Articles Archive

Essay: Building The Kraken!

Friday, September 4th, 2009

For as long as ships sailed the oceans, legends of collosal squid, large enough to drag ships to the bottom of the ocean, have existed. Similarly, for as long as LEGO fans have built ships, they have built creatures to battle with them - sea serpents, giant squid, sharks and other monstrosities. But most common by far is the Kraken, often inspired by popular fiction, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The smooth, aquadynamic form of the Kraken, in particular the tentacles, poses a difficult problem when building with cuboid bricks. However, as the parts palette available to builders expands, the problem becomes easier to solve.

The simplest solution to the Kraken is provided by The LEGO Group themselves - an octopus. Although far smaller than most giant squid are imagined, when used with a smallish vessel, they offer a quick and easy solution, such as in 6240 Kraken Attackin' -

Click to visit The Brickster's review in the Pirate Forum

It is perhaps more effective when used in conjunction with a microscale ship, such as in Paul Cantu's MOC -

Click to visit more photos of Paul Cantu's MOC

For those wanting a larger Kraken capable of mauling full-size ships, a brick-built alternative is necessary. The tentacles pose the greatest problem to builders, and a number of methods have evolved so far.

Again, the most wide-spread solution comes directly from LEGO themselves, in the form of the "tentacle system" - that is, the various parts that can be fitted together and posed to form tentacles, tails, trunks and the like. First released in 2001, it wasn't long before a giant squid appeared in a set, namely 4796 Ogel Mutant Squid -

Click to find out more about 4796 Ogel Mutant Squid on Bricklink

A slightly more realistic squid came in 7775 Aquabase Invasion as part of the Aquaraiders theme in 2007, which soon became the basis for most brick-built squid -

Click to read Hinckley's review of 7775 Aquabase Invasion

However, given the Kraken's propensity to remain underwater, the body is often left un-built, and just the tentacles represented, such as in Hippotam's MOC, the Last Journey -

Click to see more of Hippotam's MOC on Brickshelf

The length of tentacles that can be obtained using the "tentacle system" is, however, limited, and so other methods must be used if a larger Kraken is wanted.
The use of hinge bricks and plates allows for greater posing than using the "tentacle system", although it can be blockier. However, it allows for the use of 1x1 round plates to be used as suckers, such as in Josh Morris' MOC, Bones and Calamari -

Click to see more of Josh's MOC in the Pirate Forum

Entirely brick-built tentacles have also been experimented with, such as in Indy Ram's MOC -

Click to see more of Indy Ram's MOC

There have also been attempts to integrate the "tentacle system" with brick-built extensions, such as Paul Brassington's MOC -

Click to see more of Paul Brassington's MOC on Brickshelf

Other less conventional techniques are emerging, for example SirNadroj's use of Creator monkey tails -

Click to see more of SirNadroj's octopus

Other methods of tentacle-building out there, which haven't yet been applied to the building of giant squid, include the use of inverted rubber tyres, which gained prominence through the Black Fantasy genre, such as this MOC by Lt. De Martinet - imagine 8 of these on a collosal body!

Click to see more of Lt. De Martinet's tentacle

10192 Space Skulls comes with enough black cylinder-hinges for nearly 2 giant squid!

Click to read Dunamis' review of 10192 Space Skulls on Eurobricks

The body is another problem for MOCers. It is commonly solved by brick-building or using slopes, as seen in examples above, or by using larger pre-fabricated curved elements, such as in Rod Gillies' Calamari Calamity -

Click to see more of Rod Gillies' MOC

However, it remains simpler and perhaps more effective to leave the body underwater, and just build the tentacles.

N.B. Although there are notable differences between giant squid, octopi and various renditions of the Kraken, for the purposes of this essay, they are all included as one and the same thing.

Update! It looks like the new Atlantis line comes with 2 different Kraken, one which appears to have a new tentacle piece! See more here

Look out for Building Sea Serpents soon!

‘Behind The Helm’ is coming back!

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Behind The Helm logo'Behind The Helm' is Classic-Pirates.com's interview program that sort of fizzled out a few months ago due to other high demands in running Classic-Pirates.com. But not to worry, because the ever-popular 'Behind The Helm' is on its way back!
While you're waiting, check out previous episodes here:

And keep an eye out on the horizon for the next exciting 'Behind The Helm'!

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir Wellington

Sunday, August 9th, 2009
The Battle of Waterloo by Sir Wellington, discuss it in the forum!

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir Wellington, discuss it in the forum!

Eurobricks member Sir Wellington has been busy! He surprises us with his Battle of Waterloo. There are even some custom made torso's in there. The MOC is full of action which you have to see!

So hurry to the forum to discuss the Battle of Waterloo. The real Napoleon Bonaparte lost the battle more then 200 years ago, perhaps we can change the history!

Poll: Your favourite Imperial faction

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Click here to vote for your favourite Imperial faction on the Classic-Pirates.com forums

Today in the poll you have the choice out of the three Imperial factions. You have 3 choices , choose from Imperial Soldiers, Imperial Guards and Imperial Armada. Get voting now in the Classic-Pirates.com Pirates forum!

Click to vote and submit your opinion on which Imperial faction you think is best in the Pirates forum!

Poll: Your Favourite Ship Hull Colour

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Polls on Classic-Pirates.com

It's voting time! Today's poll is for you to vote which your favourite LEGO® Pirate ship hull colour combo is. Whether red & brown, green & black or any other official colour scheme, go across to the Classic-Pirates forum to submit your vote.

Click here to vote for your favourite LEGO® Pirate ship hull colour in the Classic-Pirates.com forum.

Where to discuss Custom Pirate LEGO Mini-Figures?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Click here to vote for where you would prefer to discuss Custom Pirate LEGO Mini-Figures?

Where would you prefer to discuss Custom Pirate LEGO Mini-Figures?

Currently the Custom Pirate LEGO Mini-Figures are discussed in the Minifig Customisation Workshop which is outside of the LEGO Pirates Forum.

While this forum is a great asset to Eurobricks, the Classic-Pirates.com Crew is pondering whether the Pirate MOC Forum would a better place to discuss Custom Pirate Mini-figures.

So we’re curious to know where you would prefer.

Please visit the LEGO Pirates Forum and vote in the poll.

The more information you provide us, the better we can tailor to your needs.

Poll: Vessels & Vehicles, vs. Bases and Buildings

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Click here to vote in the vessels and vehicles vs. buildings and bases poll in the Pirates forum!

TheBrickster wants to know...

"What do you like best: vessels and vehicles or bases and buildings?"

Over the past few days, I've been in Pirate-mode really enjoying the new 2009 Pirate theme. I have not yet found the new Soldier Fort or the large Pirate Ship, but I'm really looking forward to the fort. I love island and fort sets. As I've been looking at all the new pirate sets, it got me asking myself, "What do I enjoy more, Ships or Structures"?

Click here to vote and discuss about which is best in the Pirates forum!

‘Behind The Helm’ Episode #6 ~ Admiral B©jaune

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

'Behind The Helm' Episode #6 ~ Admiral B©jaune

Today I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Admiral B©jaune, previously HMS243. He let's me in on a few secrets including some top-secret information about his new ship, the Sang Royale, plus he shares his tips for buying LEGO® bricks.

So come on over and read 'Behind The Helm' Episode #6 ~ Admiral B©jaune in the Pirates forum!



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