Imperial Guards (Red Coats) MOCs

“HMS Aurelian” by Joellie YT

The mighty Roman Empire, one of the greatest civilizations in history, defined by its architectural wonders and rich mythology, Rome is a genre unto itself.  A veritable inspiration for various literature, films and video games, and even a LEGO theme during the 1980s which never came into fruition. Aye, Rome was considered as potential a theme alongside Castle… but Pirates seized the glory!

The Roman Empire had a slew of emperors, some distinguished philosophers, others vile hedonists. One emperor in particular,  Aurelian, beckoned to Joellie YT across the sands of time, so much so, he dedicated a ship in honour of the “master and god”.  Not just in name, but the ship’s figured also bares resemblance to the once great ruler.

Sporting a sleek ivory hull and crafty custom sails, the HMS Aurelian is a formidable addition to the Imperial Guard’s fleet. So beware ye wretched pirates!

Joellie YT writes:

Ahoy everyone!

I’m super excited to share my newest Lego sailing ship MOC, the HMS Aurelian! it’s named after one of my favorite Roman emperors, who makes a special cameo as the figurehead of the ship 🙂

I’d say [the ship class] a little earlier than [the Napoleonic wars], like 1750s-ish probably! It’s still got the King’s Colors flag so it’s at least before 1801 🙂

She consists of 26 cannons. eighteen 12-pounder (official firing LEGO cannons, two long nines and six 8-pounders. it features three sets of sails, a decorated stern, and an interior. There’s also a double helm and working capstan ^-^

There are around 2,000 pieces used for the build i believe. the quite rough digital build took about a week to make and the refining process/physical build about 3 weeks (including the wait for Bricklink parts) ^^

Bow of the HMS Aurelian

The bow from which the mighty figurehead can be observed

Port broadside of the HMS Aurelian

Look how broad that broadside is! Those cannons are at the ready

Starboard side of the HMS Aurelian

Not much is happening on the starboard side but just wait until those gun ports are open

Stern of the HMS Aurelian

The stern flying the first Union Jack – aye, there was a later revision. Do ye know the difference between first and second Union Jack?

The Deck

Now let’s take a closer look at the hard working crew in action…

Joellie continues:

Here’s a little look at the upper deck! it features a railing, the ship’s bell, the double helm and a few 8-pounder cannons 🙂

The front has a working capstan and 2 long nines/chasers (but they’re turned to the side right now :3)

Upper deck of the HMS Aurelian

Welcome to the upper deck – that fancy looking man must be the rich patron who chartered the voyage

Helm of the HMS Aurelian

Some smaller cannons and a double helm ensure the ships remains on course during those tumultuous storms

Joellie continues:

While at the rear there are the stairs heading down onto the lower decks. the ladder can be raised and lowered. also, you can see the clutter on the deck, i really love that look personally so it was nice to include here 🙂

Capstan on helm of the HMS Aurelian

It even has a working capstan!  Or do we need to see video proof of that?

Stairs leading to the lower deck

The stairs leading to the lower deck… what’s down there? A galley? Some hammocks? Rats?

Joellie continues:

Probably the most dangerous area of the ship, the big hole in the center, it’s meant to transport cargo to the holds, but in hindsight i should have probably provided a railing or something. I’ve lost count of the amount of times the sailor has fallen in haha.
Speaking of the lower decks, here’s a look at the cannons stationed there, there’s also a little storage compartment containing…

Cargo hold of the HMS Aurelian

Behold… the cargo hold… be there seized bounty from bloodthirsty pirates down there?

Gun deck on the HMS Aurelian

And beneath the main deck is the gun deck… because you can never have too many cannons!

Carrot storage in the HMS Aurelian

Carrot storage – carrots help yer see better in the dark so yer don’t need to wear an eye patch

Captain's Cabin of the HMS Aurelian

The captain’s cabin – the captain must have difficulty concentrating with those cannons firing

Joellie continues:

This [cabin’s cabin] is probably the most disappointing area of the ship, the captain’s quarters. unfortunately in order to have the full 9-cannon broadside, most room had to be taken up by the cannon stationed there. tips on the interior would be greatly appreciated 😀

And that’s a wrap!

Video Showcase

Wait!  You didn’t think we’d end this blog post here, did yer? How about some video of the HMS Aurelian

Joellie continues:

If you’d like to see more of the ship, I have a YouTube video showcasing it further.

How about that? Joellie has other ships for us to investigate in the future.

Behind the Scenes

Like any great creation the HMS Aurelius didn’t appear in a instant, Joellie contributed much hard work and effort to bring this ship to life.

When asked about his creative process, he more than delivered on the details…

Joellie continues:

There’s more than just renders though! I’ll post the most interesting WIP pictures 😀 I’ll post them in chronological order.

I started off with this, I call them pallets. They’re essentially a little mockup of colors and bricks I’m planning on using for the ship. As shown on the picture, I had 4 designs I was quite fond of. After asking around most people seemed to prefer the last ”tan” option, so I went with that 😀


Little mockup of colors and bricks

Here be Joellie’s palettes – which one do yer like best?

Next we move into the digital realm…

Joellie continues:

I then went over to, where I transformed the mockup into a digital vessel. It was my first attempt at building digitally, but probably also my last. I prefer building with physical pieces ^^ I didn’t bother making an interior, deck and masts/yard arms, I thought it best to do that in real life so I could take things like weight and gravity into account 🙂


Concept Render of the HMS Aurelian

Building digitally is a great way to proof the design before committing to physical bricks – but it’s not for everyone

Concept Render of the HMS Aurelian

The stern was considerably less decorative in the beginning

Joellie continues:

First day of building got quite a lot of progress done 😀

A little look at the deck construction. it was a little finicky, but ended up working out in the long run !

I hope this gives you a pretty detailed look at the build process! Thanks for making the blog post, I really appreciate it ^-^

Work In Progress: HMS Aurelian

Joellie likes to work by candlelight

Work In Progress: Deck of the HMS Aurelian

The deck posed some challenges during the construction but Joellie overcame them

Work In Progress: Stern of the HMS Aurelian

Joellie revised the stern with some lovely gold trimmings

Work In Progress: almost done

Nearly complete! Just got to add the sails. Glorious custom sails!

Joellie continues:

Yesh, the sails are a special kinda paper. It’s off-white, kinda tan ish but you can’t see that too well in the pictures.

I used regular A4 papers as a trail version to measure and draw the right distances between the holes and to work out the shapes. I then bought some fancy looking off-white, thick textured paper and traced the mockup sails on it, cut it out and punched some holes with one of those hole punchers. Oohh yeah and then I used some black marker for the outlining of the sails, voila!

Who the Heck is Aurelian?

Aurelian (that’s Lucius Domitius Aurelianus if you prefer full names) was a Roman emperor, who reigned during the Crisis of the Third Century, from 270 to 275. While emperor, his military prowess for victories was unrivaled, reuniting the Roman Empire after it had fell into disarray under the relentless onslaught of barbarian invasion and internal revolts. He emerged into the world under rather humble circumstances, near the Danube River circa 214. At the tender age of 21 he enrolled in the Roman army and ascended the ranks. He lead the cavalry of emperor Gallienus, until Gallienus’ untimely demise in 268, followed by a succession of briefly appointed emperors, he became emperor himself in 270.

Rendering of Aurelian, Roman Emperor

Here is a nice photo artistic impression of Aurelian – does the figurehead look anything like him?

During Aurelian’s reign, his impressive resume of defeated enemies includes; the Alamanni, Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi.  Restoration and expansion – that’s what Aurelian  stood for.  He achieved a marvelous repair job on the Roman Empire’s eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 27, then in the sequel he conquered the Gallic Empire in Rome’s west, reuniting the Roman Empire in its entirety. If you couldn’t tell from the name, he was responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome.  He cleared all the riffraff out the Dacia province, and enacted monetary reforms to reduce the devaluation of the Roman currency.  Quite the overachiever, huh?

And he would very much like you to refer to him as “dominus et deus” which translates to “master and god”. He was also bestowed the title;  “Restitutor Orbis”, but you can look that translation up yourself.

About the Builder…

Joellie YT created a Flickr account especially to share images of this MOC in the LEGO Pirates forum.  While the HMS Aurelian is the only MOC available in his photostream, you should definitely follow on him Flickr because he’ll probably share exciting future projects.  Well, it would be very encouraging for him to post if he has devoted followers!

But YouTube is where Joellie shines!  His YouTube channel boasts dozens of great videos; there’s a good deal of Star Wars, but also a generous helping of naval ships.  Aye, the HMS Aurelian is not his first voyage into these waters!  While yer there, ye might like to inspect  his British warship, his American warship,  and his brigantine, HMS Endurance. Perhaps one day, Joellie will share these other creations with us in greater detail.

What Do Yer Think?

Would Admiral Woodhouse be pleased to have this ship as part of his fleet? And has Joellie done emperor Aurelian justice with this vessel?  Or can ye give him a tip or two for improving?

Bow of the HMS Aurelian

Here’s the money shot!

He’d love to hear from you… well, read your rantings thoughts in the LEGO Pirates Forum.


In Forum
21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay LEGO set

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