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Building HUGE ships
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I don't know how many of you already tried to build a really big ship (several decks: cargo hold, 1st gun deck, 2nd gun deck, the highest deck and that surface over the captain's cabin)

After some attempts I achieved some conclusions that I would like to share with you, to help in future builds:

i) you have to build custom hulls, because Lego hull pieces are too short and narrow
ii) the quantity of pieces you need is gigantic, mainly because of the custom hulls. I have made some draws in LDD of the lower section of the hull, excluding the prow and stern. My hull section was 6x8=48 studs longs and it required around 1100 pieces!!!
iii) you really need to build a long ship or it will seam blocky
iv) is better to design the exterior in LDD to have an idea of the number of pieces required before advancing into the construction
v) unless you are millionaire you can't be to strict with the stern colors and perhaps use black instead of brown, white instead of tan, because some colors are cheaper than others.

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| July 29, 2011, 7:13 am
 Group admin 
Well, I think you got it all covered.

I haven't made a huge ship myself yet but I will one day.
At the moment I'm working on my new version of the flying dutchman, which has 3 decks + the deck on top of the captain's quarters
So she's pretty big already.
Normally I wasn't able to make it so make but I found an elegant sollution :P
I left one side of the ship open so one can view the interior, leaving more bricks available for the other side of the ship ;)
Permalink
| July 29, 2011, 1:31 pm
Wonderful initiative Frank
Working from your excellent list I have some thoughts of my own.
I) Wooden ships have a Fish/Drop shape that can´t be achieved with Lego hull pieces. They´re also too narrow.
II) In building the Hms Surprise(corvette) the brickcount was about 20000, so for a Ship of the line it should be 60000+, that is because of the custom hull.
III) The ships are very long 150-250 studs.
IV) You have to use LDD, eventually when you´re confident about you´re technique and there´s a realistic possibility of re-using bricks in other builds you can buy some. (that´s where I am now)
V) When using LDD (Universe Mode) there is the possibility of using very rare bricks, they are very expensive/impossible to get. Check “buyability “ if you can buy it via Designbyme it isn´t rare.(most of the time). Even with that said a realistic price of the bricks needed for a Huge ship is astronomical.


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| July 29, 2011, 3:18 pm
Sebeus I:

Yes your Flying Dutchman is already pretty big and I think your idea of letting an open side is just FANTASTIC! I know the F.D. is a very hard ship and you have achieved a great result, very nice and I could never build something like that, but I still think it is somewhat blocky. Waiting for updates!!!


Anders T.:

That number of parts is just surrealistic... :( I don't find LDD models very appealing and I just use them to sketch for building with real pieces. Also I try not to use very rare bricks and I think is rather pointless to buy some parts, like cannons. If you want to build a 100 guns ship of line, perhaps you just need 20 for photos, and you save a lot of money... Cannons are really expensive.
Also one of the main difficulties when building ships that huge is the masts, I never tried but I guess you really need thick ones to be in scale.
Permalink
| July 29, 2011, 5:49 pm
Quoting. FrankBrickWright:“That number of parts is just surrealistic..”.
That is why I still build in LDD :), I guess when my treasury allows me to the build the ships in real bricks I´ll have to make some adjustments, such as chopping of the lower hull, and not build the interior.
Quoting. FrankBrickWright:“ Also one of the main difficulties when building ships that huge is the masts, I never tried but I guess you really need thick ones to be in scale. “
If you build in minifig scale “1:35-40ísh.” A mast for a Ship of the line should be 3-4 studs thick. The difficult thing is to make that “not blocky”.

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| July 29, 2011, 9:01 pm
 Group admin 
Because the costum hull consumes so many bricks I find it practical to build from the waterline, the part of the ship that isn't submerged.
This is usefull for display in diorama set-ups.
However the ship will not have a hold as that part is partially submerged.

Now about those masts, not the whole mast should be 3 studs wide, only the lower sections, the big masts these ships usually consisted out of several parts, the higher you go, the thinner the mast, similar to the (fictional) Flying dutchman btw
http://seiroth.fortunecity.com/davy/images/theflying-dutchman/dutchman_plan.jpg
During a storm they were able to seperate the top mast parts for safety


Permalink
| July 30, 2011, 5:16 am
Wow! Great link!

Yes, I know that it is quite easier to build only the part of the ship above the water, and in expositions it becomes quite better. I have, however, an insane dream. I guess you guys have saw my picture place, which has some small lakes. If I could build a ship with an underwater part, then I could place it in the lake (they're not very deep in some parts) and take great pictures, with almost 100% of historical accuracy.

Talking about the FD, it appears to have the masts too short. I saw your model and it has big masts, I think is looks better but in this designs they look smaller.
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| July 30, 2011, 7:41 am
 Group admin 
Yeah, they gave it short mast so it would be easier to handle during the shooting of the movies. Of course I'm going for the movie version, with three courses of sails and I'll use costum rigging,
The FD's rigging cannot be achieved with the regular rigging parts.

Another thing is the fact that some of the masts are placed under an angle, also difficult to replicate (on a steady manner) in lego :S
Permalink
| July 30, 2011, 8:27 am
Yes I see the angle and it is hard, but not impossible... Not for you... ;)
Permalink
| July 30, 2011, 9:32 am
 Group admin 
:P thanks,
btw, I posted some WIP pictures at classic pirates
http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?s=b4a63b74368b17646310c9f72e70117e&showtopic=58268
for the interested.

Permalink
| July 30, 2011, 11:59 am
Wow!

Feedback:
Is far better than your first version, because it has a very elegant design and is longer. I wouldn't notice the black line if you hadn't wrote, because it is good to cut the monotony of all that grey. Is it solid? I was not sure, when looking at the pictures. Now I think you need to improve the back balcony, I think it was better in your first version. Speaking about the organ I think your new design is cool but I would try to find something between the V1 and the V2 organs: in the movies it is higher than longer, but yours is longer than taller. However I also think the V1 organ lacks something that you have achieved with V2 :D

Anyway great job! Hurry up because I want to see it completed! ;)
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| July 30, 2011, 2:36 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Frank Brick Wright
Now I think you need to improve the back balcony, I think it was better in your first version.

Are you refering to the antenna's I used instead of fangs or is it more structurally ?

Quoting Frank Brick Wright
Anyway great job! Hurry up because I want to see it completed! ;)

This one is going to take quite some time I'm afraid, I'm actually considering making a newer version already with this color scheme
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=5125850

So I'll have to order some parts first,
mostly dark tan :S
Permalink
| July 31, 2011, 2:38 pm
I meant the fangs. I think the antennas are not a very happy idea :(

Considering your new pattern, I think you have to decide between:
a) being faithful to the movies's ship
b) combining the basic forms with some taste

If you chose the b) I think the pattern you have create is quite good, the tan is nice. It helps to cut all that grey...
Permalink
| July 31, 2011, 3:48 pm
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