Author Topic: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....  (Read 34827 times)

Offline BlackPearl2006

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The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« on: September 21, 2010, 03:01:19 »
It all began with a ship……

It’s funny, as a child I remember seeing tallships and pirate ships in stories and movies and some in real life, and I remember absolutely detesting the idea of ever wanting to be anywhere near a ship!  I thought they were primitive, and disgusting, actually.  So….organic.  Wood hull with splintering weathered ends, fabric sails that can fray and tatter in the wind, the pervading smell of tar from the shrouds and ratlines and the ship all ‘round….. the toxic smell of gun powder, having to sleep on the gun deck right next to the cannons……the dizzying array of countless lines of rope strewn all about the entire ship…what a mess and a visual nightmare!  And the fact that there was no idea of a cockpit or covered weather-proof place to sit and navigate the ship, instead you have to STAND, OUTSIDE, in the rain or cold or whatever elements the sea decides to shower you with….not to mention the idea of NO SHOWERS aboard…. And what was the horrible grog made from that crew members had to eat?  I don’t even want to know!  Oh, and my worst fear:  the POOP deck!

The point is, I HATED the idea of pirate ships.  I absolutely detested them. Utterly.  Completely. 

Until I first laid my eyes on…. The Black Pearl, from Pirates of the Caribbean.


Like many, I became enamored with this movie… not so much because of Johnny Depp, nor the blossoming Keira Knightley, but because of a  ship with black sails, captained by a man so evil that he11 itself spat him back out.  The Black Pearl and her then captain, played by Geoffrey Rush, Captain Barbosa, my favourite character. 

My first instinct as a toy enthusiast was to search for a toy of the Black Pearl.  However, at the time of the first movie, none existed.  So my little girl and I went to Toys R Us and purchased a different ship with a black hull, BlackBeard’s Pirate Ship by Playmobil for US$29.99:



Suffice it to say, my daughter and I had loads of fun pretending it was the Black Pearl.  But somehow its ugly plastic red furled sails and missing spanker sail just didn’t do it for me, so we turned her into this:



Our pseudo-BlackPearl, aka The Black Widow, using black 3-ring-binder plastic for the sails, and a custom-cut spider sticker as her insignia, and added regular playmo cannons to replace her “big bertha” cannon.  She was a fine ship, but it just didn’t seem right still.  By then, the second and third movie were being filmed, and I was elated to discover that, unlike the first movie where the Black Pearl was a façade built aboard a floating barge, Jerry Brookheimer had commissioned the construction of an actual sea-worthy SHIP!  (though it too is a sort of façade built over an existing cargo ship named the “Sunset,” and had masts that ended at the tops, requiring the rest of the masting above the tops to be added later in post-production as digital elements).  But she seemed “real” enough to me.  I was in love!  I began studying the leaked photos that permeated the internet, becoming obsessed with the ship with each click I made of the mouse. 

Unlike the barge, the new sea-worthy Black Pearl had a very curvy deck profile, similar to old-style galleons of yore.  I had to have a better ship than the 3750 style 2-masted Black Beard ship that, to me, actually looked more like a fishing vessel than a pirate ship.

So I purchased the Black Pearl by Mega Bloks.


The Mega Bloks ship was a disappointment, however.  The hull was way off, and the masts and sails and lack of shrouds or rigging of any sort made me quickly toss it aside, my thirst for the perfect Black Pearl still unquenched.  It’s hard to believe that this ship went for US$40 at the time (not worth it, IMO), and now commands prices upwards of $200 or more on ebay.  Why?!  Her only redeeming parts her her bow and stern.  Everything else in-between is just horrid.

Then I saw the Ultimate Black Pearl Playset by Zizzle for US$80 that could accommodate 3 ¾” figures from the movie line.  It was HUGE!  BUT, I realized the proportions are even WORSE than the Mega Bloks ship, PLUS it had no chance of floating like a Playmobil ship, so I skipped out on buying her at all at the time.


And then, I found the infamous 3286 ship by Playmobil for US$90 at the time (she now fetches upwards of $150 on ebay)…

This picture alone convinced me that this would make the perfect Black Pearl, as it seemed to mirror the curved lines of the real ship:

For a long while I played with the 3286 as she was in all her red plastic glory, only adding topsails to her masts, otherwise keeping her in stock condition.  For months I stared at her, imagining and imagining how awesome it would be if she were even more like the Pearl, with 3 masts instead of 2, 3 stages of sails, totaling no less than 12 sails total, with 2 flying jibs and  several staysails.  And with a forecastle, and giant lanterns and ornamentation at the stern, and cannons on both the gun deck And the main deck.  For the longest time, I would just sit there and imagine….

Until one day, it came to me:  why not have the best of all worlds?  Why not have a ship that floats and is durable like the Playmobil ship, but correctly ornamented like the Mega Bloks ship, and on the verge of realistic detail like the Zizzle ship?

So, the first thing I did was get my dremel, took a deep breath, and began to saw off the bow of the 3286 ship.  Once I made the cut, I knew there was no going back!  Using parts of the Megabloks ship, I test-fitted the transplants onto the 3286 and took pics of her in black and white as I took my first steps towards creating The Black Pearl ala Playmobil style:





I first purchased the 3286 in 2006, only first modifying it to this stage  after 2 years in 2008.  It wouldn't be until June, 2010 that I would take the next step by painting her black and  adding extra yard arms and rigging to accomdate more sails......

More to come…….
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 03:20:01 by BlackPearl2006 »
Ahoy, Pirates, Hoist the Colours!

Offline Gis

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 04:05:57 »
Glued to the screen! Thanks for sharing your awesome story! Can't wait for the rest!

Offline WarriorOfToys

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 05:07:36 »
WOW! That's amazing!!! :o :o :o
Can you tell us how you made the double sails?
I would love to emulate it in my ship. ;D
It doesn't look too hard...?
You kept the original sails, but added another sail (slightly smaller one) on top. Right? ???
But how? 8} 8} 8}

Really cool, I too cannot wait to see the finished version! :)
Steck is BACK! <:>

Offline Bill Blackhurst

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 05:28:04 »
AWE,....so Playmobil changed your thoughts about realistic toy pirate ships, well done :)9! You have done wonders to create this beautiful custom masterpiece :arrr:! I look forward to hopefully seeing pictures of the work in process ;)!
  Forget about all of the other stuff,....all we need is the reintroduction of the 3526 Fire Engine!

Offline Wolf Knight

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 06:41:03 »
Amazing!!! This is indeed a piece of art!! Great craftsmanship!!! More pics please!!!


Offline BlackPearl2006

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 10:20:44 »
WOW! That's amazing!!! :o :o :o
Can you tell us how you made the double sails?
I would love to emulate it in my ship. ;D
It doesn't look too hard...?
You kept the original sails, but added another sail (slightly smaller one) on top. Right? ???
But how? 8} 8} 8}

Really cool, I too cannot wait to see the finished version! :)

Modifying masts and rigging on Playmo ships is rather easy if you simply lash everything with string.  No real fabrication needed.

For the topsails I originally purchased a second set of yard arms and lashed them to the poles above the tops, using the little loop hole near the flag as a fix point.  Then I took a second set of 3286 sails and just trimmed the bottoms so the corners would meet up with the top yard arm of the main sail below it, and lashed the corner of the sail (you can use a clew or not) to the end of the yard arm.  The topsail yard arms were then supported additionally by string extending from the ends up to the same loophole on the mast where the yard arm was lashed to in the middle.  This added realism and gave the sail more support.


Sadly, though, this meant each mast of the 3268 now bared 3 playmo yard arms in stead of 2, and 2 playmo sails instead of 1, and the extra weight made the ship top-heavy, even with a  ballast, and rendered her unstable even for a bathtub or pool.  To counter this, I simply removed the extra yard arm at the topsail and just lashed the sail itself directly to the mast.  Playmo sails are stiff, so they really didn't need the yard arm after all.  This made her just BARELY stable.  The Playmo sails are just too thick and heavy when it comes down to it. But for looks, as you can see, it's rather easy to do youself if you're not planning on sailing her.    If you do want to sail the 3268 and still have top sails or even top gallant sails, you can keep the yard arms (or make your own) as long as you switch to a lighter cloth instead of the foam-ish playmosails.  The 3050 ships, however CAN still sail with the added weight of an extra set of playmosails, so GO CRAZY and show us your mod!

As far as my updates, there are more pics to come.  I'm still finishing up her stern as we speak.  I've done a lot more work since I sailed her some weeks ago.  Cutting cannon ports, mounting cannons, adding rails, making working anchors and capstan.... I'm still looking for a bell to use as the ship's bell....bigger than the little one that comes with the old 3050 ships....more like a small church bell, to be mounted on the quarter deck.  Lots of cuts, lots of styrene, and even some casting and molding.  So look forward to lots more work in progress pics soon :)
Ahoy, Pirates, Hoist the Colours!

Offline flatcat

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 10:26:16 »

Great work, Blackpearl2006 :wave:

3286's for $150! 8} 8} 8}

There was one still in my local toyshop for £40 :lol: (I should have got it but when I went back it had gone) :(

Damo :)
 

Offline WarriorOfToys

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 10:49:07 »
Modifying masts and rigging on Playmo ships is rather easy if you simply lash everything with string.  No real fabrication needed.

For the topsails I originally purchased a second set of yard arms and lashed them to the poles above the tops, using the little loop hole near the flag as a fix point.  Then I took a second set of 3286 sails and just trimmed the bottoms so the corners would meet up with the top yard arm of the main sail below it, and lashed the corner of the sail (you can use a clew or not) to the end of the yard arm.  The topsail yard arms were then supported additionally by string extending from the ends up to the same loophole on the mast where the yard arm was lashed to in the middle.  This added realism and gave the sail more support.


Sadly, though, this meant each mast of the 3268 now bared 3 playmo yard arms in stead of 2, and 2 playmo sails instead of 1, and the extra weight made the ship top-heavy, even with a  ballast, and rendered her unstable even for a bathtub or pool.  To counter this, I simply removed the extra yard arm at the topsail and just lashed the sail itself directly to the mast.  Playmo sails are stiff, so they really didn't need the yard arm after all.  This made her just BARELY stable.  The Playmo sails are just too thick and heavy when it comes down to it. But for looks, as you can see, it's rather easy to do youself if you're not planning on sailing her.    If you do want to sail the 3268 and still have top sails or even top gallant sails, you can keep the yard arms (or make your own) as long as you switch to a lighter cloth instead of the foam-ish playmosails.  The 3050 ships, however CAN still sail with the added weight of an extra set of playmosails, so GO CRAZY and show us your mod!

As far as my updates, there are more pics to come.  I'm still finishing up her stern as we speak.  I've done a lot more work since I sailed her some weeks ago.  Cutting cannon ports, mounting cannons, adding rails, making working anchors and capstan.... I'm still looking for a bell to use as the ship's bell....bigger than the little one that comes with the old 3050 ships....more like a small church bell, to be mounted on the quarter deck.  Lots of cuts, lots of styrene, and even some casting and molding.  So look forward to lots more work in progress pics soon :)

Thanks sooo much!!!
This has given me SOOO many ideas!
And I have the perfect solution to the top heaviness
as I have several weights that I don't have any use for. :D

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!
I can't wait to show you all my new ship soon! ;D
Steck is BACK! <:>

Offline Jimbo

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 11:20:43 »
Wow, BlackPearl2006 :)9

Can't wait to see her finished!

Double cool! 

Jimbo

Offline Andy R

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Re: The MAKING of THE BLACK PEARL....a work in progress....
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 12:19:02 »
All I want to do is ¡¡¡OPEN FIRE!!!
(I LOVE ships, I HATE Pirates.)
If I’m jealous, you did SOMETHING right. Keep it up. :D
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