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  1. (note; this is going to be a very long post, with many pictures and lots of reading. I enjoy those kind of posts by others, so when I post myself, I try to do likewise…) Let me spin you a yarn of fellow-rovers A tale of briny yearnings on a grey Monday morning, and of building a Legoset known as the 3in1 pirates set 31109. So get a drink and get a snack. Sit back, this is going to be a long one… And while you’re at it, could you spend this old sailor a ration of rum too? Good boy… This is the tale of… the briney brick 48: All Hands... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I have not always been this salty dog you see before you now. Once I lived in a tread mill. Rising each day at dawn, sipping tepid tea while reading a news paper, pushed papers at an office, and going home for a meager meal and sleep. Day after weary day. Spilling tea from cup into saucer was the about the biggest adventure that could happen. Than one grey day, while reading the same bugger and bore as always in the papers, and sipping my tepid morning tea, it hit me; The briney brick... (1) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr (The heyday of my Lego origins was way back in the sixties, when Lego wheels were new. It means modern Lego can easily baffle me with things that go together one way, but not another way. While messing with Classic Space, I learned that bricklinking lose bricks was a certain road to trouble. Brilliant ideas turned out to be impossible once I received certain bricks. And at the same time, often solutions – when found – turned out much easier than expected. Classic Space taught me a valuable lesson. For modern Lego; start with one or more sets to learn the tricks, and to get a bunch of Lego that works well together. So when I decided to go into Lego sailing, I decided to buy a set. In fact, I had already done that, but that was still old Lego; set 398, the Constellation, was from 1978, and was mostly build from the kind of bricks I knew.) 0147 b afd 27-4-2018 em5 2578 by Jan Kusters, on Flickr It was a beautiful ship, very much along the lines of what I build as a kid, but better. And once I build it, I loved modifying it to give it a better rigging. (see https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/173194-uss-constellation-set-39810021-and-some-mods/&tab=comments for more on that build). It also taught me that I find it hard to build a set without at least some modifying. I tend to have my own ideas, even when guided… But this set was still too old, nothing like the classic Pirate ships that came out during my dark ages. I had turned my gaze towards Lego Pirates at a perfect moment; by the time I decided I really wanted to build such a boat, Lego came out with two fantastic new sets; Pirates of Barracuda Bay (set nr. 21322) and the Pirates 3in1 Creator set (nr. 31109). I loved them both! With Corona hitting the world and sending us all into more or less of a lock down, I found myself spending less money on going out and travel. I had time, I had some money, lets get them sets! I stashed away my 'old school' bricks, and my Classic Space bricks, bought 4 small drawer cabinets, ordered the sets for my birthday, and started… Entr'acte: work station finaly ready for action... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Modern sets, in modern drawers... Set 31109, the 3in1 Pirate set from 2020, and the 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay set. I did not start with building those set right away. I was determined to make the most of it, and spread the fun over a long time. So I opened up the sets and sorted all the bricks into the drawers (and one large box for the bigger pieces). The plan was (and still is) to slowly work my way up to building the ships, wrapped in a story that slowly unfolds itself on my display shelf. I would modify where I so fit, and bricklink parts I needed, but with these two sets, I had a solid collection of modern Lego that would get me a long way. It was time to send Minifigme on an adventure… The Briney Brick... (2) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr With little money and even less experience, Minifigme did not quite start his nautical adventures as he had pictured it. No big boat and happy crew singing merry sea shanties. No one would hire an old inexperienced geezer as crew. And a small boat was all he could afford. A very small boat! Small, but good enough to learn the ropes. And the friendly second hand ships sales man threw in even a sea chest for provisions. As kind of a life boat to go with his ship… Last year, I had bought the 3in1 Deep Sea Creatures set 31088 and liked that a lot (I bought even two of them). Fish! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I found many alternate builds for this set online. More than enough to give Minifigme all the adventures he dreamed of when cooped up behind his desk. A small boat is more than enough for adventure! Minifigme soon learned the sea is a big adventure alright. The Briney Brick... (3) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Not two glasses out at sea, treetops and high rise hotels sank behind the horizon, and Minifigme came under attack of a giant prawn! Fighting for his life and provisions, he came out victorious, but with new respect for the sea and what lies beneath. The Briney Brick... (4) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr An antennae, knocked from the giant prawn, made for an excellent fishing rod, nice to add to his provisions. Although the first catch was not very inviting to eat. Raw swordfish, anyone? The sword might come in handy though... The Briney Brick 6 (a) Sea life... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Not everything in the sea turned out to be monsters and trouble. Minifigme’s first whale sighting was cute enough… The Briney Brick 6 (b) and more sea life by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Until mommy dear showed up in a protective mood. The big whale was a known Lego alternate build with instructions online. The baby whale came from a Youtube channel (https://youtu.be/kWajNobR2Uo). The Giant Prawn is based on something I saw online, but build in my own way. Then one fine day, Mini-me spotted a lonely little island. Land Ho and all that! The Briney Brick 8 (a) Land Ho! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Greetings from... Uhm.. Err... The Briney Brick 8 (b) Land Ho! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr There was a lot of driftwood on that Island, and Minifigme started to expend his little boat. Life on a deserted Island, with fish, coconuts and driftwood, what more could one want? Some proper tools perhaps. Of course the ocean is big and empty, but once you find a sweet spot, you’re bound to get company. And so one morning, Minifigme woke up to the sight of this… The Briney Brick 9 (a): PIRATES! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Pirates! The Briney Brick 9 (b): PIRATES! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr A whole bunch of one legged Pirates – and one rather weathered looking castaway – had invaded his little island! (here's where I started modding stuff. Just little bits. After all, them pirates had been on their raft a long time, and they were pirates, not fishermen...) After the first shock, they turned out to be quite a friendly bunch. And once Minifigme was willing to share the driftwood and the fish he caught with them, they soon became best of friends. The Pirates were not lazy and pretty handy with a lot of things. They quickly started to make the island a lot more inhabitable. The Briney Brick 10 (a) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 10 (c) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 11 (a): Done... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr And so life became pretty easy going on their little tropical paradise... The Briney Brick 11 (d): Done... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 12 (a): by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 12 (b): by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 13 (b): going native... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Minifigme has even gone native by cutting the sleeves from his shirt and by getting some ink done. Now this was all nice and dandy, but I have to admit, once everything was done, them pirates and Minifigme turned rather lazy and boring, almost like a bunch of Pensionados lazing about on a tropical island. Luckily one day Pip, the youngest mate, noticed a something in the sand, when the quartermaster removed some shrubbery. The Briney Brick 23 (a): X never EVER marks the spot... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr X never EVER marks the spot! Except when it does of course. The Briney Brick 23 (b): X never EVER marks the spot... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr There are not many things that get Pirates fired up like a hint of some hidden treasure, so they burst into activity right away. The Briney Brick 23 (c): X never EVER marks the spot... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The resulting dig did not bring the expected loot, but it did point into a direction that Pirates can never resist. Skeletons? Maps? Thaddaway? There must be booty beyond that horizon! CAST OFF FORE AND AFT! MAKE SAIL! The Briney Brick 24: The fleet sets sail... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr And so a small armada packed up, cast off and set sail. Each in or on his own craft… And then, one foggy morning: The Briney Brick 30 a: as the fog slowly clears... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr 'Driftwood ahead! Lots of driftwood! Oh, uhm, and some sharp pointy rocks too, by the way…' As the morning fog cleared, it turned out to be more than just driftwood. The Briney Brick 30 b: as the fog slowly clears... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr And thus our intrepid crew came across a ship, wrecked on a small rocky island. After a careful check and some deliberations, It was decided to try and fix the ship up again. The Briney Brick 31 c: Them poor sods... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr With the wreck came 3 new crewmen. Good honest traders by their own admission, but willing to join the Pirates if that would get them off the rocks. Meet the brothers Port and Starboard, and Big All. The Briney Brick 34 b: Heave Ho mates! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The ship’s hold turned out to be a treasure trove of tools, paint and other useful stuff. The Briney Brick 33 c: What do we have here? by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Deep down in the hold of the wreck, the quartermaster even found a couple of canon barrels, perhaps used as ballast, or else for sale. Apart from the wreck itself, these were the best finds! The Briney Brick 34 c: Heave Ho mates! by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Heave ho! Lining up parts of the hull and pulling her together again. The Briney Brick 35: Men at work 1 by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Remind me Port, how was it again? Measure once, cut twice? The Briney Brick 37: Men at work (4) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Heave Ho again! Moving wood. Moving so much wood! With all the rafts taken apart, and shortening the ship a few feet, there was more than enough wood to rebuild her. The Briney Brick 37: Men at work (3) by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The ship had no gun ports, it had indeed been a harmless merchant. With the canons found in the hold however, it could become so much more. If only some gun ports could be cut… Modding time: I added a deck. Simple; the original open deck had an 8x10 stud hole, so a 8x8 grill plate with 2 2x8 plates on the sides would fill it nicely. Entr'acte: the ship from set 31109, and some small modifications. by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The briney brick 43: heave ho once more by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I also added a capstan to the centre of the grill plate, so my poor crew no longer had to dangle like a bunch of grapes from a rope to haul something. It also makes it easier to take out that deck part and reach the guns below. The Briney Brick 40: The downside of good ideas... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The only downside to the added deck is more deck to swab. Pip had been pretty impressed by the figure head. Of course it had lost some of its charm, with a lot of wood weathered and silvering. Time for a touch up! The Briney Brick 33 a: What do we have here? by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Briney Brick 39: a ship taking shape 2 by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Intermezzo 2: adjusting the Ginger Mermaid... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr (more slight modding; from left to right from original to what is now the figure head (number 4) and one beyond) The Briney Brick 39: a ship taking shape 1 by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Quartermaster in a bosun’s chair, giving the captain’s quarters on the original just brow ship a lick of fresh paint. (thus restoring the wreck to original 31109 colours). And more modding time. The Briney Brick 42 (c): Adding a closed forcastle by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I wanted to close up the front of the fore castle. That in itself was easy enough, although it took me a time to decide on windows or a door to access the galleon. And I wanted to change the bow sprit a bit… The Briney Brick 42 (a): Adding a closed forecastle by Jan Kusters, on Flickr A wall in the fore castle was simple enough, and much to my delight, the shutters in the arched windows can swing out like this! Who knew! I had spend weeks agonising over windows or door in that wall... Entr'acte: the ship from set 31109, and some small modifications. by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I also altered the Capstan on the fore deck a little. Set directly on the 1 layer higher frond deck. Stud shooters with a 1x1 round brick instead of a plate make excellent swivel guns... And if closed studs are used, they will even shoot that brick... The Briney Brick 42 (b): Adding a closed forcastle by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The forecastle is now Baldies domain, the galley. With a good stack of rum of course. Most of my mods to the ship are based on a replica 17th century ship, de Halve Maen (the Half Moon in old Dutch). It is a replica of a Dutch small(ish) seagoing ship. The original was from 1609, a sailing replica was build in 1989 in Albany, New York. That replica spend some years in the Netherlands, which gave me a chance to visit it. In my view the lines of the ship from set 31109, with its high fore castle and high stern, remind me of a late 16th or early 17th century ship. So it might be something like this, a fast ‘Yacht’, or a small galleon with a smallish crew. Staysails and the gaff-mizzen are from later date, when ships also became less ‘curved’. The only things really missing from the 31109 set are lateen sails on the mizzen and a Bonaventura masts at the back. I could not figure an easy way to fit them (the masts of the Lego set are actually too far back) and they would make the cabin at the back less accessible (the entire poop deck flips up). I could, however, add a bowsprit-mast with square sails instead of stay sails. The gaffed mizzen stays furled up on my ship. Most fore- and aft sails on these ships were more for steering and balancing the ship on course than for going faster. The full ship... Galley in the fore castle... The briney brick 44: Raising the masts by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Raising the masts… For now I would like to keep this ship pretty much as brick build as I can. I am curious about how it compares to the 'specialize parts' ship from Barracuda Bay. For that reason I am also using the Technic-part build masts, although I think the one piece masts like the Barracuda Bay has looks better (and I can find those even in brown). Entr'acte: the ship from set 31109, and some small modifications. by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I did change the masts a bit with bricklinked parts. I made them ‘stepped’ like real masts would be, and I replaced a bunch of grey ‘washers’ with brown half tubes. Entr'acte: the ship from set 31109, and some small modifications. by Jan Kusters, on Flickr I also changed the way the sails are attached a bit, they are now all on pins with a ball, and a ball cup at the spar, so I can move them about more easily. So far the rigging is my only real departure from the 'brick build' style. The rubbery string rigging from set 31109 looks fine, and fits better than what I am using now, but I like how I can pose minifings in the old style one piece rigging. It is also easier to partly disassemble things quick for posing figures or taking pictures… It is possible that, at some point in the future, I might decide to do my own rigging in real rope, and sails in paper or cloth. That is what I did ad a kid; I would build a (rather rudimentary) ship in Lego (not much else was possible in the sixties) with wooden dowel masts and spars, and spend days on making a rigging from darning wool and cutting sails from old handkerchiefs mom would give me after enough begging. But that would only be once I decide to change the ship into display instead of active play use. Which might be a while or never… The briney brick 47 (a): launch day... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Finally it was time to launch the rebuild ship. With the new shiny figure head, the ship practically named itself. ‘The Crimson Mermaid’, what else could it be? The briney brick 47 (d): launch day... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The launch party would have been even better had one man remained on board to drop the anchor. As it was, after the launch there was a mad scramble and swim to get the ship before she drifted off. Luckily Monty (the weathered looking castaway) had made friends with a shark, and that proved handy to catch up with the drifting ship… the briney brick 49; Pip at the steering wheel... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Another small mod, and very much not historically accurate for a ship this age; a compass binnacle with steering wheel and compass light. An actual ship this age would have been steered with a whipstaff or even a tiller below deck, and commands shouted down to the helmsman. But I have a bright crew who comes up with great inventions… And I have a steering wheel… I have even added a working compass-brick I found on Bricklink. Final modding: I did make some changes and extra’s in sails. For all sails I added spars with furled up sails, to use when the ship is anchored. For sailing conditions I added one fully deployed large sail, to be used on the foremast or mainmast, and I added a spritsail (on the bow sprit) and an furled up upper spritsail instead of the stay sail of the original set. The mizzen sail is also usually kept furled up. And so here she finally is, in all her sailing glory... The Briney Brick 54: dead calm... by Jan Kusters, on Flickr Entr'acte: the ship from set 31109, and some small modifications. by Jan Kusters, on Flickr The Crimson Mermaid!
  2. Another MOC from the 21322 Barracuda Ship. Class 7 heavy frigate Venezia 05 by Philippe, auf Flickr My first Barracuda Frigate had too many flaws and things that I didn't like. That's why I rebuilt this one. Venezia 06 by Philippe, auf Flickr The bug was completely changed. Venezia 07 by Philippe, auf Flickr The gradations and Tetris curves for the cannons remain. Venezia 13 by Philippe, auf Flickr The deck only has 3 levels. Before it was 7 and I was annoyed when I wanted to place something on the deck. Venezia 09 by Philippe, auf Flickr Ship railing now has no Tetris levels. Venezia 12 by Philippe, auf Flickr The masts and rigging were built more realistically. Venezia 11 by Philippe, auf Flickr For the sails I will use fabric ones. I only built it from Lego bricks so that the photos are more interesting. Venezia 10 by Philippe, auf Flickr A ship only comes to life with minifigures. Therefore, a crew that is ready for boarding. Some pirates have bottles-grenades. Venezia 14 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 15 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 08 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 04 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 03 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 02 by Philippe, auf Flickr Venezia 01 by Philippe, auf Flickr
  3. P01 by Philippe, auf Flickr Cannons: 16 Swivel gun: 10 Crew: 40 P02 by Philippe, auf Flickr I have extended by 2 Ship Middles and 1 stud wider left and right. The decks can be removed. P03 by Philippe, auf Flickr I changed the slopes on the side walls to brown, which makes the ship look darker and more frightening. P04 by Philippe, auf Flickr So that the ship does not look stupid, I extended the quarterdeck and the forecastle. I made the quarterdeck a little lower compared to the original. Under the forecastle is storage space. P05 by Philippe, auf Flickr In addition, I wanted to raise the side walls on deck and have space for the boats. If the loading hatch is used, the boats have to be removed. P06 by Philippe, auf Flickr I also made a companion hatch on the lower deck. It only has a ladder, because a staircase would have taken up a lot of space for the canon to be used. P07 by Philippe, auf Flickr So that it fits to the ship I changed the position of the masts. The ship was roughly divided into 3 thirds. In between came the masts. The masts had to continue below deck between the cannons so as not to restrict operation. P08 by Philippe, auf Flickr On the deck I installed Swivel gun. P09 by Philippe, auf Flickr P09A by Philippe, auf Flickr The captain's cabin is now larger. There is space for a large, comfortable bed. It also has a table for meetings or eating. P10 by Philippe, auf Flickr P10A by Philippe, auf Flickr There is room for 16 cannons on the cannon deck. The masts are located between the cannons, this guarantees handling. P11 by Philippe, auf Flickr Because the crew is large, I also needed a good caboose with a big grill. P12 by Philippe, auf Flickr This is the sleeping place of the Navigator, Sailing Master, Quartermaster and Master Gunner. P13 by Philippe, auf Flickr Next to the steering wheel has a compass, hourglass and the ship's bell. P14 by Philippe, auf Flickr It took me a long time for the bow. I tried different variations. This looked the best. P15 by Philippe, auf Flickr P16 by Philippe, auf Flickr P17 by Philippe, auf Flickr P18 by Philippe, auf Flickr P19 by Philippe, auf Flickr P20 by Philippe, auf Flickr P21 by Philippe, auf Flickr Link to the pirate crew: https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/176622-post-your-pirate-crew-pirate-figbarfs/&page=5&tab=comments#comment-3265667
  4. Class 7 heavy frigate Esperanza 1 by Philippe, auf Flickr Another MOC from the 21322 Barracuda Ship. This time I built a frigate. Esperanza 2 by Philippe, auf Flickr The middle part was answered to 6 mid sections. There is also an additional mast. Esperanza 3 by Philippe, auf Flickr 12 swivel guns were positioned on the deck. Esperanza 4 by Philippe, auf Flickr There are 20 cannons below deck. Esperanza 8 by Philippe, auf Flickr Esperanza 7 by Philippe, auf Flickr Esperanza 6 by Philippe, auf Flickr Esperanza 5 by Philippe, auf Flickr
  5. This model was originally inspired by three sets: 3817 (Flying Dutchman) from the Spongebob Squarepants theme, set 4184 (The Black Pearl) from Pirates of the Caribbean, and 21322 (Pirates of Barracuda Bay), from Ideas. It features three and a 1/2 masts with what are going to be fabric sails of Black Pearl size but of 2010 Imperial Flagship markings. The 2016 Ninjago "Skybound" flag (see below) will fly from the middle mast as Captain Henry Walker's pirate flag. The ship also has a crows nest and two removable sections: a rear upper deck for access to the captain's cabin and a forward deck panel for getting at the front four cannons. (there are eight cannons total on the ship) Here is the rear of the ship featuring the captain's cabin windows and a trio of lanterns. The ship's name, the Inferno, goes in printed 1 x 1 tiles on the exposed gray studs on the rear of the ship. The rowboat sits on a section of deck that easily comes off for access to the cannons. The roof of the captain's cabin is removable, with a table and chair for Captain Walker to sit at and read maps. Captain Henry Walker (in green) and his crew. The pirate flag of the Captain Walker. (This picture was taken from Bricklink's catalog and is NOT mine. It's from the 2016 Ninjago Skybound wave.) NOTES: I'm working on getting this built in real life, since my last ship is so unreasonably expensive to build in real life it's ridiculous. (Thus this one is better, as it less expensive / parts intensive) I'm gonna need help on the sails, so I'm asking @Alazon, would you mind helping me with these please? They would be in Black Pearl sizes, but in 2010 imperial flagship style colors? Comments, questions, and complaints are always welcome!