Imagine being a pirate and looking along the horizon to see the flagship of the royal navy barreling your way. Say, Stephen Chao‘s Royal Guardian, for example. With more than enough canons to knock the wind out of anyone’s sails, it’s a sight to behold. To be honest, I like history but I’m not a huge history buff; yet I can’t imagine there was ever a pirate ship as formidable (except in movies). I suppose its only downfall would be the speed it would lose with the weight of those canons.
Logistics aside, this build is well detailed and impressive in more ways than one! It’s very busy but clean at the same time. And not only does it look realistic and have superb shaping, it’s also fully furnished. Because, go big or go home, right? The mammoth ship comes complete with captain’s quarters, a galley, a full arsenal, and more.
Like the kind of ships that sail upon the oceans blue? Check out this unique swashbuckler, or maybe another with a gorgeously sculpted stern.
A builder going by the name of Gonkius has built a SHIP called WA:59, or The Wasp. According to the Triassic era LEGO builder gods who made this stuff up, SHIP stands for a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts that must exceed 100 studs in at least one plane. Not only does this creation satisfy that definition, but the builder went the extra mile with some neat LED light up features both fore and aft. Aside from its striking yellow and black striped color scheme this sleek craft bears little resemblance to an actual wasp from the side.
However, when viewed from the front at a three-quarter angle, the resemblance to a wasp becomes more apparent with a feature replicating the compound eyes of an insect. The glowing alien heads beneath the canopy are an excellent touch. Strangely, this SHIP looks as if it would feel equally at home in space or under the sea…or perhaps ruining your next picnic.
Are you aware that a hedge fund has nothing to do with shrubbery? Do you use the word “summer” as a verb? Have you ever summered in the French Riviera? Do you lack the ability and the know-how to change the channel on your theater sized TV because you have people do that for you? Does your walk-in closet have a heated swimming pool? Then you, my new friend, are a billionaire and you might be quite familiar with the super yacht. You know, for when a regular yacht just won’t do! I don’t know if Arjan Oude Kotte has a super yacht in real life, but it is a sure bet that he, if nothing else, has a massive LEGO collection. This model of an M/Y Scout Super Yacht is more than 48 inches long (123cm) and is built from roughly 14,000 pieces.
Here is a video of the undertaking. My favorite detail is this handsome minifigure enjoying a beverage on the aft deck proving, once and for all, that rich people do it better. All kidding aside, I strongly encourage you to check out the rest of Arjan’s work, as he is no stranger to building intricately detailed models of ships and boats. Now where did I leave my Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne?
It can be surprising how far a little camera angle and a good idea can go. Sometimes creations that are amazing from a technical standpoint can turn out overwhelming or chaotic, when simplicity is all you need. This creation by Martin Harris is one of the examples where less is more.
The build is indeed simple, but it has everything it needs. The water is essentially just thoughtfully placed curved slopes, and the ship looks like a ship with a nicely sculpted dragonhead and a viking-style sail. All this is photographed cleanly and at an immersive angle. The selling point is the ridiculous idea though. The fierce warriors on the ship are different LEGO baby minifigs, including sewer babies from the LEGO Movie 2, all wearing LEGO Heroica helmets.
While Greek galleys have been an occasional subject for LEGO builders, it’s not often we feature the Roman navy, despite its historical importance in carrying the Roman army to victory across the Mediterranean in places like Carthage, as well as to Britain from Gaul. Iyan Ha has corrected this oversight with his wonderful little Roman warship, with full rigging and even pavilions on the deck for the elite passengers. As wonderful as the ship is, don’t miss the filigreed stand, complete with a custom plaque and a pair of tigers.
The trading of cannon broadsides was surely the bluntest form of projectile warfare. Huge ships, passing within yards, blasted cannons into each other’s sides as quickly as the sailors could reload. Simon Pickard brings the fury of battle under sail to vivid life in this LEGO creation — a frigate and a galleon all set to pound one another into matchwood. The tightly-cropped image creates a real sense of action and drama — you’re just waiting for the splinters and blood to start flying. The brick-built ship hulls are impressively shaped, and the sails are beautifully done. This is a close-up view from a large-scale pirate-themed LEGO layout we featured previously, put together by British building collaborators Brick To The Past.
When I reviewed the newest official Destiny’s Bounty set, I was surprised at just how big the set was, coming in at a massive 21 inches long. Now, W. Navarre is seeing just how far to the other end of the spectrum Ninjago can go with this absolutely adorable tiny Destiny’s Bounty. As with any micro model, every piece counts and must be made good use of, but the curved roof of the Bounty’s quarterdeck is what I like most, since getting that rounded top is no small feat, though it’s helped tremendously by the new 1×1 quarter circle tiles.
The Wheel of Time is a classic series of Fantasy novels by Robert Jordan, first published in 1990. One of the empires in the Wheel of Time universe is known as Seanchan, and it inspired Douglas Hughes to build a LEGO version of a Seanchan Greatship. According to the builder, the Seanchan style is a fusion of medieval European and Asian influences. For example, the figurehead is European while the trio of ribbed sails are reminiscent of Chinese junks. I love the sculpting of the bow and the ornate detailing running the entire length of the ship. The golden hawk figurehead looks stunning and doubles as a reference to Artur Hawkwing, one of the Seanchan empire’s earlier leaders.
Sometimes, the leviathan is small. In this magnificent tiny vignette by Grantmasters, a lone ship rides a ferocious ocean. It’s a safe bet that it’s the Pequod, since it’s hunting a white whale. As usual, Grant’s build is rife with excellent parts usages, from the little known Belville figure feet making most of the whale’s body, to the beard for a tail, or the axe blades for water.
After six years in the making, master shipbuilder Sebeus I has completed his sensational LEGO version of the Flying Dutchman. The 3-foot-long ship has been fittingly constructed from a muted palette of grey, dark tan, and sand green bricks, giving it the perfect spectral hue. It also allows for an amazing amount of detail to be packed into the vessel’s decaying hull.
The tattered sails and rigging are particularly well realised, looking most effective as she glides out of the gloom. Sebeus’s photoshop skills enhancing the atmosphere to good effect.
Click to see more of the amazing Flying Dutchman
It really shows when a builder knows their subject, and that is absolutely the case here! According to Luis Peña his 1:200 scale LEGO model of a Type 23 frigate in Chilean Navy service was built with the aim of reproducing as many of its details and equipment as possible. Every aspect of the build, form the various surveillance and control radar to the ship’s 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun is a miniature replica of its real world counterpart.
My personal favourite features, though, have to be the microscale Cougar SH32 helicopter perched on its landing pad, and the Sea Wolf anti-air missiles’ vertical launching system, which Luis has built in epic mid-launch.
This microscale city-port built by Markus Rollbühler packs detail into every stud of its tiny 12×12 base. Everywhere you look something grabs your attention: ships built from epaulettes, with sails formed from the new triangle tiles found in the Speed Champion sets; printed Minecraft plates make excellent wharf buildings; and, my personal favourite, party hat spires adorn the town’s numerous towers. Of course Markus doesn’t stop there — keep searching and you’ll find treasure hidden in the dock’s cellars.