Successful plunder ventures go hand in hand with illegal trade and money laundering, so where better to establish a murky business operation than in the heart of the pirate infested Spanish Main?
One such shady business can be found on the remote Van Dyke Island, the smallest of the four islands nowadays known as the British Virgin Islands. A place where intrepid sailors and other seafaring-rats (that is pirates) can safely unload their stolen goods and recuperate, all under the protection of the finest Italian
mobster master builder in the Caribbean, the infamous Cincinnati.
I wanted to build an island where every pirate could rest after his raid: in particular, I was inspired by the LEGO comic “The Golden Medallion“, when on page-9 Redbeard and his pirates dock on a bay to have a happy feast.
I really like all the dark colours (and in fact I used for the buildings the dark red, the dark tan, the dark bluish gray and the dark orange), because I associate them more with rustic structures of the 16-17th century. I also like the dark brown for wooden structures: if I can, I always mix it with reddish brown.
The name of “Van Dyke Island” resumes that of the homonymous island of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands which owes its name to the Dutch pirate of the seventeenth century who made it one of his refuges.
Cincinnati’s Source of Inspiration
Did yer know in 1989 The LEGO Group published a comic book named The Golden Medallion to coincide with the launch of the LEGO Pirates theme? Well, now yer do!
As part of their marketing initial strategy, The LEGO Group decided the LEGO Pirates theme should revolve around a narrative that fueled imaginations and encouraged hours of play. Along with The Golden Medallion comic, the following year, they released four children’s stories published by Ladybird Books. These stories threw more fuel on imaginative fire by fleshing out the characters, along with the locations and ships they inhabited. Some were inspired by official LEGO Pirate sets, others appear to be inventiveness of the books’ authors – or were they actually prototypes that never saw an official release? We may never know…
In addition, background stories were printed on the box artwork, particularly on larger sets which contained a flap that opened to reveal the cursively written content. Each set had its own unique tale, although they didn’t necessarily adhere to a strict canon with the other promotional literature. Like Bo’Sun Will in the 1989 LEGO Catalogue….
Now three decades later, this cunning strategy still inspires
lost boys master AFOL builders to create fantastical MOCs based on these fictional locations and vessels.
The Build Overview
To ensure the fun never stops and access is possible to every corner of the island, Cincinnati again employed a popular, yet challenging modular building technique that had worked wonders for him in Readbeard’s House.
The Busy Docks
The Base Level
The First Floor
The Second Floor
Return to the Redbeard’s House
Back in early 2022 Cincinnati emerged from the depths of Davy Jones locker and took the LEGO Pirates MOC Forum by storm with his reenvisioned version of 6279 Skull Island, which he named Redbeard’s House. Now, a year later he’s opened Van Dyke Island for business by amalgamating these two MOCs into one stunning creation.
And if so, will there be enough space at the Cincinnati’s home for future creations? We do not know, so we shall wait and see… very optimistically!
But Wait, There’s More!
Before we return to the open waters (and daily life), Cincinnati has one last treat in the form of a demonstration video. For those who do not understand a word of Italian (other than arrivederci), YouTube offers helpful subtitles in the language of your choosing. Enjoy, and arrivederci!
About the Builder…
Cincinnati hails to us from Italy, and one thing his MOCs and country have in common is that they are both simply drop dead gorgeous! If you like what you see, you can follow his work on Instagram and his YouTube channel where he regularly shares updates on his brick passion.
If you want to get your mitts on the instructions, visit his Rebrickable account and commit to at least one impulse purchase. It’s OK! We’ve all done it at some point – and we don’t regret a thing!
What Do You Think?
Has Cincinnati surpassed his previous MOC, or you find Redbeard’s House to be a superior build? Would you like to own this MOC? Do you even have room for it? Tell us within the comfy confines of the LEGO Pirates forum by clicking the big red discussion button below.