can be used to fling people overboard. The crane is movalble and can also function as a rope to swing onto other ships.
  15. Quotenotto

    [ENTRY] Skulls Eye Schooner remake (6286)

    Thank you for your opinion on the matter. You are right, it is less of a "remake" and more of a "reinterpretation", my goal was to put this ship in the context of my growing collection, focussing on ships of the mentioned time period. The claim that the original model is perfect is as debatable as wether a reinterpration pays hommage to the original or drags its good name through the dirt. I am quite aware of my controversial choices and I am willing to discuss this topic further. Your stern problem with the rowboat is easily adressed, as this can be customised with only removing the supports and reapplying the flower pieces. A darker hull colour is unfortunately not possible, due to a lot of those parts not beeing availible in the required colours, only black might be possible (before u used those colours, I checked if dark red might have been an opion). Going back to the original, i realised that it didn't have a skull aswell, just a plain black head, i preferred white in its place. And a pirate ship shouldn't be identifiable as such, only in the opportune moment it reveals its true nature with its flag. Well, there are a lot of 16th and 17th century examples with such a high aftercastle and they are quite a sight to behold (e.g. Francis Drakes "Golden Hinde", a pirate ship of quite some historical significance: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Hinde), but I am also a fan of later period ships with a sleeker hull structure. Yellow, occre, white and black where classical british navy colours, but other colours like red weren't uncommon. Pirates would have had to use whatever they could get there hands on, with docks and shipyards rarely beeing an option for repairs. Grey could be some thinned down white paint, meant to cover parts that were originally black. Or it could be an aged white part, that wasn't touched up yet (some lead-based common white pigments darken with age). But the main reason was to keep some resemblence to the original.