Review MOCs

“Warty Crab” Overview by Marooned Marin

When we turn our thoughts to pirate ships, our minds fill with visions of mighty galleons… heavily armed war brigs… swift sloops… crewed by seasoned cutthroats and captained by nefarious, amoral Sea Dogs, who’s booming growl sends shivers into the hearts of trembling landlubbers. But alas, not all pirates slot nicely into that fearsome mould (i.e. Jack Sparrow) and many pirates wannabes are in dire need of a small, nimble vessels to evade troubling predicaments… or land them in new ones.

The Warty Crab is a ship for such occasion. Constructed from a useless row boat, this pint sized vessel still packs a punch, as we rightly noted when we first introduced the ship back in 2021.

Today, we leap a step further and in this Classic-Pirates Overview, we determine whether you, the devoted LEGO Pirates fan should buy commandeer one… and where from?

Marooned Marin writes:

Dear all,

It all began one night, I believe this summer (2021), as I roamed the vast oceans of Internet something small (simple) but utterly genius caught my eye on Classic-Pirates blog. I’m talking about “Caribbean Ribbit” by Legostein, a wonderful creation which immediately posed an old challenge for me: Can I Do More With Less?

I decided to put on hold work on two mayor vessels and go out and try to find the answer. I gave it my best, and so here I am.

Broadside view of the Warty Crab

Trivia: the original name of the ship during development phase was the Old Bucket, but as that name did not seem to have any hope of driving terror across the high seas, it eventually evolved into, Warty Crab


  • Price: $25.99
  • Parts: 198 parts
  • Dimensions: Width: 5cm (1.96″) | Length: 25cm (9.8″) | Height: 15cm (5.9″)
  • Weight: 0.35kg (0.77lb)

Box and Content

The carton box, tightly secured within layers of bubble wrap, arrived after a mere 9 day transit from China to the Europe. It was hand delivered by a courier from the DPDgroup, an international parcel delivery service. Both shipping costs and customs were covered by seller, and a tracking number was also provided. A closer inspection reveal no physical damage to the box.

We are off to a great start! But we should mention once you place the order, an additional 9-12 days is required for production, quality inspection and finally shipment. As a rule of the thumb, under normal circumstances, allow 3-4 weeks from order to delivery.

The decorative box

You know how you feel sad when you need to throw away beautifully decorated official LEGO box? Well, no such thing here!

Bricks and pieces in plastic bags

All parts are packed in unnumbered plastic bags, with no clear system of grouping, other than partial colour and part type

The flashdrive with instructions

To cut costs and save the forest, the building manual is included digitally on a 4GB USB drive which we can later be re-used as a memory stick

Closer Inspection

Parts colour comparison

A quick comparison reveals the pearl gold, bright light orange and black are on par with LEGO, while the reddish brown is extremely close but not identical

All parts were included in the correct quantity with no visible scratches or dents. Sails are not included at the time of writing (Second Quarter 2023) but during recent talks with their Head of Development, we gained confirmation that a laser-cutting machine has been acquired and production of sails is on the horizon.

Great news, but what about now and sails for the Warty Crab sets currently in production? For the time being, the building instructions contain a graphic template and instructions how-to make your own sails… more about this later.

One notable annoyance in regards to printed parts – to quote a line from the product description Stickers and print parts are not included. So instead of the valuable treasure map piece we’ve received a blank tan tile. ARRRG!

Luckily, old pirate fans like us always have a map or two floating around just in case.

Printed parts issue

Beware, stickers and print parts are not included… so no treasure map or Jolly Roger flag

Building Instructions

Sample of the digital instructions

Small MOC equals small building instructions, which are simple, clean and straightforward

Sample of the digital instructions

More of the same here, simple but not too simple

The Build

The hull and the floor

Like most MOCs, this little boat ship follows the bottom-up building approach

The bottom work

Plates and bricks easily connect and stay connected, which tells us a great deal about the quality of third-party manufacturers

Arches on the stern

It’s amazing how after only a few simple steps, the useless row boat begins to take the shape of a real ship

Warty Crab stern fence

Out on its own, the taffrail on the quarterdeck looks and feels flimsy, but once connected to the quarterdeck it instantly becomes quite sturdy

Finished stern of the ship

In fact, the whole cabin is pretty tough, which is good news if you plan to engage in heavy duty playtime with your kids… or your better half (if they are into that)

Fence of the forecastle

More of the same goes for the forecastle railing, flimsy alone – sturdy and compact once attached

Warty Crab forecastle

The simple combination of reddish brown with black and pearl gold works rather well, although few pieces of dark brown here and there would probably worked even better

The Warty Crab masts

And here be the main mast, the yard and the bowsprit, and one small but indispensable rudder

Warty Crab without sails

Aye, it’s coming along nicely… but to really come to life, every sailing ship needs set of sails, which are sadly not included at the present moment

How to make the sails

But wait! The building instructions contain printable 1:1 scaled templates of the sails, along with the detailed instructions on how-to make them. Let’s first try the easy route, and simply use paper sails

Warty Crab with paper sails

Hmm… this just won’t do… guess it’s time to follow the tedious instructions to the letter

(Some Time Later…) The Finished Model

Warty Crab with real sails

We made the sails from an old white cotton t-shirt, which was first soaked in the black tea, dried and then re-soaked in water & starch solution – an old trick to make it rigid

Stern view on the Warty Crab

The white flag had to go! Have ye ever heard about a pirate ship sailing under the white? We notified the manufacturer about this and they assured us all the future ships will be sold with a black flag

Top view on the Warty Crab

Smaller issues aside, in a nutshell what we have here is a terrific little ship which can easily go along with every existing pirate set available out there


The Score: No need to mince the words here, this is a great little MOC!

The Issues? Only one really; the sails! For many AFOLs, the lack of the readily mountable sails can be a deal-breaker, a sign of incomplete product, an excuse to go and purchase something else (even if that else includes those horrible brick-built sails). Can we overcome this issue? Yes, as demonstrated above, it takes a little effort but it IS achievable.

The Price: At $26, the price per part is 13c, and the good old rule of thumb dictates anything under 10c is good value. So is this overpriced? Not really. Free shipping, customs costs and delivery to your door is included.

So should you risk it? Hmm… let us rephrase that to what is there to risk? It’s good looking, it’s sturdy, it’s playable and best of all, at $26 it’s an easily affordable nifty little pirate ship. The parts are not authentic LEGO, that’s true, but they are compatible with them and are surprisingly good quality.

Perhaps the right question would be, how many sets should you buy? Remember, there is always some kid’s birthday coming along, and every sane kid loves pirates. I myself additionally got hold of six more, and all of them are now roaming and plundering the uncharted Brick Seas in six lucky homes.

Warty Crab out in the world

Captain Redbeard and the Warty Crab in the “Escape from Imperial Port”

About the Builder…

Marooned Marin was stranded on a desert island, isolated from the AFOL community until he finally managed to escape that desolate rock on a raft made out of several sea turtles (hmm… this story sounds awfully familiar). He is now based in Dubrovnik, Croatia where he enjoys stunning coastal scenery and a lovely view of a fortress that was incorporated into a popular pirate Medieval TV show a while back (GOT, you scallywags).

If you’d like to keep up with his work, take a peak at his Instagram account, where he regularly shares his impressive feats of writing, since he is a staff-writer for the Classic-Pirates. On rare occasions you will stumble upon an image or two of the new MOC in progress. But don’t get overexcited, because he regards himself as a one-MOC-per-year type of AFOL. He is slow but thorough.

You can acquire building instructions for all his creations via his ReBrickable account, or enjoy their imagery on his Flickr and BrickSafe.

What Do Yer Think?

Would you ever consider buying something outside beloved brick brand? If you already did, how was your experience? Or should MOCs only be built from authentic LEGO, or do non-authentic brands also have a place? Would you buy this MOC?

Sail by the LEGO Pirates Forum and let us know!

Disclaimer: This is a licensed MOC design, built from third-party bricks and elements. Anything written inside the post is solely expression of the author’s feelings. Parts and build photographs by Marooned Marin (© 2023


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