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Found 11 results

  1. Topsail Schooner "Lady Kathryn"

    After many months of planning, research, reading, studying, building, rebuilding, tearing-down, tearing out hair, and experimenting, I finally am able to present to you the Yankee topsail schooner Lady Kathryn (The Kate, for short). Brig - Two Masts - Two Square Sails on the Main 21B The Kate was built in the shipyards at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the 1720s, and transports cargo from New England to the Caribbean (with the occasional smuggling run to the French at Québec). She runs heavily armed to defend against pirates, and sails fast close to the wind to outrun Royal Navy revenue patrols. I chose the figurehead I did because it looked so much like the young friend of mine for whom the ship is named. The captain's cabin is not yet furnished and finished, but it's going to be a while before I can get around to that. Being thrifty Yankees, the old, ripped blanket in the bunk gets patched instead of thrown away. I tried quite a few building techniques that I learned from studying other ships on this site, so thank you to ALL of you who have posted pictures of your creations so fellers like me can learn from your talent and experience. Hope you all like it! By the way, if there are too many picture, please let me know and I'll delete some. This is my first major MOC post and I didn't know if there were a limit. The windlass is functional and raises both anchors. The Kate flies a flag associated with Colonial New England, the Pine Tree flag. Building the binnacle was a giant pain, but I like the way it turned out. She's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with her. Building her gave me the opportunity to buy a LOT of amazing books on 18th Century sailing ships, and schooners in particular.
  2. Ay, it has been a while since you have heard anything from my shipyards. We are currently quite occupied with the war, so priorities are there. A couple months ago, a young man stepped up to me and told me he had an idea how we could get the best performance from a Schooner - we spent a couple of weeks planning and built this ship quickly. His promise applied - the ship we build ended up faster than any other ship I had seen before. To save weight, we will, most of the time, not carry guns on it, but if the need arises we have enough space to place 10 6 pounders on the deck. As we don't need to carry munition and gunpowder we have plenty of cargo space on board of this ship. As this speed is unprecedented, we also decided that we may give this ship type its own name - it shall be a Clipper! Time for pictures? Yes: Roughly based on the Pride of Baltimore, a Baltimore Clipper. Size is pretty much like my other 5Fs (Green Winds, Colour of the Wind, Piece of Eight), so for now this will be licensed as a 5F. I hope we can get faster ships with the new system once it arrives...
  3. "Haul the main sheets, men. Bring her close to the wind!" Captain Norman Monroe commanded, his eyes fixed on the sails and rigging. The "Blazer" was fresh out of the shipyard in Balondia, and she was proving to be quite a flyer. Closely observing her every move and the lay of her rigging, Monroe was putting her through her paces, finding the limits of her capabilities. For merchant shipping and privateers alike, fore and aft rigging was getting more and more popular on the Brick Seas. While not as fast as square rigged vessels with the wind abaft the beam, it is faster on a bowline and requires less crew, allowing for larger shares per sailor, when the profits are divided. (And, more for the owner...) After finishing the first few trials, and making the necessary adjustments, the Blazer will set sail for King's Harbour with supplies for the naval base, before seeking new employment. Captain Monroe had high standards, and outfitted his crew with uniforms rivalling those of the navy, and that out of his own pocket. The brass was polished and the white manila rigging spotless, and the Blazer was fit for an admirals inspection. Her captain would have no rude comments from his navy colleagues. Thanks for looking - I have included a few more pics - and as always, I would like to hear your comments and suggestions. I am certain I can still improve! (Well, at least I hope!.. ) It is my first go at cloth sails, and I quite like how they turned out. While not perfect, they allow for the next new thing for me on this vessel: The running rigging. While the standing rigging (stays, shrouds, etc.) is quite similar (albeit more advanced and historically correct) to my earlier vessels, the running rigging (sheets, halyards, etc.) is new. In fact, all sails and yards can be raised and operated from the deck, which was a very interesting challenge. It really gives an insight in how complex rigging was in the age of sail! And as the pictures below should show, that is a lot of ropes! If I find rest in my fingers again, I might show a picture where the sails are all lowered and packed away, but for now, I can't handle another round of fiddling with those tiny ropes.
  4. 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:
  5. WIP HM Sloop Blanid

    To me she is His Majesty’s Sloop Blanid. Her name comes from old Irish, meaning “little flower” and references the floral decorations on her transom; which themselves are hold overs from her predecessor in my fleet. She’ll be rigged as a topsail schooner and is very much inspired by American revenue cutters of the 19th century. The configuration of her hatch gun was intended to resemble that of “Friends Goodwill” but I can’t seem to find any decent images of that system, not any longer, and had to go from memory. Historically she would most likely represent a converted merchant vessel, probably a captured prize. The building method is an attempt at a further evolution of my curved hulls. The intent is to add not only breadth curvature and tumblehome, but sheer as well. (That’s the curve along the water line which brings the focsle and quarterdeck above the waist.) There was also a lack of counter astern, of which I complained before, and ventured to better simulate by building the lower portion of the hull on two levels. (Counter is the underside curve of the hull which rises up above the water line near the rear of the ship, cause by the narrowing of the hull towards the stern post.) I’m utterly enamored with her myself so I find it hard to judge the level of my success in these efforts. I did ask for community feedback before expending so much effort on her but received little to no response. So, I forged ahead and here have a hull which is, in almost all respects, ready to be rigged. It should be noted that there are many “cheats” and “illegal connections”. None of this is of any concern to me. It’s not as though I am in a competition, and if you think we are, you should probably reconsider that sentiment, or at the very least, bring me into the fold. Yes the inner hull is colored with tape as well are the muttons on the skylight windows. The former is something I wanted to try for a while, seeing the only other alternative being a completely different building technique involving plates like on Bumblebee. The latter is something I did not innovate but have had used before to great success and critical approval before. The transom is held in place with “o” rings which replaced the original Lego rubber bands, they having been too weak. I tried every conceivable brick connection to no avail. As for the gun, if you’re in any way a purest, no you cannot recreate it as it requires Mega Bloks so old and out of date I wouldn’t even know where to tell you could acquire them. I’m not even sure they are Mega Blok brand, they are just the kind of junk you find mixed in with used lots of bricks from craigslist. It looks pretty neat though, doesn’t it? Comments, questions, concerns, it’s all good. Talk her up, please. If it’s not obvious I do enjoy talking about my works, so don’t be shy, save, perhaps where purism is concerned. What I’d most like to hear is how convincing the attempts at sheer and counter are. Really, have I pulled it off? I can’t tell after staring at her for so long, my eye sees what I want it to anymore and I just can’t trust it. Thanks for looking! More images available here.
  6. I've recieved the message that my shipyards have finished another ship for me! We need to get there as quick as we can to check it out! And there we are! Isn't she a beauty? Finally a really fast ship that should help us to buy even more ships! That's what we call a Schooner my friend, and this one is a large one! Lets go around to the Stern: She is actually a lot larger than you might think, so I decided to command the Dragon's Revenge here, which is, albeit being bulkier, quite a bit shorter, as you can see from this bird: I also noticed that the Pride of Elysabethtown was around too, so I decided to send my bird up to these vessels too! I think it'll be a while until we have a ship equal in size to the Pride besides the Margot! I also tried to take a picture which includes all of my still standing ships, but that proved to be rather difficult - the War Dwarf/HMS Kent/Justicia (which hasn't recieved a new paintjob as the real model just yet) is to big to be in the forground and way to small in the background (you might be able to see one mast:D) - and all these ships just take up so much space (I don't even want to know how much space these minifig-scale first rates take:D)... So, a quick Overview over the facts: time spent building - no stopwatch running, but I started 1 1/2 days ago 6 swivel guns 4 longguns Captain Ronald Scourie Owner: Jerome Monezterrell (me) Build by the Monezterrell' Shipyards (might be coming at some point in the future :P) Tradecompany: MAESTRO Crew: at least 12 men Rating: at least a class 5F. not sure if it might classify for a 6F. I want to hear what you think! How it all started:
  7. ... somewhere along the coast of Eslandola. An Oleander top sail schooner has anchored just outside a secret cove so far away from the capital that no one would expect it to be a secret meeting point for Oleander and Eslandolan diplomats. Here they meet whenever something needs to be done or discussed far from the public eye. Today was a more than just a meeting though. A crew of Oleandor elite sailors has brought the "Le Salamandre" to Eslandola as a gift from King Philip to King Fernando. This is to make sure, King Fernando publicly renounces his claim to the Oleander throne ... This was quite a price that was to be paid but if things became known, King Philip could always pretent that the ship was a generous gift to Fernando as part of coronation festivities. The two diplomats greet each other but, as the deal has been seeled before, there is no reason to talk much. The big grin on the face of the Eslandolans tells quite a story though ... The Oleanders however, do not seem to be too excited about what it is happening. But they now it might save the two countries from going to war with each other As the Oleander flag is taken down, some of the sailors are cramping the fists in their pockets. How could the crown give away such a swift and elegant vessel? But, who were they to question what King Philip was doing. Hopefully Fernando would now take the bribe gift and cease harassing their country. The thing was tough, Fernando's diplomats had brokered out the deal without Fernando's knowledge. Would it be that easy to pacify him ... ? bye bye Le Salamandre - La Salamandra, may you sail safely! OOC: Okay, I've been building on this for quite a while already, but this was the perfect occasion to finally prent the "La Salamandra (Le Salamandre)" to the public. The original plan was to build the best ship that could possibly done on the small prefabs. Hope I at least accomplished half of that ...
  8. WIP Green Schooner

    Green Schooner WIP Redux I am editing over the old post as I found it wanting. I suppose I could start a new post but that just seems wasteful. I also don’t want to discredit the support which has already been shown. Below is my attempt at a better, more informative, if verbose, WIP topic. If you’re taking an interest, you’ll likely have lots of questions as to how or why I made a lot of the choices I have. For those of you, here it all is. For those less inclined, enjoy the pictures. If anything is still unclear, you have a truly helpful suggestion, or just want to show your support, please feel free to comment. Thanks for your interest in advance, and trust me it’s worth getting all the way though. When I started this project, about a year ago now, I set forth with a few goals in mind. For one I wanted to frame the entire project within the idea of making an all-out pirate ship based on Skull’s Eye Schooner of Classic Pirates fame. Hither too I had always favored good-guy/hero types with my creations and figured it was about time I provide my mini-verse with some bad-guys to keep ‘em busy. When I was a kid, playing with my Lego ships it always bothered me that SES wasn’t anything like a schooner. I suppose even at that age I already preferred that the intersection where fiction converged with history be more in the neighborhood of realism over fantasy. I used this as inspiration and resolved that whatever came of it, I’d make this next MOC in the style of SES but as an actual schooner. My other goals involved further refining the “Bent Brick” method I had adopted and adapted (credit to Henrik Hoexbroe). My previous MOC, Ramcat, was rather experimental and in parts suffers from a lack of pre-planning. Though the basic elements are all there and the goal of an all-working-parts-model can be said to have been achieved, much was omitted for space while some things remain historically dubious. Knowing better the demands of this style of building I would be more well prepared with each step to make a more complete and inclusive model this time. Many of the things, like fife rails, left out or left peculiar to that previous venture would be rectified in this construction. Also important to me was to include elements from other builders which could enhance my own effort as well as incorporate other elements from real world examples I had previously shied away from. The final element I’d insist on incorporating would be homage paid to the American privateers of the early 18th century. In my youth I had considered such vessels to have occurred far too late in history to be truly relevant to my own interests or Pirate lore in general. As I matured, learned and branched out I came to appreciate these historic vessels, and the contemporary replicas thereof, a great deal more. Now, aside from perhaps Frigates and their daring crews of the same era, these are perhaps my favorite over all. For reference I’d look to Lynx and Pride of Baltimore II. The initial renditions of the project were less than stellar. It seemed that marrying my concept to the parameters of SES likeness was going to be a handicap. For one I didn’t want to destroy any previous builds to reuse parts and change the color scheme but at the same time did not want to go forth and acquire new or more bricks either. On the one hand I felt it a violation of my principal of “use what you have” vs. “order, just, what you’ll need”. On the other it would take some creative budgeting to afford the colors I’d need to do it right. Before I was done, however, I’d commit to both. After trying several different configurations of color, I decided that green should be the predominant color on the hull accented by gray, rather than the other way around as of SES originally. As for the red elements, I just couldn’t seem to rectify them on my version and abandoned them entirely. The shade of green was the deciding factor in my decision to order parts. The standard Lego green, that bright green of prefab foliage, was just too vibrant for my taste and didn’t give the feeling of pirate ship at all. Instead I had to go with a darker, drabber green which I could afford, but had to be ordered in sets and cannibalized. The gray elements would have to be dark gray and/or blay to compliment the darker green as well, but that I had in stock, abundantly enough. The rest of the ship would wind up black instead of wood colors. While “blacking” was a common practice for practical vessels of this era I also figure it would lend the schooner a more sinister look. This time around I built the ships sides in a “ribbon” like fashion, flat on the deck then tested it again and again around an armature. After a lot of trial and error of both elements, the ribbon and armature, I came up with a hull shape I found pleasing and accurate (enough). Astern I expounded on a concept I added to Ramcat as more of an afterthought which made attaching the ribbon to the armature particularly difficult. Though I am a little ashamed to admit I do not know the name of, nor can I find any reference to it; I found the lack of curve on the underside of the hull near the stern disenchanting. Even heavily laden ships have a small portion of their hull’s underside above the water line as it narrows to the stern post. On this model I wanted to make this effect more pronounced and better well incorporated in to the transom. Though not entirely successful, I think the scale to small to really work well, I find her stern profile passable. Since the dynamic shape I had envisioned escaped me I took advantage of the increased space and added elements for a working rudder. Only the rudder head and till actually exist as the rest would be below the water line, but all the same, working elements were established early on as a primary goal. Up forward another working element was integrated when inspiration struck. I always considered the idea of a functional windlass/capstan fundamental. Any round part on an axle will coil a cable. Going years back to Snake, though, I wanted to make something of a more practical model than just round bricks on pins. While looking over pictures of schooners for inspiration I took a closer look at the more advanced, metal, windlasses of 19th century vessels as such. I saw a lot of similar shapes in common with technic parts and started building. Digging though my bag of gears and such, I found a lot of useful parts and cobbled together some designs that would very much look the part but still not quite work. What I was missing was a ratcheting action. To function it would need cat’s paws but on that scale, how? I found a gear which worked well with a cheese wedge to lock in place but needed a spring. (Purists prepare to cringe) In one rendition I actually tried to use the spring from a retracting ball point pen but it was impossible to keep in place. The smooth surface of Lego bricks failed to create enough friction. After that I tried pieces of flexible material, like card stock and balsa wood, but none of it had the necessary tension. Then out of the blue I thought of closed cell foam. Over the years I had saved plenty of the stuff from the likes of video game console packaging for myriad uses. I even had black which would blend well into the schooner’s décor. With a cheese wedge attached to a clip to make a hinge and pressed up against a wall, the foam acted like a spring and the ratchet worked. I now had a truly functional and practical windlass for my schooner. If I could bring mini-figures to life, they could use the windlass just like the real thing! See Video Amid ships there was much more work to be done. Mounting masts was nothing new, the same methods from Ramcat would be used over but the railings and deck were going to be a challenge. The belaying pin system I developed for Ramcat would work well, but I would need a lot more pins this time and the same standard would be needed on the new fife rails as well. In this system a clip holds a pin firm in place, rather than loose through a board like the real thing. This is so that a rope to be belayed in place need be only wrapped around the pin once to hold its place while reaching through the web of lines on the model. Then the clip and pin can be removed as one, the line still held in place, and belayed properly; free of the ships rigging where the modeler can work more easily. Once properly tied off the assembly can be replaced on the rack to resume proper tension, taking full advantage of the Lego system. Then next thing to be incorporated were deck housings. In my previous works I shied away from such construction for lack of deck space. Instead I had tried to compensate for the small scale by leaving hatch ways and gratings flat or even flush. For a basic interpretation this works well enough but is a characteristic more appropriate for much larger vessels. On schooners of this type, raised deck housings helped compensate for a distinct lack of space below deck and are a key characteristic of those ships. The first rendition of these was rudimentary by comparison, but served to develop the hatch ways I kept on the later version. Though they do not open and close freely, these covers and doors can be configured to remain either open or closed. Since the type of model (waterline), scale and construction technique make a below decks space impossible, I figured this is a nice way to allude to one for certain scenes. I also wanted to take this model to the next level with a planked deck, never much enjoying the studded decks of my previous efforts. A tiled deck may have seemed easier at first but it would have made for a lot more spacing conflicts with the armature and the tiles as planks would be just too wide. Instead I tried out something I had seen here on Classic Pirates. I assembled gray plates on their sides and staggered them to resemble the planks. I feel it worked out rather well. I picked gray over beige or brown, not only because I have no abundance of those other colors but because I wanted to serve that sinister look. Wooden decks not regularly sanded and scrubbed, nor sealed and coated will turn gray when exposed to the weather. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of any one gray to do all of the deck, so I took a queue from castle builders and started throwing in other grays randomly. My hope was that the different colors would resemble damaged, well worn and/or repaired sections. I think the overall effect worked, but worry that some particular sections may still be distracting. Still to be worked on: The wheel, I copied Ram cat’s design but, this time with the intention of actually attaching the line to the till to work the rudder. I had planned on using relieving tackles below deck to give the wheel a more realistic feel. After completing the deck from what was on hand, plates of every dimension from 1 to 4 studs wide, I’m not sure I still have the space. I may have to settle for a direct connection. The gun flaps are currently held in place with strips of tape. I tried many different configurations of bricks to make a hinge but found none that worked ad still fit the size/scale of the ship. I came up with this idea while pondering how the actual hinges were attached. Purists may cringe, again, but after seeing how well these work and look my intention is to print stickers to replace the taps and look like iron hinges. I actually don’t feel that this is too much of a purism violation, not that I am very much concerned. After all though not for articulation, even Lego uses stickers to decorate their creations at time. Mine will just be a custom sticker. Belaying pins have been something of a struggle on this build. On Ramcat I simply turned dowel against a file in my hands and that worked well enough. The shape was simple but served the purpose. Purest may again take umbrage but there simply are no parts in the Lego catalog that will work just right. This schooner has so many more pins than Ramcat (26 vs. 44), that I decided that old method would be remarkably impractical. I attempted to makeshift a lathe with my Dremel tool. It worked well enough but I found it difficult to produce consistent shapes. Perhaps with practice or a proper tool, I could do better but that would simply be far more of an investment than I’d like. Instead I tried to design 3D belaying pins to print with Shapeways. My efforts there have hit a hurdle in the form of my lacking experience as well. There are problems with my mesh which will take an investment in self education all its own to correct. On this front, any assistance the community can offer would be appreciated. There are still scale miles of rigging to be rove, though the masts and spars as complete and ready. Sails will be their own adventure as I moved on from Ramcat before ever making her suit. Though it will require some experimentation, both vessels will likely get their suits at the same time. I figure at this point that my end goal for this project cannot be reached in the remaining time. I had resolved to complete the project by October 31st in order to utilize it in a Halloween appropriate scene. After that I had hoped to use her in conjunction with Ramcat and some of my other MOCs in a number of vignettes and perhaps even on display at convention(s). Between changing jobs and getting married, though, I simply haven’t been able to keep up. At this point I fear the project never being completed let alone dragging on any longer. Though I still hold out hope for a finished Ramcat, it was much the same situation and still she collects dust. I may very well be able to broker some free time in the near future I can use towards this cause though. I still don’t’ find the end of the month realistic but I don’t believe any of the local (Philadelphia area) conventions occur till the New Year. If you made it this far, thanks for your investment and interest. I do appreciate the encouragement I’ve received (most of the time) from this community over the years and that’s probably why I keep coming back. Please leave your comments, but in mind of her incomplete status.
  9. [LDD MOC] English Schooner

    A good morning/afternoon/evening to you all. I've been hanging around here for a while now, and I've decided it's high time I came up with something of my own to contribute. I drew inspiration from Dread Pirate Wesley's HMS Pickle, mostly for doing the hull and the spars. So, without further ado, I present my first MOC: a 12-gun, 2-masted, fore-and-aft rigged schooner. Port Side. Schooner 4B Starboard Side. The head-on view. And a view of the stern. Comments and criticism are welcome. If you would like additional shots of different angles, just ask and I will be happy to oblige.
  10. Hey-ho, sea brothers! There is a ship I want to show you - a "relaxing" work after a big one. Also there are some "drowning" tests of BR (: The pictures are here on my flickr: Thanks for your attention! Schooner 6B
  11. 170D Nuisance is a small, early 19th century schooner the like favored by smugglers for its shallow draught. With less hull below the water, small ships like these can sail in shallower water and over obstructions that larger ships cannot, opening up a lot more options for ports. In my story her name derived (tongue in cheek) from the local’s perception of the level of threat she poses and the behavior of her crew. In actuality I named her Nuisance because after months on end of struggling to finish her, that’s exactly what she became. The project started, perhaps a year or so ago when I was experimenting with different hull building techniques. Initially she was never meant to be a complete MOC but I just kept adding on until I was at a point I just couldn’t bring myself to give up. The hull is a little more than inspired by SlyOwel’s “Pimp Your IMPT” contest entry. Much of the rigging and some other parts came from the wreck of Raven and the sails are yet another attempt at sail making for the sake of function. Some of the images were taken in front of some fans to fill her sails with wind. Once I had figured out SlyOwel’s technique I started realizing its potential for small hull building and decided to expand on it for an even more realistic shape. From there I began scrounging up cast-off parts from other projects and decided I could afford a schooner. To design her rig I first looked at the schooner Bee, a replica very much of the same style and era of my own Nuisance. I didn’t entirely like her rig with only one topmast, so some of it wound up coming for other inspiration as well. The overall effect is pretty impressive but imperfect. I like her and she’ll serve her purpose well. Purest may grumble at some of her elements but aside from the wooden dowel, which I’ve defended more than one on other MOCs, there’s really nothing involved that not used in Official Lego sets. For the moment I need to concentrate on my other projects so I’ll call this one done and move on. In the future I want to revisit this technique. I’m not sure how necessary the rubber bands and shrouds (2541) actually are. I’m also planning a comic showcasing Nuisance in her role as a smuggler, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to get it. As always there are a lot more pictures on my photo bucket. Question, comment, etc. welcome. I resolved weeks ago, to get her finished and posted just to do my part and help revive activity around here, so enjoy.