Recently Maxim I shared his beautiful MOC of the Götheborg, an 18th century sailing ship, in the LEGO Pirate Forum. Simply sharing her pictures would only partially do the build justice, so this editor reached out and landed the following interview. Enjoy!
What was your original inspiration to build the Götheborg in Brick?
=> I have been fascinated by the Age of Sail since I was a little kid. I was amazed by model builders and their wooden shipmodels and I always wanted to do something like that as well. Growing older and discovering bricklink, well there was nothing anymore between the childhood dreams and the true realisation. Looking for inspiration for my ships, the Götheborg catched my eye and I knew that would be my first big replica. I even found a comment on Eurobricks made by me in 2015.
I love Scandinavia and I prefer it above French for example. So that will be one of the main reasons I wanted to build the Götheborg and not L’Hermione for example.
After experimenting with various shipbuilding techniques and maturing the plans in my head, I finally found myself able to start building in 2017. With pictures of the real (Replica) Götheborg in front of me, I choosed the bricks I would need and estimated how many I would need.
I have to admit once building, I have cursed a lot on the vessel. It was a proces of building, sitting on the shelf for a few weeks, tearing down, rebuilding, again a small break, tearing down a part, rebuilding, and so on. It took me a whole year before the result was satisfying enough.
Do you remember how many pieces are in her?
No clue. It could be 10k or maybe even a lot more, I don’t know. Instead of using bricks, I plated the sides of the ship, so that adds up very quickly. But the result is very nice in my opinion.
Are those really prefab hulls we spy?
Haha yes, the white Friends prefab hulls
It is a discussion I often have with other shipbuilders like Captain Green Hair, Legostone and Sebeus what is best: prefab hulls or custom hulls. I think we all agree that 6 prefab mid sections are absolutely the maximum. But then you have to widen her 3 or even 4 studs. Generally the ratio is 1/4 (so every stud in the width equals 4 studs in the length).
I am a huge fan of prefab hulls because it gives a sturdy base to a MOC. You can easily pick a vessel up without the fear of losing bricks. But I have to admit the older prefab hulls were much nicer then the newer ones (especially for the stern).
Was the rigging really that bad?
I don’t think I am exaggerating that much when I say to people that the time I spent rigging, most people can build a new vessel (without the rigging). If I had to put a number on it, I think I spent 20 hours on the rigging and sails. It is not the most fun part when building a ship, but it is in my opinion the most important part because it adds so much to a MOC.
Did you have a set Scale when you started building?
Thanks to plans of the Replica and drawings/plans of what looked like the original Götheborg, I could scale everything compared to the 6 prefab midsections I used as base. An important thing to remember is that the decks were not that high. The lower the deck, the lower the ceiling. So most of my decks are around 4 bricks high, which makes historical sense and is very helpfull to keep the heigth of you ship under control.
Another scaling tool is the square rule: the length of the mast from waterline till top is the same as the overall length of the ship (the length without the bowsprit)
Speaking of scale what are the ships measurements?
I think that would be around 70cm x 70 cm
(That’s just over 27 1/2” long and tall for our US readers.)
What are some techniques that you learned that made this possible?
Of course I have to mention Captain Green Hair here hahaha
Will you be displaying this anywhere?
I have displayed it already at a famous Cartoon Festival in Knokke and some local BeLUG events. I also displayed it at last edition of Skaerbaek Fan Weekend. The next event that the Götheborg will be displayed at, will be Brick Mania Antwerp the 30th November and 1st of December at the pirate lay-out I will have there with Legostone, Sebeus, Captain Green Hair, Captain Braunsfeld, Kabel, Faladrin and other awesome builders.
Any thing else you want to add about the build?
First of all a big thank you to those who gave feedback during the process. Most names have been mentionned already
Secondly, come join Brethren of Brick Seas on Eurobricks! It is one of the best ways to improve as shipbuilder (or even general builder) and has an awesome community, giving a lot of feedback. You can develop your own story in a huge fictional world and if you like rpg, you can join the game mechanics in that world.
I think that would be everything. Thank you very much for this interview
A big thanks to Maxim I for agreeing to this interview and a special shout out to all who influenced this build so that it may inspire others!
An extra picture: the Gotheborg together with another new vessel: Princesse Margot (can be found in BOBS forum)
Just discovered someone filmed both ships at Skaerbaek Fan Weekend:
Thanks for watching!
C&C would be awesome!