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“The Terrifying Charon’s Chest” by Barbatos

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022 Featured Image for "The Terrifying Charon's Chest" by Barbatos

Did ye ever hear the story of the ghost ship… nay, the cursed ship! Commanded by a fearsome captain and manned by an ungodly crew of the dead… bound to sail the Seven Seas for all eternity! Well, did ye hear or not?

Sounds like familiar question, right? But we are NOT referring to the The Flying Dutchman, nor the The Black Pearl, the The Silent Mary, and not even the The Death Starfish (that’s the ship of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck).

There is a new terrifying ship in our waters! A ship that goes by the name “The Charon’s Chest”, so now would be an excellent time for ye to learn a thing or two about her… and her captain, the dreaded John Blackheart.  For one day, ye may have the misfortune of crossing their wretched path, just as master builder, Captain Barbatos once did.


Render isometric stern view of Charon's chest

While the construction of the entire ship is interesting and worthy of closer inspection, the most distinctive feature is the terrifying skull protruding from the stern!

Barbatos writes:

With great pleasure I present to you this terrifying ship!

The ship was born while I was trying to make a redesign of the Redbeard Runner (6289). It seemed to me that it was becoming a foregone conclusion while looking at the skull of the stern and at my Silent Mary (71042). I said to myself: I’ll make this out of bones!

Main inspiration for Charon's Chest design

The two official LEGO sets which served as the inspiration for this eye-catching MOC

Re-envisioning an original is a feat often resulting in mermaids tears. Why, prey tell? Well, the artista is endeavouring to surpass something archetypal, and thus places the new creation at risk of becoming an over-bloated facsimile of the original. Furthermore, homages must be applied subtly, allowing the new incarnation to retain the charm of its progenitor, whilst affirming its own identity. This undertaking is not for the inattentive!

And here is the beauty of Barbatos’ talent. He succeeded! The respect paid to the originals culminated in a vessel far beyond what inspired it… something new… something unique… something grotesquely terrifying, yet beautiful!


The Terrifying Build

Angle bow view of real Charon's Chest

Hey look! Turns out to sail the ocean; you don’t need a complete hull, or complete sails. Those stingy Imperials could learn a thing or two from ghost ships about reducing their maintenance costs

Meet the cursed crew, or not

Meet the jolly crew of The Charon’s Chest, led by Captain John Blackheart, who is apparently cursed. What, that name doesn’t ring any bells? Next you’re gonna say you never read the Golden Medallion. NAY? Ok, time for the intermission…


The Intermission

When The LEGO Group launched the Pirates theme they sought to establish a narrative to encourage play, so they released a comic book entitled “The Gold Medallion” (which you should definitely read). Like any good pirate story, this one was also based on a treasure hunt… the treasure of The Blackheart Cousins.

The official story goes:

Fifty or so years ago, the Blackheart Cousins captured a great treasure. They buried it on an island… …and scratched a map on a gold medallion and divided it. Only with both halves could you find the treasure.

Soon, one of the cousins was captured by the greedy Imperial Guards, and promptly turfed into the dungeon. The other, John Blackheart, escaped and became the protagonist of Barbatos’ rousing story of The Charon’s Chest birthing into existence. The entire story is too vast for our humble blog post, so if ye have an interest click here to be transported to the realm of fiction!


Broadside view of the Charon's Chest

Among the many interesting details, the clever use of white LEGO ropes really makes the rigging stand out and enriches the overall build. Ingenious execution!

Poop deck and the helmsman

Charon’s Chest helmsman, who takes precautions against the pandemic seriously, even in their state of cursed afterlife. If only the Captain and others followed this example during life.

Captain John Blackheart in command

The man un-dead man of the hour, Captain John Blackheart in command of his damned crew.

Main deck of the Charon Chest

Here we see the main deck packed with small but devastating cannonades. If yer wondering what do they use for ammunition, the box on the left should provide a hint. It’s not an ordinary artillery, it’s a skull-blaster!

Stern view at the Charon's Chest

This could be one of the best designed skulls ever seen in our pirates waters. Beautiful!

Bow view of the Charon's Chest

The lamp on the bow, a symbolic tribute to the original Charon, who we hope approves of this design.

Close up on broadside

These bone dudes are serving as gun ports. Be they alive and part of the crew as well? C’mon, it’s a valid question. How does one get promoted from useless gun port to bloodthirsty swab on deck?

Inside the hold of the Charon's Chest

Now that’s odd… Why would a crew of the undead need fish? Oh my God! The cursed can’t eat the meat. Noooo! They joined the ranks of those non-carnivores! What’s next, the vegetarianism? Dear Lord, have pity on them, haven’t they suffered enough?

The Terrifying video

Classic-Pirates fans be warned, the content of this video material is not for those faint of heart. Turn up the lights and grab your favourite pillow, this is about to get scary.


Specifications

  • Parts: 2419 parts (without minifigures)
  • Dimensions: Width: 35cm (13.7″) | Length: 75cm (29.5″) | Height: 59cm (23.2″)
  • Weight: 2,7 kg (5,9 lbs)
  • Instructions available at Rebrickable.com

Who is Charon?

In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman of Hades who transports souls of deceased across the river Styx which divides the world of the living from the world of the dead.

If you plan to cross, you better possess a coin to pay the toll; otherwise you’ll wander the sandy shores and sip margaritas for hundreds of years.

Charon - the ferryman of Hades

Another creation from Barbatos, the dreaded Ferryman who never took a day off. Some say he is an employee of the millennia, but others argue that title belongs to Sisyphus. Either way, Barbatos’ Rebrickable provide you Ferryman instructions at no extra charge – so don’t even fix a price!


About the Builder…

Sailing over the horizon from beautiful Italy, Captain Barbatos is an experienced builder whose main interest lies in ship builds (pirate-themed mind you), as he feels they present a greater challenge than puny land-based builds.

He loves sharing images and insights of his finished builds, along with Work-In-Progress updates via his Instagram account. And on rare occasion, he also spoils us with MOC video demonstrations on his YouTube channel. For building instructions of The Charon’s Chest, and his other great creations, visit his Rebrickable account.

Then, if you have the gall to face Charon, boldly state your words in the LEGO Pirates MOCs sub-forum by clicking the big red shiny button bellow.

“Island Of The Lost” by CJTonic

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 Featured image of the "Island of the Lost" by CJTonic

Some people want a mansion, a yacht, and lots of money… others want a small hut on an tropical island away from those people. The right choice seems almost self evident, right? More wealth means more happiness, ergo we go with the yacht people, end of that discussion. However, many poor people with too much time on their hands great thinkers disagreed and had something clever to say about it.

Plato began ‘The greatest wealth is to live content with little‘, Seneca followed ‘It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor‘, and Kant drove it home ‘We are not rich by what we possess, but by what we can do without‘.

Hmm… a tough crowd to argue there… if only we had evidence to the contrary. But wait, what do we have here?

In his second pirate MOC named Island of the Lost, the master builder, CJTonic, explored this dilemma through Captain Bluejack who was fortunate unfortunate enough to have tasted both worlds. Let’s read about his story and, just maybe, become a little wiser in our own pursue of happiness and wealth.


Captain Bluejack lost in deep thought

Meet Captain Bluejack, the protagonist of the story

Island of the Lost MOC was created as Christmas present for my daughter, and it seems as if it was a success so far. Time to post some pictures here in the heart of the Classic Pirates community.

Let me introduce Captain Bluejack to you. This MOC is all about his story and his current life.


The Backstory

Bluejack was once the captain of the Golden Mermaid, one of the most successful pirate ships in the Caribbean, and for a brief period he was considered to be the wealthiest pirate captain ever known. But he overdid it. He pushed the crew too hard, always in search of that lost legendary treasure. And what do you get for pushing the crew too hard? That’s right, a good old fashion mutiny!

Arrival on the Island of the Lost

While building MOCs it is easy to go overboard and build an impressive 5k+ pieces creation… but often the true builder’s talent shines when he achieves more with less (like here).

Equipped only with his wits and a cutlass, he was banished from the Golden Mermaid on a small raft and left to die from thirst or drowning on the open sea. But destiny had other plans for Bluejack as the wind brought him safely to a desert island known better as Island of the Lost.

Marooned Captain Bluejack on an island

Not exactly a ‘small’ MOC by the LEGO standard (but not too large as well), the build consists of 1055 parts whose investment paid off with enormous amount of playability.

Once on dry land, Bluejack immediately switched into survival mode. He built a small hut from the driftwood he found, and was delighted to discover that his fishing skills from youth were still quite useful. He explored the island north to south, east to west. He even dared to climb highest peek of the island where he found a red parrot and befriended her. He named her Wilson, for it is a good name for a castaway companion.

Red parrot named Wilson

Marooning is the intentional act of abandoning someone in an uninhabited area, such as a desert island, or more generally to be marooned is to be in a place from which one cannot escape.

One afternoon, after his customary siesta, he noticed the fish he caught had disappeared… strange! By the evening he caught another fish and went to sleep. But when morning came, the fish was gone, again! This was not a coincidence, Bluejack thought. So he fished yet again, and when siesta came, he took his leave in the hut and snored heavily, but this time with his eyes wide open. Out of the blue, a thief appeared so Bluejack sprang after him.

Spinoza the mischievous monkey

The pirate articles of captains’ Bartholomew Roberts and John Phillips specify marooning as a punishment for capital offences, such as deserting the ship or quarters in battle, or for stealing from other pirates.

It was Spinoza, a mischievous monkey who belonged to the infamous Captain Redbeard (until he got sick of his treacherous nature and decided to dump his sorry ass him on an island). Bluejack chased after him with all his speed, but the monkey was faster and dived headlong into a waterfall. The stupid monkey bashed his head right onto the rock, Bluejack thought. But no, the monkey was gone. Baffled, he took a step closer, and to his surprise he discovered that the beautiful waterfall wasn’t just a waterfall, but the entrance to a hidden cave.

The entrace through a waterfall

The trans-clear 1×2 tiles in combination with 1×1 stud plates really do bring the waterfall to life. Superbly done!

What a scary place he discovered. The thieving monkey was cornered and trapped, but this was of little importance to Bluejack whose eyes were fixed on the ancient totem at the back of the cave. He wondered why the Islanders would make such an effort of carving a scary statue in the hidden cave, unless they wanted to intimidate and scare off accidental visitors.

Hidden cave behind the waterfall

Here we see the interior of the cave just behind the waterfall where CJTonic maintained his high level of attention to details.

Always curious, always on a lookout for fame and fortune, Bluejack examined the ancient totem more closely and was not a bit surprised to find that the towering figure served as a door. A sudden rush of excitement washed all over him. He proceeded slowly, giving his eyes somewhat chance to adapt to the dark. A thought of going outside and making a torchlight flashed through his mind, but he quickly tossed it aside as the call of adventure was stronger than common sense.

Islanders totem in the cave

The scary guardian who failed miserably at keeping uninvited guests outside…

When his eyes finally adapted, Bluejack saw that the cave was much shorter than expected. No gold, no lost idols, only one empty barrel of rum and some worn out paper hanging on the back wall. Hugely disappointed, he reached for the paper slowly, but the sudden hissing sounds stopped him dead cold. Cascabel Rattlesnake, the most venomous pit viper found in Caribbean, was giving a clear message that no one would touch the paper… (that is, until someone chops its head off with the nice sharp cutlass) He reached again for the paper.

Map of the legendary treasure

Would you believe that this whole set was designed over the course of two (2) intensive days, followed up with some minor ‘fine tuning’ afterwards… so what did you build last weekend???

Lo and behold, he finally found what he had searched for his entire life… the map to the legendary lost treasure! And all this time it was buried underneath a deserted Imperial Outpost, which he knew quite well since it served as the second home for him and the rest of the Golden Mermaid crew, now the mutineer crew.

Conquered Outpost from docks

The Conquered Outpost where the treasure awaits… another fully packed 1000 parts MOC by the same builder. It is hard to say which one of these MOCs is better as they are both fantastic in their own way.

The hunger, the thirst, the itch that could never be scratched, all the insatiable greed came back with the prospect of the greatest treasure… and let’s not forget that little thing about the revenge Bluejack dreamt about on so many lonely nights. Old habits really do die hard… and now on this damned island he had to make a decision.

Should he stay in this tropical paradise and live out the rest of his days in peaceful solitude, or he should sail back into the world of greed, revenge and cruelty?


And here you have it, in case you missed it while you skipped the majority of the text only looking at nice pictures, the answer to our initial dilemma, and you can quote us:

“True wealth and happiness are not found in treasure or in absence of treasure, but in the pursuit of treasure” – the Classic-Pirates (suck on this Plato)


The Future

Before we head on and wrap this nice little MOC with the About the Builder section, we just gotta know what will happen next!? Is he gonna leave this island and get his revenge and gold, or is he gonna stay and turn into a hippy nature loving philosopher?

Perhaps we’ll learn the answer to that in CJTonic next pirate MOC, but when will that be? Does he plan to build more Pirates sets? We posed questions like this during our unforgettable torture talk down in the Governor’s dungeon, and when we finally broke him he replied.

CJTonic continues:

I am currently working on a quite challenging Ninjago project again. But to be honest, I loved the Pirates stuff. They are a bit more light-weight than the Ninjago buildings and also always remind me of my childhood where LEGO Pirates were the big thing.

I guess I will come back to the Pirates topic and do another MOC. I am pretty sure I will do so…

Sorry to break it to you (CJTonic), but the LEGO Pirates are still the big thing! But we are generous so we forgive you, since you build such awesome Pirates MOCs!


About the Builder…

Coming straight from the Baltic sea and right into our treacherous pirate waters, CJTonic is everything but the beginner when it comes to building beautiful and clever MOCs. He has a considerable crew of fans on Instagram and Flickr, where he regularly shares high quality photos of his newest creations. He also shoots videos, so be sure to take a glace at his YouTube channel.

If photos and videos are not enough, and you’re about to die to find out how he did it, then visit his Rebrickable account and take a good look at the instructions. You might learn a thing, or twenty two.

While we wait for the next installment of his Pirate saga (we still don’t have any clue about how Bluejack is going to escape from the island) please share with us your thoughts inside the LEGO Pirates MOC forum, or simply give us your two pieces of eight about this creation.

“Caswell Point” by Piraten

Monday, August 15th, 2022 Featured Image for "Casewell Point" by Piraten

While LEGO creativity transcends borders, age, gender, race and… yes, you get the picture… there is something almost sacred when a Dane picks up two, or three thousand bricks, and starts building a creation in our favourite LEGO theme, Pirates!

Meet Piraten, Danish born, Billund neighbour, 10K LEGO Ideas Club Member, and the biggest fan of Classic-Pirates.com to sail the seas (we made that last part up) who decided the best way to recover from 10K Idea rejection was to build another pirate-themed submission. So that’s exactly what what he did with Imperial Guards Trading Outpost, or Caswell Point for short.

The inn from behind

Caswell Point, the best trading post on the Spanish Main! (Imperial Guard endorsed comment)


This is my idea of what a small trading post should look like. I got the idea as an extension of my first project and it fits into my pirate world. I built it because I love the pirate theme and that age. Actually this is the most playable build I have made for a long time, and still love the details and secrets.

The project is ready for the Skærbæk Fanweeknd in the fall (2022) and it will be on display with plenty other projects, with of course the Pirate-boi and the Soldier.

I have been building a lot but not on my pirate projects, and my crown is also on display in LEGOLAND Billund. So plenty LEGO-things overall. Sadly not much on Eurobricks. But now I’m back 🙂


If you were a lazy limpet and skipped past the builder’s quote, allow us to remind you one of Piraten’s creations is on display in LEGOLAND Billund! Yes, for real! Go and see The Crown!

And if yer not familiar with The Crown project, you should read our blog-post and then pledge support on LEGO Ideas while you still can – time is fast running out!

The crown jewels on LEGO Ideas

Piraten prized MOC on display in the Holy Land of ABS, Billund, Denmark


The Build

Welcome to Caswell Point, a MOC focused upon a small business owner desperately operating his small business against an oppressive government. Highly regulated, tightly controlled, and extremely centralised… an environment ruled with an iron fist by the Imperial Guards, sour enough to spoil the strongest of entrepreneurial spirits.

In simpler terms, this trading post be little more than a humble inn run by a grizzled old sailor and his cheerful son.

The trading post pier

Look here, an unguarded boat packed with bags and goods. Shorty is about to have a field day.

The mighty defence force

A well placed cannon defends the rear from those who dare engage in some fun and play with this MOC.

The interior of the inn

The inn is frequented by shady characters… at the moment three blue coat veterans are staying at the inn. Wonder what they are up to?

The business behind

We can observe suspicious activity transpiring here… better take a closer look.

Little bribe goes along way

Ah yes, how many times throughout our lives have we gave the envelope greased the cogs of a corrupted system in our favour?

The basement under the guard tower

That chest looks kinda empty, and the whole basement is smaller in comparison to the officer’s room above. Could it be there is a secret compartment just behind the wall?

Two customers minding their own business

See that? That’s the face of constipation matey, and no amount of rum or pie is going to help. Eat more veggies!


Special Features

The hidden room from above

To gain better access to the intriguing basement the guard tower can be easily removed.

The (finger) push brick

Piraten’s strong and manly well manicured finger in action. It seems he can push this particular brick. Hmm… who knows what happens next?

The secret slide door

Like a knife cutting through butter, the wall glides smoothly to reveal the hidden room behind.

The sneaky bastard and his sneaky son

The old sailor is a sneaky bastard! He has been hording gold and diamonds for years, and the department of Imperial Revenue Service (known as the IRS) has no clue. What a legendary pirate!


About the Builder…

Danish designer, Piraten (Brian Steffensen Vestergaard), is one of those rare builders who gives his MOCs a whole new level of amazing! If you are not familiar with his brilliance you can find him on various social media platforms upon he regularly shares brilliant ideas:

If you are seeking well preserved classic pirate sets, then visit Piraten Shop and claim buy the sets you’ve always wanted, but never had. He ships worldwide – but not in a pirate ship!

Piraten is also a member of the LEGO Ideas rejected 10K Club, where he underwent a torture session an interview and answered loads of interesting questions regarding his passion.

Before we sail into the sunset, we invite you to share your thoughts on Caswell Point would it make a worthy addition to your Imperial harbour? Did you like the special feature? Do you think they’ve stashed enough treasure in the basement? Does Admiral Woodhouse approve of the business transactions which take place here? Doe he even know?

Do tell… it’s as easy as clicking the shiny red button bellow, or following this link to the LEGO Pirates forum!

“Imperial Outpost” by Filibbooo

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 Featured Image for "Imperial Outpost" by Filibbooo

Over the years we have witnessed our share of Imperial forts, ports and outposts, in a myriad of shapes and sizes.  All of them share a commonality; they’re astoundingly beautiful, and this latest entry is no exception!

Meet Captain Filibboo, a hero who embarked upon resurrecting the LEGO Pirates theme single-handedly through his debut LEGO Ideas submission. Like many LEGO Pirates builders before him, he discovered that our beloved theme also requires the backing of 10,000 supporters, and in an alarmingly tight deadline… lest his submission be buried in the failed Ideas graveyard for all eternity. Yikes!

Don’t let it happen! Support this Outpost on LEGO Ideas right now!


Front view of the Imperial Outpost

Welcome to the Imperial Outpost

When I was a child, LEGO Pirates were the toy number one for me. Now, 30 years later, the fascination with the Pirates still persists, which led me to create this set.

The first version was created in spring 2020 when COVID19 forced us to stay at home. It took me 3 months the create a digital version inside the BrickLink Studio 2.0. Another 3 months later I started building it.

It was really fun to build it in real. 3D rendering is cool, but real life pictures are even better.

This creation is my first LEGO Ideas project and it would be great if it came to life. Let’s bring back the Pirates!

If you see a creation like this and think If only I could build something like that… listen up matey, you can! It takes a mere 30 years of planning, one tumultuous global lockdown, 6 months of hard labour and voilà, you’ll have your awesome MOC. Just be sure it’s Pirate-themed, as you don’t want to waste that much time on, say… LEGO Friends? Go! Start planning your masterpiece today!


The Gorgeous Build

Bird veiw at the outpost

The stingy armament of a single cannon is a telltale sign of an outpost ripe for the taking. Right?

Cliff side of the outpost

But let’s not jump to conclusions without further consideration. The outpost is built upon a solid rock foundation, and inaccessible from all sides, save for the pier guarded by the cannon. And thus, it appears those Imperials are not stingy, but prudent and cunning.

Pier side of the outpost

Did you know that the most precious cargo on the Spanish Main were not doubloons but bananas? Better keep our eyes peeled and cannons ready, for where there are bananas, there are Pirates!

Close up on the pier

Hey look, it is Governor Hacienda, and he’s doing splits almost three centuries before Jean-Claude Van Damme invented them.

The questionable jail on the outpost

The outpost is divided into several sections to enable better playability. The base level consists of a cannon station, a guardroom and a very questionable an easily escapable jail which lacks a prisoner. (Umm… maybe someone should sound the alarm!)

A guardroom on the base level

The guardroom features a modest table, a bench and unnecessary large stairs which lead on to the Admiral’s room on the first floor. Apparently officers in the Imperial Soldiers Army detest climbing the ladders, so they had stairs installed at the expense of soldiers’ comfort.

Officer room on the first floor

Refined style of the officers’ club comes with a price. From their young age, future officers are rigorously trained to abstain from chairs and beds, as both known are to cause unsightly wrinkles in uniforms.


The Future: Pirate Modular Sets

Captain Filibbooo continues:

This Outpost was the start of a “try” to create a modular pirate “scenery”.

First module, Pt.1 of treasure island, is finished and already attached to my Imperial Outpost.

More is in planning. At the moment I’m working on Pt.2 of treasure island.

Nearby treasure island

The Treasure Island has everything Outpost lacks: the Pirates, a hidden cave filled with diamonds, a bunch of sea turtles hatching on the beach, and two colourful parrots. How that pirate is still alive in shark infested waters is beyond us. Who knows?


Not Familiar with LEGO Ideas?

LEGO Ideas is a website that allows users to submit creations with the aim of becoming official LEGO sets – the kind you can buy! Original designers receive 1% commission on royalties and ten free LEGO sets from those currently on the market. But to be a contender for official set status, each idea must garner 10,000 supporters.

That’s where YOU come in! LEGO Pirate fans must unite to support another blue coat Soldier submission and propel it over the 10K finish line… whilst avoiding the relenting doom of the LEGO Ideas Team’s personal Bermuda Triangle, more commonly known as the “review process”. Go to the project submission webpage and click the support button to cast your vote!

The outpost and the island

Pirate modular set, Filibboo’s dream shared by many in the community.


About the Builder…

Sometime during the pandemic of 2020, as the global population reeled from the threat of extinction, it dawned upon Captain Filibboo that life was too fleeting for meaningless pursuits. So he vowed to fulfill his days with meaning, and chose to build LEGO Pirates sets.

Fast forward to 2022… two major phenomena have transpired; the human race survived annihilation and Captain Filibboo surfaced from the murky depths to make an impressive entrance in the LEGO Pirates MOCs forum.

So if you enjoy this creation and wonder what else this talented builder has in store, follow up his work on Instagram, Flickr and LEGO Ideas.

Before we part ways, the Classic Pirates invite you to support this design (oh wait, we’ve said that already) and share your thoughts inside the LEGO Pirates forum – would this fort make a good LEGO Pirate set? What do you like about it?  What could be done differently? Would you add more cannons?

Click the big red shiny button bellow and tell all, after you lend your support!

“Galleon Cartagena” by NOD

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022 Featured Image for "Galleon Cartagena" by NOD

The galleon is one of the most romantic ship types in the naval history. Word alone, “galleon“, triggers a sudden stream of images. We can immediately picture a grandiose vessel of smooth hull lines and artistic curves, a heavily accessorised stern, many… many guns, and most importantly, a treasure hold bulging with silver and gold.

For any aspiring Pirate-themed MOC designer, building a galleon marks an important milestone in his or hers development. Why? Because it is a damn hard and intimidating undertaking! It is more than a milestone, it’s an accomplishment, an unofficial degree, if you want, and every once and a while someone pulls it off, successfully, and leaves the whole LEGO Pirates community in amazement and envy (of a good kind). This happened with NOD’s second galleon, The Cartagena.

Cartagena in full sails

Galleon Cartagena in full sails, pillages and plunders the open digital waters of Brethren of the Brick Seas


NOD writes:

LEGO Barracuda Bay (21322) was the main inspiration to build a galleon. It was the main reason I started building with LEGO again. I bought and built it. After that I wasn’t satisfied. That’s why I built a MOD. I still wasn’t satisfied. After that I learned to build digitally.

I learn with every ship I build. The mistakes in building are becoming less and less while my ships are getting better and better. One day I plan to build a galleon with real LEGO bricks.

Buildiers shipbuilding learning curve

Here we see NOD’s shipbuilding learning curve through several selected ship designs, from Esperanza, the obvious derivative from Barracuda brig, to the custom hull galleon design

Who would have guessed that such a splendid LEGO Ideas set (Pirates of Barracuda Bay) would actually make a customer so dissatisfied that he would turn into Hulk and go on a design rampage to create, not one, but a dozen outstanding MOCs over the course of two years.

Perhaps this can explain the question on everyone’s mind as to why the LEGO Ideas Team disappoints without fail during the review of 10K LEGO Idea submissions. Apparently, they intentionally reject promising and playable designs and green light sitcoms, and other nonsense, which in turn drives more AFOLs into building their own creations. With that being said, we can only wonder how many more outstanding builders and awesome custom designs will emerge from other utterly unplayable not so splendid LEGO Ideas sets in the future.

But enough of the doldrums, let us turn our attention to pictures and other juicy details of this masterpiece.


The Build, The Pictures, The Details

Cartagena viewed from above

You can get far in your MOC-ing career with the perfect symmetry and curvature, just ask NOD. This design got him invited in the exclusive club of Ship-Expert builders inside the Eurobricks.

Broadside view of Cartagena

The devil is in the details. The rigging was all done inside the Studio with LEGO strings. This is by no means an easy feat to accomplish since it requires vast patience and foresight.

While the LEGO Barracuda Pirates of Bay (21322) served as the main inspiration, it was far from the sole inspiration for this build. Another was the English galleon “Revenge” from 1577, and the other was a booklet series “Seewölfe, Korsaren der Weltmeere” roughly translated “The Sea Wolf, Corsairs of the World’s oceans”, which were based on Fox novels by Adam Hardy.

Just reading the intro of the first book will make you stop and think:

George Abercrombie Fox decided, not particularly rationally and not at all calmly, that he would first shoot the Master-at-Arms and cut off his head and boil it, would string up the cook and all the bosun’s mates he could lay hands on, would in various gory and unbecoming ways dispose of most of the other petty officers, and then would set fire to the ship and dance about in glee as she burned to the waterline and sank.

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? Who knows what happens next…

A bow view at Cartagena

Traditionally the toughest section to pull off during a build of this scale is the bow which makes or breaks the design. (In this case, it made it!)

A stern view at Cartagena

All the skills and hard labour come together at the stern which is real beauty to watch. Extraordinary craftsmanship!


Technical details

  • Parts: 5682 parts in digital version without sails – the real version would require additional bricks to strengthen the hull
  • Width: 22.4cm (8.8″) The widest point on the cannon deck
  • Length: 105.6cm (41.5″)
  • Time needed: 3 months approx. 180 hours for the digital design
An isometric view at Cartagena

A very important technical detail: the ship does not float! But we already somehow knew that.


The Backstory

Early in the morning, as the sun began its usual climb, a merchant caravel flying the Mardierians flag sailed towards the galleon Cartagena. Fernando, who was a boatswain on the caravel, called “Ahoy! We have bananas on board that are already ripe and our crew is too small to eat all them all. If you want them, you can have them for free!”

Capitano Don Raphael de Velázquez of the Galleon Cartagena was intrigued, to say the least. Ever since the reduction of daily ration of rum the crew’s moral was low, and there were even whispers of mutiny heard here and there. He didn’t take those rumours too seriously, after all this was a navy ship packed with seasoned soldiers who would easily prevail in any violent conflict with the unsatisfied crew of common sailors. But why risk it when he could easily raise the spirit of everyone on-board with a load of delicious bananas.

Galleon Cartagena in the Charlatan Bay

The plot thickens as the Capitano Velázquez, unbeknownst to him, finds himself in the outskirts of Charlatan Bay, the pirate capital.

Fernando, the boatswain, shouted to Capitano Velázquez to send a rowing boat for the free bananas as the distance was not too great between two ships. Capitano Velázquez complied eagerly, or perhaps too eagerly for his own sake, forgetting that there was no such thing as a free lunch. The rowing boat was lowered into the water and the men rowed. Aboard the caravel, merchant sailors looked very busy as they carried bananas from the hold onto the deck. Completely mesmerised, Capitano Velázquez and the gathered crew on the main deck watched with joy and hunger as the first boat rowed back with the delicious cargo.

A loud shout READY! boomed across the water and violently snapped them from the spell. Capitano Velázquez’s eyes flashed in general direction of that shout, while his mind reeled behind, vainly searching for any plausible explanation for the purpose of that shout. But the eyes were quicker, and the eyes saw the merchant’s gun ports opened and the swivel guns on the ship’s deck swung. He had only enough time to open his mouth with sincere intention of issuing a command when they all heard the second, more dreadful shout FIRE! The words never left his mouth.

A rain of cannon balls descended upon them, accompanied by the deafening sound of roaring thunder. Panic spread and mayhem took command. Those who survived the first volley of guns took cover, or jumped overboard. Again the shout was heard FIRE! and Capitano Velázquez had a clear view of the man issuing shouts. On the caravel quarterdeck there was Captain Kane, a notorious pirate, in other words a cunning scoundrel who had balls cojones.

A close up on Cartagena Poop Deck

And what would Bartholomew Roberts have to say about so many women on-board? It appears that Captain Kane is operating above the Pirate Code… what a scoundrel!

The caravel set sail from the windward side to the galleon. On her main deck pirates were getting ready for boarding. When the galleon was in pistol range, a large number of bottle grenades (mainly bottles were filled with gunpowder and nails) showered the galleon deck. The horror and the misery were beyond belief. Grappling hooks flew and pirates armed with sharp cutlasses jumped over. It was a short fight. Beaten and wounded, Capitano Velázquez surrendered and pledged for lives and safety of his men.

Mercy was granted, and quite a few sailors (bribed with rum) happily turned sides and joined the Sea Rats – a pirate life for them. As for the Capitano Velázquez, he was left with the rest of the crew on the island, along with the crates of bananas which turned out to be more rotten than ripped.

Galleon Cartagena in the Charlatan Bay

Capitano Velázquez rowed for the shore with ripened rotten bananas.

With not a fatality on his side, and now in possession of a formidable galleon (which was due for serious overhaul), Captain Kane set course for Tortuga? Aye Tortuga where his prize ship, and his lustful men, could receive tender care they craved and needed.


Brethren of the Brick Seas

NOD continues:

When I finished building the Bahía de la Cascada I thought it would look even better with a ship. I like the ships class on Brethren of the Brick Seas, and I like galleons because they are harder to build than a frigate.

Galleon Cartagena in the Charlatan Bay

Here we see Cartagena sailing smoothly along the Bahía de la Cascada in the outer skirts of the Free City of Charlatan Bay, the capital of the Sea Rats, on the volcanic island of Infero Pordejon, located somewhere in the Sea of Thieves.

Let’s assume for a moment that you have not been a long time reader of Classic-Pirates and you know nothing Jon Snow about the Brethren of the Brick Seas. If you found the backstory intriguing then some explanation is needed as you have just stumbled on the most spectacular pirate game ever made for MOC designers.

What is it?

Brethren of the Brick Seas is a role-playing building game set in the age of discovery. It is the world of the four factions, where all factions interact, cooperate, compete and struggle for power, just like the players inside the faction do.

How do players and their factions compete?

Mainly by building MOCs through the official challenges, mini-challenges, and the free builds. Every player has a role in the development of the Brick Seas and the potential to alter geopolitics, and eventually history.

Who are the Sea Rats?

The Sea Rats, aka the Pirate faction, are men and women who have gone their own way. Some are fierce pirates, making a living terrorising the Brick Seas, others are peaceful merchants who have refused to bend the knee to any King. United under the common cause of self-determination, and defiance of Imperial rule, this folk heed no laws but those of the Pirate Code.

The Sea Rats are open for members. Any man, woman, child, or what-have-you can be a sea rat, so click and JOIN NOW or, if you want to learn more, dig your way through a quick start guide to BoBS.

The Sea of Thieves Region

The map is a part of the storytelling mechanism where the Sea of Thieves region represents only a fraction of the known New World. New portions of the New World (and some of the Old) will be uncovered through events, challenges, and other parts of the project


About the Builder…

A pioneer of the digital frontier and the Sea Rat, NOD is a Ship-Expert and MOC-expert builder who enriches the LEGO Pirates community, more specifically the Brethren of the Brick Seas, regularly with both land and sea digital designs. You can view and follow his tireless and impressive MOC record via his Flickr account.

Other than the aforementioned invitation to join BoBS, we also invite you to share your thoughts, praise or critique of this MOC in the discussion taking place in the LEGO Pirates MOCs subforum by clicking the big red shiny button bellow. Don’t miss the adventure!

“The Yacht Peggy” by Greg3

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 Featured Image for "The Yacht Peggy" by Greg3

 

Even though LEGO Ideas still restricts submissions of any Pirate-ship concept, dedicated pirate smugglers builders are always skilful in finding a loophole in any oppressive system, LEGO Ideas included. For the time being, here in 2022, that loophole for sailing ships is the ‘History’ category.

Hailing from the Isle of Man, a Eurobricks veteran and accomplished builder, Greg3 shares his LEGO Product Idea submission of The Yacht Peggy”, the oldest surviving schooner and one of the best preserved examples non-military 18th century craft.


The Yacht Peggy without sails

The sails made of plates are a bit heavy to be waved around during the light play. Luckily, they can be easily removed and added back

Greg3 writes:

I’ve always been interested in local history, especially that relating to the sea, so building a LEGO version of the Peggy seemed a great idea! I based the build on her post 1802 appearance with a brick built hull (which took some experimenting with but it’s pretty sturdy… it’s even quite swooshable!).

I went for a minifig scale and included a crew, removable guns and cargo. Being minifig scale means it can also be “played with” and used as part of a larger display or layout. Despite being from a later period, I think she’d look good as part of a pirate layout or any harbour/port scene up to the modern day.

The term “Minifig Illusion Scale” is used to describe an approximation of a life-size vessel scaled to relative to the height of a LEGO minifigure. This conversion, however, presents a challenge for builders since minifigures are not proportional representations of the average human. In other words, minifigs are too short and too wide – the front of their torso is a mere 2D representation of a 3D body!

Imagine you enlarge your Captain Redbeard minifigure to match your height, say around 182cm (6 feet). Now stand next to him and compared yourselves. side by side. The girth of his waist would be ridiculously out of proportion compared to yours. Savvy?

Blueprints of the yacht Peggy

To achieve the build in minifig scale, Greg3 used available blueprint of the real Peggy and aimed to match 1 stud for every foot. The real life vessel is 27ft long

When builders aim for accurate representations at Minifig illusion scale, they must accept sacrifices in length or width, or sometimes both. Fortunately, in terms of shipbuilding, the smaller the real-life vessel, the smaller the sacrifice in conversion to LEGO MOC.

This is useful knowledge to bare, should ye wake one day and feel emboldened to scale down Lord Nelson HMS Victory – you’ll face some hard decisions in achieving the optimum proportions during that endeavour!


What is a Schooner?

Peggy's crew engaged in a fight

The Peggy, the oldest surviving schooner engaged in a fight with an imaginary foe.

A schooner is a type of a sailing vessel defined by its rig: fore-and-aft rigged, and in the case of a two-masted schooner, the foremast generally being shorter than the mainmast.

The name “schooner” first appeared in eastern North America in the early 1700s. The name may be related to a Scots word meaning to skip over water, or to skip stones.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A model of the Peggy in Nautical Museum

A model of the schooner Peggy at the Nautical Museum in Quayle’s house


The Tale of Peggy

Built in 1789 for a prominent local businessman and politician, George Quayle, The Peggy was originally fitted with 6 oar-ports and a schooner rigged sail plan. She was also one of the first vessels to be fitted with sliding keels. These three keels could be raised or lowered depending on the conditions to maximise speed and stability.

George Quayle and his crew

The centre minifigure is a splendid representation of George Quayle based on the portrait in the top-right of the above image

In 1796, Quayle sailed The Peggy over to England and took part in a regatta on Lake Windermere with great success. During an eventful return journey, he survived a storm thanks to Peggy’s sturdy design.

View at the bow of Peggy

The technique used for hull is eye catching and quite sturdy, it’s almost swooshable*

*Swooshable is a term used to describe the robustness of a LEGO MOC, particularly when the builder handles it like a traditional toy and role plays sounds as though the creation was in motion.

In 1802, the Peggy underwent modification; raising the sides, filling in the oar ports and removing the sliding keels. She was transformed into a pure sailing vessel, more seaworthy and greater, yet limited capacity for cargo or passengers. She was also armed with 6 light swivel guns and 2 larger stern chaser cannons.

The stern view on Yacht Peggy

The Peggy, fully equipped with 6 swivel guns and 2 stern cannons… Bluecoats beware!

Some Bluecoats have suggested these changes imply that Quayle was involved in criminal activities, such as smuggling, especially because he had a private dock and a boat house cellar.

George Quayle boat house with cellar

Quayle’s house in Castletown, now the Nautical Museum with a boat house and a cellar where the Peggy was stored

However, others argue that Quayle was also an officer in the local Imperial Guards defence force, and this was at the height of the Napoleonic wars. So the armament may have been to provide protection from Soldiers French privateers. Either way, when George Quayle died in 1835, The Peggy was simply bricked up in her boat cellar and completely abandoned.

Quayle's house and cellar for Peggy

The Peggy’s boat cellar where she was stored for almost 200 years

Then in 1935, a hundred years later, she was rediscovered in excellent condition along with her masts, spars, guns and even the original sliding keels. In the 1940s/50s Quayle’s house became the Nautical Museum with the Peggy, still in her boat cellar, as the museum centrepiece.

Quayle's house and cellar for Peggy

The extraction of the Peggy from her home with the crane in 2015

In 2015, the increased risk of flooding and gradual deterioration condition of the boat saw The Peggy moved from her home. She was taken to a temperature and humidity controlled facility where modern technology is being used to thoroughly examine and document her structure, while stabilising and restoring any damage.

Broadside view of Yacht Peggy

The real Peggy is due to return to public view in 2025, until then we can enjoy her LEGO alternative


Not Familiar with LEGO Ideas?

LEGO Ideas is a website which allows users to submit their MOCs (My Own Creation) and if they manage to attract 10,000 supporters, the creation may become an official LEGO set available commercially, or it may be rejected during the review process.

As we need more Pirates ships, ahem, historic themed sail boats turned into official sets, Classic-Pirates are counting on you Pirate fan to do your duty! Click on the SUPPORT button and give your thumb-up for this creation.

Illustration drawing of Peggy

The inspiring artwork of the Peggy of Castletown on her journey to become an official LEGO Idea set


About the Builder…

Greg3 is an accomplished builder who sails to us from the Isle of Man, a place packed with great history and breathtaking locations which would inspire even a non-builder to build something awesome! His strongest influences are real historical places, objects, and events based on historical warfare.

Far from being a beginner, one of the Greg3’s designs was turned into a kit by Brickmania. For his other LEGO work you can always visit and follow Greg3 on his Instagram account, or Flickr profile.

Before we part our ways, visit us on LEGO Pirates forum, or write your comment about this creation by clicking the big red shinny button below. If you don’t have time for writing, and you are all about building and playing, then go ahead and join BoBS (not BOOBS), the best game for Adults AFOLs ever made.

“Classic Pirates History at Bricks Cascade 2022” by PxChris

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 Featured Image for "Classic Pirates at Bricks Cascade 2022" by PxChris

History books, works of fiction and other sources define the period between 1650s and the 1730s as the Golden Age of Piracy, the period when maritime piracy in the histories of the Caribbean, North America, West Africa, and the Indian Ocean was at its highest. But what if the historians and everyone else are only half/right, or better half/wrong about that matter?

At the recent Bricks Cascade 2022 Eurobricks member PxChris challenged and shocked the academia when he made a strong case which argued for the existence of the second completely separate Golden Age of Piracy. And the best part is there’s a high probability that you, O! Reader, have been an active part of it! We are, of course, referring to the period between the 1989 and the 1997, the Golden Age of LEGO Classic Pirates.


Classic Pirates at Bricks Cascade 2022

The Golden Age of LEGO Classic Pirates captured in one frame

PxChris writes:

Here is the Classic Pirates display that I made for Bricks Cascade 2022. With this display I wanted to celebrate the wonderful history of the Pirates theme and how many cool innovations it brought to the LEGO System.

It features the entirety of the Bluecoat Era (1989-1991) of Pirates, as well as the entirety of the Islanders sub-theme (1994) as well as a selection of other sets from the remainder of the Classic Pirates years (1989-1997), most notably all of the Pirate ships released.

This has been a passion project of mine for the last couple of years and it was so wonderful to see it finally come together. The entirety of the display is of my own collection. As a kid I could never afford most of the larger sets, so this is me living out my childhood dreams.

The entrance to Bluecoats bay

You’ve better have a dream for a dream to come true, and some BIG Imperial cannons to defend it while you’re at it

Let’s assume for a second that we are not die-hard fans of LEGO Pirates (shame on us), so what are those cool innovations which were introduced to the LEGO System via Pirates theme? And what’s so special about the history of this theme that puts her at odds with other fantastic LEGO themes? Those are all good questions, and the best way to answer them is to enjoy a short sail through the…


HISTORY of the LEGO PIRATES

Whoever spent any time playing classic adventure games back in the nineties, like the Monkey Island series, knows from firsthand experience that a good story and bad, nay, terrible graphic will always beat everything visually outstanding but emotionally unmoving of today. People (young and old) starve for a good story in any form or media and will pay good money to be hijacked at least temporarily inside the Hero’s special world where they can figuratively kick some ass and save the day.

This is no big news from the point of the today’s well developed entertainment industry, but back in the sixties and seventies with rapid expansion of television and other technologies it was the rediscovery of wheel, the storytelling wheel that is. Stories sell!

Building on the decade long success of the City, Space and Castle theme, the always innovating LEGO group led by visionary designer Niels Milan Pedersen caught on to this idea and decided to do something daring for the theme that changed all.

Pirate Bay at Brick Cascade 2022

Fun fact n°1: Did you know that the Pirates theme was ready to go as early as 1986, but LEGO held off on release until the 1989 because the Castle line was selling so well that they didn’t have the capacity to produce more sets

Background Story

The stage is Caribbean in the 18th century, and at the centre of the stage are Pirates who are searching for a buried treasure, Spanish gold coins known as the doubloons, which belonged to their ancestors. However, a colony of settlers discovered the treasure first and claimed it. When the Pirates got the wind of this, it naturally led to a violent conflict. To secure and defend the treasure from Pirates’ attacks, the Governor of the colony fortified the settlements and hid the treasure in his main fortress.

Map of Classic Pirates world

Map of the Pirates world from the LEGO Ladybird Book series

To establish a narrative and encourage role-play, LEGO had background stories printed on boxes, particularly on the larger sets which had a flap that opened up to display the content. Every set had a different story depending on the type and location of the set. Furthermore, a comic book entitled “The Gold Medallion” was also released, as well as the Ladybird Book series. The mission was simple: the Pirates theme must revolve around the story.

6274 Caribbean Clipper box and story

Here is the story about the Sea Hawk, the Governor Broadside mighty vessel printed inside the set box

1990 Ladybird Pirate Books series

The four of Ladybird books released in 1990 to promote the Pirates theme

The Characters

Since the MOCs have bricks and plates, the stories have characters. This led to the introduction of minifigures with names and personal traits for the first time in LEGO history. Wits and skills of two opposing forces were pitted against one another in the traditional game of good vs. evil, that is Pirates vs. Bluecoats.

Pirates were led by their fearless leader Captain Redbeard, also known as Captain Roger, distinguished by his black bicorn hat, a left eye patch, a peg leg and a hook. His crew among others included First Mate Rummy, the young Bo’Sun Will, Flashfork a ship’s cook, and Popsy, the Captain’s faithful and very talkative parrot. To learn more about Captain Redbeard, take a look at The Un-Arr-thorized Biography and learn a thing or two.

Pirates’ main antagonists were Imperial Soldiers, also known as Bluecoats who were based on French navy and marines of the colonial era. They were led by Governor Broadside and his second-in-command Lieutenant de Martinet.

LEGO Pirates theme main characters

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts – Shakespeare

Caribbean Clipper and the Bluecoat's bay

Fun fact n°2: Did you know that early prototypes for Pirates hulls were designed to float in water, but the idea was eventually dropped before production

The Innovations

One of the problems with the introduction of characters and their corresponding minifigures was that up to that point (1988) all the LEGO minifigures had the same traditional head with a simple face expression. Arguably the most iconic minifigure to this day is Captain Redbeard who single-handedly (no pun intended) broke out of the traditional mold and brought several cool innovations to the LEGO System. His head featured an eye-patch and actually red facial hair, a hook instead of a hand and a wooden peg leg.

The creator of the LEGO Minifigure, the designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen explains: “It was necessary to alter the minifigure’s expression in order to develop credible pirates, and a real pirate captain must have a patch on his eye, a peg leg and a hook!

This opened a way for multiple other facial expressions in the theme, most noticeable among them the feminine makeup.

LEGO Pirates theme innovations

Fun fact n°3: The ramp-and-pit raised baseplates were a pain to design. They had to be printed on a piece of flat plastic and the only way to make sure they looked good after the plastic had been molded was trial and error

The Pirates theme was the first to feature firearms such as flintlock pistols, muskets and working cannons for an open sea battle. The theme also introduced a shark and the monkey figure with LEGO minifigure hands for clasping. The crocodile was designed early on for Pirates, but didn’t make it to market until after some of the elements were re-used in Castle dragons. The introduction of the skeleton in 1995 was a long process, as the LEGO Group had its reservations about launching a ‘dead’ minifigure.

The designer Niels Milan Pedersen explains: “Originally the skeleton was designed a decade before it appeared in a set – but we were told off at the time for creating a dead minifigure!

LEGO set 6251: Pirate Minifigures

Here we have the LEGO set n° 6251 from 1989 depicting minifigures with many new cool features introduced with the Pirates theme

Pirates and Islanders on Bricks Cascade 2022

Fun fact n°4: Did you know that western theme was developed in tandem with the Pirates, but didn’t see release in the 80s?

Classic Pirates Timeline

The initial run of Pirate theme ran for 9 consecutive years from 1989 to 1997. This golden age of the Classic Pirates can be divided into four waves based on the type of foes pitted against the Pirates:

  • Imperial Soldiers (Bluecoats) 1989 – 1991
  • Imperial Guards (Redcoats) 1992 – 1995
  • Islanders 1994 – 1995
  • Imperial Armada 1996 – 1997
Timeline of Classic Pirates

At the moment of writing (2022) there is nothing on the LEGO horizon for the Pirates theme

After the initial run the Pirates theme has been rebooted twice so far, in 2009 and 2015. In 2011 Disney Pirates of Caribbean theme was successfully launched. In 2020 first pirate themed set was released from LEGO Ideas.

Bluecoats era of sets

Arguably, 1989 was the best year to be a kid and in love with LEGO Pirates

Eldorado fortress and the rest of Bluecoats sets

Having rich parents, aunts or grandparents and plenty of room for blue baseplates, would only come as the icing on the cake

Clash of the titans, Clipper vs Barracuda

Sadly, however, many of us didn’t have that, maybe a set or two and one baseplate…

Rock Island Refuge and the rest of Pirates sets

But darn it! We can re-live our dreams as adults, its OK!

Timeline of Islanders sub-theme

Kahuka is the leader of the Islanders, a Polynesian-based sub-theme released in 1994

Islanders on Bricks Cascade 2022

The Islanders are considered neutral but are known to capture both pirates and imperials as prisoners. If ye be a pirate ye better watch your back

Black Seas Barracuda vs Pirates of Barracuda Bay

Take a moment and ask yourself, if you were Captain Redbeard, which one would you rather choose; classic Black Seas Barracuda from 1989, or new updated Barracuda brig from 2020?

The Light Show

PxChris continues:

The lighting really added so much life to the display. I’m glad that I decided to do it. It was a very last-minute addition to the layout (I decided only about a month and a half before the convention to add lighting, and I’ve never done any lighting before, so it was quite a learning curve).

Indeed, it must have been nerve-racking ordeal, something in common to all of the high-risk high-reward undertakings… but seeing the results recorded during the dim light time at the convention, oh my, it only goes and proves the old axiom that He Who Dares Wins. Remember that O! Reader.

As for the future, PxChris informs us that he first plans to complete the collection of the entire Classic Pirates theme (1989-1997) for an even bigger and better display in probably 2024, after which he will tour the world educating people about the history of the Pirates theme. The thing about tour is made up, but who knows…

PxChris minifig at Bricks Cascade 2022

A PxChris minifig in command of Eldorado Fortress defence during the Pirates attack. Yeah, Go get them tiger


About the Builder…

A punk rocker at the heart and Bluecoat arrr, Pirate to the bone, PxChris is one of those rare builders and LEGO fans who simply radiate with unlimited passion and enthusiasm about everything pirate themed. You simply can’t be near them for too long without being overwhelmed with desire that makes you wanna go and build something Imperial, or read something Pirate.

PxChris finds sailing the vast seas of the Internet an enjoyable activity (what an odd thing for a pirate), so you can track his progress on Instagram  and Flickr

Before we part our ways and return to the cruel reality of life, be sure to visit the LEGO Pirates forum and join in new discussion ‘Will LEGO purchase the licence for Monkey Island sub-pirate theme’, or simply give us your comment praise about the Classic Pirates display by clicking the big red shiny button below.

If you are pumped up about the upcoming release of the Return to Monkey Island (the sixth overall instalment) and don’t know what to play in the meantime, then take a glance at BoBS (not BOOBS), the most spectacular Pirate game ever made outside LucasArts.

“The Redbeard’s House” by Cincinnati

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 Featured Image for "The Redbeard’s House" by Cincinnati

Ever since the release of the LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay in 2020, LEGO Pirates fans around the world have been living and breathing the most notorious lie ever conceived by the human mind, the lie about Captain Redbeard current whereabouts.

Who is the mastermind behind this treachery we do not know, it may be the doing of the Captain himself. Either way it’s irrelevant now as the jig is up. Captain Redbeard is not helplessly stranded in his shipwreck on some unknown island in the Caribbean. NO! Cincinnati spotted him living comfortably in his cozy villa named conveniently The Readbeard’s House, somewhere along the beautiful rocky coastline of west Italy.


The dining hall of the Redbeard’s house

If me hears ‘Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest’ once more ye’ll be learning to play with peg-legs! Play us a theme song from Monkey Island! Arrr!

Cincinnati writes:

I want to present my MOC – The Captain Redbeard’s house, located on the Skull Island. It is a remake of the famous LEGO 6279 Skull Island set, where my idea was to grow the three levels on the original set, keeping some elements such as the skull carved in the rock, the pier for accessing the building, the secret passage in the back, the trap door on the upper floor for accessing into the cave, the palm on the left side and the revolving crane on top.

Comparison between LEGO 6279 Skull Island and The Redbeard’s house MOC

The difference between the final product and the approved 10K idea for the year 1995

And speaking about retaining some of the original elements, for the untrained eye the difference is almost nonexistent, this creation is everything else than a ‘remake’ of the original set as our beloved Governor pompously remarked “It’s a complete re-envisioning of the original idea!” Don’t you agree?


The grand tour around the manor

To improve playability, and since this is a Pirate-themed set where we want nothing but playability and not some dust collecting unplayable LEGO Ideas set, the building consists of three levels in nowadays popular modular fashion. But wait! That’s not all. At the same time the whole building can be symmetrically opened in two vertical parts. How ingenious is that?

Three horizontal levels of The Redbeard’s house

Any aspiring MOC designer can build in modular style, nothing breathtaking here, except the attention to details on the rock, the walls, the door, the cabin, the fence, the palm… but leaving all that aside, any amateur could build three levels of extraordinary good looking house

Two vertical parts of The Redbeard’s house

But here we see the difference between the amateur builder and the real professional. How cool is that! Just imagine mental power and foresight needed to build this. Amazing!

Second level of the manor

We shall continue our tour as a main guest (an Imperail guard disguised as a wench) coming for a Redbeard’s birthday tea rum party.

The pier and entrance of The Redbeard’s house

A woman or a man in disguise, it’s hard to remain unimpressed by the level of details of the exterior

The pier and entrance from above

Just look at the woodwork, the daring use of various colors, how it all blends in. If this is the exterior one can only guess what wonders are in store for us inside

Behind the wooden door we enter the second level of the Redbeard’s house. This is the main level of which most (if not all) was carved into the rock. We have everything what a good Captain needs: the hall, bedroom, kitchen and even the bathroom.

The Redbeard’s house second level view from top

Here we see the overview of the second (main) level of the manor all carved into the rock

Wait what, a bathroom? A bathroom and the Captain with a hook!?

Not so long ago a rumor about the true nature of Captain Hook demise started a big trouble at the ‘Three Cannon Balls’ tavern. Allegedly, dear old Captain Hook found himself in great need to take a shit perform an act of excretion, and by the coincidence he also owned a luxurious bathroom (yes yes, very un-pirating we know). In any case, the rumor has it when he successfully took a shit removed his bowels, he was so much relived, almost in the state of nirvana thinking about nothing really, that he took the paper with the wrong hand.

A cheap lie or unbelievable truth, it’s no way to go for any man, yet alone Captain. So dear Pirate fans remember, no hooks in toilets!

The Redbeard’s house second level from aside

Is that a tile poster with Captain Redbeard? Where? There, behind the pillar! Can you guess the set it comes from

The furniture of the second level

Not only do the Italians design most beautiful cars, suits, shoes and pretty much everything else, but here we also see Cincinnati’s crafty furniture design. It must have cost Redbeard a fortune to get this made, but on the other hook, he is the person with a golden purse

Third level of the manor

After the extravagant party, and some good night sleep, breakfast is served up on the third level of the manor which can be accessed via outside ladder for sober guests, or by the crane for the drunken pirates. The third level also contains a small penthouse inhabited by the rest of the Redbeard’s crew.

A terrace with a view

Here we see yet again stunning use of colors and tiles. Mind you, this picture is the real physical set not a digital render

Redbeard's house third level top view

The third level contains everything a house pirate needs, a terrace with a view, a T-bone steak on a grill, a cannon for fending off those vegans and other grass lovers, a crane for hauling new supplies of red meat and rum, and a nice bunk bed

Right section of Redbeard's house

Remember how house can be easily split in two vertical halves to maximize playability? Here we see the right section of the second and the third floor

Left section of Redbeard's house

The left section of Redbeard’s house with a dangerous toilet and a drunken pirate wasting away a beautiful day in bed. If only he had a mother to receive some proper scolding

The furniture of the third level

More of the Italian furniture design on the third level (ignore the cannon)

Hidden first level of the manor

At one point of the evening Captain Redbeard somehow got a whim of our poor disguise of an Imperail soldier trying to pass as a wench, and decided it’s time to split before other Imperials come barging in through door and windows. In pursuit we shall explore the hidden level of Redbeard’s house, the cave with the secret entrance and me gold.

Overview of the first level of Redbeard’s house

The ground level of Redbeard’s house is a large cave with a rock that hides the stolen treasures and a secret exit at the back of the cave. Unlike the original set, the skull remains immovable

Trap door and ladder to ground level

Here we see the secret trap door from the first level and the ladder leading down into the cave. Not so much spectacular entrance like the Batman would have in the Wayne manor, but good enough for our Captain in heat

On the ground level of Readbeard's house

Not only is this whole level hidden from the Imperials prying eyes, but also inside the secret cave there is another super-secret compartment just below the huge rock where gold is hidden. Let’s talk about a paranoia for a moment…

Secret entrance to ground level of Redbeard's house

And so our sly old Captain escapes the hand of the law (with the gold) once again through the secret ‘sliding’ exit and sails into the sunset to plunder and fight another day

General information

  • Parts: 5800 parts
  • Dimensions: Width/Length 32x32cm (12.5×12.5″) | Height 35cm (13.8″) with the flag

Time consumed

  • Digital design: approx. a month in BrickLink Studio 2.0
  • Real build: 20 hours over the course of 5 days

Who was is Captain Redbeard?

Mirror mirror on the wall who is the most famous pirate captain of them all?

Captain Hook, Jack Sparrow, Long John Silver, Blackbeard, LeChuck, Bartholomew Roberts , One-Eyed Willy, Dread Pirate Roberts Westley, Captain Blood, Edward Kenway, or Guybrush Threepwood – a mighty pirate?

All good guesses, but unfortunately all wrong! So who was Captain Redbeard whose long shadow towers all over these pirate giants?

A partial answer can be found in LEGO naval library. Here is an excerpt from the book Pirates of Barracuda Bay

Captain Redbeard was once captain of the great ship Black Seas Barracuda. An infamous pirate. Redbeard and his crew sailed the seas from Rock Island Regfuge in search of treasures stolen by the mighty Imperials. Feared by his enemies and admired by his friends, Redbeard was a legend among all sea-faring folk. A pirate pioneer, Redbeard paved the way for the pirates who came after him. It was said that Long John Silver stoli his wodden leg idea, Captain Hook copied his missing hand and Blackbeard was inspired by his lustorus beard.

Yet this tells us nothing relevant, but luckily the LEGO Pirates forum member TalonCard provides us with the first Un-Arr-thorized biography of a LEGO Pirate: Captain Redbeard. On a side note, this motion picture received a golden parrot award for the best documentary at annual Tortuga film festival. Congrats TalonCard. So sit back, kick off your shoes (or peg-leg), and take a roller-coaster ride through life of one of the most exciting personas in fictional history of mankind.


About the Builder…

A long time reader and first time contributor, Cincinnati emerged from the Davy Jones locker and took out the LEGO Pirates MOCs subforum by the storm. He is nowhere to be found on popular social networks as he fancies himself ‘vintage’, but that has not stopped him from setting up a YouTube channel only to showcase his prize MOC.

For building instructions you can visit his ReBrickable profile here, or check out his other image work on his Brickshelf account.

Regarding the theme of his future project we know nothing as he refused to give up any clue during our regular torture Q&A session down in the dungeon. One piece of information did manage to escape him as he ran for the door, we know his favorite theme is and always will be LEGO Friends ahem, LEGO Pirates.

Before we part our ways you should know that there is new discussion brewing inside the LEGO Pirates forum ‘Is Governor Broadside actually Admiral Woodhouse, a turncoat in disguise?’ Exciting isn’t it? No? You don’t care about Imperial guard or Soldiers; you are here only for Pirates. In that case click on the big red shiny button bellow and give us your two pieces of eight about MOC The Redbeard’s House.

“The HMS Victory Main Top” by Pizzasemmel

Wednesday, March 16th, 2022 Featured Image for "HMS Victory Main Top" by Pizzasemmel

Over the years LEGO Pirates fans have plundered every uncharted sea, forbidden island and hidden cove in search of that long lost and almost mystical treasure known better as the original idea. Many have gone onto this perilous journey only to return beaten and empty handed, or worse, with another Black Pearl MOC in their hands arguing that there is no originality left out there, so why bother.

So when a newcomer Pizzasemmel humbly sailed into the Pirate port holding LEGO scale model of the HMS Victory main top, eyebrows were raised in astonishment. Not only is this eye catchy and well built model, but more importantly, it shows that there is still originality out there waiting for those who will search harder or sail further to get it.


LEGO HMS Vicotry main mast midsection

What a masterful rigging skill, pure beauty to watch and think about the time and energy spent

Pizzasemmel writes:

Here you can see my LEGO scale model of the main top of the British ship of the line HMS Victory. It shows the main top and main yard in 1:45 scale. The base does not represent the deck of the ship, only two thirds of the main mast are shown. The main top is ~30 meters above the sea level and the yard is 33 meters across, just to give you the scale of a real thing.

Most of the time on this creation was not spent on actual design of the model itself but on getting knowledgeable in rigging and understanding the workings of it all. Because there is so much contradicting information out there that was no easy task. Eventually I realized I must choose a certain set of building plans and just stick to it. In time the more I understood the more I was stunned by the engineering and the amount of foresight needed to build and sail those ships, it is just so impressive.

And speaking about the building plans, for any of you pirates trying to get your dirty hands on vessel plans, after extensive Q&A torture session Pizzasemmel disclosed the source of many available free plans HERE.

Bulding plan for LEGO HMS Victory main mast

Here we see the built section model in reference to the whole ship


The masterful rigging was accomplished with five different types of ropes, a proper scale modeller’s ropes mind you, in a total length of whooping 40 meters (131 feet). Ropes were obtained from a specialized rope maker since the price for this section model clearly wasn’t an issue. Feeling so generous, Pizzasemmel gave us the contact of his rope master, so go on and check it out HERE, if you think the price isn’t an issue your MOC deserves a professional touch.

Rigging and pulleys of LEGO HMS Victory

A skillful seaman is ascending the mast to relieve from duty a lookout who is bad at his job. (One can really see the land of opportunities through an eye-patch)

General information

  • Parts: around 1600 parts
  • Dimensions: Width 75cm (29.5″) | Height 50cm (19.7″)

Time consumed

All was done over the course of three months.

Yard and pulleys of LEGO HMS Victory

If you could have one decorative set for your living room, which one would you rather choose: LEGO® Ideas 92177 Ship in a Bottle or this?

Will there ever be a full size HMS Victory?

Pizzasemmel continues:

When I had 80% of the whole main mast done in digital form, I realized it was getting too big, almost 2 meters tall (6 ft). I just don’t have enough space to store or display it. Then I switched to the section model. But maybe, one day I’ll build the whole main mast section, which would look pretty cool, but the whole ship in this scale… it is too much for my taste.

As one would guess a reply like this was not well received by the gathered crowd in the LEGO Pirates forum. Soon enough ideas of collaboration started to pop-up and good folks of Imperial Armada and treacherous Pirates decided to join their bricks and plates and deliver to the world the first and only full size 1:45 LEGO scale HMS Victory!

Really?? Nah! Just kidding.

More than a decade ago a talented builder Big Boy, a.k.a. Dirk Delorme, spent a whole year dreaming big dreams while carefully planing and purchasing all the necessary parts. Three months and 45,000 LEGO pieces later he made his dream a reality as he produced a full size LEGO scale HMS Victory. Want to see this massive piece of art, well click HERE and begin to marvel. Full size vessels not your cup of tea rum? No problemo. Check out Nick’s Barret ‘minimalistic-build’ HERE.


A stroll down history lane

HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She is best known for her role as Admiral Woodhouse’s Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission, with 244 years’ service as of 2022.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Battle of Trafalgar

Admiral Horatio Nelson by Lemuel Francis Abbott, and HMS Victory at The Battle of Trafalgar by Clarkson Frederick Stanfield


About the Builder…

We don’t know much about Pizzasemmel plans for future Pirate-themed creations as inspiration can be a treacherous spirit, but we do know he wouldn’t mind if you followed up his work on Flickr or Bricksafe.

As the rigging of HMS Victory Main Top requires exceptional patience and skill, Pizzasemmel thinks about sharing the instruction plans for free in the future via his ReBrickable profile, so take occasional glace now and then.

If you find yourself impatient till next Classic-Pirates post, check out the LEGO Pirates MOCs subforum and join one of the most heated discussions ever held ‘Under which pseudonym the Governor shares his MOCs?’, or simply give us your two pieces of eight about the HMS Victory Main Top model.

If you are more into adult stuff, then immerse your head in the BoBS (not to be confused with BOOBS), the most spectacular Pirate game ever made since MI1 and its sequel.



LEGO Company Ltd


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