Harbours/Trading Post MOCs

“The Explorer Fleet” by Legostein

Most builders focus on constructing a single ship, an undertaking that requires skill and finesse in its own right.  Legostein however, is not content with just one ship – he aspires to create entire fleets! Well, not just fleets, entire factions!

Driven by a desire to explore concepts not touched upon in the original LEGO Pirates theme, he embarks upon creating entirely new sub themes, so today, let us introduce you to “The Explorer Fleet”

Here you will be treated to an army (or is that Armada?), a port larger than 6272 Imperial Trading Post and of course, the fleet itself!


Legostein writes:

Hello everybody,

and welcome to my own corner of the pirate world! Today I want to introduce you to an exciting project I am into for some time now. It’s an alternate pirate play theme with new factions, new boats, and new places. I made up some rules for myself that apply to the project:

I try not to use any official pirate theme insignia, any official pirate theme sails (official pirate boat pieces allowed), any official pirate theme torsos, any official pirate theme heads (official headgear allowed).

With that I started into a new adventure of playset design! It was quite a challenge but a pleasure even more. So, I would like to present to you: The Explorer Fleet


1. The Personnel of the Explorer Fleet

Legostein continues:

For the crew of the Explorer Fleet, I used toros of the “Racers” series from the early 2010 years. The back printing of the torsos (which would not look adequate for a pirate figure) is covered with standard capes. I was really happy to finally being able to create a yellow uniform that looks nice (as you know yellow dress for yellow head and hands color is quite difficult). The heads are from the “Fright Knights” series from the late 1990 years. As insignia the flag of the “Lone Ranger” series from 2013 was used.

The Explorers Fleet - all personnel

A total of 39 figures with guards, 9 officers, and 3 commanders

Closeup of the Explorer Fleet's Army

The Imperial Armada has nothing on these guys!

Commanding Officiers of The Explorer Fleet

An eclectic assortment of torsos and a leader with facial hair to rival that of Don Diego de LEGO


2. The Port of the Explorer Fleet

Legostein continues some more:

All locations use a modular system of old 10×20 baseplates/bricks. You can stick them together to get a rellay long quay wall, or you can assemble them in corners to make a harbor basin. The modular system is extremely useful when participating in an exhibition to create a really lengthy display with buildings in the back and ships in the front. The home port is called “Port Yellowsandstone”. You will find a storage buidling with crane, and a defense tower whichi has a map/conference room on the first floor with great panorama view. There is also a small prison, the commander’s castle, and of course a tavern.

Port of the Explorer Fleet

Every faction needs a base of operations – welcome to… Hey, what did he say the name of this port was?

Port of the Explorer Fleet from above

While Legostein did a great job defining a visual identity for the vessels, he’s perhaps not innovated enough to differentiate The Explorer Fleet’s structures from the Soldiers and Imperial Guards

Cannon Tower at Port of the Explorer Fleet

Every good port is well defended


3. Ships and Boats

Legostein just keeps going (but seriously, it’s great he’s provided these details):

Catboat

You can already see it on the images of the port: A small catboat. Yellow sails are hard to find. For this little boat I used foam pieces that came with the “Scala” sets in the early 2000s.

A small catboat

A catboat – meow meow!
But seriously, a catboat is a sailboat with a single sail on a single mast.

Vela Latina

The next ship of the fleet is a small vela latina. It uses the large brown rowboat from the “Adventurers” series which I already used for several other boats, too. As lateen sail I used the carousel top cover from the Creator carousel 10257 of the year 2017.

Sail and Stern of Vela Latina

This is a Vela Latina – and no, Vela is the class of vessel, not a Spanish chica

Stern of Vela Latina

But she does look fine from the rear – also known as the “stern”

Starboard bow of Vela Latina

And here is the Vela Latina’s starboard from the bow

Port of Vela Latina

The port side with a feisty cannon aimed towards us!

Port bow of Vela Latina

That heavy cannon probably weighs her down quite a bit!

Starboard of Vela Latina

Fully accesorised, just like the Classic LEGO Pirate sets – you’ll spare observe the musket and sabre

Starboard stern of Vela Latina

And this is the view you’ll see after they blast your cumbersome vessel with a cannon ball and sail off

Xebec

The next ship a Xebec which use the same carousel top covers as sails. This was really a pleasure to build. I especially like how the angled mast turned out. It uses the standard boat hull pieces (narrow form) with one expansion piece in the middle.

Xebec of the Explorer Fleet

Sailing to new adventures! Exploring the uncharted regions!

Explorer Fleet Xebec

A xebec – a small three-masted sailing ship with lateen and square sails.

Xebec of the Explorer Fleet

And just like the classic sets, this ship only has two cannon, despite having four gun ports

Xebec of the Explorer Fleet

But what it lacks in cannon, it makes up in sails because we’ve never seen a xebec in the LEGO Pirates theme

Closeup of helm of Xebec

This is what we can observe from the helm

Xebec of the Explorer Fleet

That is a unique approach to a flag – we certainly haven’t seen that piece used in such a way in the Pirate theme

Port side of the brig

Two masts but only one cannon? A warship this one aint!

Brig

The next ship of the Explorer Fleet is a brig, also with two masts, standard boat hull and one expansion piece in the middle. For the sails “Scala” theme foam pieces were used again.

Explorer Fleet Brig

The flagship of the Explorer Fleet

Stern of the Brig from Port side

That foam from the Scala theme really works!

Stern of the Brig from Starboard side

The LEGO Pirates theme is lacking in two-masted ships with these hull pieces

Starboard side of Brig

A set based on brig would be a welcome addition to any LEGO Pirate collection

Looking down at the bow of the brig

Anchor included… figurehead however…

Mid shot of stern from Port side

And on the bridge you’ll find some important figures – not that we know who they are!

Mid shot of stern from Starboard side

And that concludes today’s tour of The Explorer Fleet


Closing Thoughts

Legostein concludes:

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed our journey so far. Please keep in mind these are designed as playsets, thank you.

Catboat sailing near the Port of the Explorer Fleet

The Explorer Fleet port includes everything you see here

So what do we think?

Legostien has done exceptionally well to create an entire faction, but Classic Pirates exists to be constructively critical, so here are some suggestions to flesh out (any) LEGO sub theme more thoroughly:

  1. Custom flags and insignias
  2. Custom toros
  3. Naming the key minfigures
  4. Naming the vessels and port
  5. A more unique design aesthetic for the port

Yes, we’re nitpicking because of all these suggestions have the potential to add many hours onto the build.  Nonetheless, they are hallmarks of a classic LEGO faction, and thus cannot be overlooked


Explorer Fleet Army

The Explorer Fleet is ready to venture into the known!


About the Builder…

Legostien has been sailing around the LEGO Pirates forum for quite some time, but during 2022 he exploded into a “Classic Pirate faction” building renaissance, beginning with smaller ship adaptions such as the “Caribbean Ribbit”. From there he began conceptualising entire new factions (yes, that’s right, more than one faction) which the Classic Pirates endeavour to explore in future posts.

So if the The Explorer Fleet has tantalized your nostalgia buds, be sure to investigate Mini Wizardry on Flickr because he’s got a cargo hold brimming with colorful classic creations!

What do you think of The Explorer Fleet?  Has Legostein created the perfect new faction for LEGO Pirates? Or can you suggest how he might improve on it further?

Allow the Explorer Fleet escort you to the LEGO Pirates Forum for further discussion…