There are different approaches to building LEGO ships. Before starting, one must think about the desired outcomes… playability versus realism. Should the hull start at the waterline or does one wish to construct the whole keel? LEGO prefabricated hull pieces or brickbuilt? These and more are questions answered by Lukas Diemer‘s astonishing build “HMS Argonaut”.
My goals were different for different projects. Problematic was that sometimes they changed within the building process. Most of my European themed finished ships ended up in a similar category. The HMS Argonaut made her first appearance in 2015 as a side project, while I was building a 74 gun ship of the line. The idea at that time was to build a ship, using only prefab hulls and get closer to a LEGO set style approach. The same approach I started the ship of the line with and the same reasons I later changed to achieve some route closer to modelling than to integrate playability. There always were some deviations. Also there are lots of beatiful decorated frigate cabins out there, but I just had to use the same old windows with barely any decorations. My 38 gun frigate from the beginning on was limited in some design choices that I wanted to copy from my 74 gun ship of the line as to make them recognizable as being from the same builder. Both for example use jumper plates to form the tumblehome. Both use the same gratings and belaying pins as well as similar mast tops. As for the name, same as with the HMS Bulwark, there were ships named HMS Argonaut, but just coincidentally.
Lukas learned before commencing construction, it’s easier to start with a real life ship reference and ideally plans, than it is to just start building, and then later attempt to implement realistic features and characteristics.
Lukas Diemer on his Rigging:
With rope and cloth there often is more agreed upon leeway, though in the end it is one‘s own decision that matters. hntrains commented that the ropes steal the show. That is somewhat true as my focus was shifting more towards the rigging. On the first ship I was hesitant to use the sewing machine, as I didn‘t think myself competent enough to work decently with it. So I let my father do the sails for the ship. Unfortunately though, my father is less artistic and didn‘t use a pencil to mark parallel lines on the cloth. Once I did the sails myself for various smaller ships, I realised, mine were more dedicated and I started adding reeflines. Tideous work like doing all the knots can be quite meditative. My rigging is often complimented and I can gratefully accept praise. But still it is only a selection of sheets, halyards, shrouds, lines and ropes. For example, I left out the clewlines completely. Some also have recommended to use strings in black or brown, that might look better. Working in three dimensions and using a functional rig helps a lot to understand how the sails work and my two dimensional ship drawings and paintings benefitted hugely, as now I understand what the purpose of the rope I‘m drawing is.
As ye can tell, the rigging was achieved with a goodly amount of thought put into it. Are yer rigging skills as good? Do not worry, I won’t
have ye handed to Imperial Guards and hanged judge ye if yer skills aren’t as good, for there is always room for practice and time for improvement.
While there is indeed a good balance ‘tween brick-built and prefab hull, Lukas says that there could have been a better outcome:
My 74 gun ship of the line is quite straight throughout the broadside. Here some more research beforehand would definitely have helped, though I would not have achieved such a broad stern. For the hull of a frigate I would probably recommend another technique. Who knows, maybe in the future I maybe will build the L‘Hermione or the Shtandart. What sometimes still bother me is the Stern. I started with prefab hull parts only. Then I had to widen the hull, using sloped bricks. At some time I had to lower the black stripe. The old brown bow I had didn‘t allow for that. So I came up with my own solution and on the finished vessel the gapes that were created don‘t look so bad. I feared worse. What remained was the stern. Looking back now I should just have gone over to brickbuild everything and maybe even use only black parts.
A Closer Look
Not only does HMS Argonaut look magnificent, but she also has a bustle of activity occurring on the upper deck.
HMS Argonaut has proven to be capable of taking on a multitude of enemies, even Captain Redbeard and his crew. Fear not, if yer on Imperial Guards‘ side, there is nothing to worry about, they’ve got you covered! Now we shall end the story (for now) with this mighty vessel sailing away to further adventures!
About the Builder…
Lukas Diemer or Wellesley or Fehron Argonaut (as he is known on Flickr) has been around on Eurobricks for a rather long time. As a matter of fact, this year marks his tenth anniversary on the forums and some of ye may have noticed his well-established MOCs long before. He has made brief appearances in LEGO Pirates MOC Sub Forum but mostly he contributes models to the outstanding role-playing pirate game, Brethren of the Brick Seas. Besides Eurobricks, he can also be found on Flickr, so don’t be shy and inspect that account with awe and enthusiasm, for he has shared some beautiful vessel MOCs on there!
I suppose ye would be wishing to leave a comment about what a masterpiece this MOC is, if this be so, ye can do it in the dedicated Eurobricks topic for it. Alternatively, ye can
give up the gold and turn yerself in hit that red button below to discuss it further. If this magnificent vessel has made ye thristy for more magnificent pirate MOCs, do consider visiting LEGO Pirates forum and Pirate MOCs subforum… I promise, ye will not regret it! (that much!)