Dreamweb, a legendary ship builder long affiliated with the LEGO Pirates Forum has sailed back into view with a new vessel, named “Hippocampus“.
Aside from custom sails, the its most striking feature is the utilisation of the hull piece from DUPLO Pirate set 7881 Ghost Ship.
If you’ve been following the escapades of the Classic Pirates, you may be aware of EvanCelt incorporating DUPLO into the foundations of his Imperial MOCs. Now, Dreamweb applies a similar concept to ship building…
For quite some time, I’ve been planning to build a ship which uses one of the Duplo hulls. So when I got the chance to buy the hull from the set 7881 at a really good price, I hesitated no more and finally started to fulfil my plans. The result is here, and it’s called the Hippocampus. By the way, it’s also on Instagram so feel free to follow me there, too!
I must admit, this hull is a weird thing to work with. It has nice curves and an overall great shape, and the colours are really good. Unfortunately, those curves also mean it’s pretty incompatible with the shapes of most standard “System” bricks. Therefore, I had to use a lot of weird angles to pull this one off. Still, not everything fits perfectly, there are some gaps here and there, but overall I am pretty satisfied with the final result.
She sure has a wide rear-end! Nonetheless, it was a real challenge to try to make all of this fit together, and while I am tempted by the vision of using the even bigger Duplo hull which is also available (the set 7880), I don’t think I’m ready to live through all this stress again.
Plus, 7880 has a much less realistic hull. So yeah, it’s definitely time to give Duplo a rest for now. Anyway, as hard as it was to use it, I really like the bulky shape of this hull. Combined with standard minifigs, it really gives you an impression of a robust, durable vessel and a worthy adversary in a sea battle. Which is kind of ironic, considering that the techniques used to attach System bricks to Duplo make it rather fragile.
The captain’s cabin is accessible by removing the roof. In here, you can observe the ship uses a total of three DUPLO bricks. The first and second constitute the hull, while the third is the captain’s vanity mirror.
There are also two hatches in the forecastle, in the photo below, you’ll observe one of them is opened. Despite the capacity to store minifigures and cargo within, it actually conceals the structure which joins the ship’s bow together.
Now, here’s a photo with the lower hatch opened, revealing a ladder that leads to the lower deck. What’s on that deck? Dreamweb didn’t bother to build it so we’ll never know.
And that’s pretty much the whole ship. Once again, it was fun to build, but also really, really cumbersome. This Duplo hull really isn’t the friendliest piece to work with. And I can’t even begin to guess how many times the bow or the stern fell apart during the whole endeavour. But I think it was worth the effort!
That’s all, I’m really interested in your comments about this rather unusual design.
Origin of the Hull
7881 Ghost Ship is a DUPLO Pirates set released in 2006. It contains 33 piece pirate ship and includes two DUPLO pirate figures plus the hull used to build Hippocampus. The ship utilises a barrel for a crow’s nest and Dizzy’s head mould for the cannon ports. Dizzy being the cement mixer character from Bob the Builder which also had DUPLO sets at one point.
Beware the ghostly glow of the Jolly Roger!
This ghostly ship haunts the Seven Seas in search of spooky fun and pirate adventure! Help the Captain and his First Mate load the child-safe launching cannon, lower the anchor, or keep watch from the crow’s nest above the sail.
- Ship can float or roll!
- Sail and decorations really glow in the dark!
About the Builder…
Dreamweb has been contributing stunning ship builds to the LEGO Pirates Forum for many a year. You can find galleries of his past work on Brickshelf and his Instagram account is prospering with updates of his newer creations. He’s also the sole creator of the ongoing webcomic series, “Kings And Queens Of The Sea” which was founded back in 2008.
So once you’ve familarised yourself with Dreamweb’s talents, set a course to the LEGO Pirates forum so can discuss with the Hippocampus with the man himself!