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Here is “Bumblebee”, a Bristol Channel style pilot cutter. She is based on no one vessel in particular but is more of an interpretation of the type from many sources. Some parts of her make up may seem a bit dubious to the trained eye, but such is the limitation of this scale. I started this one with the intent of entering it in BoBS. Though it may sound a touch arrogant (it’s really not) my motivation came from a general disappointment in what I had so far seen in terms of BoBS ship building. I saw few risk taken and little done in the way of trying something new. I thought to foster some more of that by presenting this as something to be one-upped. After all, isn’t the game supposed to be about growing as a builder, not just grabbing at points (or did I miss something?). In the end I find the learning curve of the game far too steep for someone who’s never been a role player. I also went over budget and would still need to apply sails. I had figured on 12 hours total for the whole build, but at 14 had only got this far. It’s not a new concept, I’ve theorized it on other threads before and even had a mock up on my desk for a while. It is the first practical application I’ve done though. Where it stands, I wouldn’t find this technique on such a small scale useful for anything but late period/modern boats. I simply couldn’t get the curvature any tighter as to make the bow any buffer, nor could I reliably twist the sides to mimic tumblehome either. The rigging is a marginal success partially because I cut a lot of corners but also because, had forgone internal support in favor of good sportsmanship for BoBS. My other ships are aided by having dowels in their masts and spars to add stiffness. This one is all Lego aside from the string, so too much tension has the opposite effect. It all has to be just right otherwise it’s prone to collapse. Only the one side is actually photogenic. The starboard side is still just mocked up from cast-offs and knock-offs as I only ever intended to show the larboard side for the game. It’s from one of these evil imitations that she draws her quirky name though. A sticker still stuck to one of the bricks bears the name of a particular transformer. I felt she was telling me her own name since the placement wasn’t conscious or intentional, thus “Bumblebee”. I think it works and besides; its bad luck the change the name of a ship. Tough she’s not quite finished I’ll still issue the challenge to anyone interested in rising to it. If I can do this in 14 hours what can you do?
Presenting my latest “master work” His Majesty’s Sloop Reckless. She has been built and commissioned to replace the aging Ramcat. The new design takes inspiration for HMS Alert and other such cutters. She remains a 10 gun sloop but is now in a more appropriate fashion for a commissioned man-of-war shedding her stern gallery and overly large bowsprit. Her scale has also increased to something much more like Mini-fig scale. This renewed effort was brought on when an opportunity to participate in an exhibit of “Toys as Art” at the Morris County Museum, NJ came along. Before committing, I made a thorough inspection of my fleet to determine readiness and completion. After careful consideration I simply found Ramcat wanting. She was a prototype that just kept going and was never intended to be finished. What started as an attempt to correct a few issues, quickly turned in to a complete tear down and rebuild. The second version was about as hapless as the original though and that too wound up scrapped. For this latest iteration I went back to concept and found new inspiration. Models of Alert captured my interest and I found a lot of useful and free information to help me make a most accurate interpretation. Alas, limitations of the scale and medium have caused me to deviate from an exact replica, as is quite typical. The wealth of information on Alert and sloops of her type though made finding reasonable alternatives simple and easy. At the time of this posting, we are about two weeks from our deadline and thus two weeks from completion. She is as brick built as all considerations can make her until her rig is in place and any subsequent needs become apparent. Because she is a replacement for Old Ramcat, Nick and crew will be shifting into Reckless to resume their normal duties. Her construction technique is the same I’ve been touting for some time. This time around, however, I was able to further refine my method and take into account needs and limitations previous versions did not. Though I did try to keep the “illegal” stuff to a minimum there are still a few element which may make purists cringe. Sometimes that’s just what it takes when you’re trying to force the system to do things it was never intended to do. Thanks for taking an interest. Do check back as updates with greater detail, better images, and perhaps a bit of story worked in, are forthcoming. Go ahead and talk her up, share her around and ask me anything. If it’s not obvious I’ll tell you, I love to talk about this stuff. For more images check out Reckless here. To take a look back at her predecessor, Ramcat, click here.
This lovely feat of Lego ship design and engineering comes to us from Know Your Pieces on Flickr. It was posted by Ejred with respect to the superb curving profile of the hull. She certainly is a remarkable model, wonderfully proportioned, highly detailed and all around well executed. Take her in, talk her up, and leave your comments and support and just enjoy. More images including WIP shots on Know Your Pieces' Photo Stream: https://www.flickr.c...knowyourpieces/