Pirate MOCs

“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.


  • 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.


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